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  • THE LIFE AND LABORS OF ADAM CLARKE -
    CHAPTER 8


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    CHAPTER 8

    That we might give a succinct and an unbroken account of Dr. Clarke's labors under Government, we have anticipated several years of his busy and eventful life. We must now return to the summer of 1808, at which period he had accomplished three years of ministerial and pastoral labor in the London circuit. A careful economy of time, the key to his success in whatever he undertook, was that which enabled him to perform so many and such various duties conjointly. Thus, while occupied with the discovery and arrangement of national records, and with his Commentary, he did not neglect his long-established practice of visiting the sick; for, in such visits, he never lost sight of the proper object. Social as he was in his disposition, in simply pastoral calls he uniformly avoided the topics of general conversation.

    With all his economy, however, he could not longer sustain so great a weight of labor and responsibility. Partly to gain some degree of rest, and partly to oblige his relative, Mr. Butterworth, he was induced to become the Librarian of the Surrey Institution; but he took no pleasure in the office, and resigned at the termination of a year, refusing to accept any remuneration for his services. The Managers, as a mark of respect, constituted him Honorary Librarian during the existence of the Institution.

    While residing at the Surrey Institution, he published "A Narrative of the last Illness and Death of Richard Porson, M.A., Professor of Greek, in the University of Cambridge. With a Fac Simile of an Ancient Greek Inscription, which was the Chief Subject of his last Literary Conversation." Dr. Clarke had been acquainted with that learned man, and a considerable kindness had existed between them, which, had life been spared, would, in all probability, have proved mutually beneficial. The Doctor had seen him a short time before his death, when they held the conversation referred to.

    During the year 1808, Dr. Clarke had the satisfaction of negotiating the sale to the nation of the private papers of Sir Andrew Mitchell, who was plenipotentiary to the court of Frederick of Prussia during the seven years' war. They were purchased by the trustees of the Cottonian Library for 400l., and Dr. Clarke took them himself in a coach to the British Museum, where, according to the usual agreement in such cases, they remain sealed up for thirty years; in order that no individuals, nor states, may be injuriously involved in the secrets of those transactions which they may bring to light. Sir William Forbes, for whom Dr. Clarke managed the business, being informed by his friend, Dr. Robert Eden Scott, that he was above receiving remuneration for acts of that kind, presented him with a copy of the Nova Reperta Inscriptionum Antiquarum.

    About this time, Dr. Clarke was in correspondence with the Rev. James Creighton, the learned and pious author of a Dictionary of the Scripture Proper Names, to which he prefixed some excellent remarks respecting the Pronunciation, Etymology, and Accentuation of the English language. In giving his opinion on the production of his venerable friend, who also was the friend of Mr. Wesley, Dr. Clarke entered into some valuable critical remarks on the English language, in which he found great fault with the names given to part of the letters in our alphabet, and the sounds attributed to the different vowels. He deplored, not only the innovations of fashion in pronunciation and accentuation, but also the introduction of exotic words and phrases. An extract may not be uninteresting to the reader, "With you, Sir," observes Dr. Clarke to his reverend correspondent, "I have long deplored the ravages made in our language by the introduction of foreign terms, the injudicious mode of accentuation, and the confused rapidity which has long prevailed, and is still prevailing, in our pronunciation. Several of our best writers have contributed to the debasement and metamorphosis of our language; some by introducing GrŠcisms and Latinisms, especially the 'latter; and others by affected terms. Dr. Johnson has formed a compound language, which may be called Anglo-Latin; and, in so doing, he has left nine-tenths of the nation behind him, and greatly injured the nervous simplicity of our language, while he has rendered it more sonorous. But, indeed, such innovations in the English tongue set criticism at defiance, as we have scarcely any standard by which alterations and pretended improvements may be tried; our present language being a compound from all the languages of Europe."

    He proceeds to observe upon " the depraved pronunciation used even by the higher ranks, as well as at the bar, and on the stage. If these," says he, "by their ridiculous mincing and frenchified modes, be ruining our language; and the provinces and counties are not far behind them, in sublime grammatical corruption; need we wonder if the vulgar herd deal by wholesale in that which is gross?" The letter concludes with some arguments to prove that the continental scholars have alone the true key to Latin pronunciation.

    Mr. Creighton was at this time upon the verge of the grave, as appears from a letter to Dr. Clarke, dated January 14, 1809, in which he observes, "Though you have doubtless thought often and seriously about death, yet, when you come to stand in my circumstances, you will probably see and feel in a different manner from what you have ever done. I bless God, I have no fear nor gloomy thought about me; yet it is not what some call ecstasy or triumph: my general experience has been a calm internal peace, with a firm reliance on the pro.. mises of God, through the merits of the atoning blood."

    Work," he adds in conclusion, "while it is day; and remember there is an evening before night, when little can be done!"

    The following is an interesting extract from a letter, dated July 4, 1809, and addressed by Dr. Clarke to one of his daughters at school:-- "Youth is the time, and the time alone, in which learning can be attained. I find that I can now remember very little but what I learned when I was young. I have, it is true, acquired many things since; but it has been with great labor and difficulty: and I find I cannot retain them, as I can those things which I gained in my youth. Had I not got rudiments and principles in the beginning, I should certainly have made but little out in life; and it is often now a source of regret to me that I did not employ that time as I might have done, at least to the extent that my circumstances admitted; but, for my comparative nonimprovement, I can make this apology, -- my opportunities were not of the most favorable kind; for I was left to explore my way nearly alone, and was never informed how I might make the best use of the understanding God had given me."

    Early in the year 1810, Dr. Clarke published a "Prospectus of his intended Edition of the Old and New Testament, with Notes." This called forth rather a hasty attack by the late Rev. T. Scott, in the Christian Observer, respecting Dr. Clarke's opinion that the "Septuagint" was the Version to which our blessed Lord, and his Apostles, had constant recourse, and from which they made all their quotations." Dr. Clarke replied in a letter to the editor of that periodical, to which, if the reader please, he can refer. The reader has seen how desirous Dr. Clarke was for the publication of a new edition of the London Polyglott Bible. About this time, in conjunction with the Rev. Josiah Pratt, the excellent vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, he drew up a plan, which they communicated to a few literary friends. A meeting was held by appointment, at the house of Lord Teignmouth, in Portman Square, which was attended by his Lordship himself, Dr. Burgess, then Bishop of St. David's, Dr. Williams, of Rotherham, Mr. Professor Shakspeare, Archdeacon' Wrangham, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, and Dr. Adam Clarke. It was agreed that Dr. Adam Clarke should furnish a specimen sheet in royal folio, and another in octavo, for more convenient distribution. These were to be sent to the great men of the nation. Lord Teignmouth undertook to forward one to each Lay Lord: the Bishop of St., David's promised to furnish one to every Lord Spiritual; and Dr. A. Clarke, through the Speaker, to put one into the hands of the different Members of His Majesty's Government. The Plan was accordingly printed, and distributed; and, at Dr. Clarke's suggestion, the Bishops of the land were to be requested to patronize and preside over the work, and to appoint all the scholars who should be employed. All appeared in a fair train for a successful issue. Some of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal entered warmly into' the project; and Dr. Clarke and Mr. Pratt corresponded with different learned men on the continent, engaging them to promise to undertake different departments in the execution of the work. Several private gentlemen offered most munificently to come forward with pecuniary aid. Amongst these was the late Joseph Butterworth, Esq., who very liberally promised ˙500 as a gift towards the expenses of the first volume. But, alas! like nearly all improvements which are entrusted to the care of our Lords Spiritual and Temporal, it fell through between them. [29]

    Happily for the Christian world, the progress of Dr. Clarke's Commentary did not depend on any Lord Spiritual or Temporal, but the Lord of lords; and, accordingly in July, 1810, the first part of this great work was published. The MecŠnas in this case was his relative, Mr. Butterworth,

    [30] whose support of the Polyglott enterprise was so much more substantial than that of my Lords the Bishops, as we learn from a letter addressed by the Doctor to Mr. Speaker Abbot, on presenting him with a copy of his notes on Genesis:-- "I endeavored," he observes, "to acquaint myself with the original text, and wrote down, from time to time, such illustrations of occurring difficulties, as presented themselves to my view. In process of time, these accumulated to the size in which they now present themselves to the public, a circumstance that would probably never have taken place, had not Mr. Butterworth, who has been my unsolicited MecŠnas in this business, by repeated importunities, at last constrained me to commit them to the press." In a subsequent portion of the same letter, the Doctor says, "I am sure they, the notes, are in perfect consonance with the Doctrines of the Church of England, and the Constitution of Great Britain; the first of which I most conscientiously acknowledge as constituting the true Christian creed; and the second, as comprehending a code of the wisest, most just, and impartial laws, which man ever received, or by which any nation has ever yet been governed. Both these subjects, when any opportunity has presented itself in the course of my work, I have rejoiced to present to my readers, in their own light, in order to excite their gratitude for such inestimable favors, and to lead them to prove, this by a conformity of their lives to the doctrines in their creed, and a conscientious obedience to the laws of their country." It is not every one that will estimate the favors of the Church Establishment at so high a rate. The Speaker's acknowledgment was complimentary enough: " Yet," said he, " I cannot but be apprehensive that the progress of our Historical Collection of National Records will be necessarily retarded by so formidable a competitor."

    In October, 1810, the Committee of the Bible Society having requested Dr. Clarke to look out for such works as might be eventually requisite to enable the Society's translators in India to proceed with their labors, he drew up a list of more than fifty articles under nine heads, and forwarded it to Mr. Owen, the clerical secretary, describing them as works which must come into every question of general sacred criticism. Among the rest was the Encyclopcedia Britannica; for, as the subjects in the Bible involve a great variety of questions in general science, he judged a work of that kind indispensably necessary. The list was sent back to him, through Mr. Pratt, as approved of, with a request that he would procure all that he had recommended with as much speed as possible. But, before he had executed the commission, he received a letter from Mr. Hughes, the lately deceased secretary, and, indeed, the founder of the Society, objecting to such authors as Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus. It might be supposed that Dr. Clarke would have insisted upon the correctness of his own opinion, confirmed by the sanction of the Committee; but, on the contrary, he replied to Mr. Hughes, "When I received your note, I sent immediately to Priestley, and desired him to take those two works off the bill; for I have such a respect for your judgment, that I know few cases in which I would not prefer it to my own." The letter in which this sentence occurs contains further evidence of the meekness which the writer manifested towards theological opponents. Mr. Hughes, as a Calvinist, had taken exceptions to some passages in the Doctor's Preface to his Commentary; among others to the following:-

    "This opinion (sovereign unconditional reprobation), from the manner in which it has been defended by some and opposed by others, has tended greatly to the disunion of many Christians; and produced every temper but brotherly kindness and charity."

    The Doctor replied:-- "I studied in every part of the work in question, to avoid every expression which might give offense or pain to any man. I find I have miscarried; but it certainly is not the fault of my heart. Either I have been misinformed, or I took it for granted, that all the Calvinists in England, were against what we call the decree of unconditional reprobation; and I really thought that I should displease no person by simply stating what I did; and I thought I had done it in as mild and dispassionate a way as possible, using every writer's own words without the least comment, believing this to be the most candid way. I have now just turned to the passage, as it stood originally, and must own I can see nothing uncandid in it;-- no 'thrust,' no 'wound,' was designed. Yet, because I heard some time ago, that some Calvinists did not like it, I altered not only it, but several other things, which I thought from this specimen might give offense; so that you have not to wait for a second edition, which may never be called for, to see the passage freed from all to which you object, as nearly one-half of the copies will be found free from all offenses of this kind; and I shall take the liberty shortly to send you a sheet to replace that in yours."

    "I never wrote a controversial tract in my life," he' continues; "I have seen with great grief the provokings of many, and a thousand times has my heart said,

    "Semper ego auditor TAIUM, nunquamque reponam, Vexatus toties--." But my love of peace, and detestation of religious disputes, induced me to keep within my shell, and never to cross the waters of strife. I had hoped, as I was living at least an inoffensive life, not without the most cordial and strenuous endeavors, in my little way, to do all the public and private good in my power, I might be permitted to drop quietly into the grave. But this is denied me, not by the world - from it I expect no good; but by those who profess to magnify that Saviour whose glory and cause they cannot say, 'I have not assisted even them to promote, while another body of religious people laid just claim to the principal services I could perform.' Notwithstanding all this, such is my love of peace and good understanding with religious people, that there is not one sentence in my work that I would not most cheerfully efface for ever, rather than it should give offense to any one follower of God, though it might be calculated to please a thousand of my own way of thinking. I am fully satisfied that neither the truth, nor the salvation of men, can depend, even in the most remote manner, on any thing I have written or can write. Therefore, I am as ready to blot out as to write: indeed', more so. I have said above, that I prefer your judgment to my own: glad should I be to have the privilege of consulting it on many occasions. I think few cases could occur in which I should not most gladly follow its directions." [31]

    It was well ordered, that Dr. Clarke entertained so strong an aversion to religious controversy; for, had he got entangled in such discussions, he might never have been able to conclude his Commentary. But it must not be inferred, that because he" detested religious disputes," those who engage in them are unamiable men. While, among his own brethren, Dr. Clarke could enumerate the names of Fletcher, Benson, and Hare, he could not design any such sweeping accusation. Controversy, conducted in a fair and candid spirit, is the only mode of eliciting truth, except we should be made unanimous by miracle. The previous extract suggests another remark. Of the Doctor's love of peace and concord, there can be no question; but it may reasonably be presumed, that, if put to the test, he would have confessed that he had spoken unadvisedly in saying, "There is not one sentence in my work that I would not most cheerfully efface for ever, rather than it should give offense to any one follower of God, though it might be calculated to please a thousand of my own way of thinking."

    From the same letter from which we have so largely quoted, we' find that Dr. Clarke was greatly worn down by severe affliction, both in his own person and in his family. Mrs. Clarke had been apparently in the jaws of death for some time past; and this, added to the prostration of his own strength and spirits, had brought him nearly to the sides of the pit. "Through the mercy of God," he observes, " she appears likely to recover. As to myself, I find I must withdraw from public life. I have been able to do but little, and that little I can do no longer. Even the blessed British and Foreign Bible Society I shall be obliged to relinquish; but this will be more my loss than that of the Society." It was some time, however, before he succeeded in making his escape from London.

    During the year 1810, Dr. Clarke became personally acquainted with that learned, but singular, character, Miss Mary Freeman Shepherd. She was an Englishwoman by birth, though descended, on the maternal side, from the ancient and noble house of the Falletti of Piedmont, formerly sovereign princes in Italy. She had been educated in a convent at Rome, and was a strict Roman Catholic. She possessed a remarkably strong mind, 'an extensive knowledge of languages, and a liberal acquaintance with general literature. She was as fond of imparting knowledge as she was of acquiring it, possessing at the same time that enthusiasm of spirit, and delightful facility of expression, which called forth the latent taste in her auditors, or created it, if it did not previously exist. When she chanced to entertain a partiality for any young persons, she possessed a remarkable power of attaching them to her. Her person was unwieldy, and her manners unpolished and even boisterous. In early life she had been engaged by Mr. Woodfall as translator of the Foreign Mails to the Public Advertiser. Though a Roman Catholic, she was so strongly attached to the Rev. J. Wesley, that she would willingly have merged her name in his. She had strong prejudices, not with reference to her religious creed only, but on other subjects of opinion, as well as on points of doubtful conduct. She felt a warm interest in the Jewish nation; and, while she allowed that they had indeed denied the Holy One and the Just, she confidently looked forward to the time when they would acknowledge the truth as it is in Jesus, and be finally restored to their own land. This remarkable woman was introduced to Dr. Clarke by Miss Wesley, daughter of Mr. Charles Wesley.

    Several letters passed between Miss Shepherd and Dr. Clarke; but, unfortunately, none of the Doctor's can be found -- a loss which may be estimated from the character of those of his fair correspondent, a few extracts from which we shall subjoin.

    Dr. Clarke appears to have informed her, that, by the slipping of his study-ladder, while he was in search of a book, he had injured himself. In relation to this accident, by which he was confined to his room for nearly three weeks, she observes, "I have long thought as you think, that all we term the evils of life, are either penal, physical, or probationary; and it is very flattering to self-love, in woman especially, when her thoughts are reechoed by men in high repute for sense, learning, and piety. I might have added, as you do, that present seeming evils are oftentimes preventive of greater future ones, as in the case of Bernard Gilpin; whose broken leg saved him from the ad comburendum sentence of the wretches who were the scandal and disgrace of my religion: yet God, my dear Sir, could have prevented your breaking your neck, without the wounding of your leg. You have yourself unawares suggested a more obvious reason. You say, 'I can ill brook confinement:' I suspect you want a little bodily rest, and you will not take that necessary suspension from labor. God, having given to man freedom of will, to choose life in every sense of the word, counteracts not his own wise and just-established order by necessitating fate. Therefore, as disobedient Israel he sendeth into captivity, so he maketh your leg to enjoy its Sabbath."

    The following extract proves, that, though a Catholic, she was not a bigot:-- " The bearer is come to me as a servant; and, would you believe it, I took her because she and her friends are Methodists. She knows no Methodist in town, nor even your places of worship. Attached as I am to my own people, I would not put hindrances, but, on the contrary, all lawful furtherances, in the way of others in their different roads, and would have every one follow strictly the dictates of their own consciences. I therefore send her to you, as a minister of her own persuasion. She appears to me to want a guide, and to meet with Christian associates. Otherwise, she will go backward instead of forward, and perhaps, ultimately, be laughed out of all religion. I return you the Rev. Mr. Creighton's Letters, &c., and am not in the least offended at, but rather edified with, his delicacy and tenderness, in fearing to give a poor Roman Catholic pain at his condemning what I condemn as heartily as he doth the Inquisition, and all cruelty and persecution, nay, all cunning arts to make converts. I practice, as you see, a very different system: perhaps I might swindle away this poor Sarah Boswell from your chapels to ours; but I send her to Dr. A. Clarke, not to Bishop Douglas."

    Mr. Samuel Wesley, son of the Rev. Charles Wesley, having turned Papist, his conversion was attributed to Miss Shepherd; but she thus " disculpates" herself from the charge:-- " And here I cannot help disculpating myself from the general belief spread among Mr. Wesley's people, of my having made young Samuel Wesley a Papist. He was made one two full years before I ever saw his face. I had not the smallest share in making him a Catholic. A Frenchman, who went to his father's house, was his converter. , I heard of it only by accident from a Mr. Payton, a famous performer on the viol de gamba; and I persuaded Samuel Wesley not to live in criminal hypocrisy and deception, but to tell his father honestly the fact, lest he should hear of it. from others. He had not the courage to, do this, but begged me to break it to his father, I said it would be indecorous, and not treating him with the respect and regard due to a clergyman, a gentleman, and a parent but that the late Duchess of Norfolk, whose own feelings had sustained a similar trial, -- a son quitting the religion 'of his ancestors,- would best sympathize in tenderness of feeling with Mr. Charles Wesley, and announce to him, in all the delicacy of Christian charity, his son's change of religion. Besides these reasons, I wished to show Mr. Wesley all possible honor. The Duchess went in person, and showed him all respect and regard. So far, and no farther, was I concerned; and afterwards, in endeavoring' to persuade this two years' old convert, to live soberly, temperately, and piously, -- for this, and only this, I have done ample penance: for it is my peculiar vocation, not by choice, but per force, to be a very Issachar, -- crouching down under heavy burdens of ingratitude, and scourged with' defamation into the bargain."

    One of this lady's letters to Dr. Clarke, contains the following smart passage on the doctrine of imputed' righteousness:-- "'Choose life, and live.' Thine arm is too short to reach life; but thou art free to choose. Then' only choose life, and I, Jehovah, will bring it to thee. Many seek not diligently to 'observe to do the commandments of God, but previously are not only prejudiced, but predetermined not to do all the commandments of God, but diligently to observe how they may evade, and explain away in as comfortable a manner as possible for themselves, and in as civil a way as a Christian of polished manners can devise, without downright giving the lie to his Maker, every troublesome and inconvenient, though positive, command. As to his ordinances, Zachary and Elizabeth might, if they saw good, walk in them, as in the commandments, blameless; but some have learnt better, are wiser, and have found out that God hath since altered his mind, and does not now require so much at their hands. All is done for us: what we never did, will be imputed 'to us: we shall be judged not by our works, but by the works of Jesus. 'He was crucified;-- we need not be crucified with Him, in order to reign with Him;' and, by that wretched perversion of the very meaning of words, to be justified, is, 'with many persons, to be accounted, not made, just. Can God, the Sovereign Truth, account that to be which is not? Then to be justified, is to be made just."

    The following remarks on Job, from the pen of this female commentator, are worthy of notice:-- "How could any one imagine that the Ha Satan [sic], of Job, was the Devil? Or, that God suffered the Devil, after his expulsion from heaven, never again to set his foot in heaven among the sons of God; much less put Job into the Devil's hands, suffer all his children to be killed, his servants and cattle made a prey. The Scripture merely says, 'Messengers came to tell Job all this;' but they do not say, it really did happen. If so, whence came Job's seven sons all ready-born, at the close of his troubles? The same number as recorded in the first chapter is repeated in the last: the number of his cattle is doubled; half of them, his own, restored; the other half, the gifts of his friends, an offering of reconciliation. His trial seems to have been but of a few days' continuance. The visit of his three friends need not have been very long; their speeches might be uttered in a few days; the temporary boils of short duration, and the mistakes of the, messengers, escaped from dangers, reported in the visions of 'terror, now happily rectified in 'the safety and lives of his seven sons, and recovery of his cattle, with a double increase of goods. All this is more than likely; and yet the trial of Job be as plenary as that of Abraham in the offering up of Isaac. The Patriarch's faith, love,, and obedience, had their perfect work, yet Isaac was not slain: Job's patience had its full trial, and he lost neither son nor daughter, ox, sheep,, ass, 'nor camel. I am persuaded the history of Job is a real matter of fact."

    In another letter, from which it appears she was on the eve of her eightieth year, she remarks, "My mental strength and vision still remain as in the summer of my life; neither is the cheerful flow of my animal spirits chilled or slackened. The green fruits that memory gathered are ripened, not decayed, in these storehouses." She was about to take lodgings in the Tower of London, concerning, which she breaks out into the raptures of a romantic girl:-- " The view of shipping, a fine river, martial music, and the grand roar of that noble creature the Lion, in the awful hour of midnight, are to me touches of the sublime; and all these are connected with the Tower, and there I shall be under the immediate care of my beloved Earl of Moira; I shall feel as if in a monastery enclosed in high walls." [32]

    Being a Roman Catholic, she had high notions of works," concerning which she writes:-- " It was admirable advice which Mr. Wesley records 'as having 'been given by a woman to a preacher: 'Preach,' said she, 'the Law first, then the Gospel, and then the Law again.' It 'is the method which God himself hath observed throughout the Sacred writings, ' Cease to do evil' first, saith Jehovah, then 'learn to do well.' Many persons, 1 have heard, charge God foolishly, nay wickedly, and say: 'If God give me his grace to do well;' thus pleading their own weakness and ignorance, and running to 'do mischief, instead of taking hold of, and using, the strength which God has provided. Preach the Law strongly to such miscreants that thus bring a scandal on the cross of Christ.. I had rather be a Jew than such a Christian."

    Miss Shepherd was a great admirer of Mr. John Wesley, particularly on account of his strict Arminianism; and she was likewise an attentive and a discerning observer of the Methodists' procedure. Concerning the latter she remarks, in connection with a volume of' sermons of Louis de Grenada, confessor to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, which volume she was recommending to, the notice of Dr. Clarke, as containing "sound timber enough to furnish a whole town of modern buildings:"-" There is a charming passage on early rising; and, oh! would to God it might provoke the Methodists to resume their five-o'clock prayer-meetings and early sermons. They might' renew the face of this great city."

    Another letter contains some shrewd remarks concerning Lady Huntingdon and Mr. John Wesley:--"Lady Huntingdon loved Charles Wesley; and his wife she herself nursed when in the small-pox. She would have loved John Wesley as much, if his spirit and garments had not had so much of Elisha's and the Baptist's camel's-hair texture; its contact was friction-against-the-grain of the sainted vestments of Mr. Whitefield's elect lady. Besides, John Wesley might know too much of syntax and Greek." It is impossible not to admire the following observations, however much we may lament that the writer did not belong to a church more worthy of so noble an attachment:-- " The dirt and rubbish of other people's houses I am sorry to see; but I am not called to be their scavenger. But any filth, even a little dust or cobweb, in my own mother's palace, grieves me to the soul, so jealous am I for her glory and honor. It is the duty of every child she hath, to sweep, dust, wash, and scour the palace themselves. I do not leave my mother's house, because dirty and wicked servants have broken, damaged, and injured it and the furniture. I do all I can for it: let others do the same, and the house will. soon be cleaned and put to rights. The church, spite of storms and, adverse winds and weather, insects, vermin, &c., still subsists: other sects, like branches and pretty nosegays kept in bough-pots, for a while look rich and gay; but they die away after a time: they have no root, and are scarcely slips. The parent tree outlives 'her children. God graft them on again! Forgive, dear Sir, the zealous superstition of a woman."

    On the principle, however, that all things are possible with God, even the Church of Rome may be thoroughly reformed; but this cannot be done without many radical changes. We build our expectations of the purification of that degenerate and corrupt church upon a foundation similar to that upon which the Church of England rests her prayers, that God would send down upon her bishops and curates the healthful spirit of his grace; for, as if sensible of the grand impediments which 'her worldly constitution and her defective discipline place in the way of priestly piety, she appeals to the Almighty as to him who "alone doeth great marvels."

    It is not improbable that Dr. Clarke derived assistance in his Commentary from the acute and searching remarks of Miss Shepherd, as our concluding extract from her valuable letters may convince the reader. We have seen what was her opinion concerning the history and trials of Job. Let us now see to what purpose she had scrutinized the Mosaic account of the patriarchs: -" When in your Notes you come to Isaac's blessings to Esau, you will be led particularly to observe how literally they were ratified by God; also you will see strong proof that Esau was not abhorred of the great and just God, and how very nobly and lovingly too he acted towards his over-reaching brother at their meeting; nor did he ever retract from their reconciliation: as Ismael and Isaac, so did Esau with Jacob, unite as brethren to pay the last duties to their father. I beseech you also to point out very particularly the just penalties levied on the joint frauds of Rebekah and Jacob. After she sent him to Laban, she never more beheld her son Jacob. Even she herself disappears; for no farther mention is made' of her by upright, truth-loving Moses; no, not so much as of her death; while of only her nurse Deborah is much honoring record. There is in this, as in all the narrations of Moses, exquisite beauty and propriety. Rebekah was a mother in Israel. Truth required the narrative with the reality of facts: respect bid say no more, and bowed the head in silence. Jacob was taught by Laban, how odious fraud, deception, and disguise were; and his own feelings and conscience told him, this is retribution. I wish you also to notice in your Notes, the style and terms of Jacob's prayer to God, when in fear of Esau and his 400 men. It is as if he were conscious of how little he deserved to be saved from the danger he dreaded. I am in raptures of delight every time I read of that over-reaching, cowardly Jacob's dreadful fear of the brother be had made his enemy, and of his never getting a blessing from' God himself, without first being hamstrung, and' lamed to limping; and here he is represented as being nearly terrified to death, and sending a trespass-offering to Esau, and bowing himself down seven times to. the ground, with all his wives and children bowing down seven times also, as, they passed before ' my lord Esau,' like captives before their conqueror. So many make a bad use of Jacob's and Israel's history, that I am anxious it should appear in its true light." The reader can examine at his leisure how far the learned commentator concurred in the views of his fair friend, and adopted her suggestions.

    Miss Shepherd survived the date of her letters to Dr. Clarke, which were written in 1810,, about two years. She retained all her faculties to the last; and, on her death-bed, expressed herself to one of his daughters, as "dying in the true Catholic faith, and with a firm assurance that her short penal sufferings would terminate in the eternal beatitude of her soul through the merits of her Redeemer." So hard is it for the strongest understandings to shake off the prejudices of education, that even this excellent woman, of whose preparedness for the heavenly state the candid reader of her letters can hardly admit any doubt, could not suppose it possible that she should attain that blissful goal, without undergoing a previous purgation; although she never met with one passage of Scripture that encouraged the idea of any such intermediate process between earth and heaven, but, on the contrary, read that even the thief upon the cross was to pass immediately from Calvary to the Paradise of God. [33]

    In May, 1811, Dr. Clarke paid a visit to his native country, being accompanied by Mr. Butterworth and his own eldest son. His chief object was to pursue his inquiries under the Record Commission. By this means he was brought into the society of the' learned and the great in Dublin, and, having dined at five o'clock, branded it as " a most disagreeable custom." He made a hasty tour, embracing Drogheda, Londonderry, Coleraine, and the place of his birth; preaching on his way with great power and success, and carefully observing whatever was remarkable for its antiquity or its historical associations, or was characteristic of the country and its inhabitants.

    The lofty round towers which are found in some parts of Ireland, and the precise use of which had not been ascertained, engaged much of his attention. He came to the conclusion, that they were built by the monastic orders, who had their allotted times for prayer, the arrival of which, in the absence of bells, it would be necessary to announce, by means of criers, to the brethren dispersed in the fields. For this purpose he supposed these towers to have been erected.

    On the way to Dundalk, Dr. Clarke and his family had the satisfaction of taking into their chaise a "decent woman" and her child, " for which piece of humanity," he observes, " our driver afterwards charged us threepence halfpenny per mile extra, saying, 'that, though he charged us this, God would allow us for it.'

    At Derryloran, the rector of the parish gave Dr. Clarke the following account of the death of his predecessor -" The corpse of a poor man was brought to the church-yard for interment. The rector demanded his fee of two shillings and sixpence. The good people said, "the man had been a common beggar, and had 'nothing to pay." The rector insisted on having the halfcrown, or on their removing the corpse immediately. An altercation took place, and the rector got so transported with rage, that he dropped down dead while following them to the church-yard gate, to prevent them from depositing the body in the ground!"

    The following is part of the account which he gives of his visit to the scene of his childhood:-- " We drove to Magherafelt; but, after an absence of thirty years, I find it but imperfect. We then proceeded to Maghera, and on the way I stopped at a place where I had passed my youth. I walked into the house where I had passed several years of my infancy, and felt a number of indescribable emotions. Half of the nice house is fallen down, which I regretted. I went into' the grounds where I had often sported, read, talked, searched for birds' nests, and caught jack-sharps, &c. What a transition from five years to almost fifty! and how difficult to connect the habits of these two distant periods! and for the gray-headed man to realize his present feelings with what pleased him when a child! I came to Maghera, and went to see the place where I first went to school. The sight of this spot brought many long-past scenes to remembrance. I visited the mansion where Dr. Barnard, then Dean of Derry, and afterwards Bishop of Killaloe, and lastly of Limerick, formerly dwelt. What a change is here! almost every part in a state of dilapidation, and the house let out in tenements. Nothing seems to flourish but the fine beech tree at the entrance from the road, which, from its size, 'and the beautiful arrangement of its widely extended branches, may still claim the attention of the passenger. After inquiring after the ancient inhabitants, most of whom I found had ceased to live among men, I returned to the inn, dined; and, not being able to procure a chaise, my companions agreed to walk to Garvagh, a journey of about ten English miles. We accordingly set out, and had an interesting and pleasant walk over roads I had assisted to form between thirty and forty years ago. Wishing to see a place near Garvagh, where our family had resided for several years, and where I had the principal part of the little education which fell to my lot, Mr. Averell, who had joined us, and myself, rose early, and proceeded in our gig to the village, which was abolished, with the exception of one small building, and the whole land laid under stock. What most surprised me was, that the church, the building of which I witnessed forty years ago, from its commencement to its close, appeared to be in a state of dilapidation. The spire was seventy-five feet high, and now not one inch of it remains: the windows have been broken, and repaired with solid mason work; all the light of one side is thus completely abolished." The Irish Church Reform Bill did not come before it was wanted.

    In every place which he visited, Dr. Clarke preached either indoors or out to large congregations. At Ballymena, the Methodist chapel being too small for the congregation expected to attend, the Rev, Win. Babbington, the rector, kindly offered his church (!), which was soon filled with a deeply attentive congregation, to whom (says the Doctor) " I felt considerable liberty to prove what was the doctrine of the Apostles, from Acts ii. 42."

    At Garvagh, he preached in the Socinian chapel. "Had I known," he observes, "to what sect it belonged, I believe I should not have done so; but this I learned afterwards. In preaching in the chapels of other religious people, it is not fair to discuss any doctrines which they do not hold, as this is disingenuous. In consequence, a preacher is laid under considerable embarrassment: he cannot preach their doctrine, and he is afraid to preach his own. I do not like this business, and have nearly made up my mind to have done with it." For what reason should any man object to preach in any place which is open and convenient for the purpose? A Socinian congregation offering the use of their chapel to a Trinitarian minister, would never be so foolish as to expect that he should feel himself restricted from preaching according to his views of truth. In Mr. Wesley's journal, we find it recorded, that on one occasion he preached in a Socinian place of worship.

    Dr. Clarke's health and strength suffered much through that spirit of religious selfishness which induces some people to exact labor from a favorite preacher in such degrees as ought not to be expected from men of the strongest constitutions and the fullest minds. On arriving at Lisburn, he encountered a knot of these unreasonable hankerers after the word.-- "Though I had been almost totally exhausted with my yesterday's work, they insisted on my preaching at Lisburn. In vain I urged and expostulated. They said, 'Sure you came out to preach, and why should you not preach at every opportunity?' 'I must have rest.' 'Sure you can rest after preaching?' I replied, ' I must preach tomorrow at Lurgan, and shall have but little time to rest.' ' Oh, the more you preach, the more strength you will get!' ' I came out for the sake of health and rest.' ' Oh, rest when you return home!' 'I cannot rest at home, as I have got more work to do there than I can manage.' ' Then,' said they, ' you shall get rest in the grave! 'I give this specimen," adds the Doctor, "of the inconsiderateness and unfeelingness of many religious people, who care little how soon their ministers are worn out; because they find their excessive labors comfortable to their own minds; and, should the preacher die, through his extraordinary exertions, they have this consolation, ' God can soon raise up another!' Though not convinced by this reasoning, I still preached, to a very crowded congregation; and it was a time of uncommon power."

    At Portadown, Dr. Clarke spent the evening with "a tea-drinking party, which," he observes, "I have not done thrice for upwards of twenty years. The good people naturally asked me why I did not take tea: I simply gave them my reasons, which drew on a long conversation."

    In the course of this tour of a month, Dr. Clarke, with his companions, enjoyed, what he relished as a luxury, numerous opportunities of relieving the wants Of the poor Irish. Their destitution may be judged of from several observations which he makes. " The children," he remarks, " are, like their parents, half-naked, and totally uncultivated: multitudes of the women without shoes or stockings, and yet employed in the hardest drudgery, even digging in the fields, without a shoe to save the foot. Their huts are about four feet high on the side wall, with a hole in the roof to let out the smoke, and another to serve as a window." Though thus wretchedly circumstanced, they have many fine qualities. " You cannot please them better," says Dr. Clarke, " than by putting it in their power to oblige and show you a kindness." And, again," For reverence in sacred ordinances, the Irish are, very remarkable; and for good breeding, even among the most common people, especially the Protestants, I do not know their superiors."

    After holding the Conference in Dublin, which was one of the objects of his visit, Dr. Clarke and his friends went over to Maynooth College, in which the priests of' the Romish Church in Ireland receive their education, and the expenses of which are, strange to say, defrayed out of the revenues of the British empire. They reached the inn just in time to witness the arrival there of the rebel General Gibbon, who had been captured after an outlawry of thirteen years. The following is Doctor Clarke's account of the scene:-- " He alighted, heavily shackled both on the legs and hands: he was wretchedly clothed. We got into the room, where he and several of the guards were. He walked frantically to and fro, dragging his long bolts after him, and talking very wildly; at one time cursing the King, at another awfully obtesting [sic] his incapability of being a traitor. He desired one of the soldiers to go and get him a pipe of tobacco. The brave fellow went, and brought him in a lighted pipe. He took it, and, putting it into his mouth, said, ' Now, I shall smoke the King's health: and, if his health were in the pipe, by the Holy Father, I would smoke it out.' His language and his appearance were awful. He has been several times in France: and he has hid himself in the bogs and mountains, and has thus long escaped added to which, he was so dangerous, that no person dared approach him. He was at last taken while sleeping in a dry ditch, having a loaded blunderbuss and six brace of loaded pistols about him." On going to the College, they found it empty, it. being the time of vacation. One of the professors, however, by name Father De la Hague, received them politely; but, when, on taking leave, Dr. Clarke offered his hand, he declined receiving it. "I was a heretic," says the Doctor, " and therefore he would not give me the right hand of fellowship." What, then, would the Father have said to Miss Shepherd?

    Dr. Clarke had no sooner returned to England, then he received the afflicting intelligence of his mother's death. He saw her just before he sailed for Ireland; and left her, prepared indeed, but not expecting death. Almost as soon as he entered his own door, he inquired, as usual after absence from home, " Is all well?" a question which immediately elicited the mournful truth. He received the sudden stroke without a word, and instantly withdrew to his study, there to seek consolation in communion with God. When we recollect the industry with which his mother applied herself to train him up in the way in which he should go, and combine with this the native tenderness of his heart, we may form some estimate of the depth of sorrow into which he was plunged by the intelligence of her removal; but, deep as it was, it was mitigated by the well-founded hope of meeting her again, in the mansions of the saints of the Most High.

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