*« scarcely have known them. The natural feelings of chil-
<« dren to a father, and of a father to his children, have been
" displayed in a remarkable manner in many instances, and
DR. BUCHANAN. 4,03
•* with such powerful sympathy, as has heen delightful even
♦^ to the heholders."
" Stamtbrd, 12tli Se|)t. 1808.
<^ Much more good has heen done hy the proposition of
" the literary prizes than 1 ever expected.
** AVherever 1 go, some commotion prevails ; a conflict
•'between light and darkness, which was not known when
•« I left England twelve years ago."
"Glasgow, 28th Sept. 18U8.
•• We arrived here on tiie 20th instant, and found my
•* mother and family in fine health, both in body and spirit.
'« We stopped on Sunday at Stamford, on Wednesday at
*< York, and on Sunday at Carlisle. The Dean of Carlisle,
" with whom we dined, lifted up his voice against the races
*< for the first time. He had long heen oppressed in spirit
•« on the subject; and he devoted his last day of preaching
** this season to the consideration of it. The cathedral was
<* crowded, and he preached the word with great ejiergy and
« Mr. S has written to me, hoping I am not offended
•« at his interfering with the puhlication of the hook. 1 have
" answered, that on the contrary I consider his and Mr.
" G 's interference as the act of Christian friends ; that
" I doubt not they acted for the best, according to their judg-
« mentj but that I can form no, opinion on tiie subject my-
<« self, as I have not yet read the publications of the contro-
When the attachment of Dr. Buchanan to the plan de-
veloped in the work just alluded to is considered, his acqui-
escence in the judgment of his friends affords a striking
proof of his diffidence and humility.
*• On Sunday last," Dr. Buchanan again writes from
Glasgow, *' 1 preached in the English church here to a crovvd-
« ed auditory. The Presbyterians come to hear, notwith-
" standing the organ. Both in England and Scotland a more
"* tolerant spirit seems to pervade the different sects than
^Q^ MEMOIRS OF
" In a few days I propose to leave Scotland, and to pro-
♦• eced with my litde girls to Bristol. If I stay any longer
•* at Glasgow, I fear I shall never get away."
Dr. Buchanan arrived at Bristol on the 21st of Novem-
ber, and on the 25th gave the following account of his jour-
ney iVoin the Nortli.
<* I returned from Scotland by the way of Newcastle and
'* Durham, after passing a week at Edinburgh. I was fre-
<< quently with Professor , with whom I discussed the
« Edinburgh Review, which I told him was denominated in
<» the middle counties of England, * The Northern Blast.'
*» He assured me that lie had now nothing to do with that
,«* work, directly or indirectly; and seemed to lament that
*« it was conducted with so little judgment. I asked him
** whether it was too late to retrieve its character; I was
*< anxious for the fame of my countrymen ; the Bishop of
<* Durham had already renounced it, and his example would
*< soon be followed by others. The Reviewers observed in
*« defence, that most of the obnoxious articles have come
•* from England. told me that it was with the great-
*« est reluctance the editor admitted the Review on Indian
•< Missions, and that he wrote a long note in qualification of
•« the text.
** I passed two days at Bishop's x\uckland. The Bishop
»« entered into various subjects of religion and literature with
*< great spirit. He told me it was true he had forbidden the
** Edinburgh Review to lie on his table. He did not think
*< it right to sanction a work which had so grossly insulted
<* religion. Some other gentlemen had expelled it on the
*« same ground.
" 1 took an opportunity of mentioning to his Lordship,
^< when he was asking what appeared strange to me after
•» a twelve years absence, that I thought the Bishops seemed
« to have too little corrcsptmdence with each other on the
*< interests of religion ; that they were like twenty-four in-
" sulated kings or barons in their castles, while the enemy
" were scouring the plains, and did not sufficiently encour-
^* age men of learning and piety to come near them, and
DR. BUCHANAN. 405
«< offer their counsel on subjects connected with the Church
" at home and abroad.
«« I visited Mr. Cecil yesterday, who is close by me
« here. He is much better ; and is very anxious that I
*« should write the Life of Svvartz. I was happy to hear him
<« talk with such spirit."
For the various excellencies of the eminent minister of
Christ whose name occurs in the preceding sentence, and
who was then near the close of his earthly career, the author
of these Memoirs gladly seizes the opportunity of testifying
his affectionate veneration. In a subsequent letter. Dr. Bu-
chanan adds another brief notice of this admirable man.
" Notwithstanding his weakness, he seems to feel a singu-
<< lar pleasure in hearing me talk on oriental subjects, and
« the diffusion of the Gospel generally. It seems he once
<* preached a sermon* which led to some inquiry on these
«< subjects ; for most people, I perceive, know little about
«< You notice the spirit so hostile to you among your rela-
<« tions. If it be merely on account of the Gospel, there is
" nothing more to be said or thought of it than this, « That
^' the reproach of Christ is great riches ; and that to you it is
is given not only to believe, but to suffer for his sake.'
" I have been called to preach a charity sermon for the
« Bristol Infirmary. And they now wish me to preach the
<* annual sermon at Mr. Biddulph's church, for ' Missions
" to Africa and the East.' They think more highly of me
" than they ought to think ; but being now somewhat of a
^« public character, my testimony is acceptable. But my
« chief employment is at St. Mary Redcliffe.
<< I have no thoughts of going to India. There is no pecu-
" liar sphere of usefulness for me there ,• nor is it probable
'« that any will offer. As for my place of residence for the
<* remaining years of my life, I have no partiality. I care
" not where I live or go. It suffieeth that I am employed
<< for the present."
a This was Mr. Cecil's able and impressive semion before the Church Mission-
ary Society, in the year 1803.
406 MEMOIRS OF
In the course of the autumn in this year. Dr. Buchanan
received two letters from his friend Mr. Brown, dated about
two months after his own departure from India ; the follow-
ing extracts from which are strongly expressive of that ex-
cellent man's esteem for his late valuable colleague.
<< I begin," he says, <* with acknowledging the receipt of
*< all your letters from Columbo, Cochin, Tellicherry, Goa,
« Bombay, and lastly from Point de Galle. The news all
« good. Your journey prosperous, and promising the best
^< Well ! You have fought your fight, and finished with the
" Archbishop of Goa, and are gone. May peace and safety
" attend all your paths ; and may the providence of God pre-
*< serve you to embrace your children, and to do good in the
<< world !
« I have the best accounts of Martyn, Sabat, and Mirza.
*« The Persian and Hindostanec are both ready. You will
<< see we want a press for Martyn.
« I send you a copy of the Archbishop's letter. No name
<« was upon it. The inscription on the cover was < The
« Vice-Provost,' and it was brought to me.
<^ Since you left me, war has been in all my gates. But
« I have nothing to lose ; neither fame nor money. Let
<< them burn me if they please. I shall make as good a fire
« as Brahmin women; two of whom were burnt last week
« near us ; one before my eyes. I get disgusted and indig-
«' nant on these occasions, and am always weighed down for
<« some days after witnessing such horrible sacrifices to
<< Moloch. Surely the * Christian Institution' will demolish
« tliis most diabolical religion.
<* I now send you two copies of Lord Minto's college
^< speech. Mr. Harington, to whom I had sent the i*eport of
" the Chinese examination, took it to his Lordship. He
« doubted at first whether all this was real. To be certain,
<< he sent Dr. Ley den to me ; to whom the whole was re-
« hearsed, and who gave < confirmation strong' to the rej)ort.
« Lord M. made several inquiries of me, and seemed plea-
^* sed with what had been done.
DR. BUCHANAN. 407
" While I am writing, I have received a long account ot*
•'• the particulars of -'s deatii, from his son. His end was
^« most blessed. The victory was complete. He was surpri-
'' sed to be told he was dying, but it did not discompose him
" for a moment. His language was, * Whom iiave I in hea-
^^ ven but thee?' He broke out in Dr. Watts's translation
" of these words, which were his last. I shall find, a week
" or two hence, some interesting things to say in a funeral
^' sermon, which I am requested to preach, and should have
'' preached if not requested ; for these are our best occasions
^* for working on the dead mass ; and you were always dili-
"^ gent to improve them.
<* I used to think you would make some improvement of
<« my death. It must now be left to Limrick. Let him say,
" Alas ! my brother, and I shall be satisfied. I have been a
« brother to him, and am yet ; and shall be when I die, if I
" die before him. I shall have something to add, perhaps,
i' but I say here.
'* Yours affectionately,
'* D. Brown."
The letter to which Mr. Brown refers in the preceding
extract was from the Archbishop of Canterbury ^ and it is
here added, as a proof of his Grace's approbation of the im-
portant measure which it was the great object of Dr. Bu-
chanan's Ecclesiastical Memoir to recommend, and of his
anxiety to promote its accomplishment.
"Lambeth Palace, Oct. 3d, 1807.
<* Reverend Sir,
" When J look back on the date which the manuscript
" transmitted through your means, from the college of Fort
" William, to the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth, bears
" upon its earliest pages, I am fearful lest I should appear
<^ to yourself, and to those with whom you are connected, in-
*« sensible to the value of this splendid gift, or strangely
" negligent of common courtesy. At the time it arrived, I
«' was anxiously employed in communicating with those, as
*« well in office, as out of office., who were best acquainted
408 MEMOIRS OF
<^ with the wants of the Protestant Church in British India,
*< and best able to supply them. If in my answer to your let-
" ter, written in the first pages of the Koran, I could have
<« reported some progress in the great work of regulating
<< the Church in India, I should have felt that in fulfilling my
<* duty I had made the best return in my power for the mu-
« niiicence I had experienced from you. Under this ex-
<< pectation, I have been led imperceptibly to a longer si-
«< lence than ought to have have been permitted ; and I am
« now obliged to break it, without making that report, which
<« would have been its best apology. INevertheless, Sir, I
*< will not despair of ultimate success. The object we have
« in view is a reasonable object, and must not be lightly
" abandoned. It is not the spirit of making proselytes by
" which we are actuated, but the sober wish to maintain,
« in its purity and strength, Christianity among Christians.
^« If it shall please God through these means, the best, I had
•* almost said the only means, in the hands of man, to spread
« the blessings of Christianity, it is a result devoutly to be
" wished, but not impatiently pursued. Experience may
<Miave taught us that they are blessings that will not
« bear to be crudely and prematurely obtruded ; they must
" be left to grow at their ease, and to ripen out of the cha-
<^ racter, and discipline, and doctrine of that Church which
« is planted in India, and which is necessarily the object of
<i daily and curious observation.
'< I have the honour to be,
« Reverend Sir,
" Your faithful humble Servant,
*< C. Cantuar."
The speech of Lord Minto, copies of which Mr. Brown
mentions that he had transmitted to Dr. Buchanan, was
that which his Lordship delivered on the 21st of February
1808, after the annual disputations in the college of Fort.
William ; and in which, amidst his testimony to the progress
of oriental literature in that institution, he took occasion to
advert in terms of high praise to the proficiency in the Chi-
DR. BUCHANAN. 4O9
nese Ian.2:uage of the missionaries at Serampore, which must
have been peculiarly gratifying to Dr. Buchanan, as the
early friend of that most important pursuit.
" I must not," said his Lordship, <* omit to commend the
<< zealous and persevering labours of Mr. Lassar, and of
** those learned and pious jiersons associated with him, who
"liave accomplished, for the future benefit, we may hope, of
** that immense and populous region, Chinese versions, in
*< the Chinese character, of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark,
" and Luke ; throwing open that precious mine, with all its
*< religious and moral treasures, to the largest associated
^« population in the w^orld.*'
To this liberal and enlightened tribute of applause to the
importance of the Chinese translation of the Scriptures, Mr.
Brown in the second of his letters to Dr. Buchanan added
the gratifying and unexpected intelligence, that Lord Minto
supported the translations generally, and had subscribed to
some of the works then carrying on at the Serampore press.
The following extract from one of Dr. Buchanan's letters
to a friend, in January 1809, on the dangerous illness of a
near relative, as well as the tenor of the concluding remarks,
shew the prevailing piety of his mind.
** I sincerely sympathize with you on this affliction ; but
« the excellent accounts you give of her spiritual state must
" be your chief consolation. Happy for her that her afflic-
<^ tion hath been sanctified ! Whatever be the event, there
^« is great room for praise and thanksgiving. I feel this the
" more from having just heard that a beautiful young lady,
" of good family and great fortune, has finished her course
*< at the Wells here, and died without a ray of hope. Bles-
" sed then is your family, wliich hath * this hope,' in the
«* midst of a perverse generation. May it be your liope
" unto the end !
" All is well in India; only Buonaparte is expected. And
« if the news of this day be true, he maij be expected. But
«« < the Lord reigneth, be the earth never so unquiet.' I be-
<« hold the tumult of the present scene with much tranquilli-
*« ty. But we must be in the circumstances in which Miss
410 MEMOIRS OF
ii now is, to be able to view it aright ; and to see the
" utter insignificance of things temporal, when weighed in
*• the scale with things eternal."
In a letter to Mr. Brown about the same time, the follow-
ing passages occur.
« People imagine that I am meditating war. Nothing is
" farther from my thoughts. 1 am at present reading the
<* Bible, and studying some subjects for sermons to poor
" I stand remote from the world. I do not even know
*< whether tiie Court of Directors pays my furlough allow-
<< ance. But on this, and other subjects, I shall be able to
<* say more after I have been a year in the country.
«' The Cliinese printing" (which had been sent to bim by
Mr. Brown) ** is very admirable. You are cheaper too than
" I was, when I gave four annas for every character.
** The arrival of Mr. Thomason will brighten your pros-
« pects. I told Mrs. M. her prayers would bring good men.
<* Mr. B. here is a most useful evanerelist. I shall enclose
« to you an account of the death of his daughter, aged four-
*« teen. He lost four children in a year, and preached nobly
" to the hearts of his large congregation during the whole
<< period. So you see good men have their trials on the
<« banks of the Severn, as well as on the Ganges.
" You will regret to hear that Henry Kirke White was
*< first proposed to Mr. Thornton," (meaning for his own
« benefaction to some student at the University,) « and,''
for reasons which do not appear, <* was rejected."
On the 26th of February Dr. Buchanan preached his ser-
mon, entitled *< The Star in the East," at the parish church
of St. James, Bristol, for the benefit of the Church Mission-
ary Society. This was the first of that series of able and
well-directed efforts by which its excellent Author, in pursu-
ance of the resolution he Iiad formed in India, endeavoured
to cherish and extend the interest he had already excited for
the promotion of Christianity in the East. The object of
this sermon was to detail some of the more prominent proofs,
that «< the day" had at length begun to <« dawn," and " the
BU. BUCHANAN. , 411
'' day-star to arise" on the benighted inhabitants of Asia ;
and its peculiar excellence consisted in the strength aod
simplicity with which these evidences were exhibited.
After stating the labours and the success of the Church
of Rome, and of the Protestant missionaries, more particu-
larly of the venerable Swartz, Dr. Buchanan introduced the
highly interesting account of the martyrdom of Abdallah,
and the conversion of Sabat, which can never be read with-
out the deepest emotions of admiration and pity.
The subsequent apostacy of Sabat from the faith which he
once appeared to have so cordially embraced, while it affords
a lamentable proof of the depravity of the human heart,
does not in the slightest degree affect either the truth of the
narrative, or the object to wliich it was applied, of illustra-
ting the divine efficacy of the Gospel. That will still re-
main the same, whether the unhappy apostate should, as
there seems to be some faint reason to hope*, once more be
^« renewed to repentance," or become the final victim of im-
penitence and unbelief. No** ought the deplorable defecticm
of this once promising convert to be adduced as any proof of
the want of judgment or penetration in Dr. Buchanan, and
others^ who, in common with him, trusted to the fair ap-
pearance and the striking evidences of sincerity, which this
learned but deluded Arabian manifested during several
years ; though it may, and undoubtedly ought to teach a les-
son, both of caution to the Christian minister, and of humi-
lity and self-distrust to the professed convert, not only in the
East, but in every quarter of the world.
The conclusion, however, which was drawn by Dr. Bu-
chanan from the various facts he had enumerated, and which
he afterwards strengthened by some other encouraging con-
siderations, was sufficiently established, that the time for
diffusing Christianity in the East was come. The remain-
a In a letter publisVied in the Asiatic Journal for January last, from a P-ince of
Wales's Island Gazette, this wretched man refers to Dr. Buchanan's accmit of
him in the " Star in the East," and affirms, that he has never ceased to believe
the truth of the Christian religion.
b Particularly the late Rev. Henry Martyn.
4ij^ MEMOIRS OF
der, therefore, of this interesting discourse was occupied
with an earnest and persuasive appeal to his hearers on the
duty of cordially supporting this important measure; which
is so appropriate to every period, and contains so valuable
a testimony to thenature and necessity of spiritual religion,
that it can scarcely be deemed irrelevant to introduce apart
of it in this place.
" Behold then, my brethren, the great undertaking, for
♦« the promotion of which you are now assembled. If it
<< were in the power of this assembly to diffuse the bles-
" sings of religion over the whole world, would it not be
" done ? Would not all nations be blessed ? You perceive
»« that some take a lively interest in this subj^^ct, while
" others are less concerned. What is the reason of this dif-
*«ference? It is this : every man who hath felt the influ-
" ence of religion on his own heart will desire to extend the
<< blessing to the rest of mankind : whereas he who hath
" lived without concern about the Gospel of Christ will not
••' be solicitous to communicate to others a gift which he va-
<<lues not himself. At tlic same time, perhaps, he is not
" willing to be thought hostile to the work. But there is no
<* neutrality here. < He that is not with Christ,' in maintain-
" ing his kingdom on earth, < is against him.' Every one of
" us is now acting a part in regard to this matter, for wliich
<< he must give an account hereafter. There is no one, how-
•< ever peculiar he may reckon his situation or circumstan-
•'< ces, who is exempted from this responsibility.
*< Begin then at this time the solemn inquiry, not merely
•< into the general truth of Christ's religion, but into its di-
<* vine and converting power. You observe that in this dis-
*< course I have distinguished between the name of Christia-
** nity and the thing. For it seems there are some persons
•'< in this country, who having departed from the principles
*< of our Reformation, admit the existence of the Spirit of
*< God, yet deny his injluence ; and who agree not with the
•» Apostle Paul^ that the * Gospel cometh not in word only,'
•< but « inpotver, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assu-
DR. BUCHANAN. 4j13
<'The j^reat Author of our religion hath himself delivered
<' tlie doctrine in the most solemn manner to the world. « Ve-
"rily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man he born again,
« he cannot see the kingdom of God.' VenUj, verily ; it is
«« an undoubted truth, an unchangeable principle of the hea-
" venly dispensation, that, except a man be renewed in his
" mind by the Spirit of God, he shall not have power even to
'f see or behold the kingdom of God. If our Saviour hath de-
<* livered any one doctrine of the Gospel more clearly than
« another, it is this of a spiritual conversion ; and the de-
« monstration of its truth is found in all lands, where the
« true Gospel is known. Christians, differing in almost
<* every thing else, yet agree in the doctrine of a change of
« heart, through faith in Christ. This is, in fact, that which
«« distinguishes the religion of God in Asia, from the reli-
<« gions of men. In every part of the earth, where I myself
" have been, this doctrine has been proclaimed as the hope
«« of the sinner, and the glory of the Saviour."
The services of Dr. Buchanan not being permanently re-
quired at Bristol, he was desirous of obtaining some settled
employment ; and, with the humility and anxiety to be ac-
tively engaged in his Master's service, which had ever dis-
tinguished him, would gladly have retired to some country
curacy. «* I wish too," he observed to a friend, ** to be fixed
« for a time, if it were but to organize a library ;" having
brought scarcely any books with him from India, except tlie
In the mean time he projected a journey to the University
of Oxford, where he arrived at the beginning of April, and
remained about ten days. His object in this visit was to look
into the libraries, and to compare and collate certain oriental
manuscripts. He appears to have been received with much
civility by the Heads of Houses, and to have been gratified
by the society of several members of the University. Du-
ring his stay, he preached at the parish churches of St. Mar-
tin and St. Giles.
It might perhaps have been expected tliat the University
would have conferred some mark of its respect on Dr. Bu-
414^ MEMOIRS OF
chanaii, as the munificent patron and promoter of oriental
literature and religion. The University of Cambridge had
not, indeed, as yet set the example of such a step, though it
took the first appropriate opportunity of so doing. It may,
however, be regretted, that no proposal of any similar ho-
nour should have been subsequently made at this place;
though Dr. Buchanan himself was so far from any feeling of
this nature, that in a letter to one of his friends shortly after
his visit to both Universities, he observed that they had been
very kind to him, and had done every thing that he wished.
A few extracts from several letters written from Oxford,
and its neighbourhood, will not be unacceptable. The first,