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Sancrit, and in that language they have preserved their records,' inrolved how, ever as regards history, in the inexuicable mystitication reterred to above.
The independance of Ceylon from Indian rule rescued its authentic bud. chistical literature which had been brought from India, from brahmanical deg. truction, and the native historians of Ceylon, unintuenced by any motives, reli. gions or political, for confusing the evidences of history subsequent to the event of the last Buddhu, continued to record with chronological veracity the narrative of their own historical events to modern times. The existence, how. ever, of these valuable works, in so autbeutic and connected a forin in Ceylon was not generally known till recently, --as the claims preferred by the budd. bist priests in behalf of their native records were rejected by Europeans, with a disdain which tvould have been unpardonable, but for the published results of the investigations, made by competent parties, of similar pretentions in India.
To obtain, however, the recognition among Europeans of the authenticity of their histories, nothing more was asked by buddhists than an impartial examin. ktion of their contents. Often had I been drawn into discussions, on this deeply interesting subject, with the well informed among the priesthood in this Island, wben I was only acquiring their vernacular language to serve as a medium of communication. In those discussions I have noticed-how impenetrable was the darkness in which Indian events, and the identity of Indian monuments of antiquity were enveloped. -how completely all collateral record of the in. cidents connected with the invasion 'of Alexander had been obliterated ;---- how entirely the literature, which had been manifestly extant when Megasthenes was deputed to the court of Sandrocottus, has been annihilated or porverted ;-** and with what discouraging disappointment all attempts to identify the age in which, and the rulers by whom the great works of antiquity scattered orer India had been achieved, were baffled. The simple answer has always been : .-- Learn to read our Páli works : you may not find all that your European associations may suggest; but in those works you will find the history of India from the advent of Buddho to the establishment of his religion in Ceylon; comprehending a term of tires hundred years, embracing in it the very period of Alexander's invasion which you seek; containing, moreover, the history of the conversion of the emperor of all India to buddhism, as 'well as the stupendous results that ensued therefrom; and, above all, comprising: a connected and authentic history of Ceylon from the establishment of buddhism iụ this island to modern times. * In these' 'assurances there was something almost dazzling, in the flood of light that was promised to be let in upon the unbroken gloom of the prerious darkness; and yet these promises--making due allowances for the prelended probpecies and miracles of Buddho, and of his pretended inspired disciples,
trivial chronological discrepancies--have been realized.. It has been my humble endearour to give to these records all the publicity in my power; and the medium through which I sought to afford ibat publicity was the Asiatic Journal of Bengal, of which Mr. James Prin: sep was the editor. The data contained in those contributions furnished, at the same time, to my late friend, collateral matter for his own more general résearches ;-in the midst of which, by a most extraordinary coincidence, he decyphered the long lost alphabet of the ancient inscriptions of India. By that discovery, those inscriptions, which have survived the effects of the elements and of political convulsious for upwards of two thousand years, were made to bear direct and unimpeachable testimony to the authenticity of the Ceylon Váli literature. They proved to be the monuments and the edicts, composed in the Páli language, of the identical emperor of all India, renowned in buddhistical annals, who had become the convert to, and had spread buddhism over, almost the whole of Asia!* In those inscriptions were, moreover, found the names of
as well as
• Since this letter has been sent to the press, I have received by the Emma . note from the Cape, fruin Mr. Wathen, recently chief secretary at Bom. bay, who says “ previous to my leaviny Bombay I had almost succeeded in devyphering the Salsette inscriptions, which proved i have been executed under ihe auspices of the same king as those of Mr. Prinsep."
Antigonus, Antiochus, Ptolemy and Maga, prosing thereby that, in his zeel to extend the wild and benevolent tenets of his newly adopted creed, be had sought the co-operation of the rulers of Bacuma and of Egypt.
Much vacne and hypothetical discussion mas, parhas, be avoided in your Magazine, by those who may desire to illustrate in iis pages the results of their inquiry into the native literature, by being furnished wiib a guide to the authentic portions of those records ; and although I despair of being able to find time io recast what I have written before, I will willingly, if you desire it, allow you to reprint in your periodical, my contriinitions regarding Pali annals which have appeared in the Bengal Asiatic Journal, a work not received, I believe, in Ceylon by zvy one but myself.
In the meanwhile I place at your disposal a series of letters, the composition unquestionably of accomplished scholer in western literature, recently forwarded to me by Sir William Colebrooke,, now governor of Antigua, and well known here one of the commissioners of eastern inquiry. The author is the Rev. Mr. Gilbert, the colonial chaplain of that island, and the letters contain his views on the supposed origin of buddhisın.
I shall reserve my remarks on these interesting notices for a future occasion, having already trespassed too lạrgely on your limited space.
I remain, Sir,
(Signed) GEORGE TURNOUR. Colombo, qd August, 1810.
Extract from the Rev. Mr. Gilbert's letters to Sir WILLIAM COLEBROOKE.
Gilberts' Antigua, May 3rd, 1839.
MY DEAR Sra,-You very kindly intimated that if I had any suggestions : to make on the subject of Mr. Turnour's oriental researches, you would communicate them to him. I have accordingly put down a few hints on nature and origin of Buddhism, which, I now icclose, and will thank you to make whatever use you think best of them.
The deriration of the name buddhist is I believe new. It is at least so to myself, for it was only yesterday morning that the thought occurred to me. What I have written, therefore, must not be considered intended for the critic, but for the amateur, The coincidences, however, are striking, and may at least leail to something better and more detinite. If I had the real orien. tal names of Buddh, Budihism, an! Buddhist, as written in the east, but in the Roman character, it would tend to throw light ou the subject. It is not the oriental mode of pronunciation, but of writing the words that I wish for, and perhaps you may have it in your power to aid me in this respect.
The connection of astronomy with religion appears to be co-eval with creation itself, when the heavenly bodies were appointed “ for signs, and for seasons, and for days and for years," and we find that as early as the time of Job, this connection had by one portion of mankiud at least, been degraded into idolatry, and the sun and moon had become objects of adoration. This, ibere can be no doubt, was the origin of the Sabean idolatry, which consisted essentially in an ascription to the heavenly bodies themselves of that intluence, and power, of which they were only ordained to be the chronicles' and signs. The originators of this idolatrous systern were, in all probability, individuals of the line of Shem, who settled in Ur of the Chaldees, from which place Abraham was afterwards called, and ivstructed in the worship of the true God.
Another division of the same family the descendants of Elam, the eldest. son of Shem, and the founder of the Persian dynasty, appears tw have migrated farther to the east, and to have carried with them all purer system,
The connection of astronomy with religion was still retained, but no 'idolatrous worship was paid to the heavenly host. With this purer worship a purer wora lity appears to have prevailed, and the only visible emblem made use of was that vi fire, which was kept constantly burning; and as fire on the altar of Jehovah was never suffered to go out, we may feel assured that in those early ages, such a custom was not inconsistent with the true worship. This ! conceive to have been the origin of the Magiant religion; and although the science of astronomy was soon degraded into that of judicial astrology, yet there is every reason to believe that the knowledge and worship of the true God was still retained and practised by the Magi. The wise men, who came from the east to worship at Jerusalem, are expressly called by St. Mathew * Magor; and in the book of Daniel we learn that he was made by Nebuched.
master of the astrologers” or according to the Sepiuagint Archonta Mugon.
It is probable that the Magian religion was further purified by being subjected to the authority of so enlightened and pious an individual as Daniel; and it is almost certain, that he very considerably extended the knowledge, which the Magi possessed of the connection really existing between the movements of the heavenly bodies, and the great chronological epochs of the world. The two leading prophetic eras of the book which bears his name are the periods of 1260 and of 2300 years; and these with their difference of 1040 years, are the most perfect, indeed the only round numbes which form cycles of the sun and moon. So accurate is the last of these numbers that at the expira. tion of 1040 years the sun and moon return, within less than 24 minutes of a degree, to their original positions.
We bave undoubted évidence to prove that the Magian or oriental morality or science (gnosis) was of a pure, and elevated character. Mosheim says that " the first principles of the oriental philosophy (the name by which he distin. guishes the Magian from the Grecian doctrine,) seem perfectly consistent with the dictates of reason." He aflerwards gives a full and detailed account of the tenets of these philosophers: and they appear to agree in the most sur. prising manner, with those contained in the tablets of Piadasi, as lately decyphered by Mr. Prinsep and published in the Asiatic Journal.
From this Magian morality I suppose Buddhism to have derived its origin; and we are thus enabled to account in a simple and satisfactory manner, for the superiority and sublimity of its doctrines. In its progress through the East, it doubtless became contaminated with the different religious systems which it found already existing, and also more or less accommodated itself to the local circumstances and social peculiarities of the communities through which it passed: retaining bowever its humane and inoffensive character, and greatly improving and exalting the institutions of all the nations which ultimately em. braced it.
The origin of the name of Buddhist I conceive to be the same as that of the Bedouin Arabs. The word in Hebrew is written budud, and is translated by the Septuagint Kechorismenos. It does not occur in the Old Testament as a verb, but Parkhurst says that in Arabic it signifies “to, separate," and that from their dwelling alone and roving in the deserts “ the Bedave of Bedouins had their appeilation." This word is synonymous with unzur, the root from which the designation of the Nazarite is derived, and which Aquila translates, by another compound of the same Greek verb, horizo; and hence it may be nnderstood, like the letter, to iraply a religious or spiritual separation from the rest of mankind.
It is remarkable that Balaam uses this identical word to indicate the distinction between the children of Israel and all the other nations of the earth
so the people shall dwell alone, (æz um lubudud ishukun) and shall not be
In the absence of Greek and Hebrew types, Roman characters are unavoidably used.---[Ed. C. M.
reckoned among the nations." This privilege the Jews constantly abused, and in a spirit of pride were ever ready to say to others “ stand by thyself, Cuine not near me, for I ain bolier than thol." It is plain that a similar spirit mi seif-righteousness has always heen, and is to this day, a striking characteristic of the religious morality of the east.
It is also worthy of remark, and corroborative of the observations already made, that the linen, of which, the garments of the Levitical priesthood were directed to be made, iş called in the Hebrew (bud); and when we recollect that the “
fine lineu" is distinctly declered to be emblematical of the righte, qusness of the Saints, there can be little doubt but that the word was un. derstood to imple something of holiness in the separation which is indicated. Indeed in Leviucus, xvi. 1., where the dress of the high priest, in which he was to enter the the Holy of Holies is decribed, it is expressly called the holy linen" (kudush bud) iinum sanctitutis.
The origin of the name of Buldhist is almost placed herond the possibi. lity of doubi, when we reflect that there actually occur two passages in the writings of the Jewish Prophets, where this word is used to designate some species of diviner or, astruleger, although in our English translation it is rendered by the word “liar." The first of these passages (Is. 41. 25.) is as follows that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, (budim literally Buddhists) and maketh diviners niad, that turnetu wise meg backward, and makeili their knowledge fuolisb." The other is in Jer, 50, 36; A $word is upon the Chaldean3, saith the Lord, and, upon, the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. " A sword is upon the liars (budim) and they shall dote. A sword is upon her mighty men and they shall be dismayed.". In each of these passages we find the budiin of Buddhists actunlly identified by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah with the Chaldeans, diviners and wise men of Babylon, and therefore we are certainly entitled to draw the conelusion that they were persons exercising a similar profession and authority.
From the prophecies of Daniel there is every reason to believe that the Magian religion spread itself throughout the whole of the Last;, and if Mr. Turnour should have it in his power to throw any light upon this subject, and would bear it in mind- during the prosecution of his chronological researches, he would couler a great obligation upon me; and it might also be the means of throwing a new and unexpected light not only on various passages of Scripture, but on the past providential dispensations of the Almighty towards the great mass of mankind, and on those prophetic anticipations of sature happiness even in this world, which appear to be alike congenial tu the iuhabitants of the east, ani or the west.
(To be Continued.)
N, B. My meaning may not be very apparent in saying that kechorismenos and ophorismenos, are derived from the same Greek verb, horizo, as the forder of these is generally considered to be a simple derivation of choris, This however I look upon as only a partial derivation of the word, and that it may be more correctly considered as a compound of upo and horizo. AG all events both words are correctly rendered into Latiu by sepurutzs.
The Overland Boute.
EY THE REVD. J. G. MACVICAR. There is no one who derives advaniuge from the modern improvements of machinery more than the traveller. For time spent in travelling, in so far at least as it is merely travelling, is just so much sank from existence; and the fastness and facility with which one can now accomplish the longest distances ådds much to the falue and in a namer to the leugih of life. How great is the change in this respect, within the last few years! It is not vit a contury since there was only one conveyance Beropen the capitals of England and Scotland. It bore the strange name of “The Armory (or Almyra as it would be called in this country) and it was three weeks on the road! The same journey is now performed in 30 böurs and coach alter coach and train after train are constantly rolling in during all the four anal twenty. Nor this in England only. The Americans are not behind us.
And several of the nations of the contiment of Europe are following rapidly in our footsteps. Nay, although it is no easy matter to efftct any change in the East, yet this improvement in the case and rate of travelling begins to be felt very sensibly eren iu lodia. Not to speak of the establislument of regular mail coaches in this Island, so much to the convenience of travellers between handy, Galle, and Colombo, and so much to the credit of those who had the enterprize to eet them agoing, England and India now seen nearer by haif their former distance, in conseguevce of “The Overland "---as the route by the Mediterranean and the Red Seas is rather preposterously
Besides the regularity and dispatch with which correspondence way now be conducted in this way, the traveller, instead of a tedious Foyage of four
or five months round the Cape may follow by this ronte & line so pleasing and so improving that it carries him successively through Haris, Rome, Athens, Alexandria and Grand i'airo, the very places of al the world the wost interesting and the best worth seeing, whether we view thenx in reference to their past history or their present state. time than the other way. On the contrary,
if India he
a good month by coming Overland, yet to allow himself ample time not only to the places that have been named, but also to visit the Pyramids and see all that is to be seen about Bombay and the islands of Elephanta and Salsette.
The author, having performed this journey very recently proposes to lay before the readers of the CEYLON MAGAZINE some of the observasions which he has made. His object is to entieavour both to avoid those common place details of the road, which are already amply stated in many books by many tourists, and to find something to say #bich without being very grave will not be altogether uninteresting or un instructive to the reader. Bilt to begin.
LONDON When leaving for India' by whatever route almost erery one comes to London. And ere we leave that city now, let us just ask where we shall see its like again! Linneus the celebrated Swedisi naturalist making use of a botanical figure said beautifully of England that he looked upon it as the kernel of the whole world. And with respect to London its capital, an Engiish gentleman made an exceedingly good remark to'á Frenchman, when he was boasting (not without truth) that Paris was the city of cities, and not the capital of France only but of all the continent, C Granted" said the Englishman"mut London is the capi. tal of the whole world." This is very near the truth. Positively there is notħing like London to be seen any where. The noble' Thames with its docks, wharfs and countless shipping—the endless variety of streets with their immense masses of architecture on all hands--- hot above all, the energy of the English character, which fills with a tide of life every street and lane, and drives every chariot, coach, omnibus, waggon, cart, man, woman, child, all in double quick time 'and all without confusion any where (though not without much rattling, and not a little running at the crossings sometimes through too