King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page

Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:

  • Visit Our Store



  • Adam Clarke's Unabridged Commentary on CD 75% Off -
  • Prepare For What's Coming -
  • Our Hilarious Shirts Here - Godrules Merch
  • Hedge Against Inflation With This! -


    CHAPTER 1 NOTES 1 "Clericus," says Dr. A. Clarke, "was originally the name of an office, and signified the clerk or learned man, who, in primitive times, was the only person in his district who could write and read; such persons did not fail to accumulate respectable property, which was maintained and increased in the family; one of the descendants, generally the eldest son, being brought up to succeed his father. This title, in process of time, became the surname of the person who bore the office; and clericus, le clerc, the clerk, and afterwards Clarke, became the cognomen, or surname, by which all the descendants of the family were distinguished. As those persons who were designed for ecclesiastical functions generally got an education superior to the rest of the community, hence they were termed clerici, clerks; and this is the legal title by which every clergyman is distinguished to the present day."

    2 "I have heard my mother," observes Dr. Clarke, in one of his Journals, "say I was born in the year that the French took Carrickfergus; but my father was wont to contest this, saying, I was born two years later."

    3 He was appointed in 1690 to receive the Prince of Orange, when he came to Carrickfergus. He had received the principles of George Fox; and, as he could not uncover his head to any man. Before he came near to the prince, he took off his hat, and laid it on a stone by the wayside, and walked forward. When he met the prince, he accosted him thus, "William, thou art welcome to this kingdom." -- "I thank you, Sir," replied the prince; and the interview was so satisfactory to the prince, that he said, "You are, Sir, the best-bred gentleman I have ever met."

    4 Horseman Clarke, one of them, and several other young men, having pursued a mad dog, and killed him, one of the company, in sport, took the dog by the legs, and hit some of the others with him, among the rest Horseman, against whose neck some of the foam was spattered, and he died of hydrophobia in three days.

    5 One of her brothers, the Rev. I. McLean, a Clergyman, possessed incredible strength, which he often used, not in the best of causes. He could bend iron bars with a stroke of his arm, and roll up large pewter dishes like a scroll with his fingers. One day dining at an inn with two officers, who wished to be witty at the parson's expense, he said something which had a tendency to lessen their self-confidence. One of them, considering his honor touched, said, "Sir, were it not for your cloth, I would oblige you to eat the words you have spoken." Mr. McLean rose up in a moment, took off his coat, rolled it up in a bundle, and threw it under the table, with these fearful words "Divinity, lie thou there; and, McLean, do for thyself!" So saying, he seized the foremost of the heroes by the cuff of the neck and by the waistband of the breeches, and dashed him through the strong sash-window of the apartment, a considerable way on the opposite pavement of the street.

    6 Mr. C.'s school was of a mixed nature. He taught by himself alone, Reading, Writing. and Arithmetic, comprising Book-keeping, Trigonometry, and Navigation; together with the Greek and Latin classics. The price at which each was taught may be reputed a curiosity -- Reading ld. per week: Writing 2d.; Writing and Accounts, 4d.; and Greek and Latin, 7s. per quarter. These were the highest terms in that country in the latter end of the eighteenth century. Should it be supposed that the work was proportioned to the wages, it may safely be asserted, it was not. Mr. C. was a good penman: few, if any, classical scholars superior: he was thoroughly acquainted with arithmetic, and taught it well; and of his classical knowledge. his son Adam, no mean judge in a matter of this nature, has been heard to say, "I have known many of more splendid literary talents than my father, many who could shine more pro re nata, in Greek and Latin learning; but a more correct scholar I never knew." Many persons of considerable eminence in all departments of science and literature were educated by Mr. Clarke, -- Clergymen, Presbyterian Ministers, and Popish Priests; Lawyers, Surgeons, Physicians, and Schoolmasters. Requiring something in addition to his school for the support of his family, Agriculture was that to which he had recourse. On a peculiarly ungrateful soil which he held for many years, he bestowed much of his own labor both early and late. This was the only time he had; for both in summer and winter he entered his school precisely at eight in the morning, which he continued till eight in the evening in summer, and till near four in the depth of winter. From May till September, he allowed one hour for dinner: during the rest of the year, the school was continued without any intermission. He had only two vacations in the year, amounting to three weeks in the whole; eight days at Easter, and a fortnight [two weeks] at Christmas.

    7 Mrs. Brooks, having gone to the rector's one morning, to pay her tithes, took little James in her hand: when she laid down her money, she observed:-- "Sir, you have annually the tenth of all I possess, except my children; it is but justice you should have the tenth of them also, I have eleven, and this is my tenth son, whom I have brought to you as the tithe of my children, as I have brought the tithe of my grain. I hope, Sir, you will take and provide for him." To this singular address, the rector found it difficult to reply. He could not, at first, suppose the woman to be in earnest: but, on her urging her application, and almost insisting on his receiving this tenth of her intellectual live stock, both his benevolence and humanity were affected;-- he immediately accepted the child, had him clothed, &c., let him lodge with the parents for a time, and sent him to school to Mr. John Clarke. In a short time Mr. C. removed from that part of the country; and what became of the interesting young man is not known, He was always called Tithe by the school-boys.

    8 Dr. A. Clarke.

    9 Such, in fact, was the case during the progress of his life and writings. When he met a difficulty, he waited to examine and go through it in the true spirit of patient investigation, never leaping over obstacles which he could, by learning or labor, remove out of the way, or render subservient to the great object he had in view, -- the instruction and benefit of mankind. The late Rev. John Newton, calling one day upon the Rev. Ely Bates, and seeing the first part of Dr. Clarke's Commentary lying on the table, happened to open it in the place where the Doctor makes such large disquisitions and calculations, in reference to the size of Noah's ark; and argues from these, contrary to the opinion of some critics, that the ark was, in point of size, not only amply sufficient to contain the animals themselves, but the sustenance requisite for them during their sojourn. When Mr. N. had finished reading the criticism, he closed the book, exclaiming, "Thank God, I never found these difficulties in the Sacred Record;" to which Mr. Bates replied, "Yes, Sir, you have found them as well as Dr. Clarke; but the difference is, you always leap over them, while he goes through them."

    10 Dr. A. Clarke.

    11 He was many years a very respectable itinerant preacher among the Methodists, as was also his brother Jeremiah, and sprung from a very respectable family in Birmingham. 12 Mr. Barber had himself been brought to God by the ministry of Mr. Wesley, in Sidare, in the county of Fermanagh; and was then, at his own expense, acting as a missionary through an extensive tract of country, near the sea-coast, in the county of Antrim, which embraced part of the Londonderry circuit.

    13 She was afterwards married to Mr. Thomas Exley, M.A.; and, after bearing him several children, all of whom became pious, she died happy in the Lord.

    14 This lady is still living. She is the wife of the Rev. W. M. Johnson, LL. D., Rector of St. Perrans-Uthno, in Cornwall, and has a numerous family.

    15 Dr. Clarke furnished an account of this interesting young man for the Methodist Memorial. His career was cut short by lying in a damp bed, which has caused the premature death of some of the most eminent of the Methodist preachers. He was a giant both in body and in mind. When only fourteen years of age, he had the whole of the Common Prayer by heart. At the same age, he had made himself such a master of the neid of Virgil and the Paradise Lost of Milton, that, on the mention of any line in either of those poems, he could immediately tell the book in which it occurred, and the number of the line. But his learning, which, for a youth, was extensive, was his least recommendation. Previous to being a preacher, he taught a small school; and often, that he might assist his parents, who were in reduced circumstances, he went whole days without food. His piety and his zeal were the most remarkable and valuable traits of his character. To these, in connection with the cause already specified, he fell a victim, in the eighteenth year of his age, and after nine months' labor in the ministry. The evening before he died, he desired to be carried out in his chair, to see the setting sun. His desire was granted; and, having beheld it with pleasing emotions, till it sank under the horizon, he observed, "This sun has hitherto been partially obscured to me, but it shall be no more so forever."

    * * *


    16 Mr. Drew, like Bloomfield the poet, and Gifford the translator of Juvenal, was originally a shoemaker. Nor was he the only famous Wesleyan Methodist who followed that calling in early life. Mr. Samuel Bradburn, who has been styled the Bradbury of his times, and Mr. Thomas Oliver, the author of that noble ode, "the God of Abraham praise," were of the same "gentle craft."

    17 "The Rev. William Henshaw," writes Dr. Clarke, -- the first occasion on which he gives this title to a Methodist preacher, in the narrative of his own life.

    18 From this excellent man, Mr. Clarke had a striking anecdote, which he has related, concerning quack medicines. A man and his wife, members of the Methodist Society in Portsmouth, became addicted to the use of Godfrey's Cordial. They took it to cure some little disorder of the stomach; and it operated so comfortably, that they resorted to it on every occasion of the slightest pain in that region. In process of time, ordinary doses had no effect; and so rapidly did the habit grow upon them, that "scores of pounds" were expended in maintaining it, and, money failing, furniture followed, until, reduced to absolute want, they were driven to the poor-house. Their fellow-members of the Methodist Society, compassionating their unhappy condition, the rather because they themselves seemed to be penitentially sensible of their past error, proposed a collection for their relief; and a considerable sum was raised, by means of which they were set up an a respectable shop. For some time their affairs prospered, and they maintained their steadfastness: but, at last, the wife, feeling or apprehending a return of her old complaint, suggested the propriety of resorting to its ruinous remedy. Her husband resisted; but she thought that sad experience would prevent them from abusing so valuable a compound. She triumphed -the cordial re-appeared -- their love of it returned in full force, and their lives were ended in the workhouse. Such is Godfrey's Cordial, and such are a heap of other mixtures with still more specious [specious adj. 1 superficially plausible but actually wrong (a specious argument). 2 misleadingly attractive in appearance. -- Oxford Dict.] names -- no better than spirits [of liquor] in disguise. It would be easy to show, that these medicines so-called have accomplished the ruin of many infatuated persons, and that they are, in every respect, vile impositions; but, as Dr. Clarke has suggested, the iniquity is licensed by the state; "nor can we be surprised that a Government which tolerates Sunday newspapers, for the sake of the stamp-duty, should be willing to derive revenue from "infernal composts" which "are destroying the lives and morals of the subject!"

    19 This appears to have been a favorite motto with the Rev. Samuel Wesley, the Rev. John Wesley's elder brother.

    20 What was this?

    * * *


    21 Some years after this period, when Mr. Clarke's name was mentioned in Leeds, as a preacher very desirable for that circuit, a few remarks, not very favorable to his going, were made by one or two females, who had very great influence. This circumstance being reported to the Doctor, he refused to go to Leeds, saying, that he would not be under petticoat government!

    22 In some letters which he addressed to Mr. Clarke while at Manchester, we find a strange account concerning the transmutation of metals, the leading circumstances of which we shall endeavor to collect, premising that Mr. Hand was a gentleman of character, who could not be suspected of willful misrepresentation.

    There came to Mr. Hand's house two men, one of whom appeared to be a priest, the other a plain, solid-looking person. The latter begged to see some stained glass, which was shown him. In the course of conversation, he spoke of metals and their properties, and of alchemy, and asked Mr. Hand, who believed that he was well enough acquainted with his pursuits, if he had ever read any books on that subject. After praising his glass, they went away. On the following day, the mysterious stranger came alone, and told Mr. Hand that he had something which would stain glass a deep blood-red -- a color which that gentleman had never been able to produce. Mr. Hand took him into his laboratory, and, having made his air-furnace extremely hot (for a common degree of heat would not suffice), furnished him with a piece of glass. Opening a box, the stranger with a penknife laid a little red powder on the glass, which he then put into the fire. When hot, he took it out, and the glass was like blood. While this was in progress, the stranger pronounced Mr. Hand to be an alchemist; assigning as a reason for thinking so, that he "had as many foolish vessels as he (the stranger) had seen with many others engaged in that study." Mr. Hand did not attempt to deny the soft impeachment; and, on being asked why he believed the art, he replied, "Because he gave credit to many good and pious men." The features of the stranger relaxed into a sardonic [sardonic adj. 1 grimly jocular. 2 (of laughter etc.) bitterly mocking or cynical. -- Oxford Dict.] smile; and, taking up the scales, he weighed out two ounces of lead, into which, when melted, he put four grains of a very white powder in a piece of wax, and replaced the whole in the fire. When the powder, which was not larger than the head of a lady's hat-pin, was put into the lead, the whole mass became pulverized like calx [calx n. (pl. calces) 1 a powdery metallic oxide formed when an ore or mineral has been heated. 2 calcium oxide. -- Oxford Dict].

    The fire into which it was now put, was of a sufficient heat to melt silver; and, in little less than a quarter of an hour, the stranger saying "It is in perfect flux," took it out with the tongs, and threw it into the water. "Never" exclaims Mr. Hand, "was finer silver in the world!" Being questioned by Mr. Clarke, who was somewhat incredulous, Mr. Hand replied, that he had heard too much of the tricks of alchemists, and was too attentive to all that passed, for either man or devil to deceive him in the transaction; and, as a proof that he had not been imposed upon, he stated, that of the two ounces of transmuted metal which the stranger left in his possession, he used a quarter of an ounce in his own work, and sold the remainder for pure silver.

    [I will here state that I am bothered by the way the name of "God" and "Christ" are invoked by Mr. Hand, the alchemist friend of Adam Clarke in succeeding paragraphs. However, it appears necessary to the sense of the story to leave those disturbing usages in the text, and will inform the reader here -- in advance -- the later comments of John Middleton Hare concerning these sacrilegious usages -- DVM: "It would be interesting to know the subsequent history of this amiable, but awfully deluded man (Mr. Hand); for, whatever may be thought of the horrible narrative which he communicated to his friend Clarke, there can be but one opinion concerning him and his pursuits: namely, that, as Solomon expresses it, they were "vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit." Nor, when we find a man appealing to God and Christ in such a way as he seems to have done, is it possible to entertain any very high opinion of his piety.]

    When Mr. Hand saw the silver thus produced, he exclaimed, "O God! Sir, you amaze me!" The stranger, with a contemptuous smile, asked him why he called upon God -- did he think that he had any hand in those things! God, he added, would never reveal them to man. After inquiring whether he had ever learned any magic, and, on being answered in the negative, recommending to him a book, the title of which is carefully concealed, the stranger offered to make him "acquainted with a friend that would help him in knowledge," and immediately asked him, if he had "ever seen the Devil." Mr. Hand replied, "No, and he trusted he never should." The stranger assured him, that he need not be afraid of that spirit, that he harmed no one, but was every ingenious man's friend.

    He then proceeded to perform another feat, having first promised Mr. Hand that it should not be connected with the appearance of the Devil. Taking a common tumbler full of water, he dropped into it a portion of red liquor from a small vial, pronouncing, at the same time, an unintelligible incantation. At first, there were a few little flashes in the water, attended with a strong smell of sulfur; but, by and bye, the whole glass was in a flame, like spirits of wine burning; and, as distinctly as he ever saw any thing in his life, Mr. Hand saw a number of little live things like lizards moving about in it.

    Observing the terror of his spectator, who, indeed, exclaimed, "Christ save me! Sir, I never beheld such a thing in my life," the magician threw the contents of the glass into the ashes. Mr. Hand ventured to look for the lizards, and, being told that "they were gone from whence they came," he inquired where that was: but he was told that he must not know all things at once. The reader will think he might have guessed.

    When these wonders had been performed, Mr. Hand asked his mysterious acquaintance if he knew any person who had the red stone, adding a wish that he himself did. The stranger, who said he knew multitudes of such persons, promised to communicate the whole secret to him; but, he subjoined, "we are all linked like a chain, and you must go under a particular ceremony, and a vow."

    Mr. Hand was about to say, that he would vow to God never to divulge what might be told him; when the other, interrupting him, intimated, that the vow must be made "before another," saying angrily, "It is no matter to you whether it be before God or the Devil, if you get the art." To this Mr. Hand replied in a tone equally determined, that he would never receive anything, not even the riches of the world, but from God alone. At length, the stranger took his leave, saying, that he would call again when Mr. Hand had reflected upon his offer, and protesting to him, that there was no other means of coming at a knowledge of the secret than that which, on certain conditions, he was willing to communicate to him. He did not call again. But, a few days after, Mr. Hand met him in the street, and challenged him, when, with an effrontery worthy of the father of lies, whose servant he had confessed himself to be, he pretended not to know who it was that was addressing him; and, though Mr. Hand declared that he would not rest until he discovered who he was, it does not appear that he ever succeeded.

    The strange circumstances of the interview which we have described, produced such an effect upon Mr. Hand, that he had no rest for several nights after, but was perpetually dreaming and starting in his sleep. He was fully convinced that what he had witnessed was effected by Satanic agency; and it explained to him the meaning of the phrase, "coming improperly by the secret." But even this had no tendency to cool his ardor in pursuit of the same or similar objects by means which he considered legitimate. He tells his friend Clarke that he is building a digesting-furnace, with a tower of capacity sufficient to burn for twenty-four hours without fresh fuel, and that he will have it so constructed as to give it any degree of heat he pleases. He inquires repeatedly if his friend has seen a Manchester gentleman, who, as he had heard, was in possession of the art, and begs that, when he sees him, he will prevail with him to afford light and help to a distressed brother. He expresses his determination never to have done, so long as he has the means of proceeding. He argues that he may be suffered to do this, inasmuch as he spends nothing in any other amusement. Nay more, he indulges in the hope of realizing wealth, and relieving the necessities of the poor from his superfluous store. But, funnily enough, he concludes with an anti-climax, stating that Mrs. Hand will be again confined in a few days, and that, as he is likely to have a fine family, he had need have the stone." It would be interesting to know the subsequent history of this amiable, but awfully deluded man; for, whatever may be thought of the horrible narrative which he communicated to his friend Clarke, there can be but one opinion concerning him and his pursuits: namely, that, as Solomon expresses it, they were "vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit." Nor, when we find a man appealing to God and Christ in such a way as he seems to have done, is it possible to entertain any very high opinion of his piety.

    23 Congregational Magazine.

    24 It is worthy of remark, that Dr. Clarke was called upon in after years to pronounce over the tombs of these distinguished ministers of Christ the eulogy so justly due to their respective merits.

    25. The circumstances which led to Mr. Butterworth's union with Miss Anne Cooke, partake of the romantic. Being the son of a Baptist minister (the Rev. John Butterworth, of Coventry, author of " A Concordance of the Holy Scriptures," and one of four brothers, all of whom were Baptist ministers), he attended the Baptist chapel, in Chancery-lane, where he became acquainted with a gentleman of the name of Pond, who afterwards married Miss Frances Cooke, and took up his residence at Tiverton, in Devonshire. Miss Frances had, from her youth, been remarkable for her seriousness and her epistolary talents, and early joined the Methodist Society, of which she was an exemplary member. Mr. Butterworth being on a visit to Mr. Pond, that gentleman recommended to his choice, as a wife, a young lady in Somersetshire, to whom, in a letter, he begged his sister-in-law to introduce him. Accordingly, it was arranged that Miss Anne Cooke should perform this kind office for the friend of her brother-in-law; and away they went in company on horseback. But they had no sooner dismounted at the end of their ride, than Mr. Butterworth declined calling on the unknown lady, telling his fair fellow-traveler that in her he had discovered the only one who could make him happy. We may guess the blushes which followed this sudden declaration. However, they returned to Trowbridge without fulfilling their errand. Mr. Butterworth asked and received the consent of Mrs. Cooke to their marriage; and, in a few months, they were united. 26 During a visit which, in 1811, he paid to Ireland, he saw, among other manuscripts in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, the Codex Montforth, the only written copy of the New Testament which contains the text of the Three heavenly Witnesses. Finding it in an injured state, he was led to remark as follows:-- "This MS. is not taken proper care of, and in the next binding it is likely to suffer considerable damage. There is scarcely a librarian of any public library that has much knowledge of bookbinding or bookmending; and no man, however respectable his learning may be, is proper to be entrusted with the care of a public library, who does not understand both."

    27 The eagerness with which the Conferences in Leeds and Sheffield are attended by the ardent Methodists of the West Riding of Yorkshire, is almost incredible to those who have not seen it. A contested county election affords only a faint type of the crowds which assemble. The following anecdote, related by Mr. Clarke in one of his letters to his wife, will show the spirit of that warm-hearted people in 1806-a spirit which the lapse of nearly thirty years has not tended to cool. " One of the Society of Friends, walking up and down the street, near his own house, at six o'clock in the morning, seeing a very plain-looking countryman, covered with dust and carrying a large great coat, thus accosted him, 'Friend, whither art thou come? thou appearest to have traveled far, and to be much fatigued.' 'Glory be to God,' says Blunt-spurs, 'I am coming to the Methodist Conference, I am coomd forty mile, and ha walked all night: I ha got fifteen shullin, mon, and ha savd it fro my wage these twalve week at upwart o' a shillin a week.' The Friend, struck with his appearance and honest bluntness, said, 'Friend, I like thy spirit thou seemest sincere and zealous in thy way; turn in hither and refresh thyself, and thou shalt be welcome to what the place will afford.' Poor Gruff turned in, and found a hearty welcome and plenty to eat. How valuable," adds the relater, "is this simplicity of spirit! How much more happiness do those people feel who take God at his word, than those experience who are disputing with God himself every particle of his own revelation! Julius Caesar Scaliger, who perfectly understood thirteen different languages, seeing the comparative happiness of the simple and the ignorant, exclaimed, 'Oh, that I had never known my alphabet!' But," he concludes, lest the advocates of popular ignorance should make a catch at him, "it is probable that from these uninstructed persons, as many sources of comfort are sealed up, as there are causes of distress to those whose understandings are properly cultivated."

    28 Mr. Thomas Taylor, being the Ex-President, delivered the charge on this occasion, occupying "about eight minutes!"

    29. We may here describe the. manner, as once narrated by Dr. Clarke, in which Dr. Kennicott and De Rossi collated their different Hebrew MSS. They got an ignorant boy, and taught him the Hebrew Alphabet, and nothing more of the language; and thus, by his naming letter by letter, did these great men laboriously go through their numerous collations. 30. How much Mr. Butterworth rejoiced in having had it in his power to forward the undertaking, appears from a note, written by him to Dr. Clarke on the publication of Genesis, which begins with a prayer that was remarkably fulfilled:-- "May you live long enough to finish a Second Edition of the whole! We have already many Dissenters who have become subscribers. I thank God from the bottom of my soul, that he has enabled me to help you in this most glorious work; and I wish to see yourself, and your blessed family, comfortably situated, that you may go on with it pleasantly to your own feelings. I am sure your Comment on the Book of Genesis will do great good. I consider it a high honor to have ushered this harbinger of glad tidings into the world; and I trust it will be an eternal blessing to future generations." 31. The writer cannot resist the opportunity here afforded him of transcribing part of a letter from Mr. Morris, the able biographer of Robert Hall and Andrew Fuller. In his very interesting "Biographical Recollections" of the former, Mr. Morris has indulged in some strictures on Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary, which are severe, not to say unjust; but, having read the letter to Mr. Hughes, which has been noticed in the text, he perceived that he had misunderstood the character of the learned commentator, and had the candor to avow it. -- "The letter in question," observes Mr. Morris, "is touching in the extreme, and gives a view of Dr. Clarke's character which I had never before witnessed, adding to it a charm which I never before suspected it to possess. It would give me pleasure to see any error corrected, or to retract any expression that conveyed a want of reverence or respect for the memory of so eminent a man. The sentiments of Adam Clarke on some points were sufficiently heterodox, and, in my apprehension, of an injurious tendency; but, after seeing his tender and modest Concessions to Mr. Hughes, it is impossible not to feel the highest admiration of his character." The publication of these admissions is equally due to the author of them and the object. 32. She gave up the intention of removing to the Tower, of which, Lord Moira, afterwards Marquis of Hastings, was, Constable. The affectionate terms in which she mentions that accomplished nobleman, are accounted for by the fact that she was the intimate friend of his Lordship's mother, who was the daughter of the celebrated Countess of Huntingdon. Of the late Countess of Moira, Miss Shepherd thus speaks:-- " Such an one in deed, and in truth, in mind, talents, and understanding, tempers, affections, and manners, as, had she lived two thousand years ago, Gabriel had hailed with the honors of heaven as highly favored above women." Of the Earl, her son, she states, "He reveres the name and memory of John Wesley; and twice already in my life have I found Methodism a recommendation to his kindness, for persons I wished to serve by his influence. Moreover, he is a man of genius and real solid learning, -- a judge of men and books, At six years and a half old he could read, understand, and grammatically construe; any ode of Horace, at the first opening of the book. I was present when he did this at Moira Castle before, and to the great astonishment of, the Rector of Moira; he also read, and very prettily did the same by, the First Epistle of St. John, in Greek." 33. From Miss Shepherd, Dr. Clarke received some particulars of the life of Alexander Cruden, which, as she was his colleague under Mr. Woodfall, deserve credit. During five years, from 1754 to 1759. he corrected the press, while she translated the foreign mails. The first edition of his Concordance was published in 1737, dedicated to Queen Caroline. Overpowered by the labors of this most useful work, he became deranged, and was placed in an asylum at Hoxton; but he was completely restored, and enjoyed soundness of mind during the last twelve years of his life. In this affliction he never lost the sense and the comfort of religion. For the second edition of his book he had 500l., and 300l. for the third. The portrait prefixed to those editions is exact, both in likeness and in costume. Through Sir Robert Walpole he presented a copy of the third edition to George III., the Premier stipulating that he should not address his Majesty. Nevertheless, he was about to seize an opportunity of giving the King some godly counsel, when Sir Robert, leading him away from the royal person defeated his design. This smooth-spoken Minister promised him the appointment of bookseller to the Queen, but showed no disposition to keep his word. Some one told Cruden that it was not Walpole's habit to fulfill his promises. Determined to allow his patron no chance of escape, Alexander communicated to him what he heard, and was answered by the ten-times-repeated promise. "Yes, Sir Robert," said Cruden, "and so you have told me these two months past." -- " You shall certainly have it, Mr. Cruden," rejoined the Minister, and the next day redeemed his pledge. Cruden was a liveryman of the Stationers' Company, in which, to his no small satisfaction, he took precedence of Woodfall, who, though his employer, was his junior in civic rank. A bachelor through life, Cruden, at sixty, fell in love with a lady of fortune, who rejected his suit, and, as a reward for renewing it, had him tossed in a blanket! He had a competent knowledge of Greek and Latin, and a thorough acquaintance with Hebrew. At Oxford and Cambridge, he received, tokens of great respect, being invited to dine, in hall at the principal colleges. He paid a scrupulous regard to the Sabbath; and, that Miss Shepherd might be equally rigid in this respect, he used to contrive to get the foreign papers forwarded to her so early on Saturday as that she might make her selections and translations before midnight. He was a zealous Calvinist, and fond of argument; but he never lost his temper, nor, when closely pressed, took refuge in sophistry. If he heard swearing in the street, he would politely ask leave to speak with the offender, and then mildly reprove him. In this way he reprehended those rude spirits,, the London carmen, draymen, &c.; but was seldom insulted. At Oxford, by intertwining a just compliment with a courteous expostulation, he put an end to the Sabbath promenading of a beautiful woman, who on that day used to court the admiration of the under-graduates in the walks, of the University. On receiving the 800l. before-mentioned, he retired from London to Greenwich, where he lived in personal comfort and general esteem. His death was sudden, and not preceded by apparent illness. One morning he failed to come down at the usual hour. He was sought for in his study and in his bed-room, but was not found in either. He had retired to a little closet, where he was discovered kneeling in an easy chair, his hands lifted towards heaven, quite dead.

    34. It appears that his exemplary conduct during the voyage across the Channel was the means of her conversion to the faith of the Gospel. "As we were one day walking out," observes his youngest son, the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke, Curate of Frome, in relating what passed during the time which Dr. Clarke spent with him at home and at Weston super Mare, only a few days before his death, "there chanced to be mentioned a clergyman, who, by an injudicious conduct in private, had destroyed, in some measure, the good effect which his public teaching was calculated to produce. 'It is impossible, Joseph,' said he, 'that a minister of God should ever be a private man. Even in his most trivial intercourse with others, it is never forgotten what his office is. The habit of every one's mind is to expect information or example from the company and conduct of a public minister. Such as we, are constantly living under the observation of mankind; and he who is always observed, should never venture on dubious conduct, or suppose for a moment that what he does in the view of another, can ever be a matter of indifference, or be regarded as a trifle. I will tell you a curious circumstance that happened to me some years ago. In a day or two from the time that I refer to, I was about to set off from London to Ireland. A friend desired me to take charge of a young lady to Dublin, to which I readily agreed, and she was sent to me at the coach. I soon found, from her conversation, that she was a Roman Catholic; and I also quickly perceived that she had been led to entertain a very high opinion of me. After we had traveled some distance, talking occasionally on various subjects, the day-light began to sink fastly away, when she took out of her reticule a small Catholic book of prayers, and commenced most seriously her evening devotions. While she was reading, such thoughts as these occurred to me, I believe this lady to be sincere in her religious creed, which I think to be a very dangerous one. She appears to be of an ingenuous temper, and to feel much personal respect for me. Is there not here, then, a good opportunity as well as subject to exercise my influence, and to deliver her, if possible, from her erroneous creed? But, (continued I, in my thoughts.) was she not entrusted to my care would her friends have so entrusted her, had they ever suspected that an attempt at proselytism would be made? would not the attempt be a breach of trust, and should I, even were ultimate good to accrue to Miss____, be a morally honest man? I instantly felt that my own honesty must be preserved, though the opportunity of apparent good might be lost. In a short time, Miss.___. closed her book with this observation, "We Catholics, Dr. Clarke, think it much better to believe too much than too little." I replied, But, Madam, in our belief we should recollect, that we never should yield our assent to what is contradictory in itself, or, to what contradicts other ascertained truths." This was the only observation I made that looked at all towards Catholicism. In process of time, we arrived at our journey's end; and I deposited her safely in the hands of her friends. From that time till about two years ago, I never heard of Miss ___, till we met in the following way:-- I had been preaching at Chelsea Chapel: and, entering the vestry after the service, a lady followed me, shook hands, spoke with much emotion, and said, "Do you not recollect me, Dr. Clarke? I am Miss___, whom you kindly took care of to Ireland. I was then a Catholic now I am a Protestant, and have suffered much in consequence of the change." I inquired how the alteration in her views was effected; and she gave me, in detail, the account which I will shortly sum up to you. When she heard to whom she was about to be entrusted, she resolved closely to watch and observe this eminent Protestant minister. She was pleased with the conversation and the friendliness shown to her, and was so struck with the observation I had made in the coach, that site said it absolutely afterwards haunted her, caused her to examine and think for herself, and at last led her to freedom from her thralldom: "but," said she, "I should never have been induced to examine, had it not been for the examination which I had previously made of you. From the first moment you entered the coach, I watched you narrowly. I thought, now I have a fair opportunity of knowing something of these Protestants; and I will judge if what I have heard of them be true. Every word, every motion, every look, of yours, Sir, was watched with the eye of a lynx. I felt you could not be acting a part, for you could not suspect that you were so observed. The result of all was, your conduct conciliated esteem, and removed prejudice. Your own observation on belief, led me to those examinations which the Spirit of God has blessed to my conversion; and I now stand before you, the convert of your three days' behavior between London and Dublin." 'You see from this account, Joseph,' continued my father, "how all ministers should ever feel themselves as public men; how cautious should be their conduct, and how guarded their conversation. Had I attempted to proselytize this lady, all her prejudices would have been up in arms. Had my behavior been unbecomingly light or causelessly austere, she would have been either disgusted or repelled, and her preconceived notions of Protestants would have been confirmed. She saw and heard what satisfied her. Thus, even in social intercourse, the public minister may, and should always, be the Christian instructor.'"

    35. The inscription is as follows:-- Sacred to the Memory of John Uri, D. D., born in Hungary, and educated at Leyden. He was invited over into England by the University of Oxford, to describe, arrange, and catalogue the Oriental MSS. in the Bodleian Library. His oldest and most intimate acquaintances ever found him to be an honest man, a pleasing companion, and a conscientious Christian. To his profound knowledge as an Oriental scholar, his catalogue of the Arabic MSS. in the Bodleian Library, his Hebrew and- Arabic Grammar, his edition, and Latin translation, of the celebrated Arabic Poem, called 'Al Bordha,' together with his numerous pupils who have distinguished themselves in the walks of literature opened to them by their preceptor, bear the most distinguished and decided testimony. A stranger to his person, but not to his literary and moral worth, dares to entrust even to glass, in the apartment twenty-five years occupied by this eminent man, this memorial to learning that can never perish, and virtues that can never die. After suffering much by increasing infirmities during the last two years of his life, he died suddenly in his apartments, about eight oclock, of the evening of October 18, 1796, aged 70 years. his mortal remains were deposited in the chancel of St. Michaels Church in this city, where, for lack of a monument, the passenger can scarcely say, Here lies Uri. 36. The reader remembers the story of the gold and silver shield. Dr. Clarke records a case that would admit of a similar dispute I am now in Sennan, a small town on the Lands End. On the sign of the inn, as you come from the Lands End, are these words -- "The first Inn in England;" and on the reverse are the following "The last Inn in England." 37 Yet, when, at a subsequent period, his opinion was asked respecting the quantity of nutriment derived from various kinds of food, he delivered the following opinion:-- "There is such a difference between the flesh of fish and that of human bodies, that, were it not for the quantity of gelatin they contain, I am inclined to think it would be very inadequate, if not altogether unfit, aliment for man But the gelatin of fish is little more than a fine mucilage; and, though it be very wholesome, yet it does not afford a sufficiency of nourishment for the laborer. Hence, the common sense and experience of men teach them to unite certain portions of the flesh of quadrupeds with that of fish, thus supplying a mucilaginous matter, which assists in digesting the more solid and nutritive substance taken from the quadruped."

    38. Alluding to the narrow circumstances of his Father's family, which precluded the possibility of his receiving a University education. 39. A few extracts from other letters written by Dr. Clarke, about this time, may serve to throw some light upon the passage quoted in the text. Under date of January 22, 1830, he writes, "We are not all in London like a threefold cord, well twined together, that it cannot easily be broken. That most unfortunate business in Leeds, has sown the seeds of dissolution in Methodism, that, if God do not destroy them, bid fair to destroy our body. As far as I see, as far as I hear, the confidence of the people in the preachers is every day lessening, and their affection towards them minishing also. Certain people may smile at all this, and boast; but I can do neither. May God give us eyes to see, and ears to hear! He has entrusted us with a glorious work. May he rather take us away, than permit us to spoil it! What should be done, I can scarcely suggest; but something should be done, to allay this ferment. We are losing leaders, local preachers, and men of power and influence; and I assure you, that men of might, wealth, power, and decent connections, are ten to one rarer among us, than they were forty years ago." Under date of February 6, 1830, he writes, "My mind on the affairs which you mention, is the same as your own. I believe the Leeds affair has sown the seeds of dissolution through every part of our Connection. We are in a very troubled state in London. I have seen Methodism in its nonage, I have seen it at its perfection; and I am afraid that I see it now in its decline. I am like Hagar -- I would withdraw to a distance, even hide myself in the wilderness, before I could consent to witness the death of so promising a progeny." The grand mistake of those who with just cause were dissatisfied with the proceedings of the ruling party in Conference, has been, that they withdrew from the Society. But it is at length perceived, that by this means the Connection cannot be reformed, and that the only human ground of hope that it will be preserved from that dissolution the seeds of which, as Dr. Clarke says, have been so universally sown, is in the adherence, not the desertion, of those whose intelligence and independence number them among the dissatisfied. But it was not the Leeds case alone that at this period disturbed Dr. Clarke's peace of mind. In the text, we have heard him complain of personal ill-treatment; a complaint which the following extract from one of his letters may serve to explain:-- "The eternal-generation men have proceeded to great and unchristian lengths; and the Book Committee, who are ready to publish every thing on that sinful side of the question, absolutely refuse to let any thing, however moderate, appear in reply! I think both God and common sense permit me to renounce connection with such men." Dr. Clarke, however, resisted this inclination and, consequently, his influence and his active exertions were saved to the cause of reform, until death deprived the Wesleyan Methodists of his personal assistance, though it could not deprive them of the savor of his name or of his recorded opinions. "It is a fact, universally known," says an evidently well-informed writer, " that for a great many years the opinions and writings of the Doctor have been made the subject of intemperate and incessant attack, in the pages of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine; and that his treatment by the Book-room, during the latter period of his life, was such as to determine him never more to take his seat in that Committee." 40 An anecdote similar to this has been related of the Doctor himself and a good old woman. In her judgment, he was too studious,, too laborious, and to abstemious. She therefore reproved him in the manner described in the text; and, as the story goes, not without effect.

    41. On the 21st of September, 1831, Dr. Clarke appears to have addressed a long and an important letter to the Right Honorable E. G. Stanley, at that time Secretary of State for Ireland. The subject of this communication was the want of education in that country. We have been favored with the only copy of it known to be in existence, and have much satisfaction in laying the substance of it before our readers, omitting, to avoid repetition, those passages in which Dr. Clarke informs the Right Honorable gentleman of the establishment of his own schools. After a becoming preface, the writer thus proceeds "I feel deeply interested in behalf of the miserable uneducated Irish peasantry; in general, worthy of better fate and better faith: a peasantry on whom no pains taken in this way, will ever be found to be fruitless. It is not my business to enter into any examination of the causes that have led to the present degraded condition of the Irish; but, from an intimate knowledge of the people of Ireland, extended through the long space of more than half a century, I feel confident to affirm, that they who attribute it to a bad or unjust Government, have as little foundation for the assertion, as there is truth or correctness in the details by which they have wished to substantiate. their charges.

    "Perhaps it is not saying too much, that I think I know Ireland, and the Irish character, as well as most men in England. But, leaving every other topic, I would simply state, that the principal cause of the miseries of Ireland is the uneducated and uncultivated state of the people; nor would I intimate, that this evil, the parent of thousands of others, is too deep and too inveterate to be remedied, but at the sacrifice of much time and a heavy expense for a proper method, pursued, will prevent the loss of time and of all heavy expenditure.

    The Irish have an aptness to learn, and a thirst for knowledge, that, in the degree in which they possess them, seem almost peculiar to themselves. I have been in many countries; I have had occasion to mix less or more with persons in almost all conditions of life; and I can say, I never found the aptness to learn, and the thirst for knowledge, to be what I might call a national characteristic, but in Ireland. The generation of natural blockheads does not exist in that country; and, were not the above propensities innate, they could not still exist, after having been so long treated with almost universal neglect. These two points properly considered, viz, their aptitude to learn, and their thirst for knowledge, we may see at once, that, by proper management, the labor of educating even the whole nation, cannot be Herculean, nor the expense enormous.

    "Much cash, I grant, has been expended, and especially of late, in diffusing education in Ireland; and, no doubt, considerable good has been done. But I am led to think, that there has been generally a want of judgment in the application of the funds, and great defects in the plans of education. I refer to no institution in particular. There has been education without cultivation. It is certainly a great thing to teach a child, wholly illiterate, to know the alphabet, and to be able to read; and, in reference to Irish children, this is not difficult: but to cultivate the mind is a widely different matter, and is of the greatest importance. "I am afraid, in the present mode of educating the poor, there is scarcely any well directed attempt made to cultivate any mental power, the memory excepted; and, in exhibitions, reports, and public examinations, it is represented as a matter of great importance, when a child can be produced, that can say several chapters, perhaps whole books, of the sacred Scriptures, by heart; while, I need not say, he is ignorant of the grand points described in those chapters, or books; for this is not expected. But, while he is left unconscious of the grand ends of education, he is ignorant of his mind, and knows little or nothing of its use. He is not taught how he is to think, and how he is to feel; nor the use of his thinking and feeling, in reference to the government of his conduct through life, so as to reap profit himself, and be pleasing and profitable to others. But all this is supposed to be above the reach of children. My own experience teaches me the contrary. I know it is quite possible to convey mental cultivation to a considerable extent, with what is generally termed education, or teaching children to read and write. I have demonstrated the possibility of teaching a child the elements of geometry, in teaching him the knowledge of his alphabet! In the present day, deep instruction is scarcely aimed at: our plans are now all mechanical, and the education resulting from them is the same. Memory is sufficiently exercised, while mind is neglected and left uncultivated. In consequence, all is outside, all is superficial, and all inefficient."

    Here follows the account of Dr. Clarke's Irish schools.

    Domestic life, among the common people, is never likely to be prosperous and happy, unless the female part of society receive some suitable education. The females in Ireland have been most pitifully neglected. Reading, and such like, may be taught in a mixed school; but the education proper for the female peasant, must be given in a girls' school, by a humane and intelligent female. If this be neglected, we begin at the wrong end. Ireland will not be happy, -will not be in any respect what it should be and what it may be, till its female peasantry be educated in a proper way; and, this being for a time done by charity, it will produce a plant, that will be perennial, and not need to be afterwards cultivated by a foreign hand. In general, there is a sad deficiency among the peasantry, in a variety of things essentially necessary to domestic happiness and prosperity. Multitudes have little or no knowledge of order and method, of economy and industry, of frugality and cleanliness, of strict honesty, and the sacred nature and obligations of truth. All these may be successfully taught to children; for God will ever give his blessing, when the proper means are used; and, as one of the ancients has said, "Where he teaches, there is no delay in learning."

    In a word, my great object in these schools is, besides inculcating the fear of God, to teach reading, writing, what may be necessary, in certain cases, in arithmetic; to cultivate the minds of the children, to teach them decent manners, to remove, as far as possible (and much, even in this, is possible), the numerous odds and ends which hang about, encumber, and perplex, the Irish mind; to teach them order and method, cleanliness, industry, punctuality, economy, and honesty; and it is truly astonishing what success I have had already, even in so short a time, by inculcating these things. But, oh, Sir, we want such schools extended and multiplied. We want female schools. I have hinted already, that, on the proper cultivation of the female peasantry the prosperity of the community greatly depends. The Irish female, properly instructed, will delight to teach her children, make the best of her circumstances, and the most of those portions of life's necessaries, which Divine Providence may grant; cultivate contentment, and conduct her affairs with prudence and discretion. What a blessing to Ireland would such institutions be! Sir, dull as I am, I could almost be eloquent in pointing out the bright and beneficent results of such plans and exertions. 'I love Ireland, and feel for its happiness; and I know, from what you have said on the general subject in the House of Commons, that Ireland has a strong hold on the best feelings of your generous nature. I have done what I could: my means are very limited; but I have the confidence of the people in general, perhaps, more than many. I have counsel and experience I, am willing, and, in a good measure, able, to labor. I trust, Sir, you will lend a favorable ear to my representations and suggestions, relative to that miserable people.

    Believe me, youth, for I am versed in cares, And bear the load of more than seventy years.

    I have shown what may be done, on a well-directed plan, at comparatively small expense; but it is an expense which should be, furnished by the nation. I have tried and realized that plan of which I have taken the liberty, Sir, to give you a hasty and imperfect outline. I leave it with you; and may the Author of mind and of mercy direct you into those measures, which, by his continual blessing and influence, shall be productive of glory to him in the highest, of peace and good-will among the people, of safety to his Majesty's Government, and of the endless credit and honor of yourself and family!"

    42. In the Christian Advocate of September 3, 1832. 43 Mr. Scott left 3,000 to the Shetland Mission in the three-and half per cents, besides the following beneficences to other charities 1000 General Wesleyan Missions. 1000 Preachers' Annuitant Fund. 1000 British and Foreign Bible Society. 300 Naval and Military Bible Society. 200 Stranger's Friend Society in London. 200 Baptist Missions. 200 Stranger's Friend Society in Bath. 200 Hibernian Missionary Society. 200 Moravian Missionary Society. 100 Tract Society, Bath. 100 Tract Society, Bristol.

    44. It may be here observed, that, after the death of Dr. Clarke, his Family and Executors deemed it proper to make an offer of transferring these schools, with their funds, to the Missionary Committee, believing that this arrangement would more permanently and 'fully' secure their being carried on agreeably to the plan adapted by Dr. Clarke himself. To this proposal, the Missionary Committee willingly acceded. They have since been visited by Mr. Elijah Hoole, whose report of their state was highly encouraging. 45. At the first anniversary, or second meeting of the Society, this prelate thus alluded to Dr. Clarke:-- "I cannot avoid saying that I am this day reminded of the words of an excellent person (Dr. Adam Clarke), now no more, who was present at the formation of this Society. The words he made use of were to the effect, that, as none of us knew how soon we might be called to our account, it was our duty to hasten to do all the good in our power, by administering to the wants of those whom we had the means of relieving. That excellent person was soon afterwards called to his account. I had known him long, and I believe a better man never lived. The words I have mentioned sunk deep into my mind; and I am happy to recapitulate so excellent an admonition on this occasion." 46. This remark is illustrated by the following extract of a letter, which he addressed to the present Archbishop of Canterbury, in presenting his Grace with a volume of sermons -- "Whatever may be their merit, they are not constructed after the common manner of sermons. It has ever been my aim, both in preaching and writing, to endeavor to explain the words of God, that by this method I might attain to the knowledge of the things of God. Your Lordship well knows how little is done for the interests of Divine truth, where texts of Holy Scripture are taken as mottoes to sermons, in which only sentiments or maxims of general morality, or social duties, are explained. To secure the end of public instruction, I have often been obliged to call the attention of the people, not only to the literal meaning of several exotic words, but also to the import of many terms in their mother-tongue, which, though of frequent use in religious matters, are little understood. 47. When he had the opportunity of reaping considerable emolument for his labors under Government, and he was asked what they could do for him, he replied, "Oh! nothing, I dwell among my own people." he has been heard to say, "I belong to the Methodists, body and soul, blood and sinews. This coat (seizing hold of his own sleeve) is theirs." But, though he refused to take any thing for himself, he used his influence to procure the advancement of others, among whom may be mentioned the Rev. Hartwell Horne. 48. Mosheim. 49. Benson's and Dr. Clarke's Pref to John; and Carpenter's and Horne's Introduction to Scripture. 50. Euseb. lib. iv. cap. 9 51. Dr. Clarke's Succession of Sacred Literature. 52* Mosheim. 53 Soc. Hist. lib. I. cap. v., and Mosheim 54. Milner's Hist. 55. Soc. Hist. lib. I. cap. viii 56. Dr. Clarke's Succession. 57. Milner's Hist. 58. Soc. His. lib. 1 59. Soc. Hist. lib. II. cap. x 60. Soc. Hist., books i and ii 61. Campbell's Lect. on Hist, Eccl., and Wesley's Works, vol ii. p. 314.

    * * * * * * *



    God Rules.NET
    Search 80+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.