The Essence of Buddhism
I am glad to be permitted thus to say, in a few words of introduction to this well-meditated little volume, how pleasant and how profitable an idea it must be considered to have designed and compiled a Buddhist anthology. Selecting his cut and uncut jewels from very various Buddhistic sources, Mr. Bowden has here supplied those who buy and use the book with rubies and sapphires and emeralds of wisdom, compassion, and human brotherhood, any one of which, worn on the heart, would be sufficient to make the wearer rich beyond estimation for a day. The author disclaims any attempt to set forth a corpus of Buddhistic morality and doctrine, nor, indeed, would anything of the kind be possible within such narrow limits; but I rejoice to observe how well and faithfully his manifold extracts from the Sacred Books of India and the East exhibit that ever-pervading tenderness of the great Asiatic Teacher, which extended itself to all alike that live. This compassionateness of Gautama, if nothing else had been illustrated by the collection, would render it precious to possess and fruitful to employ; but many another lofty tenet of the "Light" of Asia finds illumination in some brief verse or maxim as day after day glides by; and he who should mark the passage of the months with these simple pages must become, I think, a better man at the year's end than at its beginning. I recommend this compilation without hesitation or reserve.