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and wherever the love of God is felt in its power and purity, there will be an effort to raise every individual within the sphere of its influence to the highest pinnacle of moral and social dignity he can possibly attain. Were it known and acknowledged, according to the word of the Lord, that Jesus Christ," by the grace of God, tasted death for every man ;" that in the communion of the gospel " there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but Christ is all and in all;" that "in lowliness of mind each is to esteem another better than himself;" and that "whatsoever we would that men should do unto us, we are to do unto them;" as a necessary consequence, there would be one holy brotherhood throughout the world, whilst cruelty, oppression, and bondage, would be things unknown. We have all proceeded from one progenitor; we have all one common nature; we are all redeemed by the same precious blood; we have all the same Father in heaven; and unto all, upon equal terms, mercy is offered, as we are all transgressors of the law.* The meanest outcaste, by an individual recumbency upon the atonement, may receive the testimony that his iniquities are forgiven; and may know, by the Spirit's witness, that he is joined in a mystical union with Christ," the brightness of God's glory;" and when his mortal shall put on immortality he will be welcomed to heaven with angelic symphonies more sweet than ever yet were thrown from harp or lute by minstrel's hand, when even kings with their guerdons have listened, not again to descend to some lower position after the lapse of mighty ages, but to live for ever and for ever full, unutterably full, of all that is glorious and good.

All this was beautifully set forth by one of the Mosaic institutions. "The rich shall not give more, and the poor man shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls." Exod. xxx. 15. See also, Job xxxiv. 19; Prov. xxii. 2; Eph. vi. 9; Col. iii. 25.

IV. THE BUDHAS WHO PRECEDED GÓTAMA.

GOTAMA BODHISAT RESOLVES UPON

BECOMING A BUDHA: RECEIVES VARIOUS BIRTHS: EXPRESSES THE WISH HE HAD FORMED. MANY THOUSANDS OF BUDHAS APPEAR.-GOTAMA BODHISAT RECEIVES THE ASSURANCE THAT HE WILL BECOME BUDHA.-THE TWENTY-FOUR BUDHAS WHO IMMEDIATELY PRECEDED GOTAMA. THE FIVE BUDHAS OF THE PRESENT KALPA; KAKUSANDA, KÓNÁGAMANA, KÁSYAPA, GÓTAMA, AND MAITRÍ.

THE Budhas appear after intervals regularly recurring, in a series that knows neither beginning nor end. It is supposed by the Singhalese that all traces of the Budhas previous to Gótama have been lost, with the exception of such particulars as were revealed respecting them by the great teacher or his inspired disciples; and they maintain that the acts they performed, and the doctrines they taught, can be learnt from no other source. But it is thought by many orientalists, that Gótama was only the reviver of a system that had been previously taught by more ancient sages. In the inscription upon the great bell at Rangoon, it is stated that along with the eight hairs of Gótama enshrined in the dágoba of the temple to which it is attached, there are "the three divine relics of the three deities" who were his immediate predecessors. Fa Hian mentions a great town in Oude, in the neighbourhood of Ráma's celebrated city, Ayodhya, which contained "the entire bones" of Kásyapa, or "the relics of his entire body." This agrees with the Singhalese statement relative to the same Budha, that after his cremation the bones of his body still presented an unbroken skeleton; and the coincidence is the more remarkable, as the same circumstance is not related concerning any other Budha. The

Chinese traveller also mentions certain sectaries, some of whom worshipped the whole of the four Budhas, and others who worshipped the three preceding Budhas, but paid no respect to Gótama. On the Budhist temple at Sanchi there are images of the four Budhas in niches; and in an inscription it is said that a female devotee, to prevent begging, caused an alms-house to be erected, and money was given for the lamps of the four Budhas. It may have been with the intention of placing themselves at as great a distance as possible from the sectaries, that the followers of Gótama asserted that he was avrodidakтos, teaching the same truths as the former Budhas, but deriving his knowledge from the intuitive power he received when he became Budha, and not from either reason or tradition.

It is said in the Milinda Prasna: "The dharmma of all the Budhas is the same, but there are four things in which they differ. 1. Some are born as brahmans and others as kings.* 2. Some are born when men live to the age of a hundred years, and others when they live to a thousand. 3. The age of the Budhas when they attain nirwána is regulated

by the age of men; on which account some Budhas disappear

before they are one hundred years old, and others live to the age of many hundreds of thousands of years. 4. The Budhas differ in the size of their persons, some being much taller than others." There are other differences, but none of them are of very great importance, as it is the uniform testimony of the Singhalese authors that in doctrine the Budhas are one. This, indeed, follows as a matter of course, if they possess the power of knowing all things, as truth changes not with the revolutions of time.

The date of the appearance of the three Budhas who preceded Gótama has been calculated by Major Forbes (Journ. As. Soc. June, 1836). According to this theory, Kakusanda became a Budha, B.C. 3101; Kónágamana, B.C. 2099; and Kásyapa, B.C. 1014. The first of these dates is founded

* The whole of the twenty-four Budhas who preceded Gótama were Kshatriyas, with the exception of the three last, who were Brahmans.

principally upon the supposition that Kakusanda appeared at the commencement of the present kalpa, and that the Maha Bhadra kalpa of the Budhists is the same as the Kali yug of the Brahmans; but neither of these ideas can be made to agree with the system as it is received in Ceylon. It may be, that Gótama presented himself to the world as the successor of men whose claims to supreme authority were then acknowledged; but I have not yet met with any wellauthenticated data of their doctrines or deeds.

The beings who will in due course become Budhas are called Bodhisat. They are numberless; but the name, in common usage, is almost exclusively confined to those who have become avowed candidates for the high office. When many ages have elapsed without the appearance of a Budha, there are no beings to supply the continued diminution of the numbers in the brahma-lókas. This excites the attention of some compassionate brahma, who, when he has discovered the cause and the remedy, looks out to see in what world the Bódhisat exists who will next become an aspirant for the Budhaship; and when he has discovered the Bodhisat in question, he inspires him with the resolution that enables him to form the wish to become the teacher of the three worlds, that he may release sentient beings from the evils of existence. The ages that succeed this period are divided into three eras; in each of which we have legends of Gótama. 1. The era of resolution (1). 2. The era of expression (2). 3. The era of nomination (3).

We have little information of the innumerable Budhas who have appeared in past ages, until we come to the twenty-four who immediately preceded Gótama; and even their history consists of little more than names and correlative incidents.

In Hodgson's "Illustrations of the Literature and Religion of the Buddhists (Serampore, 1841)," the names of 143 Budhas are given, compiled from the Lalita Vistára, Kriya Sangraha, and Raksha Bhagavati. The names in this list do not agree with those of the Budhas who are known in Cey

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lon. "In the Samadhi Raja," it is stated in the same work, "Sárvarthasiddha (Sákya, before he became a Budha) is asked by Maitreya and Vajra Pani how he acquired Samadhi Jnyán. In reply, he begins by naming 120 Tathágatas, who instructed him therein in his former births; and at the conclusion of his enumeration of Budhas, Sárvarthasiddha observes, he has given so many names exempli gratia, but that his instructors were really no less in number than 80 crores.' There is a verse in the Aparanita Dharani (to be found in many other, and higher authorities) purporting that the Buddhas who have been, are, and will be, are more numerous than the grains of sand on the banks of the Ganges.'. . . . These are evident nonentities, in regard to chronology and history, yet it is often difficult to distinguish them from their more substantial compeers.'

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1. The Era of Resolution.

In the

The kalpa in which we now live is called Maha Bhadra. ages that were concluded twenty asankya-kap-lakshas previous to this kalpa, there was not, for the space of a kap-asankya, any supreme Budha; so that there was no acquirement of merit, nor any attainment of a higher order of existence, except by the beings who in the kalpas previous to these unpropitious ages had entered the anágámi and sekradágámi paths, and were thus enabled, in process of time, to attain nirwana. Those beings who had only entered the path sowán, passed in order, by the ascending and descending scale, through the various degrees of men, déwas, and brahmas; and then, by the exercise of dhyána, entered the superior paths and became rahats. Among these rahats was a brahma, who, observing that the beings who entered the brahma-lókas were few, enquired what was the reason, when he discovered that it was because no supreme Budha had appeared for the space of a kapasankya. Again, looking to see whether there was any one in the world who had the necessary qualifications to become a candidate for the Budhaship, he beheld many thousands of Bódhisats existent, like so many lotus buds awaiting the influence of the sunbeam that

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