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perplexity from any earnest mind; we shall only throw into it a new element of confusion. The ultimate tendencies of Buddhism to entire evaporation, to mere negation, are manifest enough. The like tendencies assuredly exist, perhaps are becoming stronger every day, in Christendom. But to take the result of a certain doctrine or habit of mind, without considering its stages, varieties, counteractions; its lights as well as its shadows; how it weaves for itself at one time a dogmatic or sacerdotal vesture; how it sinks at another into a mere speculation; above all, what an Eternal Verity keeps it alive in all its forms; is not using it for the warning and instruction of men, but turning it into a mask for frightening children. If it is well for us to shew what possibilities lurk in Buddhism because they lurk in us, still more ought we to consider its actual history, because it is the history of a process which may be passing in the minds of persons whom we are most ready to think of as having reached the last development of unbelief; because it may be going on in us when we are giving ourselves credit for the greatest amount of faith.
Entering upon the subject with these feelings, I desired to hear of Buddhism not in digests, which represented it as a system at rest, but
from intelligent observers who saw it in motion. and described its different appearances. The papers on the subject in the Royal Asiatic Society are for this purpose invaluable, especially those of Mr. Hodgson, to which I have referred in the text (Transactions, Vol. 1. p. 222); that on Buddha and the Phrabat by Captain Low (Vol. 1. p. 57); that on the consecration of priests by Mr. Knox (Vol. I. p. 271); the disputations respecting Caste by a Buddhist (Vol. 1. p. 160). To these may be added different accounts of the Lama in the Asiatic Researches, (Vol. 1. p. 197, and xvii. pp. 522-524,) and the later narrative of Mr. Turner. For a general statement, I know nothing better than the article on Buddhism in the Penny Cyclopædia. Dr. Pritchard's works will supply valuable information upon this as upon most other subjects. Of course it would be absurd to slight the French writers upon Buddhism, though on a subject which offers such facilities for systematising, and in which systematising is so likely to mislead, it may be lawful to view them with some suspicion.
Of the Confucian doctrine, on the other hand, they are probably the best, as they are the most zealous and enthusiastic expounders. The Quatre Livres of Confucius, translated by Pauthier,
is a moderately-sized and readable book, and the preface to it is very useful and instructive. The Chinese reverence of Fathers is abundantly illustrated in the fourth volume of the Mémoires sur les Chinois, par les Missionaires de Pekin. All our recent writers, Davis, Medhurst, Gutzlaff, though valuable in reference to China generally, are rather vague and unsatisfactory on the subject of its religion. The Chinese exhibition at Knightsbridge was, in this respect, more valuable than any of them.
The recent interpretation of the arrowheaded inscriptions by Major Rawlinson will add, no doubt, greatly to our knowledge of the Persian or Zend doctrines. They seem to confirm the opinion which was so long entertained upon other grounds, that Darius Hystaspes was an instrument in the restoration of the true Persian faith, after it had been subverted by the Pseudo-Smerdis. It seems also clearer than it was before, that the reformation, which is connected with the name of Zoroaster, consisted mainly in the assertion of the absolute supremacy of Ormuzd. It does not follow that Ahriman worship was prohibited or wholly denounced: that it was continually re-appearing in the popular mind, is evident. The later Magian faith may
have been an attempt to reconcile the reformed with the popular doctrine; or rather, may it not be supposed, that Zoroaster's was the regal creed, and that the priests never more than partially recognized it?
What has been said respecting the three cycles of Egyptian gods, is explained at large in the Egypten of Chevalier Bunsen, Vol. 1. p. 423—433. He has a remark (p. 432) upon the mistaken effort to form Triads in different mythologies, by bringing together gods from different localities, or periods of history, which I have found very useful. Keeping it in memory, I think I have learnt more to find in THE Triad, an interpretation of all mythology, than if I had laboured ever so diligently to find parallels for it in the external parts of the systems.
If I had been writing a history instead of a lecture, it would have behoved me, when speaking of the relations of Christianity with Persia, to have noticed the Nestorian missions in that country. I believe the history of these missions would throw an important light upon the whole subject; but it would have led me into many details, which, especially in a recapitulation, I was anxious to avoid. To pass over any facts merely because they might tend to the honour of heretics, would
be grossly inconsistent with the professions, and, I hope, with the spirit, of these Lectures*. .
* I ought perhaps to have noticed two large Works, written by Englishmen, on the subject of my second Lecture; the Hindoo Antiquities of Mr. Thomas Maurice, and the work on the Literature, Manners, and Religion of the Hindoos, by Mr. Ward. They illustrate two habits of mind directly oppo→ site to each other; almost equally unfavourable, I think, to a true apprehension of the Brahminical faith, and of its relation to Christianity. Mr. Maurice seems to regard the abominations of idolatry as objects merely of literary interest and antiquarian curiosity. Mr. Ward can see only the hateful and the devilish; of what good it may be the counterfeit, what divine truth may be concealed in it, and may be needed to supplant it, he has not courage to enquire. Each, I think, is refuted on its own ground. Dilettante scholarship is found not to be sound scholarship. That which has no hold on the present, proves not to be true of the past. Mere observers of evil do not describe the evil accurately or vividly enough; the points may be correct, but the impression is false; for want of light, we do not feel the darkness. I believe most persons find it exceedingly difficult to read either of these books; quite impossible, to remember them.
I ought to have said, when speaking of Rammohun Roy, that his Tracts were written originally for his own countrymen, not for Englishmen. They were first printed in Calcutta: collected and re-published in London, I believe under his direction, in 1832.