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PREFACE.

In the preparation of the present Manual, I have kept one object steadily in view. It has been my simple aim, to answer the question, “What is Budhism, as it is now professed by its myriads of votaries?" A deep interest in the subject; intense application; honesty of purpose; a long residence in a country where the system is professed; a daily use of the language from which I have principally translated; and constancy of intercourse with the sramana priests; have been my personal advantages to aid me in the undertaking. In nearly all other respects, the circumstances in which I have been placed have been unfavourable. Throughout the whole course of my investigations, I have had to exercise a laborious ministry; with the exception of one brief interval, I have been at a distance from any public library; I have received no assistance from any society, literary or religious, though that assistance has not been unasked; my acquaintance with the lore of Europe is limited; and I have had little or no access to recent publications on subjects of Asiatic literature. I have been charged by my friends, with great temerity in risking, unaided, the publication of the present work; but the same spirit that animated me to pursue my task, year after year,

in the solitude of an eastern village, has urged me onward, to complete my undertaking, in the issue of the Manual now sent forth, from a more privileged residence in my native land.

My previous work, on Eastern Monachism, describes the discipline, rites, and present circumstances of the Budhist priesthood. All the reviewers who have noticed it, have spoken of it in favourable terms; and I am sincerely grateful for the encouragement that, from this source, I have received. To avoid a seeming egotism, in quoting from myself, I have restricted to the Index all reference to its pages. Inadvertently, a few sentences that have appeared in it, are inserted in the Manual. By a perusal of both these works, the student will be prepared to understand the general outline of the system; as, although its literature is elaborate, its elementary principles are few.

The native authors are not studious of method; and it is a formidable task to reduce their materials to order. The arrangement I have adopted may be open to objection; but it must be remembered, that this is the first attempt to form an analysis of the deeds and doctrines attributed to Gótama. In the first two chapters I have described the various worlds of the universe; their cycles of decay and renovation; their terrene continents; their abodes celestial; their places of torment; and the men, the divinities, the demons, and the other orders of being, by whom they are severally inhabited. It is necessary to understand these matters, or the sequel will be an impenetrable mystery. The third chapter is devoted to an account of the origin of the present race of men,

with a more extended description of the teachings of Gótama and his disciples on the subject of caste. He was preceded by other Budhas, in "numbers without number," some of whose acts are detailed in the fourth chapter. Gótama became a Bódhisat, or a candidate for the Budhaship, myriads of ages before his birth as a prince in Magadha; and in the fifth chapter we have his history during some of these previous states of existence. This is followed by a notice of his ancestors, tracing his lineage, by the race of the sun, from the first king. In the legends of his life, we learn the circumstances of his birth; the promise of his youth, his marriage, and his subsequent abandonment of the world; his contest with the powers of evil; the attainment of the Budhaship, by which he received the supremacy of the universe, with unlimited power to do or to know; his first converts; his principal disciples; the most celebrated of his acts during a ministry of forty-five years; the distribution of his relics; and a detail of his dignities, virtues, and powers. The concluding chapters present a compendium of the ontology and ethics of Budhism, as they are understood by the modern priesthood, and now taught to the people.

In confining myself, almost exclusively, to translation, I have chosen the humblest form in which to reappear as an author. I might have written an extended essay upon the system, as it presents a rich mine, comparatively unexplored; or have attempted to make the subject popular, by leaving out its extravagances, and weaving its more interesting portions into a continued narrative; but neither of these modes would have fulfilled my intention. They

would have enabled me only to give expression to an opinion; when I wish to present an authority. I have generally refrained from comment; but in order thereto, have had to lay aside matter that has cost me much thought in its preparation.

The attentive reader will observe numerous discrepancies. These occur, in some instances, between one author and another; and in others between one statement and another of the same author. I am not aware that I have omitted any great feature of the system; unless it be, that I have not given sufficient prominence to the statements of my authorities on the anatomy of the body, and to their reflections on the offensive accompaniments of death. It is probable that a careful review of insulated portions of the work will discover errors in my translation; as in much of my labour I have had no predecessor; but I have never wilfully perverted any statement, and have taken all practicable methods to secure the utmost accuracy. In the ontological terms I have usually adopted the nomenclature of the Rev. D. J. Gogerly, of the Wesleyan Mission in Ceylon. It is greatly to be regretted that the writings of that gentleman are so limited; as they are an invaluable treasure to the student of Budhism.

Not without some emotion, and with sincere humility on account of the imperfections of my work, I now conclude my oriental researches. They were commenced in my youth; more than a quarter of a century has rolled over during their progress; and they have been constantly carried on, with more or less earnestness, until the present moment. By the messengers of the cross, who may succeed me in the

field in which it was once my privilege to labour, this Manual will be received, I doubt not, as a boon; as it will enable them more readily to understand the system they are endeavouring to supersede, by the establishment of the Truth. I see before me, looming in the distance, a glorious vision, in which the lands of the east are presented in majesty; happy, holy, and free. I may not; I dare not, attempt to describe it; but it is the joy of my existence to have been an instrument, in a degree however feeble, to bring about this grand consummation. And now, my book, we part; but it shall not be without a fervent prayer that God may speed thee.

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