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ART. V.-1. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New
Testament; translated into Burmese, by A. Judson, D. D. 2. Grammar of the Burmese Language ; by A. Judson, D. D. 3. Dictionary of the Burmese Language ; by A. Judson, D. D. 4. Life of Mrs. Ann H. Judson ; by James D. Knowles. 5. Memoir of Sarah B. Judson ; by Fanny Forester. 2nd
Edition. London. 1849. 6. The Judson offering ; intended as a token of Christian
sympathy with the living, and a memento of Christian affection for the dead. Edited by J. Dowling, D. D. 10th Thousand. New York. 1848.
INDIAN HISTORY has few more remarkable events, and yet few less accurately known, than the rise and fall of the Buddhistic creed. Its extinction from the plains of India remains in a great measure an historical enigma. The architectural remains of the fallen religion, thinly scattered over the face of the country, were long misinterpreted. With the classical prejudices of a European education, our countrymen would gaze on the far famed Tope of Manikyala, or the striking one in the defile of the Khyber Pass, or those less known, but not less curious, in the ravines of the mountain range near Cabul, and even on that, which has attracted so much attention as the Sanchi Tope near Bhilsa ;-and every where in these massive monuments of a vanished, but once dominant, religion, they traced the forms of Grecian artistic genius, the records of Alexander's conquering march, or of the subsequent Hellenio dynasties, which were assumed to have extended their influence far beyond the utmost limits attained by the Macedonian leader and his tried soldiery. Very gradually this error was rectified. Inscriptions from all quarters of the compass were collected, compared, finally mastered, and correctly rendered. The Ceylon Buddhistic annals were analysed by a Turnour; the Thibetan books were revealed by a Csoma de Koros and a Hodgson ; and the antiquarian riches of the literature of China were made to cast light upon what had hitherto been a dark Cimmerian desert of ignorant surmise. Fa Hian's travels over the continent of India, in the fourth century of the Christian era, have done much towards dispelling the darkness which enveloped that early period of the religious condition of the great country now under British rule. The fact of (what may be termed) the classical hallucination as to these monuments is curious ; for it would seem almost impossible that any one, who has dwelt in a country where Buddhism prevails, should turn his attention even cursorily to the Topes of India, the Punjab, or Affghanistan, without being struck with the analogies presented by these once architectural enigmas to the Pagodas of Gaudama. Though in stone, the normal forms are preserved ; and it is difficult to escape from the conviction, that the exemplars must have been structures raised in countries, where wood was plentiful, the rainy season heavy and destructive, and the mason's art, when durability was an object, able to soar to no higher an emanation of genius, than a solid, dome-shaped mass of brick or stone, which promised to withstand the utmost malice of time and of the elements. Even when in stone, the palisade, or rail, round the Tope is put together, as if a carpenter had turned mason, and worked from a wooden model-beams of stone being treated with mortice and tenon junctions, as if teak had been the material in lieu of sandstone. The gateways, by which you pass into the space between the rail and the Tope, or Pagoda, bear the same impress of having wooden progenitors; and, until the original idea is brought to mind, and the material in which it was embodied, the observer is puzzled to imagine, why stone should have been thus applied. Tall stone columns take the place of the lofty mast-pieces, from which long flaunting pennants stream to every breath of wind that sweeps round a Burman Pagoda. Sprites, Gouls, and Leo-griffs of indescribable form and feature, but bearing an undeniably brother-likeness to the wooden prodigies of Buddhist phantasy and myth, often cap the lofty stone columns. There are the same small altars, on which a few flowers would be laid in Pegu or Burmah; and lastly the same kind of sites selected for the edifice, commanding hill tops, or the summit of a long gentle swell of land as at Manikyala. Looking carefully at the elaborate carving which adorns some of the gateways of the Indian Topes, the observer becomes quickly convinced both of the prototype, and of the purposes to which these edifices were devoted. There is the miniature resemblance of the Pagoda ; the devotees bearing their offerings, flowers, fruits, umbrellas, fans, and gay banners; and, as there is a limit to available space in the compartments of rich carvings, the pennants, or banners, are often represented as doubled up by a breeze, in which form they bear some likeness to Greek and Roman standards, and have thus misled casual observers : but no one, intimate with Buddhist processions, can be deceived by this fortuitous similarity. Looking closer, the fashion of intertwining the long hair (on which the Buddhist Burman prides himself) with the rolls and folds of the turban, appears then to have been as much in
vogue with the Indian, as it now is with the Burman or Peguan, Buddhist. This peculiarity would not bave been so carefully and delicately chiselled, had it not been a cherished distinction. There could therefore be little hesitation in identifying the Buddhistical character of these ancient monuments, even if the discoveries in literature, to which we have alluded, had not informed us, that from Cashmere to Ceylon, from Cabul to Gya, Buddhism once prevailed throughout the length and breadth of India. In spite of this extension, and of the millions who must have professed it as a creed, it has, however, been utterly swept away. Error-and error far grosser, idolatry far more debasing-replaced it as the belief of the masses; and, until the Moslem faith with its sword polemics stepped upon the scene, that crass idolatry swayed without a rival the minds of India's millions. Here then history affords us experimental proof that Buddhism can be smitten down, and that too by a polytheism fouler, more dark, and nore hideous in its grossness and superstition, than the worship of Gaudama.
Are we to suppose truth less powerful than falsehood ? Are we to despair of her coping with an opponent, which the Hindu Pantheon and the Brahminical fallacy trod down into the dust? We must be of very different mettle, and actuated by very different views from the Burman apostle, Adoniram Jud. son, if for a moment so faint-hearted a feeling lodge in our breasts. He, from the dawn to the close of his eventful career, could contemplate the millions, still under the yoke of Buddhist error, with the hope and the assurance of ultimate victory for the cause of truth. Strong in this hope, like a good soldier of the Cross, he unfurled his standard on the enemy's ground; and, though in the contest it was at times struck down, yet the standard bearer's heart and courage were proof, and the banner, triumphing in such hands over every struggle, soon rose and floated again in the breath of Heaven. We may well say with the Psalmist, “How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!” But in this instance, though the mighty are fallen, the weapons of war are not perished. A champion of the Cross, and a notable one too, has indeed, after waging a seven-and-thirty years' conflict against the powers of darkness, fallen at his post: but he has fallen gloriously, leaving a well-furnished armoury to his seconds and successors in the fight, weapons sound of temper, sharp of edge, and gleaming brightly with the light of Heaven He was indeed a mighty champion-mighty in wordmighty in thought-mighty in suffering-mighty in the elasticity of an unconquerable spirit-mighty in the entire absence of selfishness, of avarice, of all the meaner passions of the ungenerate
soul-mighty in the yearning spirit of love and of affection above all, mighty in real humility, in the knowledge and confession of the natural evil and corruption of his own heart, in the weakness which brings forth strength-mighty in fulfilling the apostolic injunction, “ Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men"-mighty in the entire unreserved devotion of means, time, strength, and great intellect to his master, Christ.
In stature Judson was not like the son of Kish, but rather resembled what we imagine to have been the personal presence of the Saul brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, who, from his own description, leaves the impression of an ardent, dauntless spirit in a weak tenement. A person overtaking Judson in one of his early morning walks, as he strode along the Pagodacapped bills of Moulmein, would have thought the pedestrian before him rather under-sized, and of a build showing no great muscular development; although the pace was good and the step firm, yet there was nothing to indicate great physical powers of endurance in the somewhat slight and spare frame, tramping steadily in front of the observer. The latter would scarcely have supposed that he had before him the man, who, on the 25th March, 1826, wrote :-" Through the kind in' terposition of our Heavenly Father, our lives have been preserv. red in the most imminent danger from the hand of the execu' tioner, and in repeated instances of most alarming illness dur. ' ing my protracted imprisonment of one year and seven months "-nine months in three pairs of fetters, two months in five, six • months in one, and two months a prisoner at large." Illness nigh unto death, and three or five pairs of fetters to aid in weigbing down the shattered and exhausted frame, seemed & dispensation calculated for the endurance of a far more muscular build. But meet the man, instead of overtaking him, or, better still, see him enter a room and bare his head, and the observer caught an eye beaming with intelligence, a countenance full of life and expression. Attention could scarce fail of being rivetted on that head and face, which told at once that the spi. ritual and intellectual formed the man ; the physical was evidently wholly subordinate, and must have been borne through its trials by the more essential elements of the individual, by the feu sacre, which predominated in his composition.
Nor was this impression weakened by his conversation. Wisdom and piety were, as might be expected in such a man, its general tone : but there was a vivacity pervading it, which indicated strong, buoyant, though well it may be said, very severely disciplined animal spirits. Wit, too, was there-playful, pure, and free from malice; and a certain, quiet, Cervantic humour, full of benignity, would often enliven and illustrate what he had to say on purely temporal affairs. His conversation was thus both very able and remarkably pleasing.
We have without special advertence to the circumstance touched on one or two points of resemblance between the great Jesuit Missionary, Xavier, and the Baptist Missionary, Judson : and, if it were our intention to attempt a life of the latter, we could easily, without, however, for a moment confounding the doctrinal antagonism between these two great and good men, adduce other minor points of analogy in their idiosyncracies. The three centuries of time, which lie between their careers, form scarcely a broader boundary of demarcation, than do their respective views on the dogmata of that faith, for the propagation of which both were fearless and indefatigable champions. Xavier, with the words ever ringing in his ears, which his friend and chief had indelibly stamped upon his mind" What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?"-went forth upon his Mission, trained and disciplined in the school of fanaticism and superstition, but strong in his Papist faith, in single-eyed devotion to the service of the Lord, and to the temporal and eternal welfare of his fellow-men. He must not be entirely confounded and condemned with the Order, which takes pride in his name. From their first foundation laid by the soldier-priest Loyola, doubtless, “ les Jesuites ont voulu joindre Dieu au monde, et n'ont gagné que le mépris de Dieu et du monde" ; but the condemnatory clause of this sentence did not follow immediately upon the institution of the Order. “Il etait meilleur, pour le commencement, de proposer la pauvreté et la retraite :" and it was when the Constitutions of Loyola were fresh or framing, that Xavier went forth uncontaminated in the stern simplicity of his self-devotion. “Il a été meilleur ensuite de prendre le reste:” but, long before that time had arrived, Xavier had laid down his head in the dust. We class him not with those who followed. He stands alone in the Order; and who, at this distance, and through the mists and fables of his weak superstitious eulogists, shall presume to judge how much of truth, though clouded by a Papal dress, was granted to that sincere man, bearing to India with him the copy of a part of the New Testament ? Ten short years saw the wonderful enthusiast laboring with signal success at Goa, Travancore, Meliapore, Malacca, and Japan: and he died on the eve of sailing for Siam, with the Em. pire of China in his heart, as the object of his future energies, had he been spared. From the Buddhists of Japan, it was natural that he should turn his attention to the Buddhists of Siam