16 JUNE 1877, Page 3

Professor Monier Williams publishes in Monday's Times a most able

and interesting letter, giving a bird's-eye view of Southern India, from the Nerbudda to Colombo,—its geography, people, creeds, and social condition. We have notioed it at sufficient length elsewhere, but may ask here whether the Indian Govern- ments or the Asiatic Society could not secure for the world a sound Report upon the religious condition of the higher populations in India under our control. Nothing is more wanted. No account of the present position of Hindooism among the culti- vated exists, and no account at all of the condition into which Buddhism, according to many other authorities than Professor Williams, has of late years fallen. He says it has become in Ceylon, still the centre of Buddhist literature, a cold and ration- alistic creed,—a very curious change. We shall never understand India until we understand what her priesthoods think, and no account of their thoughts—their modern thoughts, we mean— 'exists in any accessible form. Mr. Lyall, the Home Secretary, who has paid such attention to the genesis of Indian popular beliefs, would know where to lay his hand upon the right men to prepare reports, and Professor Monier Williams himself would be an excellent editor. The India House does little enough nowadays for literature,—suppose it does for once something for theology.