Â« likely to be attained without fighting for it, it is best."
Dr. Buchanan was, however, at this time by no means
sanguine as to the success of the proposed Establishment,
though he rejoiced in the progress of Christianity in other
quarters. The following is from a letter to Colonel Sandys
" I had very little pleasure in writing further on the sub-
Â«ject; but as I had given a beginning, I thought I would
Â« give the end. It is not probable that any thing of impor-
" tance will be done. We ought to be satisfied with the
Â« great doings of the present day. Indeed the Bible Soci-
" ety's triumphs have been so great of late, that it is time
Â« (according to the usual dispensations in relation to the
Â« Gospel) we should look for a check, to humble us a little,
" and keep us in our proper place.
" Since my return from Ireland, I have been much enga-
Â« ged with correspondence from that kingdom. There is a
^Â« fine evangelical spirit, even amongst the nobility. I had
Â« urged Trinity College, Dublin, to organize a Bible Society.
" The students were for it ; the elder members against it.
Â« Matters, at this moment, are very interesting. The Irish
" want the Bible almost as much as the Hindoos.
*Â« My affectionate remembrance to Mrs. S. and Miss J.,
" not forgetting Claudius, (look into Milner's History, for
â€¢'< the life of Claudius, of Turin. I have just discovered in
*â€¢ a volume of Archbishop Usher's, that there is a manu-
" script Commentary on St. Matthew in the library of Pem-
Â«^ broke Hall, Cambridge, by this very Claudius: a fact
Â«* which Mr, Milner does not seem to have known) who, for
â€¢< the reason stated in the parenthesis, must go to Pembroke
â€¢Â« Hall, as a student of divinity. My namesakes must not
46S MEMOIRS OF
" go about withjiint and steel. There is a higher warfare for
** them ; in which I hope you are all fighting, and are more
^Â« than conquerors through Him who hath loved us.
Â« I am, affectionately yours,
<* C. Buchanan.''
The beginning of the following month was marked by the
appearance of some symptoms favourable to the intended
measure respecting India, but clouded by the melancholy
intelligence of the assassination of Mr. Perceval. Dr. Bu-
chanan's observations on that lamentable event will be read
" Kirby Hall, 15th May, 1812.
" I had a note from Lord Buckinghamshire thanking me
^Â« for the Prospectus, and acknowledging its importance ;
" concluding with-^Â« You may be assured, that it will re-
" ceive from me all the attention to which it is entitled.'
Â«* Another note from Mr. Perceval to the same effect.
<* Happy Perceval ! if he have died in the faith, as I have
" long believed he lived. In my last letter to him (about a
** month ago) there is the following sentence. < One thing
â€¢Â« is certain,' (I had been alluding to his difficulties, and the
" state of public affairs,) * and it must be a subject of per-
" manent comfort to your own mind, that however tlie
â€¢'< course of affairs may lead you in future life, good has
<^ already been done under your administration, which can-
<^ not be undone ; and even if life itself should not be long
Â«Â« vouchsafed, you wouW depart with the consciousness,'
<* &c. &c.
** I have been trying to move the general assembly to no-
Â»Â« tice the extension of religion in India. I have also urged
Â« Cambridge to petition Parliament on the subject. If an
^< University, which has permitted its members to pour-
â€¢Â« tray so often the blessing of giving Christianity to India,
Â« should hesitate to recommend the measure, who can be
*â€¢' expected to support it ?
" I continue in an equable state of healtli. I can walk
Â»^ for about ten minutes at a time, but my weakness is very
DR. BUCHANAN. 463
*Â« great, particularly in my limbs, which start and throb
*Â« very much in bed, sometimes during the whole night.
<^ Last night an experiment was made of applying leeches
<< to one foot. The consequence was, the throbbing ceased
<Â« in that foot, and was more severe in the other.
" I am happy to hear that â– is better, and with
" you. He may probably be offered a command in Asia,
<Â« in the course of a year or two. In the mean while, time
<* flies, assassins fire shots, and we hear the voice, * Be ye
*Â« also ready.' I doubt not but tlie death of Mr. Peiceval
^< will give life to the religion of many a man in England.
<* Some men will feel it as sensibly as if he had been a mem-
" ber of their own family."
In the month of June Dr. Buchanan proceeded to Scarbo-
rough, from whence he proposed a visit to tlie Bishop of
Durham, and then to the Bishop of Llandaff, and the lakes
of Westmoreland. This latter plan, however, he was com-
pelled to relinquish, on finding that the exercise of a carriage
was as yet too much for him. From Scarborough he wrote
the following letter to his daughters ; ending with a confir-
mation of his hopes respecting India.
"Scarborough, 18th July, 1812.
<< I had the pleasure to receive your letter, Augusta, by
" Dr. B., and was much gratified by the perusal ; and I have
Â« seen Charlotte's letter to her mamma, which is equally plea-
<< sing to me ; for in both letters I think I perceive a love
Â«* of piety, or at least a wish that you could love it. It is
Â»' indeed so amiable a quality in young persons, that I can-
<Â« not contemplate them with any pleasure, if they be desti-
Â« tute of it. For what are all other acquirements or pos-
*Â« sessions compared with this ! Nothing. I wish you both
<< to possess that which will give you hope, and me comfort,
<^ in the prospect of your dissolution. I wish to see you
Â«^ smile, and have inward peace, when you are shutting your
"eyes on the glories of life. But they are not glories.
<^ They are vanities, /cannot make you believe this. The
<* grace of God alone can teach you this truth. And this
464 MEMOIRS OF
** j^race is given oftentimes to children as youn]^ as you.
Â«< When Christ said, â€¢ Suffer little children to come unto
*' me,' and when he quoted the Psalms to the Jews, wiiere
*<it is said, < Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
Â« thou hast perfected praise,' he meant to intimate, that the
*< grace of God is communicated to young children as well
<' as to old persons ; and that children may adorn the Gos-
*< pel by the beauty and piety of their conduct as well as the
*< aged Christian. But how is this grace to be attained?
<* It will not be given to you unless you intreat God to be-
<*stow it. That is an ordinance or rule of God. And it
<^< will not do to ask in words only, in a formal way ; but
** you must Â«lift up your voice' in your closet, and expect
" it earnestly, as if you expected < a treasure.'
" Be so good as to tell and â€” that I
<< have received a letter from Colonel Macaulay this inorn-
<^ ing, informing me that a deputation of Messrs. Wilber-
<Â« force. Grant, Babington, &c. had waited oA Lord Liver-
*' pool on the subject of evangelizing India, and thai his
*Â« Lordship surprised them by offering almost more than
*' they wished. He intimated his intention to carry the
Â« three following important measures ; 1st, To establish a
<* seminary at each Presidency in India for instructing
*< natives for the ministry. 2nd, To grant licences for mis-
^< sionaries, not from the Court of Directors, but from the
*< Board of Controul. 3d, To consecrate bishops for India.
<Â« Your mamma Joins me in love to you both 5 and I re-
" main, my dear girls,
" Your affectionate Father,
â€¢* C. Buchanan."
The following extracts from letters to several of his
friends will shew the general state of Dr. Buchanan's
health, feelings, and employments, during the remainder of
this eventful year.
'^ Kirby Hall, 17th August.
^< I am just returned from Scarborough, where I have
*' been for the last six weeks trying the efficacy of the warm
DR. BUCHANAN. 46^
" baths at that place. I have been strengthened a little,
" but am still very weak.
*< I have hardly any news but what I find in the Bible ;
Â« and that book is always new. I keep far aloof from the
" world ; at least I wish to do so ; and my present indisposi-
" tion favours my wishes. But even in this evil world every
*< week produces joyful events. The city of London has
** formed itself into a Bible Society ; and the Chancellor of
^Â« the Exchequer has stood forth boldly as the advocate and
<* supporter of the religion of Christ. But if I were to re-
Â« count all the blessings of God to this unworthy land, I
<< should need a quire of paper : a quire ! If all the bles-
<Â« sings to this unworthy land were written, < the world it-
^Â« seir (to use the bold hyperbole of St. John) * would not
Â«' contain the books that should be written.'
'* I rejoice to hear that you find yourself fully employed
" from day to day, feeling the w^eight of the labour, and yet
" obtaining sti^ength for the day. For this, believe me,
^* is the happiest state of your existence. The exertion of
" mind, under parochial, domestic, and scholastic cares, is
" like the budding and blossoming of trees which promise
Â« plenty of fruit. By and by it will be the autumn for you
<* and Mrs. K. ; labour and sin and sorrow will cease, and a
Â«' glorious state of felicity will begin : of which I pray, that
<Â« all your children and all your pupils may partake !"
" 14th November.
" Thanks to you for your kind letter. I am in much the
" same slate I have been, but I cannot write a page without
*< difficulty. The paralytic affection remains without sensi-
" ble abatement in my right hand, foot, and side. I can
*< however walk and ride a little : and I have preached re-
<< gularly this last month. There is no hope of my acqui-
<< ring strength soon, for I do not take sufficient food, I am
"therefore content to do a little, not knowing whether I
<* shall obtain strength to do more.
<< I have just had a letter from Mr. Owen, (to whom I had
Â« occasion to send sixty pounds for the 3ible Society, and
** ten pounds for Serampore to Mr. Macaulay, from the fa-
460 MEMOIRS OF
" mily here,) in which he manifests great alarm about Mr.
" Brown. Mr. Thomason's letter stated, that he was not
" expected to live a week. But my letter is the latest 1
" presume. You would hear of the Serampore conflagration.
" The missionaries will soon recruit their money ; but the
Â«* work will be somewhat retarded."
" Dec. 17.
<< I thought I was going on very well, but I was suddenly
<' threatened with a return of illness. It has hitherto been
<Â« mercifully prevented ; but I am obliged to desist entirely
<* from my labour in the ministry ; and am forbidden to en-
<Â« gage in severe study.
*' I rejoice to see you working with so much alacrity and
*< content while strength is afforded you. ^ Be thou faithful
â€¢< unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.'
" What a terrible retribution is the modern Senacherib
Â« experiencing on the wolds of Russia ! What an event for
Â«^ the use and edification of the Christian! I fear both na-
<* tions and individuals will suffer morally froAi their exulta-
Â« tion. May you and I live to God, whether Buonaparte
" live or die !"
<Â« What a loss will Mr. Robinson be to the Christian
<* world! How many has he blessed in various ways, by
*< preaching, writing, and family exhortation ! What a shi-
*< ning example to all the midland ministers ! I esteemed
*< him the greatest preacher in England,* as Mr. Scott is the
** greatest divine.
<Â« I rejoice to see you continue in a spiritual frame. It is
*Â« the balm of life. If Mr. has seen and tasted that
" â€¢ Christ is precious,' he will ' set his face like a flint.' If
â€¢< his convictions have only been general, he will not be very
<^ useful in a higher sphere."
*< I received your welcome note, and desire the best bles-
â€¢Â« sings may be your portion in return. I suffer at present
*< from the effects of a blister on the neck, which has taken
<* a strong hold of my constitution, and can only write a few
DR. BUCHANAN. 46y
â€¢* lines. If I could write, I have only to say, that I join with
" you in your hallelujah to Him wlio came at this season to
â€¢^ redeem lost man, and to make us kings and priests unto
â€¢* God. May our song which begins now, last for ever !
*< I had not heard that H. Martyn was about to return.
â€¢* God, wlio ordereth all things well, will shew us periiaps
â€¢Â« that all these events are conducive to his glory."
At the close of this year, and the commencement of the
following, Dr. Buchanan was occupied, at the suggestion of
some of his friends, in preparing a new work, in the pros-
pect of the approaching parliamentary discussions on the re-
newal of the charter of the East India Company, with re-
ference to some more direct and effectual provision for the
promotion of Christianity in our Asiatic empire. Before we
proceed, however, with this important subject, we must ad-
vert to some events which deeply affected the domestic hap-
piness of Dr. Buchanan dui'ing the first three months of the
year 1813. These will be best related in his own words.
In a note to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson on the 27th of Febru-
ary he wrote thus.
" I dare say your hearts will be filled with joy on the
<* event of dear Mary having been so safely delivered. As
Â«< for the little one, w ho would only stay half an hour in this
<^ evil world, there is no reason that we should grieve for
*< him. I am happy to say, that his dear mother is perfect-
^< ly composed and resigned to the dispensation.
" May the God of this family, even the God of Abraham,
â€¢Â« Isaac, and of Jacob, who surroundeth us witli his comforts,
â€¢'Â« administer to you also the consolation and support you re-
" spectively stand in need of, and shine on your path till you
" become partakers of his glory !"
On the same day, Dr. Buchanan communicated this event
to one of his friends, and accompanied it with the following
notice of the afflicting intelligence which had been lately
received from India, and of the dubious state of his own
468 MEMOIRS OF
" I presume you have heard of the death of the Rev. Mr.
*^ Brown, of Calcutta, and of Mr. Martyn. And so these
^' good men have ascended up on high in the vigour of age
*< and life. Let us aspire to follow them, and join the assem-
Â« bly of the firstborn !
<^ I have no news for you, heing, like yourself, much reti-
*Â« red from the world. I continue in my former state, as to
<* health ; that is, I can make little progress in acquiring
<Â« strength, while the danger of a third attack of paralysis
<Â« (which is imminent) obliges me to take little nourishment,
*' and yet to lose much blood."
On the 13th of March, Dr. Buchanan, in writing to an-
other of his friends, added ;
<Â« Mrs. B. recovers well, and has been applying to h.erself
Â«< St. Paul's reasoning on the advantages of being without
Â« the cares of a family. I tell her St. Paul's is a wonderful
<Â« book â€” it suits every stateJ^
This favourable appearance, however, of recovery was
but of short duration. The following brief narrative, drawn
up by Dr. Buchanan for the consolation of Mr. and Mrs.
Thompson, describes in simple but affecting language the
sudden extinction of his hopes, and the repetition of the
blow which had once before laid low his expectations of
Â« Long before her last illness, my dear Mary had fre-
<< quently contemplated the probability of her dying in ear-
Â« ly life. Her delight was to talk of things heavenly and
<Â« spiritual, and her studies were almost entirely religious.
<Â« Her spirits seemed to have been much chastened by per-
Â«< sonal and by domestic suffering ; and her affections were
*( gradually losing their hold of this world. After her last
*< confinement, her heart appeared to be devoted to God in a
*â€¢ particular manner. On the third day she wrote the fol-
<* lowing note to her dear mother.
Â« < You will rejoice to hear I am as well as can be expect-
*< cd, and that I feel a wonderful serenittj of mind, I feel a
DR. BUCHANAN. 469
Â« want for my poor little babe. Yet I do not repine, for 1
<< have great need of all the Lord's chastisements ; and if 1
<^ gain one step towards heaven, I am abundantly repaid,
** and would joyfully go through all over again to-morrow to
" gain one step more. I have great need of correction ; but
'Â« why my dear husband should be a sufferer in these losses
" I cannot conceive, who is so much farther advanced in his
" heavenly course and experience in every way. Pray for
<* me, that [ may so run as to obtain the heavenly prize.
Â«* * My kind love to my poor little girls. Tell them I hope,
'< in the course of a day or two, to be able to see them. I
** have great cause for thankfulness in every way. Adieu.
Â« Notwithstanding her continued indisposition, accompa-
" nied by a high fever, she greatly enjoyed my prayers and
Â«< religious converse. Having lost her child, she frequently
** alluded to the pleasure she anticipated in forming the
<< minds of Charlotte and Augusta, and preparing them for
Â«Â« the heavenly state. We mutually expressed the hope of
" devoting ourselves to the service of God for the time to
'Â« come, more affectionately and actively than we had done
<* in time past. She looked forward, certainly, to the com-
^Â« fort of enjoying more tlie life of a saint on earth ; but 1 do
" not think she expected so early to be a saint in heaven.
<^ The expectations and assurances of ail her medical attend-
<* ants were very flattering in regard to her recovery. A ra-
^< pid recovery was prognosticated; but she more than once
*Â« intimated that they did not understand her case.
<* On the night previous to her death, while she sat on the
<â€¢' couch in my study, she begged I would give her the Bible,
<Â« and a little table, and a candle. She read one of the
<* Psalms very attentively, the 4j6th I believe, beginning
<< with these words, < God is our refuge and strength, a very
Â« present help in trouble.' And when I took the Bible out
Â« of her hands, finding it open at that Psalm, I read it to her
<* as a portion of our evening religious exercise.
470 MEMOIRS OF
" On the morning of the day on which she died, attei* I
" had kneeled by her bedside, as usual, and prayed with
*< her, and had left her, she desired her maid to read a
** hymn to her. She began one, but immediately said it
" was a funeral hymn ; to which she replied, Â« a funeral
" hymn will suit me very well.'
'* About an hour afterwards she was brought into my
" study, and took her seat in the arm-chair. About one
" o'clock her dear father and mother came to visit her.
Â« After her father had stayed some time, he and 1 went out
Â«* in the carriage for an hour, while her mother remained
<^ with her. On our return, her mother took her leave,
" and I accompanied her down stairs to the carriage. On
** my coming up, my dear Mary had just got up from her
" chair, and walked over to the couch with a quick step as-
^^sistedby her nurse, from an apprehension that she was
" about to faint. I immediately supported her in my arms.
*< Slight faintings succeeded, but they were momentary.
" She complained of a pain near her heart. On my saying,
Â«* I hoped it would soon be over, she replied, * O no, it is
*< not over yet ; what is this that is come upon me ? â€” send
<^ for mamma.' After a few minutes' struggle, she sat up
** in the couch with much strength ; and looking towards
" the window, she uttered a loud cry, that might have been
Â«* heard at a considerable distance. She then drank a little
"water; and immediately after drinking, without a groan
" or sigh, her head fell upon my breast. I thought she had
<^only fainted ; but her spirit at that moment had taken its
" flight. It was just three o'clock in the day.
<* Thus died my beloved wife. She was ready for the
Â« summons. She had long lived as one who waited for the
<< coming of her Lord.* Her loins were girded, her lamp -
'* was burning, and the staff was in her hand. She had
*< nothing to do but to depart.
" < Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he
*< Cometh shall find watching ; and if he shall come in the
DR. BUCHANAN. 47 1
<Â« second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them
Â« so, blessed are those servants.' Luke xii. 37."*
" Moat Hall, 13tl. April, 1813."
A few days after this afflicting event, Dr. Buchanan ex-
pressed his personal feelings more fully, and detailed, in
his *< Private Thoughts," with genuine Christian humility,
those *â€¢ peaceable fruits of righteousness," which he was
chirfly anxious to derive from his loss. The notice of some
of them will, doubtless, interest many readers.
" My first emotions of thankfulness (when I could seek
<* subjects of thankfulness) were, "that her last trial was so
Â« short.' It was given me to witness for my soul's health, I
Â«* trust ; and it was awful indeed, but it was short."
*' Monday Evening, 29Ui March.
*Â« I have passed this week in a mourning and disconsolate
" state. I have lost appetite for food, and dwell almost
Â«* constantly on the circumstances of my loss.
<â€¢' I suffer chiefly from the reOection, that I did not com
â€¢< mune with her more frequently and directly on the state
<< of her soul. # * * God ordained her personal and domes-
" tic sufferings to mature her for her approaching change.
Â« # # ^ # Mature in my heart, blessed Saviour, this afflic-
Â«Â« tion, and enable me to obey the new commandment, < that
" ye h)ve one another.'
" This love exercised towards a wife or children acquires
<Â« a double force ; natural affection cooperating with spirit-
" ual love.
*< Teach me, Lord, to love my children as I ought to
^Â« do, both in a natural and spiritual sense."
*< My grief has been growing more and more faint and
<* languid; but blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
"Jesus Christ, my sense of things heavenly and my peni-
'< fence for past sins have rather increased. I am enabled
" to pray three times a day, and am not as usual driven
a The inscription on Mrs. Buchanan's tomb, written by her aftectionate husband,
will be found at the end of the volume.
4i7;si MEMOIRS OF
"hastily from my knees. O that this may continue! 1
â™¦< have long prayed for a spirit of grace and supplication,
*< and now the Lord hath been pleased to give it by means
Â« that I did not expect. However it comes, it is a long lost
Â« The chief petitions in my prayers have been these :
" 1. That God would strike the rock of my affections with
'* his rod, and cause the waters to flow; that I might become
" tender hearted, truly humble and solicitous about the
*< spiritual state of men.
" 2. That I might open my mouth in the cause of God.
^â€¢Hitherto my lips have been locked in a torpid silence.
Â«' There is, indeed, much that is constitutional in this taci-
<< turnity ; and my late nervous indisposition has greatly
** increased it. Like Hooker, I can scarcely look my chil-
** dren or servants in the face.
Â« 1 have prayed that this unaccountable weakness may
"be removed; that I may become vocal for God at all times
" and in all places ; that I may look earnestly into the eyes
" and countenances of men, and seek anxiously their salva-
"tion; that I may never forget the agonizing looks and
*Â« powerful voice of my dear wife in the struggle of death ;
" and that I may call forth some animation of soul in imj looks
" and words during my life.
*< 3. That I may learn to seek the glory of God as the first
" object in my conversation in the world, and to pray ear-
" nestly for the conversion of all men.
" 4. liCt me look on every person whom my eyes survey
** with benevolence, loving my neighbour as myself, and
" utter a mental prayer for that person, < May this be a ves-
<* sel of mercy prepared unto glory !*
" 5. That the spirit of grace and supplication may never
Â»â€¢ depart from me ; and that God may hear my morning,
<â€¢ noon-tide, and evening supplication during every day of
" my pilgrimage.