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India, lying in 23r North latitude, 78° East longitude. The " Tope " is a building peculiar to the Buddhist religion; and great numbers of such buildings are found in the districts round l3hilsa : extensive ruins at the same time intimate the former importance of the region in a political and social as well as an ecclesiastical point of view. These Topes mere opened, minutely examined, and are as minutely described, by Major Cunningham; the more striking buildings, their sites, and their contents, are exhibited to the eye by maps, plans, and drawings. Hence the title of the volume, The Mika 2o1pes.

Major Cunningham is of opinion that the Topes and discoveries connected with them show a relation between the British Druids and the Indian Buddhists, and that the Druidical remains are akin to the Topes. That ancient forms of civilization carried to the highest point in India and Egypt—exhibited, perhaps imitatively, in Italy and on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, and found in some form or other in many countries of the old world and even of America—had a common origin, is possible. That the inner- most chamber or cell of the tope has some resemblance to the crom- lech may be true ; but that does not establish identity. A similar resemblance might be traced in the Pyramids. In fact, chambers with straight sides and a flat roof must have a generic resemblance, though size, materials, and workmanship may cause great apparent differences. On the whole, we should rather class the Topes with the Pyramids than with the Druidical erections. No doubt, the differences are great. The Pyramids are uniform in fi- gure; the Topes vary somewhat according to their age, but the dome or bee-hive form is conspicuous. The Pyramids stand alone. The Topes sometimes have ornamental columns standing by them. But there appears this sign of a common .origin,—they originated in a religious or superstitious idea ; they were erected to gratify individual pride ; and though not absolutely useless, their utility was of a limited nature and utterly dispro- portioned to their cost. The temples of classical antiquity, and the Christian church, though best adapted to the objects they were 'built for, are capable of other adaptations. The use of a tope or a

• pyramid is very slight indeed. Besides a full account of the character, inscriptions, and con- tents of the Bhilsa Topes, with incidental information in reference to the subject, Major Cunningham's book contains historical notices of Buddhism. Like the architectural or arebreological portion of the volume, the interest of these notices is limited; the author adopting too particular or antiquarian a mode of treatment. The history of Buddhism itself is one of great importance, not merely as an exposition of a religious belief still entertained by so many mil- lions, and to some extent reappearing in modern Europe in one of its forms—Pantheism—but for its points of resemblance to Chris- tianity. The triune godship of Buddhism does not indeed appear to justify the importance that has been attached to it; for it seems to have been as much a philosophical as a religious idea. Buddha was spirit, or divine intelligence; Dharma was matter, or concrete mature; and Bangha, the union of the two the universe. The re- ligions ideas are more striking and important. Independently of the purer morality of Buddhism, the founder proclaimed, in the sixth century before Christ, the great Christian principle of the religious equality of all men. How he came by this doctrine is a mystery : his life and character are enveloped in fable; and if we had a truer biography we could hardly trace the origin of such an idea. The doctrine was suited to the spiritual necessities of 'civilized India; for on one side Brahminism had reduced religion to the narrowest and most odious formalism of caste—on the other had arisen a system of Atheistic fatalism, not greatly differing from one of the Chinese sects .of opinion. The dull and formal, and that large portion who travel along the ruts of life, stuck to the doc- trines of the Brahmins; the more speculative and sceptical became Swastikas : earnest and thoughtful minds were repulsed from the deadness of the Brahmins, and deterred by the endless difficulties attached to final happiness under the transmigrating system; they were shocked at the indifference of the philosophers and the anni- hilation they looked forward to. As the Pagan world six hundred years later was prompt to receive Christianity as a refuge from social corruption and intellectual emptiness so the Indian mind was prepared for some more vital and catholic system than they had before them. Something like Buddhism was wanted.

"Between the Swastikas who promised nothing after this life, and the Brahmans, who offered an Limost endless series of mortal existences, people of strong minds and deep thoughts must have been sadly perplexed. Few men of vigorous intellect could have believed that their never-sleeping souls were subject to decay and dissolution ; and yet how few of them, by the most zealous asceticism could reasonably expect the final attainment of in- corporation with the Divinity. For the mass of mankind there could have been no hope whatever ; for few would attempt the attainment of that which w a so difficult as to be almost impossible. "During the prevalence of such beliefs the success of any more rational system was certain ; and the triumphant career of Sakya Muni, and the rapid propagation of his religion, may be attributed as much to the defects of former systems as to the practical character of his own precepts, which inculcated morality, charity, abstinence, and the more speedy attainment of Buddhahood, with the abolition of caste, and of the hereditary priesthood."

The volume contains a broad and vigorous sketch of the leading characteristics of these various religions as they were more than two thousand years ago, as well as a fuller account of the origin of Buddhism, its extensive and rapid progress, the various sects into

• The Bhilsa Topes ; or Buddhist Monuments of Central India: comprising a brief Mistorieal Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of Buddhism; with an Account of the Opening and Examination of the various groups of Topes around Bhilsa. By Brevet-Major Alexander Cunningham, Bengal Engineers. Illustrated with thirty- three Plates. Published by Smith and Elder. which it subsequently divided, and its subsequent decline. From the history of Buddhism not being the main object of Major Cun- ningham, and from his consequently treating it somewhat with reference to other matters, the narrative is less popular than it might be made if the subject were not unduly pursued into detail. The comparative decline of the doctrine, after flourishing for more than a thousand years, was owing to the same causes which formed its original success—the encouragement of narrow formalism, and undue demands upon the human nature of its votaries. It is cu- rious that these repulsive circumstances took the same shape in Buddhism as in a religion to which it has often been compared. Bo- manism and Buddhism were so far contemporaneous, that while monaehism and asceticism were rising to power in Europe, they were declining in India.

"The fall of Buddhism was a natural consequence of closing all roads to salvation, save the difficult path which led from one grade to another of the monastic orders. No layman could hope to be saved; and even the most zealous votary must have felt that the standard of excellence was too lofty to be reached. Absolute faith, perfect virtue, and supreme knowledge, were indispensable ; and without these no man could attain Buddhahood and final freedom from transmigration. Continued celibacy, abstinence, and priva- tion, were expected from all who had taken the vows ; and a long course of prayer, penance, and devout abstraction, were requisite before the votary could gain the rank of Arhata or Bodhisatwa. But as this was the only path to salvation, people of all ranks flocked to the monasteries ; men crossed by fortune or disappointed in ambition, wives neglected by their husbands and widows by their children, the sated debauchee and the zealous enthusiast, all took the vows of celibacy, abstinence, and poverty. In tlie early ages of Buddhism, the votaries supported themselves by daily begging ; but the pious generosity of individuals had gradually alienated the finest lands in the country for the support of the monasteries ; and the mass of the people looked with envy upon the possessions of an idle multitude of monks. The rich domains of the monasteries attracted the notice of kings, and the desire of possession was soon followed by its accomplishment. The people looked on unmoved, and would not defend what they had long ceased to respect ; and the colossal figure of Buddhism, which had ones bestridden the whole continent of India, vanished suddenly like a rainbow at sunset."