The book presents a popular sketch of Buddhism, which is here viewed unders its different aspects, as an even in history as a system of doctrine, and as popular religion.
The rapidity with which the first edition of these lectures was exhausted and the favour with which the book was generally received by the public press, especially in China, encouraged the author to satisfy the continuing demand for it by a second edition, which was published in the year 1873. This second edition having met with unexpected success both in Europe and in America, a third edition is now urgently called for. In view of the results of more recent investigations, the whole has been revised and extensive additions have been made here and there, but the original form and the main substance of these lectures have undergone but little alteration.
Two of the following essays on Buddhism formed part of a series of popular lectures, delivered in Hongkong in the course of the winter 1870-71. To complete the plan laid down in the first essay, it was necessary to add a thud, and the whole is herewith offered to the reader as a popular sketch of Buddhism, which is here viewed under its different aspects, as an event in history, as a system of doctrine, and as a popular religion. Considering the character of the audience before which these lectures were delivered, the author avoided as much as possible going into details, and confined his remarks to the more prominent features of Buddhism. Those who wish to make themselves further acquainted with this important religion may refer to the author’s ‘Hand-book for the Student of Chinese Buddhism; London, Trubner & Co., 1870,’ to which more painstaking work the present pamphlet may serve as a general introduction.
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