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Of Mr. Brown's appointment, in 1800, to the Protostship of the college of Fort William, we shall have occasion to speak in our notice of Dr. Buchanan's life. From the year 1800 bis public labours became of necessity, owing to his increasing infirmities, of a more circumscribed and private character. He was, however, the first whom the British and Foreign Bible Society, as well as the Church Mission Society, invited to be their corresponding Secretary in India, and be exerted for • them the same ardour of spirit which bad characterized him
in the cause of the Christian faith ;' his labours being adike indefatigable and gratuitous. Indeed, in the year 1787, the very year after he went to Calcutta, 'before the great Missionary Societies or the Bible Society had been thought of,' he drew up, in conjuuction with two other friends, “ Proposal for establishing a Protestant Mission in Bengal and “Babar," in which he strenuously urged the claims of the natives ou our Government, and recommended the measure of translating the Scriptures into the different languages of the East. AH bis efforts were, however, ineffectual, to obtain attention to the object; but he lived to see the work begun by other agents, and to take part in the glorious work which had so early awakened his solicitude.
One more interesting trait of this eminent servant of Christ deserves to be particularly recorded, as it evinces his great simplicity of motive and intention. Mrs. Brown assures us, that
• it was the habit of his mind to give as great attention to each successive object which presented itself in the form of a duty, as if that solely engrossed all his earnestness and anxiety. And yet, when called by the same Providence who gave, to resign the object in pursuit, he did it as entirely, without casting “one longing, lingering It look behind," as though it had scarce ever excited his solicitude.
pp. 15, 16. Tlve volume contains some very interesting particulars of the moral state of Christian Society in India, at the period of Mr. Brown's arrival, for which we must refer our readers to the work itself. Anyong the extraets from his correspondence, there is given a circumstantial account of the last days of Sir William Jones. There is also a letter from the late Rev. Mr. Cecil to the Rer. John Owen, bow Chaplain General; and another valuable as a literary remain, from The Riglit Honourable Edmund Burke, to Yuseph Emin, an Armenian of Calcutta. An Epitapb, chosen by Dir. Brown for his first-boru child, is given at page 18, which the Editor does not appear, to be aware, was written bystbe date Robert Robinson. It is to be found in Chesterton Churchyard, near Cambridge. Many of our readers will recognise it by the first line :
* Bold infidelity, turn pale and die.'
Of the Sermons we do not consider it as necessary to give any critical opinion.
We have now to trace the outlines of a different character ; å man, in whoin there certainly were some elements of a' capacity for greatness; who, if his powers of achievement had been adequate to his spirit of enterprise, had his physical energy been equal to his ambition, and had occasion afforded full scope, and his strict notions of ecclesiastical order opposed no limit to bis native ardour and loftiness of mind, would have rendered the name of Claudius Buchanan still more illustrious than it is, in the Annals of British India.
Claudius Buchanan was born at Cambuslang, near Glasgow, in 1766. At the age of seven years, he was sent to the grainmar school at Inverary, and when he had but just completed his fourteenth year, was appointed by a gentleman, tutor to his two sons. In the year 1782, he left this family, in order to pursue his studies in the University of Glasgow, where, at the age of seventeen, he conceived the romantic design of making the tour of Europe, like Goldsmith, on foot. It was not, however, till nearly four years afterwards, that the unfavourable issue of an imprudent attachment to a lady superior to himself in birth and fortune, determined him to prosecute his long cherished design. The following account was given by Mr. Buchanan bimself, of the natural termination of this ill-planned adventure 666 I had the example of the celebrated Dr. Goldsmith before
me, 6 who travelled through Europe on foot, and supported himself by " playing on his flute. I could play a little on the violin, and on this " Î relied for occasional support during my long and various travels,
"" In August 1787, having put on plain clothes, becoming my
apparent situation, I left Edinburgh on foot with the intention of 46 travelling to London, and thence to the continent: that very violin 66 which I now have, and the case which contains it, I had under my s6 arm, and thus I travelled onward. After I had proceeded some “ days on my journey, and had arrived at a part of the country where " I thought I could not be known, I called at gentlemen's houses, and “ farm houses. where I was in general kindly lodged. They were $ very well pleased with my playing reels to them, (for I played them s better than I can now,') and I sometimes received five shillings, 6 sometimes half a crown, and sometimes nothing but my dirner, 5. Wherever I went, people seemed to be struck a little by my ap. “ pearance, particularly if they entered into conversation with me. " They were often very inquisitive, and I was sometimes at a loss “ what to say. I professed to be a musician travelling through the “ country for his subsistence: but this appeared very strange to
some, and they wished to know where I obtained my learning; for " sometimes pride, and sometimes accident would call forth expres. “sions, in the course of conversation, which excited their surprise, “ I was often inyited to stay for some time at a particular place'; but Vou. VII.
" this I was afraid of, lest I might be discovered. It was near a “ month, I believe, before I arrived on the borders of England. and “ in that time many singular occurrences befel me. I once or twice
met persons whom I had known, and narrowly escaped discovery. ~ Sometimes I had nothing to eat, and had no where to rest at night; s but, notwithstanding, I kept steady to my purpose, and pursued my
journey. Before, however, I reached the borders of England, I “ would gladly have returned, but I could not; the die was cast; “ my pride would have impelled me to suffer death, I think, rather " than to have exposed my folly; and I pressed forward.
6" When I arrived at Newcastle, I felt tired of my long journey, 66 and found that it was indeed hard to live on the benevolence of “ others : I therefore resolved to proceed to London by water ; for I “ did not want to travel in my own country, but on the continent.
““ I accordingly embarked in a collier at North Shields, and sailed “ for London. On the third night of the voyage we were in danger “ of being cast away, during a gale of wind; and then, for the first " time, I began to reflect seriously on my situation.''
• During the violence of the storm, as he afterwards acknowledged to a friend, Mr. Buchanan felt as if the judgement of God, as in the case of Jonah, was overtaking him ; but, unlike the repenting Prophet, no sooner had the tempest of the elements subsided, than the agitation of his mind also passed away. He arrived safely in London on the second of September : " but by this time," he continues, in one of the letters referred to, “my spirits were nearly exhausted by distress and “ poverty. I now relinquished every idea of going abroad. I saw “ such a visionary scheme in its true light, and resolved, if possible,
procure some situation, as an usher or clerk, or any'employment, whereby I might derive a subsistence; but I was unsuccessful. I “ lived some time, in obscure lodgings, by selling my clothes and “ books ; for I did not attempt to obtain any assistance by my skill “ in music, lest I should be discovered by some persons who might • know me or my family. I was in a short time reduced to the « lowest extreme of wretchedness and want. Alas! I had not some“ times bread to eat. Little did my mother think, when she dreamt, “ that she saw her son fatigued with his wanderings, and oppressed “ with a load of woe, glad to lie down, and sleep away his cares on a « little straw, that her dream was so near the truth! What a reverse 66 of fortune was this! A few months before, I lived in splendour and « happiness ! But even in this extremity of misery my eyes were not
opened. I saw indeed my folly, but I saw not my sin: my pride
even then was unsubdued, and I was constantly anticipating scenes " of future grandeur, and indulging myself in the pleasures of the “ imagination.
666 After I had worn out many months in this misery, observing one “ day an advertisement in a newspaper, for a clerk to an attorney,' “ I offered myself, and was accepted. I was much liked, and soon 66 made friends. I then obtained a better situation with another “ gentleman in the law, and, lastly, engaged with a solicitor of
respectable character and connections in the city, with whom I “ remained nearly three years. During all this time I had sufficient
" allowance to appear as a gentleman ; my desire for going abroad
gradually abated, and I began to think that I should make the law my profession for life.”).
It is not improbable that this premature explosion of our hero's youthful energies, exhausted in some degree the physical ardour of his character, and intimidated, at least for the time, his sanguine disposition. In the year 1790, Buchanan, whose conduct had hitherto been lamentably at variance with that sense of religion which he had iinbibed from education, was first effectually impressed, by means of conversation with a friend, with a concern for salvation. By the recommendation of his pious mother, he then went to hear, and subsequently introduced himself to the venerable Jobn Newton, rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, London. Mr. Newton interested himself in the welfare of the young stranger, with his characteristic warmth of benevolence, and in him Buchanan found an enlightened and faithful counseilor, and a steady friend. The total change thus superinduced in Buchanan's views and feelings, gave rise to a determination, which bis venerable friend was forward to approve, to relinquish the study of the law, and to devote himself to the ministry of the Gospel, for which his parents had once designed him. For the accoinplishment of this newly awakened desire to enter the Church, he was indebted to the munificent kindness' of the late estimable Henry Thornton, Esq. who determined to send bin to the university of Cambridge, at his owe expense.
We pass over the details of Mr. Buchanan's college employments and correspondence; they serve, however, to evince the solid character and sincerity of his piety. In 1794, Mr. Newton made him the first direct proposal of a voyage to India ; the
manner in which he received it, though it does great credit to his diffidence and humility, shews that 'the ardour
which he had formerly evinced to enter into the ministry, without much acadeinical preparation,' was indeed sensibly abated. He referred the decision implicitly to Mr. Newton, Mr. Thornton, and Mr. Grant. Only, he thought it necessary to intimate his opinion, that ' as strict attention ought to be paid to human means in our endeavours to promote the success of the Gospel, as if it were merely a human dispensation.'
I once,' he writes, thought myself prepared for the Church! shudder at my temerity. A zeal, (it zeal it may be called,) • without knowledge,' must have dictated this uphallowed confidence. In one sense, indeed, any one to whom God has given his grace may enter the Church, however ignorant or unfit in other matters; inasmuch as all success in it comes from God.'
Vol. I. p. 103
Mr. Buchapan does not make clear what he means by 'in one sense and in an other sense :? he thought, however, that too little attention was paid to the prejudices of the age against the illiterate methodist.' These expressions, together with some crude remarks on Enthusiasm at page 124, seem to indicate, that he haul met with persons at Cambridge not quite so well informed as his venerable friend Mr. Newton, as to the state of religion in the country, and not quite so liberal in their sentiments. What must have been Mr. Buchanan's astonishment at a subsequent period, at witnessiog the temerity of the zeal, the fanaticism of the confidence, which led a few illiterate Baptists to attempt the conversion of the beathen in India, and to give the Bible in all the dialects of Babel! The name of Carey, the shoemaker, is not eclipsed by that of any academic orientalist.
A reinark occurs at page ill, which we transcribe for the sake of its coincidence with the sentiments espressed in an article in our last Number.
Perhaps,' says Mr. Buchanan, the opinion of Sir Isaac Newton is correct, that anti-christian superstition is only to be eradicated by the strong hand of infidelity. It may be agreeable to Providence, to permit infidel armies to ravage the world, to destroy superstition, and then to strew with Bibles the vacant lands.'
How melancholy is it to contemplate the hydra putting forth ber hundred heads again!
Early in the year 1996, Mr. Buchanan's friends recurred to the plan of obtaining for him the appomtment of a chaplaincy in the service of the East India Company, which appointment he received on the 30th of March in that year, and on the 11th of August he embarked for Bengal, accredited by a letter of recommendation to the Rev. David Brown, from no less important a personage than the Rev. Dr. Gaskin, Secretary to the Society for proidoting Christian Knowledge. He landed at Calcutta on the 10th of March following, two days before the completion of his thirty-first year.
Here, however, be was doomed to experience a disappointment, the result of unforeseen arrangements, which seems to have palsied for the time all his energies, and overwhelmed him with despondency He found himself consigned to a total seclusion from aetive duty, at a military station at Barrackpore, sixteen miles above Calcutta. Mr Pearson gravely remarks, that 'this retirement afforded him a valuable opportunity for
private study;' but this was not exactly the purpose for which Mr. Buchanan undertook a voyage to the Indies, and the effect of this cruel exile, combined with the influence of an enervating climate, was most pernicious. • This, Sir,' writes Mr. Buchanan, 'is a climate which tries the mind like a furnace. De