With all the fervor of a devoted heart, and the entire consent of a discriminating judgment, Mr. Clarke held on his way among the people whose form of Christianity he had embraced; speaking of its venerable founder, to a friend, he remarked, -- "Mr. Wesley never attempted to follow others, -- he had his own plan, and Methodism was under him just what it now is, -- a system of constant progression. For instance, a man is convinced of sin; -- we tell him to pray earnestly for pardon: having received this blessing, we exhort him not to rest, but to look for sanctification -- to go on from conquering to conquest, till he enters into glory; this then is constant improvement -- a life of Christian activity; others, as they spring up, are exhorted in the same way, and thus the work is destined to live. God will abide by his own truth, by whomsoever delivered; by men however weak and defective, though we are not to confound occasional usefulness with a call to the ministry.
A minister who understood nothing at all about experimental religion, was reading a sermon, in which the doctrine of remission of sins through faith, was alluded to. A poor man already under serious convictions, on this occasion received a sense of pardon and acceptance with God; -- in the joy of his heart, he went to tell the minister of the blessing he had received, -narrated his simple tale to the instrument of his deliverance, and was surprised to find the preacher could not comprehend the subject; declaring that there was not a passage in the discourse which any of his auditors could apply in this strange way. To settle the point, however, he repaired to his study for the sermon, and forthwith began to read; -- the man listened with deep attention; every now and then interrupting him with, -- 'That is not it -- please to go on, Sir? -- you are near it now.' At length, the welcome passage fell upon his ear, and he exclaimed, -- 'That is it -- that is it -bless the Lord!' 'If,' replied the minister, 'this sermon has been the mean of turning one man mad, it shall never do so to another,' and instantly threw it into the fire. Thus," said Mr. Clarke, "God will bless his truth to the heart of the sincere man, even under the most unpromising circumstances." Speaking, on another occasion, on the subject of Methodism, to a friend, he said, -- "Do not for a moment imagine, that 'Methodism is falling,' -- let me speak to you plainly; -- I know it well, -- I know what it has been, and what it is; it is neither falling nor tottering; glory be to the Eternal Rock on which it is founded! The conduct to which you allude is no part of Methodism, nor would twenty thousand such things make any part of it: it is the doctrine of plenary salvation, faithfully preached, and gloriously experienced; it is that pure discipline, and heavenly union, which subsist in our societies, in which the God of love and order is so remarkably evident: this is Methodism, and this, I can assert, is not decreasing: it is, on the contrary, flourishing; and the conduct of a few individuals, has no effect upon this heavenly system; -- error shows itself, and falls; but Methodism is risen, and stands upright! glory to its supporting God! Do not let anything sour your mind, and prevent your doing all that you are called upon to do for the work of God; I have many a time labored under similar temptations, but a man who knows his work is with the Lord, should be above them; keep close to God's ordinances, and give yourself up to the salvation of your own soul: in this you will find rest and comfort. What are all the things you mention, in comparison of the great and glorious work? Just what the solar maculę are to the unclouded disc of that glorious luminary! In general, the work of the Lord among us, is carried on with due scriptural sobriety; and even the cases you mention, are fast dying away, and the evil will, I have no doubt, destroy itself everywhere, as it has done in Manchester. It is, in short, because the system is so pure, that the exceptions appear so monstrous."
Thus Mr. Clarke was ever consistent with himself; upon all fitting occasions, he advocated and defended the cause with which he was associated, and to which he was ardently attached; yet his was not that enthusiastic and blind devotion, which, limiting its view to one doctrine, or set of doctrines, had the effect of disturbing the unity and harmony of the body of Divine Truth, and blinding the mind to the importance and beauty of the entire Christian system; to all who named the name of his Lord and Master, he held forth the right hand of fellowship; every Christian minister he regarded as a friend and a brother; benevolence was a characteristic of his nature, and it led to liberality of sentiment, as well as to acts of philanthropy. "Think and let think," was a maxim of the founder of Methodism, and the best and noblest of his disciples echoed the sentiment.
On the occasion of opening a new chapel, in the village of Middleton, near Manchester, a man, attracted by curiosity, stepped aside from the road, and walked in; -- careless, ignorant, and wicked as he was, he listened with deep attention; strange things were brought to ears accustomed only to the language of impiety or recklessness. He was convinced of the truth as it is in Jesus, and felt that in its possession alone, he could be happy; he wept -- he attempted to pray -- he found himself sinking under his load of guilt and misery; he listened while the messenger of mercy was declaring the willingness of Christ to save to the uttermost, all who come to him, and while the gracious words fell upon his ear, hope sprung up in his heart, and the cry, "Lord save or I perish," met the answer of mercy, and he there found redemption in the blood of Christ! So long as Mr. Clarke knew or heard anything of him, he was still believing, and walking in Him who is the life, the truth, and the way. His wife also, perceiving the change which religion made in the conduct of her husband, became serious, thoughtful, and inquiring; and finally was converted to God. They both joined the society, and deported themselves as became persons professing godliness.
Instances such as these, were sources of infinite satisfaction, and the highest encouragement. To the poor, emphatically, the gospel is preached, and they, in general, receive it; but the encouragement seems additionally great, when characters dissolute and abandoned, are brought under the saving influence of the gospel, -- men whose hardness or indifference repels the convictions which it is the province of a preached gospel to bring home to the hearts and consciences of men.
The following letter will be read with interest, both by the theologian and the scholar: it was written to Mr. Clarke's brother-in-law, Mr. T. Exley,  of Bristol.
Manchester, January. 16th, 1805.
My dear Brother, -- Your questions I wish to answer without delay. What is termed the face of the deep, is in Hebrew "penee tehom," and literally translated is, the faces of the agitation, or agitated mass; and seems to signify, the continually varied appearances of the elementary particles of matter, previous to their arrangement in the different bodies, into the composition of which they entered in the successive operations of the six days work. This phrase, and the "tohoo va-bohoo," in v. 2, appear to point out the formless, empty, agitated mass, which was anciently called chaos. Now, as "hamah," to tumultuate, agitate, render turbulent, or confused, is the root whence "tehom," the DEEP, "tohoo," without form, and "mayim" or "meem," WATERS, come from, and all denote, fluidity, turbulence, and agitation; they at once show that state of agitation, or discord, which might be naturally supposed to take place, when heterogeneous particles of dissimilar configurations, were collected in the same mass. All these ideas, Ovid, when describing the Chaos, elegantly comprises in one line, -
"Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum."
The "penee haymayim," or faces of the waters, seems to me to refer to the various appearances exhibited by the globules of water, while under the strong agitation impressed upon them by the "ruach Elohim," Spirit, wind, or breath of God, when impregnating them with an animal and vegetative vitality. Some have translated the "Ruach Elohim" or "Ruch Aleim," a MIGHTY WIND, but this appears to me less philosophical than the former. In every part of this creation, GOD is represented as the sole agent; and as by his Spirit he garnished the heavens, by the same agent he separated the waters and rendered them prolific, so that from them was brought forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that flew above the earth in the open firmament of heaven, v. 20. And besides, our blessed Lord seems to allude to this very business, John iii. 8, -- The WIND bloweth where it listeth, so is every one who is born of the SPIRIT. So whether "ruach" be translated Spirit, wind, or breath, for it signifies all these, it is the "ruach Elohim," the Spirit, wind, or breath of GOD, either of which is a sufficient agent here.
Light is called "aur," from "ar," he flowed; because of the extreme fineness and fluidity of its particles, and because of its eflux from the body of the sun, in which, after its matter had been created, it was afterwards concentrated. That the matter of light was made before the sun was formed, can admit of no doubt; the creation of the former was one of the first acts of omnific power, and the formation of the latter out of the luminous particles already produced, was the work of the fourth day. The firmament, "rakeča," from "rakį," he expanded or stretched out, seems to signify simply the atmospheric expansion; containing the humid vapors which were to descend upon the earth in dew and rain, and which vapors are termed the upper waters, to distinguish them from the lower waters, or those contained in seas, lakes, and rivers, on the face of the earth.
I have now answered, as well as I can, in so short a compass, all the questions you put to me relative to the Mosaic account of the creation. It has undoubtedly several difficulties, but they are rather to be ascribed to our ignorance, than to any defect in the sacred history. I am, my dear brother,
Yours affectionately, -- A. CLARKE.
This letter is an important one, as it contains both learning and philosophy. The criticism upon the Hebrew words, discovers to us Mr. Clarke's intimate acquaintance with that language, and his showing that the three words, rendered by our translators, -- without form, the deep, and the waters, all spring from the same root, throws considerable light upon the subject. It might have been added, that the word rendered heavens, comes also from the same root.
It will at once be seen, that this letter does not adopt the modern geological theory, in reference to the earth, and solar system, but the reader will call to mind, that at its date, the young geology of our day was unknown. Whether the writer would have "read his recantation" in the ear of our modern geological school, we cannot of course determine, any more than we can see, that there is much gained or lost to mankind, whichever theory be adopted; for we cannot exactly see, considering creation as a work of the Deity, that there is anything more wonderful, startling, or sublime, in the opinion of the modern geologists, who require a revolution of cycles of ages for the production of the earth's crust, (or of a portion of it,) than in the popular belief, of the whole being produced by six successive voices of the Architect of creation; altered and modified afterwards, by the occurrence of the greatest physical revolution which our planet's history has yet furnished, namely, -- the deluge. At any rate, we think it just as well, that our readers should know what was the opinion of an able divine, and a man of learning and philosophy, in the year 1805, in reference to a subject of so much interest, though perhaps of little practical importance.
After all, Horace's question may be applied here, as elsewhere, -- Cui bono? Save, indeed, the mere discovery of the application of known physical laws to the evolution of physical conditions, and yet this doubtless is a satisfactory and remunerative knowledge. The Plutonean and Neptunean theories, which used to be deemed sufficiently explanatory of all the phenomena of which geology takes cognizance, and into which it makes inquisition, are nearly old-womanized by the young geology, of the day, just as the doctrine of the four elements (which was considered as stable as anything within the circle of knowledge) is upset by the chemistry of our times, in its discovery of the gases.
The Christian and intelligent reader will thank us for the introduction of the following letter; to those who are similarly circumstanced with its immediate subjects, it will prove a word in season, -- its encouragements and advices are like "apples of gold set in pictures of silver;" and the letter itself, affords a fine view of the noble and sympathizing heart of its writer, and of the pure and elevated tone of his friendships. It is addressed to his old friend, Mrs. Arthur, of Bristol, on the death of her husband.
Manchester, April 7, 1805.
My very dear Sister, -- On the present afflicting occasion, the calls of long established friendship, and the sympathetic affectionate feelings of my own heart, powerfully excite me to join that mournful procession of friends, who wish to alleviate your distress, and contribute to your comfort; I am well aware, my dear sister, that words of consolation in such a case as yours can avail nothing, -- grief like yours can be alleviated by God alone; but it must certainly increase the distress of your situation, to find any former friend careless or unaffected. Perhaps no stranger, I mean none un-related to your family, can take a deeper interest in your present distress than myself. God condescended to make me a messenger of peace and consolation to your late dear husband; and how much I loved him, you, and every branch of your family, it is impossible for me to tell. My love was such, that all your joys overjoyed me, and all your troubles deeply distressed me. I felt myself a member of the body, and took a part, and a deeply sensible one too, in all the feelings of the whole frame. If it be now impossible for me to comfort you, it is as impossible for me not to sympathize with you; and it would be a severe tax upon my feelings, to be deprived of the privilege of telling you so. Since we heard of your distress, we have had rest neither day nor night; but all we could do, was to offer up incessant prayers for you; which we have done with all the fervor in our power. But the good, the merciful God, needs no entreaty to come in to your assistance; -- He is the fountain of endless love; he knows what he has called you to pass through; and as he has ordained the trial, so has he the measure of strength necessary to support you under it.
Yes, my dear sister, He loves you, and will never leave you, -- no -- never forsake you. You have had a long experience of his mercy, and they that know his name, will put their trust in him, for he has never deserted them that fear him. Had this sudden removal been ten years ago, how much less prepared would have been all parties for the trial! See here the mercy of God, amidst this apparent severity. He spared your dear husband, that he might know His name and receive His salvation; and then foreseeing the evil that was in his way, and perhaps would have been his ruin, he has taken him to himself, from the evil to come. This we are always authorized to say in such cases, as we are fully assured, God does all things well; and never willingly afflicts the children of men. As to yourself and children, you are in the hands of your merciful Creator; and are as safe as if you were in paradise. The good providence of God will be doubly employed in your behalf; for he is ever most solicitous for those who are the most defenseless and destitute. What a wonderful and encouraging saying of God is the following, to any person in your situation: "Thy Maker is thy husband!" and He is thy husband's GOD and FATHER. Then my sister if you cannot as yet rejoice, you can submit to his will, and confide in his mercy, knowing that this also, afflicting and distressing as it is, will work for your good. That is an excellent word of a pious man,-
With patient mind thy course of duty run: God nothing does, or suffers to be done, But thou wouldst do thyself, couldst thou but see The end of all events as well as he."
What you know not now, you shall know hereafter, and admire and glorify God for the operation of His hand. Till then, hear and take comfort in this word of your most faithful God: "Leave thy fatherless children, and I will preserve them alive: and let thy widows trust in me."
I have often, my dear sister, advised you to take care of your health; never could this advice come in more seasonably than at present, -- your children can now depend on you alone: you are now more necessary, doubly necessary, to them than you ever were before; for their sakes be not swallowed up of overmuch sorrow, but submit to your Maker; trust in Him who redeemed you by his blood; gird up the loins of your mind, and hope to the end. God is with you, and will be with you; fear not, only believe, and you shall see the salvation of God. Distresses are the lot of mankind, but they are also the portion of those who endure them with submission to the Divine will: as in this case, natural evil ever promotes moral good.
A few days ago, I was called to visit a family in distress, -- one child was dead, the father was just put into his coffin, and the mother expired a few moments after I went in. Things are never ill, but they might be worse. May your father's God, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be your comfort and support, and save you and yours unto eternal life! With love to sister Eliza and all friends, -- I am, my very dear sister, yours affectionately, -- A. CLARKE.
An instance has already been given of Mr. Clarke's jealousy of everything which would trench upon his independence; -- the following anecdote will serve as a further illustration of the principle. While seated at the dinner-table one day, a servant entered, and announced to Mr. Clarke, that a man had brought a cheese, at the same time putting into his hand, a note of introduction: this was a poetical composition, which, after claiming acceptance of the present, intimated, that however excellent the entire cheese might be, the point of perfection would be found at its center; the oracular announcement contained in these sibylline verses, awakened the curiosity of the family, and upon cutting through to the middle of the mysterious present, a minute roll was discovered, carefully secured with thread; unwinding this, and removing the exterior paper, a bank note for £100 was revealed, thus fully explaining the meaning shadowed forth in the verses.
For a moment, Mr. Clarke was puzzled, but soon recollecting that there were but two men of his intimate friends in whom were combined both the ability and liberality necessary to such an act, he wrote immediately to the one upon whom he finally decided, enclosing the bank note; and after expressing, in suitable terms, his high sense of the intended kindness, told him, he accepted the cheese, which his family pronounced to be excellent, but must beg to return the money, as he made it a point never to accept pecuniary gifts.
No reply was returned; and the affair passed entirely from his mind. A few weeks after this, Mr. Clarke having to preach "an occasional sermon," in the neighborhood of the friend's residence, Mr. S. called on him; a significant smile was exchanged on meeting, and finding themselves alone, the subject of the present was introduced.
Mr. S. -- "It is of no use pretending secrecy further; you have discovered the donor of the cheese, and I hope you will not grieve me by finally refusing the trifle which accompanied it." Mr. Clarke -- "I cannot accept it; I never receive presents of this sort. For the intended kindness you have my utmost thanks, but nothing can tempt me to alter my mind."
Mr. S. -- "Adam, you have known me long, and you know me to be a man of my word; to me, this sum is of no consequence, but it will enable you to make some addition to your library, and I now say, (taking at this moment the note from his purse, and presenting it to Mr. Clarke,) that if you do not take it, I will throw it into the fire."
The moment was a critical one, the men were equally firm, and equally tenacious of the word which seemed to seal the fate of the bank note. Mr. Clarke now began to reason with his generous friend -- to tell him how much good it would do, if judiciously distributed; -propounding some doubts as to the right which even its owner had to destroy what might be so useful, if properly applied: all in vain.
At length, a thought seemed to strike the mind of the noble-spirited Mr. S.; he returned the note to his purse, and other subjects of conversation succeeded. In the course of a short time, Mrs. Clarke received information, that a share had been purchased for her in a trading vessel, and that her part of the profit accruing from the voyages performed, would be regularly transmitted. Against this mode, at once skillful and delicate, of settling the question, it would have been an act of unworthy pertinacity on the part of Mr. Clarke, to have opposed his spirit of severe independence. As it could be spared, additions were made to the original sum, by the lady shareholder, and several years of successful voyages, realized a very acceptable increase to Mrs. C's. pin-money. The vessel was finally wrecked, but not until the few hundreds ventured in her, had been more than thrice told. The incident is instructive, as it delineates certain points of character, equally honorable to both gentlemen, and worthy of all consideration.
Mr. Clarke himself was well practiced in benevolence, according to his means -- and sometimes even beyond them, for not infrequently his heart stole a march upon his judgment; for benevolent feelings are among the most unmanageable we possess. Seneca knew this; hence his remark: "It passes in the world for greatness of mind, to be perpetually giving and loading people with bounties. Give me a heart that is easy and open, but I will have no holes in it; let it be bountiful with judgment; but I will have nothing run out of it, if I know it."
Mr. Clarke was not the man, however, to stand balancing, with the scales in his hand, over an object of distress; he ever gave the beam a preponderating movement toward the sufferer; aware that "the opportunity of making happy is more scarce than we imagine, -- that the punishment of missing it, is never to meet with it again, -- and that the use we make of it leaves us an eternal sentiment of satisfaction or repentance."
Some notice having been taken of Mr. Clarke's "Succinct Account of Polyglott Bibles," published while he was in Liverpool, it may be added, that during the latter part of his present station in Manchester, he published two other separate treatises, in the same way, and of the same size: the one was entitled, "A Succinct Account of the Principal Editions of the Greek Testament, from the first printed at Complutum, in 1797, arranged in Chronological Order; together with the Chief Editions of this Sacred Book, in three or more languages," &c.: the other was, -
"Observations on the Text of the Three Divine Witnesses, accompanied with a plate containing two correct Facsimiles of I John, v. 7, 8, 9, as they stand in the First Edition of the New Testament, printed at Complutum, 1514, and in the Codex Montfortii, a Manuscript marked G. 97, in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin." Both issued from the press of R. and W. Dean, Market-Street-Lane, Manchester.
His intention to publish a Commentary on the Sacred Text being generally known among his friends, various inquiries were instituted respecting its progress, and the time of its appearance. To one of the querists, he observed, June, 1805, "I propose, God helping me, to put the Commentary to press as soon as possible. I need wait no longer for a fall in the price of paper, as that is not likely to take place. When it is ready for publication, I shall get it inserted on the wrapper of the Magazine, and then you and my other friends will know where to meet with it. Another work, [the Bibliographical Dictionary] which I took in hand two years ago, and which is not yet completed, has, with my infirm state of health, been hitherto the principal hindrance."
One of Mr. Clarke's correspondents, and from whom he obtained considerable information respecting the "Wesley Family," may here be noticed, -- Revd. and Venerable Thomas Stedman, Vicar of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury. Though members of different Christian communities, they could both appreciate real worth under whatever name it might be found; nor were they very remote from each other in creed: "Bred up in the bosom of the church," said Mr. Clarke, "I am strongly attached to it from principle and conscience; and would not change that form of sound words, the Liturgy of the Anglican Church, for anything that Dissent could offer me as a substitute. But I abominate the Act of Uniformity, for its oppression, injustice, and cruelty; and because it gave a blow to the piety of the national church, from which it is now but slowly recovering. It deprived her of multitudes of her brightest ornaments, whose works have been a credit and a bulwark to the Reformation, and still praise them in the gates. Neither interest nor disaffection prompts this eulogium! Fiat justitia; ruat coelum!"
"Remember man that thou art mortal," was a lesson constantly pressed upon the attention of Mr. Clarke, by the visits which repeated physical infirmity made to him; yet in conversing with a friend upon the subject, he remarked, -- "Though these remembrancers of mortality are not pleasing to flesh and blood, yet their irksomeness is amply compensated by the salutary instructions invariably imparted to all whose ears and hearts are open to receive them. 'Prepare to meet thy God,' who can admit nothing impure into the everlasting abodes of the blessed, is the constant lesson which it is the province of affliction to inculcate, and the importance of the thing itself, produces sufficient motive to excite us to, if not to extort from us, a careful attention. I have often thought," he proceeded, "and that from sensible evidences, in reference to myself, that the days of my pilgrimage are nearly ended in this land of shadows, -- where the enjoyments are all visionary, and where the most rational sources of happiness are but the archetypes and images of that substantial bliss which is to be found only beyond the limits of time, -- what pity, that those who have been so long under the tuition of the 'Wonderful Counsellor,' should be so ignorant of the first rudiments of Christianity; -- namely, that the world cannot afford any real felicity. Were we abidingly conscious of this truth, our eyes would be like St. Paul's, always viewing the things which are eternal; but in commerce with the world, Christians grow cold as Greenland ice, and then, in too many cases, between themselves and the devil, faith is shipwrecked, and the praise which cometh from man is put in the stead of that which is begotten of maintaining a conscience void of offense both toward God and man."
Such was the view Mr. Clarke took of afflictions generally, and such the spirit of meekness and submission in which he received their manifestations in his own case; -- and this beautiful illustration of sanctified pain and suffering is here given, that Christians may see how possible it is, not only to be submissive, but acquiescent; not only to suffer the will of God, but to rejoice in tribulation, for so He giveth his beloved rest. Somewhat in the same strain, though upon rather a different subject, he spoke to a friend who had complained -- not without reason, that he had wasted much labor and anxiety in an important matter, which had not been properly appreciated. "You must be aware," he soothingly and judiciously observes, "that what is done for the whole, scarcely ever affects the component parts in their individual capacity; --therefore the gratitude which should invariably repay benevolent exertions for the public good, is scarcely ever the meed of him who has sacrificed so much for the system in general. A public vote of thanks, five hundred of which are not worth so many rushes, (for they might bottom an old chair for an apostle to sit upon,) is all that can be expected in such cases, before the resurrection of the just. Rest fully assured, that you have not spent your strength for nought; -- good, -- great good has been done, and must necessarily continue."
Words of kindness are as ointment poured forth; and in this case, the wound was thus bound up, and the worthy mind, fretted by supposed neglect, was again attuned to harmonious concert with its fellows.
The hour of separation between Mr. Clarke and his people, was now drawing on; he had nearly fulfilled the utmost term which the Methodist economy allows for the residence, at the same station, of any of its ministers. It will readily be conceded, that the mutual regret was great on the occasion; -- the people felt they should lose a friend, as well as an able minister; for to his skill, experience, and sympathy, it had especially appertained, to administer comfort in the deepest sorrows, and advice in the most perplexing seasons; -- to teach the ignorant -- to support the weak -- to raise the fallen -- to draw on the tardy -- to administer correction in the spirit of love, to the wanderer -- to encourage the repentant, returning backslider, and to point him to his native home, amidst purity and bliss inconceivable! But there were also ties in Manchester, which he had nowhere besides; -- it was here his father had resided, and here his remains rested; it was here that his Adam, -- his beloved child and name-sake, closed his eyes upon the shadows of this mortal state, to open them in the light of eternity; it was here that another child, -- a bud of extraordinary promise and beauty, was snapped from the parent stem, and laid low in the dust!
The Conference this year, held its sittings in Manchester; and one letter dispatched from it by Mr. Clarke, to his well-beloved friend and relative, Mr. Butterworth, will close our notices of Manchester, in connection with the subject of the memoir; and we invite the courteous reader to follow him to London, in which place we intend to represent him "in actions both greater and smaller, public and private, in a commixture which must of necessity contain a true, native, and lively representation."
Manchester, Aug. 8th, 1805. My very dear Brother, -- Hurried as I am, I endeavor to write a line now and then to a particular friend. You stand first in the list. It will please you to hear that all is harmony and love amongst us; and this has been the case from the very commencement of the Conference. There are 156 preachers present; and I do firmly believe, that the ruling purpose of every man's heart is, to get his own soul saved, and the souls of those who hear him. Many thought that our poor little fund would be a cause of disunion; but instead of this being the case, it has only been a mean of showing us how much we loved each other, and how much through that love we could give up to each other. The other preachers asked us, whether we were willing to join with them? We said, yes, with all our souls: but the old fund is exceptionable in some of its rules, and besides, it is illegal. Then said they, can you make such alterations in those rules of yours, which exclude many of us, that we may join in with you, and become one? We answered, yes, and did it. This evening, we balloted them all in, and became in this respect also, one body, established on unexceptionable rules, and wholesome regulations. They thanked us for our affectionate readiness to admit them, and we thanked them for their affectionate readiness to come in; and thus everything was well. I got the thanks of the Conference for my Tobacco Dissertation; and one of the preachers gave the following account:-
"My wife and I used tobacco for between thirty and forty years. When I read Mr. Clarke's pamphlet, I was convinced I should give it up: I did so, and so did my wife; I then recommended it to the society at Congleton, many of whom were greatly addicted to it; -- all who read the pamphlet gave it up."
I can add no more: my love to all. -- Yours, my very dear Brother, most affectionately, -
A. CLARKE. * * * * * * *