endure that which must be, and to escape from reality and from personal existence as soon as possible. Hence the doctrine of Nirvana. Rhys Davids, in his Hibbert Lectures, claims that early Buddhism meant by Nirvana, not annihilation, but the extinction of the self life, and that this was attainable during man?s present mortal existence. But the term Nirvana now means, to the great mass of those who use it, the loss of all personality and consciousness, and absorption into the general life of the universe. Originally the term denoted only freedom from individual desire, and those who had entered into Nirvana might again come out of it; see Ireland, Blot on the Brain, 238. But even in its original form, Nirvana was sought only from a selfish motive. Self-renunciation and absorption in the whole was not the enthusiasm of benevolence, ? it was the refuge of despair. It is a religion without god or sacrifice. Instead of communion with a personal God, Buddhism has in prospect only an extinction of personality, as reward for untold ages of lonely self-conquest, extending through many transmigrations. Of Buddha it has been truly said ?That all the all he had for needy man Was nothing, and his best of being was But not to be.? Wilkinson, Epic of Paul, 296 ? ?He by his own act dying all the time, In ceaseless effort utterly to cease, Will willing not to will, desire desiring To be desire no more, until at last The fugitive go free, emancipate But by becoming naught.? Of Christ Bruce well says: ?What a contrast this Healer of disease and Preacher of pardon to the worst, to Buddha, with his religion of despair!?
Buddhism is also fatalistic. It inculcates submission and compassion ? merely negative virtues. But it knows nothing of manly freedom, or of active love ? the positive virtues of Christianity. It leads men to spare others, but not to help them. Its morality revolves around self, not around God. It has in it no organizing principle, for it recognizes no God, no inspiration, no soul, no salvation, no personal immortality. Buddhism would save men only by inducing them to flee from existence. To the Hindu, family life involves sin. The perfect man must forsake wife and children. All gratification of natural appetites and passions is evil. Salvation is not from sin, but from a desire, and from this men can be saved only by escaping from life itself. Christianity buries sin, but saves the man; Buddha would save the man by killing him. Christianity symbolizes the convert?s entrance upon a new life by raising him from the baptismal waters; the baptism of Buddhism should be immersion without emersion. The fundamental idea of Brahmanism, extinction of personality, remains the same in Buddhism; the only difference being that the result is secured by active atonement in the former, by passive contemplation in
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