After a few weeks' rest in his beloved home, Dr. Clarke was again besieged by applications to preach sermons for various benevolent purposes. His exertions were usually so successful, the collections following his powerful appeals so far beyond what any contemporary preacher of any denomination could produce, that it is not surprising that the managers of various charities were so urgent for his help. It seemed as if the conclusion of his Irish friend, whose urgency has been related, were true, and that there was, in fact, no rest but the grave for this honored minister of Christ; for, if he hoped to reap any personal advantage from the conclusion of his Herculean and long-continued biblical labors, he was most effectually disappointed. Labor, though of a somewhat different kind, was still his lot; and he died in full harness. But we are anticipating.
In September, 1826, we find him at Stockport, where, as he relates the fact, " I preached on Sunday morning to a noble congregation. It was a collection for their new chapel; and at this sermon we got ˙180. The next morning I preached again in the same place, and the collection amounted to ˙80."
In the following month, the Duke of Sussex again honored Dr. Clarke by dining at Haydon Hall, when the learned host showed his illustrious guest ten Hebrew manuscripts, which formerly belonged to a Dutch family of the name of Vanderhagen. They had never been collated, but were the identical. ones concerning which Dr. Kennicott states in the introduction to his Bible, that he had used every argument and entreaty to procure a sight of them, but in vain. About five years before, Dr. Clarke observed them advertised in a Dutch catalogue. He went off instantly to his bookseller, and directed him to purchase them for him "at anything short of a ransom." The bookseller went over to Holland, and on the day of the sale bid for, and obtained, them. After the sale was over, some of the literary men present requested to know for whom he had purchased them; and, when they heard, expressed themselves 'highly gratified, since they must go out of the country, that they had fallen into the possession of an individual, who not only "knew their value himself, but how to estimate their importance to biblical literature in general."
In the same month the Royal Duke gave Dr. Clarke another token of his regard, by appointing his youngest son', then curate to Archdeacon Wrangham, at Hunmanby, in Yorkshire, one of his Chaplains.
To this son, the Rev. J. B B. Clarke, now curate of Frome, in November of this year, Dr. Clarke addressed an admirable letter, on hearing that his parishioners were afflicted with the typhus fever. The following advice may prove useful to those whose duty it is to visit the abodes of disease, however contagious: -" While you are ready at every call, make use of all your prudence to prevent the reception of contagion. Do not breathe near the infected person. Contagion is generally taken into the stomach by means of the breath: not that the breath goes into the stomach; but the noxious effluvia are, by inspiration, brought into the mouth, and immediately connect themselves with the whole surface of the tongue and fauces, and, in swallowing the saliva, are taken down into the stomach, and, there mixing with the aliment that is in the process of digestion, are conveyed, by means of the lacteal vessels, through the whole of the circulation, corrupting and assimilating to themselves the whole mass of blood, and thus carrying death to the heart, lungs, and to the utmost of the capillary system. In visiting fever cases, I have been often conscious of' having taken the contagion. On my returning home, I have drunk a few mouthfuls of warm water, and then, with the small point of a feather, irritated the stomach to cause it to eject its contents. By these means I have, through Mercy, been enabled to escape many a danger and many a death. Never swallow your saliva in a sick room, especially where there is contagion. Keep a handkerchief for this purpose, and wash your mouth frequently with tepid water. Keep to windward of every corpse you bury. Never go out with an empty stomach, nor let your strength be prostrated by long abstinence from food."
In January, 1827, Dr. Clarke narrowly escaped death by the overturn of his barouchette, on his way from Pinner, where he had alighted from the coach, to Haydon-hall. The horse had taken fright, which caused the vehicle to be upset; and, in its fall, Dr. Clarke received several deep wounds, besides severe contusions in different parts of the body. While he was upon the ground, the horse plunged desperately; and Dr. Clarke expected every moment to be killed by a blow from its hoofs. When with some difficulty (for he was nearly insensible) he had reached home, it was found that his forehead and his nose were deeply cut; and some time elapsed before he recovered from the shock which his whole frame had sustained, or was fit to make his appearance in public. But God, who, as he remarked on the occasion, " can bring to the sides of the 'pit, and can bring up again," had not yet done with his faithful and laborious servant.
The reader may remember, that, on being domiciled in Haydon-hall, Dr. Clarke opened one of the cottages on his estate as a preaching-house. This place being found insufficient to contain the numbers who resorted to it, preparations were made for building a chapel, which was completed on Saturday, the 2d of March, 1827, and opened by Dr. Clarke himself on the following day. By erecting this building and by forming a Sunday-school in connection with it, Dr. Clarke became a benefactor to the neighborhood'; for in it many received, from him and from the Wesleyan-Methodist preachers of the Windsor circuit, instruction in religion, of which, otherwise, in all probability they had remained destitute.
In June, we find him again engaged in pleading the cause of a newly-erected chapel in Manchester; and, though a collection for the same chapel had just been made in all the chapels of the circuit, on three several days, yet, on the following Sabbath, he got, to the astonishment of all, ˙104 16s. 6d. It may here be remarked, that, on occasions of this kind, he never varied from his usual style of preaching. He deprecated the preaching of 'what is called a charity sermon, and contented himself always with a closing appeal to the liberality of his audience,
In a letter addressed to one of his sons-in-law, concerning the illness of one of his children, and dated December,, 1827, we find the following: -" I well know that it is not an easy thing to bury children; and can never forget the saying of a plain man in Leeds, who, having lost a child, was bewailing his case to a neighbor, who said, 'My dear friend, be thankful that God has taken your child. He will do better for, it than you could ever do: he has taken it to himself in mercy.' The poor father only answered, ' Ah! I see it is an easy thing to bury other folk's children.'"
The reader may be supposed to be familiar with the watchnights of ' the Wesleyan Methodists. Formerly they were held quarterly; but they are now, and for some years have been, confined to new-year's-eve. To these seasons of public worship Dr. Clarke was very much attached; and, up to the year 1828, he had uniformly availed himself of them. But now his health forbade him to venture out in the night air. He watched, however, by himself, as we find from the following extract of a letter addressed to his daughter on the first 'day of the year 1828: -" I kept watch by myself in 'the parlor, and was in solemn prayer for you all, when the clock struck twelve, and for some time after. Even to watch by myself I found to be a good thing: I felt that it might be the last watch-night I might ever celebrate. I remained up till the preacher and our people returned from chapel. I had an excellent fire and a good supper for them. I made them sit down, while I served them myself. They were pleased; and thus we were all pleased."
We have purposely omitted the consideration of Dr. Clarke's peculiar opinions concerning the Sonship of Christ, because, in an appendix to this narrative, that question will be found fully treated, as to the history of the controversy upon it. We may mention, however, that, at this period in Dr. Clarke's history, the doctrine of the Eternal Sonship of our Saviour had, by the Wesleyan-Methodist Conference, been erected into a 'sort of test by which to try the admissibility of candidates for that fraternity. At the same time, too, in violation of all rule and decency, the Conference had sanctioned the introduction of an organ (which is now a common event in Wesleyan-Methodist affairs) into one of the chapels at Leeds, though it was much objected to by many members of the society in that town. To his views on the Sonship question Dr. Clarke adhered through life, though he preserved his consistency at the expense of his feelings, which were often hurt by the insolent conduct of some fierce partisans on the other side. He was also opposed to the use of organs in Wesleyan-Methodist chapels, especially when their introduction was contrary to the wishes of the people assembling in the chapels in which it was proposed to put them. These observations will suffice to explain the following extract from a letter addressed to Mr. Stephen Brunskill, of Orton, Westmoreland, and dated Feb. 20, 1828:-- " It is written, 'They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service.' And it is added, ' These things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor me.' The church of Christ is never much hurt by the persecutions which come from the wicked; but, when the church persecutes the church, then is desolation. The subjects of the introduction of organs into Methodist chapels, and forced subscriptions to inexplicable and unscriptural doctrines, are at present rending the church of Christ, and scattering the flock. Perhaps God will not permit these things to go much farther. He will not, unless he have a great controversy with us as a people. Though these things pain me, yet do they not move me: the foundation still standeth strong. I can no more believe the doctrines about my glorious Redeemer which they inculcate, than I can blaspheme. I see many are forced to subscribe; and I know some who have defiled their consciences by it. I cannot believe the doctrine' of the Eternal Sonship of my glorious Redeemer, which they are now inculcating: I believe it is not warranted by Scripture. As a Commentator, I have written one paragraph to explain the thirty-fifth verse of the first chapter of St. Luke. Twenty, if not forty, pamphlets, letters, &c., have been published, in order to overthrow that one paragraph: yet still it is untouched; and, in the whole succession of writers, this is evident, -- that each who ,follows is satisfied his predecessor has failed to establish his point. This brings out another and another answer, the last being convinced that all who have gone before him have failed. This is the fact; 'and is it not strange that they have courage to go on? Tragedy, comedy, farce, have all been brought into action to destroy one paragraph; and, though backed by authority, menaces, eloquence, and calumny, they are as stones thrown against the east wind, to prevent it from blowing, the efforts of a man who went to the sea-shore to keep off the tide by his pitch-fork. We may sing; and, though I have a bad voice, I can make a joyful noise to the God of my salvation, in singing,
Our God is above men, devils, and sin: Our Jesus' love the battle shall win."
From a subsequent passage in the same letter, it appears that the writer was then meditating a second visit to Shetland. Before, however, he set out on this expedition, he undertook another into Cornwall, for purposes connected with the Wesleyan Missionary Society. But at Bristol he was taken ill of a rheumatic fever, which confined him to his bed for several weeks, and forced him to commit his engagements in Cornwall to other hands. He retained, nevertheless, the buoyancy of his spirits.
My right hand," he writes to his daughter, " has lost its cunning: I cannot use either it or my arm better than the scratches you see; and even these are made by my left hand pulling along the paper, as the stiffened fingers of my right lie with my poor afflicted arm on a pillow. I am quite a-Nazarite, no razor having been on my face for about a fortnight. You know I never liked any man playing with a naked razor about my throat; so that I look like one of the most forlorn of hermits." At the end of April, however, he was sufficiently recovered to return to Haydon-hall, when he made immediate preparations for going to Shetland. On this occasion, the members of his family repeated their former objections, which they urged with the augmented importunity that a recollection of the fatigues and dangers of the former voyage, and his recent prostration in Bristol, were calculated to inspire. But their arguments were addressed to one who could not listen to the voice of affection when its language was opposed to what he conceived to be his duty; and such the inspection and organization of the Methodist Societies in Shetland he deeply felt to be.
On this occasion, Dr. Clarke was enabled to make a more extensive visitation of the islands than on the former; for Mr. Campion, of Whithy, provided him with a sloop, manned and fitted up for the purpose. Besides the wealthy and benevolent owner, he was accompanied by Messrs. Everett and Loutit, his brethren, and Messrs. Read, of Salford, John Smith, and Theodoret Clarke, his second son. In this visit and with these companions, he made the circumnavigation of the Shetland Isles complete, and preached, or did some other part of his sacred duty, in the following isles and ports:-- Lerwick, in the island of Mainland, Bressa, Noss, Whalsea, Burra Voe, South Yell, Uyea Sound, North Yell, Ifyea Isle, Balta Sound, Northwick, Isle of Unsi, Papa Stour, Vaila, and Foula; then round Fitfiel and Sumburgh heads, back to Lerwick. Wherever he touched, he was hailed as an apostle. " When we came near Sumburgh Head," he observes in his journal, " the light-house hoisted its flag to do us respect. This has also been done by all the sloops belonging to the islands. Our arrival spread everywhere: even the very fishing-boats used to hail us, and ask, ' Have you Dr. Clarke on board?" The hospitality of the inhabitants was unbounded. All vied in showing kindness to their benefactor and his friends.
On reaching Lerwick, Dr. Clarke was received with the greatest affection and politeness by all classes. His companions chose to rest on board; but he and his son went on shore, "my invariable maxim being," he observes, "one thousand leagues of water for one inch of dry land."
There was on every hand the greatest eagerness to hear the preaching of the Gospel. While they lay wind-bound in Uyea Sound, an old man came alongside, with his son's respects, and that, if they would land, he would give them his house to preach in. Mr. Everett went, and had a large congregation; for the people soon heard the tidings, and flocked to the preaching. '" See," says Dr. Clarke, "for what we were obliged to put into this sound! The preachers had long sought for a place to preach in here, but could obtain nothing; and now I have no doubt the ark of God has found a place to rest in. There is no place of worship within five or six miles of this place."
While they lay in Balta Sound, several gentlemen came on board with kind invitations to go a-shore and lodge. "From Mr. T Edmonston," says Dr. Clarke, " I received not only an invitation to make his house my home while I continued in the Sound, but also to preach in it. The latter I most cheerfully embraced, and went on shore. When I entered his dining-room, he said, Sir, in laying this large Bible on the table, I casually opened on this place, and laid my finger on this verse: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. lx. 1. 1 said, 'It is a good word,' and immediately took it for my text, and preached on it for an hour and a quarter. There were 160 persons present, who all heard with deep attention. Mr. Edmonston was himself 'amazed to think how a subject could be so treated on so short a notice.' Thus, the last sermon I have preached, has been on the farthest northernmost ground over which Britain's king claims the supremacy; and here is a people prepared for the Lord."
The following day Dr. Clarke and his party went to dine with this gentleman. " By the special wish of the family," observes the former, " I discoursed on the intention of God in the incarnation of his Son, and considered the question, ' Did Jesus die for every man?' I then proved that the benefits of Christ's incarnation must extend to the whole human race; for it was the nature of man that Christ assumed; and the benefits of what he did and suffered in human nature, must extend to all that ever did, or can, partake of that nature; that, from the infinite dignity of our Lord's nature, there must be an infinite merit in the sufferings which he endured,, and the death which he died, for man. Of one flesh are farmed all the kindreds that dwell upon the earth:-- He became man, in order to make an atonement for man; and, as there is but one nature, so in that one nature he suffered death, the just for the unjust; and, consequently, he tasted death for every man; and through him every human soul may be saved; and thus are left without excuse, if they will not come unto him that they may have life eternal. Conticuere omnes. The company heard with deep attention and evident interest my arguments on this subject."
"The poor people," continues Dr. Clarke, " came to me, entreating me to apply to Mr. T. Edmonston, for ground' to build a chapel on. I wrote, received on fair conditions a favorable answer to my application; and thus, thank God, I have got ground on which to build a Methodist chapel in the uttermost northern region of the empire of Great Britain."
The wind continuing contrary, he determined on visiting Northwick, about north lat. 61, which is the farthest town or habitation north of the British dominions. "Here," he observes, " I preached on Job xxii, 21, 22: ' Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace, that thereby good may come unto thee.' On this line of latitude there was no other sermon preached on this day, between. this spot and the North Pole. There was a press of people present: but and ben, parlor, kitchen, and barn, which opened into the latter, were full, and many on the outside. 1 felt great power in explaining and enforcing the exhortation. I was too much heated to attempt to mount a pony they had brought for that purpose; and, consequently, I returned on foot over the high hills, accompanied by six other people, who had come sixteen miles to hear the preaching. I took them' on board to dine; and they are just gone off in our boat to regain the shore, most deeply affected. At ' first they began to sigh heavily, then to weep, then to mourn; and then all burst forth into a most distressing lamentation, sorrowing most under the conviction that they would in all probability see our faces no more! This scene was more than I could bear."
"Dropping anchor in the bay of Papa Stour, I sent,". says Dr. Clarke, "to announce my preaching at halfpast three o'clock, P. M. I went a-shore. an hour before the time; and, the men being all on shore, we had the kirk on the island full, at least 300 people.' I preached to them with liberty on Mark xi. 24: 'Therefore, what things soever ye desire when you pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' As soon as I had done, I almost literally ran about half a mile to the chapel that we are now erecting in this isle.' I found the walls raised to the square, and one of the gables almost completed. I entered, and with solemn prayer devoted it to the service, worship, and glory, of the eternal and ever-blessed Trinity." It was a favorite object with Dr. Clarke to lay the first stone of a Methodist chapel in the island of Foula, supposed by the ancients to be the farthest land towards the North Pole, the Ultima Thule. On landing, he proceeded rather more than a ,,mile 'up the east side of the mountain, when he 'came to 'the place where it was proposed to erect the chapel. To continue the narrative in his own words:-- " We got a spade, ,and dug away the soil, till we got to a rocky bottom; and, having procured a large. stone with 'a good angle, about eighteen inches square, and six or seven in thickness, and given out three verses of a hymn, I laid the stone, where probably it will remain till the resurrection, with these words:--In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, I lay this stone as the foundation of a house, intended to be erected here for the preaching of. the everlasting Gospel, for, the glory of thy name, Almighty. God, and the endless salvation of all who may worship in this place I' As soon as I had pronounced these words,. I knelt on the spot, and solemnly, in a prayer of three or four minutes, commended the projected chapel to the care and blessing of God."
" I have now," says the Doctor, after having narrated the preceding event, " finished the work, which, by the help of God, I hoped to do, and have been most blessedly helped by him, through cold and wet, both by day and night, and much daily bodily fatigue; but, through all, I have been sustained in health and strength. Gloria in excelsis Deo I" He consequently sailed for Whithy. The voyage proved tedious. It repeatedly happened that the vessel was found in the morning exactly where she was the evening before; a circumstance which gave Dr. Clarke occasion wittily to remark, " It seems to be the rule of our ship to sleep where she sups." In six days she reached Whithy, where the party landed, all in good health. The day after their arrival, Dr. Clarke consented to preach; but his congregation were far from pleasing him. " For an hour and a half," he observes,
I preached to them from Gal. iv. 4-7. I was heard with the deepest attention; but I noticed that numbers went out directly the sermon was concluded: this I remarked on with a gentle reproof. Another irreverency was, to put on their hats even in their pews, and thus walk through and out of the chapel. A third thing, worse than all, was, the universal chatting to each other, as soon as all was concluded. If the 'fowls of the air' do not pick up this seed, it is, I think, impossible that such persons can profit by the word preached. I did not suppose that there was one place in universal Methodism, where such irreverent, 'reprehensible customs existed. Were I. stationed among these people, if I could not break these customs, they would break my heart."
It will have been observed, that, on former occasions of absence from home, Dr. Clarke was met on his return by news of family bereavement. On this, however, it was otherwise ordered. " God," he observes, on reaching home, after an absence ,of six weeks, "has been better to me than all my fears; for I hear nothing but good news from all branches of my family and friends." When he had enjoyed a few weeks' rest in his beloved home, his services, as an efficient pleader in the cause of God, were again in request: and, in the month of October, 1828, we find him thus exerting himself with his wonted success. At Loughborough, where he opened a new chapel, the sum of ˙88 was collected; and at Manchester, where he preached on behalf of the Sunday Schools, nearly double that sum-that is, ˙150, This," he observes," was far beyond what was expected; and it cleared off the whole debt." But the time had arrived when these exertions, however successful, and, on that account, desirable, could not be made without serious injury to himself; and one day's labor was often followed by many days' confinement. Dr. Clarke was one of those men who may be safely suffered to deviate from the ordinary track, in transactions the most serious; because it is known that they have too much sense and discernment to abuse the privilege. He used it often, but always with good effect.
One day, as he was performing the funeral obsequies over the remains of the 'father of one of his sons-in-law, of whom he had previously said, that "out of a million of men, he doubted if ten died in a safer state," when the body had been removed from the chapel, and just as it was about to be put into the vault, he affectionately placed his hand upon the coffin, and with strong emphasis, exclaimed, "Farewell! there lies an affectionate 'father and an honest man."
In the summer of 1829, Dr. Clarke published a Discourse on the Third Collect for Grace, in the Church service, but intended to circulate it merely among his friends and acquaintance. No sooner, however, did it appear, than some of the Bishops requested that it might be printed in a small pocket size, and thus become the companion of all who "travel by land or by water." 'This, Dr. Clarke accordingly did, and entitled it, The Traveler's Prayer.
About this time, his mind was much harassed with the pecuniary affairs of the Shetland Mission, which, indeed, in one form or another, continually engaged his attention. His feelings on this subject are strongly exemplified in several of his letters. In one he says," Do not let me die before Dunrossness, Lunnasting, Sand, &c., chapels, are built. With all my faith for Shetland, I do not see where money will be got, or how it can come, after the green sod covers me. What thousands of miles have I traveled, and what reams of paper have I written over, in behalf of Shetland!" In another, he declares, "Had I twenty years less of age on my head, I would not write a leaf to entreat any person to go. I would' go. 1 would there labor, and there die, if it so pleased my Divine Master." As the reader has been made aware, he was firmly resolved that no chapel in Shetland should be left in debt; for he had seen too much of the fruits of chapel-building on the erroneous, if not dishonest, principle of part payment, in Scotland, and elsewhere. Therefore, as the chapels were fast increasing in number, it became a matter of extreme difficulty to. provide the necessary amount of funds to defray the expenses of their erection. In' this emergency, Mr. ,Robert Scott, of Pensford, near Bristol, whose name was first connected with the support of the mission, and Miss Elizabeth Birch, afforded him considerable relief by their munificent donations. But his anxiety was not removed.' "Shetland, and its concerns," he remarks, in a letter written in January, 1830, "are still a heavy burden upon my spirit. I do not get' the help I might receive on this head from some who should help. The whole burden is about my neck; and I have begged till I am ashamed of asking more from my friends. I cannot swim against the stream. I must act like Hagar, 'lay the lad under a bush, and retire to a distance,' lest I see the child die.'"
In the autumn' of 1829, Dr. Clarke presented a copy of some volumes of sermons, which he had lately published, to the Bishop of London, now Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanying them' with a letter, in which he described them as sermons which "had been preached at various times through the now united empire, and the Norman and Shetland Islands." The material part of this curious letter we will lay before the reader; premising, that, while the writer had an undoubted right to call himself a member of the Church of England, if it so pleased him, it is to be regretted that he condescended to apologize, even to a Bishop, for preaching without episcopal ordination; at the same time that he declared that the great Head of the church himself had laid upon him the necessity of committing an act of such presumption! Dr. Clarke thus addressed his "right reverend" correspondent:-- "I take the liberty of sending these volumes, as a mark of my deep reverence and high respect for your lordship's sacred office, and great personal worth; a reverence and respect which I have long entertained for your lordship, and which have been greatly increased by the late opportunity with which I have been favored, of having the honor of paying my respects to your lordship at Fulham. The talis cum sis, &c., with which your lordship dismissed me, have done me, indeed, great honor; for your lordship's inflexible attachment to truth and honor, showed me how much I should value the opinion then expressed, though retaining a just sense of my own' littleness. I hope that the "omnino" in the remaining part of the quotation, which I told your lordship had been sent in a letter to me' by the worthy Archdeacon of Cleveland, neither refers to my creed, nor to my essential membership in the Church; but only in reference to my being destitute of its orders. I am afraid of making too free in mentioning the following anecdote: if so, your lordship's goodness will pardon me:-- At an anniversary meeting of the Prayer-book and Homily Society, an excellent clergyman, quoting something that I had written, was pleased to preface it by the remark, 'The worthy Doctor, who, of all the men I know who are not of our church, comes the nearest both in doctrine and friendship to it.' When he had done, I arose; and, after making an apology (which the company were, pleased to receive with great tokens of kindness), I took the liberty to observe, 'I was born, so to speak, in the Church, baptized in the Church, brought up in it, confirmed in it by that most apostolic man, Dr. Bagot, then 'Bishop of Bristol, afterwards of Norwich; have held all my life uninterrupted communion with it, conscientiously believe its doctrines, and have spoken and written in defense of it; and if, after all, I am not allowed to be a member of it, because, through necessity being laid upon me, I preach Jesus and the Resurrection to the perishing multitudes, without those most respectable orders that come from it, I must strive to be content; and, if you will not let me accompany you to heaven, I will, by the grace of God, follow after you, and hang upon your skirts.' This simple declaration left few unaffected in a large assembly, where there were many of the clergy. Mr. Wilberforce, who was sitting, beside the chair, rose up with even more 'than his usual animation, and with 'winged words,' said, 'Far from not acknowledging our worthy friend; far 'from not acknowledging him, as a genuine member of the Church, and of the " church of the first-born whose names are written in heaven," -- far from preventing him to be of the company who are pressing in at the gate 'of blessedness, -we will not, indeed, let him "follow," he shall not "hang on our skirts," to be as if dragged onwards -- we will take him in our arms, we will bear him in our bosom, and, with shouting, carry him into the presence of his God and our God!' The worthy clergyman, whose speech had given rise to these observations, soon placed himself on the best ground, with, 'Indeed, Dr. Clarke, my observation went only to the simple fact of your not being a clergyman of the Established Church.' Whatever evil may be in this, I believe your lordship already knows, lies at the door of the res angusta domi.  It was neither my fault nor my folly! Of the Established Church I have never been a secret enemy, nor a silent friend., What I feel towards. it, the. angels are welcome to ponder; and what I have spoken or written concerning, it, and in its favor, I believe I shall never be even tempted to retract. Being bred up in its bosom, I early drank in its salutary doctrines and spirit. I felt it from my earliest youth, as I felt a most dear relative. While yet dependent on, and most affectionately attached to, her (my natural mother)' who furnished me with my first, aliment, I felt, from an association which your lordship will at once apprehend, what was implied in Mother Church. Howsoever honorable it may be to a person who was in the wrong, to yield to conviction, and embrace the right, that kind of honor I have not in reference to the Church. I was never converted to it; I never had anything to unlearn, when, with a heart open to conviction, I read in parallel the New Testament and the Liturgy of the Church. I therefore find, that, after all I have read, studied, and learnt, I 'am not got. beyond my infant's prayer:-- 'I heartily thank my heavenly Father, that he hath called me into this state of salvation; and pray unto him that he may give me grace to continue in the same to the end of my life.'"
In introducing the following very interesting letter, dated Nov. 12, 1829, and addressed by Dr. Clarke to his daughter, we cannot refrain from expressing our entire approbation of the conduct of the country-people. The practice which they so triumphantly opposed (and, as might have been expected, with the Doctor's approbation), is most unjustifiable and unchristian; and, if chapels cannot be supported by means more legitimate, better would 'it be that they were not built:-" Sunday morning' came, and' the 'weather was pretty fair, and the country people began to come in at an early hour. I was to preach in the old chapel, Halifax, which is much larger than the new one; and the trustees had set collectors at the foot of the gallery stairs to take silver from all who should go thereup. This answered for a short time; but, when John Bull, and his own natural family, came, they began to say, ' We han cummin mony a mile to hear Dr. Clairke, and ye wantin silver fra we? ye shari ha none.' They forthwith turned 'the boxes to right and left, and the collectors with them; forced all the passes; took the whole chapel by storm, and in a trice filled all the great seats, reserved seats, and preserved seats, and possessed the whole from stem to stern, and that with vast quietness, all things considered. Finding how things went, though I was there half an hour before the time, I immediately got into the pulpit, and, having spoken a few words to order, began my work. Though the press was intense, there was absolute stillness. I preached by the power of God; and some people, I afterwards found, had been blessed exceedingly. When I had finished, and looked over the congregation, though I was thankful such a mass of the poor had had the Gospel preached unto them, yet I felt for the collection. This feeling was not a little increased when I went into the vestry, and saw a basket brought in, containing apparently about forty pounds' weight of copper, without a shilling, sixpence, gold, or paper, among it! However, when that and the collection plates were reckoned, I was surprised, and thankful to find, there were four-score and three pounds sterling!"
In the same letter we have a singular specimen of the esteem in which' Dr. Clarke was everywhere held:--"On Saturday, a respectable-looking man was introduced to me, to prefer a singular request; viz., that I would permit him to make, and present me with, a new suit of clothes! I excused myself, and said I had a completely new suit in London, which I had never worn, and therefore had no need. He was sadly disappointed; and I believe would have been glad, had I been half naked, that I might have been obliged to receive his gift. However, he has sent a most beautiful great-coat after me to Stockport, which I have this morning tried on, and it fits nobly: such a coat I never had before, either for material or making."
During the severity of the winter of 1829-30, Dr. Clarke exerted himself much in behalf of the poor of his own neighborhood. With his own hand', he distributed what he could towards the alleviation of the distresses around him. A neighboring gentleman, well known for his liberality, hearing of his beneficent exertions, called upon him, and requested that he might be allowed to join so industrious and discriminating an almoner. Then, drawing forth his purse, he presented ˙20 to Dr. Clarke, who went immediately to town, to purchase blankets, flannel, calico, and other clothing; and, hastening back to Eastcott, spent three whole days in dividing these articles among the poor. In this way, seventy families were essentially relieved; and, though exhausted by the work, and often cut to the heart at tales: of woe and sights of suffering, he was thankful that he had it thus far in his power to ' minister to the comfort of his fellow-creatures.
About the beginning of the year 1830, it was signified to Dr. Clarke that he had been elected an honorary Fellow of the Eclectic Society of London, -- an honor, as the secretary informed him, " paid only to those who had rendered themselves eminent in literature, or in the arts and sciences."
At this period, Dr. Clarke was stationed as one of the preachers in the Hinde Street circuit. It was impossible for him to go from Haydon-hall to his appointment, on the morning of the Sabbath. He, therefore, availed himself of the hospitality of his friend, Mr. Hobbs, of Bayswater, to whose house he proceeded on the afternoon of Saturday, remaining there till Monday morning, with the exception of the intermediate ' hours consumed in attending to his 'ministerial duties. This circumstance is the more worthy of mention, as, from the following, singular but affecting passage in. one of his letters, dated Jan. 19, 1830, it appears that Dr. Clarke attributed, the improvement of his health in a great measure to the kind attentions of. his sabbatic host: -" We are here fast bound in the glittering chains' of Bruma, -- a considerable depth of snow, and an intense frost; but, through all, I continue to go into London to preach, which costs me a good deal of fatigue, and' exposure to various kinds of weather; but I am, thank God hardier than I have been for many years. To me it is a real wonder, that I should travel many miles in an open gig, or on. foot, through the keenest easterly winds, for many miles through the falling snow and the' descending ,rains, and yet not even take cold. I have never once missed my preaching appointments. Such a state Of power to resist cold, and disregard storms and fatigue, I possessed when young; but I lost it altogether many years ago in' London. I got better at Millbrook, but was generally there laid up in the winter months.: I' lost all the good I got at Millbrook in the few months I was at wretched Canonbury Square. At Eastcott I received, much back again; but my kind friend, Mr.' Hobbs, taking me in his gig, for the last two years, to my different places of preaching, in all weathers, has been the means of restoring me to nearly all the firmness of youth! 'What a mercy that infirmity has not rendered me, in my old age, a burden to any of my fellow-creatures!"
The attachment of Dr. Clarke to the observances called Watch-nights, particularly as applied to the expiration of the old and the commencement of the new year, has already been' noticed. He distinguished the opening of the year 1830 by making several resolutions, 'each of which is too remarkable to be passed over. The first was to read the Bible more regularly, and to get through 'it once more before he should die. To this resolution he refers in a letter addressed to' a very young female, the daughter of the husband of one of his daughters. The passage may be given as an evidence of his 'attachment to young persons, as the destined leaders of another age:-- "I hope you read your Bible. What think you? After having for more than half a century read the Bible so much, I formed the resolution, on Jan. 1, 1830, to read the Bible through once more, 'beginning with the first chapter of Genesis, and the first of Matthew, binding myself to read a chapter of each every day. I read the New Testament in Greek, and the Old Testament in English, collating it occasionally with the Hebrew. I bind myself to one chapter in each daily; but I often read more, and have, since the first of last January, read over the five 'books of Moses and the four Gospels. This I find very profitable. Now, I commend this kind of reading to you; and read so that your mind shall feel the reading, and then the reading will profit you." His second resolution, referring to matters which require explanation, was as follows:---" To bear the evils and calamities of life with less pain of spirit; if I suffer wrong, to leave it to God to right me; to murmur against no dispensation of his providence; to bear ingratitude and unkindness, as things totally beyond my control, and, consequently, things on account of which I should not distress myself; and, though friends and confidants should fail, to depend more on my everlasting Friend, who never can fail, and who, to the unkindly treated, will cause all such things to work together for their good. As to wicked men, I must suffer them; for the wicked will deal wickedly. That is their nature; and, from them, nothing else can be reasonably expected. 
At the third resolution, which, however, was not so strictly observed as the former two, those who have read the foregoing pages of this narrative will not be surprised:-- "I have resolved to withdraw as much as possible 'from the cares and' anxieties of public life, ,having grappled' with them as long' as the number of my years can well permit; and, in this respect; I have a conscience as clear as a diamond, ' that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, I have' had my conversation among men;' and now I feel, that, with the necessaries and conveniences of life, I can cheerfully take up, in the wilderness, the lodging-place of a way-faring man. I no longer like strange company of any kind: not that I have fallen or would fall out with' the world; for, thank God, I feel nothing' of the misanthrope: I am ready to spend and be spent for the salvation or good of men."
The closing sentence of the foregoing extract' was speedily exemplified; for, shortly after it was written, Dr. Clarke undertook another journey of benevolence to Ireland. It was this which gave rise to a report, extensively circulated by the newspapers, that he designed to spend the remainder of his days in the land of his birth In allusion to this report, he thus writes to a friend, under date of Feb. 2, 1830:-- "Where' I shall spend it, I cannot tell; but I know of no place where I should more willingly spend the last of my days, or end my life,, than the place where I was born, -- educated, -- first saw a Methodist preacher,--found the peace of God, -- joined the Methodist Society, -- became a leader and local' preacher, -- and from which I was called to be a traveling preacher; and all this took place within a quarter of a square mile,"
Previously, however, to the fulfillment of the project to which we have alluded, Dr. Clarke performed one of those' preaching tours, which, when performed by him, proved so productive to the various funds of the Wesleyan-Methodist 'Connection. Mrs. Clarke was to have met her husband at Uxbridge, as he proceeded on his tour. The horse which drew the vehicle she rode in, taking fright, ran away, much to her danger, though not ultimately to her injury. 'Dr. Clarke, who was a witness of the accident, was peculiarly affected by his fears for her safety. Even after he was assured that she had received no hurt, he did not for some time recover from his alarm. '" I had spoken very little," he writes to one of his daughters, "from the time we left Uxbridge. On attempting to pronounce Blenheim, I found I could not express the last syllable, but another in its place, totally different: I tried, it two or three times, but could not succeed. It was the same with other dissyllables; and, besides, there were several other words which I could not at all catch. At last, I found I could not recollect some of my well-known sentences; nor even the best-known verse of a hymn, though 1 could perfectly recollect the tune. As I found I made the same error in the last syllable of words, I did not attempt to speak any more, lest it should attract the attention of the strangers that were in the coach. When we arrived at Worcester, I endeavored to describe what I felt to your sister Anna Maria and your brother Joseph, who had come from Bristol, to meet us; but they were obliged to supply me with words very often, and guess out my meaning. I felt no affection in my head, no giddiness, no confusion; and my intellect was perfectly clear; but my power to 'call up 'words greatly impaired."
Leaving Mrs. Clarke at Worcester, he proceeded to Manchester. Happily, on arriving in that town, 'he had sufficiently recovered his powers of speech to fulfill his ministerial engagements. Here, and at several neighboring places, he preached and pleaded with his usual success. His own account of one of the sermons and collections may suffice as a' specimen of the whole:--"I was obliged 'to go from that to Cheetham Hill to dinner, where was a splendid provision, of which I tasted not for fear of fever, having to preach at Salford at night; to which I was driven off so spent, that I could barely stand or speak. The congregation was overwhelming, the silence of death prevailed; and there was not an eye, apparently, in the place, that had any other object than your poor father's face. 1 was very weak; but spoke the deepest and highest things concerning God, the human soul, and its redemption, that I have ever uttered.. Before the congregation was dismissed, they had reckoned the collection; and a. person came in and announced, 'The collection amounts to one hundred and five pounds.' In such times, having suffered much from poverty, and various distresses, such collections, within a mile of each other, and on the same day too, were truly astonishing.. I believe, if the people were obliged to fast, they would still give their money, when I beg."
His engagements in England being at an end, Dr. Clarke crossed the channel, in company, with Mr. Everett, of Manchester. On arriving at the scene of his early days, he was hospitably entertained by Mr. John Cromie, a humane and benevolent landlord, who not only did not absent himself from his estates, but made it his principal business to promote the comfort of his tenantry, to devise public improvements, and to provide employment for the poor.
At Port Stuart, Dr. Clarke derived much pleasure from visiting those who knew him in his youth, as appears from the following extract from his Journal:--"I went over all this port, visiting in their houses those whom I had known, and with whom I had been in religions fellowship, nearly fifty years ago. I found but few of that time remaining; but many of their descendants. In each house, I spoke particularly on the things of God, and the necessity of preparing for a better world; and in every house I prayed with the family. This was pleasing to all. Several of the old people were in raptures; and some of them, being blind, could not help still thinking, that ' the little boy,' and ' the good little boy,' that was used so long ago to visit and pray with them, was now come again after a lengthened absence. Of my present growth they could not judge, being, from their blindness, unable to discern objects; and their 'minds passed over the lapse of fifty years without the least difficulty. The past they immediately connected with the present; and half a century was at once lost. One effect of this was, they forgot their own advance in life; forgot the sorrows and trials of fifty years, and talked with me in the same endearing strain and affectionate manner, in which they were once accustomed to converse with the 'little boy.' 'Oh, my dear, how glad I am that you are come again! how glad I am to hear you once more!' Even the children, hearing their grandfathers and grandmothers talk thus, seemed at once to consider me as some one of the family that had been out on a journey for a long time, but was now returned home; and, to me, how delightful were this morning's visits! What pleasing ideas are awakened in my mind, while visiting these scenes of my boyish days, and passing by the places where I first heard the pure Gospel of the Son of God, and first saw a Methodist preacher; and especially when I entered that field, where, after having passed through a long night of deep mental and spiritual affliction, the peace of God was spoken to my heart, and his love shed abroad in it! I would give almost any thing to buy that field where I found the heavenly treasure; but it is not to be sold! Oh, it almost makes me young again to view these scenes
There is another entry under the same date, which shows that the report of his intention to take up his abode in Ireland, was not wholly without foundation: "I have today purchased a house in Port Stuart, in nomine EternŠ et IndividuŠ Trinitatis! From all the circumstances narrated above, the place is dear to me. Here I purpose spending three months in the succeeding summers of my life, if it be spared. May God smile on what I have done, and make it a blessing to myself, and the many among whom it is my intention to proclaim the word of life and salvation!" The intention here expressed was never fulfilled.
On his return to England, Dr. Clarke was laid under one of the penalties of literary distinction, in being besieged by the fair proprietors of albums. One of his contributions to those pretty repositories of pretty things, contains so affecting a reference to his own experience and prospects,' as to deserve a record here:-
THE SEASONS OF ADAM CLARKE'S LIFE.
I have enjoyed the spring of life -I have endured the toils of its summer -I have culled the fruits of its autumn -I am now passing through the rigors of its winter; And am neither forsaken of God, Nor abandoned by man. I see at no great distance the dawn of a new day, The first of a spring that shall be eternal! It is advancing to meet me! I run to embrace it! Welcome! welcome! eternal spring! Hallelujah!
When he arrived at Haydon-hall, he had the satisfaction of finding that all his family were well, and that "no evil tidings awaited his return."
It has been seen that Dr. Clarke delighted to evince his attachment to the Church of England. This propensity. has, not been lost sight of by the apologists for the abuses and corruptions of that unscriptural and inefficient institution, who have seized with avidity on every sentence in which the Doctor betrayed his partiality for its formularies. But charity suggests that such a man as he could not approve of the adulterous connection between Church and State, of exalting the ministers of Christ to temporal dignities, or of many other evils which result from these. With this caveat, we lay before the reader a letter, in which, at his correspondent's request, Dr. Clarke gave his opinion, on the much-abused, and, as we think, unscriptural rite of Confirmation: -",It is supposed to be a rite by which the moral burden is taken from off the shoulders of the sponsors, and transferred to those shoulders to which it properly belongs. Now, as long as these opinions and feelings relative to it prevail in the minds of all parties, I say, in God's name, let the rite, duly administered, be humbly received; but the subjects of it should be well informed, that, by it, they have not merely performed a duty, and, so far, may have an easy conscience; but, in addition, they have by it taken a strong and perpetual yoke upon their necks, in their vow 'to renounce the Devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, and that they should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of their' lives.' Should any person say, ' If all this is comprised in being confirmed, then I will not be confirmed at all,' I answer, you are bound to, all this by your profession of Christianity: so that, confirmed or not confirmed, this yoke is about your neck; and, if you break it, or throw it away, it is at the peril' of your final destruction. Again, the rite itself is useful to call these things to remembrance; and who knows how much grace may be, received during the performance of the ceremony, and especially by having a holy man's hands laid on your head, and the blessing and protection of God solemnly invoked on your behalf?" Had we space for such an indulgence, this letter would afford ground for remarks in which we should be obliged to differ from Dr. Clarke; but we must be content to refer the reader' to the New Testament, in which, we believe, he will find nothing to countenance this ceremony of the Church.
About this time, Dr. Clarke wrote and published another volume of sermons.
In the month of July, he was again called upon to travel. The place of his destination was Carmarthen, where he was to preside at the District Meeting of the Wesleyan- Methodist preachers. This business proved very laborious, scarcely one-half of the preachers being able to speak English; and' thus an interpreter was needed, which took up double' time. Dr. Clarke was growing too old to bear the fatigues of so much close application to business; and the work so completely exhausted him, that, when he sat down to table, he usually fell asleep; his stomach refused food, and it became a cross to him even to see it.
Wales and the Welsh gave him satisfaction on the whole. Of the latter he remarks, "They hear the word of life with the utmost attention: but I 'think the preachers' are 'not strict in. 'their discipline. They make nothing of beginning a. quarter, or even half an hour, after the proper service time, and excuse themselves by saying, 'Oh, it will be time enough; for the people will not be come.' True, because the people know that the preacher will not be there! and this is the reason of all the irregularities in the congregations."
On reaching Liverpool in his return, Dr. Clarke found that his youngest son had arrived to take charge of the church of St. Matthew, in that town. When Mr. Clarke delivered his first sermon to his new hearers, his 'father was present. " His church," he writes, in relating the circumstance, "was full, and his congregation deeply attentive; and, in one or two parts of his sermon, he opened all the fountains of all heads. Some cried, some wept; and Adam Clarke, in attempting to play the man, was subdued by mother in his eyes: the people looked 'astounded, and scarcely knew why they were so tragically affected. The whole formed a seal, I trust, on his mission to this place. In the evening, he went again to church, and I to Brunswick. Such a glorious crowd I have hardly ever seen. By the very first sentence I spoke in my discourse, the great Master of assemblies drove the nail of attention, and secured its hold by the rivet of interest. I had all eyes, and, under God, commanded all hearts, for nearly an hour. The almighty, Sovereign, eternal Fountain of love, was every where manifested; and I felt great liberty in publishing the fullness and the freedom of 'salvation."
It may here be noticed, that Dr. Clarke possessed a considerable talent for conversation, and was exceedingly communicative. The variety of his extensive knowledge appeared still more in his social talk, than in his published works, or pulpit discourses. But, unhappily, little more than the memory of the cheerful and instructive tenor of his remarks and anecdotes has survived him. To his youngest son, however, we owe the preservation of a few fragments of this sort of reminiscences, which, given in that gentleman's words, will afford a specimen of his father's conversational powers. The conversation detailed took place in 1830:-- "Turning to his son, who chanced, with one of his daughters, to be at Haydon-hall on a visit, Dr. Clarke said, 'Joseph, did you ever read Archbishop Usher's Life and Letters?' ''No, father.' 'Well, then, read it at once. That was the first book which ever gave my mind a desire for biblical criticism. It might not have the same effect upon others; but to me it appeared so fraught with the most useful knowledge for a divine, that you cannot too soon go through it.' Then continuing a desultory conversation, he remarked, 'There is one great desideratum in English literature; namely, a good translation of Pliny's Natural History, with proper illustrative notes. It is an Herculean task; and I know no man who could successfully have undertaken it, but Mason Goode. I spoke to him upon the subject; but he said he dreaded it: and now, I fear, the hope of its accomplishment is over; for Mason Goode is no more!' On being asked, 'What think you, Father, of Mr. _____'S Memoirs of ______? was he fully qualified to have written the Life, without any personal acquaintance with the individual?' Dr. Clarke replied, ' I can answer your question thus:-- A French gentleman being once asked, " What do you think is the strongest evidence of the truth of Christianity?" answered, "The Four Gospels." "What mean you, Sir: they may rather be considered as the history of it?" " So they are, Sir, also: but from them it is evident that their author did really exist; for no person could have written those accounts of him, but from a personal knowledge, and an intimate converse with his actions and habits. The Evangelists narrate things which, had they not been seen, they would never have thought of; and, throughout the whole Four Gospels, they severally speak of our Lord in such a manner, as to prove to us that they must have been with him, and personally acquainted with all those passages of his life which they detail; or it would have been impossible for them to have detailed them as they have done. They thus bear the strongest evidence to the truth of their own testimony." Apply that remark to the question you asked me; and you have my opinion at once.' Shortly afterwards he said, 'Joseph, after having now labored with a clear conscience for the space of fifty years, in preaching the salvation of God through Christ, to thousand of souls, I can say,' that is the most successful kind of preaching which exhibits and upholds, in the clearest and strongest light, the Divine perfection and mercy of the infinitely compassionate and holy God, to fallen man;--which represents him to man's otherwise hopeless case, as compassionate' as well as just, as slow to anger as quick to mark iniquity. Tell, then, your hearers, not only that the conscience must be sprinkled, but that it was God himself who provided a Lamb! All false religions invariably endow the infinite Being with attributes unfavorable to the present condition of men, and with feelings inimical to their future felicity, and in opposition 'to their present good. Such descriptions and attributes, can never win man's confidence: and, as far as they are used and carried into the 'Christian ministry, are a broad libel upon the Almighty.' Dr. Clarke then added this playful admonition, in reference to his son's close application, and too great disregard of suitable attention to his health:-- 'By such means, you will shorten your life; and, under such circumstances, I am not quite sure, lad, of your favorable reception at the gate of heaven: for, if Peter watched there, when you knocked at its portal, he might say,' Who are you? Why are you here at this time? You were not sent for, and need not have come hither for several years.' And it will be well for you if he does not add, 'Get along with you.' 
One of the measures of the Wesleyan-Methodist 'Conference of 1830, which was held in Leeds, consisted in the 'adoption of resolutions strongly condemnatory of West India slavery, and inviting a general application to Parliament, by petition, for its speedy abolition. In these resolutions, Dr. Clarke, who was an uncompromising 'abolitionist, heartily joined; and he took a just pride in forwarding an early copy of them to Mr.. Wilberforce. That great and good man was much 'pleased with this decided step towards the object for which he had so long and so successfully labored. In a letter which he wrote to Dr. Clarke on the occasion, he thus expressed his gratification:-- " The 'Resolutions' are truly excellent; and I rejoice to hear that the cause of the poor slaves will be so zealously pleaded for by your numerous congregations. With what insane, as well as wicked bitterness, are those most respectable men, who are devoting themselves as missionaries to the service of God among the poor slaves in Jamaica, persecuted by the legislature of that island! Before I lay down my pen, which a complaint in my eyes permits me to use but very little, compared with the claims on it (but I would not write to you by my amanuensis), let me express my regret that you were from home when Serjeant Pell and I paid our respects at Eastcott. We were received with great courtesy and kindness by Mrs. Clarke, and we saw many interesting objects; but that which we most wished to see was absent. I hope I may be able, some time or other, to pay you another visit. Though personally strangers to each other, it is not merely by your works that you are known to me. I well remember hearing many years ago,' from our late excellent friend,, Mr. Butterworth, 'so many particulars of your early life and labors, especially in' Cornwall, that' I have ever since felt acquainted with you. I am going from home very soon; but, if it please God that we both live till another summer, I hope we may effect a meeting." Whether a meeting between these two eminent philanthropists took place or not, we have no means of deciding.
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