Fifty years after this event, one of these (then) young persons came and called upon Dr. Clarke, when he preached at Frome for the last time. See Appendix at the end of the Work. By the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke. 2 When Bridaine came to Paris, and it was known that he was to preach in the Church of St. Sulpice, great numbers of the highest ranks were attracted by his fame to hear him; and when he ascended the pulpit, seeing bishops, and ecclesiastics, and nobles, and many of the most exalted and wealthy personages in the realm, all thronging to hear him; — he thus began: — “A la vue d’un auditoire si nouveau pour moi, il semble, mes freres, que je ne devrois ouvrir la bouche que pour vous demander grace, en faveur d’un pauvre missionnaire depourvu de tous les talans que vous exiges quand on vient vous parler de votre salut. Jeprouve cependant aujourd hui un sentiment bien diffirent; et si je suis humilie, gardezvous de croire que je ma’baisse aux miserables inquietudes de la vanite, comme si jetois accoutume a me precher moi-meme. A Dieu ne plaise qu’un ministre du ciel pense jamais avoir besoin d’excuse aupres de vous; car qui que vous soyez, vous n’etes tous comme moi que des pecheurs; c’est davant votre Dieu et le mien que je me sens presse dans ce moment de frapper ma poitrine: jusqu’a present j’ai publie les justices du Tres-Haut dans des temples couverts de chaume; j’ai preche les rigueurs de la penitence a des infortunes qui manquoient de pain; j’ai annonce aux bons habitans des campagnes les verites les plus effrayantes de ma religion. Qu’ai-je fait, malheureux! j’ai contriste les pauvres, les meilleurs amie de mon Dieu; j’ai porte l’epouvante et la douleur dana ces ames simples et fideles, que j’aurois du plaindre et consoler. C’est ici ou mes regards ne tombent que sur des grands, sur des riches, sur des oppresseurs de l’humanite souffrante, ou sur des pecheurs audacieux et endurcis; ah! c’est ici sentiment qu’il falloit faire retentir la parole sainte dans cette chaire, d’un cote, la mort qui vous menace, de l’autre, mon grand Dieu qui vient vous juger. Je tiens aujourd’hui votre sentence a la main; tremblez donc devant moi, hommes superbes et dedaigneux qui m’ecoutez! La necessite du salut, la certitude de la mort, l’incertitude de cette heure si effroyable pour vous, l’impenitence finale, le jugement dernier, le petit nombre des elus l’enfer, et pardessus tout, l’eternite … l’eternite! Voila les sujets dont je vicus vous entretnir et que j’aurois du sans doute reserver pour vous seuls. Eh! qu’aije besoin de vos suffrages qui me damneroient peut-etre sans vous sau ver?
Dieu va vous emouvoir, tandis que son indigne ministre vous parlera; car j’ai acquis une longue experience de ses misericordes, alors, penetres d’horreur pour vos iniquites passees vous voudrez vous jeter entre mes bras en versant des larmes de componction et de repentir, et a force de remords vous me trouverez asses eloquent.” 3 [A statement by the editor of this autobiography, Clarke’s son Joseph B. B. Clarke:] I knew my father’s mind concerning his Journals; and therefore, since his decease, every word of all of them has been committed to the flames. 4 Mr. Mabyn died in the year 1820, retaining and manifesting his friendship for Dr. Clarke to the last moment of his life. 5 and 6 These Treatises will hereafter be published among Dr. Clarke’s Miscellaneous Works. 7 In the following note in Dr. Clarke’s Commentary, on Luke iv. 30., he gives a very admirable account of this same transaction: what is here related of “A missionary who had been sent to a strange land,” &c., is a fact of Dr. Clarke himself. “The following relation of a fact presents a scene something similar to what I suppose passed on this occasion: — A missionary, who had been sent to a strange land to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God, and who had passed through many hardships, and was often in danger of losing his life, through the persecutions excited a against him, came to a place where he had often before, at no small risk, preached Christ crucified. About fifty people, who had received good impressions from the word of God, assembled. He began him discourse; and after he had preached about thirty minutes, an outrageous mob surrounded the house, armed with different instruments of death, and breathing the most sanguinary purposes. Some that were within, shut to the door; and the missionary and his flock betook themselves to prayer. The mob assailed the house, and began to hurl stones against the walls, windows, and roof; and in a short time almost every tile was destroyed, and the roof nearly uncovered, and before they quitted the premises, scarcely left one square inch of glass in the five windows by which the house was enlightened.
While this was going forward, a person came with a pistol to the window opposite to the place where the preacher stood, (who was then exhorting his flock to be steady, to resign themselves to God, and trust in Him,) presented it at him, and snapped it, but it only flashed in the pan! As the house was a wooden building, they began with crows and spades to undermine it, and take away its principal supports. The preacher then addressed his little flock to this effect: — “These outrageous people seek not you, but me: if I continue in the house they will soon pull it down, and we shall all be buried in the ruins; I will therefore, in the name of God, go out to them, and you will be safe.” He then went towards the door: the poor people got round him, and entreated him not to venture out, as he might expect to be instantly massacred. He went calmly forward, opened the door, at which a whole volley of stones and dirt was that instant discharged; but he received no damage. The people were in crowds in all the space before the door, and filled the road for a considerable way, so that there was no room to pass or repass. As soon as the preacher made his appearance, the savages became instantly as silent and as still as night: he walked forward, and they divided to the right and, to the left, leaving a passage of about four feet wide, for himself, and a young man who followed him, to walk in. He passed on through the whole crowd, not a soul of whom either lifted a hand, or spoke one word, till he and his companion had gained the uttermost skirts of the mob! The narrator, who was present on the occasion, goes on to say: — “This was one of the most affecting spectacles I ever witnessed; an infuriated mob, without any visible cause, (for the preacher spoke not one word) became in a moment as calm as lambs! They seemed struck with amazement bordering on stupefaction; they stared and stood speechless; and after they had fallen back to right and left to leave him a free passage, they were as motionless as statues! They assembled with the full purpose to destroy the man who came to show them the way of salvation; ‘but he, passing through the midst of them, went his way.’ Was not the God of missionaries in this work? The next Lord’s-day, the missionary went to the same place, and again proclaimed the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! 8 On this occasion Funeral Sermons were preached for him in almost every place, and among the rest at City Road, London, by Dr. Whitehead, which being highly esteemed, it was shortly afterwards published: a copy of this Sermon Mr. Clarke sent to the learned Dr. Barnard, then Bishop of Killaloe, accompanied by a letter from himself; to which his lordship replied in the following letter. “April 27th, Sir, “I received the favor of your letter, and the excellent Sermon that accompanied it, on the Death of Mr. Wesley, which I have perused with serious attention and uncommon satisfaction. “It contains a true and not exaggerated encomium on that faithful and indefatigable servant of God who is now at rest from his labors, and (what is of more consequence to those who read it) an intelligible and judicious apologia for the doctrine that he taught, which he has set forth in the clearest terms, and with a simplicity of style, even beyond that of Mr. Wesley himself; without the smallest tincture of (reprehensible) enthusiasm, erroneous judgment, or heterodox opinion. He has plainly expounded the truth as it is in Christ Jesus; and I hope an believe that the dispersion of this little tract may do much good: as the sublimest truths of Christianity, are there reduced ad captum vulgi, and at the same time proved to the learned to be none other than such as have been always held and professed in the Christian Church from the time of the Apostles till now, however individuals may have lost sight of them. “I am particularly obliged to you for communicating to me this tract, and wish that I had the pleasure of knowing the author. I return you my thanks for the personal respect you are so good as to express for me, and should be happy to deserve it.
I am, Sir, Your very obedient humble servant, Thos. Killaloe. “If I have omitted to direct this properly I hope you will excuse me, as you do not mention whether you are in orders or not.”