Are you a Christian?
BOOK 4, CH. 4, THE FRIEND
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It may be inferred, from the traits of his character incidentally unfolded in the past narrative, that Dr. Clarke’s personal disposition had a strong tendency to inspire and reciprocate those sweet and elevating sentiments which come under the common name of friendship. And in no man were the elements of this social virtue more vigorous, or more strongly developed. True worth always found in him a sincere and generous admirer; and by whomsoever a feeling of affection was shown for himself, it was sure to create in his soul, and call forth in his conduct, a grateful return. His benevolent instincts, naturally strong, were refined by the sanctifying grace of God; and his friendship, worthy of the name, was warm in its nature, and profitable in its effects. It had a heartiness which made itself substantially felt by those who shared it: far from an artificial, capricious, and vanishing sentiment, it became one of the realities of his life and their own. Hence most of the friendships he formed were prolonged with the days of mortality, and many of them have been resumed, we have reason to believe, in that region of love where the spirits of the just are made perfect.
In his intercourse with friends there was a peculiar charm about Dr. Clarke’s conversation, arising from the intrinsic value of what he said, combined with his kindly and cheerful manner of saying it. In mixed company, like many other great scholars, he was often silent and awkwardly reserved; but, surrounded with men and women of congenial principles with his own, his mind and heart gave freely forth the precious things with which they were stored. The endless variety of knowledge he had amassed from the books of all human literature, from the living book of society, from God’s book of nature, and, above all, from God’s written book of revelation, was all laid under contribution to instruct the mind, make the heart cheerful, and the life better. What Herder said of J. P.
Richter may be affirmed of Dr. Clarke’s conversation: — “Every time that we are together he opens anew the treasures that the three wise men brought, — the gold, frankincense, and myrrh; and the star always goes before him.”
Among the friends of Dr. Clarke were persons of all grades of society, even from the prince to the peasant and the mechanic. He found, too, a sacred and refining pleasure in good female society; and in the number of those who were privileged to be ranked with his intimate friends were several ladies distinguished for their talents and piety. Such was Mrs.
Tighe, the admired authoress of “Psyche.” Of this celebrated lady there is no separate biography; but a copious and well-written account of her has been given in Mrs. R. Smith’s Memoir of the Rev. Henry Moore; in whom, as in Mr. Wesley and Dr. Clarke, the poetess had a devoted friend.
We may also mention Mrs. Hall, the sister of Mr. Wesley, who was not inferior to the other members of that remarkable family in the gifts of genius and the virtues of religion; Miss Sarah Wesley, the daughter of Charles, who entertained for Dr. Clarke, to her dying hour, the warmest sentiments of veneration; Miss Tooth, a mutual friend, who still survives them; Mrs. Agnes Bulmer, another poetess whose harp is now tuned to the songs of the blessed; Mrs. Mary Cooper, of whose saintly life the Doctor himself wrote the memorial; and Miss Mary Freeman Shepherd, whom I mention last, being wishful to give an idea of her extraordinary character in some extracts from her letters to Dr. and Mrs. Clarke. Though a native of England, Miss Shepherd was, on her mother’s side, of Italian ancestry, by descent from the Faletti of Piedmont, a family which once held the rank of sovereign princes. She received her education in a convent at Rome, and was brought up as a member of the Romish Church. But her mind soon proved itself too high for the puerilities of the Papal system; and, though she unhappily retained a nominal union with it, her theological principles and religious affections were brought by degrees nearer and nearer to the evangelic creed, and to union with its true confessors of every name. She was an earnest admirer of Mr. Wesley; and when Dr. Coke was at Paris during the Revolution time, as mentioned on a previous page, Miss Shepherd, being then resident in a convent in the Faubourg St. Germaine, did him good service by her influence with the commissioner for ecclesiastical property, in extricating him from the embarrassment arising from the purchase of a church for which he could get no congregation.
Gifted with uncommon vigor of intellect, and being an habitual student, she became one of the eminently learned persons of the day. Her knowledge of Hebrew, both biblical and rabbinical, was excellent; and her love for the welfare of the Hebrew people themselves, ardent, prayerful, and profound.
Let us hear her: — “In 1789, when I was at Rome, provoked at the shocking insults and indignities which I daily beheld in the public streets exercised without constraint on the poor, harmless, unoffending Jews, I said to David Toscano, one of the teachers in the synagogue in the Ghetto, and my instructor in rabbinical Hebrew, ‘ My good friend, I wonder at your patience under such treatment: nay, more, I deem it cowardice, unworthy the descendants of Abraham, Joshua, and Caleb. You are at least eighteen hundred Hebrews in the Ghetto.
Give me but eight hundred, ay, only five hundred resolute men from among you, and I, although a woman, will put myself at your head, and engage, with the help of the God of Israel, to drive before me like a flock of geese all this long-coated dastardly herd of priests and monks, with which Rome is now filled, to the disgrace of Christianity.’ This was his noble, generous answer: — “‘O signora, we feel your love, your zeal for Israel, to our inmost souls. But, ill as we are used, we must remember it is our duty never to forget that, persecuted all over the globe, Rome permitted us here an asylum, and the free exercise, in this Ghetto, of our religion. Rome still, though under humiliating guidances, tolerates the Hebrews within her walls. These insults are part of the curse denounced on the infractors of His law by the Just and Holy God.
We have sinned, we bow our heads; but must not lift up our hands against the people and nation that received us into its bosom when none else would. And when our justly-angered God will turn our captivity, he can and will do it without our ingratitude to Rome.
But we tremble for your safety, should you too warmly speak in our favor.’ ‘ Never fear. Is not the Lord God of your fathers able to protect me? He will; and I will speak and spare not.’ And so I did.
A few days after, being with Santini, one of the consuls at Rome, I repeated to him the above conversation with D. Toscano, neither suppressing nor softening a syllable. In a very angry tone Santini said, ‘Do you know you may be sent to the Inquisition for this?’
Yes, I do know it. Send me, if you dare. It shall be the worst day’s work you ever did. I dare to venture everything, rather than not let you know how deserving the poor Jews are of better treatment than you show them.’ Yet, for all this, I was loved by the people at Rome; respected by those of higher rank, and treated with distinguished notice and every courteous attention at the Vatican library, museum, and Pope’s palace, and every place of note in the city. But my poor, loving, grateful Jews trembled for my safety; and the day I left Rome two stout young men were sent by the synagogue to keep in view my post-chaise, and put up at the same inn, all the road through the Papal territories. All unknown to me [was] their kindness; only I saw another chaise, with the curtains drawn in front, following mine, — until, at the inn at Sienna, the two Hebrew youths respectfully came up, took their leave, and told me that I was now safe in Tuscany. Nor was this all. Scarce had I been two hours in Leghorn, when a near relation of David Toscano, with the second rabbi of the synagogue, the amiable, pious, and learned Rabbi Castello, came to my hotel, with every tender of kindest services. And thus they did at every place, forestalling my arrival at Avignon, &c. Letters came before I came; the kindness was prepared to meet me: all this to an inconsiderable nobody, only for loving their nation, and speaking in their favor. O God, remember them for good! “That gratitude, and even humanity towards the brute creation, (for the Hebrews neither hunt, shoot, angle, nor horse-course, nor bullfight, cock-fight, &c.,) is a characteristic of Israel, who that reads their Scriptures, their law, their history, can deny? The very reveries of their rabbins in sending Pharaoh’s daughter, soul and body, like Elijah, into heaven, for saving the life of Moses, testify; [and so] the ass that carried Abraham to Mount Moriah, prolonged in life to carry Moses to deliver Israel, and as miraculously preserved to carry the King Messiah to His triumphant reign; Noah’s dove, Elijah’s ravens, Daniel’s lions, and every creature that had done services to Israel, — [all being] put in a place of happiness in the day of the Messiah’s triumph. Even in these rabbinical ideas, how beautiful on the mountains of Israel appear, to the heart that feels, the very wandering feet of erring gratitude!
There is something too wondrous, good-natured, and pitiful, in that notion of theirs, that, during the holy prayers of the synagogue on the Sabbath, the very damned are permitted to come out of hell, and enjoy their Sabbath. And, accordingly, the Jews begin their prayers as soon, and end them as late, as possible; to give even the damned a longer holiday! Now this, I must own, is far kinder than our priests. The Jews prolong their prayers for the lost spirits’ ease, without getting a farthing profit by it. Ours, alas! no penny, no Pater, — no, not for the poor suffering souls, their own brethren, in purgatory! “I remember reading that beautiful passage in Exodus: ‘Moses was fourscore years old when he stood before Pharaoh.’ I observed to the Jew that taught me Hebrew in Paris, Mordecai Ventura, interpreter of Oriental languages at the Royal Library, ‘How admirably Moses gives us to understand that the Most High so long delayed to deliver Israel, that Pharaoh, and she who had reared him up as her son in her father’s palace, might live to a good old age, and die in peace, before Moses was sent to inflict the plagues of Egypt, lest the rod of Moses should be soiled by ingratitude.’ ‘ Observe still more,’ eagerly exclaimed Ventura, ‘when the waters of Egypt were to be smitten and turned into blood, God commands Aaron, not Moses. They had borne him up safely in the bulrushark on their bosom. Could he strike them with a curse? Aaron owed them no debt: he might smite. The same, when the dust of Egypt was to be smitten Aaron was to stretch his hand and smite, — not Moses, whom that land had forty years fed with regal dainties.
Edom is the brother; so is Ishmael: hurt them not. Moab and Ammon, children of Lot: vex them not unprovoked. Thou wast a stranger kindly received at first in Egypt ever remember the benefit, — hate not an Egyptian. Remember the kindness of Jethro: so the Kenite dwelt in Israel. Jesus must needs go through Samaria: there caused He the streams of Jacob’s well, the living, life-giving waters of salvation, to flow to Shechem, to more than repair the murders of Simeon and Levi.” We will make room for another, written to Dr. Clarke on occasion of one of his family-bereavements: — Open and read this letter in some calm, happy moment. It is on a tender subject, and as much as you can bear: more than you could, in a less exalted frame of thought. May the good Spirit of the Most Holy God give healing benediction to a poor Samaritan’s chirurgery! [surgery] Your letter, my dear sir, most forcibly recalls the well-known reply of Aeneas to Dido. Yet, he assured that, so far from seeking to renew your griefs, of the losses that caused them I was totally ignorant, or I had left my good Balmar embalmed in his virtues at Paris. But, since I have brought him over to London in my letter, may we not make some worthy use of him? You say, ‘Had he reared his departed children up to one, two, and five years old, he would have felt very differently.’ Undoubtedly; and the more he felt, the more would those feelings have furnished fire and wood for the burnt-offering. To people in the laborious classes of life in Paris, and more especially when of Balmar and his wife’s serious, domesticated cast of mind, tenderly loving each other, industrious, prospering in their industry, both of them of good natural understanding, cultivated by a plain useful education, improved by religion, and by religion raised to that simplex munditiis of Christian elegance in mind and manners, [with] feelings acutely alive to every fine impulse, and oft times expressed with a refinement of delicacy that would have done honor to a prince, — of which I could give instances: to him and his wife children must have been very desirable; at least a boy, to be the pleasant auxiliary of his labors, the staff of his declining years a girl, the comfort and companion of them both, the nursing-mother of their age, and, with her brother, the joint-inheritor of their substance and virtues. With an if — if God had so pleased, — he and his wife would have been glad their children had lived. God took away all his children — did not leave him one. Yet he not only submitted, but with Abraham’s faith gave them up to God; and, with the tears of a father, could sing nevertheless the song of ascension, <19C201> Psalm 122. “You have lost six children, it is true: but God hath left you six. He took away all, every one of Balmar’s. But half of yours are left; and not one, you own, has yet given you the heart-ache. Had their mother so written, I should have made large allowance for the tenderness of our weaker sex. But you, a man, not only ‘Adam’ but ‘Ish,’ is it thus that you strengthen your wife? — Your lovely Adam, and angel Agnes, I saw them continually in my mind’s eye; and as you pictured the little boy standing at your knee, playing with your watch-chain, at half-past one, in the full light of day, — methinks his action reads this lesson: ‘ Beloved father, as the links of the chain of your watch to your little Adam, so are the things of this lower world, mere toys, and the playthings of a child. As these links, few in number, to number beyond the reach of numbers to express; so are the years of the life of man upon earth, to the countless years of eternity. Yet on these counted years hang the countless years of eternity — attached thereto, as this horologer, [horology, the art of measuring time or making clocks, watches, etc.; the study of this] the recorder of the hours, which we call a watch. Within, closed up in the inward case, therefore unseen, is a moving spring. Its effects are visible in the moved hands on the dial-plate, as they mark the minutes and hours: ere they shall thrice have moved round this dial-plate, time will be no longer measured out to your darling Adam. He will no more be the son of fleeting time, but an heir of eternity.
Weep not, father: whither I go you also shall come. Your infant precursor, whose affections, improved not here through weakness, in heaven will breathe the uncontaminated air of innocence, end, as it were, prepare an unimpeded ascent to your prayers. My father, perhaps I may be permitted to be a ministering spirit of good to my parents and brethren.’ I think, then, how it would grieve your child, while thus employed, to see heart-rending pangs leave his father’s bosom, while his child, more alive than ever, is hovering over him a guardian-angel! And sainted Agnes, — O, could she touch her father’s heart and lips with a burning coal from the altar, and give him a view like that of Isaiah the year that King Uzziah died, both heart and lips would burst forth into joyful praise that God had taken his Agnes to Himself in the beauty and purity of holiness Nay, were she only till the great day in the bosom of Abraham, and heard from that patriarch’s own mouth the narrative of his victory over a father’s feelings, when commanded not only to give up, but to sacrifice, his only and beloved Isaac, not only the son of hope, but the heir of promise, thirty-six years of age, Abraham 136 — no demur, no delay!
O, love henceforward the descendants of such a father, even though he should be of the Ashtarothin’s congregation. For Abraham’s sake tenderly pity them, though encrusted all over with the sufferings of Polunder or German. What people can boast of a father like Abraham, to whom the God of righteous judgment could assign such blessings? — And blessed Miriam, the mother of Yehoshua, stabat, — non recumbens — stabat Mater by the cross of her Son. — These are examples more worthy of imitation than David crying, ‘O Absalom, my son, my son! Yet there was some excuse for his sorrow. His son at least went to the spirits in prison; yours are gone to heaven. Would that we were all there!”
A few detached sentences may be added, from some other letters of this learned and amiable woman to Dr. Clarke. “My mind’s constitution is the reverse of sombre. In my soul’s best moods, I leap as the roebuck over mountains of spices; in its worst, it bursts forth as the volcanoes of Etna and Vesuvius: yet thanks, immortal thanks, to the Almighty, who stilleth the raging of the winds and of the sea!” “Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I mourn, I grieve; not as a slave before his master, but as a child, broken-hearted, to have offended so good a Father; thus to have dishonored my Father’s image and name, and degraded mine own dignity of nature. Yet I sink not hopelessly. ‘Choose life,’ my Father God still says, ‘and live.’ All the commands of God, preceptive or prohibitory, the whole Thorath Adonai, are for man’s benefit; the kind teaching and enlightening of the Wisdom of Eternity, guiding the short-lived child of time in the straight and sure road of everlasting happiness. “ ‘Choose life, and live.’ ‘Thine arm is too short to reach life but thou art free to choose: then only choose life, and I the Lord will bring it to thee.’” “I am persuaded that the history of Job is a real matter of fact.
Have you a mind to read good Father Louis de Grenada’s sermons, in old French, of the days of Charles IX.? There is much sound timber in them, enough to furnish a whole town of modern buildings. “When in your notes you come to Isaac’s blessings to Esau, you will observe how literally they were ratified by God, and will see strong proof that Esau was not abhorred of Him, and how very nobly and lovingly he acted towards his overreaching brother at their meeting; nor did he ever retract from their reconciliation. I beseech you also to point out the just penalties levied on the joint frauds of Rebekah and Jacob. After she sent him to Laban, she never more beheld him: and even she herself disappears; for no further mention is made of her by upright, truth-loving Moses, — no, not so much as of her death, while of only her nurse Deborah is much honoring record.”
In referring to some of the good men for whom Dr. Clarke cherished a personal and peculiar love, we should give the highest place to Mr. Wesley. For him Adam Clarke ever felt the reverence of a disciple, and the sacred affection of a son; and, to his latest days, the memory of tokens of the particular esteem with which that distinguished servant of God had regarded him, yielded a ceaseless consolation and joy.
Among the friends of his early manhood was Andrew Coleman, who had been a schoolfellow with him at Agherton, and afterwards became one of the first-fruits of his ministry, and, like himself, a preacher of the Gospel.
One of the first essays of Adam Clarke’s pen was a memorial of this young evangelist’s short but beautiful career, in which he writes in simple and heart-moving terms of the very tender friendship which subsisted between these two.” He fell asleep in Jesus, June 18th, 1786, aged eighteen years; and soon gained the blessed region where the inhabitant shall no more say, “I am sick.” He had the happiness of seeing his mother and grandmother brought to an acquaintance with the truth before his departure; and his last words to them, as his purified soul prepared to take its flight into the eternal world, were, “Follow me.”
Another of his Irish friends was Alexander Knox, Esq., a gentleman whose name is well known in the literary and ecclesiastical circles of both islands, as an elegant theological scholar, and a man of influence in the Church of England. He was a most intimate friend of the late Bishop Jebb. His parents were Methodists, and he himself was a devoted admirer of Wesley, whose principles on experimental religion found a deep response in his heart, and kept him, in later years, from going further than he evidently would have otherwise gone, into that semi-Romish Utopia where so many churchmen in our day have wandered to no profit.
In Samuel Drew, the Cornish metaphysician, the Lord gave to the juvenile ministry of Mr. Clarke a convert who will indeed shine in his “crown of rejoicing” in the day of Christ. Drew soon became a preacher, and his father in the Gospel was, not a little proud of him in that capacity. His high opinion of him, as an expositor of the truth in the pulpit, was frequently expressed in terms of characteristic warmth. The sanctified life and useful labors of this Christian philosopher were ever contemplated by his friend with an apostolic triumph. “These two” also are made eternally one in spirit, through Him who redeemed them, converted them, employed them in His service, and hath now glorified them together.
Of the Rev. John Pawson we have spoken before. Methodism in her traditions has placed him among her saints. Between him and Dr. Clarke there grew up a friendship which never died. The last act of Pawson was to write these words: “Wakefield, Friday, March 28th, 1806. O, my Adam, my most affectionately beloved and esteemed friend and brother, for whom God knoweth I ever had a sincere regard, but now tenfold more than ever, — what I have experienced of the power, goodness, unmerited mercy and love of God, during this affliction, is not to be described. O, the soul-transporting views of that heavenly felicity with which my soul hath been favored Praise the Name of the Lord with me, and for me; and tell all my beloved London friends, that John Pawson dies a witness of the saving power of those precious truths which have been taught, and believed, and experienced among us from the beginning.”
A veteran of the same stamp was the Rev. James Creighton, one of the clergymen of the Establishment who adhered to Mr. Wesley, and took part in the Methodist ministry; a man of learning, and of useful life both in the pulpit and the press. His last testimony also occurs in a letter to Dr. Clarke: “I am endeavoring to weather out the last storms of life, hoping ere long to gain the port at last. I have had a pretty rough passage of it, all the way; but I am fully convinced that it was best so, and that the repose will be the sweeter when we get to the haven where we would be. ‘O, what is death? ‘Tis life’s last shore, Where vanities are vain no more; Where all pursuits their goal obtain, And life is all retouch’d again.’
Mr Richard Mabyn, of Camelford, at whose house Mr. Clarke in his Cornish days found a pleasant home, had in him a loving and devoted friend. When each had become a much older man, Dr. Clarke, in one of his letters to Mr. Mabyn, writes thus: “I may say that but few hours together have elapsed since the year 1784, in which I have not thought of you and my most affectionate mother Mabyn; and I have never thought of you without a blessed mixture of gratitude to my benefactor, reverence to my teacher, warm affection to my parent, and delight to my friend.”
Joseph Carne, Esq., F.R.S., of Penzance, as well as his venerable father, William Carne, Esq., had a high place in the esteem of Dr. Clarke, both for the great debt which the cause of Methodism owes to those gentlemen in the West of Cornwall, and for the scientific, religious, and social eminence of a family at whose house the Doctor in his occasional visits always found a most congenial sojourn. Of the late Mr. Exley, of Bristol, the brother-in-law and friend of Dr. Clarke, I can scarcely trust myself to begin to write, lest the terms which the feelings of my heart dictate should wear the injurious look of exaggeration. He was a man admirable not only for acuteness of intellect, and profound mathematical and scientific research, but for simplicity of character, benevolence of feeling, and sanctity of life. He wrote several works in the higher branches of science; and an exposition of the first chapter of Genesis, in which he seeks to harmonize the Mosaic history of the Creation with the conclusions of modern geology. To the Methodists in Bristol, among whom he had been a member, leader, and local preacher for half a century, growing in grace, and turning many to righteousness, the death of Thomas Exley was like the going out of a lamp in the temple of God.
The name of another inestimable brother-in-law of Dr. Clarke, Mr. Butterworth, — for many years member of Parliament, for Coventry and for Dover, highly respected by men in the first ranks, — has already appeared with frequency in the foregoing pages. In him the country lost a faithful servant, the church a faithful member, and the poor a faithful friend. Take an instance: One day in each week he received at his own house the applications of such as needed pecuniary relief, or advice in their exigencies [urgent needs, emergencies]. His servant, on being once asked how many petitioners he had on that day admitted, answered, “Nearly a hundred.” Into these cases Mr. Butterworth entered, in order to make his charities at once discriminating and efficient. The religious and social character of this good man is ably unfolded in a Funeral Sermon by the Rev. Richard Watson, preached at Great Queen-street chapel, on the words of St. Paul, Galatians 1:24: “And they glorified God in me.”
The Rev. Henry Moore must also be mentioned as one of Dr. Clarke’s early companions, and as his counselor too; a fellowlaborer with him in the same ministry for fifty years, and also the sorrowing friend who committed at last his remains to the grave. I may state it as a noticeable fact, that Mr. Moore performed the funeral solemnities over five members of the family. He buried the Doctor himself, in 1832; Mrs. Clarke, in 1836; one of their sons, and two of their grandchildren, in 1840, — himself being then in the eighty-eighth year of his age.
That eminent Greek scholar, the late Hugh Stuart Boyd, Esq., stood related to Dr. Clarke, not only by consanguinity [having common ancestors; kinship], but by a cordial sympathy of disposition, and, so far as learning is regarded, of employment and pursuit, as well. In classical and patristic erudition [learning] he was second to few of his contemporaries. He was remarkable for the strength of what may be called a verbal memory, which he well improved by enriching his mind with choice passages of the sacred and classic writers. I have now on my desk a memorandum dictated by himself, entitled “The Number of Lines which I can repeat:” namely, — “Greek prose: Septuagint, 30; Greek Testament, 120; Gregory Nazianzen, 1,860; Basil, 460; Chrysostom, 640; Gregory Nyssen, 15; Methodius, 35; Heliodoros, 30; a few passages of heathen writers, 90. Total of Greek prose, 3,280. — Greek verse: Greg. Naz. Carmina, 1,310; Synesii Hyroni, 156; Homer, 330; Aeschylus, 1,800; Sophocles, 430; Euripides, 350; Pindar, 90; Melea ger, 83; Bion, 91; Moschus, 120; Poem in Life of Plotinus, 10. Total of Greek verse, 4,770. — I cannot repeat many hundred lines in one consecutive series. The longest passage of prose which I can repeat is 322 lines; the longest of verse, 270 lines. “If I keep the passages from the Septuagint and New Testament for Sundays, and repeat the rest on week-days, they will occupy four weeks, if I repeat about 327 lines a day. The lines from Aeschylus are equal to more than one-fifth of the whole of his Tragedies now extant.”
Mr. Boyd published two volumes of translations, consisting of passages from the most eloquent of the Fathers, especially Chrysostom, Basil, and Nazianzen. He also wrote a dissertation on the Greek Article, especially viewed in its use in passages of the New Testament which have a bearing on the grand truth of the Godhead of Christ. The piece is inserted in Dr. Clarke’s Commentary, at the end of the Epistle to the Ephesians: though we may just remark that the learned commentator himself had no great faith in what may he called the grammatico-theological doctrine of the Greek Article.
Mr. Boyd suffered in his latter years from loss of sight; but Divine mercy had so blessedly enlightened the eyes of his mind as to enable him to see and love Him who is invisible. He had those qualities of character which attracted friendships and kept them inviolate. His blindness is the theme of a sonnet by Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who studied Greek under Mr. Boyd’s tuition; and with what effect, her spirited translation of the “Prometheus Bound” will testify. There is another sonnet in the same volume, occasioned by the death of Mr. Boyd in 1848; in which she sings of the feelings excited by some tokens of friendship he bequeathed to her. “Three gifts the Dying left me, — Aeschylos, And Gregory Nazianzen, and a clock, Chiming the gradual hours out like a flock Of stars whose motion is melodious. The books were those I used to read from,thus Assisting my dear Teacher’s soul to unlock The darkness of his eyes. Now mine they mock, Blinded in turn by tears! Now murmurous Sad echoes of my young voice years agone, Entoning from these leaves the Grecian phrase, Return, and choke my utterance. Books, lie down In silence on the shelf within my gaze; And thou, clock, striking the hour’s pulses on, Chime in the day which ends these parting days.”
Another literary friend of Dr. Clarke, Mr. Charles Fox, we have already had occasion to mention, With that accomplished person, when resident in Bristol, he passed many a profitable hour, in the cultivation of those Eastern studies with which they had both become enamored; and when each had removed from that locality, they still corresponded for mutual help. Nor was Mr. Clarke’s communication with his friend without a most beneficial religious, as well as intellectual, fruitage; as it tended to confirm his somewhat wavering mind in the truth of the Gospel, and to lead him to seek and find the salvation of God. Mr. Fox was the author of an extensive poem called “Leila and Mejnoon,” written after the manner of the Persian poet Hafiz. This, together with several other manuscripts, came into Mr. Clarke’s care after the death of the author.
With these and many others, whose names, if recorded here, would swell into a long and sad necrology [a list of recently dead people], Dr. Clarke lived in those beneficial intercourses which gave a solace to their earthly life, and helped to fit them for a heavenly one.
Dr. Clarke’s was a friendly heart, kind and considerate. He wished to avoid giving offence to anyone, as much as in him lay, and was pained at the thought of having possibly done it inadvertently. Here is an instance: — he had been to the Isle of Wight, and, during a short sojourn at West Cowes, the guest of Mr. Charles Pinhorn, a worthy gentleman who is now almost the only surviving relict of the first generation of Methodists in the island, Mr. Pinhorn, being in London shortly after, sought an interview with the Doctor, but was unable to see him except for a few minutes in the vestry of Lambeth chapel before Dr. Clarke went into the pulpit. The following extract of a letter he received shortly after from the Doctor will illustrate our remark: — “My Dear Sir, — I wish there may be no mistake in our meeting last Sabbath at Lambeth. When I came down into the vestry after preaching, I looked about to see you; but, not finding you, I asked some of the friends, ‘Did they know whether Mr. Pinhorn, of the Isle of Wight, who was in the vestry when I first entered it this morning, had left the chapel?’ They said they did not know. ‘ Will you look into the chapel and see?’ One and other said they did not know him. I waited several minutes, but no appearance of Mr. Pinhorn. I was vexed, because I wished to speak to you; and I thought my apparently distant manner might have given you offence. The truth is, I hardly speak to any person before I enter the pulpit. I generally feel the work much on my mind, and avoid as much as possible speaking even to my most intimate friends, till I come down from the pulpit. If, therefore, there appeared in me any slight or neglect towards you, put it far away from your mind, for I assure you it had no existence; and this letter, written simply on the subject, is a proof that nothing of the kind was either in the intention or the feeling. I do not know that I have ever been in any strange place for these many years, in which I was so well pleased with the affectionate respect that was paid me as in West Cowes You have been once, I am informed, at my house, when I happened to be on a journey. If you ever come near the place again, and will spend a night with us, and look about you, I shall be glad to see you.”
The frequent removals to which a Methodist minister is liable, broke in upon the continuity of personal converse, but never obliterated the image of a friend from his heart. When, journeying, he revisited an old Circuit, he improved every hour in reviving the feelings of the ‘auld lang syne” at the homes and hearths which memory had rendered sacred; and some of his letters to Mrs. Clarke, written at those times, are crowded with the details of these rapid and numerous visits. His friendships had the seal of perpetuity; and with few men have there been so small a number of exceptions. When such did occur, they grieved his generous mind. But these cases were rare: the love which grew up between Adam Clarke and those who were worthy of his affection, proved itself stronger than the storms of life, or the tides of death; and those of the number who still survive him cherish the memory of the words and acts by which that love was expressed, among the most sacred treasures of the heart.