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    Volume I, PART II, SECTION IV.,
    1790, Letters to Adam


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    SECTION IV. 1790.

    Having been appointed superintendent of the Dublin circuit, he soon felt the onerous situation in which he stood; and more especially as he was placed between two fires, kindled by contending parties. Adverting to his superintendency, long after these fires had ceased to burn, he jocosely [jokingly] said, "The superintendent of the Dublin circuit had a power in Methodism equal to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Nothing could be done without my permission; I was consulted on every subject: wishing to build a gallery they sought my sanction: I told them, at length, not to trouble me; that, if the congregation was such as to demand one, and they had money, to do so. The aristocratic party carried things exceedingly high. I saw that the friends had given an unenviable power to their superintendent, and by so doing, involved him in painful responsibility; for, under these circumstances, every failure would be laid at his door; I therefore resolved to remove at the close of the year." Though fuel was prepared, and preparing, for a still greater blaze, and some of the materials were discovered, great discretion was required in watching the fitting season for the removal of all which was calculated to excite uneasy apprehensions.

    One evil, apart from the causes of dissension, which Mr. Clarke soon detected in Dublin, and which was not so much the sin of the society as it was of the place itself, was that of wine-bibbing; and the more effectually to check it, and prevent further encroachment in certain quarters, he resolved on abstinence, and took only two glasses of wine in the course of the whole year of his residence in the city; thus bearing a practical testimony against it. Some persons blamed him -- others praised him -- a third class pronounced him weak -- while a fourth respected his motives and feelings:-- the majority he left to prove that his practice was publicly injurious.

    A person of the name of Thomas Bond was a fine study, and sometimes afforded Mr. Clarke a little amusement. He was never known to speak evil of anybody; a person wishing to test him one day, represented the case of Pontius Pilate in the most aggravated light, and then asked what he thought of him, when he returned, "I dare say he was a good sort of gentleman upon the whole, but I do think he was a little out there." This said Thomas Bond had a small shop at the corner of a street, and was much annoyed by idle, base characters, meeting together, and blocking up his window. He requested them to remove, when they filed off to a short distance, but soon returned. Tired with remonstrating, he at length hit on an innocent device, in which he was assisted -- (no matter whether by divine or philosopher,) -- which had the desired effect. He procured an electrical machine, and introduced a wire through an aperture -- charged -- and then touched one of the fellows, who leaped, but seeing nothing, could not comprehend the cause of the shock: a second, wondering at the unaccountable conduct of his companion, approached and was himself struck, -- a third, and fourth were electrified, -- each amazed, in his turn. Thomas, delighted with his prankfulness, stole out and closed the windows; but all had disappeared, and a report was soon circulated, that the devil was in the habit of visiting Tom Bond's corner.

    A somewhat picturesque scene, which will pair with the preceding, was witnessed by Mr. Clarke one day, as he was passing along the streets, and which he noticed as illustrative of Irish character. Two women were seated on the ground at the corner of one of the streets, resting against the wall, with knees nearly up to their chins, and arms thrown around them to enable them to sit at greater ease. One of them had a short pipe in her mouth, which appeared to be all the better for its previous ten years service, being so completely impregnated with the weed, as seemingly to render an additional charge superfluous. While sitting and looking each other in the face, some horses passed, drawing a low, broad-wheeled, Phoenician cart. No notice was taken of the horses by either of them, but on turning an angle at the corner, the wheels rose upon the causeway, and skimming close past them, placed them in the utmost jeopardy of being crushed against the wall.

    One of them, with great presence of mind, started up, and, resting against the wall to escape death, stretching out her arms, with one hand clenched, and the pipe of ebony hue in the other, swore an oath at the man, -- wishing to know, whether he intended to kill them; and then instantly resuming her seat -- wrapped her petticoats around her -- looked her companion in the face again -- and, with the pipe in her mouth, took up the thread of the discourse which had been thus interrupted, without a single word upon their hair-breadth escape, or an additional oath sent after the carter, or apparently any perturbed feeling. This circumstance would have placed others in a state of trepidation for hours afterwards. But here, it was a sudden burst, and over in an instant; and was one of those peculiarities which Mr. Clarke considered as entering into the prompt, impetuous, heedless character of his country-men and, country-women.

    Whatever might be his knowledge of character, and his observations upon it from without, he found large contributions laid upon his own from within, as well as ample scope for the exercise of patience. Among those who loved him least, were two influential families, the K's and the D's, who finally left the society at the division. Mr. Clarke preached on one occasion on the rich man and Lazarus. The heads of the society then occupied seats in the back part of the gallery. There they sat, not in the spirit of candid hearers, desirous of profiting by the word preached, but in the more stately character of critics, anxious to find fault.

    Mr. Clarke having heard some of their remarks at second-hand, (for none of them had the honesty or candor to speak to himself on the subject,) took the same text a short time afterwards and gave his views upon it. On coming to a point, which had been either ignorantly misunderstood, or wilfully perverted, he gave an honest look towards the large pew, and after a slight pause, said, "Now, listen to me. Do not be sleeping, when you should be hearing; and take care to understand what you do hear. My remarks were, and still are," so and so. This was a temporary cure. Persons like these, who hear but to find fault, would have been compared by Swift, had he been living in Dublin at the time, to the judge, who should adopt the barbarous resolution of executing every person who appeared before him on a trial.

    But notwithstanding the censorious spirit which was manifested in certain quarters, the work of God prospered in the society generally. To this, as well as to the ruling party, Mr. Wesley refers, in one of his letters to Mr. Clarke.

    "Bristol, September 9, 1790.

    "Dear Adam, -- Did not the terrible weather you had at sea make you forget your fatigue by land? Come, set one against the other, and you have no great reason to complain of your journey. You will have need of all the courage and prudence which God has given you. Indeed you will want constant supplies of both. Very gently, and very steadily, you should proceed between the rocks on either hand. In the great revival at London, my first difficulty was, to bring into temper those who opposed the work; and my next, to check and regulate the extravagances of those who promoted it. And this was far the harder part of the work; for many of them would bear no check at all. But I followed one rule, though with all calmness 'You must either bend or break.' Meantime, while you act exactly right, expect to be blamed by both sides. I will give you a few directions: 1. See that no prayer-meeting continue later than nine at night, particularly on Sunday. Let the house be emptied before the clock strikes nine. [78] 2. Let there be no exhortation at any prayer-meeting.

    3. Beware of jealousy, or judging one another. 4. Never think a man is an enemy to the work, because he reproves irregularities. Peace be with you and yours! I am, dear Adam, your affectionate friend and brother, "J. WESLEY."

    The discrepancy observable between Mr. Clarke's "gentle breeze," and "calm sea," and Mr. Wesley's "terrible weather," can only be accounted for on the possibility of the latter referring to a subsequent passage across the channel, or to the greater probability of a lapse of memory, (of which he had some time complained,) thus coupling with some other circumstance and time, the voyage in question. Mr. Wesley again wrote to him from

    "London, November 26, 1790.

    "Dear Adam, -- The account you send me of the continuance of the great work of God in Jersey, gives me much satisfaction. To retain the grace of God is much more than to gain it: hardly one in three does so. And this should be strongly and explicitly urged on all who have tasted of perfect love. If we can prove that any of our local preachers or leaders, either directly or indirectly, speak against it, let him be a local preacher or leader no longer. I doubt whether he should continue in the society. Because he who could speak thus in our congregations cannot be an honest man. I wish sister Clarke to do what she can, but no more than she can. Betsy Ritchie, Miss Johnson, and Mary Clarke, are women after my own heart. Last week I had an excellent letter from Mrs. Pawson, (a glorious witness of full salvation,) showing how impossible it is to retain pure love without growing therein. Wishing every blessing to you and all the family, I am, dear Adam, your affectionate friend and brother, -- J. WESLEY."

    Mr. Clarke's constant correspondence with some of the friends in the island of Jersey, afforded him the opportunity of noticing the prosperity of the work of God there, as well as in Dublin. The points, however, referred to by Mr. Wesley, show that the sea which Mr. Clarke was called to navigate, "wrought and was tempestuous," and that the wisdom and experience of an additional pilot were required at this critical moment.

    A winter of unusual severity was rapidly approaching, and to meet its rigors, Mr. Clarke was but slenderly provided. Mental anxiety and personal privation, had made heavy demands upon his health. The income of Methodist ministers in those days, was, from the necessity of the case, extremely limited, because the majority of persons comprising the societies were those of the lower and uninfluential class, and the few who formed the exception amid the mass, were, in the city of Dublin, the very families who, though he had espoused their side of the question, exercised none of those benevolent emotions which ought especially to characterize a Christian community. It is an observation borne out by painful experience, that wealth has a tendency to blunt the moral feelings, and to shut up those sympathies which ought to be ever traveling forth in acts of beneficence. Thus it was in Dublin. To follow out a tale of heavy affliction, the combined effect of depressed circumstances in his own case, and of unfeeling neglect on the part of others, would be, at this distant period, but the record of sorrows past, borne by the sufferers with exemplary patience and submission.

    One circumstance, the recital of which we had from his own lips, shall suffice in this part of the narrative, as affording a fair criterion by which to judge of the general state of affairs connected with the Methodist ministers of that day, in Dublin. "We were allowed," said the subject of this memoir, "half a guinea a week for board: we were expected, it is true, to be out a good deal, but to this dependent state of things neither my Mary nor myself could consent; fuel was very dear, and the weather was intensely cold. On one occasion, having neither food nor money, I went to my books, and selecting with an aching heart, some which might be better spared than the rest, I repaired with them to a bookseller, who gave me three pounds for what had cost me nine: the hunger and the cold I would rather have borne than the loss of a portion of my small library, but that my wife and children should lack such scanty comfort as this sacrifice supplied, was a thought not to be endured for a moment."

    At this time, too, Mr. Clarke was called to sustain a severe domestic bereavement, which he touchingly relates in a letter to his old and tried friend, Miss E. Cooke.

    "Dublin, Deer. 16th, 1790.

    "My very dear sister, -- A fortnight ago, we entered our new habitation. This morning, one of the loveliest babes with which Divine goodness ever blessed mortals, has been taken away from your afflicted brother and sister. I need not say, -- sympathize with us! None can taste our woe! Not anything has ever gone so near to breaking my heart, as this affliction. I feel I have lost part of my own being, in the loss of my child. I cannot thank God for removing her; this would be unnatural: nor can I in the least repine; this would be impious. Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon us! Thou Eternal Power, we bow before thee; we submit to thee. Thou canst do only that which is right:-- but remember, oh, remember us in thy mercy, for thou knowest what we feel! Oh, my sister, we want you here. All are strangers to us. Since we are deprived of our old friends, we wish to suffer alone: we do not want to form new acquaintance. My whole spirit is averse to it. I could wish to have in the wilderness, 'the lodging of a way-faring man.' It is enough -- 'Shall a living man complain.?'

    "Yours, in a sea of sorrow, -- ADAM CLARKE."

    On witnessing the general ignorance of parents, as evidenced in the improper treatment of children, Mr. Clarke has been heard to state, that it might admit of a question, whether it entered into the original design of God, that the flower should be thus nipped in the bud; whether it was not his design that every human being should advance to maturity, and whether it was not owing to ignorance, improper treatment, and hereditary complaints, that the order of God was reversed. This, he found, might serve the purpose of speculation in the season of health, but was not a subject for consolatory reflection, when "the desire of the eyes" was removed "with a stroke." Before time had been able to wear away the acuteness of this heavy calamity, we find him again addressing his sister in a letter of absorbing interest, and in which is discoverable the same spirit of submission to the will of the Supreme Being; and the same acquiescence in the dispensations of providence, as so signally distinguished the whole tenor of his walk among men, from the hour that the conviction first possessed his mind, that all the ways of God are mercy and truth, unto them that fear him. And it is well to pause a moment on the subject passing under review, and note how entirely the rational persuasion of a ceaseless interference of omnipotent wisdom and love, is able to brace up the mind to the endurance of sorrow; to nerve it to the calm contemplation of the clouds which may be gathering around it, and to empower it to behold -- even in the furnace of the hottest affliction, "a form like unto the Son of God."

    About the middle of January, 1791, Mr. Clarke thus writes to Miss E. Cooke:-

    "Dublin, Jan. 20, 1791.

    My very dear sister, -- I have requested these writing materials to be brought to my bedside, and occupy them in order to prove to you, that because the Lord liveth, I still exist. But a short time ago, there was no probability you would ever have received a line from my hand; -even since you received that from Mr. Boyle, my well tried friend, giving an account of the prospect there was of amendment. My (beyond all comparison) excellent Mary, continued my close attendant in the time of unutterable distress. It added to my affliction, to see the part she took in it, night and day. This is my nineteenth day, and I begin, though slowly, to gather a little strength; but have had hardly any sleep since I was first seized, and my spasms are not yet gone. Everything considered, I think it little less than a miracle that I still exist.

    "You will perhaps wish to know in what stead my profession stood me in the time of sore trouble. I cannot wait to enumerate particulars, nor am I able. Suffice it to say, -- God did not leave my soul one moment. I was kept, through the whole, in such a state of perfect resignation, that not a single desire that the Lord would either remove, or lessen the pain, took place in my mind, from the beginning until now. I could speak of nothing but mercy. Jesus was my all, and in all. The Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Blessed, blessed for ever, be the name of the Lord! Mary is now almost recovered. Give our love to all who love us in the Lord Jesus. I am fully wearied with this scrawl. Continue to pray for us. For five months we have had sore affliction, but the Lord does all things well! If they will receive it, give our love to your sisters. Shall I ever see you? With a heart full of affection, I am yours in the Lord, -- A. CLARKE."

    The account of his severe and long continued illness having reached England, a report was widely and confidently circulated that Mr. Clarke was dead: a letter written from Jersey to Mr. Brackenbury, by Mr. A. B. Bishop, says, -- "I am glad to hear brother Clarke still lives: his funeral sermon has been preached here by brother Stevens, and the society was much afflicted on his account."

    Assured of the deep interest Mr. Wesley took, as well in his personal welfare, as in that of the work of God, Mr. Clarke addressed a letter to him so soon as he was sufficiently recovered to be capable of writing. Mr. Wesley was at this time, on the verge of that stream which separates between the life that now is, and that which has neither bound nor limit: yet his interest in the great work which he had been the honored instrument of achieving, suffered neither diminution nor decay; the wintry frost of age could neither blight the healthfulness, nor decrease the vigor of his thinkings and feelings on the great question of, how God may be just, and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus, -- hence we find him looking back upon the scene he was so soon to quit, and with peculiar freshness and energy writing upon the various subjects touched in Mr. Clarke's communication.

    "London, February 9, 1791.

    "Dear Adam, -- You have great reason to bless God for giving you strength according to your day. He has indeed supported you, in a wonderful manner, under these complicated afflictions. You may well say, 'I will put my trust in thee as long as I live.' I will desire Dr. Whitehead to consider your case, and give you his thoughts upon it. I am not afraid of your doing too little, but too much. I am in imminent danger of this. Do a little at a time, that you may do the more. My love to sisters Coopman and Boyle; but it is a doubt with me, whether I shall cross the seas any more. What preacher was it who first omitted meeting the select society? I wonder it did not destroy the work! You have done right in setting up the Strangers' (Friend) Society. It is an excellent institution. I am quite at a loss concerning Mr. Maddan. I know not what to think of him. Send me your best thoughts concerning him. At any rate, write, and send me your thoughts on Animal Magnetism. I set my face against this device of Satan. I know its principles full well. With much love to your wife. I am, my dear Adam, your affectionate brother, -- J. WESLEY."

    In less than a month from the date of this letter, the apostolic Wesley closed his eyes on this scene, to open them on that beatific vision which had engaged his sublimest thoughts, and been a chief subject of his powerful ministry, for more than sixty years. Confirmatory of what has been stated of the high estimation in which he held his young friend, it may be mentioned, that, though but a junior preacher, Mr. Wesley nominated him as one of his seven executors.

    Upon Mr. Wesley's general character, Mr. Clarke observed, -- "As a scholar, poet, logician, critic, philosopher, politician, legislator, divine, public teacher, and deeply pious and extensively useful man, he had no superior; few, if any, equals; and can never have justice done him, unless accurately viewed in all these lights, for he sustained all these characters: so that the use he made of these various talents may appear as it brought glory to God, and good to mankind. After undergoing innumerable hardships -- sustaining labors beyond all ordinary belief -- being the instrument of turning many from the power of Satan unto God -- giving the most unequivocal example of extraordinary self-denial and disinterestedness, full of the life and hope of the gospel, he died in London, at his own house, in the City Road, March, 2nd 1791, in the 88th year of his age, and the 66th of his ministry." [79]

    After several lives of Mr. Wesley had been published, by the Rev. J. Hamson, Dr. Whitehead, Dr. Coke, Rev. H. Moor, Dr. Southey, and others, the Conference, many years subsequent to this, requested [Adam Clarke] the subject of these pages to prepare a Life of the Founder of Methodism. This, however, for reasons that may appear hereafter, was relinquished on the part of Mr. Clarke; though, to the close of life, he contemplated a character of him, and of publishing that character, if not separately, at least in the "Wesley Family." To the writer he observed, in his private correspondence, so late as 1829, "I think I will endeavor to give a sketch of Mr. J. Wesley's Life, with some anecdotes, and a proper character, so that he should have some justice done to him, and not abandon him to the scurrility of such persons as Lord _____, who glean their henbane [henbane n. 1 a poisonous herbaceous plant, Hyoscyamus niger, with sticky hairy leaves and an unpleasant smell. 2 a narcotic drug obtained from this. -Oxford Dict.] from such lives as the apostate Nightingale. By this, the new edition of the Wesley Family will make two good 8vo. vols."

    In another letter, he remarked, Deer. 7, 1831, only about nine months before [Wesley's] his death: "No man out of heaven is capable of writing Mr. Wesley's life, [referring to the one written by the Rev. Richard Watson,] who had not an intimate acquaintance with him. I lay in his bosom; and perhaps the world, or rather the church may find, when Adam Clarke is no more among men, that John Wesley is not left without a proper notice of the rare excellences of his life, written by one whom he affectionately loved."

    For some time after Mr. Clarke was able to stir abroad, he continued very thin, and was unequal to the work of the circuit. But on regaining his physical strength, he might be seen passing along the streets, a lank figure, with long hair, blue coat, and a cocked hat -- such an one as he appears in, in the second portrait taken for the Methodist Magazine. He appeared to see no one as he passed on his way, -- taking long strides, as if measuring the ground: and, as one of his peculiarities, it may be noticed, that he knew the number of steps necessary to be taken from chapel to chapel, and the precise time it would require to reach particular places.

    The Strangers' Friend Society, to which a brief allusion has been already made, was established in Dublin, by Mr. Clarke, on a similar plan to one he set on foot in Bristol the preceding year. This Dublin one was preeminently distinguished, in the aid it received from George the Fourth, who, upon his visit to Ireland in the summer of 1821, directed, among other munificent acts, that fifty pounds should be added from the privy purse, to the funds of the Strangers' Friend Society. It was during the period of his ministrations in Dublin, that Mr. Clarke became acquainted (as noticed elsewhere as a subscriber to the Strangers' Friend Society) with the elegant authoress of "Psyche," a poem of peculiar delicacy and beauty. As no record has ever been given to the public of a life full of deep and touching interest, a lightly sketched outline will not be unwelcome in connection with our Memoir.

    The maiden name of Mrs. Tighe was Blashford: she was allied, on the maternal side, both to rank and fortune. The years of childhood were distinguished by promises of that future talent which marked her, even amid the most polished and intellectual society; but there was belonging to her also, that peculiar delicacy of physical health, which is too frequently found in alliance with the higher order of intellect. Upon her introduction into fashionable life, her hand was sought by many; but the selection fell on one, who though possessing talent and moral worth, had little else to offer. The desired alliance was frowned upon by the parents; and the object of his deep affection surrendered her own inclination to what she imagined to be the claim of filial duty. A wealthy cousin, "an honorable man," sought the hand of his fair and talented relative; and the gifted girl became his wife. She lived but a short time after this event: her health failed, but her mind was sustained by the love and aids of philosophy and poesy [poesy n. archaic 1 poetry. 2 the art or composition of poetry. -- Oxford Dict]; till at length, to satisfy the cravings of an unhealthy abstractedness, she wandered amid the mazes of skepticism. Six years of dreadful physical suffering were endured with a fortitude supplied by such resources as her strong intellect and varied reading afforded. But the hour drew nigh, in which philosophy and skepticism were alike powerless: she felt that she must die, and she dared not look onward. Her spirit, engirt only with imagined strength, quailed beneath the single dart of the enemy; and she stood on the verge of the deep gulf unprepared and alone. Then, for the first time, she felt that "the foolishness of God was wiser than men, and the weakness of God stronger than men;" and casting herself at once upon the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, -- peace, assurance, and joy succeeded alarm, and doubt, and terror. Two more days she survived, a glorious instance of that power which "saves to the uttermost," and then quietly fell asleep!

    The entire history is one of thrilling interest, and cannot be contemplated, in conjunction with the productions of her elegant and classic pen, without intense feeling. Mrs. Hemans, a somewhat kindred spirit, knew and loved her. In pausing a moment, to pay the tribute of sympathy to the memory of the talented and the good, we are but doing justice to their worth, and our own feelings.

    To extend his knowledge of anatomy and medicine, Mr. Clarke entered Trinity College, Dublin. It was at a time, however, when the college was not empowered to grant diplomas. In addition to the lectures, he paid close attention to the fine specimens of anatomical representations in wax, for which the college is famed. He could enter, both minutely and largely, into the anatomy of the human frame, when in conversation with gentlemen of the medical profession; and though far from being forward in showing his knowledge in this department of science, yet the writer has a perfect recollection of the advantage to which he appeared, on one occasion, when his knowledge was called forth by some remarks on the subjects which Mr. Hunter had left behind him in Scotland. When pleasantly correcting an overweening fondness for medicine, he said, -

    "Two or three vegetables, and about the same number of minerals, will constitute nearly the whole ground-work of medicine, -- say bark, antimony, quicksilver, the rust of iron, &c., &c. All the others may be swept into the sea to feed the fishes with."

    He had a strong objection to all quackery in medicine; wishing every science to be carried to its highest state of perfection. Some of his own attainments in medicine and anatomy, while in Dublin, may be seen from the easy and familiar manner in which he has acquitted himself, in one of the "Detached Pieces," in his "Miscellaneous Works," vol. x, on the Philadelphia Medical Museum.

    The library of Trinity College afforded him fine scope, not only for general reading, but for particular literary research; and here he collected much of that biblical treasure, which he afterwards poured forth in his Notes on the Bible. Among other works with which he was pleased, and which he carefully examined, was the Codex Montifortii, or Codex Dubliniensis, cited by Erasmus, under the title of Codex Britannicus. His opinion of this MS., supposed by Michaelis, (vol. iv, page 417, of his Introductory Lecture,) to have been written after 1500, was, that though comparatively modern, it was in existence long before the invention of printing, and never penned with a design to deceive. He was inclined to think it was the work of some unknown bold critic, who formed a text from one or more MSS., in connection with the Vulgate; and who was by no means sparing of his own conjectural emendations. To this conclusion he came the more readily, on finding in it various readings that did not exist in any other MS., then discovered. But how far the writer had, in any place, faithfully copied the text of any ancient MS., he considered it impossible to determine. He has given what he called a perfect facsimile of a part of the MS., copied by Dr. Barrett, the librarian, though he himself had made a transcript of the disputed passage in 1 John v. 7, 8, 9. He afterwards examined the MS. still more minutely. An account of it is given in his Notes, in his Succession of Sacred Literature, p. 86, 94, 12mo., and in his elaborate critique on Dr. Barrett's Evangelium Secundum Matthæum, in his Miscellaneous Works, written originally for the Eclectic Review.

    All subjects connected with sacred or profane history, were examined by him with critical and scrupulous nicety; especially the former, owing, (to employ his own language,) to "the most heartfelt veneration for the uncorrupted oracles of God," and a sense of duty to the religious public, as a public character. Hence arose his careful and patient examination of authorities, his recurrence to references, and his verification of all the calculations brought before him and hence, too, his sentence of condemnation on "the discreditable shifts," as he denominates them, "which some will adopt, who cut the knots they cannot untie; and because they find it impracticable to reconcile certain seeming difficulties in the sacred history, first affect to doubt its authenticity, and afterwards put forth their criminal hands, and lop off whole branches from the tree of life: a text is too small a portion; difficulties (to them) still remain; another text must follow, and another; till at last whole chapters are tossed away into the limbo of vanity. Then, to be sure, all is fair and clear; for by this species of criticism anything may be proved or denied: but God never appointed such a method to discover truth, and sound criticism should hold it disgraceful to resort to it."

    Everything connected with literature had, to Mr. Clarke's mind, the attractive influence of the lodestone; and true as the needle to the pole, it was sure to move in that direction. Though scanty his means, he was unable, on a particular occasion, to resist the temptation of a book sale, where, when he arrived, he found several of the clergy present. Among other articles, a Bible, (which was exceedingly valuable, from the circumstance of its having been partly printed on plates, and the plates having been destroyed when only a very limited number of copies had been thrown off,) was offered to the company. Mr. Clarke, knowing its value, as one of the "Curiosities of Literature, and anxious to possess it, was afraid to be seen bidding. The hammer hung some time in the hands of the auctioneer, who was either ignorant of the rarity of the work, and therefore less loquacious than usual, or had not an over-eager audience. After pausing, -- looking round, -inviting attention, -- and modestly threatening to pass it over, for want of a bidder, -- a plain man bid three shillings "to set it a-going." It hung again; when Mr. Clarke, softly stole out with, -" Sixpence more." It rose at length, to seven shillings, when it was again in a state of suspension. Mr. Clarke knowing the effects of too great eagerness on such an occasion, very prudently imposed a momentary silence upon himself, during which the knight of the hammer directed his eye towards him, saying, -- "Come, try again;" when he hesitatingly said, "Sixpence more, on which the hammer fell. He took his treasure under his arm; and as he was proceeding to the door, was met by a person, who inquired what he had purchased; and knowing the value of the book, he directed his way instantly towards his clerical acquaintance, and rated them for suffering a comparatively young man to go off with such a treasure. They, in return, were astonished, and were told by their censor, that the purchaser possessed more knowledge than the whole of them put together. The mournful intelligence now reached Mr. Clarke of the death of Mrs. Hall, Mr. Wesley's sister, for whom he entertained a high respect, and to whose memory he has done no small service. A little before her death, she called Miss Sarah Wesley, her niece, to her bedside, and said, "I have now a sensation, which convinces me that my departure is near; the heartstrings seem gently, but entirely loosened." Miss Wesley inquired whether she was in pain? "No," said she "but a new feeling." Just before she closed her eyes, she requested her niece to come near, when she pressed her hand, and said, "I have the assurance which I have long prayed for. Shout!" she added, and expired. Thus, her truly noble and happy spirit passed into the presence of her Redeemer on the 12th of July, 1791, about four months and nine days after the death of her brother John, (of whom she was a perfect transcript in intelligence, temper, feature, and manners,) in the 85th year of her age.

    Almost immediately after this, Mr. Clarke left Dublin to attend the sittings of Conference at Manchester; being entrusted with several affairs connected with the societies in Ireland. [80]

    It would appear that no biography should be more varied and interesting than that of a Methodist preacher; going about from place to place, and from people to people, every opportunity is afforded him, of studying human character in all its varieties, and of amassing a large stock of information and experience, both with respect to the general laws which direct human action, and those less obvious impulses which, however, are an element of intellectual conformation: indeed the special duties of his office, not only sanction, but require such an intimate union with the sentiments and passions of others as must constitute him, if a man of sensitive and active mind, a tolerably correct judge of the powers of the moral system, and enable him, in this contemplation of mind marked by its peculiarities of taste and disposition, to address himself with effective energy to the important work in which he is engaged, at the same time that it renders him an interesting subject for the contemplation of the thoughtful man.

    It is with peculiar pleasure we follow Mr. Clarke in his successful and important course; marking his progress by the overthrow of the strongholds of sin and Satan, -- turning rebellion to submission, -- curses to blessings, -- stubbornness to tears, -- and tears to joy! On leaving the Dublin Circuit, the choice of the scene of future labor was referred to himself, but he signified his unwillingness to make a selection: "I am afraid to choose," he observed to a friend; "I want God to station me. May he do it, for his name sake!" The Conference ultimately decided on Manchester, and he appears cheerfully to have acquiesced in this appointment.

    Referring to the Conference at which he was present, he spoke in very warm terms touching the unanimity and close brotherhood which prevailed among the preachers in this their first general assembling, after the death of their venerable founder. "I have been," he remarks, "at several Conferences, but have never seen one in which the spirit of unity, love, and a sound mind, so generally prevailed. I would have this intelligence transmitted from Dan to Beersheba, and let the earth know, that the dying words of our revered father have had their accomplishment: 'The Lord is with us.'" Thus it was under solemn and auspicious circumstances, that he entered upon his ministerial duties at Manchester. The loss of the head, had caused no disorder or strife among the members of the Methodist body, but in the spirit of Wesley's parting words, they appeared now, still more entirely to depend on the great Head of the Church, for that direction and life which had hitherto marked their course. The state of Mr. Clarke's health proved a painful hindrance to his ministerial duties. The immediate cause of a great degree of physical weakness, will be best seen from a conversation he had with a friend, many years afterwards, in his study at Heydon Hall. On reference being made to a week's stay at Liverpool, previously to his repairing to Manchester, this friend observed; "Doctor, the first time I saw you, was in the pulpit of the old chapel, Pitt-Street, Liverpool: you preached from Jude 21; this was in the year 1791, and you then appeared very ill, and remarkably thin."

    Dr. -- "I will soon tell you whether you are correct;" and taking up, and examining his textbook; -- "yes, you are right; that was the subject, on that Sabbath morning: indeed, it is no wonder I looked thin and ill then; for God had raised me apparently from death a few days before you saw me in the chapel. My Mary and I were both ill of a fever at the same time; she was in one room, I lay in another, and so soon as I was able to move at all, I crept occasionally upon my hands and knees to her bedside, to see how she was; for I was too weak to walk."

    Friend. -- "And did you continue long in that miserable state?"

    Dr. -- "Thanks to the mercy of God, and a good constitution, I recovered soon so far as to be able to get out a little; and as soon as I could, I left my Mary, who was also getting about, went down to the quay [dock], and took a passage for Liverpool, which place we reached in forty-eight hours: when there, I lodged in the preacher's house by myself. I had but little to eat, and that was brought me in the morning by a person whom I saw no more that day. Having preached in Liverpool, one and another who met me the next day, shook hands with me, wished me well, said my sermons had been rendered a blessing to them -- but no man asked me to partake of his hospitality. This made little impression, but I was, besides, in great misery, in consequence of the prolonged voyage of my wife and children, whom I had reason to fear were swallowed up in the great deep. Twice every day, for a week, I went down to the dock to look out for the Dublin packet, which contrary winds had detained at sea. At length, while standing on the quay one evening, the vessel, to my inexpressible joy, hove in sight: I beheld my Mary and the children upon deck, and hailed them as from the dead. I got on board as soon as possible, and found the little ones almost starved; for, owing to the tediousness of the voyage, -- being several days on the water, all provision had been for some time expended. I instantly took Adam, (I had an Adam then -- I have none now!) on one arm and John on the other, and running with them into a baker's shop, gave to each a twopenny loaf; and in an instant their little faces were almost buried in them. I then hastened with something to my wife, and we walked to a home -- no longer desolate to me, blessing the God of all mercy for the protection he had extended, while in the midst of peril and distress."

    He added, on another occasion, "The children had the measles just before Mrs. Clarke left Dublin. The nursery-maid, who accompanied her, had pledged her hand to a young man who attended them to the vessel, and who perceiving the circumstances in which Mrs. Clarke and her children were placed, generously insisted on sailing with them, to render any assistance necessary for their comfort. He had even to beg a little provision from the cabin boy, to support himself and the immediate objects of his care." Mr. Clarke was not a little annoyed with the conduct of the custom-house officers, on the landing of his boxes of books, all of which they opened, turned out and examined. The officers were most puzzled with the classical ones; and taking up one, and being unable to read it, they concluded it to be foreign in the imprint, and therefore charged him threepence per pound for it. A box of tools also became a matter of dispute, and to free it from duty, they would insist upon his swearing that the tools were made in England. This, he told them he could not do, he knew not whether they were made in Ireland or England, all he knew was, that he purchased them in England. One article especially, which had been presented to him by a friend, of peculiar construction, and the use of which they had partly collected from a slight experiment or two by himself, became a source of considerable litigation. With this they walked from place to place, wishing him to set a value upon it. "One of the men, " -- to use a strong expression of his own, "swore till he was almost black in the face." They stated that there was a duty of eighty per cent on such things, and charged him five pounds for it. A person standing by, interested himself on his behalf, and told the officers to refer to their books, but they could not find it there. This same gentleman met him some years afterwards at Buxton, reminded him of the circumstance, and told him that it was a wanton stretch of power. But to return to his ministerial character:-

    Signal as was the success by which the ministrations of Mr. Clarke were crowned, he continued the same simple and unostentatious walk which had marked him from the beginning; no man ever found him elevating or valuing himself on the triumphs, which, as a soldier of the cross, he was permitted to achieve. So genuine was the spirit of Christian humility within him, that he would descend from his high office as teacher, himself to become the taught; and for this purpose associated himself with a class conducted by one of his own congregation, intimating that he "could not so well feel himself a member of society without it." [81]

    All who knew anything of Adam Clarke could testify, that his conduct in this instance, proceeded from a truly devotional and Christian frame of mind; for he was among the last who would have appeared as a specimen of that voluntary humility with which some have been chargeable in all ages of the church's history. It is, however, a very false and gratuitous kind of assumption, which will dare, in the too general spirit of these professing times, to spurn every record of the past, which bears the impress of lowliness and meekness of spirit. We might fairly infer that such a disposition was compatible with a great mind, speaking in a specific and religious point of view, from the admission, that it is not the necessary consequence of greatness, that it be always employed about great things, or among great persons.

    The facility with which Mr. Clarke could imbend his noble strength to what might appear not only incompatible with, but much beneath it, affords one more instance to the many already existing, of the consistency there is between the attention both to high, and comparatively trifling things. When Adam Clarke, in the prime of physical and mental strength, extensively read, and deeply taught in the sacred volume, looked up to by thousands, as a "guide, philosopher, and friend;" -- was found playing marbles with Samuel Bradburn, in the large room in Manchester, he would, doubtless, have been deemed half a fool by some profound pedant, who would also, by a parity of reasoning, have passed the same, or even a severer censure upon the philosopher Boyle, of whom an anonymous writer has told, that one of his principal amusements was to hasten to places where mountebanks [mountebank n. 2 a clown. -- Oxford Dict.] resorted; -- or upon Spinosa, watching with great interest, and laughing immoderately at, the combat between two spiders; -- or on the logician, Samuel Clarke, leaping over chairs and tables; -- or on Cardinal Richelieu, endeavoring to out-jump his servant. The observation made by Mr. Prince Hoare, in his Life of Granville Sharp, may be applied with equal justice to the subject of these pages: "The history of his amusements," he observes, "cannot be told without adding to the dignity of his character."

    A certain singularity and quaintness is frequently connected with a mind of extraordinary powers, sometimes extending itself beyond such matters as those just alluded to, and may be discovered in the more sober employment of giving advice, an instance of which we shall cite, in proof of the general assertion.

    During his residence in this circuit, he was consulted by two religiously disposed young persons who were just married, relative to the propriety of keeping a public-house: "I would die on a dung-hill first," exclaimed he, on the excitement of the moment; but reflecting upon how far even such an occupation might be made useful, he added; "If, however, you do begin one, act on the following plan: never supply liquor to a person already giving symptoms of having had enough elsewhere; -- fill no more to any one man, than two pints; -- have a wholesome tap; -- always keep good hours; -- shut up your doors on the Sabbath-day; -- distribute a Bible and prayer-book through every room; -- and introduce religious subjects when you can prudently do so."

    The advice was listened to, and acted upon, and the result was prosperous: in less than seven years, the honest and worthy couple retired from the business on a comfortable property.

    Some time after this, he was preaching an occasional sermon in the circuit, when a lady, at the close of the service, tried to press through the crowd to shake hands with him, but being unable to reach him, was overcome with emotion. This being named to him by another lady, he said, "Ah, Madam, she had a reason for that; I recollect when she came to me in a different state, the heavens were as a sheet of brass to her, -- the world was a blank, -- the earth made of pitch, -- and despair was in her cry, and in her tears; but God had mercy upon her, and turned her sorrow into joy!: she had been recalling to mind past days."

    He proceeded: "She had a husband, and I dare say he was a good man; but he was godly now and then, with a vengeance. I was seated with him in the parlor one day, and while conversing with each other, the room door was opened and one of the children entered with downcast eyes, and a large whip in his hand. The child went up to his father, who looked sternly at him (the look itself was punishment sufficient:) 'What,' exclaimed the father, 'you have been in mischief!' I said, 'Mr. is this the way you educate your children?' I looked at the child -- then at the whip, which was by far too large for the offense; my bowels yearned over the child, to see him made the instrument of his own punishment, and I pleaded for mitigation. He was ordered into a corner of the room -there he stood -- and we talked; but every now and then I directed my eye towards the child, and when opportunity offered, I put in the harrow, (Mr. Clarke accompanying the expression, by raking his fingers across his breast,) and tried to produce a father's feeling. Oh, if Michael, the archangel had declared he educated his children in that way, I should have concluded he came up, (pointing to the ground,) and not down. The impression was never effaced, nor shall I ever be brought to think that this was the most excellent way." To a person afflicted with a hasty spirit, he told the story of Athenodorus, which may probably not be so generally known, as to render its recital in the present connection unwelcome. Athenodorus had been many years resident in the court of Augustus, and being advanced in life, requested permission of the emperor to retire into the country, that he might pass the evening of his day in peace and privacy. On the wish being granted, he took leave of Augustus in the following words:-- "Cæsar, I have an advice to give thee: whensoever thou art angry, take heed that thou never say, or do anything, until thou hast distinctly repeated to thyself the twenty-four letters of the alphabet." The emperor grasped his hand -- "Athenodorus, thou must stay; I still have need of thee." After telling this anecdote, Mr. Clarke addressed his friend thus: "You will readily perceive, that he who suppresses his anger until he has distinctly repeated twenty-four letters, is not likely to do or say anything, which, from its precipitancy, would cause pain on the retrospect."

    The estimation in which he was held by his colleague, Mr. Bradburn, who was much his senior, and a close observer of public character, as well as a powerful and highly influential preacher, will be seen from a remark made in a letter written to Mr. Rodda during this period: "Mr. Clarke," he observes, "and I, are as one; he is a choice companion when known." And again, in relation to some circumstances of difficulty in which the two ministers were placed, and in which they had been co-workers, and fellow-helpers, Mr. Bradburn remarks, "Mr. Clarke is all in all, as my own soul."

    These notices are the more valuable, as evincing the unanimity which, notwithstanding some slight differences of sentiment on lesser points, subsisted between these colleagues in the Christian ministry.

    One little incident may here be noticed, truly Bradburnian in its character. Mr. Clarke was at Flixton, from whence he had previously promised to return after preaching. It was winter, and the evening closed in with a heavy snowstorm. Mr. John Wood, with whom the preachers domiciled in that part of the circuit, persuaded Mr. Clarke to tarry till morning. Mrs. Clarke, knowing her husband's punctuality, became uneasy lest he should have braved the storm, and lost his way in the wildness of the night. She went into Mr. Bradburn's two or three times -- he had retired to rest; but perceiving, from what Mrs. Bradburn had said, the state of mind in which Mrs. Clarke was, he immediately, on her leaving the house, most kindly arose, -- took a lantern, and calling on a friend, they proceeded through the almost impassable lanes, narrowly examining every ditch with which he was acquainted, as they passed along. They arrived at the house of John Wood about twelve o'clock at night, jaded, wet, and weather-beaten, having traveled several miles. Awakening the family, and gaining admittance, Mr. Bradburn ordered Mr. Clarke downstairs with jocose authority; when, after a few words of explanation, they set out, and footed their way though the storm to Manchester. On arriving at the house of Mr. Clarke, about two o'clock in the morning, Mr. Bradburn, with the frolic of youth, pushed him into the doorway before him, and said to Mrs. Clarke, "There he is for you, take him;" then instantly turning on his heel, he repaired to his own house, to repose himself on the couch he had left a few hours before, lost to the dreary interval with its pains and perils.

    The question respecting the introduction of worship into the Methodist chapels during "church hours," was at this time agitated in various parts of the connection, and the society in Manchester bore its full share in the dispute. Mr. Bradburn was in favor of it, and in the same opinion Mr. Clarke also concurred.

    A majority of nine out of ten of the trustees of the Salford chapel, voted for its adoption, and notice was accordingly given of the intention to change the time for the celebration of divine worship from eight o'clock to ten. Some discontented spirits, who hoped to impress the public mind with the belief that the Methodists were intending to withdraw themselves from the spirit and communion of the Established Church, inserted the notice in the newspapers, which, however, had only the effect of making the alteration more fully known, and of securing a large congregation to the Salford chapel, where the notice had been read. Mr. Bradburn, who preached on the occasion, defended the change they were adopting on several grounds, and advised that the subject should not be peevishly disputed, with those who were hot-headed and bigoted, but temperately reasoned upon. His text, which was from Isaiah ix. 6., led him to speak of the government of Christ, especially as Head of the church. Unfortunately his arguments were not characterized so much by a forbearing spirit, as by their depth and soundness; and perhaps it might have better served their cause had his colleague been its advocate, who, judging from his generally clear and temperate style, was better adapted for conducting an argument.

    The question of the slave-trade, had, at this period, induced several persons (the subject of this memoir among the number) to refrain from the use of sugar; but it was not to this circumstance that the abandonment of tea also, is to be attributed. In his Letter to a preacher, he says, "Shun tea-drinking parties; these in general murder time, and can answer no good purpose, either to your body or your soul. If you go out in this way at any time, let it be only where you have reason to believe your visit is likely to be useful to the souls of the people, but it is not very likely to be so where there is a large party. Several years ago, I met with Mr. Wesley's Letter on Tea -read it, and resolved from that hour to drink no more of the juice of that herb, till I could answer his arguments and objections. I have seen the tract but once since, yet from that day until now, I have not taken a cup of tea or coffee; for these things I have mostly found a substitute at the breakfast table; and in the afternoon I take nothing: by this line of conduct I can demonstrate that I have actually saved several years of time, which otherwise must have been irrecoverably lost." "Audi et alteram partem."

    [In the following remarks, Everett shows that he disagreed with Clarke's position on not drinking tea. -- DVM] Few who knew the writer of this letter, would be disposed to agree with the concluding sentence of the above quotation; for not only would the influence of such a man impart a healthy tone of conversational feeling to any company in which he might be found, and thus would the refreshing beverage under review be redeemed from the opprobrious epithet of "scandal broth," wherewith he was wont half playfully to designate it, but his own remarks, which ever contained much interest and edification, would, doubtless, have amply redeemed any hour spent at the social tea-table; but the influence under which he made the resolve "to drink no more of the juice of that herb," is obvious. A man who was enough of a devotee to ride a horse, at the risk of his life, because it had belonged to Mr. Wesley, would inevitably follow his advice in a matter which could be so placed before him, as to embrace the two essential points of the preservation of health, and the saving of time: these lay obviously on the face of the argument; presenting themselves in the character of important considerations; but the good reasonably to be expected from compliance with the general usage in the case, was not so readily. apprehended: thus the palpable was seized with avidity by the eager scholar, insatiably athirst for knowledge, and tremblingly sensitive to the escape of a moment; but a shadow was passed across what would have been gained to others, in the event of Mr. Wesley's cogent reasonings upon the matter, having been received under the impression, that probably his judgment was not universally infallible.

    The writer has been, upon many occasions, a delighted witness of how great a savor of good dwelt upon a company assembling around the tea-table in Mr. Clarke's own house; when, coming forth from the toils of the study, he would, while pacing the room with arms folded, recount some wonders of the olden time, and deduct from the same a healthy moral; or reply to a question proposed by a philosophic friend; or call forth the scholarship or ingenuity of the junior members of the party by proposing some puzzling question from a favorite classic author; or, which was not infrequently the case, expatiate on the theme his heart best loved, when his mind would expand, and his speech distill as the dew; for then he was dwelling on the benevolence of God in creation, and upon his love in redemption! [82]

    Of the Strangers' Friend Society, which was this year formed in Manchester, too much, in the way of eulogy, cannot be said, nor of Mr. Clarke, as its principal originator. In a letter of Mr. Bradburn's, the following notice is made. "Mr. Clarke and I have instituted a new charity, called the Strangers' Friend Society; it succeeds beyond our most sanguine expectations, we have many pounds in hand; it is certainly very affecting to hear of the good done every week by it." [83] Some brief notice of the nature, design, and rules of this society, is due to the subject of our memoir, and to the Methodist body at large, upon whom it continues to reflect, by its benevolent character and benign operations, the most signal and Christian credit.

    Though, to the honor of our nation, charitable institutions abound in the land, yet the good contemplated and accomplished by them, is local and confined, inasmuch as only a certain number or class, according to circumstances, can be entitled to the advantages accruing from such charities: now the founders of the Strangers' Friend Society, taking for their motto, "As ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord," proposed, that weekly contributions should be made, and that strangers and such as had no helper should, without reference being made to the former cause of present distress, or to the nation, sect, or party to which the afflicted might belong, be forthwith relieved; no other recommendation being required, than a sufficiency of evident distress: this foundation rule decides the godlike nature of the institution.

    A second noble proof of its disinterested character may be gathered by reference to a rule to the effect, that though the society is instituted and carried on by the Methodists, yet their own poor shall not be entitled to any relief from it, a fund for administering to their necessities being already in existence. It is impossible to estimate the amount of good which has been effected by this charity. The visitors appointed, being first approved as discreet and pious persons, money has not been partially or lavishly expended, and much spiritual benefit has likewise resulted from the visits of these devoted persons. The lines of Young have been nobly illustrated by the generous exertions and diffusive philanthropy of the Strangers' Friend Society.

    "The generous mind is not confined at home, But spreads itself abroad through all the public, And feels for every member of the land." It will have been perceived, however, from the preceding pages, that Manchester was not the birthplace of this institution, although it there first received the prominence and compactness of a society; for Mr. Clarke, together with Mr. Wesley, had entered on the benevolent design in Bristol, and then two or three rules were put together, and, as Mr. Clarke afterwards related to the writer, "They were printed on a piece of paper about the size of my hand, and I would give a guinea for them now, as I have no copy of them." Mr. Secretary Peel made a present to this society, some years after its formation, of £500 worth of marine [supplies] stores, rice, &c.

    The establishment of the Strangers' Friend Society by Mr. Clarke, is in perfect keeping with the general benevolence of his character, and crowns him with the laurels placed on the brow of the great and the good by Bacon, who says, -- "If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them; and if he be compassionate towards the afflicted, it shows his heart to be like the noble tree, that is wounded itself, when it gives the balm."

    It may be here remarked, that it is singular, -- with the apostle's injunction, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers," and the fact that in almost every Jewish synagogue, there were two treasury-boxes, one for their own poor, and another for the poor of strangers, -- that the idea of such an institution was not earlier suggested to the mind of Mr. Clarke; and yet, that it should occur to him, combining as he did a thorough knowledge of Jewish customs, with a practical adherence to every scriptural precept, was perfectly natural.

    In proposing and aiding a plan of extensive benevolence, Mr. Clarke terminated his first year of labor in Manchester, eminently approving himself throughout, "a workman who needed not to be ashamed," not only "rightly dividing the word of truth," but entering with zeal, and going forward with perseverance, into all the walks of ministerial usefulness: the lamp of God's Word illuminated his steps, and the voice of the Divine approbation continually encouraged him in his progress. It is with infinite satisfaction we record, that nothing occurred during this year, in reference to the subject of these pages, which ought to distract or divide the attention, in the contemplation of "the man of God thoroughly furnished unto every good work;" for although there might be some differences of opinion between himself and his able colleague upon political questions, at this spirit-stirring time, yet unity and love were alike the basis of their Christian creed; and we feel there is far more than enough of living and speaking contests in the church, and divisions in the body of Christ, to make it pleasant to us to strain the eye to discover more.

    Indeed the admiration in which Mr. Clarke held his colleague as a public speaker, could only be equaled by the respect and affection which he entertained for the native benignity of his character as a man. Notwithstanding the frequency of their pulpit engagements, they were occasionally favored with an opportunity of hearing each other preach, and Mr. Clarke was always glad to avail himself of it. On one of these occasions, which was a public one, Mr. Clarke was a hearer. "Mr. B." said Mr. Clarke, "was in all his majesty; he perceived the impression that was made, and knew well the character of his pulpit material, as well as the general command he had over his congregations: he paused a moment, and then made an extravagant remark, which induced some dissenters who were present, to suppose that he was not perfectly satisfied with his situation as a Methodist preacher. He could say what no one else either could, or would dare to say; and when his benevolence, which was unbounded, crippled him in his circumstances, he had a peculiar way of begging for himself, as well as for others.

    The next day, a purse containing thirty guineas, was presented to him. The dissenters, who were captivated with him as a preacher, waited upon him, and among other questions to draw him from the Wesleyan body, and to which the extravagant remark alluded to in the pulpit might have given rise, asked whether he really thought his own people were sensible of his worth, when he replied with a fine flow of feeling, and somewhat emphatically, 'I cannot say whether they know my worth, but I know theirs.' The compliment was as sincere as it was good, and interposed an interdict on all further negotiations."

    A friend who had never seen Mr. Bradburn, and who heard the relation, asked which of the preachers, of the more modern school, he resembled. "Put them all together," said Mr. Clarke, "your best preachers, -- your greatest men; -- he was not like any of them, they would not all make such a man; -- he was like no man but himself:-- I never knew a man in the Connection with so great command of language." Then, without anything egotistic in reference to himself, but simply with a view to impress the querist more fully with the character of Mr. Bradburn's oratory, he added pleasantly, -- "I said to myself, after hearing him one day, I have as good a sermon as that in my head, if I only knew how to come at it, and bring it out."

    The men who entertained such exalted views of each other's character, could not move otherwise than in union on all vital questions. And though they might not in every instance see eye to eye, yet in most instances, the difference of opinion was unimportant, and may be compared to the muscæ volitantes, which exist in the vitreous humor of the natural eye, occupying a very small space and altogether harmless. It must not be inferred from this, however, that Mr. Clarke was indifferent in respect of all opinions, principles, and persuasions; for, as Coleridge justly observes, "This conduct is mere ostentation, or a poor trick that hypocrisy plays with the cards of nonsense; for the man professing it, either means to say, that he is utterly indifferent towards all truth, and finds nothing so insupportable as there being any such mighty value attached to the possession of it as should give a mark of preference to any one conviction above any other, or else he means nothing; and amuses himself with articulating the pulses of the air, instead of inhaling it in the more healthful and profitable exercise of yawning."

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