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  • ADAM CLARKE PORTRAYED
    Volume II, PART IV. SECTION IV.,
    1809, Conversation at a Social Party


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    SECTION IV.

    1809.

    On all public, as well as private occasions, Dr. Clarke shunned parade; especially in matters connected with the ministerial character. Having to preach in a place of worship belonging to a religious community different from his own, in the metropolis, and whose officiating minister always appeared before his auditory in gown and bands, in favor of which there was a strong feeling on the part of the people, he was informed in the vestry, that he would be expected to appear in the same, and that huge offense would be given, if he did not comply with the wishes of the friends. This, to the Doctor, appeared as much out of character as Saul's armor to David, and would have felt no less cumbersome in the pulpit, than Saul's in the field: and just as the keeper of the vestments turned round to bring them, the Doctor quietly slipped into the chapel, took some of his longest strides up the pulpit stairs, invoked the divine blessing on his labors, and proceeded with the service. Had the Wesleyans been accustomed to such things, they would have been in keeping with the man, as much as it would be out of character for a clergyman of the Established Church to appear in the pulpit without them. He amply atoned, however, for any want of adornment in his person, by the weight of his matter, which excited the admiration of his hearers.

    Though he might not, on all occasions, meet the views of those with whom he mingled, or was brought into collision, yet he carefully avoided giving willful offense. An appeal having been made to him on a particular subject by a friend who observed, "You will have a long letter, Doctor, in return, and, I am afraid, it will be a bitter one;" he replied, "It will make no difference to me; I write no bitter letters in reply to any that I may receive; my plan is, to cut the throat with a feather, or so to oil the hone on which the razor is sharpened, as not to provoke reply: the person to whom you refer, shall have nothing but good words from me." It was in this way, he acted on the latter part of the old proverb, though totally rejecting the former, -- "Treat your friend as though he were one day to become your enemy, and your enemy as though he were one day to become your friend."

    Being invited to a social party with some of his brethren, and conversation turning on the evils induced by the fall of man, Mr. McNicoll pensively remarked, "These are the miseries we have to deplore!" The Doctor, who was ever disposed to look at the sunny side of the landscape, feeling that there was a danger of losing sight of the rich provision of mercy which followed, glanced his eye on his young friend, and in cheerful raillery, said, "You may well talk of the miseries consequent on the fall, seated, and sighing there, over roast-beef and plum-pudding; let me tell you, Davy, that you have much to be thankful for."

    This, -- however the original defection might be deplored, led the way to the superior advantages reaped by the human family in consequence of the fall, -- plucking, as it were, from the very branches of that tree, whose deadly shade was thrown over all, and whose noxious productions had infused poison into every part of the human system, fruit, -- wholesome -- healing -- delicious -- abundant -- immortal; a subject luminously, convincingly, and impressingly touched off by Mr. Wesley, in his sermon on -- "Not as the offence, so also is the free gift," Rom. v. 15.

    Someone, in the course of conversation, having introduced Burnet's account of the death of the Earl of Rochester, it was taken up by another of the company, who stated that he felt a difficulty in subscribing to the conversion of Rochester; intimating, that Burnet appeared anxious to make out a case, as a set off, against infidelity -- that he labored to make the most of it -- and that Rochester apparently embraced from fear, what he formerly rejected from principle. Dr. Clarke, who was not overweeningly fond of Burnet as a writer, and awake also to the charge of inaccuracy which had been brought against him, laid claim, nevertheless, to all that could be ceded in favor of Rochester's sincerity.

    On Ezekiel xxiii. 2. being quoted in illustration of the mercy of God -- "Say unto them, As I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked," the Doctor observed, "Faith in the declaration of God, firmly anchored in the heart, is a chain fastened to his throne; and by the constant exercise of which, we must endeavor to climb to heaven." Then glancing at the state in which mercy finds us, as described 1 John, v. 19, "The whole world lieth in wickedness," or as it is rendered, "lieth in the wicked one," he exclaimed, "The world reposing in, and its life's blood circulating through him, this is indeed an infernal bed!

    Speaking of critics, and other writers on the sacred text, he was high in his praise of Dr. Newcome's "Harmony of the Gospels," which he stated to be the best; and to which he was indebted for considerable help. A friend complimenting Vitringa on the prophecies, [49] the Doctor said, "Though excellent, I rarely make any use of him; he is too diffuse; he overwhelms you with unnecessary argument: for my part, I am afraid of prophecy, lest I should add to the words of God, by my explanations." Referring to Vitringa on the Apocalypse, some time after this, he said, "My nephew, John Edward Clarke, has written as satisfactorily as most men on a part of 'The Revelation of Jesus Christ.' He came into my study one day, exclaiming, in the language of the great mathematician, Euraka, Euraka, I have found it -- I have found it!' Found what? I inquired. 'The number of the Beast,' he replied. I told him to look carefully over his calculations again, and if he found them correct, I would -- if he wished it, publish the result in my notes. I further told him, that he would have to read over the Byzantine writers before he finally decided; and this he did, carefully going through the whole twenty-three volumes." [50] Scarcely a writer on the scriptures could be named, whether ancient or modern, concerning whom the Doctor could not furnish an analysis either of his work, or some of his peculiar characteristics; yet with all his knowledge, he was wide of the charge couched in the sally of Hall against Dr. Kippis, -- that "he laid so many books upon his head that his brains could not move;" for more like Hall himself, he could always think: a page was to him more serviceable than a volume to many; a single hint expanded itself into a treatise, -- the adopted was lost in the begotten.

    The subject of the divinity of Christ being introduced, a friend puzzled on some minor points, turned to the Doctor, and asked his opinion, when he remarked, "There might be a gradual manifestation of the Godhead to the humanity of the Saviour; and this may be intimated in the fact of his increasing in wisdom and stature; somewhat analagous to the manifestation of mind in matter, as it respects man. The infant mind cannot unfold itself at first, but as there is muscle, nerve, &c., by which it can act, it increases, and puts forth its energies, as the powers of the body are strengthened and enlarged for its peculiar manifestation. So it might be with Christ. His not knowing 'the day and the hour,' may denote that the full communication of Deity had not been made; -- and thus he traveled on, till he reached the thirty-third or thirty-fourth year of his age, when his humanity may be supposed to have arrived at its full growth or perfection, and then probably we come to the meaning of that expression, 'In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.' Such a supposition is, at least, plausible; and we may explain many difficulties by it, as well as account for many extraordinary expressions, which seem to require something like this to render them perfectly intelligible."

    The gentleman who had drawn him into the preceding remarks, spoke with great modesty and Christian feeling upon the possibility of seeing God in heaven. The Doctor dissented from him, and stated his belief in the greater probability of the Divine Essence remaining invisible, -- man being utterly incapable of supporting it. "The glorified humanity of Christ," said he, "will no doubt be visible, and may possibly approximate more and, more towards perfection, as it advanced towards maturity while upon earth, -- still heightening as the redeemed shall be able to behold it; -- it being the grand medium of communication between absolute Deity and man. Through this, God may let his creatures into his own infinite glory, which eternity itself will never be able to exhaust; let them into it as they are able to bear it; and these fresh inlets to himself -- by one revelation succeeding another, just as he discovers himself to us by degrees here, may --in part at least, constitute our future happiness."

    These remarks led to a conversation on the omnipotence of God, when the Doctor said, "It requires the same power to preserve, as to create; our being is the effect of a cause; withdraw the cause, and the effect must cease: mind is an emanation from God's own intelligence; this can only cease by a special act of Deity; -- but the same causation preserves, and is, in a certain sense, a continued act of God to support life. Look at a mill, the wheel of which is turned by a stream; the water is the cause of motion, and is as necessary to preserve as to originate it; should this cease to act, all stands still: life, in like manner, is a continued act of God's preserving power, and omnipotence alone can sustain it."

    The recognition of Saints in heaven being noticed, and several passages of Scripture being adduced to support the theory, the Doctor, in reference to difficulties proposed on the objective side of the question, replied somewhat impatiently, "It will be a humbling reflection, if I am to know less in a perfect state, than I know here, where knowledge is so circumscribed. The ancients had a fable about the Lethean streams of oblivion, which made them forget everything they had ever said or done in the present life; but I know of no such thing in Christian theology." On Matth.

    xxii. 28 -- 30. being quoted, -- "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven -- Whose wife shall she be," &c. "That," he replied, "is not a subject in which I am interested; I have had but one wife, and my wife has had but one husband;" then to ward off further discussion, which he perceived would lead to no improving result, the whole being involved in mystery, he closed pleasantly with, -- "A friend once said to my Mary, 'If you were to die, the Doctor would be married again, and you would then lose him:' 'That,' said she, 'excites no concern, for I know I shall have the first claim in a future state.'" He manifested, however, none of this reserve when conversing on subjects which tended to produce wholesome Christian principle, and base the mind in the truth of God. The evangelists passing in review --"Mark," said he, "makes a plain statement of what he knows to be fact: his grand design is, to shew, that although Jesus is man, there is a Divine Power visible in all he does. -- Matthew draws no inference; he deviates from all other historians, whose object is to establish certain positions -- who shew how an argument may be strengthened -- how impossible it is to mistake, &c.: there is nothing like the labor of proof -- no effort to produce an impression.- -- On the other hand, John proceeds all along to assert and to establish the divinity of Jesus Christ. Were the three preceding evangelists swept entirely away, the testimony of St. John would perfectly satisfy my mind as to the divine authority of the Bible -- the godhead and manhood of Christ." He noticed this one day to his friend, Mr. Alexander Knox, when the latter said, "Adam, that argument is as indestructible as the sun in the firmament -- as firm as the pillars of heaven!"

    "Redeeming the time," was one of those precepts of which Dr. Clarke furnished a daily practical exposition, both at home and abroad. Being in the house of a friend, and taking up the Life of Bridaine, he observed, "Though I have written a character of this man, I never till now saw this life of him: what I wrote was published several years ago in the Arminian Magazine." Having read the Memoir in the course of the day, and made some extracts from it, he said, "The Abbè Maury, preacher in ordinary to the French king, extolling the exquisite exordium of Cicero in his first Oration against Cataline, -- 'Quousque tandem abutere,' &c., observed, that the only traces of this ancient and vigorous eloquence remaining among us, (which was no other than the first voice of nature,) was to be found among the missions in the several provinces; where apostolic men, endued with a strong and vigorous imagination, knew no other success than conversions, and no other plaudits than tears; and though occasionally destitute of taste, and descending into burlesque detail, yet strongly striking the senses, -- impressing terror by their threatenings, and exciting general concern in their hearers. The Abbè heard Bridaine preach his first sermon in the church of St. Sulpicius in Paris, where a number of the nobility, from curiosity, had been drawn to hear him, together with bishops, decorated personages, and a crowd of ecclesiastics: the exordium, as given by the Abbè, is a fine specimen of the preacher's eloquence and powers of mind. Bridaine was in France, what Whitefield was in England, -- only, possessed of a far superior mind to that of the English orator: he could raise, melt, terrify an audience, and send the profane away in a state of penitence. The Abbè states, that, with a popular eloquence, full of images and emotions, few men possessed in a more eminent degree than he, the admirable talent of rendering himself master of an assembled multitude. He had such a fine voice, as rendered credible all the prodigies which history recounts of the declamation of the ancients; and was as easily heard by ten thousand persons in the open air, as if he had spoken under the most sonorous arch.

    In all that he said, turns naturally rhetorical might be observed; and in some instances, he was not inferior to Bossuet or Demosthenes. It was his chief design," proceeded the Doctor, "to break and rend the heart, and to dismiss the people in distress, if not in despair; considering this as compensating, in some measure, for the sins of their past lives, and so preserving a kind of balance between the past and the present: he was properly a Royal Missionary.

    When Queen Anne came to the throne, she allowed some persons the privilege of visiting the various churches, and preaching to the people, after having first given notice of their intention."

    Mr. C. -- "If something of this kind were permitted now, -- the men themselves being devoted to God, it would prove highly beneficial both to clergy and laity."

    Dr. Clarke. -- "Mr. Wesley always regretted one thing -- that he had not asked for a privilege of this kind."

    Mr. E. -- "Are you aware, Doctor, of any occasion occurring in which it would have been at all prudent or proper to prefer such a request?"

    Dr. C. -- "Yes, -- on the occasion of the pamphlet which he published on the American war; a pamphlet with which the government was so pleased, that copies were ordered to be distributed at the doors of all the churches in the Metropolis; and respecting which, one of the highest officers of state waited upon him -- wishing to know whether government could in any way be of service to either himself or his people." Mr. C. -- "What was the reply?"

    Dr. C. -- "Mr. Wesley stated, that he looked for no favors, and only desired the continuance of civil and religious privileges. The nobleman, again pressed the question; but Mr. Wesley, with equal courtesy and firmness, declined all favors. At length, the nobleman, just on the point of retiring, delicately observed, -- 'In all probability, Sir, you have some charities which are dear to you; by accepting £50 from the privy purse, to appropriate as you may deem proper, you will give great pleasure to those for whom I act.' This was accepted; but Mr. Wesley expressed himself to me afterwards, as sorry that he had not requested to be made a royal missionary, and to have the privilege of preaching in every church."

    Mr. E. -- "You named the Abbè Maury: what is your opinion of his Essay on Eloquence?"

    Dr. C. -- "He analyzed, with great ability, many of the living preachers of the day; and though he sometimes laid such men as Tillotson, and other English preachers, on their backs, he at the same time paid them some high compliments; and the book cannot but please."

    The Pope having been mentioned, the Doctor referred to the backwardness of Lord Lyttleton to kiss the toe of his holiness, when at Rome. "His hesitancy being perceived, the Pope said to him, with great politeness, 'Do not be afraid, my lord; draw near; -- an old man's blessing will do you no harm.' Without remarking on a custom so revolting to a Protestant, the sentiment is good, and well expressed. On opening a new chapel in London, I availed myself of it, and it produced a good effect. Some of the hearers were retiring immediately after the collection was made; this gave me great pain of mind, and elevating my voice I said, 'You had better stop, and take God with you, -- the preacher's blessing can do you no harm:' then, after prayer, I pronounced this benediction, -- 'Go in peace -- live in peace -- and the God of peace be with you always!"

    The Doctor's taste, though far from fastidious on the elegancies of style, was sometimes a little nice in cases of verbal innovation. He could scarcely bear the term, "March of Intellect," with common patience, because of the abuse to which it had been subjected. A friend employing the Americanism, "talented young man," he said, "I am astonished to hear you make use of the term talented; it is not to be found in the English language." He next amused his friend with Dr. Johnson's definition of the word net, pronouncing his Dictionary to be a "great work;" stating, however, at the same time, that the plan was not original. In support of this sentiment, he remarked, that he had three copies of a Persian and Arabic Dictionary, in which the words were illustrated by quotations from the poets, &c., -- that subsequently to this work, an Italian Dictionary had been published on the same plan, -- and after this, a French Dictionary appeared on a similar one. With the latter he found fault: and then adverting to Johnson's religious character, to which he was led by some remarks made at the time, he said, "The Doctor had the terror, rather than the fear of God."

    Dr. Clarke was not one of those men, whose visits produce anything like satiety. He was the reverse of a person whom he named, who had stopped some time in a house, to the annoyance of the family. "A. B.," said he, "partakes of the qualities of Mr. --; he makes a dose of himself wherever he goes: there should not be more than two such persons in the same county." Then, pleasantly added, "In my country, we have the vis, -- then the visit, -- and next the visitation. The visits of A. are always the longest, and so extend to a visitation." Another person being named, as remarkable for loquacity as for lingering visits; "She," said he, by way of dismissing the subject, "is like evermore."

    He was occasionally thrown into the company of persons who were exceedingly annoying. The writer recollects an officious man, who, when the Doctor was from home, was constantly obtruding his remarks, and making appointments for him; and the Doctor being told that some method should be adopted to cheek such conduct, said, "Let him alone; my pot is boiling as well as yours, -- but I still have the lid on." Then laughing, and turning it off, -- "I knew him in early life; through his incapacity for business, he ran through £14,000: he was born under a threepence-halfpenny planet, and was never to be worth fourpence. Let us bear with him; he is a good man after all, and has a great deal of what the French call l'unction piète about him." Seeing this same person from the window, (who was remarkable for late attendance in his engagements, and at the house of God,) posting his way to the house of a friend; the Doctor opened the door for him, and delicately rebuked him with, -- "Here he comes -- 'And Amalek smote the hindmost of them.'" Having borrowed his spectacles a moment, and feeling disposed to settle an account of cleanliness with him also, he said, while rubbing them, -- "Why, Brother G., you may almost sow mustard seed on them."

    Though remote from fault-finding, yet there were little points in social life which he could not forbear noticing, and which, when known, might convey a useful hint to others, especially in the conduct of children, and their mode of treatment. Traveling in company with a family, they all came to an inn, at a time when the different public accommodations were full, in consequence of the assizes. He asked to be conducted to a room, having been a good deal annoyed by the dust: the servant showed him into one of the attics -- confined, and apparently rarely used. "Have you not a lower room?" he inquired. "Be thankful," was the reply, "that you have got that." "I have no gratitude to expend upon it," the Doctor returned. On descending to the lower part of the house, he entered a small back parlor, where the lady and gentleman, together with their children, were seated, surrounded with their luggage. The Doctor looked for a seat, and no one being offered, he touched the coat of the writer, and going to lounge in the street, -- "Alas!" he exclaimed, "what an education those poor children must have received! There are chairs for you, for T., and for myself; and yet the parents can see us walking about, without requesting a child to stand, or offering to take one on the knee."

    It may be added, that these persons had been laid under many obligations to the Doctor. He loved order and good breeding; that kind of training which imparts ease and freedom, -- though he was as remote from the artificial, and the unnecessarily subdued tone of abject feeling, as he was from selfishness and vulgarity. Mr. C.'s little daughter was clinging round the neck of her father; "There," said the Doctor, with a gush of fine paternal feeling -- "that is the image which St. John had in view, when he said, 'Little children,' or 'dear little children,' -- for so the word will allow in point of meaning: there is tenderness on the one hand, and confidence and simplicity on the other." Mr. C., on another occasion, was swinging his child; -- "That is the best exercise," said the Doctor, "for delicate persons and children. Walking fatigues them; whereas, in swinging, the child is taking in fresh air by every breath, -- absorbing vitality every moment. The swinging, however, should cease gradually, as otherwise, it would too suddenly give the lungs a different kind of action. Dr. Percival, of Manchester, recommended swinging for a child of mine, but we were unable to rear her; the plant was too tender." Some one, tickling one of the children, the Doctor said, "My brother tickled me once, so that I nearly died under it: but all my children have been disciplined, till they have become perfect stoics."

    Conversation now taking a philosophic turn, and the question -- "Why is there so much sea?" being asked, the Doctor entered largely into the experiments and calculations of Ray, and after him, of Dr. Long, showing how far they had succeeded, and the advantage of their discoveries to their successors, on the subject of evaporation, &c.; -- diverging, as the remarks of others led the way, to the subject of the deluge; -- marine substances found on the tops of mountains; -- the confusion of tongues; -- and lastly, to the possible irruptions [irrupt v. intr. (foll. by into) enter forcibly or violently. -- Oxford Dict.] of the sea -- occasioning the waters to recede in some places, and make inroads on the land in others. In reference to the latter case, the Doctor said, "When I was in the Norman Isles, I took up an old map, and traced the different parts as marked out. On coming to one point, I found a castle and a promontory referred to, and inquired where they were to be seen, when the people told me, that they were under water, and that when the water was still and clear, the ruins were still discernible at the bottom. Now," continued he, after an abrupt pause, "I will give you an anecdote, -- though (referring to the writer)

    'A chiel's amang you, taking notes, And, sure, he'll prent it.'

    It refers to the earthquake on which Mr. Fletcher has written so learnedly and foolishly. [51] A gentleman came to him, and stated that he had some money, which he wished to lay out to the best advantage; that he did not like government security; that banks made scarcely any returns; and that he was averse to the trouble attendant on business; closing with, 'I have concluded to fix it on terra firma.' 'Terra firma!' exclaimed Mr. Fletcher, 'dare is no terra firma.' It so happened, that the gentleman purchased some ground on the banks of the Severn; and that was the very ground where the irruption took place, and on which Mr. Fletcher preached, -- the estate being swallowed up on the occasion.

    Unphilosophically as the Doctor deemed Mr. Fletcher had treated some parts of the subject, he valued him highly as a Christian and divine, and could not but view in the "Dreadful Phenomenon," as it is termed by Mr. Fletcher, a suitable occasion for the spiritual improvement of his flock. He was no ordinary observer of providence, any more than of nature. "I like to consult providence," said he, on one occasion, "and to attend to its various openings. God may lead me on to a certain extent, and expecting to go straight forward, where an object appears, I may fix my eye upon it: but He, in this case, makes an abrupt turn to the left: here I am obliged to follow, without knowing a single step of the way; when suddenly God has cleared my path, and wrought out my deliverance. This is my frequent experience. The consequence is, I have the strongest reliance on the providence of my Maker."

    The introduction of an occasional circumstance threw a gleam of light on the native benignity of the Doctor's mind. Having a considerable share of influence, during his connection with government, he was waited upon by the Rev. James Bean, a clergyman of the Established Church, (now no more,) who was directed to him by the higher authorities, some of whom were disposed to serve him, provided he had sufficient qualifications for the office for which he stood a candidate. On all ceremony being laid aside, and a good understanding being established between them, the Eclectic Review became the subject of notice, when the Doctor, who was aware of the author of the critique on "Zeal Without Innovation," asked Mr. Bean, whether he knew who was the writer? Mr. Bean stated, that he did not, and was led into some concessions as to the authorship of the work upon which the critical scalpel had been exercised. "What," said the Doctor, with apparent surprise, "are you the author of 'Zeal Without Innovation?'" Mr. Bean, not without fear of displeasure, from the manner in which he had treated the Wesleyans in the work, ventured a timid reply in the affirmative. "Mr. Bean," said the Doctor, "you have exercised your own judgment on the subject, and, as an honest man, have given your thoughts to the world, which will decide whether you are correct or otherwise: with that I have nothing to do; but in proof of the fact, that I am incapable of petty prejudice, you shall have a strong recommendatory note from me, on the British Museum business;" and upon this alone, Mr. Bean obtained the desired appointment. [52] A sincere friendship was established between them, and the Doctor repeated to him, on one occasion, with some degree of jocularity, an epigram written on his work, by Mr. T. Roberts;-

    "What is zeal with innovation? Wishes to Christianize the nation. What is zeal without it? Wishes To eat the precious loaves and fishes."

    Mr. Bean complimented the epigrammatist, and outlived some of his prepossessions against the Wesleyans, though firmly attached to the Established Church.

    Without any anticipatory remarks on Dr. Clarke's great work -- his Commentary on the Scriptures, toward the period of the publication of which we are fast approaching, and without at present touching on any peculiar views which he might entertain on particular portions of the word of God, it may be observed, that, in speaking of the nachash or monkey species, he states, that he had paid some attention to the habits of these, as well as other, animals. He had, for a considerable time, a little monkey, which had become a favorite, owing to its gentleness, kindness, mimicry, and sportiveness, but merry little Jack died; and to Mr. McNicoll, who had occasionally taken an interest in his frolics, the Doctor observed in a note -- not without a touch of quiet humor, -

    "Dear Davy, -- Poor Jack the monkey is dead! He went into a decline, and wasted regularly away, just like a human being in the same disease; bore all with most amiable patience, and died regretted by all who knew him. I buried him in the garden, under a good piece of English marble, and made an epitaph for him! -- which has been much esteemed by the knowing ones! I do assure you, I was sorry for the poor fellow's sufferings and death, and never think of him but with regret."

    The epitaph, as a curiosity of its kind, may here be introduced:

    In Memoriam, Jucundi Cercopitheci, Qui Multis Flebilis Obiit Novembris Nono Calendas, Anno HumanÆ Salutis Mdcccix.

    Hoc Marmosi Adamus Clericus Dominus Ejus Intentus Et Amicus Charus MÆRens Posuit. In Securitate Imperturbata Sine Poenis, Sine Conviciis, Animal Meum Parvulum, Mittissimum, Et Jucundissimum Tui Generis, Hominum Ineptiarum Innocuus Imitator, In ÆTernum Requiesce.

    Another subject of the lighter kind may here be noticed. It may startle some Christian readers to learn, that Dr. Clarke wrote a romance, the manuscript of which, it may be added, is in the possession of the biographer. An abstract from the first page will let the reader into a portion of its history:

    "As writers require not only labor but rest, so those who devote themselves to mental exercises, require a little occasional relaxation, that they may afterward return to study with increased vigor. This, in my opinion, cannot be done better than by diverting the mind on some agreeable subject, where pleasure and instruction are intermingled. This is indeed what I have endeavored to accomplish in this work, in which, among many pleasant fictions, I have mixed some learned railleries against the ancient poets and historians, without even sparing the philosophers, who have related to us as facts, many fabulous and ridiculous tales. Clesias, for example, in his History of the Indies, has told us things which he never either saw or heard; and Iambulus has composed an ingenious History of the Wonders of the Ocean, without having the smallest regard to truth. Many others have acted in a similar way, relating various adventures which they state to have happened to them in the course of their different voyages, interlarding the whole with descriptions of divers monstrous animals, unheard of cruelties, and barbarous and savage customs, after the manner of Homer, who describes the captivity of the winds, the enormous bulk of the Cyclops, the cruelty of the Anthropophagi, with many-headed beasts, the metamorphosis of his companions into swine by the charms of a witch, with several other reveries relative to the Phoceis, which he has published for the entertainment of the ignorant. But this is no marvel in a poet, who is accustomed to tell lies, seeing we find the constant recurrence of such things among philosophers; I am only astonished that historians have endeavored to persuade us to believe the same monstrosities. Nevertheless, I became envious, that I was the only person in the world who had not the privilege of indulging in fiction, or of composing some romance in imitation of those who have gone before. But I desire, in thus avowing my sentiments, to show myself more just than they; and this avowal must serve for my justification. I am now going to relate things which I have never either seen or heard; and what is more, things which have no existence, nor can have any: therefore, let the reader take heed not to believe a word that is penned." -- The work closes with, -- "There were two great wonders in the king's palace: a well, which was not very deep, but when anyone went down into it, he heard everything that was spoken upon earth; and a looking-glass, from which everything that was done below, was reflected. I have often seen my friends and acquaintance in it, but do not know they saw me. Now, if any doubt of the truth of what I have spoken, let him go to the same place, and when he is there, he will believe me."

    The work was written without any view to publication, -- if not as a relaxation from severer studies, possibly for the amusement of a friend. As a specimen of the wildly imaginative, it exceeds all the wonders of Thalaba -- only, it wants the beauty and magnificence of that Arabian fiction, as to subject, and its "Arabesque ornament" of meter; participating, if possible, more largely in the improbable; -- carrying, in fact, absurdity to its extreme verge, and showing whither fiction is likely to lead its admirers, when once the rein is thrown on the neck of imagination, and a conscientious regard for truth is sacrificed by the writer. It is to be viewed, in short, only in the light of a keen but merited satire on the novel and romance writers of the present day; while the reader is sufficiently guarded against the credibility of the tale, by the Doctor's own regard to truth, and his censure of those who trick out fiction for the purpose of polluting the imagination and corrupting the heart -- already sufficiently deceptive. Whatever might be his peculiar views on the subject of his juvenile library, he deeply lamented the pestiferous character of the romances and novels of the day. Dr. Clarke's laudable object in the work, was that of recording a condemnatory sentence against this species of writing, as food for the public; so that his object appears to have been less his own amusement or relaxation from severe thought, than the benefit of others, in this little satirical sally. He was indeed, not one of those men who required much of such employment; he had that within himself which rendered it unnecessary: "I am thankful to God," said he one day to the writer, "for a natural flow of spirits; and I rarely get to the end of them: had this not been the case, I should have been dead long ago; but the spirit helps the flesh and bears me up: and so long as we keep on the innocent side of that which God has given, all is well."

    In the onward course of conversation, reference was made to peculiarities connected with official situations, calculated to check a natural flow of animal spirits. Among these, the instance of a judge passing sentence upon a criminal the first time, was adduced, as likely to be exceedingly painful, even allowing for a previous course of discipline at the bar, during which several persons might have been executed on evidence he himself had elicited, and the arguments he had adduced. "I was personally acquainted with Sir H. W.," observed the Doctor; "he told me that such was the effect made upon him by pronouncing the extreme sentence of the law upon a man, when on the bench for the first time, that it nearly cost him his life; he subsequently received an appointment in India. In the course of his official duties, a Hindoo brought before him a complaint of improper treatment which he had experienced at the hand of a European, in consequence of some trifling disagreement respecting an article of workmanship done by the former for the latter, who commanded him to be beaten by his servant. Sir H. W. immediately issued a warrant for the apprehension of the offending European, and fined him a piece of gold for every stripe he had occasioned to be given. This instantly spread through India, and the Colonial government complained, stating that it was placing the natives on a level with Europeans, and that it would lead to the subversion of all authority. The consequence was, the recall of Sir H. W. He immediately memorialized the House of Commons on the occasion, which objected to the subject, -- telling Sir H. W. that he had his pension, and of course sustained no loss by the circumstance of being recalled. The reply furnished to this was, that he would sooner forfeit every sixpence, than not be heard, and that justice should not be done to the injured: remonstrance, however, then proved ineffectual."

    Law being still the theme, the Doctor added, that on Judge Bailey being asked which was the most likely way to obtain a suit, he replied, "You must have a good cause -- a good attorney -a good jury -- a good judge" -- subjoining significantly and emphatically, "and lastly, good luck."

    While Dr. Clarke delighted himself and others by notices of anything that would reflect honor on the character and proceedings of distinguished men, he never failed to give human nature its due, in opposition to those who are in the habit of proclaiming its dignity. "Were it not," said he, "for the restraining grace of God, man would go on destroying his fellow, till the last villain would be found standing alone on the earth, and the devil the only personage left to bury him." Some persons being represented as "new creatures in Christ Jesus," of whose tempers and conduct he did not exactly approve, -- "If these," said he, "are new creatures, what must they have been while they were old ones?" As few things escaped his observation on the subject of Methodism and its literature, the following remarks may here be introduced, as connected with the hymns generally sung in the body:

    Dr. Clarke. -- "Latterly, I have given out but few verses in connection with public worship. I am less in love with singing than formerly, in consequence of a growing passion among us for instrumental music."

    Mr. R. -- "The preachers must find it a great annoyance to be interrupted either in their devotions or studies, just before service, by having the hymn book presented to them by the leader of the singers, for the hymns intended to be sung."

    Dr. C. -- "I invariably refuse an indulgence of that kind, as I am not always fixed as to subject; but take care to give sufficient time for the selection of the page, hymn, and tune."

    Mr. S. -- "Singing constitutes an important part of devotion."

    Dr. C. -- "With many, it is a mere animal exercise, and not so much the medium of receiving good as of destroying evil. I shall never forget a remark of Mr. John Allen, toward the close of a warm debate in Conference: 'Let us sing a hymn,' said he, 'and get rid of this improper feeling.'"

    Dr. L. -- "Congregational singing appears to have been carried to high perfection in Mr. Wesley's day."

    Dr. C. -- "Mr. Wesley was extremely partial to vocal music, and loved to hear the men and women take their separate parts. The congregation being out once, he said, 'You sing that tune wrong.' Then giving the air of the tune with an inclination to the nasal, (which the Doctor imitated with good effect,) he said, 'You should sing it as brother Bradford and I do.' But his voice, whatever it might be in early life, was, as far as singing is concerned, anything, at that time, but sweet and harmonious." Mr. R. -- "Did not the circumstance of the males and females taking their separate parts, lead to repetition?"

    Dr. C. -- "Not in such tunes as are to be found in the 'Sacred Harmony,' or in tunes generally allowed by Mr. Wesley. 'There is as much piety,' said he once, 'in a six or eight lines repetition, as there is in a Lancashire hornpipe;' and he was perfectly correct: those pieces are next to profane, in which the name of God is so often repeated; they have an injurious effect on the moral feeling, and this leads me to dislike them." Turning to Mr. M., whose taste was somewhat vitiated in singing, and anxious to promote a cure, he proceeded -- under the persuasion that a little burlesque might be helpful, -- "In your famous tune, in which the word hallelujah is so often repeated, there is a snappishness in hallel, as though, while giving utterance to it, you would snap the nose from the face of an angel: it is so marred, both in the English and in other languages, that it would be difficult even for an angel to comprehend its meaning." [53]

    Mr. S. -- "Do you not think that instrumental music in a place of worship is helpful to singing, Dr. Clarke?"

    Dr. C. -- "No: and if God spare my life, I hope to deliver my sentiments to the Methodist body on the subject in such a way as God, in the order of his providence, shall register to the end of time."

    Mr. E. -- "For congregational worship, some of the old tunes can scarcely be surpassed."

    Dr. C. -- "Take 'Marianborne" -- the fullest, finest, most majestic tune we have: a tune like that is admirably adapted to the hymn beginning with -- 'Lo! God is here! let us adore.' The punctuation of the last line of the first verse of that hymn, by the way, is faulty: a comma should have followed 'reverence;' then -- which is the proper meaning, it would have been, we 'serve' him with 'awe,' we 'serve' him with 'reverence,' we 'serve' him with 'love,' instead of 'Serve him with awe, with reverence love.' There is an unfortunate collocation, also, in the fifth verse, where the 'sea,' rather than 'man,' falls 'prostrate.'"

    Mr. S. -- Giving the air of a tune, -- "That will go very well to the hymn on page 465, 'Come let us anew, Our journey pursue, With vigor arise.'"

    Dr. C. -- "Yes, you may lilt away with that, and keep pace with the motion of a vessel on the ocean, when the waves are beating time against her sides. I like none of those light airs in a place of worship."

    Mr. E. -- "There are some fine hymns included in those 'Describing judgment.'"

    Dr. C. -- "Take, among others, 'Stand th' omnipotent decree.' The closing line forms an admirable climax -- 'And both fly up to heaven.' But the tune which has just been sung to it, falls flat upon the ear: one should have been selected which would have risen with the words -- higher and higher -- just as 'the heavenly spirit towers,' and 'mounts above the wreck.' [54] There is another fine hymn in the anapæstic form -- 'Away with our sorrow and fear,' which is often sung to a tune selected for, 'All glory to God in the sky.' Though Mr. Wesley was averse to repetitions generally, he liked the repetition in that, because it furnished an occasion for the males and females taking their separate parts."

    The doctrine of Christian perfection was adverted to, which is forcibly advocated by Charles Wesley, in his hymns. The Doctor observed, that when his friend, Mr. Robert Roberts, between whom and himself there was the most cordial affection, was at Alnwick, he went to hear Mr. Marshall, a burgher minister, preach. Mr. M. perceiving him in the congregation, availed himself of the opportunity of going a little out of his way for the purpose of reaching him, by stating, in broad Scotch, 'There are some folk doon the street, wha bald the doactrine o' parefaction, -- they talk aboot it, -- but the back o' my han to them.' Mr. Roberts said, in relating the circumstance to me, 'I could have reasoned on the subject, and could have quoted scripture in defense of the doctrine; but what reply could be given to that? it was unanswerable!'"

    This brought into notice, Law, on "Christian Perfection," together with his other works, when the Doctor observed, "Law has very little of the atonement; his works are useful to persons already converted, and may guide them in their Christian course, but they are not at all calculated to bring sinners to God."

    Having, in the course of reading, dropped on the twenty-fifth chapter of Job, he coupled, in some remarks which he made, with the fifth verse -- "the stars are not pure in his sight," those other passages -- "his angels he charged with folly," and "the heavens are not clean in his sight;" and showed the absurdity of the inference drawn by Mr. Hervey from these texts against the doctrine of holiness: the first intimating, that whatever excellence there may be in them as stars, it sinks into insignificance in comparison with Him from whom they derive their existence and splendor; but by no means contradict the fact, that "a man can be justified with God," through the blood of Christ, and that "he can be clean who is born of a woman," through the sanctification of the Spirit.

    "The second passage," he observed, "is often perverted, by substituting the past for the present tense: it is not chargeth, but charged; he charged those with folly, who kept not their first estate. But we have no proof that he is charging others in the same way, who maintain their stedfastness: and still, there is not anything in this that operates against the doctrine of Christian holiness. As to the third, with its connection, 'he putteth no trust in his saints -- yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight,' -- God knows that there is not anything absolutely immutable but Himself, and that no intelligent being can subsist in a state of purity, unless continually dependent upon, and deriving constant supplies of grace, power, and light from Him who gave them their being. He alone is immutable; saints may fall -- angels may fall, -- all their goodness is derived and dependent; the heavens themselves have no purity compared with His. Here also, the doctrine of Christian perfection is untouched."

    He proceeded; "The book of Job is an extraordinary production: it comprises all the philosophy, all the natural history, all the astronomy, and all the theology of the East, known in that day, either in the way of statement, illustration, or allusion."

    Taking a beautiful little edition of Virgil from his pocket, he put it into the hands of Mr. T.

    S. Clarke, and requested him to read the POLLIO. During the course of the reading concerning the extraordinary personage then about to be born, who should introduce a golden age into the world, and restore all things, the Doctor interrupted him, every now and then, applying different passages to the birth of Christ -- the Gospel, -- its effects -- the Millennium, &c. The writer told him he might thank his own Christian light and training for the power to apply and interpret the passages as he did. [55] His remarks were learned, appropriate, ingenious, and sometimes playful. In this way, he occasionally employed the social hour, kindly instructing those who had less reading than himself.

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