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  • ADAM CLARKE PORTRAYED
    Volume I, SECTION IV.,
    1776, Coming to Faith in Christ


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    SECTION IV.

    1776.

    Unto the period to which the reader has been conducted, it does not appear that Adam had evidenced the existence of any decidedly religious impressions. The effect of moral restraint upon a naturally sensitive mind had been, to protect him from the contamination of gross evil, by placing before him the excellence of truth and virtue; indeed, it must be manifest, that had he thought seriously upon the great subject of personal religion, and with a desire to arrive at a conclusion, the discrepancy existing between the creeds and forms of worship of his parents, must have involved him in a state of harassing perplexity, as both of them were, in "their line of things," consistent and devout; hitherto, the instructions of the mother had, in their "puritanic" austerity, more of the covenant "which gendereth to bondage," than of the one which makes its votaries free: every command was accompanied, in case of its non-observance, with a roll of thunder from Mount Sinai; and with this sounding in his ears, and its lightnings flashing before his eyes, -- no wonder the thought sometimes flitted across his mind, that "religious people must have a painful time of it." Under the stirrings of a spirit touched by, though perhaps not impregnated with genius, his eye had wandered abroad over "the varied field of nature;" the impulse, kindred in sort, though differing in degree, with that which led the immortal Newton to explore the laws of attraction and gravitation, set young Clarke upon the inquiry as already intimated, -- why the stone thrown into the air came down with greater force than it ascended? -- what was the reason of the difference in the consistence of bodies, and by what law particles cohered? and it was this ardor of investigation which impelled him, bare-footed and bare-headed, to sally forth in defiance of the frosts of a winter's night, to contemplate the glory of the firmament gemmed with stars. But, as yet, the eye of his mind had not darted beyond that firmament, into "the heaven of heavens," to search after a higher wisdom, and to behold a more resplendent light, than philosophy can furnish. That divine ray, however, which enlightens every human spirit, began to struggle forth from the cloud of form and ceremonial in which it had been enwrapt. His meditations upon the Divine Being were now to assume the form of a definite subject to his apprehension: the fear of God, and reverence of his word already implanted, were the seed, which, having been "cast into honest and good ground," was beginning to "strike root downward, and to bear fruit upward:" the study of the Bible, was becoming one of deep and intense interest; it was read in order that it might be "marked, learned, and inwardly digested." He could now trace the congruity of religious truth, with the deep and strong emotions of desire, and hope, and fear, by turns dominant in his mind, and thus he began "to feel after God, if haply he might find him:" "the day-star from on high" was arising in his heart; and notwithstanding the conflicting creeds to which allusion has been made, he at length, in a moment of characteristic independence, which spoke him as a boy what he subsequently became as a man, threw all pre-conceived opinions aside, and formed, from the scriptures of truth alone, the one he held with godly jealousy, and preached with astonishing success, for the period of half a century!

    Adam was about eighteen, when at the instigation of Mark O'Neill, he was first induced to hear the Methodists, who came to preach at a village called Burnside. His own account is as follows:-- "The preaching was in a barn; the preacher, John Brettell, was a tall thin man, with long sleek hair, and of a very serious countenance. When the service was over, he, with some persons who had accompanied him from Coleraine, went to the door of a person whose house adjoined the place; I, and several others, followed. On arriving, he turned round, and, with deep solemnity, exhorted us to give ourselves to God; he then entered the house, into which we followed; he spoke a short time to the persons within, and we remained to the close." It appears, young Clarke was much impressed with this first sermon, and continued to be a regular hearer of the Methodists, whenever they visited that part of the country; "for they came," he observed, "frequently, and preached first in one house, and then in another, spreading themselves over the country:" but it was not until Mr. Thomas Barber visited Coleraine, that he became decidedly religious. Through the ministry of that apostolic man, (who was acting as a missionary at his own cost, and emphatically doing the work of an evangelist over an extensive tract of country near the sea coast, in the county of Antrim,) he was brought to a knowledge of the truth; soon after which, his parents also were induced to attend the same ministry. As but little is known of Mr. Thomas Barber, a short sketch of his personal history may prove acceptable to the reader. He is stated to have first heard the gospel preached among the Methodists, at Sidare, in the county of Fermanagh, and to have been brought to a knowledge of God under the ministry of the venerable founder of Methodism, the Rev. John Wesley. Soon after he joined the society, he was enabled to rejoice in an assurance of pardoning mercy; and such was the fervor of his zeal for the glory of God, and his melting compassion for the salvation of man, that he almost immediately commenced the work of a public teacher. A divine unction attended his ministry, both in the awakening of sinners, and the sanctifying of believers. His first, removal from the place of his conversion, was to a part of the Londonderry circuit; which included Coleraine, and the country specified by Adam. He had successively twenty-one stations, of one and two years, in each, and sat down as a supernumerary, at Glass Lough in the county of Monaghan, in 1808, -- dying about the eightieth year of his age, in 1825. In the prosecution of his ministry, he feared no danger, and neglected no opportunity of promoting the religious welfare of his fellows. Instant in season, and out of season, he visited from house to house, and was especially attentive to the classes. He has been known frequently to stop a whole congregation at the close of public service, and speak to them more particularly; and irregular as this might seem, a divine blessing often followed. While his holy example led on the humble and upright in the path of piety, the warmth of his devotion animated the lukewarm. His preaching, though singular, was artless, and instructive. He expatiated on the doctrines of the witness of the Spirit, and perfect love; these he denominated the eyes of Christianity without which man was sure to walk in darkness. In health, he was an example of integrity, humility, and diligence and in sickness, equally remarkable for fortitude, meekness, patience and cheerfulness. [39] One perfection, however, which was remarkable for its prominence, and which threw a charm round him peculiarly attractive to young people, was his simplicity, which reduced him to a child among children. His attention to young people was unusual; he instituted meetings to promote their religious instruction; and these meetings were extensively useful, not only to children but to parents. Here was a suitable foster-father for young Clarke, -- evidently sent in the order of providence, -- and sent to one, whose docility of mind at the time, was such as to inspire the strongest and brightest hopes. They clung to each other, -- Adam, in consequence of the interest and affection manifested by Mr. Barber in his welfare, -- and Mr. Barber, because of the openness, intelligence, and readiness of Adam to receive the blessings of the gospel.

    Mr. Barber, in person, was rather above the middle size -- strongly built -- extremely active -- frank -- generous: he was attired in the general costume of the preachers of that day, and finished off with a short stunted wig. He was at the Manchester Conference of 1795, during the whole of which, his son in the gospel, paid him the utmost attention. There was an appeal on some particular subject, made from the English to the Irish Conference, in which Mr. Barber acquitted himself with great credit, showing considerable force, fluency, and aptitude in the discussion of its several parts. [40]

    The Methodists, who had been established some time in Coleraine, visited the parish of Agherton about the year 1777. The account of Adam's conversion will be found to be substantially the same with the one written by himself; but as the extract from the conversations is already before the public in an unacknowledged form, in a sermon preached by the Rev. P. McNicoll, some remark here may be necessary; just so far as to notice, that though the language of the two accounts may be perceived in a slight degree to differ, yet it is but the variation which will generally be found between the speaking, and writing, of the same person, and especially when writing for publication; the one style being distinguished for freedom and familiarity, -- the other for cautious formality and precision: besides, different minor points of a relation are omitted, or elicited agreeably with the occasion, company, or time of delivery, and in the case before us, he tells us himself, that his memory could readily take in great things; not so readily trivial ones; that it could perfectly recollect ideas, and general description; but not particular words; that it could give the substance of a conversation at any time, or at any distance of time, but not the identical terms used in that conversation."

    Divine light continued to pour into Adam's mind, while he attended the means of grace, and associated with the people of God; and as that light increased, his distress on account of sin, and his anxiety to know that he was accepted as a child of God, through Jesus Christ, became insupportable, he went out to labor in the field one morning, unusually burdened in spirit. The field itself he afterwards pointed out to the writer, and also the particular spot, in which God manifested himself to him. As a tale of another day is suspended on the connection of this field with his conversion, its precise situation may be noticed. It is situated near the new church, on the right hand in going from Coleraine to Portstuart, and is the next but one to the residence of the late Counselor O'Neill. One side joins the public road, being separated from it by its own hedge; the upper corner of it pointing towards the Gazebo, from which it is only the distance of a few yards. About the middle of the far fence, on a line with the road, and from two to three hundred yards from the Gazebo, Adam was employed as "a tiller of the ground." The labor of the mind could no longer support the labor of the hand. He laid down his implements of husbandry, and in deep anguish of spirit betook himself to prayer; he was now in an agony, and resolved to take the kingdom of heaven by violence. "The ground whereon I knelt," he observed, "was like plowed land." But peace ensued. His soul was filled with joy and gladness, and his lips with praise. During the visit, to which allusion has been made, he formed, as will hereafter be seen, the design of purchasing the field, and of erecting a house upon it, that, amidst those interesting scenes of his youth, he might spend at least a part of the evening of life. He gazed on the spot, which to him was "holy ground," with deep interest, having been consecrated, like the circle around the burning bush, by the more immediate presence of God, who lit up, on the altar of his heart, an inextinguishable fire.

    While the universal church acknowledges "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," the modes of operation of the Spirit of God upon the human heart, are as diverse as the varieties of mental constitution upon which they are brought to act; hence the multiform experiences (yet all substantially the same) which evidence the truth of the great doctrines of our common Christianity. The translation of the subject from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, is as genuine under one mode of operation as under another, where the heart is sincere, and the faith pure and simple.

    In some cases the terrors of the law have to be sounded forth; in others, the "still small voice" of the Spirit is whispered: some need to be aroused as by a trumpet-voice from the death of sin; others are gently led, yet it is the same Spirit which worketh in all. The wisdom of God is made manifest also in that, which, to erring human reason, assumes the character of mystery -- as, in the apparent disproportion between the sense of transgression in any given subject, and the real measure of the offense: mystery, is, however, in this instance as in all others, the result of ignorance; the ways of God are just and equal, and his designs fraught with wisdom. The case of Adam appears to be one of those, in which the depth of sorrow outweighed the number of his offenses [I doubt that this can ever be the case, for there are no sins taken "lightly" by God. But, one can fail to trust Christ's mercy long after God is ready to forgive. -- DVM]: he was still a boy, --had the fear of God before his eyes -- had been kept from "presumptuous sins" -- and therefore seemed to need only the forgiveness of "private faults:" [no, "sins"] and yet we behold him, for a considerable time, in great agony of spirit, under a sense of the wrath of God; to quote his own deeply emphatic language, -- "Lying upon the ground dumb with grief, and almost petrified with anguish;" but looking onward to the wisdom of the design: we perceive that by means of this severe trial of faith and patience, God was preparing, a minister for his church, who, having passed through great tribulation [not "tribulation" -- "conviction for sin" -- DVM] himself, would know how to advise and help its members, in every variety of Christian experience, and "to comfort them with that comfort, wherewith he himself was eventually comforted of God."

    A glance at the two periods of 1760 and 1762, assigned for his birth, may here be necessary, as several forms of expression, appear contradictory of his age at the period of his first becoming acquainted with the Methodists. The introduction of preaching at Agherton, as has just been noticed, was in 1777; and his conversion to God, as will afterwards be seen, was in 1778. Now, though he styled himself "very young," when speaking of the period at which he heard Mr. Brettell, and a "little boy," when writing with a reference to it, yet he must have been, taking either of the periods assigned for his birth, from fifteen to seventeen years of age at the time, and from sixteen to eighteen when he became decidedly religious. The truth is, there was an apparent fondness in him, when adverting to the two extremes of life, in connection with the mercy of God to himself, to minify the one, and to extend the other; -- associating his conversion with the general notion and impression of youth, being thankful to his Creator, when looking back through the vista of years, for calling him to a state of grace so early, and for preserving him in it so long. Hence, when the two points met in the mind, and were widely sundered by reflection, and any useful object was to be gained, he would speak, as he has written, -- of "the little boy" -- the "lad" -- the "youth," -- and of his "gray hairs," -- the "old man," &c., -- the thirty or forty years between, authorizing the relative terms, and rendering the subject impressive both to the hearer and the observer. A great deal of this too, may be traced to what has been already remarked on in another place, in reference to the beginning of life; -- resolving itself into what Montgomery calls "the poetry of age," whose language is, "When I was a child!" Added to which was his appearance; for when he was on his first circuit, in 1782-3, at a period when he must have been, agreeably to the above dates, from twenty-one to twenty-three years of age, he was still "the little boy;" being thus characterized by the people, who were struck with the amazing difference between his apparent youth, and his wisdom. The appellation thus common among others, might with propriety be employed by, and grow into use with himself.

    Mrs. Clarke had attended a class-meeting at a small village called Mullihicall, and approving of it, afterwards took Adam with her, who was not much enamored of personal appeals to experience. He had his name also inserted in a class paper, by Mr. Barber, contrary to his wish. It was not long, however, before he felt the necessity, and esteemed the privilege of Christian communion. In the class in which he met, there was a want, at one time, of perfect harmony; and the manner in which he combated the prejudices of one of the disaffected members, showed considerable adroitness. "I will not," said the person in question, "meet in class with such a person as I. K." "Why not?" inquired Adam; "he is not METHODISM; you cannot consider him as either its doctrines, discipline, or worship." "He is wicked," was returned, "and not fit to meet in class." "I meet with one much more wicked than he is," replied Adam. "That is impossible," was rejoined. After denying and affirming for some time, Adam led him into his reason for taking the defensive, by saying, "I meet with the devil -- he is more wicked than I. K. -- and I am certain he often makes one; but then I know that God is there too, and he is greater than the devil."

    When Adam entered properly into the spirit of class-meeting, he was not only constant in his attendance, but complied with all the financial rules with which it stands connected. Urging attention to the class moneys upon the Irish preachers, during one of the occasions of his Presidency, serious objections were raised against it, by the Irish Conference, because of the poverty of the people. "Tell me not," he exclaimed, "of the poverty of the people; I know what it is; but I know, at the same time, that none of them can be poorer than I was; and yet, when a lad, I always had a penny for my class, and a shilling for the renewal of my ticket." This was received much better than it would have been, had it proceeded from the lips of an Englishman.

    Notwithstanding he had read his Bible frequently before, yet it was not till sometime about this period, that he began to read with a constancy, intensity, and seriousness, which had not previously been manifested. Speaking on the subject, he said, "No man ever taught me the doctrine which I embraced, I received it by simply reading the Bible. From it alone, I saw that justification by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and the sanctification of the heart to God, were all attainable. These I saw as clearly then, as I do now; and from these I never swerved. I have been confirmed and strengthened in them, by reading; but the light was clear to begin with. I often read the Bible on my knees. When I came to a passage I did not fully understand, I said, 'Lord, here is thy Book, it is given for the salvation of man; it can be no salvation to him, unless he understand it; thou hast the key of this text, unlock it to me:' and praying thus, I generally received such light as was satisfactory to myself. The sense of the New Testament was perfectly understood by me; I do not mean to say," continued he, "that it was understood in its criticalities, but in reference to the meaning of God in it. In this way I understood the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the three first chapters of the Apocalypse: the remainder of the latter book, I considered prophetic, and rarely meddled with it."

    It was not long after Adam received remission of sins, that be began to exhort sinners to flee from the wrath to come. Mr. Moor, who had been the previous year in the Coleraine circuit, observes [41] that after he himself left the circuit, "Mr. Rutherford remained on it another year. Through him," he proceeds, "and through Miss Isabella Young, (afterwards Mrs. Rutherford,) I received an account of our friend from time to time. It seems, he not only received the full and free spirit of the gospel adoption, but, to the astonishment of all, began to preach in some parts of the circuit; and generally to the admiration of all who heard him. His preaching, it seems from the account given, had little more of polish than his personal appearance; but there was a life and energy in his plain, and sometimes rough address, which humbled curious hearers, and greatly edified those who waited upon God in the true Spirit of the gospel. He spoke of this epoch of his life himself with his usual simplicity. After my removal, Mrs. Rutherford used kindly to converse with him, and lend him books; and as the fire was hot within him, a little encouragement caused it to break forth, for which thousands, I doubt not, will have to praise God in the day of assembled worlds." Adam received great benefit from the contact he had with Mr. Rutherford, and the family of Mr. Young; and the genuineness of his gratitude may be inferred from the publicity he has given to its expression.

    "My method," said he, when speaking of his labors, "was to ascend a hill; and, surveying the neighboring hamlets and villages, to arrange a plan of visitation: then, proceeding to the first, to enter a house, commonly saying, 'Peace be to this house.' I used next to address myself to the inmates in such language as this, 'Have you any objection to unite with a stranger in praying to Almighty God?' The answer generally -- I may say invariably, was favorable. Having secured their consent, I added, 'Perhaps you have some neighbor whom you would like to join with you?' The answer was in the affirmative, and with almost the same breath, someone of the family received the commission of -- 'Away, fetch Pat such a one, and Betty such a one, and don't forget neighbor such a one.' They came dropping in one after another, and the house was often filled. When all were assembled, I gave out a hymn, -- and in those days, I had a clear, strong, well-toned voice; nor was there a hymn in the large blessed hymn book, to which I could not pitch a tune. Sometimes, I stopped, and spoke about the hymn that had been sung, asking whether they understood the meaning of different lines, -- gave the sense of them, -- and spoke about the good God to whom the hymn referred, and how grieved he was with persons getting drunk, swearing, telling lies, &c. After addressing them, I knelt down and prayed; and then, while they were yet staring at me, and at each other, I was off like a dart to another place. In this way I proceeded, going to Port-Rush and other places, -- six, eight, and ten miles round the country, collecting and addressing eight or nine congregations in a day, and walking occasionally a distance of twenty miles. The people were pleased with me, for I was young, and little of my age." It is not to be supposed, whatever his years or size might be, that he would have been able to have thrown such a charm over society, if he had not had something more than ordinary to offer, as food for the affections and intellects of his hearers. All these notices of early life, taken from later conversions, were either elicited by direct interrogatories, illustrative of some particular subject under discussion, or occasioned by circumstances and cases which had occurred. Among Adam's school-fellows was a youth named Andrew Coleman; between whom and himself a strong attachment existed, and who, when the former began to preach, heard him; -- became in consequence, deeply in earnest for salvation; obtained the "pearl of great price," and finally became a Methodist preacher. In him Adam found an intelligent and affectionate friend; and from the biographical sketch he has furnished, he seems to have been a facsimile of himself. Society cannot present a more touching, lovely, and interesting picture, than that of two youths, united in affection, virtuous in life, earnest in zeal for the welfare of the human family, simple and impassioned in their addresses, yet modest withal, and constantly repairing to the fountain of knowledge, and sipping of its purest streams. Such were Adam Clarke and Andrew Coleman, -- living and loving like David and Jonathan, -- each preferring the other to himself!

    Through the labors of traveling preachers, Adam, and others, the society multiplied so as to render a chapel necessary; and the village of Mullihicall was the place proposed for its erection. This village was seen on the rise towards Portstuart from the house of Mr. Clarke, and at no great distance from it; so far as the writer could judge, about half a mile. Here a class was formed, and here Adam was initiated into this part of Methodist discipline. He continued to meet, till a new one was raised; himself afterwards becoming a leader. The village, in consequence of its more elevated situation, and in contra-distinction to another of the same name, was called Upper Mullihicall. As the place itself was small, and the society poor, all notions of estimates, galleries, and "stones, polished after the similitude of a palace," must be excluded from the mind; it was the day of small and feeble things, and perfectly in character with the circumstances of the people and the place. A humble erection, in the form, and of the height of a single-floor cottage, thatched, and of unsquared stone, lifted up its head with primitive simplicity, -- somewhat similar to one that might be conceived to have been built for the accommodation of a few families, in some retired nook, during the first ages of Christianity. It was chiefly constructed by the members themselves; and in its erection, Adam Clarke took no inconsiderable share of the toil. When opening a new chapel in Halifax, on which occasion the writer was present, he observed at the close, when addressing the audience on the subject of the collection; "It has been one of the most pleasurable feelings of my life, in connection with the worship of God, that I have an interest in a place reared to his honor, by having helped to build it. The good people fixed upon having a chapel, near the place where my father resided. I loved God, and rejoiced in the prosperity of his work. My father allowed me to take his own horse and cart; and, to and from the cart, I carried stones nearly twice the size of what ought to have been lifted by me, in proportion to the strength I had to bestow: but I seemed inspired on the occasion; and if any person had offered me twenty thousand pounds for every twenty pound of stone I carried, as an inducement to abandon the work, I would have rejected the proposal with contempt. Oh, no! I would not have taken worlds for my interest in the work that was unfolding itself to my view, in the salvation of my own soul, and the good of my neighbors, -- so much of which was in all likelihood to be accomplished within that sacred enclosure." On directing the eye of the writer afterwards to the village, from the road leading to Port-stuart, -- "Many a blessed prayer-meeting I have had yonder," said he: and then pointing to a but a little further on, he added, "A good man and his wife lived there; aye, those were the days of the Son of Man!" referring to the innocence, purity, and simplicity of its inhabitants. The writer being a little solicitous to have a view of this primitive place of worship, was escorted by Mr. Gait, of Portstuart, to the village. But, alas, not a vestige of it was left, as Mr. Galt himself had anticipated. A small barn, in which were some cattle, had been reared on its site. So soon do things rise and fall into decay in Ireland! The village itself was composed of a few huts, indicating great indigence on the part of their inmates. Mr. Galt, who was a local preacher, observed, he had preached the last sermon in the chapel; and although he knew it had ceased to be occupied as a place of worship for the space of at least fifteen years, and had no hope of seeing it in the shape of a chapel, yet he thought a few feet of the walls might possibly remain. When the desolation was mentioned to him who had toiled as one of its builders, he remarked, "It ought not to have been permitted to go to decay; it was settled on the Conference plan, and ought to have stood for the benefit of the people for ever."

    Mr. and Mrs. Clarke finding it impracticable to educate Adam for the ministry, as was originally intended, apprenticed him to Mr. Francis Bennet, a distant relative, and an extensive linen-merchant, in Coleraine. Mr. Moor, who entered the Londonderry circuit in 1779, says:-- "It was, I believe, about this time, certainly a very little before, or after, that a Mr. Bennet, a very respectable linen-merchant in Coleraine, with whom I was intimate, offered him a situation in his warehouse, which was accepted by him with the consent of his parents. Mr. Bennet knew that his clerk and overseer was a religious man; but he was not sensible of the depth of principle which actuated him." [42] Had Mr. Moor cultivated an acquaintance amounting to what is strictly implied in "intimacy," with Adam, he would neither have viewed him in the light of a "clerk," nor an "overseer," but simply as an apprentice; as such he entered Mr. Bennet's service, and as such he would have continued, till the term had expired, provided both parties could have agreed, had not Providence designed him for a station more exalted, -- the very one intended by his parents, though not among the same Christian denomination. He must, when Mr. Moor entered the circuit, agreeably to his mother's era of his birth, have been about nineteen years of age; a period apparently late for an apprenticeship: but his parents, as has just been stated, had intended him for something else; and while waiting and watching for favorable openings and better circumstances, time was passing almost imperceptibly on. He was in Coleraine, and with Mr. Bennet, when Mr. Rutherford was in the circuit, and Mr. Rutherford, as we have seen, "remained" a year after Mr. Moor's departure. That it was during the latter part of Mr. Rutherford's second year, he entered the service of Mr. Bennet, will appear pretty evident from Adam's remark in reference to Mr. Rutherford, -- "He was accustomed to come to the parish of Agherton, where my father resided, and to preach in different places. I heard him every where; and in returning from the places of preaching, was in the habit of walking behind him, and took delight in literally treading in his steps."

    Viewing Adam Clarke as now removed from beneath the parental roof; -- a member of the Wesleyan body, and an exhorter; -- engaged also in the service of one who sustained the character of master and relative, those who feel an interest in his history, will be anxious to know how he conducted himself in his new employment. The biographers of Milton have been censured for their particularity in reference to his different places of abode; but as the curiosity of a world is at variance with the voice of the critic, the writer passes on as if he heard not, as much delighted with his notice, as the critic with his opinion. On referring to some notes on the occasion of the writer's visit, the following entry appears:-- "We reached Coleraine about five o'clock in the evening. As we stood at the door of the inn, while the horses were being harnessed to the chaise which was to take us to Portstuart, he who had paced the streets in early life, asked -- pointing towards the place at the time, 'Do you see that white corner house? It is the one in which Mr. Bennet lived, to whom I was apprenticed in the linen trade.'" Being with him in the town, the succeeding week, the writer took a sketch of the premises, with some of the adjacent buildings. Mr. Glen, a spirit-merchant, had then become the occupant. The house is on the left hand in proceeding to the river, and constitutes the corner, which terminates the top of Bridge-Street, and commences Meeting-House Lane. While Adam resided here, he was diligent and faithful, earnest and conscientious.

    He has been heard to revert to "humiliating services," which he performed for an aged female; but he was employed in some of these also for the young. One of Mr. Bennet's sons carrying attention rather coldly towards Adam, in the latter part of life, he observed, with reference to the children generally, but involving at the time this special case of neglect,-- "They owe me not a little; I did much for them, when children; I nursed, and carried them about:" then, with one of those implicatory sentences, which conveys half as much more as is expressed, he added; -- "I have done even more than wash their faces."

    Mr. Bennet told a friend, when speaking of Adam, that he always carried a pocket Bible with him, and when he heard any of the men swear, or saw them act improperly, he used to take it out of his pocket, and pointing to a text bearing upon their conduct, left it with them as a rebuke. This plan might be safely recommended to all, and would be the best method some persons could adopt; for the wording and manner of a rebuke will very often defeat its design. But the act of carrying about a portable edition of the Bible, not only for private instruction, but for public benefit, might be attended with great advantage. With Adam, it was like a pocket-pistol! His ears were no sooner assailed with the profanity which outraged public morals, than he drew forth his weapon, -- charged, -- pointed, -- and let fly at the transgressor with -- "Thus saith the Lord." Here was an authority against which there was no appeal, and before which most men profess to bow! God himself appeared so immediately present in the words as the speaker, that the agent was lost sight of for the moment. On other occasions, and to other persons, he adopted the general plan of reproof, but always tempered it with the "meekness of wisdom."

    Not satisfied with turning men from evil, but solicitous to draw the well-disposed to greater good, he rose at four o'clock on the mornings in which preaching commenced at five, and proceeded in different directions, through the streets of Coleraine, to awaken the people, and summon them to worship. "On these occasions," said he, "I carried small shot in my pocket, which I threw at their windows: the noise sometimes awakened others than those for whom it was intended, who of course were angry with me, and some of them published, that I was possessed of an evil spirit, which would not suffer me to rest in my bed." There is a striking analogy here with the custom of the apostolic Fletcher, at a later period, who used to make a point of arousing the spiritual slumberers of his parish, by going about with a small hand-bell, to call them to church, some time before the commencement of divine worship.

    But while Adam was working out his own salvation with fear and trembling, laboring to rescue others from perdition, and conscientious in the discharge of his duty, there were circumstances connected with his situation, which pressed heavily upon his spirit. It is remarked by himself, that "he had begun to doubt whether the business was such an one as would well comport with his spiritual profit. He thought he saw several things he could hardly do, with a clear conscience:" but the circumstance which led the way to his abandonment of the linen-trade, was painful both to himself and his master. Mr. Moor [43] has given a brief and imperfect account of it; something similar to one which the writer heard from Mr. Myles, in Dublin; but being desirous of accuracy in the case, and an opportunity occurring of obtaining it, he received the following relation from the fountain-head.-

    "It was my place," he remarked, "to measure and seal the cloth. One piece which had passed through my hands, came back, being short about six or seven inches, of the length required by law, and of what I before had measured. I tried it again, endeavoring to accomplish the odd inches by the thumb. My thumb was small; but, in order to make up the inch, I placed it in an angular position. Still, however, I could not make out the proper measure: the consequence was, the cloth had to be stretched to the length required; but I could not stretch my conscience in that way. Mr. Bennet came in, and told me to measure the piece; I told him I had done so, and it was short. He then ordered me to stretch it; -- I hesitated. 'You won't do it, then?' said Mr. Bennet, pausing a moment; adding, -- 'You shall never measure another piece for me.' He did not tell me to go away, but took the piece from me, and stretched, and measured it himself: I stood aside, and saw him fail. Well, I thought, God will step in for me in some way. After a few seconds, I said to him, respectfully, -- 'Sir, you cannot charge me with indolence, dishonesty, or disobedience, from the time of my entering your service to the present period; I am ready to do anything proper in itself; but this is not fair measure, and I cannot do that which I know to be wrong.' After this, I saw him, when he found he could not accomplish his purpose, cut a full yard off the piece. I moved a little off, and stood in the door-way, ready to take my departure. Mr. Bennet, apparently relenting a little, asked, -- 'Where do you intend to go?' -- 'Home, to my father, Sir.' He replied, in a subdued tone, 'You may as well stop the night over.' I then went to another job, but measured no more pieces, and was soon after this, set at liberty from the employment."

    Mr. Moor's improvement of his own version of the case, is excellent; "These things may be accounted little," he observes, "in the life of such a man; but such instances of tenderness of conscience belong to 'the Book of Life,' and I dare not omit them. Many years after this, I was in company at Bristol, where some friends of his and mine were assembled. The praise of my absent friend was very general; but one of the company observed, that 'Mr. Clarke was very positive, and even obstinate, in his opinion.' Another of the company immediately replied, -- 'If men want those whom they hope to manage, I would not have them meddle with a man of God; he who desires to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, can never be managed but in and for God.' There was no reply to this." [44]

    Notwithstanding the unpleasant feeling excited on the occasion of Adam's refusal to stretch the cloth, Mr. Bennet knew how to estimate real character; and in support of the fact, that he set a high value upon that of Adam, and that they parted on terms of amity, he proposed to advance him money, to enable him to commence business on his own responsibility; and upon coming to England many years afterwards, in company with Mrs. Bennet, with a view to consult some eminent medical gentlemen in reference to his health, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet spent several days in his house. Knowing the nature of his complaint, and with a design to fix his mind on his approaching end, he was accosted by his former servant, and then affectionate friend, with, -- "Mr. Bennet, I am afraid you have come to seek a cure of seventy-two years of age, and I doubt whether we have any cure for that."

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