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should have been able to impress it upon his followers, who had no such early bias, to take the same equivocal ground as himself, and that, whilst with him they were to disturb the harmony and discipline of the Church—there is no denying that--they were with him, too, to bear her some reverence, and regard her with some good-will: this is a most remarkable feature of his power, who, though dead, could yet speak so distinctly; and who, if he were now alive, in this season of the Church's danger, would not be the man to stand silently by, consenting to her destruction at the hands of those unnatural confederates, the Infidel, the Dissenter, and the Papist.
We have here the life of one of the most influential of Wesley's immediate followers, in three volumes; the first written by Dr. Clarke himself — the two latter by his youngest daughter, her father supplying her with materials, who moreover perused the whole manuscript up to the year 1830, and attached his signature to each sheet, in testimony of its truth : the whole edited by the Rev. J. B. Clarke, the doctor's youngest son.
Adam Clarke was born at Moybeg, an obscure hamlet in Londonderry, about the year 1760. His father was a village schoolmaster of a superior order, and Adam, if we understand the narrative right, was one of his scholars; a lad of hardy habits, and as yet unapt to learn. It was intended that he should be brought up by his grandfather, but not liking the restraint of his grandmother's apron-strings, and having a great passion for looking into a draw-well on the premises whether in early quest of truth, is not said—he incurred the old lady’s displeasure by keeping her in a state of alarm for his life, and was accordingly sent home. We do not perceive that Dr. Clarke notices this as one amongst the many instances he discovers of a special Providence that was over him-it was probably, however, not the least signal. Whatever was his want of capacity to acquire knowledge, his feelings were quick and tender; and one day, as he and a little school-fellow were seated on a bank together, the children fell into serious conversation on futurity,—-0 Addy, Addy,' said his companion, what a dreadful thing is eternity; and O, how dreadful to be put into hell-fire, and to be burnt for ever!' and thereupon they wept bitterly, begged God to forgive them their sins, which were chiefly those of disobedience to their parents, and made to each other strong promises of amendment. His mother, who came to the knowledge of this incident, pondered it in her heart with a mother's satisfaction; his father, who seems to have been an austere, ill-judging man, had no opinion of pious resolutions in children; and Adam was old enough to find discouragement in this indifference, and to feel that smoking flax had been quenched.
His companion on this occasion was one James Brooks, the tenth child of his parents. When this boy's mother went to pay her tithe to Dr. Barnard, the rector of Maghera, afterwards Bishop of Limerick, and well known as the friend of Johnson, and a member of The Club, the poor woman said, “Sir, you have the tenth of all I possess except my children : it is but justice you should have the tenth of them too; here is my tenth son, take him and provide for him.' Dr. Barnard took the child at her word, clothed him, and sent him to school, where he ever went by the name of Tithe. Traits of this kind, where they relate to men of any distinction, are valuable as keys to character.
The nearest neighbour Adam Clarke's father had was one Pierce Quenlin, a very fat man.
Adam beheld him with disgust, as a loathsome object; a feeling which was rendered yet more intense by a dumb fortune-teller, called, in the Scottish dialect of Ulster, a spae-man, who
gave Adam to understand that it would be one day his own lot to be fond of the bottle and to have a big belly. He thought that the spae-man might be right, nevertheless that God could overrule evils even great as these ; and accordingly, he stole into the field, kneeled himself down in a furze-bush, and prayed heartily, saying, “O Lord God, have mercy upon me, and never suffer me to be like Pierce Quenlin!' He adds, that he continued throughout life to entertain a wholesome dread of drunkenness and fat. Upon such trifles in our tender years do some of the most invaluable safeguards of our future virtue depend. He still remained a dunce; was reproached by his teacher, and scoffed at by his school-fellows; till at last a taunt of the latter kind stung him in the right place—he felt as if something had broke within him ;' and from that day forward he made rapid advances in whatsoever he put his head unto'-arithmetic only excepted.
The circumstances of the family were strait, so much so, indeed, that his father and mother, with their first-born child, (Adam was their second,) had actually embarked for America, and were only prevailed upon to abandon their enterprise by the most earnest entreaties of their friends. Mr. Clarke, therefore, found it convenient to combine his school with a small farm; he cultivated after the plan of Virgil's Georgics, a work of which he was a great admirer: though whether the system of agriculture which suited the Campagna di Roma would consort so well with the village of Maghera or Moybeg, in the township of Cootinaglugg, in the parish of Kilchronagan, in the barony of Loughinshallin, in the county of Londonderry,' might admit of a reasonable doubt. However, his crops, says his son, were 'as good as his neighbours'.' Meanwhile, Adam and his brother were em
ployed in the labour of husbandry, and in the studies of the school by turns : he whose duty it was to read the Georgics, communicating his lesson to him whose duty it had been to apply them. The pence they thus gained were laid out in books—such nursery tales and wild romances as were wont to make up the youthful library before the march of knowledge had superseded them by treatises on political economy, and taught us to put away childish things ere yet we are men. The use of such books, Adam Clarke
knowledge; leading the mind to the contemplation of a spiritual world, such as it was; and, in some instances, as in the case of Robinson Crusoe, impressing the child with such a notion of the providence of God, as nothing was ever likely to efface afterwards.
Mention has already been made of Adam Clarke's mother. She was a Presbyterian of the old Puritan school-a person powerful in the Scriptures—and whenever she corrected her children she gave chapter and verse for it. Such a practice, if generally adopted by parents, would soon render the Bible the rule of life, and go far to make religion operative. From her he received his early religious impressions. It might seem that St. Paul dropped his hints about Timothy's breeding expressly to put mothers in mind of the magnitude of their trust. That eminent disciple, as he turned out, knew the Scriptures from a child, though his father was a Greek; but then there had been faith unfeigned in his grandmother Lois, and in his mother Eunice, and by their means he was what he was. Adam Clarke was now far in his teens, but as yet without any settled plan of life. His friends wished him to assist his father in his school, and eventually to succeed him in it, but the proposal was not to his taste. He was afloat, and in a condition therefore to be appropriated, when, in the year 1777, the Methodists first appeared in his neighbourhood. Hitherto he had been in the habit of attending both Church and Meeting-house, the former chiefly, but with no great edification from either ; indeed the Presbyterian congregation here, as elsewhere, was fast drooping into Socinianism. He was now led by curiosity to hear a sermon of the new preacher. It was after another fashion-after that described by the hand of a master in one of the most powerful of his poems
• Repent, repent, he cries aloud,
• Repent, • Repent, repent, though ye have gone,
Through paths of wickedness and woe,
They shall be white as snow!' In short, Christ crucified, and redemption through his blood, was the burden of his sermon; and Mrs. Clarke, who accompanied her son, and who was as yet his oracle in matters spiritual, pronounced rightly enough—'This is the doctrine of the Reformers.' From that time the house of the Clarkes was open to such preachers as came to those parts, and young Adam was soon added to the number of the converts. It was still, however, some time before he had assurance of his salvation, a doctrine then strongly insisted upon by the Methodists, but• One morning,' we quote his own account of an incident which he ever represented as the epoch of his life, in great distress of soul he went out to work in the field. He began, but could not proceed, so great was his spiritual anguish. He fell down on his knees on the earth and prayed, but seemed to be without power of faith. He arose, endeavoured to work, but could not ; even his physical strength appeared to have departed from him. He again endeavoured to pray, but the gate of Heaven seemed barred against him. His faith in the atonement, so far as it concerned himself, was almost entirely gone; he could not believe that Jesus had died for him ; the thickest darkness seemed to gather round and settle on his soul. He fell flat on his face on the earth, and endeavoured to pray, but still there was no answer; he arose, but he was so weak that he could scarcely stand.
..... It is said the time of man's extremity is the time of God's opportunity. He now felt strongly in his soul, Pray to Christ; another word for, Come to the holiest through the blood of Jesus. He looked up confidently to the Saviour of sinners, his agony subsided, his soul became calm ; a glow of happiness seemed to thrill through his whole frame; all guilt and condemnation were gone.'-vol. i. pp. 99. 102.
The field in which this crisis befel him, this wrestle, as it were, with the angel, he used to visit with intense interest in the latter years of his life, when his journeys to Ireland brought him into its neighbourhood, and would have gladly got possession of it by purchase. Yet we should have thought Dr. Clarke might have been led to suspect the nature of this evidence, when a few years afterwards, according to his own account, it appears that he became a universal sceptic, save only that he believed in the being of a God, and the truth of the sacred writings'—(p. 130); a point very far below that fulness of faith which his former assurance must have reached ; and, indeed, how his doubts could have stopped where they did, we are quite at a loss to understand. For when he had arrived at the condition of distrusting his own senses, so that he would not assert positively that he had done, said, or seen any one thing-looked upon himself as a vision, and upon all nature as the same-it is difficult to say how he could be satisfied that scripture itself existed, that the characters of black and white in which it was writ were themselves real-much less how the ideas they conveyed were founded in truth.
Methodism was in danger of deceiving the hearts of some, and breaking the hearts of many, by exacting this witness of the spirit alike of all. Physical temperament has much to do with the capacity to receive it. When the saintly Herbert lay a long time prostrate on the ground before the altar in Bemerton church, and afterwards told his friend that he had now put off all worldly thoughts, and hereafter should live to God, the Methodist might contend, with apparent reason, that the spirit testified to himand so perhaps it did ; but what will he say of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, who, before the publication of his intidel book “De Veritate,' &c., fell upon his knees, and earnestly besought God to give him a sign that he sanctioned the publication, and fully satistied himself, and declared the same to others, that this sign he had ? Surely the 'witness of the spirit was not here too? The two men were brothers-and, different as their courses proved, the constitutional elements of both were alike, and had some share in either of these scenes. Let us not be misunderstood ; we are not arguing that there is no such thing as the testimony of the spirit-far be that from us—we believe that there is, and that good men have it ; all we contend for is this, that the paroxysms in which John Wesley and his followers made it of necessity to consist, are trumpets that give a very uncertain sound.
But to proceed with our memoir-Adam Clarke continued to store his mind with such knowledge as a self-educated boy of active parts, slender means, and few opportunities, could command, grudging not a daily walk of many miles, early and late, in the depth of winter, to gain some acquaintance with French-never having found, as he says, a royal road to any branch of learning. His parents now made another effort to fix him in an honest calling, and a linen merchant of Coleraine, a relation of his own, was the man chosen to take him apprentice. With him he remained some time, but was never bound, satisfied with his situation chiefly as it gave him a more ready access to the ministry of the Methodists. At length, through the intervention of one of the preachers, he was recommended to the notice of John Wesley, who proposed to receive him at Kingswood school, an establishment of Wesley's own projecting, and originally intended for the sons of itinerant preachers. Accordingly he set sail for England, and his employer, Mr. Bennet, must have released a boy from his service, we imagine, with hearty