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Gilbert's, Antigua, May 30th, 1839. MY DEAR SIR,—I send you another of my “horæ Babylonicæ," for I know not what else to call them, which perhaps may suggest something which, under your fostering care, may be of service to Mr. Tarnour, or some other of your oriental friends.
The few observations I have to make are on the cognate (i. e. to us) subjects of Budhism, and the origin of language, and have been suggested by the books with which you have so liberally supplied me, and a part of wbich I take this opportunity to return.
There is a singular passage in Mr. Turnour's introduction, which he says is a Pali verse from the oldest grammar referred to in the Pali literature. It is as follows. “Sá Mágodhi; mula bhásá, narayéyádi kappiká, Brahmanócha. suttalápa, Sambuddháchipi khásarẻ.” “ There is a language, which is the rout of all languages; men and Brahmans, at the commencement of the creation, who never before uttered or heard an human accent, and even the supreme Buddhos, spoke it: it is the Majadhi.” We have in these few words almost every thing that I have predicated of the Hebrew. It is stated to be the first and the root of all languages, and to hare been giren by inspiration. Nor is this all; for even the more doubtful fact of this language having been the Hebrew is pretty distinctly implied. “ It is the Majadhi," i. e. Magian. Nor am I singular in this interpretation of the word, which I believe I mentioned to you when at Done's Hill, for I find the following assertion of the same opinion in the number of the foreign Quarterly for April 1837, in the article on Tamil manuscripts : must notice that the word Mejadhya the first syllable of which is the Persian magi the Hebrew mega, (the root of the word mege, before mentioned) the Chaldee mega, the Greek magoi, and the Indian maya, magic, or delusion, is the Arabic epithet magh."
Here we have the word traced in several languages, and a plain assertion that it is the same as the Hebrew, and we see farther that it is almost identical with the Chaldee, as noted above, and that this latter also differs very little from the Hebrer. In fact, having traced this word up to Chaldea, or to Babel, we need be under no apprehension that we are very far distant from the real source of all languages.
I have however lately been struck with a passage in St. Matthew (5—18.) which is to me perfectly conclusive on this subject. Our Saviour there says, « Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one titule sball iu no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The jot is the Hebrew..., the Greek iota, and the English i: the utte is punctum super literam-the three dots orer
the letter. These being the most minute parts of lotters in the Habrew language, even as it is at present written, I cannot understand how the pas. sage can have any force if applied to any other language ; and I know of no other language in which the letter I is called jot or yod, or which is furnished with simnilar apices. The deduction is I think unaroidable, that the law was originally written with these peculiar and distinctive characters, : and consequently in Hebrew.
I believe I mentioned to you my conviction that the word I am is no. thing but a corruption of the same name of Jehovah, which in our version is tranlated Jah. It is the original also of the Greek El, which was sometimes written backwards 1 I like the Hebrew. This is evidently in al. lusion to the name of God, communicated to Moses, I AM. There is a most beautiful allusion to these pames in a verse of David Smart, the mad poot, in his “
song of David"
“ I AM! the great Jehovah said
I wish to add a similar obserration on the word Pali, which appears to bo frequently written Bali—thus mahabalipur ; (a word that reminds us of Baalpeor) “ the city of the great Bali ;” still retains the more ancient spelling; and what is this word Bali but Baal or Bel, or Belus, the God of Chaldea ? In like manner, I cannot help thinking that the name of the Persian palaco Shushan which means a lily, may have some connection with the lotus or water-lily of the oriental mythology; and that even in the present title of the kings of Persia Shah, there may be a remote allusion to the name of the Patriarch Shem.
I now proceed to the principal object which I hare in view, in troubling you with this epistle, which is to hint the possibility, I dare not, nor have I data to do wore, of the prophet Daniel being the great Gótamo Buddho. These Buddhists appear to have been meu, who by divino contemplation, and by their piety, had attained to a degree of iutercourse with the spiriwal world far exceeding that of any other mortals. It appears that there havo been five of these Buddhos; and that the age in which we now live is the buddhot-pádo of Gólamo. His religion is destined to endure 5000 years, of which 2379 have now passed away (A. D. 1836) since his death." (Turnour p. L.)
The absence of Hebrew type precludes our exhibiting the letter with thres dots.-Ed. C. M.
I will only hint that the four preceding Buddho. may have been Adami Nnah, Abraham and Moses; but from the foregoing quotation, it is plain that Gótamo died in 543 before Christ; and this is precisely the mediuma of the dates of the delivery of the two prophecies of 1260 and 2300 years, which being astronomical numbers, are the most likely to have engaged the attention of Daniel's Magian disciples.
If indeed the Magians and the Buddhists are admitted to le the same there can be very little doubt that Daniel and Gótoma Buddho were the same also; for Daniel “ master of the Magi,” and what is this but virtually the title of Gótama ? We are also told of Daniel, that he hal " light and understanding, and wisdom like the wisdom of the Gods," and that " the spirit of the Gods was in him,"-all attributes of Gótamo.
Further the request which Daniel and his companions, Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego, made to the prince of the Eunuchs, that they might not " defile themselves with the portion of the King's meat," but might be per, mitted to live on vegetabie instead of animal food, will afford a very satisface tory account of the origin of this remarkable particular of the Buddhist creed.
Another reason, of which however I have only an individual perception, for supposing Daniel to be Gótamo, is the similarity of their names, not indeed in sound but in sense, Mr. Turnour says,
“ almost all Pali proper names, whether geographical, or of persons, have some specific signification. In the translation of their names into vernacular dialects, their meuning, and not thą. sound, has been generally preserved." This will account for the name of Buddhist being substituted for Magian, and Góiamo för Daniel.
We bara already had occasion to point out, how both of the former words came to signify wisłon and wise men, for such is the meaning of Buddhist in Pali, and our translators have so rendered Magi in the New Testament,
But are Daniel and Gótạmo synonymes? Here I am at a loss, and eye: there seems to be a glimmering of light. The meaning of the name of Daniel is “the judginent af God;" and I perceive that in Clough's Pali Grammar tha word Dhammam is said to signify righteousness, # word so nearly allied to judgment that in our old translations of the Bible the woril justice is almost always used where we now read righteousness. Now I hare seen the name Gótamo written in a great variety of ways, and among others (I think iş the Missionary Register) GUADAMA. Here we bave “dama," a word very like “dhammam;" but what is most remarkable of all is that there is good reason to believe that this word “dhamimam" in the Pali language is actually derived from the very word which forms part of the name of Daniel in the Hebrew. This woid is Dad; und from this root Parkhurst derives the old English word to deme i. e. judge, and thence doom, and also doomster, a judge. He then suggests that the tatin damno and the English dumn have the samo origin; and
thus nay the word “dhamman" be not only a translation but actually a derivative for the Hebrew Dan. This interchange of the N, and M, was quite common be.. tween the Jews and Chaldeans, and hence the words Cherubim and Cherubin. So far then our way is tolerably clear, but how is the word “GOD” to be obtained froni the vanne of Gotama ? if we were to seek English derivetions, there would be no difficulty here for Got and God are sufficient alike to answer such
a purpose ; but as deo and deus,devi and dera, Boddh and Woden &c. &c. &c. are so easily traced from the Puli, may not
word God have a similar origin? This must be determined by those who are competent to the task, and should the result be as I anticipate, I think it will have been demonstrated that Gótama and Daniel are the same.
I shall detain you with only one other observation on this subject, which will enable us to correct an anomaly (for it can scarcely be called any thing else) is the chronology of the life of Daniel ; and this gives us
a hint of the great benefits which may be ultimately derived from these studics, if they should be placed on a firm basis. Calmet supposes Daniel to bare been twelve years of age, when brought to Babylon, and as it was only three years after this event, that he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he could at that period have been only in his 15th year. At p. XCIV of his intro. duction, Mr. Turnour states that Gótama was born B. C. 622 ; and he says that this “ date is too authentically fixed to admit of its being raried." This would add four years to Daniel's age, and consequently, at the time of in. terpreting the dream, he might be near twenty years of age ; a circumstance surely more probable than that he should have delivered this prophecy while yet a boy; and also far better agreeing with the words of scripture, which assure us that in consequence of this event, the king made Daniel a great " man, and gave him many great gists, and made him ruler over the whole “ province of Babylon, and chief of the Governors over all the wise men of “ Babylon"—i. e. supreme Buddho!!
Passing by the last two words, I cannot but observe that we have here
most surprising, I was going to say, corroboration, but it is rather an eclaircissement, or a bringing forth to the light of the truth of the Holy Bcriptures. What they do actually contain, how precisely, and minutely they are true, even to the jot and tittle, and how completely all history and science, all human purposes and achievements, social, political and religious, only cir. cle round and reflect their light, may possibly never be fully understood in this world; but we must remember that every fresh discovery in these matters is an acquisition in divine knowledge, and make us, as St. Luke expressed it to his disciple Theophilus, to “know the certainty of those things wherein we have been instructed."
Neither will the benefit end here, for religion will confer benefits, and stest ones too, on human science. We need not go far qut of our way, to
ascertain the truth of this position. I have already hinted at the abstinence of Daniel and his three friends from animal food being the probablo origic of the same practice among the Budhists, and this idea is corroborated by the fact that almost immediately after the death of Daniel, Pythagoras, returning from the East, introduced the same custom into Greece, In the East ho also became acquainted with astronomy, and taught that the planets moved in oblique circles round the sun. He also learnt in the same segions, the doctrine of the metempsychosis, and the practice of medicine; and the five years silence that he imposed on his disciples, was evidently another item borrowed from the Buddhist creed. Whence then these coinci. dences, unless they have a common origin ? and what origin so likely, as that they sbould have been adopted in imitation of this great and good man who during the period of his own lifetime had obtained so high a degree of sanctity that the Almighty himself alludes to it in the prophecy of Ezekiel, and says, “ Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it they sbould deliver but their own souls by their righteousness." We have thus afforded us a very simple solution of what I have understood to be one of the great difficulties in Hindoo literature, the origin of the abstinence of these sations from animal food ; and this view is confirmed by the tablets of Pe. yadasi, the date of wbich is about 200 years posterior to Daniel. Thus we Day say of these studies in reference to divine and human knowledge,
Altera poscet opem res, et conjurat amice.”
I am afraid you will say of my manuscript that in studying brevity, I bere attained obscurity; and indeed I consider that I shall be obliged to write the whole over again, if it were only to embody the new ideas which are continually suggesting themselves. I will add two or three which havo occurred since I sent it to you.
The following is a curious illustration of the sealing of hooks, and shers that among the Eastern nations it is practised even at the present day. It is an extract from a decree of the Emperor of China for the suppression of Mr. Gutzlaff's Chinese Magazine.
“ I the Emperor hare carefully tumed it over, and looked at it. The title page bears the date. Taonkwang Keawoo (the name of the thirty first year (1834) of the Chinese cycle :) it is dated in the summer months, and sealed with a private seal $c."
I have next to observe that the Greek names of Bacchus, Dronysius, and Jacchus are both derived from the name of Noah. Jacchus is evidently the latter part of Noah's name as written in Latin Noachus, and in our own adjective Noachic. The exclamation of Jo and Erohe are corruptions of Jah and Jehovah ; and “Jo” and “ Evohe Jacchi,” are simply Lord or Baal Noah,