In the spring of 1814, the Doctor, in consequence of several spasmodic attacks induced by intense labor, felt his health more seriously injured than usual, and was anxious to diminish, if possible, the amount of work which pressed upon him; but instead of that, he had forwarded to his residence several chests of manuscripts, by Miss Sharp, granddaughter of the primate of that name, and niece of the excellent Granville Sharp, comprising collections belonging to the Archbishop himself, to Bishop Chandler, and to Dr. Mangey, containing notes and criticisms on antiquities, languages, and the works of the Greek writers. Through these he waded with invincible patience and perseverance; and after arranging them, and setting aside collections for the British Museum, the libraries belonging to the dioceses of Durham, York, &c., he found himself amply repaid by meeting with some papers which threw considerable light on the "Wesley Family;" and of which he afterwards availed himself. The death of Dr. Coke, too, which gave an impetus to missionary enterprise and feeling, and became a powerful argument in favor of public meetings, necessarily brought with it an accession of toil.
At the Conference of this year, held in Bristol, he was elected President for the second time; its sittings were distinguished, in addition to ordinary business, by a vote of thanks to "the Preachers of the Leeds, Halifax, York, Sheffield, Cornwall, and Newcastle Districts, who had been concerned in the formation of Methodist Missionary Societies," -- together "with the members and friends of the said Societies;" -- a recommendation of "the plan of Classical Education, originally drawn up by Mr. Wesley, for the use of Kingswood School," and to be forthwith "revived and adopted;" -- and an "Address to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent," expressive of loyal affection to the person, family, and government of the Sovereign, gratitude for religious privileges, and for "the restoration of peace to the nations of Europe," closing with an "entreaty that his Royal Highness would be pleased to use his utmost endeavors to prevent the threatened revival of the African Slave Trade," as well as " secure the immediate and universal abolition of that most inhuman and unChristian traffic."
On the subject of the proposed address to the Prince Regent, Dr. Clarke's opinion was at variance with that of the Conference; he had given it his best consideration, and the result was, that he deemed it would not be proper.
1st. Because the Methodists had not been reduced to the necessity of carrying their complaints to the throne; consequently the Prince had not been petitioned in reference to any measures of relief.
2nd. As the Prince took no part at all in the business, (nor was it necessary he should do so,) and gave the royal assent to the bill in question, just as he did to others, (for there was no marked peculiarity in his assenting in the present one,) it did not appear to him that an address of thanks was at all called for; and as the Doctor was ever most sensitive upon the point of the Methodists putting themselves prominently forward, and courting the attention of government, or inviting the eye of the country, so he felt, that silence on the occasion was the most proper course: he was of opinion, also, that the act was not so much an indulgence, as a fair and honest desert; for, in conversing with a friend, he observed, "we have been, are now, and I trust shall be, for ever liege subjects, conscientiously attached to our king and country, and consequently having a right to claim the protection of the laws; a protection which, in many cases, has been shamelessly withheld from us, not only by government, but by the sub-executors of the law;" and with this view of the subject before him, be felt that the Methodists had no more than their right; indeed, that in strict justice, there were arrears not yet paid off.
On another point, also, he felt delicately; and with fine tact, his mind distinguished between the pure Christian simplicity of acknowledging God, as the Giver of all good, and of bringing human instrumentality too prominently on the foreground. He was thrillingly sensitive, also, in reference to the person to whom the proposed address was to be presented. "Had our beloved sovereign the reins of government in his own hand," he observed to the above-mentioned friend, "I should feel very differently; I might then wish to seize the present as an opportunity of telling him, how much we revered and loved him, and how amply he had redeemed the pledge he gave to his people on his accession to the throne; and how, in consequence, he had conciliated the affections of all his subjects; and how he had recommended and illustrated, by his own example, the whole code of political, moral, and domestic duties;" but the person in this case, he felt, rendered the address from Conference, as the Wesleyan organ, improper; and the majority of our readers will, no doubt, be of the Doctor's opinion.
In connection with this Conference a subject may be referred to, which, though in the estimation of some it may appear of trivial importance, proves the Doctor's abiding hostility to what he deemed pernicious; and which, while it shows his inflexible adherence to rule, contains a fine moral: it is alluded to the more readily, as the person who underwent the examination in reference to it, has ceased to live among men.
The candidates for free admission into the ministry, among the Wesleyans, are ranged before the President, and examined on various points of doctrine and discipline. Among other matters it is required of them that they should not indulge in the use of tobacco, in any form whatever. Among the young men now claiming for admission, was one whom the Doctor knew to be an immoderate smoker, and whom, as he entertained a high opinion of him, he was resolved, if possible, to rescue from the pernicious and objectionable habit. The question was proposed--
Dr. Clarke. "Do you use tobacco in any form, brother?"
Candidate. "A little, Sir."
Dr. C. "You must give it up."
Cand. "I use it for the sake of health, Sir."
Dr. C. "Our rule is against it, and I cannot admit you, unless you will give it up."
Cand. "Well, Sir, I will try to give it up."
Dr. C. "An attempt will do nothing, unless persevered in."
Cand. "I think it hard, Sir, where health requires it."
Dr. C. "Our rule knows no exceptions; and I would not, in the situation in which I am placed, admit my own father -- no not an angel from heaven, without the pledge of total abandonment. You can take time to consider it; do nothing rashly; if, after you have thought upon it a day or two, or another year, you think you can conscientiously give the pledge, you can then be received."
Here the candidate began to consider it a serious affair, as he was not prepared to resign his place in the body, or to be put back on trial. Cand. "Well, Sir, I feel inclined to relinquish it."
Dr. C. "Do you solemnly promise it?"
Cand. "I do, Sir."
Dr. C. "Express yourself clearly, brother. -- Am I to understand that you will bind yourself to give it up now -- only for a short period, and be at liberty to resume it? There is no mental reservation, is there?"
Cand. "I cannot say, Sir, what circumstances of health, &c., might occur to call for it; but I intend it at present."
Dr. C. "On these terms, I will not receive you. If you can make the experiment for twelve months; and then, if you think you can subscribe to the requirement, you can come forward for full admission into the work."
Cand. Pausing -- somewhat chagrined -- and perceiving the case to deepen in serious effect, -- "Well, then, Sir, I solemnly promise to give it up."
Dr. C. "Forever?"
Cand. "Yes, by the help of God, not to resume it." 
Adverting to the subject some time after this, the Doctor remarked, "How brother _____ could relapse immediately into the habit of smoking, is a subject I do not like to dwell upon. I examined him conscientiously, as in the presence of God, and would not pass him without a solemn promise, which he gave, -- I fully believe, in the fear of God; and yet, he is again a slave to it, -- can sit up till 12 o'clock at night, or later, with Mr. _____, of _____, and next day regret that time was so short, and wish for another night's enjoyment of his 'rich conversation.'" A friend remarked, -- "For a man to make the solemn pledge he did, and deliberately to break it, was to lie before God." "Why no," returned the Doctor, "perhaps not. Some of the candidates who have given the most solemn promise to relinquish smoking, have afterwards experienced inconvenience, and unpleasant sensations arising from the absence of the accustomed stimulus, &c.; have worked themselves into a persuasion that the thing was necessary to health, and assisted their studies; and that though man had wished them to give it up, yet GOD did not require it -- that they had even done wrong in making the promise, by removing from themselves a provision in nature which God had supplied for their benefit, -- and that they were absolutely injuring themselves by yielding to the restriction. All this, I say, is possible, and I thus endeavor to go with them: but what I object to is this -- the Conference refusing to admit a man, (referring to another case,) because he cannot conscientiously subscribe to the notions of a few individuals on a point of theology, which a Christian man may either believe, or not, without injury to his faith, piety, or usefulness, and which was never till now urged as a test of candidateship for the ministry; and yet will compel persons to subscribe to a rule on smoking and snuffing, and allow them to violate it without rebuke or monition. When latitude is given, in cases which seem to involve principle and conscience, and the most stringent impositions are observed in others which seem to involve neither, we may then take up the language of an old Scotch minister and exclaim, -- "I hae seen an end o' all perfakshun." The Doctor loved consistency.
The questions proposed in the foregoing examination, are still submitted to candidates for the ministry among the Wesleyan body. It is not the writer's purpose to enter into the merits of the case here, as bearing upon the physical and mental health of the individual; but few persons would entertain a doubt as to the expediency of an attempt, on the part of the Conference, to abolish the practice of smoking in the case of those who are to hold the office, and sustain the responsibilities of ministers in the church; the habit, generally speaking, is a mere indulgence, and the inconvenience resulting from its abandonment would consist more in the difficulty of self-denial, than in any injury to the health or spirits; the arguments used against it, if they have any force at all, apply with peculiar emphasis to Christian ministers: time with them is precious; and although mid-night lucubrations are not to be commended, even on the plea of redeeming time, yet to devote the hours of evening to the pipe, and to be shrouded and obfuscated in fumes of tobacco, while the books lie dimly seen in the dreaminess of the sublimed, or nearly unconscious, student, is indeed an evil, least to be tolerated in expounders of the oracles of God! But while the duty of those who have the solemn and important responsibility of laying down requirements for admission to the Christian ministry, is on this point clearly ascertained, it would surely be well, precisely to define the nature of the pledge to be taken, and to be especially careful that those who have the authority to propose it, give no opportunity, in their own conduct, for supposing that the test is merely formal; and that while it bears upon the practice of the individual under examination, has no particular reference to his duty after examination; many a good rule has fallen into desuetude through this very cause; for, if the legislator be not scrupulous as to the practice of his own laws, neither can he, with any show of justice complain, if they meet little respect from those for whose behoof they were framed. If Conference be itself enveloped in the perfumes of the narcotic weed, how can it expect to irradiate the minds of candidates on the necessity of abstinence from the indulgence of the pipe; and if, as it now and then befalls a reverend questioner on the subject of snuff-taking, he apply the pulverized weed to his nose, while he proposes the test from his lips, how can it be expected that the answer will contain no mental reservation, regarding in its issues the practice of the unconscious examiner? Consistency on this point is a great desideratum in the body of Wesleyan ministers; and should any feel inclined to blame the conduct of the young candidate, above referred to, who violated the promise made, touching his determination to relinquish smoking, let him call to mind the searching rebuke of our Lord, to the accusers of the erring woman in the gospel:-- "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."*
[*From the preceding, it sounds like there were still some smokers and snuffers among the Methodist ministers in England at the time Everett wrote this biography -- some who were using tobacco even while examining ministerial candidates about whether they (the candidates) were using tobacco. -- DVM]
Toward the close of the year, the first public Missionary Meeting was held among the Wesleyans in the metropolis, in accordance with similar ones which had been convened at Leeds, York, Hull, Halifax, Sheffield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, &c., in order to raise supplies for the support of the Missionary cause. On 'this occasion Doctor Clarke took the chair, and delivered an appropriate address, which, at the request of the meeting, was published in a separate form; and afterwards in his "Miscellaneous Works," vol. xiii. p. 19-39. The article is entitled, "A Short Account of the Introduction of the Gospel into the British Isles; and the obligations of Britons to make known its salvation to every region of the earth; in an address delivered in the Chapel, City-Road, London, on Thursday evening, December 1, 1814, at the formation of a Missionary Society, among the people called Methodists, in that City:" with this motto, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," Dan. xii. 4. The whole shows extensive reading. and a thorough knowledge of the subject proposed.  About the same time he finished a paper on "The Spread of Biblical Knowledge," and sent it to the "Editor of the Methodist Magazine," published also in the same volume of his "Miscellaneous Works," and which pairs admirably with the "Address." It opens with, "The British and Foreign Bible Society have realized, in reference to the habitable globe, in a moral sense, what Archimedes vainly wished in a physical sense: 'Give me a place to stand on,' he said, 'and I shall move the world.' Following the mechanical ideas of this great mathematician, I am authorized to state, that the providence of God has become a station, on which the vast lever of the British and Foreign Bible Society has been erected, and worked by a few individuals. They have been enabled, by the good hand of God upon them, to move the whole habitable globe. We, who live in this favored day, have seen this institution, as the angel in the apocalypse, 'flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell upon the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.' Our forefathers longed to see this day; they did anticipate the glorious era, for God, himself had foretold it; and their hearts rejoiced in the lapse of ages that were bringing forward those auspicious times, and the talia sęcla currite.! 'Roll onward, ye glorious times!' was modified into ten thousand prayers. It is enough; God has given the commandment; and the nations of the earth have opened their hearts to receive the word of life." Another article followed, with an amount of condensed information, rarely to be met with in the same compass, entitled, "The Necessity and Existence of Missions, proved from Prophecy, Precept, and Testimony; together with an Historical Account of the earliest and Chief Missions employed by God and Man to establish them:"  published also, in the volume with the above. He never lost the feeling of early days, when he preached from house to house, with the Hymn-Book as the ground-work of his evangelical lispings, as though, at that time, the Bible was too profound a text-book for one so young: his whole soul was imbued with the missionary spirit, and steeped in the sublimities of heaven -- ever panting after the salvation of the world!
Wherever help was needed, and he had the power and opportunity to impart it, Doctor Clarke waited not for an invitation; but modestly and prudently stepped forward, -- the same in reference to the individual, as to the mass. Hearing one day of the illness of an aged disciple of Christ, and other duties preventing the possibility of a visit, he immediately addressed a sympathizing note to him: "It was not with a small degree of concern 'that I heard this morning, by Mr. Myles, that, you were very 'ill, and not likely to recover. I should have been glad to have seen you, but fearing that you might be called to glory, before I could reach your house, I choose, by this paper, to talk a little with you, to tell you that I love you; and' to tell you, what I trust you gloriously feel, that God loves you. He has long continued you an useful member of his church; and has put honor upon you by employing you in his work. If he be now determined to remove you from your labor, it must be to your eternal rest. I do not wish you to look at any thing you have done or suffered for God, as any recommendation to his favor: much less, as the price of his glory: you have been better taught. You know that you have redemption only through his blood; and that whatever you have done and suffered in his cause, it has only been through his own grace strengthening you: for without him you could do nothing. But as being a child of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, you have a right to look for an inheritance among the saints in light: for if sons, then heirs. Claim every promise of God as your own; fear not your adversary; Jesus will bruise him under your feet; he knows that you are feeble, but he has not brought the poor Israelite so far through the wilderness, to leave him now to perish in the desert."
Heavily taxed as was his time in the metropolis, and little as he had to spare for occasional sermons, yet such was the importunity of the people in different parts of the connection, that he was obliged to yield himself up to their entreaties, and take upon himself the extra labor of opening chapels, &c. One occasion, about this time, is still vivid in the writer's recollection -- the opening of Holbeck Chapel, Leeds. The Doctor's text was, 2 Peter, i. 4., &c. Several ministers of different denominations were present; among whom, as men of distinguished eminence, may be noticed the Revs. James Parsons, of York, and W. (now Doctor) Hamilton, of Leeds. Adverting to the term "lust," Doctor Clarke remarked, that at the time of the translation of the regularly authorized version of the Scriptures, it was employed in a less offensive sense than at present -- simply signifying desire, and supported the rendering by a quotation from Spencer's "Shepherd's Calendar," for July, in the Eclogue of Thomalin and Morrel
"If thee lust to holden chat With seely shepherd's swain, Come down, and hear the little what-That Thomalin would sain." 
In the course of his sermon, he took an opportunity of delivering a somewhat severe phillipic against the heartless, insubstantial, tinseled, flimsy discourses, prevalent in some quarters; and which were ill-calculated either to instruct or impress the hearts of an auditory, -designating the method described as a kind of "namby pamby mode of preaching." While at dinner, at Mr. Ripley's, the celebrated William Dawson, being one of the party, said, in his usual pleasant way, directing his conversation to the Doctor, "There was one form of expression in your sermon, Doctor Clarke, which I should like to hear more fully explained, -- it was 'namby pamby:' what are we to understand by 'namby pamby preaching?'" The Doctor, who was seated before some whipped cream, which rose in a pyramidal form, crowned with comfits of different colors, took up a knife, and dexterously sweeping it through the middle, without in the least disfiguring the article, said, cm laying down the knife, -- "That is what I mean by namby pamby preaching: it makes no impression:" subjoining with pleasantry, "Do not be alarmed; it is perfectly classical, -- it is a term employed by Dean Swift! The preaching to which I referred, bears the same relation to that which I should like to see every where established, as the whipped cream bears to the roast beef at the head of table." The Doctor knew to whom he was addressing himself; and this was just adapted to the taste and genius of Dawson.
It was near the same time, too, that he opened the Wesleyan Chapel at Bingley; on which occasion he was generously and respectfully entertained at the residence of General Sir John Byng.
The case was rare, in these excursions, in which he would allow any one, above the capacity of a servant, to act the part of a porter by carrying his luggage, when he could conveniently take it himself. Mr. Pilter, on one occasion, requested to be allowed to carry a bag for him; no, returned the Doctor, "Let every horse carry its own harness."
He met, in his travels, with Henry Taylor, of North Shields, formerly a local-preacher in the Wesleyan Connection; but then one of the Society of Friends, and a person of great respectability. They were both in the coach, but not personally known to each other. Conversation was free and varied, though chiefly religious. Turning upon Methodism, Mr. Taylor observed, "of all the preachers, in John Wesley's society, I would like to see and converse with Adam Clarke." The Doctor, afraid lest the good man should in some way commit himself, and so occasion unpleasant feeling, immediately observed, "You need not go far to see him, as you have the man before you." Seldom as it is that the friends betray any thing like emotion, Mr. Taylor evinced no ordinary feeling of pleasure; and something of the spirit of brotherhood was felt and cherished on both sides.
The unexampled success which attended the appeals made by Doctor Clarke, to the benevolence of the public, occasioned, of course, frequent solicitations for such valuable services: but the largest benevolence may sometimes be overtaxed; and he became at length completely uneasy of a description of service to which, at the best, he had always felt a strong aversion; and which nothing but a still stronger sense of duty could have induced him to perform. Conversing with a friend on the subject, he said, -- "I am never backward to take my due proportion of labor in any charitable collection among us; but I do not like to be the pack-horse of every charity. Last Sabbath they saddled me with a charity sermon, at City-Road, for a work for which I had preached a little before at Spitalfields; tomorrow I must go out of my place to preach for the Sunday Schools at Southwark: wherever I go they are sure to have a collection; so that my friends, or the strangers who .come to hear me, are constantly taken in; this has now become nearly intolerable. I have been persuaded for the last twenty years, that none of our charities should be in debt: God calls us to expend no more in this way than his providence puts into our hands. What do we think of an individual who runs into debt, in order to give to the poor? Why, that he is either a bad man, or a mad man. We should have done with this work; it can be no more innocent in a society, than in an individual."
In some cases he was not a little annoyed with the Selections of Hymns, for Sunday School Anniversaries. When requested to preach on one of these occasions in Lancashire, he had the pieces put into his hand, which 'were to be sung; one of which contained a versification /of the 99th verse of the cxix Psalm -- "I have more understanding than all my teachers; which was headed with, "To be sung by the children." I-Ic very properly reprehended the teachers for putting such language into the mouths of the children, and would not allow it to be sung; stating, that however suitable the words might be for David, they were unfit for them; and that what was fit for wisdom, age, and experience, was often out of place with childhood. There were certain prejudices and prepossessions, too, which he could not 'surmount. He refused pressing and repeated invitations to preach in another town in Lancashire, assigning as a reason, the circumstance of the Wesleyans having sold an old chapel for a theater, which was to be replaced by a new one. Without entering into the merits of the case, the bare act itself is rather revolting to the Puritanic character of Wesleyanism. Of all the sermons preached in the Wesleyan body, of an occasional character, trial sermons, so called, were the most repulsive to his feelings. A young man, who had belonged to another religious community, having been appointed to preach one of these sermons before a District Committee, the Doctor observed to one of the 'Irish brethren, "You are too much like Noah's ark, in this instance; taking in both clean and unclean: I would not have admitted one of these runners, either on this, or the other side of the water. As for trial sermons, I hate them; they are no proper criterion by which to judge of a man's fitness or unfitness for the work. Mr. Wesley never observed any thing of the kind, except occasionally, when a man was accidentally, or otherwise, thrown near London, when he himself was there. He simply questioned those who knew him, and in whose judgment he could confide, respecting the man's piety, talents, and usefulness; and if satisfied, sent him to a circuit. There was one man, who thought he had a call to preach, and whom Mr. Wesley heard: on the latter leaving the chapel, he was asked by Mr. Pawson what he thought of him as a preacher, when he briefly replied, 'He aims at nothing.' Had Mr. Wesley seen any object that the man had out of him on the people, and any thing in him, however awkwardly delivered, but which, in the course of time, was likely to be useful, he would have borne with him, and engaged him in the work of the ministry. Doctor Coke, in his zeal, was too lax in taking young men out into the missionary field; and when objections were made to the objects of his choice, he would have literally shouted out in the Conference, and charged the brethren with suppressing the spirit of prophecy, when some of them, in fact, had not a prophecy for the people." A young person present, with some flippancy, accompanied by a touch of contempt, and an air of superiority, inquired of the Doctor to what batch the preacher belonged who was appointed to preach before the district committee; when, to check such pertness, he asked in return, "Do you know what a 'batch' is?" On perceiving some-tiling like hesitancy, he proceeded; "I will tell you: it is a patch of cloth sewed upon another piece -- and denotes 'to mend." The last word was delivered, with its appropriate and emphatic meaning. The Rev. D. McNicoll, who had been at the place a. little before, was eulogized as a preacher. "When David came first to me," said the Doctor, "he committed all his sermons to memory, and read them out of his heart to the people; but I told him he must be broken of that: and on giving up his memoriter sermons, he became a much better, and more effective preacher."
On the subject of memory, He remarked: "The more I consider the faculty, the more I am inclined to fall in with the system of father Maibranche; -- that in early life, an idea passes over the mind, and leaves its trace upon the brain; just like a snail, (by way of illustration,) passing over the ground, and leaving its trace -- line after line, filling as they proceed, and becoming smaller, shorter, and fainter as age advances. I have a distinct recollection of what I was taught and conversant with in youth; but for some years back, though things have been accumulating, their impression is less strong and distinct. We must look to our schools," continued he, "for churches; good impressions received there seldom fail; for if the subjects of them go out of the way, they will continue to follow them -- even to the gallows." A steady friend of Sunday Schools being present -- having waited upon the Doctor to request his aid, by preaching and making a collection, availed himself of the last sentence to hitch in a remark in favor of his plea for help, by relating the case of a young lad, who, about that time, had been accessory to the murder of an excellent man, a teacher in a Sunday School, whom the biographer had as a hearer a short time before the fatal catastrophe took place. The boy had also been a scholar in one of the schools with which the gentleman himself was connected; closing his narrative with a confirmation of the Doctor's remark on the permanency of early impressions, by stating the fact, that he had visited the youth in the condemned cell, when I s early instructions came to his aid -- he became deeply penitent -- and furnished ground of hope that he had obtained mercy before he reached the place of execution. Some uneasiness having been manifested in the school in question, and the gentleman being about to enter upon the subject, with a view to show the real state of the case, the Doctor observed, "Do not let me hear of anything bad, or I shall be unable to preach: I never like to enter into long details about schools; few preachers are able to manage them, and, I believe, I am one of these; they only set the people reasoning, when they ought to be set a giving; for the latter, a single sentence is all that is necessary, comprised in about half-a-dozen lines. The men and women who teach in these schools, give, in the sacrifices they make, much more than others do by their pounds; for neither themselves nor the children can come at their full quota of instruction, under God, as they are not, in common with others, under the gospel." Then, in reference to the state of the funds, to which allusion had been made, he proceeded, in a strain similar to that which distinguished his address to his friend, "It is not right to go, (in expenditure,) beyond the income of any school, in hope, that, through some incidental fit of charity, people may be induced to give. We ought to trust to no one in this way; there is a common fund of benevolence, on which we may draw, and we should never go beyond reasonable expectation. To run into debt, in the expectation of some remarkable impulse, is a piece of impudence and presumption: it is in effect putting God's providence into debt, and we have no right to do this: God never does a work in any church, without providing the means of support; and let us not go beyond."
Though a little shy of public exhibitions, without which some men find it difficult to live, yet he would have courted a little ordinary work, rather than indulge the greater pain of idleness. Spending a few days with a friend, at a distance, he observed, " I have no notion of eating the bread of idleness here, for a week together; I should like to do something for it in the neighborhood:" adding, "if the preachers were to ask me, I think I should have no objection to preach." To this it was responded, "publicity should be given to it." "No," replied the Doctor; "I will have no publicity given to it; I only wish to have the man's congregation whose place it is to occupy the pulpit; and then (turning to Mr. P., who had just entered the room) I shall see how you are liked at home."
Dr. Clarke was appointed to preach in City-Road Chapel, Sunday, January 22nd, 1815; and took for his subject, "The Christian Race." This, though exceedingly appropriate, was not selected for the occasion; but, as usual, came in the regular course of reading. The text was Cor. ix. 24-27; and after elucidating and enforcing the most prominent expressions employed by the apostle, and the customs to which allusion was made, he closed with one observation upon the whole, on the necessity of earnestness in religion. " Exercise," said he, "seems to be so necessary to the life of man, that he cannot exist comfortably without it. In coming along the streets this morning, and seeing the people running, I said, here is an useful lesson: if they do not run they must freeze; and we also shall freeze, brethren, if we do not continue to exercise ourselves in faith and prayer. I cannot conceive how a man can preserve the consolations of God's Spirit, unless he be active. If we do not run, we freeze. When I see you careless, and not putting forth the strength God has given, I inquire, Are you warm? are you healthy? have you a vigorous appetite? And so it is in religion: do you enjoy the salvation of God? if not, it is because you are careless: you are not running to keep yourselves warm. Jesus went about doing good, and the Spirit of Jesus lives in those who go about doing good. I would give very little for that religion, which does not lead men to labor, in order to bring glory to God, and good to their fellow-creatures. If we look to the conclusion, we shall see the necessity of exercising ourselves in this way: 'Lest,' says the apostle, 'I should be a cast-away.'"
It was somewhere about this time, that he became acquainted with Mr. Boyd, an excellent Greek scholar; and translator of "Select Passages of St. Chrysostom, St. Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Bazil," -- "Select Poems of Synesius and Gregory Nazianzen," -- "The Agamemnon of Ęschylus," &c. With this gentleman the Doctor had some correspondence on the Greek Article: the views of the former may be seen in an Essay, with its Postscript, at the close of the Doctor's Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and to Titus. The divine, as well as the scholar, was taxed in the Doctor, and he wrote to Mr. Boyd, after this, by way of settling a disputed point, on the Infinite Merit of Christ's Sacrifice.
The following letter from Doctor Clarke, to his confidential friend and relative, Mr. Butterworth, will exhibit an important and interesting scene, as well as place Mr. Boyd in an advantageous point of view before the eye of at least the Wesleyan Reader.
My very dear brother, -- Yesterday was an ordeal to me without the slightest previous notice or intimation. When we began our District Meeting, I found myself called upon to answer certain inquiries respecting my soundness in the faith. Mr. , rose and stated the most serious objections to my Commentary on the epistle to 'the Romans; and especially to the extract magic from Doctor Taylor: he spake for about half-an-hour, and was followed, on the same line, by nine others: they all treated me, of course, with respect but augured the most awful consequences from the work, entreated me to "call it in," to "abolish it from the copies still unsold, and to write another preface." I said little, save that I was fully satisfied that none of the objections they stated lay fairly against the extracts made, however they might lie against Doctor Taylor's scheme in general; that I was perfectly willing to give any reasonable explanation, but, that they must have very shallow minds, who, after having read in different parts, 'the strong and new explanations and demonstrations, which I had given of the doctrines of Christianity, could accuse me of heterodoxy. They unanimously agreed that I was sound in faith, in every respect; but that Key! that Key!! Upon the whole, I perceived, that had the same things been written by myself, they would have been all sound and fair; but the name of Doctor Taylor, against whom Mr. W -- , wrote, has blasted all. I know that this work has done much good: nor did I hear it could ever be suspected of harm until yesterday morning. Mr. Boyd, a thorough scholar, especially as a Grecian, and a rigid disciple of Calvin, has been converted by reading this very reprehensible thing; I scarcely recollect a recent event which has afforded me more satisfaction, than his communication of this fact to me. . At different times Mr. Creighton has written to me on the subject of my comment on this epistle, and once said, -- "The extract made from Doctor Taylor, and the manner in which you have executed your task, in reference to this epistle, excels all you have ever done in your life." What am I to do? You may guess I am not a little pained. 
He found it necessary to be more' explicit in his views on the subject, and to defend himself against the prejudices of some of his brethren. "In my notes on the Epistle to the Romans," he remarked, "I have entered at large into a discussion on the subjects to which I have referred in the Epistle to the Galatians; and to set the subject in a clear point of view, I have made a copious extract from Doctor Taylor's Key to that epistle; and I have stated, that a consistent exposition of that epistle cannot be given but upon that plan. -- I am still of the same opinion; it is by attending to the distinctions stated, which are most obvious to all unprejudiced persons, that we plainly see that the doctrines of eternal, unconditional, reprobation and election, and the impossibility of falling finally from the grace of God, have no foundation in the epistle to the Romans. Doctor Taylor has shown that the phrases and expressions, on which these doctrines are founded, refer to national privileges, and those exclusive advantages which the Jews, as God's peculiar people, enjoyed, during the time in which that peculiarity was designed to last; and that it is doing violence to the sense, in which those expressions are generally used, to apply them to the support of such doctrines. In reference to this, I have quoted Doctor Taylor; and those illustrations of his which I have adopted, I have adopted on this ground; taking care never to pledge myself to any of his peculiar or heterodox opinions: and where I thought an expression might be misunderstood, I took care to guard it by a note or observation. -- Now, I say, that it is in this sense I understand the quotations I have made; and in this sense alone these quotations ought to be understood; and my whole work sufficiently shows that Doctor Taylor's peculiar theological system makes no part of mine; that, on the doctrine of the fall of man, or original sin, the doctrine of the eternal deity of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of justification by faith in the atoning blood, and the doctrine of the inspiration and regenerating influence of the Holy Ghost, we stand on two points of a vast circle, in diametrical opposition to each other. Yet this most distinguishing difference cannot blind me against the excellences I find in the above work; nor can I meanly borrow from this or any other author, without acknowledging my obligation; nor could I suppress a name, (however obnoxious that might be, as associated with any heterodox system,) when I could mention it with deference and respect. Let this be my apology for quoting Doctor Taylor; and for the frequent use I have made of his industry and learning in my exposition of the Epistle to the Romans. If I have quoted, to illustrate the Sacred Writings, passages almost innumerable from Greek and Roman heathens, from Jewish Talmudists and Rabbinical expositors, from the Koran, from Mohammedan writers, both Arabic and Persian, and from Brahminical Polytheists, and these illustrations have been well received by the Christian public, surely I may have liberty to use, in the same way, the works of a very learned man, and a most conscientious believer in the books of divine revelation, however erroneous he may appear to be in certain doctrines which I myself deem of vital importance to the creed of an experimental Christian. Let it not be said, that, by thus largely quoting from his work, I tacitly recommend an Arian creed, or any part of that system of theology peculiar to him and his party; I no more do so, than the Indian matron, who, while she gives the nourishing rind of the cassava to her household, recommends them to drink the poisonous juice which she has previously expressed from it. After this declaration, it will be as disingenuous as unChristian for either friends or foes to attribute to me opinions which I never held; or an indifference to those doctrines, which (I speak as a fool) stand in no work of the kind, in any language, so fully explained, fortified, and demonstrated, as they do in that before the reader. On such a mode of judgment and condemnation as that to which some resort, on matters of this kind, I might long ago have been reputed a Pagan, or a Mohammedan, because I have quoted heathen writers and the Koran. Paul might have been convicted of having abandoned his Jewish creed, or Christian faith, because he had quoted the heathen poets Aratus and Cleanthes. The man is entitled to my pity who refuses to take advantage of useful discoveries in the philosophical researches of Doctor Priestly, because Doctor Priestly, as a theologian, was not sound in the faith. I have made that use of Doctor Taylor which I have done of others; and have reason to thank God that his Key, passing through several wards of a lock which appeared to me inextricable, has enabled me to bring forth and exhibit, in a fair and luminous point of view, objects and meanings, in the epistle to the Romans, which, without that assistance, I had perhaps. been unable to discover. Thus I have done with Doctor Taylor's works; and thus I desire every intelligent reader to do with my own. When I was a child, I had for a lesson, the following words, -- Despise not advice even of the meanest; the cackling of geese once saved the Roman state; and since I became a man, I have learned wisdom from that saying, -Blessed are ye who sow beside ALL WATERS; that send forth thither the feet of the Ox and the Ass."
The person who led the way in this opposition, and spoke for "half-an-hour," had a hard struggle to pass through the strait gate of admission into the Itinerant Ministry, before the District Committee, in consequence of some heterodox notions which he entertained on the subject of BAPTISM: but the crooked are generally anxious to appear straight. He had traveled at this. time only about sixteen years; but he was desirous of appearing wise and orthodox -- sought every fitting occasion to push himself forward, -- and demurely fixed his eye on the top of the tree.
Doctor Clarke, finding his health gradually undermined, by his sedulous attention to his Commentary, his duties as a preacher, and the part which he took in the management of various associations for literary, scientific, benevolent, and religious purposes, contemplated a change of residence, observing to Mrs. Clarke, "I must hide my head in the country, or it will shortly be hidden in the grave." Several of his friends, who had watched with solicitude his state of health, strongly seconded his views, and urged him to relinquish the greater part of his public pursuits; while public institutions, and especially the "British and Foreign Bible Society," entreated his continuance in the metropolis; the committee of the latter, on the first intimation, directing the Rev. John Owen, one of the secretaries, to state, that there was "a department in the business of the Society, which no one but the Doctor was competent to direct;" that, "in that department the committee could work with him, or rather under him, but could do nothing without him;" particularizing the Arabic, the Ethiopic, the Abyssinian, and the Syriac versions, in all which languages they stood pledged to the world for something which had not then been executed. The Doctor, in his answer to the members of the committee, stated, that they had sailed round the world, and knew well how to work their vessel in every sea; that even their enemies had been serviceable, by lighting up beacons in every place of danger, through which means they had been preserved from rocks, shoals, and quicksands; and that in this, the wrath of man had been compelled to praise God.
In the course of this summer, he made a tour, -- not of pleasure, but of labor, -- through Bristol, Cornwall, Exeter, Birmingham, Liverpool, and some other places, chiefly to promote the cause of Missions; a work in which he had taken a share also in the spring: having presided at the formation of Missionary Societies in Manchester, Spitalfields, &c. While at Birmingham, be preached, on Sunday, July 26, a sermon preparatory to the public meeting, which was to be convened for the purpose of forming a Missionary Society; the text was Isa. ix. 7; in discussing which, he showed, with singular propriety, and evident effect on all present, the constant and certain increase of the kingdom of God on earth. Having reviewed former dispensations, and reminded the congregation, that the inhabitants of every succeeding age had enjoyed privileges superior to their immediate predecessors, he exhibited to their hopes and wishes, bright and animating prospects of future improvement. On the Monday forenoon, he preached in Cherry-Street Chapel, on Cobs. i. 27, 28. Here he gave a perspicuous and affecting statement of the leading doctrines of Christianity; which he proved by a process of reasoning at once powerful and convincing. The public meeting, as a testimony of the high approbation, it entertained of this sermon, and of love to the truth, unanimously requested the Doctor to allow it to be printed. In the course of the public meeting, at which the Doctor presided, after one of the speakers had adverted to the Wesleyan Mission at Sierra-Leone, he excited considerable interest, by giving an account of a poor Negro boy, who was brought from thence by one of the Missionaries; and whom he (the Doctor) had received into his own house. His daughters, he observed, had taught him to read and write; and he had at length succeeded in apprenticing him to a citizen of London: concluding with, "if he faithfully serve his time, we shall have the novel sight of one, who was once a poor slave, becoming free of one of the first cities in the world."
It was not possible for the Doctor to visit Birmingham without recollecting early days, when, on his way to Kingswood School, in 1782, he was kindly entertained by Joseph, brother to Mr. John Brettell: the good man was now reduced in circumstances; the change touched the Doctor tenderly, who sat and conversed with him -- administering the consolations of religion. His sympathies were easily awakened: as he was returning he saw a little dirty child weeping by the side of a puddle; when, with a parent's feeling, he took it up, saying, as he carried it across, what, to it, seemed an impassable gulf, "I will help thee, my poor child!" Infancy and age, with all the stages between, found help from him, when help was required.
At Plymouth Dock, as at Birmingham, grateful recollections were awakened. He preached on, "What must I do to be saved?" Acts xv. 30, and was two hours in delivering the discourse. Most of the ministers in the town were present on the occasion, and followed him into the house of the resident preacher; not only to pay their respects to him, but to request the publication of the sermon: one, -- a rigid Calvinist, stating that he would take two hundred copies for his congregation; -- the pastor of a Baptist congregation, offering to take two hundred and fifty copies for his; -- a third, two hundred copies; -- and a fourth, five hundred: but he informed them, that he neither had outline nor notes written upon it, and that such were his engagements he had no time to spare for the work.  With this journey, and its attendant toil, he was much exhausted; having "traveled," in his own language, "both day and night."
He reached London in the former part of June, and contemplated his removal, necessary as it was, with no small degree of solicitude. He observed to his friend, Mr. Boyd, in a letter, that he should leave London with regret; and could not think of forming new friendships.- His old friend, Wm. Marriott, Esq., was at this time declining in health; and entered the world of spirits on the 15th of the month following. Being requested by the family to preach a sermon on occasion of his death, he remarked, "You must not expect from me any thing in the form of a Funeral Sermon; I shall never preach one while my name is Adam; whatever you furnish me with to read, I will most cheerfully and affectionately do it; and should any thing worthy of remark occur to me, I will make it. I told your brother so yesterday: as I am now getting ready for Conference, I cannot possibly spare the time tomorrow, which your note requires; if I knew the time precisely you would be at the chapel, I would endeavor to meet you there: do not send any coach for me;" At the close of the sermon, which was preached in City-Road Chapel, July 23rd, the Doctor echoed the same sentiment:-- "You will expect something more in this service: you have heard lately of the death of an eminent member of this society -- Mr. Marriott. I happened to be the only preacher that saw him in his illness: you perhaps expected a funeral sermon, but I never preach funeral sermons, -- I never will. I have attempted to do it, but did not please; and, therefore, determined never to do it again." Then followed the account of Mr. Marriott's last moments. Conversing with a friend on the necessity of a country retreat, to which allusion has been made, he observed, "I have made up my mind, if God will open me a way, to leave this distracting place; to get out of the way even of a turnpike-road, that I may get as much out of every passing hour as I can. I ought to have no work at present, but the Commentary; for none can comprehend the trouble, and often anguish, which the writing of these notes costs me; and what adds to the perplexity is, the multitude of little things to which, almost incessantly, my attention is demanded; and to which, while remaining in town, I must attend."
Agreeably with the resolution thus prudently made, Doctor Clarke purchased an estate, in the neighborhood of Liverpool, to which he repaired with his family, in the autumn of 1815.
One little incident may be noticed in connection with the alteration of the house at Millbrook, which was the name of his new residence, and which, had it not been for his Protestant heresies, would have gone a long way towards canonizing him as a Romish saint. While the painter was engaged in graining the staircase walls in imitation of stone, he found that the person who preceded him, had painted in a number of dark and light stones, and that, by mere accident, the dark ones formed a large cross on the principle side which faced the entrance of the hall-door. The Doctor and the painter viewing the wall, and each at the same time perceiving the cross, -- "I must put it out," said the latter. "No," said the Doctor, "I like the cross." "Yes," returned the painter, "but you will be taken for a Catholic priest, to have that facing the entrance of your house, I must put it out." "Oh, no!" exclaimed the Doctor, " keep it in, keep it in, Milne; I love the cross. Oh, yes! I glory in the cross of Christ." That he was not ashamed of the cross, was evident, from the fact of his having expressed the sentiments before a number of workmen, and with an enthusiasm worthy of the subject; and yet, in the midst of a Roman Catholic population, as was the case around Millbrook, the circumstance was open to misconstruction by those who were accustomed to look at the sign, instead of the thing signified.
The Doctor's library, of which more will be said in a future page, was large and well-arranged. Pointing to a few MS. volumes, he said to a friend one day, "these are worth more than seven hundred pounds." The order for which he was almost proverbial, entered into his library. The biographer had occasion to consult some works one evening, and left them on a sideboard in the dining-room, to be ready in the morning for further consultation. A little before the family retired, the Doctor, who had been in his study, entered tine room; and, on seeing the books closed, inquired, "have you done with those books, Everett?" On replying, that they were laid aside for the following morning, he piled one upon another, and, taking them up, said, -- "I never like a book of-mine to sleep out of its own bed;" and passed on to the library with his load, prohibiting all interference in assisting him to carry them. Another friend, being about to sit down with the family to breakfast one morning, was thus accosted by the Doctor, -- "You are wanted in my study." Mr. S. immediately arose, proceeded to the study; then to the library; but found no person there, as he expected: on returning, he asked, "who wants me; Sir? I find no one there." "Did you not see a book on the library table, which insisted on again being put in its proper place?" Mr. S. had left it there; and in this way the Doctor taught him order; and, the more permanently to impress him, he sent him off, pleasantly withal, just as he was about to seat himself at breakfast. He took as much delight in gazing on the collective mass, as on the order in which they were placed. On the former subject, he observed, "When a Methodist Preacher begins to tire in seeing a number of books around him, he should be hung up to dry."
Duty and order were twins in his conception: he deemed that tine one, properly attended to, generally resulted in the other. The writer was with him one day at the house of Mr. T., a banker, who asked one of the members of the family for his "Key," meaning the key of the iron safe, of which each partner kept a separate one; so that it could not be opened but in the .presence, and with the mutual consent of the whole. The Doctor remarked on this, that when he was commissioned by government to examine the MS. library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, formerly belonging to Archbishop Parker, he found that the treasures were secured by three different locks, with so many different keys, kept by three curators, who had to be present before access could be obtained to the documents. He proceeded, -- "I was shown into a room, and told that any document which I might want, would be regularly brought to me. My wants, however, became so numerous, that one of the curators stated, that, in order to save trouble, he had obtained the keys belonging to his colleagues, and would regularly supply me: and so it is, that good things get abused, in consequence of persons not attending to their duty."
His general plan was, to rise in the winter at five -- in summer, at four o'clock in the morning. The bell rung at eight for family worship; breakfast followed; he then retired to his laboratory of thought: he dined at one: took nothing again until supper, which followed immediately after evening prayer; he always retired to rest precisely at ten o'clock.
The conversation turning on poetry, he said, "Beautiful versification is lost in hymns; the sense is that which is chiefly necessary." He then sung the first stanza of -- "Stand the Omnipotent decree," with all the apparent indifference of a person ignorant both of music and verse, with no small share of effect, for the purpose of showing how both might be, and actually were murdered, by the generality of worshippers. Though he was not altogether deficient in the music of poetry, his inclination led him much more to its sense than either to its music or its beauty. -Quoting a couplet, in which he found -- "health, peace, and competence," he remarked, "I was so pleased with the fulness and variety of thought which the three words contained, that I took them for a text once, and preached from them; defining each term, and showing, under Christian feeling, their sufficiency, &c."
His definitions were frequently sought by the biographer. Taking up Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon, and pointing to ahel, a tent, the Doctor's attention was directed to it; when he was asked what he thought of the opinion which some critics entertained, who concluded Noah's tent to be a tabernacle, or place of worship? he replied, that he had no doubt that tabernacles were in use, if not among the antediluvians, at least in early times; -- that the tabernacle in the wilderness was a substitute for these, as the temple was a substitute for the tabernacle, and Christ was a substitute for the temple, who himself becomes both Lord and Temple, and receives all true worshippers; but that Noah went into a place of worship to roll himself in, he very much doubted; and would not publish such an opinion, with his name to it, for five pounds. Though the Doctor awarded to Parkhurst all due praise, he was far more partial to Leigh as a critic. In answer to an observation on the difficulty of obtaining good copies or rare editions of works in the country, he stated, "I sought for Cruden's Concordance several years before I met with a copy." Reverting to Scripture characters, he said, "I have not written ill of any man; nor will I, if I can do otherwise: to many I have given a lift where I could. The more rigid of the Calvinists do not like me, because I have abridged their liberty of dealing out damnation to others, while they believe themselves to be safe; and they know they are safe, because they do not believe their own doctrine."
After some remarks on Reason, he put a Sermon into the hand of the biographer, which he had purchased among some other tracts, enjoining a perusal. The title was, -- "Hay Lowginay Latreia. Or a sermon proving that Reason is to be our Guide in the Choice of our Religion; and that nothing ought to be admitted, as an Article of Faith, which is Repugnant to the Common Principles of Reason, or Unintelligible to the Human Understanding. London: printed for J. Roberts, near the Oxford -Arms, in Warwick Lane, 1716." 12mo. p. p. 18. No name being prefixed to the sermon, the author was unknown: but what had impressed the Doctor so favorably with it was, the fact of his having written a Sermon on the Province, &c., of Reason, only two or three months before he himself had read it, and the striking coincidence between them, both as to thought and the process of reasoning employed. He put the same sermon into the hand of Mr. Drew the author of an "Essay on the Soul," together with his own MS., and once thought of appending the printed one to his, and publishing both. But this he never carried into execution; and this is the more to be regretted, as the subject is one of no ordinary importance: for though it has not been lost sight of by theological writers, it requires no ordinary degree of delicacy, discrimination, and firmness in the handling. Part of the title of the printed sermon is somewhat startling, and requires the author's reasonings and elucidations to render it every way satisfactory.  Doctor Clarke was too well taught not to assign to reason its proper province, and to faith its proper exercise and object.
To the untiring constancy of Doctor Clarke's friendship, reference has already been made: even in cases of defection from God, he has been known to treat an old acquaintance with the tender considerations of former days: aware that there is a description of persons ever ready to avail themselves of this kindly feeling to excite prejudice, willingly confounding an act of courtesy with a habit of intimacy, the Doctor observed to one of these hypercritical (and hypocritical) carpers, -- "I speak to Mr. -- , and will still pay him attention: when he was walking to heaven, I endeavored to keep him in the way; and now that he is going to hell, I will endeavor to keep him out of it." The Doctor was well aware, that, in sharing his bread and * salt with a man, he was furnishing himself with an opportunity of doing him good, which fifty of those heartless ceremonies, denominated "morning calls," could not afford; and, therefore, following out the apostolic injunction, to restore the fallen disciple "in the spirit of meekness," he kept the poor delinquent in view; and knowing that he could not, as heretofore, company with him, he could still live for him, by drawing upon the influence of former friendship; he watched with earnest solicitude for some relentings of heart, by which, perchance, he might restore the man to the path of duty and happiness. Thus, the principle of friendship was in him like the love of God; it penetrated and possessed the soul, ruling and swaying with an absolute sovereignty: and let the whited-wall and painted-sepulchre-pharisee of modern days, be told, that the very way to superadd callousness to indifference, is to turn the back upon a man, who, in the hour, has unhappily fallen by the power, of temptation: but who, had any sought to restore him in the spirit of Christian love, might have been timely delivered from the power of the tempter. Though the Doctor was located at Millbrook, he took as great a share of pulpit labor as his strength, in conjunction with other duties, would allow. His frequent visits to the Metropolis, in reference to the Record Commission, would not, even had he been favored with physical energy, have permitted him to take the regular work of a circuit; but as the government engagement had the sanction of Conference, the simple act of residence at Millbrook, could not subject him to the title of supernumerary, any more than did that of some of his brethren in London, who for a series of years were appointed to attend to the secular affairs of the Connection; and, therefore, unable to take regular circuit duty. His attention to his estate had a beneficial influence on the health and spirits of Doctor Clarke: he had been in the neighborhood previously to his permanent residence, and had found it necessary to expend considerable sums upon the land, ruthlessly exhausted by its former possessor; the grateful soil in time made its returns, the wilderness became a fruitful field, and Adam was thus beheld in his miniature Eden.
But though his habits had become so fixed, as to render it nearly impossible for him to settle down from the student into the farmer, yet the joyousness of boyish days, when he assisted to cultivate his father's little farm, often stole over him. The original and the intellectual, were associated with the power by which Coleridge defines genius to be distinguished, namely, -- the ability to carry the freshness and feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood. his kindly feeling for the brute. creation has been noticed: some years previously to the time of which we now write, he observed to a friend, -- "my heart has often been distressed on witnessing the abuse of which the poor ass is the subject; should God ever give me a few acres of land, I am determined to make at least one ass happy:" accordingly, we find him directing his bailiff to purchase one, and to have it treated with proper care: a paddock was assigned to "Baudet," as the ass was named, and often did the Doctor himself go to the field taking a quantity of corn with him. "We will never abuse her," said he, addressing one of his family who stood watching the feeding process. "Woe to the man who could ill-use even an ass."
As the scene around him improved in appearance by culture, he became enlivened, and would talk to an intimate friend now and then, (as though the pride of farming had come upon him,) on the subject of poultry, cows, and other live-stock; -- aye, with the apparent pleasurable feeling of Earl Spencer, Coke of Norfolk, or any other gentleman, famed for his skill in stock and agricultural experiments; a case not exciting much surprise, when we take into the account, as already intimated, early pursuits, and the balm, and breeze, and health, and freedom of the country, compared with the noise, smoke, and cooped-up life of the city.
It was amusing to overhear a little of the colloquial with a pleasant friend, who, with his sparkling wit and cheerful temper, threw an air of sunshine on all around him; the one satisfied, if not pleased with his own, and the other disposed, by his roguery, to draw him off, and surprise him into something else.
The feelings of boyhood came over him, on other subjects than farming: "To day" said he, "it rained very hard, and having provided some fishing-tackle, I went down to the pond, and soon caught a dish of very fine perch and dace; two of the former, at least a pound weight each."
As a specimen of the more serious and substantial in farming, the following letter to his brother-in-law, gives an interesting peep at the domestic circle at Mill-brook, and of the opening success of his agricultural and other efforts: it embraces also a topic of deep interest, -- the Bill on behalf of Children in the Manufactories, the success of which engaged the Doctor's most benevolent feelings, and anxious hopes.
My very dear brother, -- On my return from holding my District Meeting, in Manchester, I found your letter and all the notes safe. What you say concerning the unprofitableness of farms, &c., when compared with money in the funds, I most readily admit. I know too much of agriculture, and have too high a sense of the propriety of keeping everything in order, and in a high state of cultivation, to expect to gain much in this way: but what is gain, -- what honor, -- what abundance and luxury, in comparison of mental ease and bodily health! Here, so far as I can expect to be, in a state of trial, I am happy: and should be healthy also, if excessive labor did not so repeatedly prostrate my strength. Here, a handful of herbs, a few potatoes, and a drink from my own brook, are to me angel's food: because, wherever I go, I see little else than God, and his noble instrument, -- nature, -- perpetually at work. The land here, though excellent, was greatly exhausted; and nothing could be expected from it till put into a state of thorough repair: this I have endeavored to do; and, though heavily expensive, it has been to me a pleasing labor; because I fully understand the business, and have exhibited plans of improvement which some of the first agriculturalists here do not hesitate to copy: every thing now begins to assume a pleasing form, and a little more money and labor expended upon the estate will set my eye at ease. Here, then, we are happy, and want only a chapel on the premises, to leave nothing worthy of a wish behind. I have a popish neighborhood, and no place of worship near me; and many I know would come and hear, if we had a little chapel: my girls have been very useful in the neighborhood: they have talked with the people, from house to house; explained the leading doctrines of Christianity; given away tracts, testaments, and bibles; are teaching adults to read; making various articles for the poor; and God has owned this: some are already awakened, and some brought to God; we have indeed laid ourselves out to be useful: the people feel it; and not a few have blessed God, because we have been brought to the place. A chapel that would hold three hundred would be sufficiently large: I will have it supplied by the Prescot preachers, and will have the prayers read in it. The poor people say, -- "An you had a chapel, we would all go your road." So that now, in the name of the blessed Trinity, I shall begin to build a house for God; and hope to take little rest till I have a tabernacle for the God of Jacob, -- the God of Paul, -- to dwell in! I am now going to order the bricks; and I hope to have the walls raised by the time Mrs. B., and yourself come to see us.
Concerning the projected Bill, in behalf of children in the manufactories, I have carried your papers both to Leeds and Manchester, and was surprised to find, except among the preachers, who rejoice in the principle of the Bill, a shyness to enter into the subject, or even to speak upon it. I could not comprehend this, until Wednesday last, when I dined with several manufacturers, who have in their employ twelve. or fifteen thousand children. I spoke of the Bill, and of its most benevolent principle; and expressed my hope that it would take up the subject from the foundation, and that it would pass into a law. What was my astonishment to find all present against it: they spoke of it as a measure fraught with the deepest and most extensive, mischief; -- a measure, which had for its object the total abolition of Sunday Schools, religious instruction, the sabbath day, all Methodist and other such preaching; and which, if passed into a law, would be an antidote to all our religious blessings, and a wide-wasting curse: that they were prepared to prove by the most incontrovertible evidence, that the health and morals of the children in the manufactories, were beyond all comparison better than those who were out of them; that the temperature was just what agreed best with their health; and that they grew into more effective men and women than others. They added, that the very idea of being visited by the government inspectors, was hateful to them. In a word, they are all determined to oppose the Bill, and give evidence against it. They were all intelligent men; and some of them both pious and humane. At this meeting I learned, also, that of twenty-three manufacturers, in the town of Colne, twenty had failed; that the weavers in general could not get more than eight shillings per week, that there were then in Manchester itself, eighteen thousand persons out of employ, and that if things did not mend speedily, there would be a general rising in a few weeks. You may naturally suppose that these things were calculated to give me a heavy heart.
But it was the moral scene beginning to smile around, upon which the eye of the Doctor rested with the greatest benignity: the little chapel was now finished, and divine service regularly performed in it. Nearly forty children, previously under no kind of moral culture, were collected into a Sunday School; and who, after having been taught to read a little, were initiated into the meaning and importance of our admirable liturgy, and taught to repeat, with becoming reverence, the responses and other congregational parts of the service; those of them who evinced a talent that way, were taught, one evening in every week, a few plain tunes, which they soon learned to sing with propriety and tolerable correctness. The poor children, so soon as they perceived themselves to form a responsible portion of the congregation, became regular in their attendance, neat and cleanly in their appearance, and becomingly sober in their deportment. This improvement in their children could not fail to have its share of influence on the parents; the neighborhood was principally Roman Catholic, and the inevitable consequence of the moral policy of that wretched system, was painfully illustrated in the stoical indifference with which, for some time, all attempt to instruct either the mind or the heart, was received; but as it is an axiom of universal application, that the heart of the parent is to be reached through his child, so the Millbrook family found it: the children were noticed and instructed; and the parents, persuaded by their little ones, came -- at first, from curiosity, to listen -- from this to inquire -- to weep and to pray! Few, at first, in number, because timid in adventuring into a Methodist place of worship, the congregation increased as the moral courage of the hearers rose, from the acceptance of a few plain truths, made apprehensible to them; and in a short time, from among this once wretchedly benighted peasantry, a small Christian society arose, which was watched over with sedulous attention and patient perseverance. Two full services every sabbath, besides one in the week, invited the devotions of the people; and though the regularly appointed ministers could give their labors only occasionally, (the intervals being supplied by the local brethren,) the interruptions to these visits had but the effect of enhancing their services, when they could be granted. Among those ministers the Rev. Phillip Garrett, a man of strong original mind, ready utterance, fervent zeal, and undoubted piety, was the universal favorite: he was, in the critical sense of the term, a popular preacher -- the people's favorite. His oratory might lack the grace and polish of the schools, but it had plenty of point; it came from the heart, and it went straight to the heart: the bow drawn, sometimes at a venture, with the whole moral strength of the man, sent forth its roughly headed arrow, piercing the very center of some, till then, impenetrable heart; and the tear might be observed rolling down the cheek of him, who, a short time before, had been a nuisance to his neighbor, and a pest to his family. "Broad is the road that leads to hell, my brethren, and you are all walking in it, and you will soon be there," exclaimed this Boanerges; "and do you know what sort of a place hell is?" -
then followed a somewhat fervid description. "But what do I see there! a poor wretch weary of his sins, while tears are falling from his eyes; take courage man, Jesus Christ died to save just such as you; cry, -- 'God be merciful to me a sinner;' that will be enough, for you do not know how to pray! God will hear you, and pardon you -- but make haste -- begin now -- time is short -- you may die even tonight -- flee to Jesus Christ: he is the Saviour of sinners, and he is now, at this moment, waiting to pardon you!" Such was the rough rhetoric, wherewith Mr. Garrett addressed the poor ignorant people, who, with eyes and mouth open, were seeming, by every sense they possessed, to absorb every word he spoke: ornament of style, and grace of diction, might have been presented to them for ever, but they would have fallen as on the deaf, or on the dead! -- but here, all which was necessary to salvation, was taught them, in language they immediately apprehended; and much good resulted from these plain and affectionate warnings, invitations, and appeals.
* * * * * * *