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157
Memoir of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan.

158 gan to reflect seriously on my situ- going abroad gradually abated, and I ation."

began to think that I should make the During the violence of the storm, law my profession for life. But duras he afterwards acknowledged to a ing a great part of this time I correfriend, Mr. Buchanan felt as if the sponded with my friends in Scotland, judgment of God, as in the case of as from abroad, writing very rarely, Jonah, was overtaking him ; but, un- but always giving my mother pleaslike the repenting Prophet, no sooner | ing accounts of my health and situhad the tempest of the elements sub-ation.” sided, than the agitation of his mind The deception which the preceding also passed away. He arrived safely extract developes, he contrived to in London on the second of Septem- keep up for some time, and, on hearber: “but by this time,” he continues, ing of the death of his father, which "my spirits were nearly exhausted by took place in 1788, he actually wrote distress and poverty. I now relin- a letter to bis afllicted mother, as from quished every idea of going abroad. Florence, dated May 12th, 1789. DurI saw such a visionary scheme in its ing this year his convictions again retrue light, and resolved, if possible, to turned; but, like all the preceding, procure some situation, as an usher their continuance was transient. In or clerk, or any employment, whereby the month of May he was seized with I might derive a subsistence: but I a violent fever, which bringing him was unsuccessful. I lived some time, within sight of the grave, again renewin obscure lodgings, by selling my ed his fears ; but the removal of his elothes and books; for I did not at- disorder was the prelude to returning tempt to obtain any assistance by my folly, so that his goodness became skill in music, lest I should be disco- like the morning cloud, or the early vered by some persons who might dew. But although preserved from know me or my family. I was in a gross immoralities, his frivolity of short time reduced to the lowest ex- conduct occasioned many bitter reflectreme of wretchedness and want. tions; and during several months, his Alas! I had not sometimes bread to life was spent between sinning and eat. Little did my mother think, repenting, between forming resoluwhen she dreamt, that she saw her tions of amendment, and violating son fatigued with his wanderings, and them when formed, and throughout oppressed with a load of woe, glad to all, mourning over his melancholy lie down, and sleep away his cares on condition. a little straw, that her dream was so Through the influence of example near the truth! What a reverse of he was too frequently led to neglect fortune was this! A few months be- public worship, yet on certain occafore, I lived in splendour and happi- sions the force of carly habit was reness! But even in this extremity of vived by a wounded conscience, and misery my eyes were not opened. I he was almost instinctively driven to saw indeed my folly, but I saw not the house of God. It was on one of my sin: my pride even then was un- these occasions that he was particularsubdued, and I was constantly antici- ly struck with the conduct of a young pating scenes of future grandeur, and man, on whom the word preached indulging myself in the pleasures of seemed to have made so deep an imthe imagination.

pression, that he actually left the "After I had worn out many months church, leaving his hat behind him. in this misery, observing one day an With this young man he afterwards advertisement in a newspaper, for a conversed, and their interview was clerk to an attorney,' I offered my- made instrumental in riveting those

the remaining part of this year, strug- very uncomfortable. Going one morngling under conviction for sin, buting to a bath, I found on a shelf Dodstill aiming at that deliverance which dridge's Rise and Progress of Religion he knew it was both his privilege and in the Soul. This book I thought just his interest to enjoy,

suited me.

I accordingly read it with In the month of February, 1791, deep attention, and prayed over it. Mr. B. describes his state of mind in I next procured Alleine's Alarm to the the following letter:

Unconverted, and dwelt on it for some In the month of June last, on a time. M eligious friend then gave Sunday evening, a gentleman of my me Boston's Fourfold State. This I acquaintance called upon me. I knew read carefully, and I hope it did me him to be a serious young man, and some good. I now secluded myself out of complaisance to him I gave the entirely from my companions on Sunconversation a religious turn. Among day; and during the week, the moother things, I asked him, whether he ment business was done, I went home believed that there was such a thing to my studies; and have since wholly as divine grace ; whether or not it was withdrawn myself from pleasure and a fiction imposed by grave and austere amusement. In this manner have I persons from their own fancies? He passed the seven last months, contitook occasion from this inquiry to en- nually praying for a new heart, and a large much upon the subject; he more perfect discovery of my sins. spoke with zeal and earnestness, and Sometimes I think I am advancing a chiefly in seripture language, and little, at others I fear I am farther concluded with a very affecting ad- from heaven than ever.

O the prevadress to the conscience and the heart. lence of habit! It is not without reaI had not the least desire, that I re- son that it has been sometimes called collect, of being benefited by this a second nature. Nothing but the conversation ; but while he spoke, I hand of the Almighty who created me listened to him with earnestness; and can change my heart. before I was aware, a most powerful “ About two months ago I wrote my impression was made upon my mind, mother some particulars of my state, and I conceived the instant resolution and requested her prayers, for she is of reforming my life. On that evening a pious woman. her answer, writ. I had an engagement which I could ten by my sister, is the following pas not now approve: notwithstanding sage; My mother has heard much of what had passed, however, I resolved Mr. Newton, Rector of St. Mary to go : but as I went along, and had Woolnoth, London, and wishes that time to reflect on what I had heard, I you would cultivate an acquaintance half wished that it might not be kept. with him, if it is in your power.'It turned out as I desired: I hurried From this recommendation of his home, and locked myself up in my mother, Mr. Buchanan addressed an chamber; I fell on my knees, and en- anonymous letter to Mr. Newton, who, deavoured to pray; but I could not. before his congregation on the ensuing I tried again, but I was not able ; I Lord's day, requested the writer to thought it was an insult to God for me call upon him."I calle on him," to pray ; I reflected on my past sins says Mr. B. in a letter to his mother, with horror, and spent the night 1 on the Tuesday following, and exknow not how. The next day my fears perienced such a happy hour as I wore off a little, but they soon return- ought not to forget. He encouraged ed. I anxiously awaited the arrival me much, put into my hands a narra

of Sunday. but when it come I fond

tive of his life and some of his lettore

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161
Memoirs of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan.

162 as to its objects and infuence. It not 1791, that Mr. B. was admitted a only redeemed him from a sinful and member of Queen's College, Camworldly course, but gradually intro- bridge. “The day of my leaving duced him to a state of righteousness, London,” he observes,

was very and peace, and joy, in the Holy solemn. It was on Monday the 24th Gbost.

of October, exactly four years and Mr. B. in the early part of his life two months since my entering that had been designed by his friends for city. But with what a different spirit the ministry of the gospel, but through did I leave it, compared with that the aberrations which we have been with which I entered it !” called to witness, he had betaken him- His situation in the university was self to the profession of the law. His far from being pleasant. The time awakening and conversion, however, that he was compelled to devote to induced the Rev. Mr. Newton to re- mathematical studies gave him much commend to his young friend to change uneasiness, and the profligacy of manhis desigo, and turn his serious atten- ners which in too many instances he tion to the ministry of the word. To was constrained to witness, afflicted this Mr. B. bad no objection, provided his spirit with acute anguish. Every he could see his way clear. He was moment, however, was improved, and willing to be any thing or nothing in his rapid advancement gained him the hands of his heavenly Father. His respect, even among those with whom aim was to follow the leadings of pro- he could not associate. vidence; and this, in a remarkable It was early in the year 1794 that manner, removed the obstacles which Mr. Newton made to him a proposal obstructed his path, and for some time of going to India. To this important created doubts as to the legitimacy of proposition be declared himself unable his call to this sacred function. to give an answer, but trusting that it

As Mr. B.'s circumstances were far came from God, and being "equally from being affluent, it was not in his willing to preach his gospel in the power to support the expenses of a next village, or at the ends of the college education. But happily for earth,” he referred its ultimate decihim and for the Christian world, he sion to his friends. It was not long was about this time recommended by that this momentous question remainMr. Newton to the notice of Mr. ed undecided. His friends thinking Thornton, whose Christian charity is he would be more advantageously well known in all the churches, through employed in India than in his native wbose assistance he was enabled to land, soon determined in favour of qualify himself as a minister of the his embarkation, and preparations Church of England.

were soon undertaken for his deparHaving received a liberal educa- ture. tion, and being rather too far advanc- On Sunday, September the 20th, ed in age to pass through the tedious 1795, Mr. B. was ordained a deacon, preparation of an English University, at Fulham, by the late pious and exan attempt was made to procure for cellent Bishop Porteus; immediately him an ordination without this formal after which he became a curate to his process; but this effort was discoun- friend Mr. Newton, with whom he tenanced by the Bishop. Mr. Thorn- continued several months. ton then desired him to consider whe- Early in 1796 his friends made an ther his health would permit him to application to a distinguished director accept a chaplaincy at Sierra Leone of the East India Company, Charles To this he assented; but for reasons Grant, Esq. to obtain for him the apwhich have not been stated, this also pointment of a chaplain in that was abandoned; and the failure of honourable service. This was accomthese two attempts depressed his spi- panied with such testimonies of charits to a considerable degree.

racter and qualification, from the Mr. Thornton, however, though baf- proper authorities in the universities, fled in bis designs, was not disposed as reflect the highest honour on his to abandon his young friend. With a piety and attainments. The applicadegree of generosity that all must ad- tion, testimonials, and recommendamire, be resolved to send him to the tion, thus presented, were soon an. University of Cambridge at his own swered with the desired success; and expense. It was in Michaclmas term, on Wednesday, March 30th, 1796, he received his appointment. He was for my conduct is this; I wished to shortly afterwards invested with express my detestation of principles, priest's orders from the Bishop of which I considered calculated to do London; and in the May following, evil to the rising generation, and with he repaired to Scotland, to bid fare- that freedom of speech which is the well to his mother and friends, from noble prerogative of a Briton, I shall whom he had now been separated endeavour to shew that Mr. W. is not nine years, and to whom he was about solitary in his opinion; and as so to bid an adieu, that might be final as many have transmitted replies to his to the present state. He remained in essay, I think it but fair that his side Scotland until the first week in June, should also muster their soldiers, and when, taking a solemn leave, he re-array themselves against this demon turned to London, to complete his of dancing. preparations for the arduous voyage “ I have observed,” says the Speche was about to undertake. On the tator, “that a reader seldom peruses 3d of July he preached for Mr. New- a book with pleasure, until he knows ton, at St. Mary Woolnoth, and ter- whether the writer be a fair or a black minated by a pious and an affectionate man, of a mild or choleric disposition, farewell, his short connection with the married or a bachelor, with other congregation of his dear and venera- particulars of a like nature, that ble friend.

conduce very much to the right underFurnished with various letters of standing of an author.” recommendation, Mr. B. left London Regarding these particulars, I was for Portsmouth, on the 30th of July; considerably struck with the heat of and on the 11th of August following, apparent feeling, which pervaded the embarked on board of the Bushbridge whole of the essay in question. East Indiaman, commmanded by “ This man can never be a disinterestCaptain Dobree, and sailed for Ben- ed writer; who do you think it is ?" gal.

said I to Mr. Burchell, who had sat Nothing remarkable occurred dur- silently in a corner of my apartment, ing this voyage. His time was chiefly during the time that I had read this spent in the acquirement of useful aloud. “Hold up your head, Miss," knowledge, connected with his pecu- said my friend : “ What do you liar destination, examining his own mean?” said I: 'Turn out your heart, in scrutinizing his own motives, toes,” continued he; at the same time and in endeavouring to promote the seizing the tongs and poker from the improvement of his fellow passengers. fire-place, he arranged the former as On the 27th of August, their fleet, | a fiddle, and the latter as a bow, and consisting of twenty sail, was off the proceeded with his observations, withCanaries; on November the 19th out regarding me. “ You must begin they were off the Cape of Good Hope; again, you are woefully out of time. and on the 17th of February they Now then, one, two, three; one, two, reached Madras. On the 20th they three; now set, dos-a-dos, and then.” again sailed for Bengal, which place -“Well,” said I.--"A dancing masthey reached in safety on the 10th of ter,” returned he; and flinging down March, 1797, two days before be the poker and tongs, he thrust bis had attained the 31st year of his hands into his breeches pockets, stared age.

at me, and walked out. I looked (To be concluded in our next.) after him for a minute, and then re

suming my usual composure, having

replaced the tongs, I arranged my fire, Strictures on Dancing vindicated," in- and sat down by it. A dancing mas

serted in the Supplement to the Im- ter, thought I; I believe that he is perial Magazine, col. 1189.

right; this is certainly what the Spec

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165
Strictures on Dancing vindicated.

166 ger; I must try my pen against this out doubt.” “No,” said the scholar, vulgar plebeian. As such an essay is “I never read the bible, and seldom out in the Imperial, our trade may be hear it, except when I go to church; considerably deteriorated; the waltz- however, we'll try what can be done in ing may be abandoned; the jigging that way.” You know what Virgil given up, so that all the innocent, ele- says: It may indeed be applied to gant, rational, and useful art of which you, I am the erudite professor, may fall to “Qui novus hic nostris successit sedibus hosthe ground. Alas for the dancing school!"

Quem sese ore ferens! quam forti pectore et

armis." I can next conceive him proceeding to some classical friend, perbaps Phi did not know any thing about one of the Patres conscripti of some it, but went off as well satisfied, thinkneighbouring academy :

ing of a grand flourish, like a semi"My dear friend,” says Pun, (for breve on his fiddle, with which he I must put the initial in plain English,) would commence the said essay. "you must understand, that a grovel- As one evidence of the correctness ling soul has written against dancing, of Mr. Burchell's idea, Phi informs he has said such things of it; would us, that from his infancy he has been you believe it, he has called it a curs- the friend of dancing. Then he gives ed system? aye; what do you think us the fine period to which I have beof that?” The scholar drew himself fore alluded. In this, however, he is up to his full height, stretched out his very much out of tune, playing one leg, and extended his arm, in what note on a sharp, another on a flat, &c. he thought a peculiarly classical man- whereas, to have corresponded in key

“ It is all envy,” said he, “envy with the rest of the piece, the whole that withers at another's joy, and should have been flat. hates the excellence it cannot reach." “I am induced,” says he, to en“ Bravo !” says Phi. “My dear list under your imperial banners, friend,” said our academic, “write."(that's a la militaire,) and to mingle “So I intend,” said our hero. “Put with the crowd of candidates (somein some awful sentences of Latin or thing in the boronghmongering line,) Greek,” 'twill frighten them; some which will flock to your standard, and ignorant fellow this, who never ranged contend for promotion (here again is o'er the verdant hill of Parnassus, nor the warlike) to an honourable situadrank of the golden Helicon. “I'll tion under your government, (board tell you what I've been thinking,” | of excise,) during the election of the said Pbi; “let us put a Greek signa- ensuing month, (very parliamentary.)" ture, that will shew that I understand In this essay, Phi has spoken like a Greek, but am not pedantic enough man of the world, he has no doubt to put in much; but if they do rouse made friends among the young and me, by the bridge of my fiddle, I'll do thoughtless, and has the support of such deeds !” Send them to the those who are lovers of pleasure more dwelling of night,” said the scholar. than lovers of God; and while his pro“Yes," said our hero, interrupting, duction will dwell with pleasure in “and I've been thinking that this is the minds of many, mine will only some puritanical sort of a being; survive in the small corner it occupies therefore if we can torture a passage in this Magazine, and in my own color two from the bible, to convey our lection of loci communes; and the pubideas, and to stop his mouth, I think lie, for whose benefit I write, will it will be a good plan. You know a allow it to float down the stream of great deal about it, I'll warrant; I've forgetfulness, to the ocean of obliheard some story about seventy men

vion. being shut up in the Old Bailey, or I have a task peculiarly thankless, somewhere, and that there they wrote which I will fulfil as philosophically the bible in Greek. You've read it as I can, and so arm myself with hothrough, of course; as for me, I've nosty, that all my opponent's threats not read the bible for many years, may pass by me as the idle wind.

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