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SOME ACCOUNT OF THE REV. DAVID
BROWN, LATE SENIOR CHAPLAIN
THЕ. EAST-INDIA COMPANY,
OF FORT WILLIAM.
For the Christian Observer. view of his finally entering the
church. His parents were induced to acquiesce in the proposal. Young Brown resided for some time, under
the tuition of his new friend, at AND PROVOST OF THE COLLEGE Scarborough. He was afterwards
removed to the grammar-school at
Hull, then under the care of the This account is taken from a very Rev. Joseph Milner. Mr. Milner interesting work, which has recent became much attached to his pupil; ly been published by Cadell and and while that good man lived, Mr. Ďavies, entitled, “Memorial Sketch. Brown continued to consult the es of the Rev, David Brown, with judgment, and confide in the expea Selection of his Sermons preached rience and piety, of his tutor. Mr. at Calcutta.” The work is edited Brown proceeded to the University by the Rev. Charles Simeon, of of Cambridge, and was entered at Cambridge, who had been amongst Magdalen College, where he prosethe earliest friends of Mr. Brown; cuted the usual studies preparatory and I unite with that distinguished to his entering into the church. minister of Jesus Christ, in the hope Mr. Brown had been piously edu. that it may tend to kindle in the cated. The following allusion ta bearts of many, not only a respect this circumstance was found among for the memory of Mr. Brown, but his papers after his decease : an ardent solicitude to follow his
“Thy goodness, like the sun, dawn. steps.
ed on my early days :
-a godly. The Rev. David Brown was born grandfather, who poured out pray, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, ers for me ;---parents who attended where his venerable parents, still to the instructions given them by living, and his brothers, reside. The the ministers of God ;-early acexact time of his birth is not men- quaintance with the Rev. Messrs. tioned; but it must have been in Jesse, Stillingfleet, Milner ;-merthe latter montbs. of 1763, or the cies all flowing from my God !!! first months of the following year. What a strong encouragement does From his early youth be was dis- the case of Mr. Brown hold out to tinguished for a religious turn of parents, not only to be assiduous in mind, an amiable disposition, and a forming the minds of their children, thirst for knowledge. When about from earliest infancy, to the fear ten or eleven years of age, being on and love of God; but to provide a journey with his parents, he fell for them, as far as possible, such into the company of a minister, friends and associates as may prowbu, thougb a stranger, was so much mote their religious progress! struck with his intelligence, that he During Mr. Brown's residence at offered to take charge of him for a college, he was led, in the course year or two, in order to prepare of his correspondence with a pious him for a grammar-school, with the friend in London, to relate some CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 181.
successful efforts he had made to The Society for promoting Chris. do good among the poor. This tian Knowledge elected Mr. Brown letter having been shown to an a corresponding member, gave bim officer in the East-India Company's books, and recommended him to service, a new direction was given to the Court of Directors of the Eastall his prospects in life. In the month India Company, who, with great of February, 1785, he was invited liberality, advanced 300 guineas by this officer, Major Mitchell, to for bis outfit. He did not leave undertake the task of superintend. England until the month of Noing an institution recently formed vember following. The interval in Bengal, for the support and edu- appears, from his journal, to bave cation of the orphans, of both sexes, been passed partly among his belonging to the indigent deceased friends in Yorkshire, but chiefly in Europeans of that presidency. He London. During this time the was at first disinclined to listen to frame of his mind appears to have this proposal, deeming it his duty been that of devotedness to God's to pursue his academical studies service, and resignation to his will. to their natural termination; but Before the East-India Company the friends whom he consulted had resolved to make him an adbeing of a contrary opinion, be vance, he experienced much peyielded to their judgment, and cuniary inconvenience. agreed to accept the situation that occasion he observes ; “My duties had been offered to him, provided this day have been, preaching two he could obtain episcopal ordina. serinons, reading prayers three tion. Here, however, a new dif- times, a funeral, a churching, and ficulty arose. Dr. Lowth, then a christening. Major this Bisbop of London, gave a peremp- morning caine to church, and begtory refusal to his application, ged me to make use of a ten-pound alleging, that he had already or- note as long as I wished. I bad dained several men for the colonies, but two shillings remaining, which who afterwards remained lounging I left this evening with a poor about town, a disgrace to the cle- soldier whose wife lay-in of twins, rical profession. On this repulse, which last Sunday I baptized. My Major Mitchell applied to the late God, continue to help ine to serve Bishop of Llandaff, Dr. Watson, thee, and follow me this day and who agreed, that if the Archbishop every day with thy blessing!” of Canterbury saw no impropriety From an incidental expression in his ordaining Mr. Brown, after in his journal, Mr. Brown appears what had passed, he would cheer- to have been married about this fully do it. The Archbishop ap- time; a circumstance which, proproved of the proceeding, and Mr. bably, added to his pecuniary ditBrown was ordained by the Bishop ficulties. “ I am now," he says, of Llandaff, on the 26th of Febru- “ to reside in Chelsea, and have ary,
1785. The Bishop showed very little money and food to prohim much pastoral regard : be vide for my wife and self.
The had himself conducted a long and Lord will provide. Of thịs he bas close examination of Mr. Brown, given me a precious token this and he gave him much valuable evening ; for unexpectedly were counsel, which proved afterwards a sent in various supplies.” comfort and support to him. His The friends whose regard be Lordship's last words were : “Go in seems at this time to have cherished peace, and may the blessing of God with the greatest affection, were go with you! Do all the good you Mr. Simeon, the Messrs. Lloyds, can; and if it is no better for you of King's College, Cambridge, and in this world, it will be in the world Mr. Houseman. Mr. Simeon acto come.”
companied him to the ship in which
he embarked for India, on the 15th as good breeding, to press a person of Nov. 1785, with Mrs. Brown, after such a declaration; and that who was delivered on board, of a I did not doubt but the present son, on the 1st of February. The company would have as contempjournal of his voyage exbibits the tible an opinion of me as I deserved, same deep piety which was visible should I comply; and concluded in his former memoranda, and con- by saying to the Captain, that I did tains many interesting details. The not believe it would give him any following incident is selected merely satisfaction to hurt my feelings, because it marks that union of firm- but that I should disoblige him by -ness and suavity which was charac. granting what they bad asked. To teristic of Mr. Brown's mind. this be made a short and proper
“ Feb. 25, 1786. The evening of answer that I should never more this day was remarkable for a debate, be pressed to do any thing disain which my sentiments respecting greeable or contrary to my judg: song-singing, drinking to excess, &c. ment, so long as I was in his ship. were brought to the test. After a glass Mrs. reddened, and could of claret, I declined taking more, not conceal the ebullition of paswhen the Captain forcibly urged sion excited by my serious barangue. me, and would have taken my glass She affirmed, that she knew a clerand filled it: but with a determined gyman, the best of men, whose air I told him, he might as easily respectable character none need attempt to shake Gibraltar as to blush to copy, who would sing a shake me from my purpose. It lively or jolly song, and think no was replied, " Then you must sing.' harm. I objected to any man's I told them I considered it as in- opinion or conduct being a rule of consistent with my character, and action for me : there were clergyI could not oblige them by a vio- men capable of doing things that Jation of my judgment. This was debased their character, and sunk followed by arguments on the ne. them beneath their dignity. She cessity of being good company, of made another pass at me before the innocence of festivity, &c. The she desisted : People will never Captain observed, that we ought to think worse of you for singing a accominodate ourselves to the spirit cheerful song, and being gay a litof the company. we sit down with, tle.' I answered, that my aim was and that it was only good breeding not the opinion of others : 1 referred and barmless to do so. I replied, my conduct to a higher law than that I was a great advocate for the law of reputation.
The conliberty; that I gave large scope to versation ended amicably, and in others to follow their own judg. my complete enfranchisement.” ments, and that I valued myself on The ship reached Madras Roads this prerogative : I had opinions that on the 27th of May, when Mr. I could not part with to oblige any Brown learnt the afflicting news of company wbatever ;-that a man the loss of the Halsewell Indiaman, must be dastardly and unprincipled in which he had intended to sail in #bo would, to please others, act preference to every other: he had contrary to his judgment, and thus even actually applied to Captain give up the most precious right of Pierce for a passage. "Alas!” he ob. human nature ;-that as to the serves, “ how blind is man! Let innocence of song-singing, I would us be content, with St. Peter, to be not hesitate to affirm, that some well assured that the bidden things songs were really criminal, and by of the providence of God we shall no rules of morality to be justified, know hereafter. Our defect in and that to me all seemed improper foreknowledge is more than amply and inconsistent. I added, that it provided for in the knowledge, was contrary to good sense as well wisdom, and goodness of God. O
that I may hang on him as a son on and Bahar,” which was forwarded his father, and forget my cares and to England. dangers in the abiding conscious- In this Memoir, which is framed ness of his ever-watchsul pro- with singular wisdom, while it matection !"
nifests an ardent zeal in the cause On the 8th of June, 1806, Mr. he had espoused, he recommended Brown landed at Calcutta, where the measure of translating the Scriphe met with a kind reception from tures into the different languages the Rev.John Owen, now the Chap- of the East, and the sending forth of lain-General of our naval and mili- missionaries to instruct the natives, tary forces; from Mr.Charles Grant; “ fit men, of free minds, disinterestand Mr. Chambers. He took up ed, zealous, and patient of labour, his abode at the Orphan Establish- who would aspire to the arduous ment; and a few days after his ar- office of a missionary.” After asrival, he received a farther appoint- signing his reasons for desiring to ment as one of the chaplains of the have young clergymen of the Church Company. On entering on the of England, be adds : “ But gecharge of the Orphan Establish- nuine piety is the grand requisite ment, he prays, “ May these souls in a missionary. His work must committed to my care be led to a be bis business, his delight, and saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, reward. Whoever is greedy of gain, and be instructed in all right things, and seeks great things for bimself, to the praise and glory of God! 0 whoever prefers a life of ease and Lord, my joy will be to see them competence to a life of toil with trained in the way they should go ;. an humble subsistence, is not fit but give them thy Spirit, which for the purpose. But men who are alone can direct and keep them in ready to endure hardship, and to right paths."
suffer the loss of all things : wbo Mr. Brown had not been in Cal. count not their own lives dear to cutta above a month before he them, and who are willing to do began his efforts for a mission to and suffer for the sake of the Gosthe natives. He had been dili- pel : these are the men who are gently preparing bimself for this wanted; these are the true miswhile on board ship, by a study of sionaries to instruct the beatben one or two of the oriental languages; successfully in the way of salvaand we find him devoting a part tion." of his time at Calcutta, to the ac
This Memoir was presented to quisition of Bengalee, and express the East-India Company; and Mr. ing his hope (December 3, 1786) Brown, at the same time, addressed that the Lord would enable him to letters to the Archbishop of Canacquire this language, that he might terbury, the Bishop of Llandaff, “ translate the Scriptures of truth Mr. Wilberforce, and other distinfor the benefit of the poor benighted guished characters in this country, heathen of this land." His letters, urging them to use their utmost during the year 1787, as well as efforts to draw the public attention his journal, evince much anxiety on to this subject, and to gain for it this head. “I am beginning,” be the sanction of Government. Thus, says, a native school of young
as Mr. Simeon justly observes, Hindoos, who will not only be my long before the great Missionary scholars but my family and pro- Societies, or the Bible Society, had perty." “ This I consider as the been thought of, did this bonoured first seed of Christianity sown on servant of Christ, in conjutiction the native soil of Bengal." He with his two friends, Mr. Grant and drew up a Memoir on the subject, Mr. Chambers, urge, witb great “ entitled a Proposal for establish- force and energy, the claims of the ing a Protestant Mission in Bengal naues ou our Governuathi, and