intimate friends, Â«* a deep sense of the reality of religion,
a See Mr. Fraser Tytler's " Considerations on the Slate of India.'*
ass MEMOIRS OF
" as a principle of action ; and from various conversations
** which I recollect with him, I could strongly infer how
" much he laboured to attain purity of heart." His last
commonplace hook contains various proofs of his simple,
devoted, and progressive piety. Observations occur, chiefly
founded upon passages of Scripture, on the great doctrines
of the Gospel, particularly on faith in the atonement, on
divine grace, on holiness, on the love of God and of our
neighbour, on humility, on communion with God, and on
the world of spirits.
One brief extract, entitled, <Â« A general topic of Prayer,"
may serve to shew the practical piety, and the humble and
subdued disposition of its author.
" Let us," says this excellent man, <^ endeavour to seek
*< happiness and contentment in our own place and condi-
" tion, not looking abroad for it. Let us seek and expect it
Â«Â« in existing circumstances ; contented with little domains,
*Uittle possessions, a little dwelling; that we may prepare
<< foi^ a less house, a smaller tenement under ground."
If we descend to the more private features of his charac-
ter, the reader of his Memoirs must be struck by his pa-
tience under protracted weakness and suffering, and his
submission to the will of God under frequent and severe
privations of domestic and personal happiness, and by his
extraordinary liberality and diffusive charity. Of the more
remarkable instances of these virtues, sufficient notice has
been already taken ; but Dr. Buchanan was cordially and
habitually generous; and, independently of those munifi-
cent acts which were unavoidably public, the writer of this
narrative has met with many other instances scarcely less
noble, of which the world never heard ; while, in addi-
tion to his liberal support of various Christian institutions
which adorn our country, there were, no doubt, numerous
exertions of private benevolence, which were utterly un-
It may seem scarcely necessary to add, that Dr. Bu-
chanan, from deliberate conviction and choice, was warmly
and steadily attached to the established constitution of his
DR. BUCHANAN. 53g
country, both in Church and State. Of his exertions to ex-
tend the one throughout the British empire, the reader needs
not to be reminded ; while his loyal and zealous support of
the other is abundantly testified by his Jubilee Sermons,
and by various excellent discourses both in India and in
His social virtues require only to be mentioned. His in-
variable kindness and candour, his forbearance and readi-
ness to forgive, together with all the charities of domestic
life, are excellencies which, though happily too common to be
much dwelt upon, will long live in the recollection and regret
of his family and friends. To him, indeed, in these, and
in some other points which have been noticed, may not im-
properly be applied the tribute of a Roman historian to a
man of eminent merit in degenerate times ; " Civis, mari-
" tus, gener, amicus, cunctis vitse officiis sequabilis, opum
Â« contemptor, recti pervicax, constans adversus metus.*"
An eneniy, however, for such it seems he had, or even a
less partial friend, might here be disposed to say, with a
celebrated French annalist,^ when describing a man of ex-
traordinary qualities, " Tournez la medaille." To such a
proposal there can in this case be no objection. It is by no
means necessary to the just appreciation of Dr. Buchanan,
to represent him as a faultless character; and if it were
possible for him to interfere with so unwise and unchristian
an attempt on the part of any of his friends, he would be
the first to deprecate and to resist it. His defects were such
as are incident to the talents and dispositions by which he
was distinguished. Naturally bold and ardent in his con-
ceptions, feelings, and expectations, he unavoidably com-
municated his own impressions in his delineations of human
good and evil. Hence he has been accused of sweeping and
undistinguishing severity in his strictures on the ecclesias-
tical negligences and deficiencies of our eastern administra-
tion, of a dictatorial tone in his suggestions, and of exagge-
a Tac. Hist. lib. it. c. 7. b The Due de SsUv.
534 MEMOIRS OF
ration in his representations of the religious state of India,
and of the probable results of the measures which he recom-
<' II y a dans cela," to adopt an expression of a celebra-
ted personage, '^ un fond de verite." Let us, however,
define the nature and extent of the admission. If it be
meant by such animadversions to insinuate that Dr. Bu-
chanan either intentionally, grossly, or even materially
misrepresented or over-stated any facts or incidents which
he has undertaken to relate, his friends would have no hesi-
tation in denying the charge, until some specific proof of
such allegations be adduced ; and in the mean time they
would express their calm and undoubting acquiescence in
the result of a full and impartial examination. It may be
added, that a man of so much integrity and ingenuousness
as Dr. Buchanan, when, at the close of life, he was urging
upon the attention of the missionary* the importance of a
strict and cautious adherence to simplicity and truth in his
periodical reports, could scarcely be conscious of any per-
sonal failure in the performance of a similar duty.
If the objections in question refer merely to the warmth
of colouring which pervades his descriptions, the reply has
been anticipated in the sanguine nature, complexion, and
character of his mind ; which would as necessarily produce
such a style, as the opposite temperament of another
writer would naturally lead to colder and less vivid repre-
sentations. If this consideration should be deemed unsatis-
factory, it can only be lamented, that what in writers, who
have but little else to recommend them, is freely forgiven,
and even admired, is severely visited upon one whose claims
to general credibility and regard are of no ordinary magni-
tude. But it is remarkable, that while the world will read-
ily approve the coldest and most inadequate statements
upon religious subjects, the man who treats them with any
degree of fervour proportioned to their importance, will
}>e discredited and condemned. That Dr. Buchanan should
Â« See page 50i of this volum*^.
DR. BUCHANAN. 535
have been resisted and misrepresented by those who con-
sider his zeal for the conversion and salvation of men ex-
cessive and enthusiastic, and his plans and expectations
visionary and extravagant, not to say rash and dangerous,
ougiit not to excite our surprise. Time, however, and
that which it will doubtless bring with it, additional infor-
mation and experience, will, it is confidently presumed,
gradually dissipate these illusions, and prove to the satis-
faction of all, who are not under the influence of inveterate
prejudice, the substantial correctness as well as importance
of his statements; though, as it will ever be more easy to
cavil than to disprove, to criticise the productions of others
than to add to the general stock of knowledge and happi-
ness, it is vain to expect that minute and pertinacious ob-
jectors will either be satisfied or silenced.
" I ever considered," observes a friend,* whose testimo-
ny is peculiarly valuable, (in speaking of the efforts which
have been made to depreciate the authority of Dr. Bucha-
nan,) *â€¢ such attempts as the effect of dislike to the plans in
*< which he was engaged. I apprehend no one will ever be
Â« able to invalidate any of the facts recorded by Dr. Bu-
" chanan, though some, w ho possess not his spirit, will not
" view the circumstances as he viewed them, and therefore
" will not speak of them as he did." This latter remark
forms, in fact, the key to the greater part of the injurious
charges and insinuations which have been circulated res-
pecting the subject of these Memoirs, and at the same time
furnishes an antidote to their poison. Let but the same
spirit of faith in the Gospel, and of love to the souls of men,
animate those w ho are now inclined to treat with negligence
or contempt the statements and reasonings of Dr. Bucha-
nan ; and it may be asserted, without incurring the charge
of uncharitableness, that they will not be long in acknow-
ledging the truth and correctness of the one, and the force
and value of the other. Let men, in short, only be convin-
ced, that ignorance of the true God is the grand cause of
* The Rev. D. Corrie.
58(5 MEMOIRS OF
all the moral evil in the world ; that to <^ know Him, and
" Jesus Clirist whom he hath sent, is life eternal;^' i.nd that
multitudes are eyery where <^ perishing for lack of" that
Â«* knowledge ;" and they will at once be disposed to admit,
that there can scarcely be any exaggeration in describing
the wretchedness of those who are destitute of it, or any
excess in their zeal who labour to make known to every
creature under heaven that Gospel, which has " the pro-
" mise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
If the imperfections of Dr. Buchanan as a private Christ-
ian have not been studiously exhibited, it is because, from
his remarkable simplicity, and, if the expression may be
allowed, his careless confidence of integrity, the defects as
well as the excellencies of his character can scarcely fail
of being sufficiently noticed by an attentive reader of these
Memoirs. The assistance also of a biographer is seldom re-
quired to point out the errors of men who have acted a
prominent part in the world ; while the benefit of such re-
presentations, in works not sanctioned by infallible author-
ity, is very doubtful; mankind in general standing much
more in need of being animated by the exhibition of emi-
nent merit, than consoled or gratified by the disch>sure
and delineation of defects inseparable from the condition
even of the most advanced Christian. Of those which were
incident to his own character, no one could be more humbly
sensible than Dr. Buchanan, more watchful for the discov-
ery of unknown faults, more anxious for their correction, or
more diligent in endeavouring, under the influence of divine
grace, Â«< to perfect holiness in the fear of God."
After all the deductions, therefore, which may be due to
the paramount claims of truth, or urged by the severer de-
mands of a less friendly scrutiny, there remains to the sub-
ject of these Memoirs a residue of solid, and undoubted, and
indefeasible excellence, of which the conviction and estimate
will, it is firmly believed, be gradually and certainly aug-
menting. He may be slighted by some, and misrepresented
or misunderstood by others 5 but among those who can
DR. BUCHANAN. 537
justly aj)pr'cciate distinguished worth, genuine piety, and
enlarged and active philanthropy, there can surely be but
one opinion â€” that Dr. Buchanan was " a burning and a
*â€¢' shining light," and a signal blessing to the nations of tlie
East. We may, indeed, safely leave his eulogy to be pro-
nounced by future generations in Great Britain and Hin-
dostan, who will probably vie with each other in doing
honour to his memory, and unite in venerating him as one
of the best benefactors of mankind ; as having laboured to
impart to those who in a spiritual sense are << poor indeed,"
" Transcending in ils worth
" The gerns of India"
But if it were possible that men sliould forget or be insen-
sible to their obligations to this excellent person, he is now
far removed from human censure and applause; his judg-
ment and his work are with God ; his record is on high,
and his witness in heaven. He has Â« entered into peace,"
and will doubtless stand in no unenvied lot ** at the end of
Â»Â« the days ;" when <* they that are wise shall shine as the
<Â« brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to
â™¦Â« righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
J. RAKJESTRAVV. Printer.
In sure and certain hope
of a blessed resurrection unto eternal life,
was deposited here the mortal body of
the beloved wife of the Rev. Dr. Claudius Buchanan,
of Moat Hall,
and youngest daughter of Henry Thompson, Esq. of Kirby Hall,
who died on the 23d day of March 1813,
in the 36th year of her age.
By the grace given unto her, this excellent woman
adorned by her conduct the doctrine of the Gospel.
Sincerity, honesty, and simplicity,
were the characters of her mind, and she
delighted to serve God,
" who desireth truth in the inward parts."
Exercised by personal and domestic suffering, she was
early weaned from the love of the world :
her affections were set on things which are above,
and she was enabled to overcome the world,
for she was born of God.
" For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world : and
this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith." 1 John v. 4.
Close by her side lie her two infant children,
aged three days,
born 28th Dec. 1810.
And his infant brother,
who lived and died the 27th Feb. 1813.
Thrice happy infants !
That saw the light, and turned their eyes aside
From our dim regions to the eternal Sun.
Sacred to the memory of
CLAUDIUS BUCHANAN, D. D.
Late Vice-Provost of the College of Fort William in Beno;^!;
whose eminent character as a Christian,
zeal for the cause of his God and Saviour,
and unwearied endeavours to promote it in the earth,
deserve to be had in everlasting remembrance.
He was a native of Scotland,
but educated at Queen's College, Cambridge.
During the twelve years of his abode in India,
" his spirit was stirred in him,"
while he beheld millions of his fellow subjects,
^ under a Christian government,
as sheep without a shepherd, and perishing
for lack of knowledge.
To excite the attention of the British nation to this sad spectacle,
he devoted his time, talents, and a
large portion of his income.
By his " Christian Researches," and other
he pleaded the cause of neglected India, nor pleaded in vain :
Britain was roused to a sense of her duty,
and sent forth labourers to the harvest.
Though gentle and unassuming,
he was bold and intrepid in this work of faith and labour of love ;
and exhibited mental vigour to the last,
amidst great bodily debility and severe affliction.
In social and domestic life he was holy and exemplary,
full of mercy and good works :
Yet in lowliness of mind, he renounced all dependance upon
the excellencies which others saw and admired in him.
and looked for eternal salvation through the
obedience unto death of Christ.
He departed this life February 9, 1815, aged 48,
At Broxbourne, in Hertfordshire;
where he was superintending an edition of the Syriac Scriptures;
and was buried near the^ remains of his amiable wife,
whose virtues he has recorded on the adjoining stone.
" They were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
Â« and in their death they were not" long " divided."
'â– â– â– ^t