Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

truth. What a reverse of fortune was this! forgiveness. On Sunday he accompanied A few months before, I lived in splendour his friend to church, and derived some and happiness ! But even in this extremity of benefit from the discourse which he heard. misery my eyes were not opened. I saw in- In this state of doubt and apprehension, deed my folly, but I saw not my sin: my he chanced to meet with Doddridge's Rise pride was even then unsubdued, and I was constantly anticipating scenes of future gran

and Progress of Religion in the Soul, deur, and indulging myself in the pleasures which he thought,' as he observes, “just of the imagination.

suited to him. He next read Alleine's • After i bad worn out many months in Alarm to the Unconverted, and then Bosthis misery, observing one day an advertise. ton's Fourfold State. Seven months passment in a newspaper, for a 'clerk to an attor- ed in this way, his earnestness in regard ney,' I offered myself, and was accepted to religion constantly increasing. His mowas much liked, and soon made friends. I ther, in a letter received in reply to one in then obtained a better situation with ano. ther gentleman in the law, and, lastly, engag.

which he had given some account of his ed with a solicitor of respectable character case, recommended Mr. Newton, Rector and connexions in the city, with whom I re. of St. Mary's Woolworth, London, as a mained nearly three years. During all this proper person for him to apply to for adtime I had sufficient allowance to appear as

vice. To this venerable man he addressed a gentleman; my desire for going abroad himself, and from him he obtained not ongradually abated, and I began to think that ly sympathy, but substantial assistance. I should make the law my profession for life. The process of this salutary change in But during a great part of this time I corres- the character of Mr. Buchanan appears ponded with my friends in Scotland, as from

to have been comformable to the usual abroad, writing very rarely, but always giving my mother pleasing accounts of my have been the effect of obvious causes.

course of things, and the change itself to health and situation."

His biographer, however, affects to conIt was not true, however, that his allow- sider it as an instantaneous, if not a miraance enabled him to live like a gentleman, culous, conversion. Notwithstanding all though he might have simulated the ex

the pious precepts of his parents had been terior of one. From his diary it appears silently working with the convictions of that he often was obliged to go without a his own conscience, to lead him to repentbreakfastora dinner, and sometimes with

ance, Mr. Pearson regards the laudable out both of them, though he contrived resolution adopted by his hero, on the to find money to attend the plays and Sunday evening aforementioned, as sudthe debating clubs. It is to be regretted denly prompted by a divine impulse. that his journal discovers no symptom of We are sorry to say that Mr. Buchanshame for his base deception of his worthy an did not till some weeks after his acparents. The death of his father, about a

quaintance with Mr. Newton, make such twelvemonth after his elopement, appears proficiency in grace as to disabuse his exnot to have wrought its proper effect on cellent mother

of the deceit he had prace his mind, though it cannot be supposed tised upon her. that he was insensible to it. This mourn- Mr. Buchanan now directed his views ful event was communicated to him by to the church, but was not deemed qualihis widowed mother in the spring of 1789, fied for ordination. Through the introhe replied to her letter under date of Flo- duction of Mr. Newton he became acrence, May 12th. The early lessons of quainted with Mr. Henry Thornton, who piety and moral dut , which he had re

with a liberality as praise-worthy as it is ceived from his parents, were not, how- rare, resolved to send him to the Univerever, wholly obliterated, and he appears sity of Cambridge at his own expense. to have been at times much dissatisfied In Michaelmass term, 1791, Mr. Buchanwith himself, and consequently extreme- an was admitted a member of Queen's ly unhappy. His reflections and his con- College, Cambridge. Though at first unversation were occasionally of a religious willing to pursue any other study thap cast. In the month of June, 1791, a friend, theology, he was persuaded to conform of a serious disposition, called on him, on to the academical course, and gained a a Sunday evening, with whom he engaged respectable standing by his literary and in the discussion of religious topics. This scientific acquirements. He came by defriend entered with great animation into grees to perceive and to acknowledge the the subject, and spoke so much to the pur- advantages of human learning. He thus pose, that Mr. Buchanan formed a sudden expresses himself in a letter to Mr. New. resolution to reform his life. That very ton. evening he fell on his knees in prayer to "I once thought myself prepared for the God, and continued daily to intercede for church! I shudder at my temerity. A zeal (if zeal it may be called) without knowledge,' "he was hospitably received by the Rev. Mr. must have dictated this unhallowed confi- Brown, and resided for a short time in his fadence. In one sense, indeed, any one to whom mily. He then took a house in Durrumlollab, God has given his grace may enter the church, where, bowever, he continued but lwo however ignorant or unfit in other matters; months, being at the end of that time ap inasmuch as all success in it comes from God. pointed chaplain at Barrackpore, a military But in another sense, no man ought to enter station about sixteen miles above Calcutta. upon the ministry who is not qualified hy na- · By this arrangement, which, however ture and education to do justice to a public usual according to the rules of the East India station, and claim respect froin a gainsaying service, ne does not appear to have anticipatworld. This is absolutely necessary, unless mi- edMr. Buchanan found himself placed in a racles have not ceased. And for want of al- situation by no means congenial with his tending to these circumstances, viz. the pre- taste and feelings, and affording but few op gent state of Christianity, and the progress of portunities for the exercise of his ministry. civilization, I see that the Gospel suffers in Barrackpore possessed no place for public every quarter. At the time of the Reformation worship; and divine service was never rethere was not so much ground for this com- quired by the military staff 10 which he was plaint as now. I differ in opinion from many

attached. good men on these points. However, I seldom “This unespected seelusion from active dumention them, as I have learnt from past fluc- ty, combined with the influence of an enertuations of sentiment, that I may possibly vating climate, which be very soon began to think differently after further observation and feel, and of society for the most part unfriendmore accurate Scripture study. I think that ly to religion, produced in Mr. Buchanan a too little attention is paid to the manner of considerable de pression of spirits, and even preaching the Gospel; and too little to the gave occasion to soine of his friends in Euprejudices of the age against the illiterate me- rope to attribute his comparative inactivity Thodist. I feel a good deal hurt at these ne- on his arrival in India to abatement of zeal glects, at the same time that I despair of doing rather than, as the truth required, to causes otherwise myself. In these, and in all other over which he could exercise no control." doubts, I must wait patiently on his teaching, who bath so often made darkness light be- Buchanan usefully employed himself in

In his retirement at Barrackpore, Mi, fore me.'”

private study, and sedulously cultivated Again in a letter to the same beneficent the oriental languages. On the establishfriend, he observes that

ment of the college of Fort William, by “ Nothing but a cultivated mind, and the the Marquis Wellesley, in 1800, Mr. constant perusal of the New Testament, seem Brown was appointed Provost, and Mr. capable of delivering men from unnecessary Buchanan Vice-Provost. The object of prejudices and prepossessions. Grace does the institution was the education of the not necessarily do it. Some wonder at this: junior civil servants of the Company; heart, but it does not teach the understanding Mr. Buchanan’s zeal, however

, induced what the understanding may learn without him to insist more upon religious docit; and therefore it does not remove prejudice. trine than seemed proper in a general For prejudice is founded on ignorance; on course of elementary instruction, or than an ignorance of facts Till these facts then are was requisite to qualify the Company's coinmunicated, prejudice remains; know. writers for the discharge of their official ledge, therefore, i. e. learning, philosophy, or and relative duties. In fact the tenor as by what name soever it may be called, is ne- well as the tone of his didactic discourses cessary to remove prejudice."

gave offence to the resident clergy. The In July, 1795, Mr. Buchanan took his Directors of the East India Company degree, and in September of the same year was admitted to the holy order of nary at Fort William, ordered it to be

not approving of the scope of the semiDeacon, by Bishop Porteliz. By the interest of his friends and the recommendation Marquis Wellesley, did not carry this

suppressed. The Governor General

, of his instructers, he was appointed a chap- order into immediate execution, and the lain to the East India Company. He soon representations which he made procured after received priest's orders; and in the its revocation. Mr. Buchanan, in the month of May, 1796, after an absence of mean time, agitated many measures for nearly nine years, revisited his family in the promotion of christianity in IndiaScotland. On the 11th of August he em- he wrote a memoir in favour of an ecclebarked at Portsmouth for Bengal—and siastical establishment, and encouraged on the 10th of March, 1797, two days the translation of the Scriptures. He ofbefore the completion of his 31st year, fered prizes to the amount of sixteen landed at Calcutta.

hundred and fifty pounds sterling for the On his arrival at the capital of the British best essays in the different universities possessions in India,” says his biographer, and public schools in Great Britain and Ireland, on the most efficacious means of proceedings on the coast of Malabar,' as diffusing civilization and the light of our author describes it, which he had Christianity in the eastern world. His prepared under the title of 'Literary Indesigns were deemed premature by ma- telligence. Soon afterwards he preachny judicious men, who thought that to ed a series of sermons on the Christian alarm the prejudices of the natives too prophecies, a copy of which was requestviolently, might endanger the British ed by some of his hearers, for the press. power in India, and defeat the prospect He accordingly made preparations for of the progressive introduction of truth publishing them, but on transmitting a and refinement. His spirit, however, rose notice of his intention to the government with the obstacles which opposed him. gazette, the insertion of his advertisement In the year 1805 he proposed a prize of was refused. Lord Minto was now at the five hundred pounds to each of the uni- head of the government of India, and versities of Cambridge and Oxford for still more disposed than his immediate the best works in English prose, embrac- predecessor to check the spirit of prose-, ing the following subjects : pass'd,

lytism, though the latter had been less "1. The probable design of the divine Pro- favourable to the system than Marquis vidence in subjecting so large a portion of Wellesley. On this occasion, Dr. BuAsia to the British dominion.

chanan remonstrated to the Governor “ II. The duty, the means, and the conse- General, and presented a memorial, quences of translating the Scriptures into the which he subsequently published in his oriental tongries

, and of promoting Christian Apology for promoting Christianity in knowledge in Asia. « [ll. Å brief historic view of the progress

India. of the Gospel in different nations, since its

Dr. Buchanan sailed from India in Defirst promulgation; illustrated by maps, show- cember, 1807, and arrived in England in ing its luminous tract through the world ; with March, 1808. On the 26th of February, chronological notices of its duration in parti- 1809, he preached his sermon called cular places."

• The Star in the East,' at Bristol, for the In the course of this year Mr. Buchan- benefit of the Church Missionary Society. an experienced a very dangerous sick- To this performance he owes most of his ness. The loss of his wife, who died in celebrity in the religious community in England, was added to his afflictions. this country. She was the daughter of the Rev. Mr. In November, 1809, Dr. Buchanan Whish of Northwold, Norfolk, and came married the daughter of Henry Thompout to India with her elder sister, in com- son, Esq. of Kirby Hall, Yorkshire. He pany with their aunt, the lady of Capt. had the misfortune to lose this wife also. Sandys. They were married in 1799 ; She died in the spring of the year 1813. Mrs. B. had 'visited England for her His health, however, had been previously health, having derived relief from a pre- impaired, by paralytic attacks, and he

did not long survive her. On the 9th of In 1806, Mr. Buchanan, who is hence- February, 1815, in the 49th year of his forth termed Dr. Buchanan, (the Univer- age, he departed this life. sity of Glasgow having conferred on him We have given our estimate of the the degree of D. D.) left Calcutta on a character of Dr. B. and as much of his journey to the coast of Malabar. The history as our limits would allow. He new Governor General

, Sir George Bar- has left behind him many tracts in relalow, granted him every facility of con- tion to his favourite object, the dissemiveyance which the country could afford. nation of the Gospel in India, which do He met with the most grateful civilities honour to his philanthropy. at all the English stations, and with the We kept in reserve one fact, which most Aattering attention at the courts of will properly come in here, as it speaks the Nabobs of Tanjore and Travancore. more in his praise than pages of com.. In this tour he visited Juggernaut. He mon-place declamation. When the day visited also the Syrian churches of Ma- of his prosperity arrived, he not only relayala.

paid Mr. Thornton the sums which he On his return to Calcutta he found his had expended on his education, but gave occupation gone—the Court of Directory five hundred pounds as a fund for the having reduced the College, by abolish- education of a candidate for the minising the offices of Provost and Vice Pro- try, and left the selection of the object vost, and restricting the professorships to of this benevolence to three trustees, three. He had, moreover, the mortifica- of whom Mr. Thornton was nominated tion to be denied the privilege of insert- one. ing 'a memoir on the subject of his

E.

vious voyage:

now,

ART. 6. The Progress of Society: a Poem. In three parts. New-York, David

Longworth. mo. pp. 62. THE_desire of vindicating the American tract the whole of the third part, in which however amiable, must not lead us to sent gratification, he will discover some sanction the affiliation of all her putative ground of hope. offspring, much less to burthen her with a spurious progeny. Barrenness is not so “ Fair on thy banks, O Paradise ! the rose great a reproach as incontinence. Our Clasp'd the light lily with a sister's lore; regard to the literary reputation of our

I see thy rills the blossom'd banks disclose ; country compels us to scrutinize the pre- Still throwing back more blue

the sky above ;

I see thy waves in gold and azure move, tensions of her champions. We cannot consent to assign a niche in the temple of Save when arrested by the sporting dove

I see thy laughing blossoms wild and loose, her fame to every chivalrous youth who Oh! realm of bliss! That sio should interpose may choose to break a lance in her cause. And close so fair a morn with such a night

That the prejudice which has too long of woes! prevailed amongst us against every literary effort of American genius or industry, Dear long lost scenery! lovelier far than should subside as the number of our writers increased, was to be expected. Restor'd by fancy to the eye again, Merit will always vindicate itself in the For then ihy streams, and all that bloom'd end. It is, indeed, no longer fashionable Found such according purity within, to decry whatever takes its origin from The heart commun’d with God in every scene. among ourselves on the contrary, if we Her smiles now came, and now her lears are not mistaken, it is fast becoming the would flow, fashion to admire every thing that claims Tears drawn by gratitude, and not by sinto be the product of indigenous talent. But vain-ah vain, were the attempt to show, Nor is this reaction of public opinion un

What sinless mortal felt-wbiat sinner cangol natural. But we shall be sorry to see an

know. unreasonable prejudice succeeded by an undue partiality. To lavish praise upon

Yet now, though fallen, when the twilight

beam the unworthy, is to squander the meed Pours her soft lustre on his pensive eye of the deserving. Too great a facility at Does not revive some antenatal dream? being pleased will tend to relax exertion; Does not the heart awake to barmony and stamping works with approbation Does she not glow and soften ; melt and sigh, which do not exact it, will degrade the To wander homeward on the sun's last stream, standard of our taste in the eyes of fo- That mellows into gold the azure sky? reigners, without conciliating favour to- Dear moments' ah! mysterious do ye seem, wards the objects of our panegyric.

When

opening as it were some long-forgotThe poem in hand is evidently a cru

ten dream! dity. Its author has neither disciplined If 't were not true, why does he muse alone bis mind, nor cultivated it to any extent. To ask communion with the beav'ns and There are many good thoughts scattered earth? along his pages, but he wants method - If 'twere not true, why does his bosom own and in fact, he does not seem to have pro- Such visions dear-such consciousness of posed to himself any determinate object. worth, He is confused in his narrative, illogical Beyond his reach, above his humble birth! and often unintelligible in his deductions, Why, but at twilight, is his heart so prone and meagre, though not inapposite in his To gather something with a silent minh, illustrations. A general indefiniteness or

And as he seeks for words, away 'tis down,

He knowns not where, nor how, yet eveta want of purpose, and an obscurity which

more 'tis gone! is heightened by an ignorance or negligence of the rules of grammatical concor- Some old connexion sure, the twilight ray, dance, are objections for which a casual And all the softening lustre of her reign, felicity of thought or expression cannot Respire inaudible; though what they say atone. No man should obtrude himself Even to vaguely syllable were vainupon the public, in print, who has not They seem to speak that other life has been something to say for himself, and who That wondering man is loitering far astray, has not pondered how to say that some

A curious stranger on his natal scene,

To fears beneath his dignity a prey, thing well.

A traveller in a shade witb' half a glance As a specimen of the work, we ex.

day.

[ocr errors]

Note the strange being! now his daring mind All still in unison with glory brought,
Is boldly wandering up the starry sphere! By bim who came from heav'n with life en-
Where is he now ? Not on the winged wind, du'd,
But still as eager on some low career, To give e'en certainty to guessing thought,
Where sense and crazy passion bid him steer! And teach the unknown God, he long in vaio
Still scorning all possess'd—he wanders blind, had sought
Now smiles upon his cheek, and now a tear:
Hemm'd in by self, and error, and mankind, And sball not time bis long-lost bliss restore,
Alas! his chase how vain, bis long-lost bliss And give bim back his uncorrupted mind?
to find!

So tun'd that now-e'en now his eye will

pour, Mysterious thing! o'er history's backward

As wanders round at eve his vision blind, stream, Now rapid dies his soul through seasons Mysterious smiles, and trembling tears com.

bin'd? And centuries travellid but a moment seem, Tell him his long-lost birthright he shall find,

Oh! Nature tells his loss ! Faith tell him more; Though mourners every instant stood aghast; When launch'd by death from time's mysteTo mark some heart as curious breathe its

rious shore, last. Mysterious thing! his flights are not a dream! To that far realm of bliss where dwelt bis

soul before ! He lives in every age by time o'ercast ! Perchance in Eden now, with bliss supreme! And shall not taste, and eloquence erewhile, And now mind'st ruin'd Greece, to mark her setting beam.

So long indebted to each beauteous scene,

Of bills, and streams, and blossoms that be. Lo, yonder pair! Behold the speaking eye! guile What silent grandeur dashes trom his mind! The wandering soul to truth and hope again; And 'tis acknowledg’d with the same reply, Sball they not whisper what the soul bath Of high expression, dignified! retin'd!

been, Not e'en a word ! yet soul perceives her kind, Shall they not teach her like themselves to E'en by a glance, or smile, or tear, or sigh

smile Or have they met before? or chanc'd de- On on all the landscape ; all the sheeted sign'd

mainThat each should kindred thought at once des. Shall they not pour some spell to reconcile, cry,

To all the scenes around, full many a beart By some strange spell unknown, of silent

so vile ? harmony.

Yes! Time shall roll a distant period bright, O well 'twas sung, that souls in pairs were When feeble language, vigorous, refin'd, made,

Shall soar perchance to thought's bewildering And sent together to this dingy spot,

height, And lost each other as they earthward And pour stupendous light upon the blind stay'da

Then shall be plain the mysteries of mind Por oft they meet, and feel, they know not Neglected virtue then shall claim her rightwhat,

While to earth's rabble, lingering still behind, Of love unearthly! Love perchance forgot Thought in her robe of fire shall flash ber Mysterious and intense-so long delay'd

light, Ah! man may pause, and ponder on the Till nature's bursting scorn sball wither lawthought,

less might. And analyze himself, so strangely sway'd, By mere expression's fire, o'er beauty's light 'Tis moral feeling generates lofty thought, and shade.

For thought seems feeling only more refinid, Or let him sleep-bis bold unshackled mind, And deep emotion into language brought, Jo dreams still speaks her pow'rs and aims Wake deeper feeling, new, and more refinid;

And pour'd reciprocal upon the mind, sublime, For now on light, and now upon the wind,

Which operates again, to language wrought She rambles where she will through space And still herself by moral feeling taught,

Thus mighty eloquence shall lead mankind, and time, And fashions as she lists her favour'd clime : Awaken'd by her spell, bring all but truth to And now she wakes; no more with vision

nought. blind, A disembodied thing, as in her prime

Yet thus advancing, still the immortal mind, And life without location, undesign'd

Relains some vet'ran energy profound, A moment's space is hers, as novel as refin'd! Which genius, taste, and eloquence combin'd,

Can never marshal on the plain of sound So strange bis mind-so strange his earthly And hence in other worlds may feeling bound, lot!

From soul to soul, no more to sense confin'd, Sent off to toss on life's precarious flood; Inaudible as light her airy roundHis trembling bosom indistinctly fraught, Thus rising heav'nward, and for love design'd, Amidst the crowd, or e'en in solitude, Is the wild troop on eartb, once naked, gross With images of past, and coming good and blind.

« AnteriorContinuar »