3. "You have in yourself something similar to God, and therefore use yourself as the temple of God."
3. "Know ye not ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians, iii. 16)
4. "The greatest honor which can be paid to God, is to know and imitate his perfection."
4. "That ye may be the children of your Father, which is in Heaven, be ye perfect even as your Father is perfect" (Matthew v. 45-48).
5. "What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to men."
(Analects of Confucius, p. 76; See Max Muller's The Works of Confucius)
5. "Do ye unto others as ye would that others should do to you."
6. "The moon shines even in the house of the wicked."
6. "He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
(Matthew v. 45)
7. "They who give, have things given to them; those who withhold, have things taken from them." (Ibid.)
7. "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given . . . but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away." (Matthew xiii. 12)
8. "Purity of mind alone sees God" (Ibid.)—still a popular
8. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
saying in India. (Matthew v. 8)
Plato did not conceal the fact that he derived his best philosophical doctrines from Pythagoras, and that himself was merely the first to reduce them to systematic order, occasionally interweaving with them metaphysical speculations of his own. But Pythagoras himself got his recondite doctrines, first from the descendants of Mochus, and later, from the Brahmans of India. He was also initiated into the Mysteries among the hierophants of Thebes, the Persian and Chaldean Magi. Thus, step by step do we trace the origin of most of our Christian doctrines to Middle Asia. Drop out from Christianity the personality of Jesus, so sublime, because of its unparalleled simplicity, and what remains? History and comparative theology echo back the melancholy answer, "A crumbling skeleton formed of the oldest Pagan myths!"
While the mythical birth and life of Jesus are a faithful copy of those of the Brahmanical Christna, his historical character of a religious reformer in Palestine is the true type of Buddha in India. In more than one respect their great resemblance in philanthropic and spiritual aspirations, as well as external circumstances is truly striking. Though the son of a king, while Jesus was but a carpenter, Buddha was not of the high Brahmanical caste by birth. Like Jesus, he felt dissatisfied with the dogmatic spirit of the religion of his country, the intolerance and hypocrisy of the priesthood, their outward show of devotion, and their useless ceremonials and prayers. As Buddha broke violently through the traditional laws and rules of the Brahmans, so did Jesus declare war against the Pharisees, and the proud Sadducees. What the Nazarene did as a consequence of his humble birth and position, Buddha did as a voluntary penance. He travelled about as a beggar; and — again like Jesus — later in life he sought by preference the companionship of publicans and sinners. Each aimed at a social as well as at a religious reform; and giving a death-blow to the old religions of his countries, each became the founder of a new one.
"The reform of Buddha," says Max Müller, "had originally much more of a social than of a religious character. The most important element of Buddhist reform has always been its social and moral code, not its metaphysical theories. That moral code is one of the most perfect which the world has ever known . . . and he whose meditations had been how to deliver the soul of man from misery and the fear of death, had delivered the people of India from a degrading thraldom and from priestly tyranny." Further, the lecturer adds that were it otherwise, "Buddha might have taught whatever philosophy he pleased, and we should hardly have heard his name. The people would not have minded him, and his system would only have been a drop in the ocean of philosophic speculation by which India was deluged at all times."*
The same with Jesus. While Philo, whom Renan calls Jesus's elder brother, Hillel, Shammai, and Gamaliel, are
hardly mentioned — Jesus has become a God! And still, pure and divine as was the moral code taught by Christ, it never could have borne comparison with that of Buddha, but for the tragedy of Calvary. That which helped forward the deification of Jesus was his dramatic death, the voluntary sacrifice of his life, alleged to have been made for the sake of mankind, and the later convenient dogma of the atonement, invented by the Christians. In India, where life is valued as of no account, the crucifixion would have produced little effect, if any. In a country where — as all the Indianists are well aware — religious fanatics set themselves to dying by inches, in penances lasting for years; where the most fearful macerations are self-inflicted by fakirs; where young and delicate widows, in a spirit of bravado against the government, as much as out of religious fanaticism, mount the funeral pile with a smile on their face; where, to quote the words of the great lecturer, "Men in the prime of life throw themselves under the car of Juggernath, to be crushed to death by the idol they believe in; where the plaintiff who cannot get redress starves himself to death at the door of his judge; where the philosopher who thinks he has learned all which this world can teach him, and who longs for absorption into the Deity, quietly steps into the Ganges, in order to arrive at the other shore of existence,"+ in such a country even a voluntary crucifixion would have passed unnoticed. In Judea, and even among braver nations than the Jews — the Romans and the Greeks — where every one clung f Max Müller, "Christ and other Masters"; "Chips," vol. i.
more or less to life, and most people would have fought for it with desperation, the tragical end of the great Reformer was calculated to produce a profound impression. The names of even such minor heroes as Mutius Sc^vola, Horatius Cocles, the mother of the Gracchi, and others, have descended to posterity; and, during our school-days, as well as later in life, their histories have awakened our sympathy and commanded a reverential admiration. But, can we ever forget the scornful smile of certain Hindus, at Benares, when an English lady, the wife of a clergyman, tried to impress them with the greatness of the sacrifice of Jesus, in giving his life for us? Then, for the first time the idea struck us how much the pathos of the great drama of Calvary had to do with subsequent events in the foundation of Christianity. Even the imaginative Renan was moved by this feeling to write in the last chapter of his Vie de Jesus, a few pages of singular and sympathetic beauty.*
* The "Life of Jesus" by Strauss, which Renan calls "un livre, commode, exact, spirituel et consciencieux" (a handy, exact, witty, and conscientious book), rude and iconoclastic as it is, is nevertheless in many ways preferable to the "Vie de Jesus," of the French author. Laying aside the intrinsic and historical value of the two works — with which we have nothing to do, we now simply point to Renan's distorted outline-sketch of Jesus. We cannot think what led Renan into such an erroneous delineation of character. Few of those who, while rejecting the divinity of the Nazarene prophet, still believe that he is no myth, can read the work without experiencing an uneasy, and even angry feeling at such a psychological mutilation. He makes of Jesus a sort of sentimental ninny, a theatrical simpleton, enamored of his own poetical divagations and
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