« State. I expressed my astonishment at the delay and
^< marked indifference which seemed to pervade the Protes-
<« tant church on the subject. Government has now espoused
" the cause of the young men, and ordained them immedi-
<* ate provision and a cure in the church. They both appear
*< to me to be converts on conviction.
" I passed a day with the Bishop of Bangor, in my way
*< through Wales. We had much conference on the state of
*< religion. He is candid, and earnest to do good in the
450 MEMOIRS OF
<* The Scotch Kirk have almost wholly ceased to read the
** Scriptures as a part of divine service. I have noticed the
** subject in the fourth edition of the Christian Researches
•< now printing.
•* I Ijave proposed to the University of Cambridge to print
** an edition of the Syriac Scriptures ; and have offered a
<< considerable sum to commence ; but I have not yet had
<* their answer. 1 promised to send the Scriptures to the
•* Syrian Christians, and am ashamed at the delay.
<* I have gained a little strength by the journey, but I am
" easily exhausted."
In the autumn of this year arrived Mr. Martyn's eloquent
and successful Appeal, in a sermon at Calcutta, on the 1st of
January, in behalf of nine hundred thousand Christians in
India, who were in want of the Bible; together with the
gratifying intelligence of the formation of an Auxiliary Bi-
ble Society at that Presidency, at the head of which appear-
ed some of the chief members of the supreme government.
The letters which announced this auspicious event brought
information also of the revival of the college of Fort Wil-
liam as a fountain of Scriptural translation, and a communi-
cation from Mr. Brown to Dr. Buchanan ; the following ex-
tract from which, considering the circumstances of his de-
parture from Calcutta, could not but afford him the liveliest
"Pagoda, Serampore, 5th March, 1811.
•* You are truly the root of our Bible Society. I have had
♦< long and full discussions with Lord Minto on all subjects
<< of religion, missions. Scriptures, &c. ; and he is \ery de-
« sirous to tread back his steps, and to atone for the mistake
« which he made at the beginning of his government.
« Your letter prepared the way for this reflux of senti-
** ment. Neither that, nor the Chinese, nor any part of
« your labours, has fallen to the ground. Therefore go for-
« ward; and obtain the crown of righteousness which is be-
" fore you.'*
DR. BUCHANAN. 451
On the 6th oC December, Dr. Buchanan wrote to his
friend Mr. Macaulay respecting new editions of his publi-
cations; desiring it to be observed in the dedication of his
Memoir to the present Archbishop, that altiiough he had
♦< deemed it right to make a few verbal alterations, he had
" seen no cause to change any one material sentiment of the
** work." In the same letter he intimated his intention of
proceeding on liis pi'oposed voyage early in the month of
February following. A few days, however, only had elap-
sed before a second and more alarming attack suspended,
and ultimately dissipated, all thoughts of accomplishing that
extensive and interesting undertaking. His letter upon this
trying occasion exhibits his cliaracteristic piety and submis-
sion, and is as follows.
" Kiiby Hall, 17th December, 1811.
•' My dear Sir,
•• I must use the hand of another to inform you, that I
'♦ was visited last Aveek by an illness of the same nature with
•< that in the beginning of the year. I have had a second
*• paralytic stroke, affecting the half of my head and body,
•< and forming a complete hemiplegia. My voice is not much
•< affected, and the numbness is slight. But yet I consider
" that this may be a precursor of a third and last call to
*< quit my earthly mansion. I view it, therefore, as a most
" merciful dispensation, and hope I shall ever retain my pre-
•< sent thankful sense of the Lord's gracious mode of bidding
••' me prepare for my journey, and of calling me gradually to
•« himself. \Yhether this event will hasten me to a warmer
" climate, or whether I shall wait the Lord's will at home, 1
•< have not yet determined.
" I had just finished the revision of my sermons when 1
•« was attacked ; and I suppose they are now in the hands of
•* the printers. If you should recollect any think faulty in
*< them, I hope you will send for the proof sheets.
«* I remain, my dear Sir,
t *< Very sincerely yours,
«* C Buchanan.''
l^rjie MEMOIRS OF
On the 2d of January 1812, Dr. Buclianan had recovered
sufficiently from his late attack to resume with a faint and
trembling hand his correspondence with his friends.
*^ My hand is recovering from the paralysis, and I can
♦< just hold the pen to inform you, that scarcely any thing
*« remains of my indisposition but extreme weakness. The
*< faculty think they have at last discovered the source of
^« my complaints, and have taken away about five pounds of
** blood. This has afforded a most sensible relief to my
•< breathing, and has given rest during sleep, which before
" r had not. In addition, they have lowered and attenuated
<< the body during the last month ; so tliat all tilings are new.
** If when the body is thus regenerated, the soul could also
<< be renewed, it would be a salutary illness. 1 can indeed
** say, and with great thankfulness, that my soul has had
" more spiritual communion with God than formerly. It
** would be a blessed thing were it always to remain as it
^^ has been.
*< I wondered at the peace I felt in the prospect of depart-
•'< ing this life. It was perhaps greater than it will be when
" tbe time comes. ' Whoso endureth unto the end shall be
« Yesterday Cadell published the second edition of my
<* Memoir in octavo. Two editions of it were printed in
<< America this last year. On the 1st of February I hope
*« alj my sermons revised will be published in one volume.
" The University of (Cambridge has done valorously, as
^< you have seen. What fine youths these will be to preach
•^ to the people when you and I have winged our flight !"
Notwithstanding the severe shock whicli the constitution
of Dr. Buchanan had received by his late paralytic.seizure,
the powers of his mind were evidently unimpaired, and
amidst great debility and languor, he retained all his ardour
in promoting tlie cause of Christianity in the world. This
was very shortly evinced by the following communication to
a friend, vyho had apprized him of an incorrect and injuri-
ous statement, wl)ich. on the authority of the Danisli mis-
sionaries in India, had been inserted in tiic Report of tlic
DR. BUCHAN4N. 453
Society for promotinj^ Clnistian Kiiovvledj^e for tlic voar
1811, respectin.e: the Syrian Christians in Travancore. IMin
substance of this communication was afterwards introduced
into an able article in the Christian Observer*, forming a
most satisfactory vindication of that interesting body of
Christians. The original observations, however, of Dv, Bu-
chanan may still be acceptable to those who may retain any
doubts upon the subject to which they relate.
"KirbyHall, 18th Jaimrin, ISt-J. ■
" All my books and MSS. concerning the Syrian Christ-
*« ians I deposited in the University Library, Cambridge;
«* but I shall desire Mr. Yeates to look over the Liturgy of
** the Syrians, and if he can find the passage in which they
<• abjure the errors of the Nestorians, to send it to you.
«< When I passed through the Danish missionaries on the
" coast of Coromandel, on my way to Malabar, they told me
" the same things concerning the Syrians, which they have
<* now stated to the Society ; but when I arrived in Malaya-
<< la, 1 found they knew no more of the Syrian Christians in
" that region, than people in England know of the Syrian
^« Christians in Cyprus. I suppose the missionaries have
*' written thus by way of offering some apology for not advi-
'< sing the Society to assist tlie Syrian Christians.
<^ In regard to an official union, it is scarcely practicable
*• in present circumstances, and need not be thought of ; but
'« there is nothing to prevent a friendly connection, or, as
" the Bishop expressed it, < such a connection as should ap-
" pear to both Churches practicable and expedient.' The
<* Romish church long solicited such an union, but could not
" attain it ; nor did they regard their formerly having had
" (if indeed they ever had) Nestorian bishops, provided they
'« would now qualify their system a little. They might even
^< say mass in another tongue than Latin. But the mission-
" aries cannot yield so much as this !
<« The truth concerning the Syrians will be found, I allege,
*• in my more full account of them, published by tlie Bishop
" of London^ < Their Liturgy is derived from that of the
» Vol. xi. p. 105.
b In 1807. See the Christian Ohserver for Uiat vpar.
454 MEMOIRS OF
•* early church of Antioch, called Liturgia Jacobi ^postolL
<« They are usually denominated Jacofti^ce; but they differ
"in ceremonial from the church of that name in Syria, and
•* indeed from any existing church in the world.'
*< That they worship the Virgin Mary is a flagrant error
" of speech. The practice might as well be charged on the
<< Church of England^.
»< In regard to their morals, learning, and civil state, I
•* have merely recounted the conversations I had with their
** most learned members, and noticed that < I perceived all
*« around symptoms of poverty and political depression :'
<* that they were in a degenerate state, yet * like a people
•* who had known better days.' I also notice, that « they
" have some ceremonies nearly allied to those of the Greek
" Church ;' and I intimated to the Bishop, * that there were
** some rites and practices in the Syrian Church, which our
« Church might consider objectionable or nugatory.' If I
<^ have not filled my page with these particulars, it was be-
" cause I had no pleasure in describing them. Finding a
A very different statement respecting the Syrian Christians has been
lately published in a letter from the Abb^ Dubois, a Romish missionary in
Mysore, inserted in the second Report of the Bombay Auxiliary Bible Soci-
ety. The respectability of the quarter from which this document has pro-
ceeded may naturally seem to claim for it a considerable degree of credit.
But whatever may be its value, as to points within the writer's own know-
ledge, it is undoubtedly erroneous as to the Syrian Christians. Nor can this
be a matter of surprise when it is considered, that all his information concern^
ing them is confessedly derived from other persons, who may very probably,
like himself, have never visited them, and be members of a church whose
tyranny and oppression the Syrian Christians in Travancore have for ages
nobly resisted. " This sect," observes the Abbe, " still obstinately adheres
"to the religious tenets held by the heresiarch Nestorius." It is, however,
somewhat extraordinary, that the late venerable metropolitan of the Syrian
church, in an official communication to General Macaulay, then Resident at
the court of Travancore, distinctly disclaimed the errors of Nestorius, as
well as those of other heretics ; and that Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Kerr agree in
representing their creed as not materially differing from that of our own
Church. It may be added, that their account of them is substantially the
same as that of La Croze, Assemannus, and Mosheim. For farther informa-
tion upon this subject, the reader is referred to Dr. Buchanan's Christian Re-
searches, and to the Christian Observer for December 1816.
DR. BUCHANAN. 4:^5
•* Church in their peculiar situation, possessing tlie BibK-.
" and abjuring the Romish corruptions, what more was re-
<« quired to make them an useful people in evangelizing that
*< dark region ? And it is not decorous in the Church of Eng-
'^ land to seem to take pleasure in iiolding up to a kind of
^« opprobrium an ancient people, found in such interesting
<* circumstances ; possessing too an ordination, w ith which
<^ ours is scarcely to be compared. A former President of
*< the Bartlett's Buildings Society, (Archbishop Wake,) ne-
" gotiated for an union with Rome itself!
*« As to the moral and civil state of the Syrians, Dr. Kerr
<* has given them a higher character than I have, in his oflB-
" cial docuinent to the Madras government, which on this
«« subject may now be quoted as a proper authority. All that
" he has said also concerning the facility and expediency of
<« an union, may now be pressed with much advantage ; for
<< Dr. K. was sent from the very place where the Danish
" missionaries dwell, to obtain information for government.
" But on this subject, Colonel Macaulay is the highest
<* authority in the world. If he will address the society in
" a respectful, conciliating manner, and urge the incontro-
*« vertible facts founded on his own knowledge and Dr.
" Kerr's official report, it will have immense effect.
''He may observe that an union is not to be thought of at
" present, on account of political considerations ; but that
" such an interesting people deserve our countenance and
*« every aid for mental improvement, by assisting them in
" the translation of the Scriptures, and encouraging them to
«' hold out against the Romish Church. They are also pro-
" per subjects of occasional pecuniary assistance : for the op-
" pression of the Hindoo government has of late been very
« great : but for the future they will, perhaps, be able to re-
« tain what they acquire.
« It would be proper that Colonel Macaulay should men-
« tion his own political transactions with the Tf avancore and
" the English governments on their behalf, and on behalf of
« the Romish-Syrians. For they also want the Bible.
456 MEMOIRS OF
** My hand, you see, is a little better; but I ain by no
•* means strong. I can only sit up haif an hour at a
It is surely to be lamented, that no application was made
on the part of the society to the two persons best qualified
to afford information upon this subject, Dr. Buchanan and
General Macaulay ; and that no steps appear to have been
taken to communicate that encouraj^ement and support,
which the Church of England is plainly bound to extend to
a community of Christians thus brought into such immedi-
ate contact with the British government.
In the mean time, Dr. Buchanan continued his own ex-
ertions with a view to supply the Syrian Christians with a
translation of the Scriptures. Thus he wrote in February
and March to Mr. Macaulay.
" I enclose a letter, which I wish to go by this tieet. It is
<' to give money to Timapah Pulle, who superintends the
" Malayalim version at Bombay.
" I have received a copy of the second edition of the Me-
<* moir, and immediately discovered improvements. Many
<* thanks to you for this service. And yet I have little satis-
" faction in looking at the book. I wish now to flee away to
" regions of peace with the wings of a dove — and be at
" Kiiby Hall, 7th March.
•< The day after I wrote to you last, I was obliged to leave
" the writing table entirely, and have not resumed it since.
*« The sensation of paralysis is but slight, but it appears to
'* be now permanent ; at least during the cold season.
" 26tli March.
*' La Croze and Geddes are the principal authors for
•< 's purpose, and 1 have neither.
*< Gouvea, and Bartolomeo's India Christiana, and other
*< curious works, I deposited, together with the MSS. at
DR. BUCHANAN. 457
« If you couM call on Mr. Yeates, lie could possibly fur-
« iiish you with La Croze, or Simon, or Assemannus. It is
« a fine subject for 's contemplatiojh and one which
« would greatly interest the public mind. A few pages only,
« however, will suffice for the society. But after he has
*< done that, he may possibly meditate a lare:er work. These
" are times when every thing a man has, which may he in
*< any way for tlie advantage of Christianity, ought to be
^< given to the world. For we shall soon die, and tlien shall
« * all our thoughts perish.'
« Mr. Yeates writes thus in a late letter. < Simon, in his
«< Critical History of the Religion and Customs of the East-
*« ern Nations, has ably vindicated the Syrian (christians
<f against the Catholics, and exposed their rage and perse-
« cution as the result of papal tyranny. I have read so
" much in Assemannus and other authors, as to know that
« the Syrian Christians are the Protestants of the East.
^«The Church of England, as a National Church, cannot
" extend her assistance to greater advantage, than in res-
<« toring and building up the ruins of the Syrian communion
" in Antioch, Mesopotamia, and India, by the immediate
^« dispersion of copies of the Scriptures. And when this is
" done, they will supply missionaries for the extension of
fi the Christian faith among the Mahomedans and Pagans.'
" I rejoice to hear that < Ethiopia does not stretch out her
<< hands' in vain. This will be a great accession of fame to
«< the Bible Society. The University will not lend out
« my Ethiopic Gospel. You must send a person to tran-
«« scribe it in the public library. If you should find any
" difficulty in the access, I will give you a note to the Vice-
The next subject to which the attention of Dr. Buchanan
was directed was that to which he had devoted his Memoir,
and which he had ever considered as of primary and funda-
mental importance. This was the organization af a more
extensive Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India.
458 MEMOIRS OF
The time was now approaching for the renewal of the
Charter of the East India Company ; and the friends of re-
ligion were anxious to improve this opportunity of pressing
the consideration of the measure in question upon the at-
tention of government and of the legislature. It was evi-
dent that no man was better qualified to suggest the best
method of proceeding upon this occasion than Dr. Buchanan.
Some distinguished persons, who took a lively interest in
this weighty subject, accordingly applied to him to prepare
a sketch of what he might deem advisable with respect to
the proposed Establishment, for the purpose of submitting
it to the consideration of his Majesty's ministers, and of
others particularly concerned in the determination of this
It was with this important point that the correspondence
of Dr. Buchanan was occupied during the spring and sum-
mer of tliis year. The following extracts from his letters
to Mr. Macaulay will exhibit not only his zeal, but his piety
and judgment respecting the accomplishment of the great
measure which he had so long advocated.
«« Kirby Hall, March 1 812.
<* India has scarcely crossed my mind since I wrote to
^f you last ; I mean in regard to legislative measures. I
"do not expect to be able to do any thing till the warm
" weather approach. Mr. Wilberforce writes to me, that
"the Anglo-Indians question the fact of the burning of wo-
"men stated in my Memoir; and I read in the British Re-
" view, that they doubt that of the self-devotement of a man
" at Ishera, stated in my Researches under the article
" < Juggernaut in Bengal.' I shall pen two sentences below
" on each of these subjects, which you may use as occasion
" may serve.
" Short as the above letter is, I have been nearly two days
" in writing it ; and I do not now find myself able to finish
" my two sentences. I hope to recruit in a day or two^
" when I shall send them."
DR. BUCHANAN. 4i59
The two sentences tlius meditated, branched out into two
sheets; the substance of which afterwards appeared in the
Dr. Buchanan's next letter is as follows,
*'Kirby Hall, 13th April, 1812
<« My dear Sir,
" I send to you and Mr. Wilberforce by this day's mail
«^a Prospectus of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for India.
<^ I will thank you to submit it to Mr. Grant and Lord
" Teignmouth; and I shall be obliged to them to make such
" alterations in it as they shall think proper. If they sug-
^« gest any thing which you and Mr. W. approve, be pleased
•« to incorporate it, and to revise the whole according to
•< your judgment.
«< I then wish you to send one copy to Mr. Perceval, and
<* another to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
" When you are ready let me know, and I will send a
" note to accompany each copy. From Mr. Perceval I have
<« lately received a very kind letter, in which he professes
»• to have < a respect for my character and exertions.'
« If after you have sent in the copies, you should tliink
^* that any part of the Prospectus might be useful to Parlia-
** ment, you may publish it in such form, and with such ad-
*« dition as you please, with my name or without it.
<^ I am much obliged to you for offering to do me service,
<* if I can move southward ; but now that you have the Pro-
•' spectus, you will not want me. I certainly should not
•< have written it, if you had not pressed the subject. I can
*< scarcely at present walk down stairs without help. As
« soon as the season opens a little, I proi)ose to go to Scar-
» For April 1812. In this paper it is sfatcJ, that the calculation in question as to
the number of women burned in the vicinity of Calcutta during a given period, was
inserted in Dr. Buchanan's Memoir on the authority of an official r*-; ort to the
College of Fort William, when the officers of that institution were collecting infor-
mation to serve as an authentic record upon the subject of this female sacrijice.
The truth of the fact respecting the self-devotement at Ishera was declared to rest
upon the authority of the late Rev. D. Brown, whose country-house was near thf
spot referred to.
460 MEMOIRS OF
*♦ borough for the benefit of the warm batlis at that place.
" I a'ln now seeking the comfort of the holy Scriptures, and
" their promises ; and love to contemplate Augustine and
*« Luther. I look forward to nothing in this life but these
« two things, repentance, with bitter tears for past sins ;
" and joy in the Holy Ghost. These two blessings I am en-
*« couraged to look for, for they are promised to sinners ;
<« they are « the gifts to the rebellious.' In the mean time
** I pray to do the will of God, and to use my voice, my pen,
*< or my feet, as he wishes me, while these members have
*« any strength for his service.
" My dear Sir,
^< Very sincerely yours,
" C. Buchanan."
♦« Z, Macaulay, Esq,''
The Sketch of an Ecclesiastical Establishment, mention-
ed in the preceding letter, was not only transmitted to his
Majesty's ministers, and to other distinguished individuals,
but communicated to the East India Mission Committee
of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, through
Mr. Wilberforce, on the 1st of June. It was received by
them with expressions of approbation, and of entire concur-
rence in the views of its author; and an abstract of it
having been reported by that Committee to a general
meeting of the Society, held on the 23d of that month, a
series of important resolutions, in support of the measure
thus proposed, as well as in favour of the general duty of
promoting Christianity amongst our Indian fellow-subjects,
European and native, were moved and adopted.
The following passage from a letter to a friend, who had
suggested an alteration in a part of his « Sketch," will shew,
amongst other instances of a similar nature, how far Dr.
Buchanaji was from an unbending or disputatious temper.
<< I am just favoured with your letter, and am greatly
*» obliged to you for writing it. I consent to the section
•* being omitted, and to the word « colonization' not appear-
'* ing in the whole book.
DU. BUCHANAN. 461
<« I am only anxious that the cause of God should have
<< due honour, and that < exclusion of Christian teachers in
<< Asia' should be plainly represented as repugnant to God's
« will and revealed word. These are days of great mea-
<* sures. When we stand upon the Rock, we need not fear
*< the conflicting currents of public opinion. But it is right
"to avoid obnoxious terms if we can ; and if an object is