About the period to which we have now brought down our narrative, Dr. Clarke received a letter from a gentleman in Sunderland, offering objections to some of the opinions expressed in his Commentary, and begging him to" consider them when he could spare an hour." From the Doctor's answer, we learn how entirely his time was occupied by his biblical pursuits, and to what point it was that his correspondent had solicited his attention. "You wish me," he observes, "to 'consider your objections when I can spare an hour.' Then I shall never consider them; for, were I to live for thirty or forty years to come, I have work now furnished for every minute of that time." But, as we have remarked before, Dr. Clarke was always prompt in answering letters, notwithstanding the pressure of his immediate engagements; and, accordingly, we find the following reply to his unknown correspondent:-- "I scarcely have ever seen a treatise on the Divine Nature, that does not make the Being God, a necessitated agent of his own attributes. This is a fault, which, I have told the author of the Views of the Trinity, runs through his whole book. Before I can admit anything of this kind, my mind must so change that its moral texture and mode of apprehension must be widely different to what they now are. I am sorry that I cannot quite agree with so sensible a man as you are; but my mind feels the same satisfaction in viewing the analogy between the power and wisdom of God it ever did; and to me the conclusion is as bright as a meridian unclouded sun; and, till I was enabled satisfactorily to entertain those views, I had nothing on the subject, but painful uncertainty, doubt, and darkness. I have entertained those views for about thirty years; and have often thought that I had reason to bless God for them. I quarrel with no man; and I always strive, both in writing and conversation, to avoid controversy. I propose my own views of truth in as simple a manner as I can; but never in a controversial way. This you, no doubt, have noticed in my Comment. I am not fond of novelty. If my understanding and conscience oblige me at any time to dissent from commonly received modes of thinking and speaking, I ever do it with hesitancy, and not seldom with pain. I must follow such light as I have, or sin against my conscience; and my prayer to God and my desire to men are, What I know not, that teach me!"
As might have been expected, the opinions expressed by Dr. Clarke, both on this subject, and on other abstruse points of theology, gained converts among his brethren; but, by the dominant party, they were conceived to be dangerous heresies, and those who adopted them have been uniformly treated with suspicion, and sometimes have had reason to complain of persecution. Without pretending to decide the differences between the Clarkites, as those have been called who adopted the peculiar sentiments of the subject of this memoir, and their opponents, we venture to declare our belief, that it would have been far more politic, not to say more Christian, on the part of the latter, to allow the former the liberty of thinking, than it was to oblige them to recant, or, at least, to suppress their opinions, on pain of expulsion from the Connection. Until the millennial age has dawned upon the church, it will be utterly vain to attempt to preserve a strict uniformity of opinion in so large a body of men as the Wesleyan-Methodist preachers. Besides being impracticable, the attempt is sinful. God has left each man accountable for the use of his own faculties of every kind; and he who dares to fetter another in their use, since he cannot release him from his responsibility, is obviously counteracting the Divine purposes. In this, as well as in many other respects, the followers of Mr. Wesley would have done well to adhere to his principles; for, when he proposed an open, avowed union among ministers of the Gospel, whether in the Church or out of it, he thought it sufficient that they who united should "preach those fundamental truths, original sin, and justification by faith, producing inward and outward holiness," wisely leaving every man to form his own opinion on metaphysical subtleties. Indeed, he was not in a condition to make any stricter proposition; and, though it is understood that any one of the preachers who bear his name may propound any sentiment contained in his Notes on the New Testament, yet, if such a one were to insist upon the notions that he found there concerning the second coming of Christ, it is exceedingly doubtful that he would be permitted to continue to do so.
In 1822, Dr. Clarke was honored with the notice of the Duke of Sussex, a distinguished patron of learning and science, and himself a scholar of no mean attainments, especially in biblical literature. Bishop Walton finished his Polyglott during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, to whom he dedicated it in an epistle; but, the Protector dying almost immediately after it was printed, the prudent bishop suppressed that dedication, and substituted one addressed to Charles II., to whom, by the way, a volume of obscene verse would have been much more acceptable. Some, however, of the republican copies of the great work had got into circulation, and one of them descended into the possession of Dr. Clarke. To accommodate other collectors less fortunate (for such copies were much sought after), he printed four impressions of the epistle to the Protector, staining the paper to the color of the original. He also supplied his own and other copies of the Polyglott with sets of titles, articles in which all the volumes but the first were strangely deficient. These bibliomaniac doings reached the ears of the Duke of Sussex, who, through his surgeon, Mr. Blair, who was an old friend of Dr. Clarke, applied for one of the copies of the republican dedication; and the Doctors thought himself happy in being able to accommodate his Royal Highness by sending him his only remaining copy with a set of titles. The presentation of these rarities was acknowledged by a condescending request that Dr. Clarke would "honor" the Royal Duke with a visit, when next he came to town.
Being in London in May, 1822, Dr. Clarke received a special invitation from the Duke of Sussex to dine with him at Kensington Palace. The following is his own account of his reception by that illustrious person, as given in a letter to his daughter:-- "I was received by his Royal Highness in his closet, and was led by himself through his library, where he showed me several curious things, and condescended to ask me several bibliographical questions, desiring his Librarian from time to time to note the answers down as 'curious and important.' The dinner came. The company was select: his Royal Highness, Dr. Parr, the highest Greek scholar in Europe, Sir Anthony Carlisle, the Rev. T. Maurice, of the British Museum, the Honorable Gower, the Honorable Colonel Wildman, Sir Alexander Johnstone, Lord Blessington, T. J. Pettigrew, Esq., and Adam Clarke. We sat down about seven o'clock, and dinner was over about half-past nine; after which the tables were drawn, and all retired to the Pavilion, where tea and coffee were served about eleven. At dinner I was pledged by his Royal Highness, Dr. Parr, Colonel Wildman, and others, and managed so well, having made the Honorable Gower, who sat at the foot of the table, my confidant, as not to drink more than two glasses of wine, though the bottles went round many times. I wished much to get away, though the conversation was to me unique, curious, and instructive, fearing your mother would be uneasy respecting my safety. I was informed I must remain till all the company had departed, which was about twelve o'clock, When they were all gone, the Duke sat down on his sofa, and beckoned me to come and sit down beside him, on his right hand; and he entered, for a considerable time, into a most familiar conversation with me. At last a servant, in the royal livery, came to me, saying, 'Sir, the carriage is in waiting.' I rose up, and his Royal Highness rose at the same time, took me affectionately by the hand, told me I must come and visit him some morning when he was alone, which time should be arranged between me and his secretary, bade me a friendly ' good night;' and I was then conducted, by the servant, to the door of the palace; where, lo and behold, one of the royal carriages was in waiting, to carry a Methodist preacher, your old weather-beaten father, to his own lodgings. Thus ended a day of singular event in the life of Adam Clarke, and which I shall ever remember with pleasing recollections."
Before the conclusion of this year, Dr. Clarke prayed the royal Duke's acceptance of nineteen parts of his Commentary, which he transmitted together with an interesting letter, detailing the progress of the work from its very commencement. His Royal Highness acknowledged the gift in an autograph letter, which does honor to his name. It is as follows
" DEAR Sir, Had I not been seriously indisposed for some time, long before this you would have heard from me: an illness of upwards of six weeks has hitherto rendered me incapable of doing any thing, except of feeling grateful to you for a most interesting letter, as well as for the most valuable present which you could have bestowed upon me.
"Your precious work is already carefully placed in my library; and, as soon as I return to Kensington Palace, it will afford me infinite satisfaction to study and diligently to examine its contents, which I cannot do so profitably at this place.
"It is with the Almighty alone, who knoweth the hearts and most inward thoughts of every one of his creatures, to recompense with everlasting grace, your great exertions and activity in expounding and publishing the Divine truths to the world at large. That this will be the case, I have no doubt; and I most fervently pray, that, when it may please the omnipotent Disposer of all human events to call you hence, that you may then receive a more durable and adequate reward for your labors than in this mortal and transitory world I fear you are now likely to attain. We miserable inhabitants of this terrestrial globe, are, however, capable at least of judging and estimating your mental and physical exertions in this great cause; and I, for one, can assure you that I feel most thankful to you for having selected me as a witness of your diligence, assiduity, and perseverance, in this godlike work, by the presentation to me of a copy of your voluminous work, the produce of the fruits of your industry. This kind distinction, believe me, is not thrown away upon one who is either insensible to the compliment, or ignorant of the value of the gift; and most faithfully do I promise to read, consult, and meditate, upon your faithful, luminous, and elaborate explanations of the Sacred Book. As far as I have presumed to dive into, and to occupy myself with, the holy volumes, I feel satisfied of their Divine origin and truth; but that they contain likewise more matters than any one, and myself in particular, can ever aspire fully to understand. This belief ought, however, in no wise to slacken our diligence, nor damp our ardor in attempting a constant research after the attainment of knowledge and of truth, as we may flatter ourselves, although unable to reach the goal, still to approach much nearer to its portals; which, of itself, is a great blessing, as I am convinced, that, if we only follow strictly the rules and regulations contained in the Scriptures for the guidance of our conduct in this world, we may present ourselves (although aware of our own unworthiness) before the Divine throne with a confident hope of forgiveness, from the knowledge we acquire therein of his mercy to all truly penitent sinners.
"Thus far, I boldly state that I think; but I do not venture to enter upon, or to burden myself with, what are commonly designated as dogmas, and which in my conscience I believe for the most part, if not entirely, are human inventions, and not exerted for purposes, or from motives, of Christian charity. I am, therefore, determined to keep my mind calm upon such topics, and to remain undisturbed and unbewildered by them: I am persuaded that their adoption is not necessary for salvation. 'This I say, wishing, at the same time that I am making this honest declaration, not to be thought a Freethinker; which imputation I would indignantly repel; not to pass for a person indifferent about religion, which God knows I consider, if Christianly, I mean most charitably, observed, to be the greatest blessing to mankind in general, and of the utmost importance to my own comfort and happiness in this world, as well as to my hopes in futurity.
"These objects, besides many others which seem to have occupied the greatest and most valuable part of your active life, cannot fail of being most interesting to the historian, the theologist, the legislator, and the philosopher. From all these details the mind will undoubtedly derive rich sources of information wherewith to make researches, and thence to ground deductions. To these I shall assiduously apply myself when retired in my closet; and, as my heart and mind improve, I shall feel my debt of gratitude towards you daily increasing, an obligation I shall ever be proud to own; and with which sentiment I have the pleasure to conclude, signing myself, dear Sir,
"Your sincerely obliged, and truly devoted, "AUGUSTUS FREDERICK." "Bognor, December 24, 1822."
Of this admirable letter, a periodical critic did not speak too highly when he said of it, "Perhaps it is unequaled in the annals of royalty. If any where it is approached, it must be in the letters of MatthŠus Corvinus, the learned King of Hungary, and patron of the learned men of Europe. It concerns every one to know that there are such men near the Throne." It must be admitted, however, that the royal Duke is not very clear in his distinction between what may be rejected as the dogmas of men, and what it is imperative to believe. The notice of this worthy Prince, honorable as it was, could not compensate Dr. Clarke for the loss of some of his older friends, who, it would appear, from the following passage in one of his letters, had about this period deserted him:-- "I can say I never formed a friendship which I broke. My list of friends has not a blot in it. Some of them, it is true, have slunk away; some seem to have hurried off; and others stand at a great distance. But 1 have made no erasure in my list; and when they choose to return, it can never appear, by reinsertion, that they have proved false to their friend or have been careless about him."
In July, 1822, Dr. Clarke was chosen President of the Methodist Conference, sitting in London. This was the third time that distinction had been conferred upon him, a circumstance as yet unique in the annals of Methodism, excepting that Mr. Wesley always presided in the annual assembly of his preachers. On this occasion, the subject of the Methodist Missions in general, and of the Home Missions particularly, was much discussed, especially those of the Sister Kingdom, of Scotland, including the Hebrides, Orkneys, &c. This discussion led to farther details, in reference to the Shetland Isles, which were ascertained to be nearly destitute of spiritual instruction. The case was entered into by the late Dr. McAllum, a preacher, and the son of a preacher, a physician of considerable skill, and an able minister of the New Testament, who died prematurely in a work to which his physical constitution was not equal. During the detail, Dr. Clarke was so deeply interested, that, immediately on its conclusion, he warmly advised that two missionaries should be sent over to the Shetland Islands. His suggestion was adopted; and the next consideration was, how were means to be provided? This difficulty was promptly overcome by his energy and influence. On his return from the Conference, he wrote strongly and importunately to Mr. Robert Scott, of Pensford; and that gentleman at once offered ˙100 a year, for the support of a missionary to Shetland, and ˙10 towards every chapel that should be built, besides handsome donations from Mrs. Scott, and her sister, Miss Granger, of Bath, to which Mr. Scott ever added an extra sum beyond his regularly stipulated subscription. To these handsome contributions were added others, from Certain ladies, personal friends of Dr. Clarke. The preachers appointed by Conference as missionaries were Messrs. Samuel Dunn and John Raby. Previously to their setting off, at Dr. Clarke's request, they visited him at Millbrook, where he conversed with them at large on the subject of their mission. A Scotch gentleman, who was on a visit to Millbrook at the same time, kindly and willingly gave them letters of Introduction to merchants of Edinburgh. These, on being presented, were exchanged for others to several of the principal merchants at Lerwick; and thus they gained a ready and respectable entrance upon the work which lay before them. The Conference had instructed Messrs. Raby and Dunn to correspond regularly and particularly with Dr. Clarke. They soon found favor in the sight of the people; and, by their instrumentality, many hundreds were brought to a saving knowledge of God. The cottages soon became too small to hold the hearers; and, from the nature of the climate, and the Islands being almost perpetually the abode of storms, it was impossible to preach out of doors. Thus places for public worship were loudly called for, in this difficulty, Dr. Clarke had once more recourse to the influence he had over individuals and the benevolent public; nor did he labor in vain. Individuals came liberally forward; and, wherever he went, he pleaded the cause of Shetland, and in process of time many chapels were raised. It was part of his plan not to leave the smallest debt upon any of them, nor did he ever practically deviate from this resolve.
We cannot help pausing here, to express our deep regret, that the brethren of Dr. Clarke did not, from the first, adopt and adhere to this excellent principle. It is appalling to think of the tremendous debt upon the chapels settled according to the Conference plan; and it is difficult to conceive by what means the preachers can bring themselves, not merely to countenance, but even to advocate the erection of expensive buildings in different parts of the Kingdom, while so oppressive a burden weighs down the shoulders of unfortunate trustees. The whole chapel system needs revision. In a publication already quoted, we find the following account of the state of things on this subject in 1821; and, when we inform the reader that the burden, has continually increased from that time to this, he may form some notion of its present appalling amount, which, if stated in figures, would almost exceed belief:-- "Our shoulders are fairly peeled with the tremendous weight of chapel debts! Dissenters of other denominations stand aghast, as they occasionally hear of the debt on this or that particular chapel. Our trustees have, many of them, been unwarily drawn into their present hazardous situation, by the plausible representations of the traveling preachers. Often as they have ventured to express their fears, they have been ridiculed, and reproached with the littleness of their faith. Still they do entertain most serious apprehensions. Some fear that their own family concerns will be involved by their responsibility. Most perceive that the interest paid for the moneys borrowed, will double or treble the original cost, before the leases are expired. As to the principal being paid off, that seems to be quite out of the question. Many good regulations have been made in Conference, in reference to this point. 'Let great caution,' say the preachers, 'be used as to multiplying chapels, which load the Societies with heavy debts, greater than they can bear, and require an increase of preachers to supply them.' Again, 'Let no chapel be built, but where it is absolutely necessary, and where two-thirds of the expense are subscribed.' How is it that legislators are such unfaithful expositors of their own enactments? Why do they promote the erection of magnificent buildings, as theaters for the display of their talents, at the expense of simplicity, frugality, and honor? Why do we suffer them to lay these heavy burdens on our shoulders, which they either cannot, or will not, move with one of their fingers?" It certainly behooves the Connection, if it cannot retrace its steps, to be more cautious for the future. How can it be expected that order and contentment should prevail in the Societies, while the preachers, as a body, exhibit so much forgetfulness of their own regulations?
In December, 1822, that part of the country in which Dr. Clarke lived, was visited by a dreadful storm, which did much damage, and in some instances destroyed life. Dr. Clarke wrote an account of this hurricane as it visited his dwelling, which account, though rather long, contains too much that is characteristic to be omitted:-- In the evening, about eight o'clock, I went into the garden, and observed a remarkable halo about Jupiter. I came in, and mentioned it to your mother and sister. I told them that it portended a storm; for this phenomenon is not common. At half-past nine I went into the study, and found that the mercury in the barometer had suddenly fallen from Changeable to Rain, nearly a whole inch. I then took it for granted that we should have a hurricane. Being ill of a cold, I went up to bed. About ten it began very violently, and actually rocked the bed under me. I rose and dressed myself completely, as I knew hurried-on clothes would shortly be of little use. By the time I got down to the study, I found two of the maids, a work-woman, Bill, mother, and sister, all pushing with might and main against the shutters, as the windows themselves had been stove in by the tempest. I procured boards to hold against the shutters; folded cloaks, hearth-rugs, &c., round the shivering women, and then hastened to the bed-room above the study; for by this time that window was split. I saw nothing could be done there; but I gathered some glasses, &c., out of the way, and then was obliged to abandon that room to its fate. I then returned to the study, which seemed the principal point of attack, and, with excessive exertion, succeeded in securing the shutters, by the agency of boards, shelves, and four pitch forks, stuck in different places in the shutters, and their shafts secured to the floor by strong nails. A little after twelve o'clock a tremendous crash was heard without. We expected the chimneys had given way; and we knew not what moment we might be dashed to pieces by their fall through the roof and floors. A little before one o'clock, the mercury began to rise in the barometer; and I then announced to our poor exhausted family, that the storm would soon abate. About two its fury was lessened, but not so much as to allow any of us to leave our posts. About four some of us got to bed, the rest keeping watch all night. God preserved all our lives: but what a spectacle did daylight present! The lead on the chapel and the cottages was wrapped up like a scroll, and everywhere torn up; the privet-hedge in the garden partly rooted out of the ground; and thirteen yards of the parapet stones, in front of the roof, torn from their bases; the iron cramps, which connected them, twisted out as if they had been threads; and the stones themselves, some one hundred, and some two hundred, pounds weight each, laid separately flat on the slates of the roof of the house. Seven yards of the same parapet, at the lower end of the house, were taken off by the same blast, and dashed into the orchard, some of which had, by their weight, and the force of their fall, sunk into the earth a foot deep. Had the stones in the front made their way through the roof, as they were exactly above our heads, where we were endeavoring to secure the study window, to keep the house from being blown up, then your mother, sister, the maids, Bill, the needle- woman, and myself, must have infallibly been dashed to pieces, as it was exactly over our heads. Glory be to God for an escape so signal! This was the crash we heard. Had we known what it was, what would have been our dismay and expectation!"
On the 4th of January, 1823, Dr. Clarke was elected a member of the Geological Society of London; and, in: the following month, he became an original member of the. Royal Asiatic Society, at the instance of his friend, Sir Alexander Johnstone, the founder.
In March of this year, he was consulted by his friend, Mr. Thomas Smith, the Dissenting Minister, to whom he addressed the following letter:-- "Bodies of divinity I do most heartily dislike: they tend to supersede the Bible; and, independently of this, they are exceedingly dangerous. They often give false notions, bring their own kind of proofs to confirm those notions, and, by their mode of quoting insulated texts of Scripture, greatly pervert the true meaning of the word of God. This is my opinion of them: the ministers who preach from them fill the heads of their hearers with systematic knowledge.
As to your request, that I would recommend you a proper system of divinity, or let you have any one I may have drawn up for myself, you will at once see what answer it is likely to have. I know of none that I could conscientiously recommend, and I never made one for myself. The only thing like this which I ever did, was, the principles deduced from the Holy Scriptures, which I drew up for the use of the Buddhist priests, and which you will find in the little tract called Clavis Biblica.
The only preaching worth any thing, in God's account, and which the fire will not burn up, is that which labors to convict and convince the sinner of his sin, to bring him into contrition for it, to convert him from it; to lead him to the blood of the covenant, that his conscience may be purged from its guilt, -- to the spirit of judgment and burning, that he may be purified from its infection, -and then to build him up on this most holy faith, by causing him to pray in the Holy Ghost, and keep himself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. This is the system pursued by the Apostles; and it is that alone which God will own to the conversion of sinners. I speak from the experience of nearly fifty years in the public ministry of the word. This is the most likely mode to produce the active soul of divinity, while the body is little else than the preacher's creed. Labor to bring sinners to God, should you by it bring yourself to the grave. Avoid paraphrasing a whole book or epistle in a set of discourses: it is tedious, and often produces many sleepers. I have often thought God designed you for an itinerant preacher, a current flame of fire. You can bear with me: though a Methodist, I love you full as well as any of your Calvinistic friends either can or do."
By virtue of his office as President of the Wesleyan-Methodist Conference, he went over to Dublin, to preside over the deliberation of the Irish preachers, taking Scotland in his way. His journal of this tour shows that nothing worthy of notice escaped his observant and penetrating eye. A view of the monument to Robert Burns, erected in his native town, Dumiries, gave rise to the following just reflections -- "His country suffered him to continue in such contracted circumstances, as to render him accessible to persons of a low and profligate course of life, and thus fostered habits which shortened his life, and eventually cut off a man of such native, unforced genius, full of true wit and benevolent feeling; a poet who sketched nature with the hand of a master and, by his inimitable descriptions, causing the rural and rude customs of his country to live through all succeeding generations. Scotland must ever feel with regret, that she neglected a man who is her boast and her; honor!"
Among the objects in Edinburgh which attracted his attention, was Nelson's monument, "built," as he observes, "on the edge of a moldering, rocky precipice. Immense portions of the rock are now in a state of decomposition and almost entire detachment from the rest; and there is no apparent solidity in any part. I should not wonder, if, in less than fifty years, the monument and its foundation were precipitated down the hill."
It is disputed whether the honor of having been the scene of Allan Ramsay's famous pastoral, the Gentle Shepherd, belongs to the banks of the Logan, or to those of the North Esk. Dr. Clarke visited the former, and, after a most painful journey and fatiguing search, returned, fully convinced that this was not the country described by the poet. He had no time to make researches on the Esk.
Concerning Edinburgh, which he admits to be " the finest city in the world," he remarks, " It is only in reference to its external appearance, that the mind is fully satisfied. When you look into the houses, the shops, the streets, either for their furniture, or their merchandise, or for even persons or equipage suitable to the grandeur of the buildings, you are utterly disappointed. Every thing appears out of proportion with these majestic edifices; and must either be passed by unheeded; or, if noticed at all, it must be with dissatisfaction."
On proceeding to Glasgow, he was welcomed to the house of Mr. James Swords, a gentleman whose mode of conducting family worship he thus describes:-- First, the bell is rung, and all the members of the family and domestics assemble; secondly, a Bible, and version of the Psalms in the old Scottish poetry, are. put into the hands of each person; thirdly, Mr. Swords then announces, We shall begin the worship of God, by singing such a part, or such a psalm; fourthly, when he has said this, he rises, and all the family with him, and he then offers up a short prayer for Divine assistance and influence during their religious exercise; fifthly, they all sit down, and Mr. Swords, having again an announced the psalm, reads over the part intended to be sung, gives out the first two lines, raises the tune, and then the whole verses are sung uninterruptedly to the end; sixthly, he then proposes the chapter that is to be read, and each turns to it; seventhly, he reads the two or three first verses, the next person to him the same number, and so on, through the whole circle, till the chapter is finished, after which he reads Mr. Scott's Notes on the whole; eighthly, a solemn prayer then concludes the service, after which breakfast or supper is served. This sort of solemn set form has nothing in it objectionable, and suits the genius of the Scottish people; but the reading the portions of Scripture alternately, appears to me to have too much of the school form about it, and causes the master of the family not to, appear so sufficiently as God's priest in the public worship of his own house, as to me it appears he should look; but this may be but a small objection."
The following remarks are curious:-- "It appears to me, that, by the public ministry of the word of life, there is a greater likelihood of its doing good in Glasgow than in Edinburgh. Here the people are more employed, and there are more public works, in which a vast population is engaged; and I have ever found, that true religion produces the greatest effect, where the people are employed in regular labor. In Edinburgh, there are no public works; and the people are more dissipated."
On reaching Belfast, Dr. Clarke found the Wesleyan-Methodist Society in a disturbed and an uneasy state. A meeting was convened, at which, he observes, "On one proposing the question to me, Is Methodism now what it has been?" I answered it in a way very different from what was, I believe, expected and intended by it,
No! It is more rational, more stable, more consistent, more holy, more useful to the community, and a greater blessing to the world at large: and all this I found no difficulty in proving." This may be doubted.
He visited the church in which he was baptized, and examined the tombstones of several members of his family in the adjoining yard. The following are his reflections:-- "Here he several of my ancestors, and I go to lie, most probably, in another land, and shall not, in all likelihood, be gathered to my fathers: but I, too, shall be found when all the quick and dead stand before the Lord; and, wheresoever my dust may be scattered, the voice of the Lord shall call it together, and I shall stand in my lot, at the end of the days. May I then be found of him in peace, without spot, and without blame, and have an entrance into the holiest through the blood of Jesus!"
Entering the church, he continues, "I went within the communion rails. With silent solemnity and awe, I there, in the presence of Him whose I am, and whom I serve, mentally, and in a deep spirit of prayer, took upon myself those vows which had so long before been, in my name, and on my behalf, made by my sponsors."
He was much solicited to spend a day at Maghera with some of his former friends and school-fellows; but, as it was necessary that he should push on towards Dublin, he declined the pleasing invitation. A few hours, as he afterwards learned, after he had quitted the place, it was strongly attacked by the Ribbonmen, and, after a stiff conflict with the few Protestant families in it, was ultimately taken. Several were killed, and many more wounded. "Had we remained," says the Doctor, "which we were disposed to do, very probably we had been among the first victims of these desperate men."
Ireland was, at this period, in an exceedingly disturbed state; and the whole of the South had been placed under the Insurrection Act. The roads were, patrolled by soldiery; and it was found necessary that the mails should each be attended by two guards, both well armed. A journey to Cork forming a part of Dr. Clarke's plan, it became a question among his brethren, whether, under the circumstances stated, he ought to perform it. "The preachers," he observes, "met together on the subject; and, after making it a matter of prayer for Divine direction, all, except one, thought it most prudent for me not to go, while that one gave it as his belief that my person would be safe, and my journey prosperous for the cause of God in that part of Ireland, to which I had never been. They came and informed me, not only of their deliberation, but also of its issue; and, as I found there was one dissentient voice, mine went with his, and I told them I was resolved upon going. Had they been all agreed, I should not have gone; but, as it was, I felt my mind free to act agreeably to its own suggestions." The issue justified the persuasion of the dissentient; and Dr. Clarke had no reason to conclude that he had tempted Providence. The reader has already been made acquainted with Dr. Clarke's extreme aversion to unnecessary visits. In Cork he found himself obliged to pay more visits than were agreeable to his disposition; but he made a virtue of necessity:-- "I have endeavored," he remarks, "to make my conversation as instructive as possible, and leave no company without prayer. This gives the proper turn to every meeting; and all part with the resolution of becoming wiser and better."
Some of these visits must have been particularly oppressive. On one occasion, after having preached twice during the day, he was constrained to take supper at a friend's house. "There were fifty persons present; and, as they were all invited on my account, owing to my short sojourn in those parts, I endeavored to improve the opportunity. I told them many anecdotes of Mr. Wesley and the primitive Methodists. These are tales on which I could long dwell with delight." Of the injurious and exhausting effects of such large companies in small rooms, none have more frequent experience than popular preachers, whose admirers generally belong to the middle classes. Another scene of this kind occurred to Dr. Clarke, after his return from Cork to Dublin, when he had opened the Conference. "I dined," he says, " more Hybernica, between four and five, with a very large party. It is very difficult to make such meetings profitable either to soul or body. To be pent up in a close room for two hours with a crowd of people, where the vital principle of the air is soon absorbed by the persons present, and nothing left but a mortal azote to be breathed and rebreathed, must assuredly be unfriendly to animal life. In these circumstances people labor and pant, and are little sensible, that it is their multitude in such circumstances which is the cause of this inconvenience and evil."
At this meeting of the Irish Conference, the education of the children of the poor formed a subject of deliberation; when it appeared that the hostility of the Popish priests to all Scriptural instruction was such, that "they even came into the schools and whipped the Popish children out of them, and the teacher and the parents who sent them."
During this excursion, as on all similar occasions, Dr. Clarke's ministerial services were in great request; and, while some might suppose that he was enjoying the pleasures of relaxation from severe study, which, indeed, the state of his health much required, the fact was, that he was exerting himself beyond his strength to meet the expectations of exacting though admiring, audiences. The consequence was, that, before returning to England, he suffered severely from an attack of those spasms which had formerly resulted from a similar cause; but he had the consolation of believing, that his labor had not been in vain, and that he had not spent his strength for nought.
During his stay in Ireland, he had attentively marked the character and conduct of the inhabitants, particularly of the common people, concerning whom he came to the following, we fear, too just conclusions:-- "The Roman Catholic population of Ireland is, in general, in very great misery; and this is chiefly occasioned, not by any political incapacities under which they labor, but through a bad creed, which prevents the cultivation of their minds; for, among the Roman Catholics, education is greatly proscribed; and, therefore, they know nothing of the management of their own minds, but become the tools of, their priests, and thus, through their want of knowledge, they are easily misled; and, through the strength of their passions, they are readily employed in acts the most desperate, and schemes the most preposterous. Having no education, and no mental cultivation, they are unacquainted with method, plan, and order: they do nothing by rule, consequently nothing regularly, nothing in its time and place, but all is hurry and confusion. They are dirty in their persons, clothes, houses, furniture, and even in their food. From the grossness of their habits, they will associate con anzore with their cattle, and even with their swine. I have seen them often all together in the same place, and eating together as creatures of the same species. The pig himself stands by to have a portion thrown to him, while the family are devouring their meals. They have no economy: they are wretched, because they will not endeavor to be otherwise: they destroy one half of their property by mismanagement. They are slothful and idle, and, therefore, are in poverty; and the greater part of the distress they endure is owing to these two principles, mismanagement and idleness. Their religious holidays, that is, their vast number of saints' days, (for on these they do no manner of work,) necessarily retard useful labor, engender idleness, and from it proceeds disorder. They are not really religious: they will invoke you by the Holy Trinity; by Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and St. Patrick; but these have no moral influence in their hearts or on their lives; for, immediately after these devout prayers and invocations, if you do not yield to their suit, they directly curse you in the bitterness of their hearts. They have no idea of inward holiness. Outward observances constitute their religion, leaving all other matters to be transacted for them, by their priests, with God. They are taught to hold in hatred all other religionists, because they are told God hates them. Hence, they are cruel and blood-thirsty. They will sometimes hamstring living animals, or mangle their flesh, leaving them, at the same time, life enough to be sensible of their agonies. The annual plucking off of the feathers of living geese is not less a proof of their cruelty, than of their extreme poverty. Inhumanity to brutes is ever connected with cruelty to man: hence, they are incendiaries, and often murderers! What, then, does Ireland owe to the Roman Catholic religion? It finds them uncultivated savages; it leaves them little better than fiends. But compare their state with that of the Protestant Irish, who are less cruel, less wretched, less ignorant, less superstitious, less idle, less dirty, less distrustful; in short, who are in every respect the reverse of their poor misguided countrymen."
Such were the opinions formed and expressed by a very competent, and, certainly, unprejudiced judge, concerning his unhappy and deluded fellow-countrymen. But, though he found their case thus deplorable, he by no means deemed it desperate. "The Irish," he continues, "are, on the other hand, capable of much improvement. They have a quick apprehension: it is an easy task to instruct them in any thing. They have a ready wit; they can see things in their various bearings almost on a first view; and they possess a vivid fancy, which is, indeed, the cause of their making what are called bulls. Uncontaminated by their priests, they are open, unsuspicious, and friendly. They have a strong desire for knowledge, and are fond of learning, because by it their stock of knowledge is increased. When left to the bent of their own dispositions, they possess strong benevolence: hence, they are proverbial for hospitality. They are patient, and can cheerfully endure any kind of hardship, and seldom complain, while in the path of duty, of either hunger, thirst, or nakedness. While unwarped and unsophisticated, they are capable of strong friendship and unswerving fidelity. In short, you have but to emancipate them from their superstitions, and to cultivate the minds of the Irish; and they are as noble, as intellectual, as fine a race of beings as are in the world; while, at the same time, they are as capable of practicing the moral and social duties as any people under the sun!" Those who have attentively considered the Irish character will admit the correctness of these sentiments. Dr. Clarke had no sooner returned to Millbrook, than he was obliged again to leave it, and proceed to the Wesleyan-Methodist Conference at Sheffield. During its sittings, he was called upon to preach on occasion of the opening of the church-like Wesleyan-Methodist chapel in that place, when, within ten minutes of the conclusion of his sermon, one of the front spats in the gallery gave way. In two minutes a thousand people were out of the chapel; and some, in their alarm, tore out the windows in the gallery and the gallery stairs, and precipitated themselves thence! This was the third scene of the kind he had witnessed; "and," he adds, in relating the catastrophe, "I think it will be the last, as I do not intend ever to open another chapel."
At the commencement of the year 1824, Dr. Clarke determined to remove from Millbrook to London, where most of the members of his family then resided. He is said to have realized a considerable profit by the sale of his estate. His departure was equally regretted by his poor dependents and by his wealthy neighbors. He took up his abode in Canonbury Square, Islington; but the air of London was found so unfavorable to his health, that, in September, he was obliged to retire into the country. He purchased an estate at Eastcott, called Haydon-hall, situated at a distance of eleven miles from town, on the Windsor road. At this delightful and salubrious spot, he continued to reside till death. Here he shortly recovered his health, and continued his Commentary, now, happily, drawing towards a conclusion. As there was no place of public worship within two miles, he had one of his cottages licensed for that purpose; and it was soon regularly filled with attentive hearers.
About this time he wrote a letter to Mrs. Clarke, principally to inform her, that, with the pen with which it was written, and which he enclosed, he had previously put on paper the whole of his notes on the Prophecies and Lamentations of Jeremiah, and the Prophecies of Ezekiel, comprising 396 closely-written quarto pages, performed between the first of November and the twenty-first of December.
In the midst of his engagements, Dr. Clarke never lost sight of the Shetland Mission, which his brethren in the ministry had placed under his special direction. Ample evidence of his concern for it is contained in his letters to the missionaries. On one occasion, addressing them with cordial familiarity as his" dear lads," he tells them, "After the missionary meeting at Bath, on leaving the chapel, a gentleman whom I did not know, touched my shoulder in the street, and said, 'Sir, you have spoken particularly about the mission in the Shetland Isles, and of a chapel which you purpose to erect. I give you twenty guineas towards the former, and twenty guineas towards the latter!' Oh, how my heart danced for joy! Now, my noble fellows, see that you get a piece of freehold ground, large enough to build a chapel equal to the necessities of the place, and for a house for the preachers."
To Mr. Raby, he wrote as follows:-- "I like the manner of your labors; but I tremble for your life. You should get a small hand-bag, and always carry with, you some hard or ship biscuit; this would keep you alive, and a little warm milk to this would nourish you. God has put great honor upon Mr. Dunn and yourself. You are God's apostles of this mission; my heart glories in you. Be steady; act by united counsels; love one another, help each other, speak well of each other, prefer one another in love." To Mr. Samuel Dunn, who has suffered much unmerited persecution from some of his brethren in consequence of his conscientious adherence to Dr. Clarke's views concerning the Sonship of Christ, his affectionate patron, entitling him his " dear Sammy," thus writes:-- "I have just received your letter of February 16. Two, if not three, I had written before, which I find you have not received. One I wrote almost in despair in it I had desired you to remit all building, as I could raise no more money, Mr. Mason having written to me that you had overdrawn him, and begging me to send him more money, when I had but one sovereign in the world for this account. I prayed, called earnestly upon God, and sat down and wept, till I could scarcely see to write or read."
This was the emergency in which Mr. Scott, already mentioned in connection with the Shetland Mission,, and other friends, relieved the Doctor by their munificence. The same letter contains numerous details of the liberality of various persons in contributing not only money, but household and other articles necessary for the comfort of the missionaries. He was anxiously careful for the credit and comfort of those laborious and self-denying men. Writing again to Mr. Dunn, he says, "I have taken care that your credit should ever be preserved; for I think it fatal to our missionary work in any place to dishonor the bill of a missionary, or to trifle with his just demands, so as to render his credit suspicious. I am glad that you have begun the preachers' house; let it be a sufficient one: I will not have the missionaries there in dog-holes." The same letter contains the following affecting passage concerning himself:-- "I have not been able to lift, my hand in a pulpit for more than a month, and, indeed, only about three times in four months; and so shattered and so infirm does my health seem, that I doubt whether my active services be not at an end; yet, like one of the worn-out Levites, I can help the church of God with my experience, counsels, and advice. The work goes on well in Cornwall: several thousands have been added since last Conference."
In the spring of 1825, his eyes being considerably inflamed, he resorted to town to have the advice of his friend and relative, Mr. Ware, the celebrated oculist; and, during this sojourn, he had the honor of dining ,a second time with the Duke of Sussex, who introduced him as his friend to the Duke of Hamilton and several other eminent men.
In July of the same year, he yielded to the request of the Wesleyan Missionary Committee that he would visit Ireland for the purpose of holding a meeting at Cork, and preaching on behalf of the Society. Though he had urged the state of his health as an objection, yet the sea-air had a very beneficial effect upon his eyes. He sailed from Bristol, in company with a large number of passengers, most of whom were persons of rank. On Sunday morning, the day after sailing, the ladies sent him a message, requesting him to preach to them; but, as there were three clergymen on board, he thought it much better that they should be asked. They consented; an awning was placed over the deck; one read the prayers, another the lessons, and the third preached. The ladies then begged that he would preach in the afternoon; but this was not practicable, owing to the dinner-hour. They came round him however, and, as he remarks, "made me talk bravely." "I had invitations," he continues, " on all hands, to visit different country-seats near Limerick and Cork; but I was obliged to decline them all. The various company tried me on all subjects, religious, civil, military, medical, philosophical, and literary. I bless God who has given me some brains, and who has enabled me to cultivate them, Thus I was not at a loss in any one instance, and spoke largely on all." From Cork he returned to the Conference at Bristol: which concluded, he started on another missionary tour in Yorkshire and the neighboring counties. His amazing popularity and influence appear from the following extract of a letter to Mrs. Clarke, dated Bradford, September 4, 1825:-" I preached this morning at the old chapel. It was not a congregation, nor an assembly, nor a concourse, nor a crowd; but a tremendous torrent of human beings, produced by a conflux from all the thirty-two points of the compass of this town and its vicinity. I thought preaching would have been impossible; and so it would, had it not been for Mr. Dawson [commonly called Billy Dawson], who got into the graveyard, and carried off a thousand of the people. I began at half past nine, the chapel being at that time thronged. To deceive me, some one soon slyly stopped the clock. I had in a few minutes perfect stillness. The Spirit of glory and of God rested upon all. Although there had already been three collections, at the first of which, on Friday, I got them ˙100, yet this morning I got upwards of ˙100 more, besides what Mr. Dawson got in the yard. I came to my lodging in a piteous state. Leeds comes next on the 9th; and I almost dread the human billows, the mountain-swell of thousands, that will be there. Immediately after, perhaps that evening, God willing, I set off for Lincoln: there I am to preach on next Sabbath morning. On the 13th; I am to preach and hold the Missionary meeting in the same city, and probably, on the following day, proceed to London. I need rest; for I have now been laboring and traveling by sea and land upwards of three months, with but little intermission."
About this time Dr. Clarke's heart was gladdened by the reception of a letter from the Wesleyan-Methodist class-leaders in Walls and Sandness, Shetland, in which they returned thanks to him, as the instrumental cause of their gracious visitation, and bore the following grateful testimony to the successful labors of the missionaries;-- "We know, Sir, that you have higher objects in view than the praise of men; yet we owe you a thousand thanks, and should feel guilty in not thanking you in our own name, and in the name of every member in our respective classes. Sir, it is for sending us the Gospel that we thank you. We would not intimate by this that we had never heard the Gospel before the ministers you sent reached our shores: no such a thing is meant; but we must say, that, until then, the Gospel was to us but a dead letter: we were dead in trespasses and in sin, until aroused by the plain and faithful preaching of the Methodists: they were the instruments which God employed to bring us from darkness to light.' All denominations have benefited; many of the clergy have received new energies, have appointed sermons to be read in the distant parts of their ministries, and sanctioned prayermeetings among their own members. The Dissenters have also benefited materially by their arrival [the arrival of the missionaries], in our isles: for, before, their congregations were exceedingly small; but, on their lending their meeting-houses to the Methodist ministers, they were crowded to excess, and continue to be filled to this day: and a greater number of persons has joined their community in the last two years, than in any four years previously, since their establishment in Shetland; and many of these are known to have been awakened under the preaching of the Methodists."
In the autumn of this year, the Duke of Sussex expressed his pleasure to pay a visit to Dr. Clarke, and to inspect his valuable Oriental and other manuscripts. His 'Royal Highness arrived without state at Dr. Clarke's residence, at one o'clock; and, during dinner, entered freely into social and intellectual conversation.' Almost immediately afterwards, he retired into Dr. Clarke's study, where his taste was amply gratified by the rich store of rare and curious manuscripts, which it contained. His Royal Highness did not leave Haydon-hall till late in the evening. In a congratulatory letter, which Dr. Clarke wrote, about this time, to his friend, Mr. Thomas Smith, who had entered the married state, we find the following curious passage:-- " I am perfectly of Solomon's opinion, that 'he who findeth a wife, findeth a good thing.' Even in any circumstances, matrimony is better than celibacy; and hence I execrate the addition made here by the Targum, and some other would-be menders of the word of God, who have added "___" good; a truth, indeed, that a child could have told-a truism and an actum agere very unworthy of the wisdom of Solomon; for most assuredly he that finds a good thing finds a good thing. Please to enter this beautiful criticism in your Adversaria." And further on in the same letter is this proof of liberality conjoined with firmness of opinion:-- " I always felt you as one of my family; and even the difference of creed could not for a moment lessen you in the sight of my soul, nor the feelings of my heart. In a few hours,, I shall have the happiness to proclaim this Christ to a multitude who will rejoice to hear, that, in due time, his having died for all is testified to them: away with all limiting principles. Selah." To the same correspondent the following remarks were addressed; but it does not clearly appear who were the parties referred to as setting so light by the purity of Scripture:-- " I 'fear many of the translations which have been formed by missionaries, have been hastily done. There is not a man under heaven, that, after spending two or three years in learning a difficult Asiatic language, is capable of translating the Scriptures into that language. From my little knowledge, I know some, where, for want of a proper philological knowledge of the tongue, the
translations are in several instances false, ridiculous, and nonsensical. and I have gained myself enemies by hinting these things to those who refused to be on their guard. I have earnestly begged committees not 'to depend on persons slightly versed in different tongues for the translating of the Scriptures. 'Let them,' said I, 'write and publish tracts, and do all they can in this way, till, by much reading and conversation with the natives, they learn the difficult idioms, government, and collocations of words and phrases,' &c. This advice was allowed to be excellent; but 'a translation was wanted, and, as it was likely to go through many editions, they could correct and revise, till it would be faultless.' True; but, while this is going on, what has become of God's honor and the purity of his word?"
At length came the happy day on which Dr. Clarke concluded his Commentary. This was the 17th of April, 1826, the anniversary of his wedding-day. He wrote the last sentence while on his knees; and, when he had written it, he poured out his heart in thanksgivings to God, who had preserved his life, and enabled him to bring his labors to a happy close. During the afternoon he came into the parlor, and, without speaking to any one, beckoned to his youngest son, and, taking him into the hall, said, " Come with me, Joseph: I wish to take you into my study." His son followed, when Dr. Clarke opened the door, and pointed to his large study table, and the stand on the right hand, cleared of all their folios, &c., and nothing remaining on either but his study Bible:-- " This, Joseph," he exclaimed, "is the happiest period I have enjoyed for years. I have put. the last hand to my Comment; I have written the last word of the work. I have put away the chains that would remind me of my bondage; 'and there (pointing to the steps of his library-ladder) have I returned the deep thanks of a grateful soul to the God who has shown me such great and continued kindness. I shall now go into the parlor, tell my good news to the rest, and enjoy myself for the day." His sons, daughters, and sons-in-law, determined on presenting their father with a large silver vase, in memorial' of the completion of his work. Without acquainting him with the purpose of the invitation, his two eldest sons requested him and Mrs. Clarke, and the family, to dine with them. After dinner, the offering, covered, was placed at the head of the table. Dr. Clarke's eldest son then rose, and, in the name of each and all of the family, uncovered and offered it, with an appropriate address, to their revered parent. For a few moments he sat incapable of utterance; then regarding them all, he rose, spread his hands over this token of his children's love, and pronounced his blessing upon them individually and collectively. His eldest son then filled the vessel with wine, which his father raised first to his ' own lips, then to those of his beloved wife, and afterwards bore it to each of the family. Then, in a strain of the most heartfelt, eloquent tenderness, he addressed them in the name of their mother and himself.
Shortly after this affecting scene was enacted, Dr. Clarke, now freed from particular engagements at home, conceived a strong desire to visit the Shetland missionaries, with whom, indeed, he had been present in spirit ever since the commencement of their arduous but glorious and successful undertaking. He was apprehensive that his dearest friends would object to such a step, on account of the severity of a northern climate and the shattered state of his health; but when once his desires had assumed the shape of resolutions, which, however, was always the result of much previous consideration, nothing could dissuade him from the execution of his purpose. This was the case on the present occasion. After maturely weighing the subject, he came to the conclusion, that the path of duty would lead him to Shetland; and the prospect of difficulties, privations, dangers, death itself, had not power to make him deviate. The entreaties of his family and his friends were in vain. Being at Birmingham while the subject was in agitation, he thus replies to the affectionate dehortations of his wife:-- --" I may be ultimately hindered from going to Shetland; but to all my judgment and feelings, it seems a work which God has given me to do. I must go on till he stops me. To sacrifice my life at the command, or in the work of God is, as to pain or difficulty, no more to me than a burnt straw. My life is his, and he will not take it away out of the regular course, unless greatly to his glory and my good." And, again, a few days later:-" When I. get to Edinburgh, if I do not feel myself equal to the task of proceeding to Shetland, I will relinquish it: with pain, it is true; but yet with submission to that high authority which imposes the necessity, and who does at all times all things well. If I am enabled to take the journey, fear not for me; for I shall be most certainly supported through it: I am sure God will not bury me in the Northern Ocean!" Let those who please to do so, question the propriety of such expressions. To us it seems impossible for any man who sincerely believes himself to be engaged in the performance of a duty which God has made incumbent upon him, to exercise too great a confidence in that Almighty One.
The journal in which Dr. Clarke recorded the result of his observations during his absence from home on this memorable occasion, when his ever-active spirit refused to be restrained by the entreaties of the tenderest solicitude, commences with the first of June, 1826, and concludes with the 12th of July. From its copious details, which evince unusual power and keenness of observation, with great benevolence and liberality, we cannot find space for more than a few short extracts.
"In one of the English churches at Edinburgh, he "met ,with an instance of too frequent occurrence in the national church, of the blind leading the blind:-- "The clergyman took occasion to observe, 'that Christianity is a religion not founded on mysteries, nor in effect containing any, though deists had made this an objection to its authenticity; for any person could plainly perceive 'that there was no mystery in the text, though it contained the substance of this religion; for, to love one another, is neither mysterious nor difficult.' This was very injudicious; for, if there be no mystery in Christianity, then there is no redemption; for God manifested in the flesh, and dying for the salvation of men, is one of the highest and deepest mysteries that can fall under the consideration, and claim the attention, of the human being."
He obtained a passage from Leith in the Woodlark, tender to his Majesty's ship Investigator, engaged in a survey of the islands to which he was bound. During the passage the conversation turned upon "the plain gold ring." We give Dr. Clarke's account of it as an amusing proof of his sprightliness and ingenuity
"There, were present," he observes, " Captain Frembly, his lady, Mr. Lord and Mr. Bedford, two midshipmen, my son, and self. 'How is it,' says one, 'that the most simple and unadorned rings are used in the matrimonial ceremony?'-' Because, I believe the Canon Law requires that no other shall be used.' -- A. C.: 'I am not aware that there is any law on this part of the subject. The law states that a metal ring shall be used, and not one of leather, straw, thread, &c.; and the reason to me appears to be this:-- the ring itself points out the duration of the union; it is without end in reference to the natural lives of the parties. Metal is less liable to destruction than flax, leather, straw, &c. Gold is generally preferred, not only because it is the most precious, but the most perfect of metals, being less liable to destruction or deterioration by oxidizement. Life will wear out by labors, trials, &c.; and so will gold by attrition, frequent use, &c. Therefore, life and the metal shadow forth each other, properly enough. As to the ring being simple and unadorned, I think it has its reason in the case itself, and in the feelings and apprehension of the spouse who produces it. he has chosen, according to his feelings, one whom he esteems the most perfect of her kind: she is to him superior to every other female, adorned with every charm. To use, then, in this state of the case, any ornament, would be a tacit confession that her person was defective, and needed something to set it off, and must be more or less dependent on the feeble aid of dress.' -- Mrs. Frembly: 'But, Sir, there is soon added what is called a guard; 'and this is, if circumstances will admit, highly ornamented with pearls or brilliants.' -- A. C.: 'True, Madam; and this is not without much signification. The unadorned ring supposes the fact of the bride's great superiority as already mentioned, and her suitable feelings towards her spouse; but the guard is afterwards added. In order to preserve this perfection, the husband feels it necessary to add ornaments to the union, i. e. endearments, attentions, and obligations, to keep his wife steady to the character which he has given her to assume; and, without attention to the support of the character, and the continuance of endearing conduct, he knows the progress of married life will soon remove all false, or too sanguine, expectations of each other's character. The bubble, if it were one, would soon burst; animosities and mutual recriminations would soon embitter wedded life, and show how false and empty the high-formed estimation and expectations of each other were at the beginning. Thus the guard, as well as the ring, are not without their respective significations.' Mrs.
F. smiled: the rest were silent, and the discussion ended." The following piece of vivid description would not do discredit to the pen of a tourist by profession "We got on pretty well to-day till we came to the Pentland Frith. Here we had a monstrous sea, tide conflicting with tide, raising the billows to a fearful height; but, as the wind was pretty fair, our inimitable cutter literally cut through all. We went on with a' strong gale, principally in our favor, till we came near to the Fair Isle, when the wind changed directly opposite, coming from north-east, and blew a hurricane. The sea wrought, and was tempestuous. We seemed to have arrived at the end of the terraqueous globe, where nature' existed in all its chaotic confusion and fierce uproar.' There appeared a visible rage and anger in every wave.' They seemed as if contesting with each other, which should contribute most to destroy and engulf all within the vortex of their action. After appearing to be suspended for a moment, they fell down with such tremendous thunder, as if a whole park of ordnance had been discharged at once: 'deep cried unto deep at the noise of his water-spouts: all his waves, and his billows, went over us.' At first we reefed all our sail, then struck our top-mast, next brought down every inch of canvas upon the deck, and then set a small try-sail to steady the ship. In these circumstances we were obliged to bear away: no possibility of anchoring, or of seeking port, in such horrible contention of the elements, and in such' dangerous seas. We continued to ship sea after sea, till our little vessel seemed as if on the very eve of being submerged. In a short time, the angry, sullen wind chopped about: the storm became more moderate; and we had at least a fair gale, though the sea was still tremendous. We sailed round the Fair Isle, regained our true course: the gale settled shortly into a strong breeze, and continued so to the end of our voyage."
But the violence of the waves was not the only danger to which the voyagers were exposed, as Dr. Clarke will make appear:-- " The Waterloo, King's revenue cutter, being out in these seas on the preventive service, was off Fair Isle; and when, by the wind changing, we were obliged to bear away, as if for Iceland, she was driving before the storm, making for the Scotch coast. Taking us for a smuggler cutter, she made a signal, which we were unable to repeat, our color getting foul in the shrouds. She then fired a blank cartridge, and, finding her signals not answered, was on 'the point of firing into his Majesty's cutter. However, the two vessels meeting, our commander told him he, was tender to the Investigator, then employed in surveying the Shetland Islands. Learning this, he reshipped his boat, which he had ready to board us, and shore off."
Time following were Dr. Clarke's impressions on a first view of Shetland:-- "Oh, the appearance of Shetland! a continuous series of barren hills and mountains: scarcely any cultivation to be seen, and perhaps not even in general cultivable soil. The grass is of a brownish green, the rugged rocks, or large districts of peat-moss, or hether, appearing in most places. It had this day a truly horrid appearance: the sea was still very rough, the breeze having much freshened; and we seemed to come to behold the termination of the terraqueous globe, at its utmost northern extremity. I could not help exclaiming, 'Who could choose this for an abode?' and, on looking around me in this dreary barrenness, 1 seemed to wonder why I had come hither, and could not help crying out, 'How shall we get away?'"
It is but just to this Ultima Thule to add, that, on' further acquaintance, the Doctor made the following concession:-- " Every thing bears the aspect of wildness, uproar, and misrule. , Yet there is something majestic in the whole, 'something that pleases the imagination, amid on which intellect can ponder, and even feed with profit, and a certain measure and kind of delight."
We have this description of the first congregation of Shetlanders to which Dr. Clarke preached:-- "There was a character of honesty, openness, intelligence, and, I might add, of critical simplicity, which I have rarely met with. The countenance of the Shetlander has certainly a peculiar cast, both as it respects males and females. To me' it argues honesty and trust-worthiness, not easily inclined to a first impression; but, when persuaded, firm, determined, and inflexible. The eye has a peculiar cerulean or blue-green glance, like that of the ancient Gauls; that which Plautus calls 'the grassgreen eye.' There is something like it occasionally in 'the aboriginal Irish, who are all of the same Gothic, or Celtic, stock. It is not the eye itself that is green; but a certain glance of it, in a particular light and direction. I am pleased with this first specimen of a Shetland congregation."
In passing in a boat from Scalloway to Walls, Dr. Clarke witnessed the following exploit:-- "Within half a mile of where we landed,, a large shoal of whales came into one of the voes or bays. The islanders manned all their boats, got behind them, drove them into shoal water, and succeeded in killing the whole shoal, 'which amounted to 101! The water of the bay, for a mile distant from the place of attack, was dyed with their blood. It is the young, in general, that occasion the capture of the old ones; for they heedlessly run into the shoal-water; and, so attached are these monsters to their offspring, that they will risk their lives to save them. A friend told me that he saw one of the female whales take her wounded young under her breast fin, and endeavor to make her escape with it. He saw another young one, which appeared to be greatly terrified, dash itself upon the shore, where it was soon killed: the mother, which had been near the shore, had turned and was regaining the deep water; but, missing her young one, and finding, no doubt, by instinct, or smell, that it had gone ashore, she turned again, took the same direction, and absolutely dashed herself on shore along-side her young, where she also was immediately speared. On examination of several of these females, I found two cavities near the navel, on each side, in which their teats were included, and which they can extrude at pleasure, in order to suckle their young: thus exemplifying Lam. iv. 3, 'The sea-monsters draw out the breast to their young.' I am sorry to add, that much of this booty is likely to be lost, as the, poor people have not vessels enough to contain the oil. Some of the people said, indeed I heard one of the Lairds myself say, 'I believe God has sent this shoal of fish to us in honor of Dr. Clarke, who has come so far to see and do us good; for, though we have had shoals of whales in these' islands, yet the memory of man does not record a shoal coming at this time of the year, nor for two or three months later.'
The first congregation to which Dr. Clarke preached in Walls, contained fifty women to one man in the second was composed of two hundred females and but five males, the men being afloat at the fisheries. "The women," resumes the tourist, "were without bonnets of any kind, and their faces generally oval. Almost all of them were stout and remarkably healthy, though they live in the most dismal huts, or rather hovels, where continual smoke renders all things nearly invisible. Their diet is chiefly fish; fish for breakfast, fish for dinner, fish for supper, fish to fish. This fact still farther tends to convince me of the healthfulness and nutritiveness of a fish diet; and from this we perceive how judiciously the Roman Catholic church has acted, in ordaining a forty days' lent, or fast, upon a fish diet; prescribing also weekly fasts to be kept on the same. I have no doubt that those who follow this plan, find themselves more healthful and vigorous at its termination, than at its commencement." 
When, however, the men were disengaged from their perilous craft, they resorted to the places where Dr. Clarke preached, in equal proportions with the women; and so much was he pleased by the conduct of all, that he exclaimed, "Oh, had I twenty years less of age and infirmity, how gloriously might I be employed here!" adding, "But I have had my time; and, through mercy, I have labored in my day and generation. I think I can say with a clear conscience, I have not spared my strength in the work of the Lord." Through the rigors of an unaccustomed and ill-provided' clime, Dr. Clarke suffered an attack of rheumatism, which alarmed his son, who was with him, and began to fear lest his father should die in Shetland; and, although he recovered partially, he himself became but too sensible of failing strength:-- " My health," he observes, "continues to amend; but it is still precarious, and I feel utterly incapable of any additional fatigue. I feel my natural force abated; my eye is become dim, and my days of extra labor are over." And in another place he states:-- " I was so much exhausted as to be obliged to call for a glass of water to be brought me into the pulpit. I have risked my life in coming this journey: I have expended all my strength in labors while in these islands.'
During his sojourn among these interesting islands, and on the eve of his departure, Dr. Clarke received the most flattering attentions from the superior class of the inhabitants, who hailed him as the great benefactor of their barren home. From one he received a tribute of verse, and from another an offering of the natural productions of the island. "Shetland stockings," he observes, "and gloves, all of the finest wool, and the most exquisite texture, have been presented to me. One pair of these stockings I have myself drawn through a small-sized gold ring; the wool is as white nearly as snow, and this without any preparation, but just as it comes off the sheep's back."
At length, after having waited several days for a fair wind, Dr. Clarke bade adieu to Shetland. The voyage homeward proved very tedious. "These," he observes, "are the strangest seas I have ever seen; for such immense and conflicting swells I can find no reason, either in the winds or in the tides. I think they are purely electrical; and, as that fluid acts' by a variety of laws of which we are ignorant, though a few of them are known to us, therefore there is no certainty, in these seas, either of wind or weather." Weary with contending against the elements,, Dr.' Clarke and his son embraced an opportunity which presented itself, of getting on shore in the bay of Aberdeen, which they accomplished by means of a mackerel boat with which they fell in. " We got to the pier," observes the former, "at eight P. M.; and I once more set my foot on terra firma, with the heartfelt exclamation, 'Vive Jesu! me voila sauvÚ!'"
On arriving at Edinburgh, Dr. Clarke received the mournful intelligence of the death of his friend and relative, Mr. Butterworth, who was taken ill upon his return from Dover, after an unsuccessful poll for the parliamentary representation of that port, of which he had, previously to the dissolution of Parliament in 1826, been one of the representatives. On the day of his funeral in London, which Dr. Clarke hastened to attend, all the shops in Dover were closed as on the Sabbath, and, the bells of the town were tolling muffled peals during the chief part of the day.
Were it within the scope of this work, we might fill many pages with a deserved eulogium of this benevolent and amiable man. His death was justly regarded as a public calamity. His funeral sermon was preached by the late Mr. Richard Watson, who was in all respects well qualified for the task, but particularly as having, during several years, been associated with him in the Wesleyan Missionary Society, of which Mr. Butterworth was, the Treasurer, and Mr. Watson the Secretary.
From this discourse we may derive a condensed, description of Mr. Butterworth's principal excellences His life was a life of faith in the Son ,of God; without the least affectation, for his character was one of great simplicity, he appeared ready for every good word and work. To the duties of the closet, prayer, and meditation on the Scriptures,' his attention was strict and faithful, The service of his domestic altar was regular and serious. There was in his house no guilty shame of bowing the knee to God. The hour of. seven o'clock on. the morning of the Sabbath, found him in the vestry of Great Queen Street chapel, in the exercise of the office of a class-leader, an office which he had held for nearly thirty years. Neither the distance from his residence, nor the most unfavorable weather, prevented his punctual attendance. Kindness of heart, a manner at once frank and dignified, almost constantly collected around him smaller circles of select, or larger companies of more general acquaintance. Few men possessed in so high a degree the rare art, of leading on an instructive, or a directly religious conversation, without effort. To the young, he was especially and attractively benign. Without laxity, in his religious opinions holding with tenacity the leading doctrines of orthodox Christians, the minor differences of party were no check upon the flow of brotherly affection. The Stranger's Friend Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Missions, all from almost their commencement, called forth his liberality, his time, and attention. ,One day in each week he appointed to receive at his own house the applications of such as needed pecuniary relief, or advices and assistance in various exigencies., His servant, on being once asked, how many petitioners he had on that day admitted, answered, "Nearly a hundred." Into all these cases he entered, in order to make his charities at once discriminating and efficient. The stranger in a strange land, found in Mr. Butterworth a ready, and often an effectual, friend. His intercourse with foreigners was frequent and extensive: where relief was necessary, it was given; where not needed, the hospitality of his table, his friendly counsel, protection, or assistance, in accomplishing the various pursuits of business, literature, or curiosity, were 'afforded with a blandness of manner, and a warmth of interest, which have impressed upon the heart of many a foreigner sentiments favorable to the character of the country, and honorable to the Christian name." His large income, derived from the successful prosecution of his trade as a law-bookseller, was expended in acts of Christian, charity, and thus flowed back into the hands of the Divine Giver.
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