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person, who, after a strict examination and comparison of their mythological superstitions, and their astronomical periods, directly affirmed them to be a raceof emigrated Indian philosophers. * The assertion, bold and unqualified as it was, made, at the time of my readingit, a considerable impression on my mind; and, in consequence, I sate down to that elaborate investigation of their rites and symbol, of which the prior Dissertation in this volume is the result.
The basis of my argument for their Indian extraction is, that the elder Buddha of India, who should never be confounded with the second Buddha or Bedou, the Fo of the Chinese, and the founder of an atheistical sect, in periods far more recent, is in fact, the Mercury of the West, and this is not only asserted by Sir William Jones, from the similitude of their rites and symbols, but can be astronomically proved ; since, in India, the day of the week assigned to Buddha is by the Greeks assigned to Hermes, by the Romans to Mercury, and by the northern Nations to Woden; being denominated, in the respective dialects of those nations, Boodh or Buddha· * See Asiatic Researches, vol. ii. p. 488, in the Appendix, Calcutta quarto edition.
war, Egues quepa, Mercurii dies, Woden’s day, and, from tiie last, corruptedly by us, Wednesday. The ancient MERCURIAL HEAPS, or CARNS, of those fire-adoring sages ; their veneration for the CUBIC, the symbol of Mercury among the early Greeks; their representing the Deity in their immense groves under the form of the letter T, THAU, as the Egyptians designated their Thoth,or Hermes; their reverence for the ANGUINUM, or serpent-egg, which is only the mundane egg of Tyre, rendered prolific by the embrace of the Ayabodaipwr, or good genius, symbolized by that serpent; and, finally, the evident caduCEUS of Mercury, designated in the globe, wings, and serpent, that formed their grand temple at Abury, and not only that but other conspicuous DRACONTIA, in Britain:all these circumstances enumerated, and fully discussed in the course of the Dissertation alluded to, are to myself abundant testimony of their connection with, if not descent from, Buddha. Under this appellation I contend must be understood some deified prince of the family of the Noachidæ, a distinguished AVATAR of Indian, who, in the lofty regions of the Taurie range, the remotest from the danger of inundation, but in æras to which regular annals
cannot cannot be expected to ascend, seems to have established an empire and a religion, which diffused their combined influence over every region of the Higher Asia, and many evident vestiges of which are still visible. Among these are the Thibetian rolls inscribed with Sanscreet characters, alluded to by Sir William Jones, as cited in page 15 of this volume, as well as the ancient medals and imperial signets engraved with Thibelian characters, mentioned by Mr. Halhed,* and the frequent pilgrimages at this day undertaken by the more rigid devotees of India, from the banks of the Ganges and the most distant provinces of the Peninsula, to the territories of the Grand Lama. Accurately to ascertain, at this distant period, the cause, the mode, the time, of this emigration, exceeds the limit of human research: but possibly the first may be found in the general causes of emigration, curiosity, persecution, or the ambi- . tion, of men, who, in-those early ages, combined a sort of regal with the priestly character. The mode was, doubtless, by landjournies, in company with the Celtic tribes, previous to the establishment of the great Indian empire and system of juris* See the. Preface to Mr. Halhed's Sanscreet Grammar, p. 5.
prudence which forbad emigration, in the more southern provinces; or allowing the early branches of the family of Noah for the purpose of effecting the gracious designs of Providence in peopling the earth to have had a knowledge of the MAGNET, by the way of the great Ocean itself. The period was, probably, when the true religion began to be corrupted, but before its total corruption, by the Sabian idolatries. In this view the matter appears to myself; if all my readers should not be equally convinced by the arguments which I have been able to produce, I still flatter myself, that the detail of many other curious facts which nearly concern them, as Britons, may yet amply reward them for the trouble of perusal.
I think it absolutely necessary, however, to shield myself from censure, for so warmly espousing an opinion that must appear entirely novel, if not extremely eccentric, to readers not conversant in Indian manners and history, by laying before them the following short extracts from the Dissertation of Mr. Burrow, before alluded to, in the Asiatic Researches, although I am far from esteeming it equally necessary to adopt his hypothesis of the alteration of the place of the equator,
connected with the asserted migration. I have endeavoured to support his positions by arguments not hostile to religion, and far less violent to nature. “ From the aforesaid country, (he means Siberia, rendered habitable and fertile by the equatorial line passing through the centre of Asia,) the Hindoo religion probably spread over the whole earth : there are signs of it in every northern country, and in almost every system of worship: in ENGLAND IT IS OBVIOUS; STON EHENGE IS EVIDENTLY ONE OF THE TEMPLES of Boodh; and the arithmetic, astronomy, astrology; the HOLIDAYS, GAMES, names of the stars, and figures of the constellations ; theANCIENT MONUMENTS,Laws,and coins; the LANGUAGES of the different nations; bear the strongest marks of the same original.” A gain he observes, on the supposition that the Indians were, in the infancy of theirexistence as a nation, divided into thetwo great sects of Brahma and Buddha, “ that the Brahmins' were the true authors of the Ptolemaic system, and the Boodhists of the Copernican,* as well as of the doctrine of attraction, and that probably the established religion of the Greeks;
* See page 192 of this volume, on the Druids' presumed knowledge of the elliptical courses of the orbs.