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The Reverend CLAUDIUS BUCHANAN, D. D. Vice-Provost of the College of Fort-William, in Bengal, gave to the University of Glasgow, in 1804, the Sum of Two HUNDRED and TEN POUNDS ; desiring that it might be divided into the under-mentioned Prizes:
ONE HUNDRED POUNDS for an ENGLISH PROSE DISSERTATION,
“ On the best Means of civilising the Subjects of the British Empire in India ; and of
diffusing the Light of the Christian Religion throughout the Eastern World."
SIXTY POUNDS for an ENGLISH POEM,
“ On the Restoration of Learning in the East."
TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS for a LATIN POEM on the following subject:
“ Collegium Bengalense.”
TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS for a GREEK ODE on the following subject :
* ΓΕΝΕΣΘΩ ΦΩΣ.”
1. Sketch of Hindoo Superstition-Contrasted with a brief View of Christianity-
Obstructions-Advantages-Progress already made-Preliminary Considerations-Plans
.. Page 165
2. Advantages possessed by the British in India for diffusing the Light of the Gospel
throughout other Eastern Countries-Encouraging Circumstances in the State of the
Neighbouring Nations-Means to be employed—Where to begin— Motives-Con-
. . Page 219
ESS A Y
CIVILISATION OF INDIA, &c.
To a contemplative mind, no country on earth will appear to exhibit features of peculiarity more striking than Hindostan. Those vast ranges of lofty mountains which environ it on three sides; the majestic sweep of its principal rivers, and the extensive fertility which they diffuse in their course; the variety and excellence of its productions, of na- Singular atture and of art; the mild character of its inhabitants; the India. peculiar structure of society and of manners, by which they are distinguished ; the antiquity of its annals ; and the revolutions of its history, have all concurred to render Hindostan, from age to age, most interesting to foreigners.
in respect of science,
And, from ancient times, no other region has more powerfully attracted the researches of the philosopher, the enterprise of the soldier, or the adventurous spirit of the merchant.
That the light of science, following the path of the sun, has all along shone from east to west, is a remark which the general history of literature suggests *. Nor can there be a doubt, that some rays of the philosophy of India, had, at an early period, illuminated the schools of Egypt and of Greece -*. The sages of these schools, it is well known, were accustomed to travel eastward in quest of knowledge; and, from the similarity of some of their tenets, particularly of their famed transmigration, we might be led to presume that, in the course of their inquiries, they had profited, either directly or circuitously, by the wisdom of the Brahmans. But we are struck with extreme surprise at some recent discoveries. Who is not astonished when he first reads, that the rules of that famous system of logic, which for ages maintained a sovereign ascendancy in all the seminaries of Europe,
and of which Aristotle had been deemed the sole inventor, were known long before in India ; and that, accord
# Vide Note A.
of Jones's Works, vol. i. pp. 275, 276.