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  • THE LIFE AND LABORS OF ADAM CLARKE -
    CHAPTER 5


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    CHAPTER 5

    Mr. Clarke returned to England in August, 1791, when the Conference was held in Manchester; to which circuit he was appointed, that he might resort to the Buxton waters for the restoration of his health. In this, and in the following year, he availed himself of this means, both

    by bathing and by drinking, and completely recovered from his rheumatic disorder.

    From a letter which he addressed to Mr. Alexander Mather, dated Manchester, December 23 1791, in which he acknowledges the pecuniary favors of that gentleman and his wife -- favors which the rapid increase of his family, made very acceptable; it appears that he had a return of the dangerous complaint from which he had suffered in Dublin. "As my captivity," he writes, "is in a great measure turned, I feel it a duty I owe to gratitude, to God, to inform you of it, and to make you a partaker of my consolations, as I have made you a sharer of my sorrows. Through the abundant kindness of God, my health, seems better than it has been for some years. December and January have been my two most trying months for a few years back. The first is now nearly ended'; and I have had but one very alarming night. I had preached three times that day, at Salford once, and twice at Altringham. In the, evening I was seized with the, spasms in my legs, thighs, and body; and, with these, the dreadful pain through my head, which I had in Dublin. The consequence was, a whole night's derangement. The next day I was very bad; but, in three, or four days, through God's goodness I got well again. I dreaded the time of meeting the classes, as this always exceedingly hurts me, and cried to God for support. Glory be to God! that work is now done; and I have been heard in that I feared. There is a good work among the people. Many are stirred up to seek purity of heart; and two men, at our last Public Bands, gave a clear, rational account of a complete deliverance from all evil tempers and desires, in consequence of which they have constant communion with the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. They have enjoyed this glorious liberty for about two months. As the Lord has condescended to make me the instrument of their happy deliverance from an evil heart, it is a great encouragement for me to proceed in my work. There are some here who ridicule the mention of a work of this kind. They know best from whom they have learned to do so; but God enables me to bear down prejudice of this kind by a number of arguments deduced from the promises and nature of God. I look on this doctrine as the greatest honor of Methodism, and the glory of Christ. God Almighty forbid that it should ever cease among us. About this time he had another meeting with his friend Moore, referring to which the latter has observed, "I was astonished at the progress he had made. He seemed to bare Oriental learning at his fingers' end."

    The French Revolution was now the universal topic. The whole history of that mighty contest is well known. It is referred to here principally for the sake of introducing Dr. Clarke's opinion of Napoleon, and of his fortunate conqueror, which, like all the opinions of such a man, must be read with interest -" At' last," says he, in a rapid glance at the comae of political events, "At last, Napoleon, the most accomplished general and potentate which modern times have produced, by an ill-judged winter campaign against Russia, had an immense army destroyed by frost, himself barely escaping from the enemy. After which, his good fortune seemed generally to forsake him; till at last, when on the eve of victory, at the famous battle of Waterloo, by one of those famous chances of war, to which many littlemen owe their consequent greatness and rear men their downfall, he was defeated; and, having thrown himself on the generosity of the British, he was sent a prisoner to Rock of St. Helena, where, by confinement and ungenerous treatment, he became a prey to disease and death."

    Nor is the Doctor's account of the state of parties in this country less interesting. Even religious people, he informs us, caught the general mania. The pulpits of all parties resounded with the pro and con politics of the day, to the utter neglect of the pastoral duty; so that " the hungry sheep looked up and were not fed." The Methodists themselves, whose glory it had been to keep religion entirely distinct from all secular affairs, partook of the contagion. Mr. Clarke's colleagues were, unfortunately, among the number of warm politicians, and, more unfortunately still, they took opposite sides of the all-engrossing question. While one pleaded for the lowest republicanism, the other exhausted himself in maintaining the Divine right of kings and regular Governments to do what might seem right in their own eyes, the people at large having nothing to do with the laws but to obey them. It would have been a fine opportunity for the wolf to steal in while the shepherds were engaged in bitter quarrel; but Mr. Clarke was happily preserved from the general plague. Not that he had not made up his mind on the politics of the day. His principles, from which he never swerved, were those of a Whig; but he had too deep a sense of his duty to let this appear in the pulpit, where nothing was heard from him but Christ crucified, and the salvation procured by his blood. While, therefore, his colleagues were converting the pulpit into the arena of political disputes, he steadily devoted it to its legitimate use; and, though, as be acknowledges, their abilities were greatly superior to his, God honored his fidelity. His congregations, notwithstanding the attractions which political preaching must have had in those times of general excitement, were equal to theirs; and his preaching abundantly more useful.

    Thus far Dr. Clarke. Here his best friends are obliged to own, that he was not sufficiently guarded in his expressions. Surely he was not himself the sole exception to that " utter neglect of the pastoral duty," of which he speaks. The preachers to whom he alludes as having been opposed to each other in political opinion, and as having used the pulpit to further their disputes, were the late Messrs. Samuel Bradburn and Joseph Benson, two of the most eminent men, though in different ways, that the Methodist Connection ever produced. It may be true enough that they ranged themselves on opposite sides of the grand question of the day -- that Mr. Bradburn took his stand on the side of liberty, and Mr. Benson on that of order; but there is no evidence to prove that the one was so violent a champion of " legitimacy," or the other so determined " an advocate of the lowest republicanism," as Dr. Clarke represents them to have been. Both those celebrated ministers may have been betrayed by a well-meant zeal into the occasional introduction of their political speculations into the pulpits of Manchester; but it is monstrous to suppose, as, if we relied on the Doctor's statement, we must, that, from Sabbath to Sabbath, they carried on a systematic warfare, in which their thoughts were too much engaged for them to remember their true and proper vocation. Mr. Clarke must surely have been misled by the reports of ignorant or designing men, who, being themselves, perhaps, violent partisans, tinged every thing that passed through their hands with the deep hue of their own excitement; for it is manifest, that, while he was discharging his own duties with the zeal with which he always did discharge them, he could not be engaged in collecting the evidence upon which he founded his statement. Though we are by no means implicit believers in what appears in the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, especially when its contents relate to Dr. Clarke; yet we are disposed, upon the whole, to place confidence in the view which that publication has given of the question under notice. Indeed, so far as the defense of Mr. Bradburn goes, it may be. unhesitatingly trusted; for that consists almost wholly of citations from a sermon which he published on Equality. This was a subject which he could hardly treat without making it appear most distinctly whether he was a republican or a monarchist; and, as we find, the prime end which he had in view was to show " that a firm adherence to the principles of unlimited religious liberty was perfectly consistent within a steadfast attachment to the King, whom he earnestly prayed God to bless, and to the civil constitution, which, in itself, was excellent, and of which he highly approved." This is a sufficient proof that he was not an advocate of republican principles, much less of " the lowest republicanism.'' It is plain, however, that he was not satisfied with the degree of religious liberty which the nation then possessed, not only from the use of the epithet "unlimited," in describing that which he desired, but from the use of the word "civil " also, which he would scarcely have thought necessary, unless he bad wished to make a marked distinction between those of our institutions which apply alike to all, and those which, white they confer privileges on a part, impose restraints upon the rest. The clause" in itself," likewise, implies a want of satisfaction with the Executive. Another passage of the same discourse confirms this view of the subject, and, at the same time, serves to confute the sweeping statement of Dr. Clarke. If there had been no such scripture, Mr. Bradburn remarks, as that which commands us to "honor the King," we, the Methodists, "as a people, have reason to love King George, and to be pleased with the civil Government." To such an extent, indeed, did Mr. Bradburn carry his views of loyalty, that he maintained it to be the duty of the Methodists " to be loyal were a Pagan upon the throne; for," he adds, " what with some is mere policy, is, with us, a case of conscience." And, as to political preaching, any further than the sentiments which have been quoted may deserve to be stigmatized as such, he would have stood self-condemned had he been guilty of it; for he expressly states, "We do not look upon ourselves as called to reform civil Governments, or to spend much of our time in disputing about state affairs." The language is qualified, to be sure; but not sufficiently so to increase the probability of Dr. Clarke's statement: and, besides, the whole scope of the discourse of which the sentence forms a part, was, as the writer in the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine has justly stated, "to expose the leveling politics which were then so warmly advocated." We must therefore admit, that, as Mr. Bradburn had placed upon public record his firm and cordial attachment to the British monarchy expressed in terms than which none could be " more worthy of an Englishman, a Methodist, and a Christian," it ill became a man like Dr. Clarke, who had not the excuse which many might plead who would implicitly believe his statement, if unaccompanied by any explanatory remarks, to style his departed brother, "an advocate of the lowest republicanism," without taking the precaution to refresh his memory or verify his information. The distance of time at which he seems to have recorded his reminiscences should, undoubtedly, have made him doubly cautions.

    But it is time to examine into the charges which, on the other hand, are brought against Mr. Benson. We had been accustomed to think of him as the model of a Christian teacher; and we could not but be convinced that his merits were exceedingly underrated when lately he was described as " Baxter in miniature." [23] Nor can we say that Dr. Clarke's description of his preaching at Manchester has tended to lower our estimation of the venerable and apostolic man. The facts which we find stated in the publication already referred to, unless they can be disproved, are an ample refutation of the broad censures cast upon him

    "It would be difficult to mention any man, since the primitive ages, whose ministry Was more scriptural, impressive, and successful. hi regard to the actual Conversion of men from the error of their way, he was certainly one of the most honored instruments ever employed by the Head of the church; and it does not appear, that, at any period of his life, he was mote in the spirit of his work, or more owned of God in his public labors, than when he was stationed in Manchester. He was aware of the strenuous efforts then in progress to propagate Paine's politics, in connection with Paine's infidelity; he found disaffection to King George generally connected with an open denial of Christ and the Bible; and, like a faithful watchman, he warned the unsuspecting part of his hearers of their danger, and endeavored to reclaim those who had been already led astray; but,' in doing this, he neither scattered his congregations,. nor neglected to ' preach' Christ crucified for the redemption of a lost world.' When he preached on the' Sunday evenings in the spacious chapel in Oldham Street, he was generally attended by as many persons as could possibly press within the doors, amounting to considerably more than two thousand; and so powerful was his preaching, that these immense congregations were often moved, not only to tears, but to loud wailing; so that he was compelled to kneel down in the midst of his sermons, and engage in prayer, that the people might relieve their minds by acts of devotion; when he arose and resumed his discourses. Forty years have elapsed since those times of special visitation were experienced in connection with Mr. Benson's ministry in Manchester; but the remembrance of them is as distinct and vivid among the aged Methodists in that town, as if they had only occurred a few months ago."

    This, now, is a widely different picture from that drawn by Dr. Clarke. Had he contented 'himself with describing Mr. Benson as a man who was inclined to push the principles of loyalty beyond a rational and scriptural obedience to the existing " powers," at the same time giving him credit for being actuated by a holy jealousy for the interests of true religion, there would probably have been no ground for accusing him of injustice. It is very difficult to conceive how Mr. Clarke could reside in Manchester, and not become acquainted with the wonderful effects of Mr. Benson's ministry; but it is still more difficult to persuade one's-self, that a man of veracity, not to say piety, such as that of Dr. Clarke, would knowingly conceal facts so creditable to the zeal and talent of the preacher, and so honorable to the cause of Christianity. The liberal admission of his own inferiority to both Mr. Benson and Mr. Bradburn, assures us that he was governed by no improper motive; but we confess ourselves utterly unable to account satisfactorily for the defective and erroneous nature of his information: for, from the best examination which we have been able to institute, it appears clear, that, if his colleagues in Manchester did assume in the pulpit antagonist positions, their dispute was confined to the principles of religious liberty, considered probably with reference to the exclusive privileges of the Church Establishment. [24]

    Dr. Clarke's condemnation of the practice of mixing up politics with the momentous matters which are pro per to the pulpit, is not more severe than it is just:-- "Political preachers neither convert souls, nor build up believers on their most holy faith: one may pique himself on his loyalty, the other on his liberality and popular notions of government; but, in the sight of the great Head of the church, the first is a sounding brass, the second a tinkling cymbal. When preachers of the Gospel become parties in party politics, religion mourns, the church is unedified, and political disputes agitate even the faithful of the laud. Such preachers, no matter which side they take, are no longer the messengers of glad tidings, but the seedsmen of confusion, and wasters of the heritage of Christ." Some may think that he Carried his objections too far. " I have often been solicited," he writes, in 1831, " to favor the establishment of newspapers among our people; and I have invariably refused. I saw there was a disposition both among the people and the preachers to spend that time in reading them, and in consequent discussions on the subjects they contained, which ill comported, in my view, with what they owed to God, their souls, and their moral and social duties. I certainly have seen the morning newspaper supplant the Bible; and, as I believe that the temptation is the same, so I believe the Athenian tendency to be unaltered." But, were newspapers abolished, that tendency (a law of our nature) would still remain; only more time would be wasted in its gratification than by the compendious mode of collecting the news from printed journals.

    In the town and vicinity of Manchester Mr. Clarke labored for ten years, Here he found many valuable friends, and had the satisfaction of knowing, that he had neither run in vain, nor spent his strength for nought.

    During his residence in Manchester, he began to give the sick poor the benefit of his medical knowledge and skill. He took good care, however, to meddle with no eases but such as he was well assured that he under stood, and was competent to treat. In difficult cases, he invariably recommended application to the most learned practitioners. By this moans he became acquainted with most of the faculty resident in Manchester, meeting them frequently at the bed-sides of their patients. The celebrated Dr. Eason was of this number. He had a peculiar affection for Mr. Clarke and for his family, and often had a place in their domestic circle. He was not a professor of religion: he perceived its blessedness, indeed, and frankly acknowledged it; but, unhappily for himself, he went no further, A remark which he made when attending with Mr. Clarke the death-bed of a member of the Society, deserves to be recorded as the testimony of a worldly man to the power of religion in that hour when all power but that which comes immediately from God is ineffectual: " Adam," said he, "I like to attend your people when they are dying: they go off so quietly, and give us no trouble." He bad, no doubt, witnessed the dying struggles of many an unpardoned sinner; and yet he was impenitent!

    While in Manchester, Mr. Clarke was called to witness the ravages of death in his own family. His third child, a beautiful boy, called Adam, was seized violently with the croup, of which, in spite of the promptest use of every remedy, he died in a few hours in the arms of his father. The recollection of 'this sudden bereavement never occurred to the mind of Mr. Clarke, without bringing a tear into his eye; nor would he permit an other of his children to be named after him.

    In August, 1793, Mr. Clarke left Manchester for Liver pool, to which circuit he was appointed. During the two years of his residence there, he pursued his ministerial labors and his biblical and other studies with unremitted ardor. He, and his venerable colleague, Mr. John Pawson, with whom he acted in perfect unison, had the satisfaction of seeing the Society more than doubled during their joint ministry. Mr. Clarke preached almost daily, and, as usual, paid particular regard to the duty of visiting the sick. Many of the villages included in the circuit, were situated at a considerable distance from the town; but, notwithstanding the distance, darkness, and weather, he invariably walked home after preaching. During' these excursions, he encountered occasional opposition and frequent dangers. In one instance, his life was in great jeopardy.

    As, after preaching, he was returning from Aintree, accompanied by his brother Tracy and another friend, a large stone, weighing more than a pound, was aimed at him from behind a hedge. Cutting through his hat, it made a deep wound in his head. Such' was the violence of the blow, that he fell. He was carried into' an adjacent cottage, where his brother examined and dressed the wound, which bled copiously. Mr. Tracy Clarke then went in pursuit of the assassins, whom he discovered in a neighboring ale-house. It appeared that they were Roman Catholics, that they bad casually entered the place where Mr. Clarke had been preaching, and that, after the service, they followed him with the determination to assassinate him. Nothing had been said during the' service to inflame their religious bigotry: nor was there any other means of accounting for their conduct. They were apprehended, and finally carried before a magistrate; but Mr. Clarke, fearing they might be hanged, refused to prosecute; and they were discharged upon their own recognizances. In process of time, however, by continuing to violate the laws of their country, they both came to an ignominious end.

    Though the wound was not mortal, it was so dangerous that Mr. Tracy Clarke had resolved that his brother should remain in quiet, where he was, till the' next day; but, having secured kin prisoners, and returned to his patient, he altered his mind. For, when the people of the house heard the circumstances of the ease, being Roman Catholics themselves, one of them exclaimed, " You have been well served, What business have you to come and preach here? It is a pity they did not kill you." Upon' this, Mr. Clarke's friends' speedily removed him, though at much hazard, to his' brother's house at Maghull; from which, at his own special desire, he was, on the following day, taken home, where he arrived pale as death, and his hair and clothes covered with blood. More than a month elapsed before he recovered from this hurt, and not without much fear that it would prove fatal. But the hairs of his head were numbered.

    In 1794, Mr. Clarke's parents and their children removed from Ireland to Manchester, where his father opened a classical school.

    At the Conference of 1795, which was held in Manchester, Mr. Clarke was appointed to London, whither, after taking leave of the Liverpool Society, by the members of which he was much beloved and his services highly valued, he removed his family. This was an important era in his life. He had previously studied much, and had acquired various, extensive, and valuable knowledge; but now it was that he commenced the work of applying his own attainments to the benefit of others, This was the period, in short, from which may be dated the beginning of his literary labors. But, though, as there is ample evidence to prove, he devoted himself with wonderful diligence to those labors, he never permitted them to interfere with his ministerial and pastoral engagements, which now were of no ordinary importance. Besides the duties of a superintendent, he had the charge of 'visiting sick and dying persons, and, together with his colleagues, preached in all the chapels of the circuit, which, besides the Metropolis itself, comprised a great portion of the surrounding country, being bounded on the east and west by Woolwich and Twickenham, and, on the north and south by Tottenham and Dorking. This widely-extended field of labor is now divided into seven circuits; and the work of a London preacher now. consists far more in attending committees to devise plans for preventing the spread of liberal sentiments in his own community, and for injuring the private property of individuals, than in village preaching, or in visiting the sick. It was Mr. Clarke's constant practice to keep a Journal of the texts upon which he founded his discourses, and of the places in which they were delivered; and from this it appears, that, during the three years of his residence in London, he walked more than seven thousand miles in the mere duty of preaching; for he invariably went on foot, except to Dorking. In these long and frequent walks, he was very generally accompanied by his attached friend, Mr. John Buttress, of Spitalfields, the father of Mr. John Josiah Buttress, of Hackney. They were so Constantly together, and were so widely different in point of stature, that they acquired respectively the sobriquets of Robin Hood and Little John.

    One of the most remarkable fruits of Mr. Clarke's ministerial labors in London, was the conversion of his brother-in-law, Mr. Butterworth. This gentleman, was not only not decidedly religious, [25] but was even unfriendly to Methodism. He thought it right, however, that his wife should see her sister; and, accordingly, she called at Spitalfields. Mrs. Clarke, who had not seen her sister since she herself was married (for Mrs. Cooke had not yet become quite reconciled to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke), did not recognize her in the fashionably dressed person who advanced to salute her; but, as soon as she spoke, the secret was discovered. This interview led to others, in which Mrs. Butterworth was accompanied by her husband, whose urbanity of manners speedily won upon his pious relations. His prejudices and those of Mrs. Butterworth (for she too, it appears, had imbibed such) did not prevent them from going to hear Mr. Clarke preach. They heard him preach one Sunday morning, at City-road chapel. In the course of the following week, they called at his house; and, having to preach at Leyton in the evening, he was accompanied by Mr. Butterworth, whose wife remained with her sister. As they were returning, Mr. Butterworth acknowledged that he had been deeply affected by Mr. Clarke's sermon on the previous Sabbath, and expressed a determination not to rest satisfied with out a saving knowledge of the truths which he had heard. Mr. Clarke, to whom this was most pleasing intelligence, affectionately gave him counsel and direction suited to his case. When they had reached Spitalfields, and Mr. Butterworth and his wife had taken their leave, Mr. Clarke communicated to his wife what has just been related. She also had an equally delightful tale to tell; for her sister had avowed to her, that the very same sermon which had impressed her husband, had excited her to inquire what she must do to be saved, and she (Mrs. Clarke) had pointed out to her the scriptural way of salvation. These most interesting circumstances terminated in the sound conversion of both the penitents; and they joined the Methodist Society, adorning their profession by a conversation becoming godliness. The memory of Mr. Butterworth's unpretending piety and great benevolence will not easily perish. It was from the period of his arrival in London, that Mr. Clarke employed himself, more particularly, in writ mg notes for a Commentary on the Scriptures. For the better accomplishment of this design he began the critical reading of the sacred texts; translating literally every verse of both Testaments from the originals, marking all the various readings, and comparing them with the authorized version. With the same view, he diligently pursued his Oriental studies; for a good knowledge of Eastern customs and metaphors, and a clear insight into the Eastern spirit of poetry and diction were essential qualifications, in the task which he had undertaken. On the 28th of May, 1796, he finished an entirely new translation of the New Testament from the Greek, which translation he had begun on the 10th of June, 795. It was made with extreme care, and was illustrated with notes, explanatory of the reasons why he either deviated from the received original text, or varied from the authorized version. He considered it, however, too imperfect for publication; and, since his death, it has been destroyed, in compliance with his oft-repeated wish.

    In the year 1797, he published a pamphlet on the Use and Abuse of Tobacco, which had a rapid sale, and went through several editions.

    During the same year, he entered the lists for poetic honors with a young lady, on a visit at his house. The trial of skill was made upon a French epigram with which Mr. Clarke had been struck in the course of his reading. Each of the two competitors produced a translation of this little piece; and the two translations were enclosed and sent to the editor of the Gazetteer, who, by choosing which he would insert in his journal, was to decide whether Mr. Clarke or the young lady should bear the palm. The issue is not stated; but, as Mr. Clarke's translation only is preserved, we presume that it was preferred to the other. It related to the ignorance of the clergy at the beginning of the Reformation, and was as follows:

    "A crotchet came into a wiseacre's head, To enter the priesthood for a morsel of bread. Away to the bishop he instantly hies, Announces his business:-- The prelate replies, 'If you wish to be priested, and guide men to heaven How many in number are the sacraments seven?' Having studied awhile, he replies, 'They are THREE.' The prelate rejoins, 'Pray, Sir, which may they be?' 'Faith, Hope, and Charity,' the scholar replies ' By the mass!' says the bishop,' you're wondrously wise: You've answered discreetly, your learning is sound; Few bishops at present have lore so profound. See, Clerk, that his Orders be written with speed; He merits the tonsure:-- and you shall be fee'd."

    On one occasion, Mr. Clarke had nearly lost a valuable portion of the products of his literary labors. Having, together with Mrs. Clarke, supped at the house of a friend in Hoxton, after preaching at the chapel in that village, he returned to Spitalfields without his manuscript notes on the book of Job, which notes he had, for some purpose, taken with him. He did not discover their absence till the following morning, when he set off with great dispatch in search of them, On inquiring at his friend's house, where he recollected having left them, he found that happily they had escaped destruction. The servant, seeing some loose papers upon the side-board, had folded up in them the pieces of candle which remained from the preceding evening. They were, however, though safe, in a most deplorable condition; but the author was too happy to have recovered them at all, It is not improbable, that, had they been burned, instead of being greased only, he would not have had the resolution to replace them by writing fresh notes; and thus his great work, which was often hindered in its progress, might have been utterly laid aside.

    The same process which was extending his knowledge, was augmenting his library, which, in subsequent years, was excelled by few private collections. Aided by his accurate knowledge of books, and his skill in selecting them, he often acquired great literary curiosities by the promptitude with which he sought them as soon as he knew they might be found; and but few book-stalls escaped his practiced eye. The old booksellers, knowing his taste, used to send him the earliest Copies of their catalogues, which he examined immediately, marking the items which excited his " acquisitiveness." In the catalogue of the library of Mr. Fell, Principal of the Dissenting Academy at Hoxton, he observed, " A Blackletter Bible," This he exceedingly desired; and, being prevented, by official engagements, from attending the sale, he deputed Mr. William Baynes, his friend and bookseller, to buy it for him, if he could obtain it at a reasonable price. This that eminent dealer found no difficulty in doing; the only one who competed with him being a gold-beater, who wanted- the skins on which the book was written, and relinquished the strife as soon as he had gone to the extent of their value for the ignoble purposes to which he had predestined them. So the book became Mr. Clarke's, at a trifling advance on the gold-beater's mean estimate of its worth.

    Released from the duties of the day, Mr. Clarke hied to Paternoster-row, to learn the event, and was not a little rejoiced to find, that the black-letter Bible was secured, more especially because it was of a date' so ancient as to make it highly valuable. It was immediately packed up; and, though weighing little less than a hundred-weight, the gratified owner bore it upon his own shoulder to his own house. On minuter search, it was discovered to be the oldest copy of the first translation into the English language. It had been the property of the youngest son of Edward the Third (Thomas a Woodstock), whose arms it bore. It had also passed through the hands of the celebrated Dr. John Hunter. Finding hay and bits of mortar in it, Mr. Clarke inferred that it had been hid during the Maryan persecution, sometimes being concealed in hay-stacks, and sometimes built up in walls; while, from the decayed state of many of its pages, it was equally reasonable to conclude, that it had not been infrequently buried in the earth. Those pages, however, were carefully restored by Mr. Clarke. Happily, the writing was not infringed upon, except in the first page. All the rest he neatly mended with parchment, stained to the color of that on which the book was written. In operations of this kind he was remarkably successful, whether parchment or paper was the material to work with; as, likewise, in repairing the covers of Oriental manuscripts, [26] for which purpose many of his female friends used to furnish him with patches of stout old-fashioned silk.

    It was by a strict economy of time, that Mr. Clarke was enabled to accomplish so much more in theological and biblical pursuits than was absolutely necessary for his pulpit preparations; and that, too, notwithstanding his multiplied engagements as a preacher and a pastor. It was not by sitting up late at night, but by rising early in the morning, that he made time for study. " A late morning student," he used to observe, " is a lazy one, and will rarely make a true scholar; and he who sits up late at night, not only burns his life's candle at both ends, but puts a red-hot poker to the middle!" In exemplification of the converse of the first part of this characteristic saying, Mr. Clarke seldom remained in bed after four in the morning; from which hour till he was called off by pastoral duties, he pursued his studies with indefatigable industry. By this means, lie redeemed some of those hours which are generally consumed in sleep; hours too, which, as is testified by Milton and Wesley, and by many others of the same class (for it is to such class that morning students have belonged), are more valuable for study than those which occur later in the day; inasmuch as rest has restored to the mind its elasticity, and the events of the day have not had time to confuse the ideas and disturb the feelings. Another method by which Mr. Clarke gained time was, rarely accepting invitations to dinner. When he did dine from home, Mrs. Clarke usually accompanied him; and they returned as soon afterwards as possible; excusing themselves on the ground that they took no tea, for the wife had imbibed the husband's prejudices.

    Mr. Clarke's hours of relaxation were after preaching in the evening. With a few intimate friends, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth, he used to exchange visits at the close of the day, supping a little after eight. In these mutual hospitalities, he frequently concluded a day of severe study, delighting in the opportunity which it afforded him of unreserved conversation; and such was his fund of anecdote, ancient and modern, that he imparted as much pleasure as he received.

    Although these pleasant meetings tended to keep alive the cheerfulness of his disposition, and to invigorate his spirit, they did not prevent his health from suffering, by excessive application to study. In July, 1797, he felt the effects of this so sensibly, that it was deemed expedient for him to go for a short time to the sea-side. Accompanied by several particular friends, he went into Kent, and thence into Warwickshire. At Broadstairs, he saw the remains of a chapel dedicated to the Virgin; and, just, as in days of old, every vessel that passed that spot lowered its top-sails, Mr. Clarke took off his hat as he passed by! The tumulus, upon which stands the memorial of the invasion of Hengist, "a like-nothing-else-sort-of building," inspired him with feelings of still greater awe, being the first inhabited part of Great Britain, the place where Julius Csar landed, and where, according to report, the Gospel was preached for the first time in England. Kenilworth Castle, with which Sir Walter Scott has made general readers to familiar, gave Mr. Clarke much delight. He not only" told," but ascended " the towers thereof," and examined it minutely in every part. "I should have liked," he said, "to bring the whole castle on my back, in order that my Mary and her sons might enter into the enthusiasm of their husband and father. But we were obliged to leave a place I could have admired for a year." He was scarcely less enraptured at what he saw in Warwick Castle, which, as Kenilworth is the first ruin, is the most perfect edifice of the kind in the kingdom. The first thing he saw made him " almost absolutely a prey to astonishment and rapture." It was: Rubens' portrait.

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