In the spring of 1802, Mr. Clarke's health being in a very impaired state, he visited London, chiefly with a view of consulting some of the gentlemen of the faculty respecting it, one of whom was Mr. Pearson, the author of the life of Mr. Hay, of Leeds. While in the Metropolis [London], he had an interview with Dr. Brandt, the Secretary of the Royal Society of Antiquarians, who pressed him to go with him to the Society's Rooms in Somerset-house, to see a stone which Sir Sidney Smith took from General Menou, and which he stated to have been seen by the whole of the literati of the Metropolis [London], by several members of the Asiatic Society, and by the famous Sanskrit scholar, Charles Wilkins, none of whom could find out either the nature of the stone, or the third inscription which it presented. On examining the stone, Mr. Clarke pronounced the matter of it to be Basaltes, and the inscription Coptic, the latter differing from the printed Coptic, as printed Persian does from manuscript.
Our readers will thank us for the introduction of the following letter, written by Mr. Clarke to his friend and brother Mr. Butterworth, displaying as it does, a beautiful and touching portraiture of the spirit of the writer, under great physical pain and debility; -- letting them into the inner recesses of a mind chastened by suffering, and standing, to all human appearance, just upon the verge of another world! The writer well remembers the especial attack of illness, to which this letter bears reference; -- the seizure occurred while sitting with his family around the dining table. The cloth had been drawn, and as was his wont in those days, he was amusing one of the little ones, by bowling a marble to and fro upon the table. For an instant there was a cessation of the play, and aroused by the circumstance, the writer looked up, and saw that Mr. Clarke had fallen back in his chair, in a sort of syncope [syncope 2 Med. a temporary loss of consciousness caused by a fall in blood pressure. -- Oxford Dict.]. Medical aid was immediately resorted to, but it was many days, ere the mind fully resumed its accustomed power of thought and recollection; indeed the progress of convalescence was so painfully slow, that the most distressing results were apprehended; but in this, as in many other instances, his anxious family and friends were fain [willing or determined] to acknowledge their faith in the axiom, that, "The servant of God is immortal until his work be done!"
My very dear Brother, -- You see by this that God has still Preserved my life. I believe I have been very poorly, but I had no such apprehensions as it appears all my friends have had. In short, I have felt little concern about a life that I never considered of much consequence to mankind. If anything weighs more on this head than another, (at present,) it is that I have so lately begun to see my right way through life. I have been a traveling preacher now very nearly twenty years, and have labored in some measure faithfully, and I may (in the fear of God,) say, conscientiously; but it is only within these ten years, that I have entered into the way of intellectual improvement, so as to preach Jesus in that way in which both my judgment and conscience approve. I came into the work with the purest motives, and now, (probably standing on the brink of the vast ocean of eternity,) can say, no motive, nor end, which I cannot acknowledge before God, has ever influenced me for an hour in the work. Notwithstanding my ignorance, which none could feel so much as myself, I have gotten wonderfully through, and have had as much favor in the sight of God's people as was necessary for me, to enable me to go through my work with some degree of success and comfort. The blessed God saw, that he had sown a seed of uprightness in my soul, which the weeds of sinister design, or by-ends, had never been permitted to impede the growth of, much less to choke. God, therefore, has preserved and blessed me for his own name's sake, and for the sake of that, which in eternal kindness he had wrought, and maintained in my heart. This I can say to you, my brother. I have from the beginning labored in the work, and labored to improve myself for the work; I have neither been an idler, nor a busy-body, and now, standing on the verge of the other world, and perhaps nearer to it than my apprehensions are willing to realize, what have I to boast of, or trust in? I exult in nothing but in the eternal, impartial, and indescribable kindness of the ever blessed God; and I trust in nothing but in the infinite merit of the sacrifice of Christ, a ruined world's Saviour, and the Almighty's fellow. Then what have I to dread! Nothing. What have I to expect? All possible good; -- as much as Christ has purchased; i. e., as much as heaven can dispense. "The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I shall not want." With these views my soul may cheerfully look through every crevice in her ruinous habitation, and see everything to hope, and nothing to fear. Yes, my brother, "the work of righteousness is peace; and the effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance for ever." Looking unto Jesus, I wait the will of the Lord, which will is invariably goodness; and that, I am persuaded, shall be done. "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord!"
Your kind inquiries respecting my health, certainly entitle you to the fullest and most satisfactory information. Of my state in the late seizure, Mary can give you the best intelligence; I know very little of that, but its consequences I have felt; for more than a week I could not articulate my words clearly; my memory was, and perhaps continues, impaired; i.e., I cannot recollect things quickly; my mind cannot as speedily as usual arrange and associate its ideas; my head can hear almost nothing: being in company, or hearing any noise, distracts me. I feel, however, no giddiness, nor any particular propensity to fainting. I wish to be in general alone, and, if possible, to divest myself of care. I have lost a good deal of flesh, and feel no regret on that account. As to my living well, that, (as God's providence has put it out of my way,) cannot be necessary for me. He has given me such food and raiment as are proper for me, and I should be highly criminal were I not content.
I am, my dear Brother, Yours affectionately, -- A. CLARKE.
About the same time, Mr. Clarke translated a "Dissertation on a Silver Disc, belonging to the Cabinet of Antiquities in the National Library, in Paris, commonly called 'Scipio's Buckler.'" The original was from the pen of A. L. Millin, Keeper of the Medals, Engraved Stones, and Antiquities, belonging to the National Library; and the subject is here noticed because of the learning and ingenuity it displays. Mr. Clarke's MS. copy, which passed through the hands of the writer, when editing his "Miscellaneous Works," bore the date of "1802 -- Liverpool." But there is another subject, which absorbs those of minor importance, and to which we advert with more than usual pleasure: there issued from the press this year, the first volume of his Bibliographical Dictionary; containing a Chronological Account, alphabetically arranged, of the most curious, scarce, useful, and important Books, in all the departments of Literature, which have been published in Latin, Greek, Coptic, Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac, Chaldee, Æthiopic, Arabic, Persian, Armenian, &c., from the infancy of printing to the beginning of the nineteenth century. With Bibliographical Anecdotes of Authors, Printers, and Publishers... A distinct Notation of the Editiones principes et optimæ... and the Price of each Article, (where it could be ascertained,) from the best London Catalogues, and Public Sales of Libraries, both at home and abroad. Including the whole of the fourth edition of Dr. Harwood's View of the Classics, with innumerable Additions and Amendments. To which are added, An Essay on Bibliography, with a general and particular Account of the different Authors on that subject, in Latin, French, Italian, German, and English... a Description of their Works; first, improved, and best editions... with Critical Judgments on the whole, extracted from the best Bibliographical and Typographical Authorities. And an Account of the best English Translation of each Greek and Latin Classic. Liverpool: printed by J. Nuttall. pp. 288.
The whole of this was packed into the title-page of a small 12mo. volume; but crowded, and full of promise as it was, Mr. Clarke withheld his name from the work. A facsimile of Coster's Horarium, (supposed to have been printed between A.D. 1430 and 1440,) taken from Meerman's Typographicæ, accompanied the volume; probably the first essay at printing in Europe. The bibliographical authorities consulted by him were numerous and respectable; among whom De Long, Maittaire, Vozt, Merchant, De Bure, Meerman, Osmont, Abbè Mercier, Bowyer, De Rossi, Denis, Cailleau, Panzer, Heinsius, &c., &c., may be noticed. But great as was the care, which had been exercised by him in the editorial department, he
was far from supposing the work perfect; on the contrary, -- "A perfect work of this kind," he remarks, "never yet saw the sun;" adding, in bibliography especially, perfection is, perhaps, unattainable." His object was simply "to furnish the student, and the scholar, with a portable and useful alphabetical manual, to assist him in the choice of books:" and in prosecuting his plan, he sought chiefly "to insert useful and important articles, together with whatever he knew to be curious and scarce." He also informed his readers, that "the bibliographical anecdotes interspersed through the work, were taken chiefly from the Nouveau Dictionaire Historique; seventh edition; Lyons, 1789; and that the critical arguments were derived from too many quarters to be inserted."
In this volume is to be found, "A Succinct Account of Polyglott Bibles, from the publication of that by Porrus, in the year 1516, to that of Reineccius, in 1750. Including several curious particulars relative to the London Polyglott, and Castel's Heptaglott Lexicon, not noticed by bibliographers." It may be observed, that most of the form of this article was preserved, and a separate tract was published of it, of forty-eight pages, before the type was distributed; the above being the title, and "Adam Clarke" as its author; a quiet way of informing the public, who they were to look to as the author of the Dictionary, and a guarantee, as to its orthodoxy. In the tract, the heading in the Bibliographical Dictionary is omitted, -- p. 272 constitutes its "Introduction," -each edition of the Polyglott is distinguished with a distinct heading, in large letters, as "COLOGN POLYGLOTT," &c., and fourteen pages of additional matter are introduced by way of appendix. The following remarks are found in each: "Both bibliographers and booksellers talk of copies of the Polyglott which have a double dedication; one to the Protector, and the other to Charles the Second: and the authors of the Biblioteca Portaile, gravely inform us, that the major part of the copies of this work, on sale, lack the Dedication to Charles the Second, King of Great Britain, which consists of four pages. This is a total mistake: nor is there any ground for these suppositions, but the reprinting of the two last leaves of the Preface already mentioned. And so far is a double dedication from the truth, that the work has no dedication at all." Mr. Clarke received further light on the subject some time after this, and candidly stated, "This is a mistake of mine. I have found four copies with this Dedication to K. Charles: two in the British Museum, one in the Bodliean Library, and one in the Archbishop's library, at Lambeth. There are none extant with a dedication to Cromwell."
The scope which he gave to his studies has been more than once adverted to; and at this time, he entered, not indeed into a new field, for be had previously trodden it, though not with equal satisfaction: the subject was "The Pythagorean Numbers, and Platonic Bodies." Having heard of an experiment as detailed by Dr. Percival, Professor of Chemistry, in Trinity College, Dublin, he had long hesitated on one particular point connected with the Icosahædron; but was now decided. He confessed, when he first began to consider the subject, he deemed it ridiculous; but after a while, it appeared to him indicative of something important, though obscure and seemingly unintelligible; further research, however, convinced him, that the doctrine was sublime, and pregnant with important consequences. Some of these he transferred to paper, acknowledging that he saw a beauty in the doctrine, which he should rejoice to be able more fully to comprehend, and more satisfactorily to explain. His thoughts, which have been given to the public, are curious, ingenious, and calculated to provoke further inquiry.
In the spring of 1803, the venerable John Butterworth, father of Joseph Butterworth, Esq., died at Coventry; he was author of a Concordance of the Holy Scriptures, an edition of which was edited by the subject of this memoir. Mr. Butterworth died full of years, and venerated as a Christian minister, not only by his flock, but by the Christian community at large. Mr. Clarke preached a sermon on the occasion, at Coventry, May 13, 1803, on I Cor., xv. 55-57. 
At the Conference of this year, which was held at Manchester, Mr. Joseph Bradford was elected president a second time; and a second time, to the joy of many hearts, Mr. Clarke was re-appointed to that circuit, after a two years' residence among his affectionate friends at Liverpool. Few men, at this period, had a more limited range of circuits than he had, in consequence of these double appointments.
While at Liverpool, Mr. Clarke was on terms of intimacy with Captain J. Brown. To this gentleman he wrote upon his arrival in Manchester: -- "I had fully designed to have written to you so soon as we should be a little settled -- but this is likely to be a tedious business, and therefore, should I wait till a thorough settlement take place, it must be a considerable time before I could have the privilege of telling you, and your beloved family, that I have for you that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown. We are, through God's mercy, in a middling state of health, considering the hurry we passed through in Liverpool, and have now renewed in Manchester. I have a very good garret for my study:-- poets, you know, and poor authors, generally live in such places. I have had shelves put up for my books, and have most of the latter unpacked, and carried up to this sublime region, in which I am destined to dwell; but I assure you, it has been severe work, and has fatigued me sadly. The books, and other things, have been much injured in the carriage; upwards of twenty of my boxes were broken, though they came by his Grace's Flats!  I am now quite of poor Robin's mind, that three such flittings, would he equal to one burning. N. B. I think his Grace's Flats, and his Grace's flatterers, should be trusted with nothing but Mill-stones, Pompey's Pillar, or Cleopatra's Needle. For their prosperity in their present destructive and predatory work, they shall never have my prayers. I can only say, reformation to all rogues!! Amen. Selah.
"I opened my commission in this large chapel, last Sabbath evening, to an immense concourse of people, on Acts, xxv. 22, 23. As I had labored here ten years before, this text was the more appropriate, and the people seemed universally to drink in the word; I had confidence, that God would be with us: I hope he will give me such favor in their sight, as will be requisite to the prosperity of my ministry.
"I have heard Mr. Hearnshaw, the young preacher. He bids fair, I think, to make a luminous star in the Church of Christ. He has a very pleasing voice, a neat delivery, and very decent language; his matter is solid, and his doctrine sound. Mr. Jenkins you know; Adam Clarke you know; the other is Mr. Pipe, and a pipe he is of the first bore and magnitude. He has decidedly adopted the shouting system, and opens on the people in the most deep-mouthed manner. He is full of life and zeal; and I should not wonder, if he be esteemed the first man among us! I like a good shaking, and long hearty amen's among the people: but, between you and me, there seems too much of it here; and many, I am afraid, do not distinguish between sense and sound; between the tornadoes of natural passion, and the meltings of religious affection: but I must leave this with God, only wise and good. May he keep us right!
"I have received my lathe and grind-stone, safe and sound, for which I paid 8s. I have written to the Philological Society. May I ask, how you get on in your Class--ical [sic], Philological, and Princely connections? Don't neglect the two former, by any means; and let the first have the first claim. We live, my friend, in a miserable world; but we may live well in it, if we look to God. I know you will be faithful to the trust reposed in you by his Majesty; and so you should; but oh, be also faithful to the light and influence of God! Use every mean [sic] of grace, and glorify God in all things. -- I long after my class, and doubt whether anyone will let me in here; I am not sufficiently acquainted with the people to raise one like that in Liverpool."
It may be remarked in passing, that Mr. Clarke wrote an acrostic on the name and title of Captain Brown, on the return of the latter from the Egyptian expedition; embodying in it the principal features of the expedition, and the leading traits of Mr. Brown's character, as a memento of friendship.
Two or three incidents occurred soon after his arrival in Manchester, which are not without instruction. (in renewing the quarterly tickets to the members of one of the classes, the leader, on the name of an absent member being mentioned, laid a guinea on the table. Mr. Clarke instantly ran his finger along the name, and then across the opposite columns; having done this, he looked at the leader, and, handing him the guinea, said, "Take it back again; the man never meets, -- his soul is in danger -- tell him to call upon me." He looked upon the money merely as a bribe to preserve the name upon the class-paper; and by thus discouraging the practice that would eventually crowd the Christian church with merely honorary members, he showed the man that he acted in accordance with the views and feelings of the apostle, -- "I seek not yours, but you." And to prove his own sacred regard for the "fellowship of saints," he entered his name as a member of the class of Peter Kenworthy, a plain, simple hearted, good man, who acted as a class-leader and local-preacher; he met as often as his other important duties would allow, unbosoming the feelings of his heart, and reaping a harvest of good from the unadorned tales of many, immeasurably beneath himself in intellect and reading, though not inferior for the heights and depths of Christian experience. It was there that he fed on the utterance of the heart. The only difference between his present position, and the one in which he stood at Liverpool, was, -- that in his last circuit, circumstances rendered it imperative on him to become the leader himself, --here, Peter preserved the office which he had previously sustained.
Another instance of his fidelity occurred, which, as the parties have been dead many years, may also be named for the instruction of the living. A person was in debt, and unable to meet the demands made upon him: one of his creditors went to him, and obtained a bill of sale, to appropriate to himself and his partner the whole of the remaining stock, and so cut off the other creditors from receiving any benefit from the property. The partner of the person who obtained the bill, was a member of society, in which he also held office. Mr. Clarke hearing of the case, from its having been brought into the leaders' meeting, inquired of the person whether it were correct, and whether he approved of the conduct of his partner? He replied, that he saw no reason why he should disapprove of it. Mr. Clarke, knowing that he had the concurrence of the meeting, said, "Then give up thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward." He instantly resigned. Having dwelt on the subject, however, during the night, he visited Mr. Clarke the next morning, and expressing his regret at the view he had taken of the subject, stated, that if his partner would not forego the claim to which they were entitled by the document, and permit the other creditors to come in for equal shares, he would relinquish his half of the debt. His reinstatement to office was the immediate result.
Upon one occasion, a leader came to him, and requested him to use his influence with a person, who was in the habit of attending the Methodist chapel, but not a member of society, for whom he had done joiner-work to the amount of £150, and to whom, as trustee of the erection, he had repeatedly applied for a settlement, but in vain.
Mr. Clarke. -- "Who are the trustees?"
J. D. -- "I do not know any of them except the person to whom I have applied." Mr. Clarke -- "Is he a man of property?"
J. D. -- "Yes, Sir; and he has neither the heart nor means to expend it, -- he is a miser and a bachelor." Mr. Clarke -- (With an approach to the serio-comic,) "Two abominable things." J. D. -- (Taking encouragement from the sentence to aggravate the case, and supposing Mr. Clarke was not sufficiently acquainted with him;) -- "It is the man whose stockings are darned up to the calf of the leg, -- stockings which I would not take from the street." Mr. Clarke -- (To moderate the feeling of his informant,) -- "I have darned my own stockings before now; -- but give me his name, and you shall have your money."
The good man, without having any intimation given him as to the steps which would be taken, had the money presented to him in the course of three days. There was no occasion to resort to law in this case: Mr. Clarke had an influence which invested request with the authority of
command, and a manner of doing things -- (for "kindness has resistless charms,") which generally moved the heart; and from the writer's personal knowledge, he is disposed to believe, that few persons would have succeeded with this individual. Mr. Clarke possessed, in short, in an eminent degree, what he ascribed to the Wesleyan ministers as a body. "The Methodists," said he, "have a key to the human heart, which God has given to them, and which, in modern times, he has not given to every community, -- a key to let Christ in, and to let money out."
While in the Plymouth Dock circuit, in the early stage of Mr. Clarke's itinerancy, there was a division in the society, occasioned by a person of the name of Moore, with which was mixed up repeated insult offered by the singers to the minister whose turn it was to conduct public worship. From this schism may be traced the origin and outbreakings of that antipathy which he cherished throughout life, to choirs of singers in Methodist chapels; and had not strong reason existed in support of hostile feeling, he would never have drawn down the displeasure of those persons who are partial to choirs and instrumental music, especially as he had been a singer himself -- was an excellent judge of music, and had handled a stringed instrument.
As notices of this feeling will occur in other parts of the work, we shall content ourselves at present with an instance or two of its manifestation in Manchester, -- one at the present period of his history, and another in the case of one of his friends at a subsequent time, in a neighboring circuit. Mr. James Wood was superinitendent during Mr. Clarke's present station, and on a special occasion, selected and gave out his hymn; the singers, instead of raising a tune to it, commenced a piece which they had been practicing. To this Mr. Wood objected, but in defiance of his remonstrance, they commenced a second piece, and "sung him down," as it was termed.
He consulted his brethren on the subject, when Mr. Clarke, knowing the influence he had with Mr. S., a leading trustee, said, "I will soon settle that." On representing the case to Mr. S., and the probable consequences of such conduct, the latter immediately went to the leading singer, who apologized for his choir, by stating, that they had practiced for the occasion, and were anxious to sing. "Give me," said Mr. S., "the key of the orchestra." To this the leader returned, "We have our music-books, violins, and other instruments  there." "Take them out then," replied Mr. S.; and pausing a few seconds, added, "if the place is not cleared in two days, and the key delivered up to me, I will commence an action against you." Previously to this, there had been great uneasiness among the singers; but the key was given up -- the question of mastery was settled -- and on the return of the choir, they had to submit to terms which they would formerly have spurned. Some time after this, Mr. Clarke was met by Mr. B., whom he highly esteemed, and whom he had not seen for some time. Mr. B., being partial to music, and finding that his children had made great proficiency in the science, in the interim of their intercourse, observed, that he had so many sons, that they were all musically inclined, and in some way or other connected -- either as singers or organists, with the house of God. This, the writer well recollects, was uttered with a fine flow of paternal feeling -- just at the close of a service in which the peal of the organ had vibrated on the ear of him whom he was addressing, and who had been the preacher on the occasion, when the sum of £148 had been collected after the morning service, -- Mr. B's. son, meanwhile, having officiated at the organ; but either forgetting, in the ecstasy of his own feelings, the preacher's dislike of instrumental music in a place of worship; or hoping that it would be partially overcome by the excellency of the performance; or finally, that he would be delighted to hear of their connection with the house of God, which, in his view, was to sanctify the whole, he stood, with glistening eye, waiting to hear some approving sentence, to fix the joy of his heart, or raise it an octave higher; when he was abruptly accosted with, -- "The Lord have mercy upon them! I should be exceedingly sorry if any of my children were so disposed!" This was unexpected, and placed Mr. B. in feelings as painful, in reference to the company present, as they had before been pleasurable. But his remark had been unseasonable; it was pressed upon the subject of the memoir -- though unintentionally, in the shape of a triumph, when he had been, as he thought, entrapped into the organ service, whose tones should have been subdued in deference to his known objection. "They might," said he afterwards, "have spared my feelings."
With the singers at Plymouth Dock, it may be observed, Mr. Clarke had no personal quarrel; but their conduct, in singing or being silent at pleasure, making the service of the temple subservient to their whim or caprice, laid the foundation of strong prejudice, which was greatly increased by subsequent instances of misconduct; and the case of Manchester, was not one of the least offensive to his judgment and feelings. -- In reading the cxliv Psalm once, during the morning service in the Metropolis [London], he omitted the 9th verse, -- "I will sing a new song unto thee, O God; upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee:" then recalling himself, observed, "My hearers are probably surprised to find me omit the 9th verse; I have to state, that David might be called upon to praise God thus, but I do not believe that God ever called me to do anything of the kind."
It was owing to the respect rendered to his piety, character, and good sense, that he was enabled to carry with comparative ease, measures in the society which others either failed in, or found it difficult to execute. The windows of Oldham-Street chapel were composed of small pieces of glass, and leaden frames, -- with two or three squares which jutted out for the purpose of ventilation. The sitting-rooms also in the preachers' houses were cold and uncomfortable. Mr. S., the leading trustee, who had been spoken to on the subject by others, was now appealed to by Mr. Clarke. He replied, -- "If you will consent, Sir, to be re-appointed to the Manchester circuit, the alterations proposed shall be made." Mr. Clarke warded off the condition, by showing that it rested as much with others as with himself. However, at his request, the present windows were substituted for their less elegant originals, and the floors of the sitting-rooms were dug to a considerable depth, and boards occupied the place of flagged floors. The advantages of these improvements have been enjoyed by the congregations and preachers ever since. Mr. Clarke, soon after his arrival in Manchester, formed a Philological Society, similar to the one established in Liverpool, in 1801, of which, as in the former case, he was chosen president. Though it is probable, that the "Rules" of both societies were in accordance with each other, yet as we have only been favored with a printed copy of those of Manchester, we have deferred entering more minutely upon the subject till the present period of the narrative; and a special and more particular reference will be readily allowed, as it may furnish a guide to others similarly disposed to promote the interests of general knowledge. Between the members of the present society, and the one established in Liverpool, a literary intercourse was constantly maintained. In his private correspondence with one of the members of the Liverpool Philological Society, dated September 7th, 1803, he remarks,-
"I cannot but be gratified with the attention paid to my letter by the Philological Society. I can say its interests lie very near my heart. -- I had not heard of the resignation of your president, but I expected it. It has long been my opinion, and I have told it publicly, that no preacher should hold office in the society. Their locomotive life presents a thousand reasons against it. Mr. W. has too much modesty and too much timidity, to fill that seat to his own comfort: you had better, therefore, not press the business. -- Much depends on the president, in reference to the support and respectability of the society. Sub rosa, at present I think you had best choose a president for the night only; and this you can do as often as you meet together. At certain times, a preacher; at others, any of the other members may be placed in the chair. If you now ultimately fix on anyone, who is not proper for the place, should it be asked among gentlemen who may hear of the institution, -' Who is the president?' and the answer should be 'Jack Straw,' the impression would be very unfavorable to the interests of the society. You must, therefore, have a respectable person in the chair, who has a good report among those who are without. Should I be spared, I hope to visit you at least on your anniversary, and hear the good word from some of my associates -- for as an addressed, you know, I have done. -- I am now forming one here, similar to yours: our first meeting will be on Friday evening, please God. I hope we shall make a good beginning, and continue. I intend to take up the vaccine and common mode of innoculation, and send my thoughts on them -- perhaps in a new way to the society."
One object which Mr. Clarke had in view, in the establishment of these societies, was, as he observed to the writer, "To bring forward and improve latent talent, and to prompt the few who were aiding and influencing each other, to act upon the million." He drew up the "Rules" of the institution, which were printed at the time, affixing as mottoes to the title-page, Prov. xviii. 1; Matt.
v. 16; 1 Cor. xiv. 20; a passage from the Greek of Solon and the Latin of Ovid, -- Epist. ex. Pont.; introducing the Rules with a passage out of Clement. Alexandr., -- Strom. lib. 1. Appended to the Rules, he proposed no less than 171 "Questions," -- moral, religious, philosophical, -- all of them important -- some of them not a little curious, yet invested with deep interest, -- and the whole calculated to tax the reading, learning, and ingenuity of the members, as well as to expand the mind by an increase of knowledge. Several of these questions were taken up by himself, and the answers of not a few of them, though not stated as such, are to be found among the "Detached Pieces" in his "Miscellaneous Works," and embodied in his "Commentary" on the Bible. The reader will find the "Questions" in his "Miscellaneous Works," vol. xi.; and for the sake of brevity, we pass over those answered by Mr. Clarke himself. On the occasion of the anniversary of the society, held Sept. 28, 1804, Mr. Clarke delivered an admirable "Address," dedicated "To the resident and corresponding Members of the Manchester and Liverpool Philological Societies," in which "Address" he gave a general view of the nature, design, and proposed utility of the institution, -- considered the character of the persons who constituted the society, -- examined the field in which they had to labor, -- showed what might reasonably be expected from the conjoint exertions of the different members, -- and furnished directions relative to the prosecution and success of the great object.
In addition to what has already been remarked on the subject of the first, it may be observed, that in the course of this year, (1803,) he published the second, third, and fourth volumes of his "Bibliographical Dictionary," thanking, in the advertisement, "The subscribers and the public, for their very favorable and flattering reception of the first volume;" gratefully acknowledging a debt of obligation to "several clergymen and gentlemen, who had favored him with communications on the subject of his work." At this early stage, in the second volume, he furnished the most perfect collections he could procure of the Barbon, Baskerville, Bipont, Bodoni, Cominus, Deiphin, Elzevir, Manheim, Maittaire, and Variorum classics. To render a work, necessarily dull in itself, and at first sight uninteresting, both entertaining and instructive, he took care, in prosecuting his task, to insert various criticisms from the learned, with the best authenticated literary and biographical anecdotes; preserving by this a lively attention to his pages. The first, second, and third volumes were printed in Liverpool, the fourth in Manchester, and published by W. Baynes, London.
It may be further remarked, that his plan included, -- first, the ancient classics, both Greek and Latin, in their principal editions, from the invention of printing to his own time; secondly, the primitive fathers, Greek and Latin, with all ancient and modern ecclesiastical writers, in these languages; and thirdly, celebrated works in every department of science and literature, published in Greek, Latin, Arabic, Syriac, &c., either at home or abroad. Books in other languages, he found he could not include, without extending the work beyond reasonable limits. To supply this defect -if defect it were, it was his intention to furnish a work on a similar plan, in the more modern languages of Europe; this design, however, was abandoned, though then intended to follow the present issue of the Bibliographical Dictionary from the press.
Among other subjects which engaged his pen about this period, was a vindication of his own religious creed; a review of an article in the "Medical Repository," published at New York, under the direction of Drs. Mitchell, Miller, and Coxe, entitled, the "Philadelphia Medical Museum;" a defense of the literary character of William Hunter, Esq., of Bengal, against the illiberal attack of Mr. Anquetil du Perron; and also a defense of the literary character of the far-famed and amiable Sir William Jones, whom the same Mr. du Perron had aspersed in the second volume of the Oupnek'hat, charging Sir William with ignorance in mistaking, as he supposed, a few sentences of mere Persian, written in Zend letters, for Zend itself; but which Mr. Clarke charged home upon Mr. du Perron himself.
In discoursing, upon one occasion, on the intellectual character and pulpit abilities of some of the senior Methodist Preachers, Mr. Clarke observed; "There was the venerable Christopher Hopper, a noble fellow, and possessed of a strong original mind. I am not alone in this opinion; for Mr. Alexander Knox, a man well qualified to decide in such matters, once observed to me, -- 'Mr. Wesley talks of his preachers; look at Christopher Hopper; he was, in the strictest sense, a great man, one who, with proper advantages, might have become a first-rate man in any official situation. It is by such men that Methodism will be perpetuated.' We have had men," proceeded Mr. Clarke, "among the old preachers, of all the different classes and grades which go to constitute society in its various ramifications. I heard Mr. Hopper once preach at Leeds during a Conference: he had little liberty for the most part, and proceeded workingly; but towards the close, becoming at once inspired with his theme, he exclaimed -- 'Now I can preach;' and then he burst away, and we had a glorious instance of the truth of that affirmation of the apostle, -- 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,' for he preached most delightfully. I once asked him how the early preachers proceeded, in opening up new fields of labor? 'Our plan,' said he, 'was to visit a town or village, and ask permission to expound the word of God in one of their houses or cottages: if the people did not invite us to lodge or break bread with them, after repeating our visit two or three times, we took it as an indication that we were not called to such a place. Mr. Mather and I went into the Dales, and among other places preached at Alston; a second and third time we visited the people there, but no man said God speed, or offered entertainment either to man or horse; so we discontinued going. Proceeding to the next village, an old woman came out from a small cottage, and stretching forth her withered arms, blessed us in the name of the Lord Jesus, invited us into her humble dwelling, and spreading before us her whole stock of provision, which consisted of three apples and five potatoes, she bade us welcome, saying, that had she possessed more, we, as the ambassadors of Christ, should have been most welcome to it. I looked at Mr. Mather, and told him it was a token we were called to that place, eating and drinking according to the apostolic plan, when we were asked: there we preached, and there a society was established.'"
"I always eat with the people," observed Mr. Clarke, on concluding this narrative, "either breaking a piece from off a biscuit, or cutting a crust from a loaf, to show them that I am disposed to feel at home among them; for even if they are as poor as the woman just mentioned, there are many ways of returning the kindness, without wounding the feelings of the party by whom the hospitable disposition is manifested." And so Mr. Clarke proved; for we have known him, many a time, sit at the humble board of the poor man, sharing his meal of potatoes and salt, and on departing, slip a piece silver into the hand of one of the children, which would supply the family with his favorite vegetable for a week.
"Another of the old preachers," said Mr. Clarke, "a man of widely different character to Hopper, was Mr. John Murlin: he was called 'the weeping prophet.' I was personally acquainted with him: I heard him preach once from -- 'Strengthen ye the weak hands,' &c. He wept while giving out the text, and during the greater part of the sermon. He wept through the greater part of his life, and was seized with a strong laughing fit a short time before his death. He was a man of good sense, and liberal in the distribution of his fortune; his inordinate tendency to weeping was, of course, a species of disease -- an effect of nervous excitement, for which he was no more responsible than for the occasional, though rare, outbreakings of unreasonable laughter. His religious temperament was highly devotional, and this painful sensitivity must be attributed to its proper source. The idea, for instance, presented to the mind, by the situation in which, on the above-named occasion, he was placed, was by no means one which would induce weeping, any more than his secreting three hundred pounds in the garden, on the report of the French invasion, would legitimately induce an immoderate fit of laughter. The idea presented in these cases was not in itself an object either of pain or pleasure." Laughter, it may be added, is defined, and not unaptly, as an outbreak of any sudden joy that strikes the mind, which, owing to its strength and volatility, vents itself in the tremor of the voice. "Assuming," says Kant, "that with all our thought, corporeal movements are harmonically connected, we can pretty well conceive, how the sudden removal of the mind from station to station in order to consider its object, is answered by a reciprocating contraction and dilatation of the elastic parts of the viscera, which we find next communicated to the diaphram; and which alone, (and not what passes in the mind,) is the true pleasure derived from thought."
Of Mr. Clarke's decided and strong objection to everything like forcing a spiritual meaning upon passages of Holy Writ which ought to be literally understood, notice has already been taken: "I cannot endure such preaching," he observed; "there is no proper exposition of the Word of God in such fancies and fooleries. I once heard a minister preach on the brazen sea; in the course of the sermon, he compared the twelve oxen to the twelve apostles: yet this man was possessed of a good deal of biblical knowledge, but with it he mingled some wretched nonsense. Did you know Mr. John Allen?" he inquired, addressing a friend who sat beside him. "No, Sir," was replied. "A singular co-incidence," continued Mr. Clarke, "occurred at the Leeds Conference, prior to Mr. Kilham's division; -- that year, some uneasy apprehensions were entertained on the subject of the decrease of the accustomed money supplies for carrying on the work, in consequence of great national depression. The tributary streams, however, poured in from all quarters, and it was found that when the combined amount was laid on the Conference table, it exceeded the accustomed well doing of the Methodist body. The result was a simultaneous aspiration of praise from the assembled ministers, to Him whose are the silver and the gold. Mr. Allen, with a heart full of devotional gratitude -- with upraised eyes, and hands spread abroad over the table, gave out, -
'This, this, is the God we adore, Our faithful unchangeable friend.'
This was too much for the gravity of the preachers -- one looked at another, -- the coincidence was irresistible -- the sense of the ludicrous irrepressible. Allen, all unconscious of the spirit which he had awakened, sang the lines; but finding the exercise was dwindling to a solo, he looked around upon the brethren, Mr. Bradburn, at the same moment, whispering in his ear the cause of the ill-suppressed mirth; the good man could not help joining in the outbreak of which be had been the innocent occasion."
Though Mr. Clarke could thus relate a cheerful anecdote, or make a pleasant remark, by way of relieving conversation of its monotony, and illustrating some point of human character, still the great interests of religion were always dominant. Speaking of the state of the society in Manchester at this time, he remarked, -- "The work of the Lord is not at a stand here; we have many who have been brought into the liberty of the gospel, and the great work of salvation is deepening in the souls of believers. We preach Christ crucified, and his power and willingness to save from all sin; and God adds his testimony to the word. I have long seen that we do very little in preaching the gospel, if we leave the root of sin untouched. We may lop off a thousand branches, and still have a thousand branches to lop off; for unless the root be destroyed, in vain do we look for Christian life, and Christian tempers." He then urged upon the parties to whom the remarks were made -- two excellent females, the necessity of personal holiness. "Remember," said he, "that the power that cleanses is necessary to keep us clean. It is by Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, that we are kept in a state of holiness; and he dwells in the heart of those only, who are affectionately obedient to his voice. Obedience to the will of God is the very element in which the soul of a Christian should live. -Seek out his commandments, till you find none; seek to do each of them at all times, and in all places, till you find not one remaining to be done. It is a blessed thing to live in the spirit of obedience, and to be always ready to do whatever we know to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord."
He laid great stress, at all times, on obedience to the moral precepts of God, and availed himself of every opportunity of enforcing the subject, both in public and in the social circle. It was either in the course of his appointment to the Plymouth Dock circuit, or during a visit to the place prior to it, that Mr. Clarke heard Dr. Hawker, of Plymouth; and though well grounded in the truth, yet he observed: "I saw more of its beauty and harmony after hearing some of the Dr.'s Antinomianism, than I had before contemplated." This remark; which was made subsequently to this period of his history, was elicited while in the library of a friend, -- having glanced his eye along the shelves, and seen Dr. Hawker's "Poor Man's Commentary;" embracing the occasion apparently for the purpose of entering his protest against the Doctor's creed, and of inducing his friend -- (though in no danger himself,) to keep the work out of the way of less judicious persons, who might be injured by some of its doctrines, -- taking care at the same time to recommend the Dr. for his piety, and to show that he was thus happily inconsistent with himself. But while the Christian and the Preacher, in Doctor H., were at variance, he saw that the corruption of the human heart would urge others on to ruin, who might not have grace to correct the tendency of erroneous doctrines. For this purpose he delicately hinted to his friend, as the shelves were a good deal crowded, to place the work in the back ground, and give prominence to some other volumes, by arranging them in front. He closed his remarks by saying, "I heard his first sermon;  it was on the penny-per-day laborers; and strange -- that he should so far forget himself, I heard him that day three weeks [later], announce the same text, in the same place, and preach on it." This too, had its influence on the mind of Mr. Clarke, exciting a disrelish to the practice of preaching often on the same text.
Looking at some of the peculiarities of Methodism, he said, "The Methodists, I believe, have been especially raised up of God, to counteract Antinomianism, and diffuse scriptural truth through the land. It will be difficult to find a work of God like it since the apostolic age; and while its advocates maintain justification by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and entire holiness, they will remain a distinct people, and will be employed by the Divine Being for propagating Christianity throughout the world. The Puritans had a correct view of justification, but they did not perceive with equal clearness, the doctrines of sanctification and the witness of the Spirit."
It was responded by a friend present, that he esteemed them very highly as excellent doctrinal and practical preachers, nor less so for their maintenance of the general influence of religion on the heart; but that their practice did not seem sufficiently to harmonize with the loving obedience of a child to the will of an approving parent. Of this, Mr. Clarke took hold, and laying his hand upon the table, while his forefinger was employed as if tracing a map, -- "They drew the line," said be, "pointed out a duty here -- a second there, &c., stating, that this must be attended to, so and so -- that, in another way peculiar to itself, reducing the whole to a system, and telling the people, that, by this rule they were to walk; by these external forms they were to proceed -- all was, in many cases, outward and written, without sufficient stress being laid upon a change of heart -- keeping this always in view, and obedience flowing from it, -- not because man has said it, but because I feel a conviction in my own mind, corresponding with the Word of God, of a duty to be attended to at this moment, and in this way."
While, as in his remarks on Antinomianism, he gave no quarter to an experience without practical piety, he was equally jealous of an experience unaccompanied by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, attesting to the Christian's acceptance, and purifying the heart.
In his statements of any revealed truth, Mr. Clarke was ever clear; and very strenuous in the enforcement. To a friend, about this time, he remarked, "You ask me, -- 'In the justification of a sinner, is faith itself imputed, instead of his own obedience to the divine law, as his justifying righteousness, or the obedience and sufferings of Jesus Christ?' I never use either of these forms of speech in preaching on this subject, because I consider them puzzling and incorrect. The Scripture speaks of faith being imputed for righteousness, (or justification, which is the proper import of the term,) but does not say that this faith is imputed in the place of personal obedience. It is what this faith receives, that which is its object, that is imputed to us, &c. Now, what is a penitent sinner commanded to believe, in order to his justification? Answer, -- 'That Jesus Christ died for him;' for Christ died for our offenses, and rose again for our justification: therefore it is not the faith that justifies, but the death of Christ, considered as an atonement for sin. In other words, Christ, by his sufferings and death, has purchased pardon for you. Believe this. Believe this is a sufficient ransom-price, satisfaction, and oblation for your sins, and as such take and present it to God; and on this account, for this sake, or through the merit or worth of this sacrifice, God will blot out all your sins. The following illustration will help to explain this:-
I am perishing for lack of food: no person will give me any, and I have no money to purchase what I need. At length, a compassionate man says, -- 'Here is a piece of money; there is food plenty to be sold; go to those who sell, and buy.' Receiving the piece of money, duly appreciating its value, and knowing the quantum of meat it will purchase, I go with perfect confidence to the market, and order so much provision to be weighed or measured out for me, as I know I have a price in my hand to pay for. The business is done: I give the money, and get the food: I eat, and my soul is preserved alive. Without, therefore, puzzling a poor, simple, ignorant, broken-hearted sinner, with distinctions, differences, and the theological quibbles of casuistic divines, who have obscured the light of the gospel, I would simply say, -- You feel yourself a sinner; you know, you feel, that you cannot redeem your own soul, and that there is no help under heaven for you. Very well; but Christ has died for sinners, for all sinners, for the worst of sinners, and consequently for you. God commands you to believe this; namely, that he died in your stead, -' the just for the unjust, that he might bring you to God.' The infinite merit of his passion and death, is a price which is put into your hands, by which you may procure salvation. Take up this price with as much confidence as you would the sum of money, which you know will purchase such a quantum of provisions, in the market, and bring it before God. 'Lord, behold a sinner perishing in his iniquity! I am undone and lost in myself; but the word of eternal truth assures me, that thou didst give thy Son to die for me. Behold, Lord, his agony and bloody sweat, his cross and passion, his death and burial, his resurrection and ascension. For the sake, the worth, of this great and glorious sacrifice, which I solemnly and unequivocally believe is a sufficient ransom-price for my soul, blot out all that is past!' It is done. God accepts this price, and immediately communicates the pardon. This is the whole mystery of faith. How simple is it! how plain! how easy! May it be better preached, more credited, and more honored!"
To another friend, who had been misinformed respecting the higher blessing of purity, Mr. Clarke observed, "As to the words which you quote as mine, I totally disclaim them. I never said, I never intended to say them. I believe justification and sanctification to be widely distinct works. I have been twenty-three years a traveling preacher, and have been acquainted with some thousands of Christians during that time, who were in different states of grace; and I never, to my knowledge, met with a single instance where God had both justified and sanctified at the same time. I have heard of such; but I never saw them, and doubt whether any such ever existed. I have known multitudes who were justified according to the definition which you give of that sacred work: and I have known many who were sanctified in the sense in which you use that word, which I believe to be quite correct; but all these I found were brought into these different states at separate times; having previously received a deep conviction of the need of pardon, and afterwards of the need of holiness of heart. -- If sanctification be taken in the sense in which it is frequently used in the Old Testament, to separate or set apart for sacred use, then it implies a state lower than that of justification -- such a state as that of a thorough penitent, who, when he is convinced of sin, separates himself from all unrighteousness, and consecrates himself to God. But when I speak of the purification of the heart, or doctrine of Christian perfection, I use sanctification in the sense in which it has generally been understood among the Methodists."
No wonder, that while thus forcibly, simply, and perspicuously, stating and illustrating the truths of the gospel, Mr. Clarke was everywhere greeted with acceptance. The method of salvation thus opened up and made plain to the mourning penitent, was sure to fall upon his ear as a note of comfort and encouragement. In discoursing once with a friend, upon his early religious sentiments, he observed, "The only doubt I ever entertained in the whole body of Christian doctrine, was on the point of the witness of the Spirit; for a considerable time, I doubted it entirely. At length, I thought it might be granted to a few of the peculiar favorites of God, but that it was not necessary to salvation; but after reading the New Testament seriously through, I plainly saw that the gospel spake of no exclusive privilege, -- that he who believed had the witness in himself; and when I began to preach, I insisted on the necessity of the knowledge of salvation, by the remission of sins; proclaiming it in my public ministrations, and witnessing to small and great, that God forgives sins, and makes known this act of mercy in the soul in which it is wrought, by the abiding testimony of his own Spirit; for though some Scriptures have been put on the critical rack, in order to make them confess a doctrine widely different from that which they have spoken to me and many others, the whole mode of torture (and all which, in consequence of it, they have been obliged to speak) has only the more fully satisfied me, that their first declaration is the truth, and that if permitted to speak in the presence of their fellows, they will never recede from it. Where this doctrine is not fully preached, (together with that of the destruction of sin here,) but beaten out like gold leaf, so that it is fit for nothing but gilding, little good is done. Indeed, it is my own opinion, that the Holy Spirit might have continued in all his operations in the church of God, had not unbelief and unfaithfulness gained such ground among Christians. By unbelief, I mean a deficiency of faith in the promises which speak of the good things not yet received, but receivable; and by unfaithfulness, I mean the partial improvement of the lights and graces already communicated. I think, also, that a peculiar portion of the Holy Spirit must be poured out, not to add anything to Divine revelation, but to enable the church more fully to discern the fullness of the gospel economy, that apostolic graces may be received and exercised; and I trust the time is not distant, when that which letteth shall be taken away." This conversation will be read with interest, for the masculine hold it has upon experimental truth.
James Selby, that curiosity among our collections of early Methodism, to whom reference has already been made, was much attached to Mr. Clarke, whose ear, during preaching was frequently greeted with the responses and joyous outbreakings of his humble admirer. "Is it not your opinion, Sir, that Selby is deranged?" inquired a friend. "No more, Sir, than you are," responded Mr. Clarke; "he may be an annoyance to some of the preachers, but he helps me. The trustees of Hillgate Chapel, Stockport, gave orders he should not be admitted to their love-feast. On finding this, he stood at the chapel door, the whole of the time of its continuance, often placing his ear to the keyhole, that he might collect a few sentences wherewith to profit his mind. When the people came out, some began to condole with him, but no complaint issued from the lips of poor Selby; all he said was, -- 'Glory be to God -- happy -- happy -- I heard that the Lord was among you!' I would not have been the person," subjoined the subject of this memoir, with emotion, "to have prevented that good man from enjoying the ordinances of God, -- no, not for the whole world; he is a man of strong passions, and uneducated mind; -- he has been a boxer, a cock-fighter, and a drunkard, and is one for whom many allowances should be made. Religion was never intended to change the essential character of man; but preserving that entire, to turn the whole current of his thought and affection, and to conduct it into another channel, -- where it shall sweep in its onward course as before.
I was acquainted with three persons, all members of our society, -- a father and two sons. One of the sons was slow, of few words, and always deliberated on everything that demanded attention, and was a respectable local-preacher. The other brother was more popular, more open, more communicative. The father was a man of genuine integrity:-- tall -- well timbered for building a weight of muscle upon, and as rough in his manners as in his speech. I visited him in his last illness. He was asked by one of his sons, about half an hour before his death, the state of his mind, when he gave a satisfactory answer. In a short time, the question was repeated, when he lifted up his brawny arm, -- and exclaimed, -- 'Well done, Jesus,' and instantly expired. Here, character was preserved to the last."
Mr. Clarke placed a high value on piety in whomsoever it might exist, and always looked through the encrustation to the gem. It was his deep conviction of the genuineness of poor Selby's religion, that led him often to a hut in the decline of life, in which the old man and his wife ended their days. On entering the door, Mr. Clarke would familiarly address him in his own style, -" Well, Selby, how are you getting on in the ways of the Lord;" when he was usually saluted with, -- "Glory be to God; all is well." "Why, Satan will scarcely be able to find you out here," said Mr. Clarke pleasantly one day. "Aye, but he does though," replied Selby; "but," continued he, (pointing to a part of the room, to which he retired for prayer,) "I get into a corner, and punch him: -- glory -glory -- I get him under my feet!"
Of one of the country places at which Mr. Clarke used to preach, he gives the following description to a friend; -- "It is a most extraordinarily poor place; through the roof, I might have seen the North Pole, Ursa Major, Jupiter, and a great part of the Galaxy, so far as I know; but it is as full as the people can stand, on the Sunday evening. They are naturally dull and stupid, and have scarcely any idea of economy or cleanliness. Such a piece of architecture as was the pulpit, I never saw: a system of stakes connected in opposition to all symmetry. This I got analyzed, and, after a reduction to its first principles, it was found capable of a more harmonious adjustment of parts, and the chaotic system has now assumed an agreeable order. Comparing little things with great ones, I am obliged to speak to the people like a tempest, for they are so sinful and so stupid, nothing else will do; -- a great need there is for doing as God commanded the prophet, -- 'Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot;' and God blesses this ram-horn work, for breaches are daily made in the walls of this Jericho; -- at first when we began to preach here, 'the waves and the sea lift up their voice, and the floods clapped their hands,' so that we were much interrupted; but now God so overrules the tumult of the people, that we preach without disturbance."
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