As the period for holding the annual Wesleyan-Methodist Conference approached, the members in Hinde Street circuit, in which Dr. Clarke was stationed, wished to retain his ministerial services for a longer time than comported with the regulations on this subject, which prescribe three years as the longest term during which a preacher may remain in the same circuit. Had Dr. Clarke yielded to their kind wishes, he must have become a "supernumerary;" that is, a preacher deemed past the regular labors of the itinerant plan. To this he strongly objected, often expressing his desire, that it might please God that he should "cease at once to work and live." During the sittings of the Stationing Committee, whose office it is to arrange the appointments of the itinerant preachers, subject to the decision of the Conference, the following letter on this subject was written to Dr. Clarke by Mr. George Marsden:-- "The friends in the Hindestreet circuit have sent a strong request for you to be put down for their circuit, stating that they have reason to believe that some arrangement may be made, that they may still be favored with your valuable ministry. Not having any directions from you respecting your wishes, you are at present appointed as supernumerary to that circuit. Please to inform me if you wish it to be altered, or what are your particular wishes on the subject of your appointment." To this communication Dr. Clarke replied, in the following remarkable letter:-- " All I ever said to my good friends at Hinde Street, was this:-- -'Were I to become supernumerary this year, I would not prefer any circuit in London to that in which I am.' I am not clear that I should become a supernumerary this year; but this I must leave with my brethren. I did not go out of my own accord: I dreaded the call; and I obeyed through much fear and trembling, not daring to refuse, because I felt the hand of God mighty upon me. I knew the case of Jonah, and feared the transactions of Tarshish. I will not, therefore, set myself down; for, though I cannot do full work, yet I can do some. I was a local preacher, when called out: I am not called to degrade, in order to read for a higher title than that which I have; and a Levite past labor becomes a counselor, but never enters into the ranks of the Nethinim! I had, for some years, thought of finishing where I began, though that circuit is now divided into four or six: or in that Circuit where the word of the Lord came first to me, and where I found the salvation of God that bought me! In that circuit I have been endeavoring to raise up circuit schools;---not Mission schools, as has been reported by those who should have known better, but schools in places where no kind of instruction was afforded to the many hundreds of totally neglected, wretched children, who, with their parents, were without the words of salvation;-- to help the circuits in those places, and to help the preachers in large districts, where they had not half strength to enter doors sufficiently opened;-- and I have prevailed, [through] men full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and who, in their disengaged hours, are put totally under the direction of the superintendent, to be employed when and where he pleases, and who have already been a sovereign blessing to the places where they are teaching little children, and bringing their parents and neighbors to Christ. If no place is open for me here (though I might demand, I will not), I shall rather travel in the keen blasts, over the mountains, hills, and bogs of Derry and Antrim, than set myself down as a supernumerary in any place in Immanuel's land, even in its whole length and breadth, at least for the present year.
Hitherto, these schools and local preachers have not cost one farthing to any fund or institution among the Methodists; nor ever shall, while I have anything to do with them. I hope, from the kindness, not of 'our friends,' but of my friends, to be able to put something in the hands of the Conference to help these schools, when my voice can be heard no more on the mountains of Ireland; and, when my plans are ripe, I shall get the Conference to appoint those for trustees in whom they have confidence, and who will be faithful in God's house."
Notwithstanding Dr. Clarke had thus strongly and clearly indicated his wish, and that long before the time for concluding the Stations had arrived, the Conference was advised to exercise the power implied in the words, " but this I must leave with my brethren," by confirming his appointment as supernumerary! At the Conference of 1832, the subject of this appointment was brought under discussion by Mr. Joseph Beaumont. " I was filled," observes that high-minded man, "with the conviction, that it was my duty to go to Liverpool, to discharge what I felt a debt to Dr. Clarke and the Methodist Connection. Down to the last day of my existence, I must look back upon the motives that prompted me, with the approbation of my mind." From these words it may be inferred, that Mr. Beaumont went to complain that Dr. Clarke's wishes had been disregarded by his brethren. Upon him it was attempted to fix a stigma, by passing a vote of censure against him, for having gone to Conference its an irregular manner; but he so far succeeded in his object, as that a peace-offering was made to the Doctor, which will be noticed in the proper place. This matter, however, has not been satisfactorily cleared up. The subject being alluded to in the Christian Advocate, at the time of Dr. Clarke's death, Mr. G. Marsden made an awkward attempt to exculpate himself and the Conference;' but his interference, instead of effecting that object, served only to involve him at least more deeply. It appeared, in fact, that he had suppressed the expostulatory letters of Dr. Clarke, which, being addressed to him in his official capacity, were of course intended to be laid before the Conference. 'As to the charge, that the Doctor was put down as a supernumerary at the Conference of 1831, in opposition to his own remonstrances, Mr. Marsden contented himself with stating,  that, " when a letter was, sent to the Doctor, on the subject of his appointment, he evidently left it to the Conference to determine, saying, in his reply,' I am not clear that I should become a supernumerary this year; but this I must leave with my brethren.'" The whole case is before the reader, who may decide for himself; but it seems very extraordinary, that, after Mr. Marsdeu had requested Dr. Clarke "to inform him if he wished it [his appointment as supernumerary] to be altered, and what were his particular wishes on the subject," he should have carefully concealed from view all those passages of the letter (and, as we have seen, they form the substance of it) in which the Doctor so decidedly expressed his aversion to be laid aside, and should have singled out, as a reason for the decision of the Conference, a solitary sentence, in which, far from expressing any wish of his own, he, not unnaturally, recognized the authority of that assembly.
Though Dr. Clarke felt that he had been wounded in the house of his friend, yet he submitted to the treatment with no common forbearance, as a letter to Mr. Lewis sufficiently evinces:-- " I feel that I have been ill-used in that work which God called me to, and which Mr. Wesley, with his own hands, confirmed me in, by their setting me down for a supernumerary against remonstrances made to the President himself, Mr. G. Marsden. When I found how it was, without opening the paper containing the usual annuity given to the superannuated preachers, on their becoming such, I returned it immediately, and told Mr. Stanley not to enter my name on the next preachers' plan. Though, therefore, I conceive I have no appointment (indeed, a supernumerary properly has none), I go preaching about wherever they call me to work for their charities. You see, therefore, that, though I am hurt, I have not taken that offense which causes me to stumble. My time is nearly done. I have worked hard, borne many privations, and suffered much hardship, for more than half a century, and was still willing to work: and, as I could still work with the same energy and effect (for God continued to own my word), it was not well to throw me thus far beyond the working pale! God is righteous, and my soul bows before him!"
As Dr. Clarke here intimates, he now rarely preached any other than "occasional sermons;" and, in the vestry, after service, he 'generally encountered some deputation or other, from a chapel in distress, or some school, or other charity, pleading for a sermon from him to assist its funds. He would sometimes remark, " I am really tired and ashamed of this constant system of begging: it taxes heavily many of my 'friends, who will follow me from chapel to chapel; and I have now rarely the opportunity of preaching the word of life, free, without the perpetual horse-leech cry, 'Give! give!'" And it must be confessed that collections are sufficiently frequent.
During this and preceding years, Dr. Clarke appears to have occupied himself, at intervals, in preparing an improved edition of his Lives of the Wesley Family. Concerning this, he thus writes to one of his female friends, who had supplied him with some of the materials:-- " When I had interleaved the printed Memoir with large quarto paper, in three volumes, and filled up every page with new matter, I offered it to the Book Committee to be sent to press as soon as they pleased, and, indeed, was surprised, after several weeks' delay, to receive, officially, the sine-die adjournment of the business." It is to be hoped, that, notwithstanding the strange conduct of the Book-Committee, this, valuable work will yet be given to the public.
Dr. Clarke having been called to attend the death-bed of his friend and bookseller, Mr. William Baynes, which occurred in January, 1832, the coach in which he returned to Haydon-hall was overturned. "Three persons," he relates, "were on the top of me. I was only bruised a little on my right shoulder; but sadly trampled on while I lay in the coach, and then had to stand about an hour in the rain from above and the mud below, before I could get away. I then took my bag, and walked over the hill to Harrow, knocked at a house, but was refused admittance, though I gave my name. This horrible burking business makes every one afraid of being murdered. I proceeded on foot to Pinner; and, 'when I got there, I was so poorly, that the people of the inn treated me with much kindness; and the master yoked his gig, put me in, and himself drove me home."
But the next day he was again called to the house of mourning by Mr. Robert Scott, of Pensford, near Bristol, who wished to see him before he died. Dr. Clarke immediately obeyed the call. "Yesterday," he wrote to a friend, after he had been several days in attendance, he [Mr. Scott] did the last act, I think, of life. He had been accustomed to give his ú100 at two installments, and, generally, when he came to town to receive his dividends. He recollected that one was just now due, but doubted whether he should be able to sign the check. He said, 'I want to give Dr. Clarke my last check, for the great work of God in Shetland.' Mrs. Scott, immediately filled 'up the body of the check for ú50; ,so that he had nothing to do but sign it. Many times did he attempt this; but his right hand had lost its cunning. I wished him to cease his efforts. He would not: he got his pen on the paper, and made something like his name, but in the wrong place: he saw it, and said, 'I must write another.' Mrs. Scott filled another check, and he began anew; and I am satisfied he was a whole hour in his attempt to sign this. At last, he made something like 'Robert Scott,' which was barely legible. When he found he had succeeded, he spoke, as well as he ,could, these remarkable words:-- ' Here, Dr. Clarke, here is my last act; and this is for the work of God in Shetland. I 'send it to heaven for acceptance; and the inhabitants will see, from the writing, that I shall be soon after.'" At the close of another letter on the same subject, Dr. Clarke observes, "I am learning several lessons of wisdom; and, among the rest, I am learning from him before me how to die."
Of the death of Mr. Scott, Dr. Clarke gave the following account in a letter to his wife:-" At half-past ten this evening, Mr. Scott changed mortality, for life. Such a death I. never witnessed. We had prayed to God to give him, an easy passage; and we did not pray in vain: for he had one of the most placid and easiest I have ever heard of or seen. His wife, and several of the relatives, and myself, were kneeling around his bed. I offered the departing prayer; and, after it, had just time to rise from my knees, go to him, lay my hands on his head, and pronounce the blessing of Aaron on the Israelites, 'The Lord bless thee and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace,' when his last breath went forth! Thus, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, died this undeviating friend of Shetland. I would not have missed this sight for a great deal!  I seem to have come hither in order to learn to die."
When Dr. Clarke had committed the remains of his venerable friend to the tomb, but before he left Pensford, he addressed a congratulatory letter to the Duke of Sussex, on the anniversary of his Royal Highness' birthday. After a complimentary introduction, the writer expresses the following just and noble sentiments:--"In the eventful year which is now closed, the voice of your Royal Highness has been lifted up in its native, as well as in its well-cultivated, energetic eloquence, to recommend, vindicate, and support the soundest and most beneficent measures for the safety and welfare of the state. Your Royal Highness has the happiness to see that your exertions have not been in vain, and that you flourish in a better world than that into which' you were born; and others 'witness, that your Royal Highness's share in promoting this general' amelioration, is as large as your exertions have been marked, indefatigable, and decisive. On the last anniversary of your Royal Highness' birthday, I was led to augur, from the signs of the times, that the period was fast approaching, in which the wisdom and experience of your Royal Highness must be called forth to assist the counsels and deliberations of the state; as mighty efforts would be necessary to correct a system of corruption, which, though even superannuated, was still potent and influential. The time has arrived, the mighty struggle has commenced all the outworks of corruption and death have been carried; and the battle is turned to the gate. May the last and most ruinous blow be dealt by the arm of your Royal "Highness! I have lived to see many political changes in this country in the last half-century, and almost all for the worse; but a brighter day seems now to dawn. Your Royal Highness has long swam against the stream of political malversation, and, for a time, apparently studio inani [sic]; but now you stem the torrent, and gain upon the flood. Old as I am, I hope to live long enough to see the mighty regeneration commence its career of general blessedness; and your Royal Highness preeminently associated with the sovereign of the empire, and king of the people, in the administration of the justice, mercy, and benevolence, of the state; that the people may praise God for the king, and laud him for the prince; that the throne may for ever be established in righteousness, and your august person in health and happiness, joying, and beholding the order and general welfare."
On his return to Haydon-hall, he found awaiting his arrival a letter addressed to him, and signed by order and in behalf of the Board of Managers of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of New York, dated Dec. 23, 1831. Its object was to invite him to go over to America, to assist them in their Missionary labors, and in their church assembly. Circumstances prevented him from accepting the invitation; but he expressed his good wishes for that rising state, and his thanks for the honor conferred upon him, in a letter to those gentlemen whose names were subscribed to the invitation. After stating the reasons why he could not accept the invitation, and expressing his regret on that account, he proceeds thus:-- " Yet I am far from supposing that there may not be a providential interference in the way. I am an old man, having gone beyond three-score years and ten, and, consequently, not able to perform the labor of youth. You would naturally expect me to preach much; and this I could not do. My help, therefore, must have been very limited; and, in many cases, this would have been very unsatisfactory to the good people of the United States. This difficulty, I grant, might have been supplied by an able assistant, who might have been inclined to accompany. me; but even this would not have satisfied the eye or the ear of curiosity. As far as I can discern, you are close imitators of the original Methodists; therefore, have you prospered as we have prospered. There is no danger so imminent, both to yourselves and to us, as departing from our original simplicity in spirit, in manners, and in our mode of worship. As the world is continually changing around us, we are liable to be affected by these changes. We think, in many cases, that we may please well-intentioned men better, and be more useful to them, by permitting many of the more innocent forms of the world to enter into the church. Wherever we have done so, we have infallibly lost ground in the depth of our religion, and in its spirituality and unction. I would say to all, keep your doctrines and your discipline, not only in your church-books, and in your society rules; but preach the former without refining upon them-observe the latter without bending it to circumstances, or impairing its vigor by frivolous exceptions and partialities. As I believe your nation to be destined to be the mightiest and happiest nation on the globe, so I believe that your church is likely to become the most extensive and pure in the universe. As a church, abide in the Apostle's doctrine and 'fellowship." He concludes with the following excellent advice:-- " As a nation, be firmly united; entertain no petty differences;-- totally abolish the slave trade;-- abhor all offensive wars;-- never provoke even the puniest state;--and never strike the. first blow. Encourage agriculture and friendly traffic. Cultivate the sciences and arts;-let learning have its proper place, space, and adequate share of esteem and honor;- if possible, live in peace with all nations;-- retain your holy zeal for God's cause and your country's weal; and, that you may ever retain your liberty, avoid, as its bane and ruin, a national debt."
The following letter, detailing a visit paid by Dr. Clarke to his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, is highly interesting, and characteristic of the writer. It is dated "Before day," Feb. 13, 1832,' and addressed to his youngest daughter:-- " The post of the morning you left us, brought me the card of his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, to attend his levee or conversation on Saturday evening, at nine o'clock. I set off by the coach on Saturday morning, and spent all the day at Bayswater. I was the forty-first in the arrivals: a number of officers. were telegraphs, and the names flew, by them, to his Royal Highness's ear. I entered the large room, where, at, the threshold, the Duke stood, who seized my hand, and said 'how glad he was to see me.' The arrivals became very quick; and, for some minutes, his time was occupied by receptions. I stood not far from the entrance, speaking to Professor 'Lee and some others. The Duke came. again to me, and said, 'Dr. Clarke, do you know the Archbishop of Canterbury?' 'No, Sir.' 'Come with me, and I will introduce you to him.' He took me by the arm, and led me through the crowd. We came to the Archbishop. The Duke said, 'Here, my Lord, I have the pleasure of introducing to your Grace, my friend 'Dr. Adam Clarke.' I bowed, so did his Grace, and immediately held out his hand. He said,' Dr. Clarke, I am glad to see you. I know you well by character, and have often received instruction from your writings.', You know that he was one of the Commissioners on the Public Records; and, to my papers read before those Commissioners, he undoubtedly alluded. That over, the Duke took me through the crowd, and introduced me to the Bishop of Chichester, who talked with me for a quarter of an hour, till up came the Bishop of London, who shook my hand, inquired after my health, and asked after your brother Joseph. Before he came up, I had been extolling the exertions of the Bishop of London to his Lordship of Chichester; who, addressing the, Bishop of London, said, 'Ah, my Lord, Dr. Clarke and I were talking of you before you came up; but I will not tell 'your Lordship what Dr. Clarke said of you.' Soon after, the Duke took hold of my arm, and begged to introduce me to some of the foreign ministers, Lords, chief functionaries, learned foreigners, &c. &c. After a great many to's and fro's, the Duke, addressing me with great affection, said, (scores being all around us,)' 'Dr. Clarke, I am very glad to see you.' His Royal Highness told me that Ram mohun Row, would be here this night, and he would introduce me to him. I bowed; and then it was about twenty minutes after ten, and I was determined not to stay late. I therefore slipped off,' and met Ram mohun Row as I came down the steps; but I passed on to look for my gig. When I came into the ante-room for my hat, one of the gentlemen in waiting came from upstairs, -' 'Sir, the Duke has been calling for you.' I said, 'I am just setting off.' He said, 'The Duke has been calling twice for you.' I ran upstairs, my hat in my hand and my colored handkerchief about my neck, and entered the large saloon. The Duke spied me in a moment, caught me by the hand, led me to Ram mohun Row, and introduced me. As soon as this was over, I slipped out; and, away went your father, from a place where he had received the highest honor."
On the 24th of March, 1832, in compliance with an engagement of long standing, he preached in the City Road chapel,: on behalf of the Royal Humane Society. This fact has already been mentioned. His text was:
John v. 25. In the course of his sermon, he was led to compare the state of public morals at that time, with what it had been in former years; and he gave the following, as his own deliberate testimony on this subject:-
Few in this chapel have lived so long as the preacher who now addresses you. Few here know the nation as well as your preacher. He 'has been traveling in it now for more than half a century, among all states, and. among all conditions of men, from some of the highest places in the earth to some of the lowest dwellings of men; and he now says -gray hairs have a 'right to speak, when associated with much opportunity of observation; there is such a change in the country, as, even at the time when his mind was expanded with the greatest expectations of the manifestations of God's glory in the conversion of men, he never anticipated. I speak it without offense: there is a wonderful regeneration in the minds of men, throughout the whole of this land: and I know it is not confined to the whole of this land." During the month of April, and the early part of May, in this year, Dr. Clarke's ministerial services were in great request among his brethren, both in the metropolis and in the country. Even those who, at other times, treated him with contumely, were fain to secure his help whenever the financial resources of the Connection were to be replenished. But it seems never to have occurred to them, that he was growing old and infirm, and, that, consequently, he could not, without injury, exert himself as in former years. Accordingly, without waiting for his approbation, the Wesleyan authorities in Sheffield had placarded him to preach at Carver Street in the morning, and at Norfolk Street in the evening, and the next day for the Missionary meeting, although it was generally known that he had long since ceased to preach more than once in one day. "I positively protested," he observes, "against this arrangement, when I heard of it. The preachers begged and entreated, and at last went off in despair, saying, they 'should be ruined.' Faint and weary, I wanted to get. to bed. When at supper, in came a posse deputation, begging me, if I could not preach in the evening, to preach at Norfolk Street, after I should have finished at Carver Street., I treated them civilly; and, after they had worried me for half an hour, they went away. Then there was a hue-and-cry, many blaming the managers for their precipitancy, others deploring the state of the case. I went up to bed, and said, in a kind of anguish within myself, ' Let me die with the Philistines.' I told, my design this morning:
it flew like fire. Carver Street was packed before ten o'clock. I preached on Heb. 10:6-10, and God was present. At about' two o'clock, I was in Norfolk Street. Oh, what a crowd! I understand many went straight off from Carver Street to be in time to secure a place in Norfolk Street. I took Rom. v. 1, 2. It was a time of spirit and of power.' The people are delighted, and say nothing like this was ever' before" seen in Sheffield."
While he was engaged in writing the letter, of which the preceding quotation forms a part, he received a communication from the Wesleyan Mission-house in London, detailing the unhappy news of demolished chapels, just received from Jamaica. Forgetting all his' grievances, in his solicitude for the welfare of others, he exclaimed, " I see there is a flame kindled in our inheritance; and I feel that I am needed. The terms in which Mr. James speaks of my services, as he calls' them, are affecting.' I shall pocket and seat up all my causes of complaint; join myself even to the forlorn hope, at the 'front of the storming party, and mount the breach for 'the God of armies in the defense of his people!" Of these generous relentings,. this easiness to be entreated,. a most disingenuous use has' been made. They have been used to encourage the belief, that Dr. Clarke never complained of his brethren, and that those who represent him as having been the subject of unbrotherly treatment, do that for which there is no foundation.
Having literally "worked his way" to Liverpool, he was preparing to visit his Irish schools, which, as well as the Shetland Mission, were continually in his thoughts, when, he was arrested by an attack of the spasmodic disorder which usually admonished him that he had unduly exerted himself. Having recovered from this severe, though short-lived, seizure, he sailed for Ireland. The voyage was rendered unpleasant to him by the dissolute conversation of several of the passengers. Soon after he reached his friend Harper's house, at Donaghadee, he was laid up with rheumatism or gout (the doctor himself being puzzled to decide). This complaint, which had its seat in the foot, prevented him, for some time, from visiting the schools. When but partially recovered, he proceeded to Coleraine, preaching at Belfast by the way; but, as soon as he had settled his school accounts, he suffered a relapse, and was again laid up. "The intelligence of these facts alarming his family, Mr. Theodoret Clarke, his second' son, set out to join him, and bring him home; but, in the neighborhood of Leamington, the coach upon which he rode was overturned, and he so much injured by the fall as to be prevented from proceeding. Dr. Clarke, in the mean time, recovered so far as to be able to visit Port Rush, where he had the satisfaction of seeing the progress of the chapel and school-room, for which he had formerly obtained, ground from Lord Mark Kerr.
In the course of his journal of this visit, we meet with the following opinion on a subject, now much canvassed, namely, the introduction of poor laws into Ireland:-- "The moral poor of Ireland are not vitiated by a poorhouse education, but feel that spirit of independence which renders them superior to the servile spirit of those who are taught to live on begging, or on legal and systematic charity. This has been the case with England, by the operation of the poor-laws. The noble and independent spirit of the yeomanry is degraded, and nearly extinct; and, when Ireland gets the poor laws with which it is now threatened, the present rising sun of its prosperity will sink below the horizon, to rise no more for ever." The question is, could not a system of poor laws be introduced, which should be free, and kept free, from those abuses which have made the English system a millstone round the nation's neck?
It has been thought that manufactures, tended to produce crime. Dr. Clarke reasoned differently on this subject:-- "For want of manufactures," he observes, in a letter to Mrs. Clarke, dated Coleraine, June 15, 1832, "the streets and the country are full of boys and girls, from nine or ten to fourteen or fifteen years of age, only half-clothed, having nothing to do, and not desiring to do any thing. Manufactures are a blessing, independently of the means, the support of life, which they produce. The discipline and order which they introduce, are unnoticed restraints on immorality and vice; and oh! 'order is heaven's first law.' You cannot conceive how ruinous the want appears in all things to which its influence reaches. I think how much I owe to it. Had it not been for. this, I should have read little, and written less. Time would have hung heavily' on. me; and yet I should not have had enough of it for any purpose of' life." He was a living commentary on his own principles; for the love of order was his ruling passion.'
On the 16th of June, he received intelligence of' the accident that prevented his son from reaching Ireland; but, by some neglect, the extent of the injury sustained was not mentioned. The uncertainty in which this omission left him, agitated his mind, as may be perceived from the following entry in his journal:-- "Alas! alas! and I do not know the extent of this evil; but, unfit as I am to undertake this journey and voyage, I will set off for Belfast, and take the first vessel there for England. Oh, may God,' in his mercy, interpose in this behalf!' Spare the life of my son! and give me strength for the journey and voyage before me! Oh, what a providence is this! May God work in his mercy, and silence any irregular feelings or complaints in my soul! Show me, show me, O God, the way that I should take! Oh! let me not be laid up again, either by sea or by land!" Accordingly, he hastened his departure, and arrived at his friend Mr. Forshaw's, near Liverpool, on the 22nd of June. Here the complaint in his foot returned with new force, and, for several days, prevented him from stirring. While here, he was visited by Mr. Jabez Bunting, who, he states, "wished to persuade me to stop for the approaching Conference: and, indeed, in reference to the Shetland Islands, it may be necessary, as I can get the promise of no preacher to' go' over, and four are wanted. We had a good deal of conversation respecting the uneducated state of Ireland, We were decidedly against the Government plan of leaving the Bible out of the schools, which is proposed merely to please the Roman Catholics: to it in no form shall I ever agree: there shall be the whole Bible in all the schools in which I am concerned. I believe Government are sincere; but they are greatly deceived." This is a question on which good men of various sects have differed among themselves; and on which, more wonderful by far, the editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine ventured to differ from Mr. Jabez Bunting!
Dr. Clarke was too solicitous to see the various members of his family, particularly his second son, to yield to Mr. Bunting's wish; and, accordingly, as soon as he was' able, he proceeded to his own home. "Thus," he observes, in recording his arrival, "terminates a journey remarkable for affliction, disappointment, and suffering. My soul, hast thou learned any good lesson? Yes. What is it? It is this: that I have now such evidences of old age as I never had before; yet I believe my' understanding is as clear, and my judgment as sound, as ever! But, during my late detention and sufferings, have I repined against God or his providence? No; I was only disappointed, and I endured the mortification without a murmur. 'The cholera was before me, behind me, round about me; but I was preserved from all dread. I trusted in the sacrificial death of Jesus. No trust is higher; and none lower can answer the end: therefore, I was not divided between two opinions nor two creeds! I feel a simple heart: and the prayers of my childhood are yet precious to me; and the simple hymns which I sang when a child, I sing now with unction and delight." But, though Dr. Clarke was prevented from personally inspecting his schools, he received from the respective masters a satisfactory report of their state and progress. With most of them, Sunday schools were connected; and several branches of learning were taught in all' of them. The whole number of children under instruction was six hundred and sixty-six. In all, the Sacred Writings, Bible and Testament, were fully introduced; nor had the Catholics made the slightest objection: but no catechism was taught in the schools, the Conference Catechism being learnt at ,home with the consent of the parents, both Protestants and Roman Catholics. 
The alteration in Dr. Clarke's appearance was remarked with deep solicitude by the members of his family; and he himself was sensible of physical prostration. To one of his daughters, he said, " See how the strong man has bowed himself; for strong he was: but it is God who has brought down, and he can raise up. He still owns the word which I preach. He still continues my influence among the people; and hence it is plain he' has yet other work for me to do. I have never fallen out with life; but I have often fallen. out with myself, because I have not spent it better. To remedy this, I should be glad, with my present knowledge and experience, to live life over again. I do not admire the thought that
'Life does little more supply Than just to look about us and to die.'
This sentiment, practically regarded, would be the creed of the sluggard and the coward. No, there is in life much to, be done, much to be learnt, and much to be suffered we should live,, in time,. in reference to eternity. This I know, God's mercy has had a great deal to do to bring us thus far. It will have more to' do to bring us to the verge, of the eternal world; and it will have most of all to do to bring us to glory!" On his daughter remarking, "Father, I wish you would again preach, as you did some years ago at the City-road, on the subject of the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, as interpreted by Daniel i 31-35:" Dr. Clarke replied, "I have not even a note of that sermon; but I well remember preaching it." She asked, "How it was possible for him to get through such a sermon, without the slightest note for date of periods of empires, or for their geographic situation?" He replied, "I had the whole before me as clear as the noonday. I felt as if I was standing on the world, not in it. It was all spread before the eye of my mind:' I saw it all, and therefore I could describe it all." On its being sub-joined, "Then I should imagine, father, by the power of your description, that you saw also 'the stone cut out without hands,'" he answered with energy, "Yes, I felt, while I was dwelling on the power of God, and on his mercy as revealed in Christ for the salvation of man, as if I was taking hold of the pillars of eternity; and on them I hung the truth of God, which never can be shaken, and his mercy, which it declared, and which can never know an end." Those who heard the discourse alluded to, will remember the uncommon power , and energy of spirit and mind which it displayed. It occupied nearly two hours in the delivery; and, during the whole time, his energy remained unabated. Discoursing generally, Dr. Clarke remarked:-- "God requires us to do justly. This, as it refers to affairs of business, means, give proper weight: that is, let your balance be perfectly even: do not give too much, or you are unjust to yourself; nor the least too little, or you are unjust to your neighbor. As to liberality in business, there is no such thing required."
On the same occasion, addressing Mrs. Clarke, he said, "I think I shall be obliged to go to Liverpool to the Conference." To this she objected, saying, "While you had the power, you know I never selfishly withheld you; but, in your present state of health, indeed you must not leave home." To this affectionate expostulation, Dr. Clarke answered, "I know you never grudged me in my duty and work; and I think, with you, that I am scarcely fit to go. But I have duties to perform its reference to Shetland and the Irish schools; and, besides, I earnestly wish to leave my testimony for God and Methodism once more in the midst of my brethren.." Agreeably to this intention, to which he adhered, principally on the ground that Mr. Bunting had recommended it for the sake of getting proper preachers appointed for Shetland,, on the 19th of July,. Dr. Clarke left Haydon-hall, on his way to Liverpool.
Previously to setting off for Liverpool, he observed to his esteemed friend, Mr. Thurston, of London, that he must go to the Conference,, to make them take off his name as supernumerary. It would seem that the business of the Conference did not open in a manner satisfactory to' Dr. Clarke; for, on the first day of its sittings, he is reported to have said, "I am the father of the Conference, and you cannot help yourselves." In what exact sense these remarkable words are to be interpreted, we have not the means of deciding. It is to observed, however, that Mr. James Wood then held the station which entitles the holder, to be styled, in common parlance, "the father" of any given body of men. For the rest, the inference is plain, that Dr. Clarke' was not well pleased with his brethren. It is certain, however, that, as the business of the Conference proceeded, he came to a better understanding with them. Mr. John Anderson, one of the sub-secretary's assistants, declares, that he continued to' attend the Conference longer, and entered more fully into the business, than he had been known to do for many. years past. "He was," adds this gentleman, "in a fine spirit! He seemed to have been sent among us, breathing forth that spirit of brotherly kindness which dwelt so richly in his soul, to enforce upon us (and, as now appears, with his dying voice) the last exhortation of the Apostle John, 'Love one another.'" Mr. Anderson alludes to the last sermon that Dr. Clarke preached before the assembly of his brethren. 'It was delivered on the 5th of August, 1833, and appears to have made' a deep and peculiar impression upon the hearers. The text was Acts iii. 19. Mr. Entwisle has thus described this, memorable occasion:-- "Having, in his best style, preached his favorite doctrines of repentance, faith in Christ, the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, the witness of the Spirit with our spirits, that we are the children of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: he gave an account of his own conversion, his convictions' of sin, his obtaining pardoning mercy, and' his present enjoyment of God in Christ. Many of the congregation were deeply affected, and many thought at the time they should hear him no more.". Dr. Clarke himself had a presentiment of his approaching dissolution. On the 11th of July, Mr. Entwisle had received' a letter from him, in which, after announcing his intention to go to the ensuing Conference, he said, "I have several things I think of great importance to the Connection, to lay before the brethren; and, possibly, I may never have another opportunity. I think few should go to Liverpool; a God not well-pleased with the people, and the Cholera, are there." This pestilent disease was then raging in Liverpool and its vicinity; and Dr. Clarke heard of the sudden death of several persons whom he knew, and who had fallen victims to the awful scourge.' But it does not appear to have excited any apprehension in his mind. "I am apparently come," he says, "into the very jaws of the cholera;" and again, "I am come almost into the fangs of this ruthless disorder." But he adds, immediately, "I feel no alarm: to be over-solicitous, would answer no good end." Before this period, we find him making several allusions to this subject, none of which, however, betrays personal alarm. In the letter its which he gave an account of the death of his benevolent friend, Mr. Scott, is this striking sentence:-- "We hear that the cholera has got to London. Wherever it may be, there is God; and, perhaps, both you and I are immortal till our work is done." In that part of his journal which was written while he was laid up with the complaint in his foot, in the neighborhood of Liverpool, it is stated, "The news from Liverpool is very dismal. Cholera cases are increasing; and the inhabitants are afraid to go out of their houses, for fear of catching the disorder. I have. not strength to fly from the plague I resign myself to the Sovereign of heaven and earth; he can keep me from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, as well as the destruction that wasteth at noon-day." And in the midst of his reflections, subsequently to his arrival at his own house, he observes, as we have seen, "The cholera was before me, behind me, round about me; but I was preserved from all dread. I trusted in the sacrificial death of Jesus." From all which, it is apparent, that he lived in the same spirit with Job, when he said, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.'
The following letter to Mrs. Clarke gives an account of her husband's proceedings in connection with' the Conference:-- "I have been very poorly, and yesterday was so ill 'that Mr. Comer would call in Mr. Surgeon Hensman, A distressing cough obliged me to leave the Conference, and take to my room at an early hour. Notwithstanding my state was pretty well known to the brethren, they took the advantage of my absence, to come to a vote that I should preach before the Conference, in place of the ex-President. This was passed unanimously; and the President, ex-President, and Mr.' Bunting, came to Mr. Corner's to announce it to me. I refused, saying, that, conscientiously, I was not able. This morning they got the vote repeated; and, the President being obliged to go to the revival of the stations, I was placed in the chair, and continued 'in it till the' sittings closed." It is evident that the intention of his brethren was to do him honor, and make him, to use his own phrase, "pocket and seal up his causes of complaint." He yielded to the vote of Conference, and, as he states, "A glorious time it was: many of the preachers appeared greatly affected." The manner in which he gave in his charge concerning Shetland, was very striking. Many thought it would be his last appearance at Conference; and he intimated that such was his own impression.
Though Dr. Clarke went to Liverpool with the avowed determination of getting his name taken off the Minutes as a supernumerary, either he desisted from the attempt or did not succeed: for he was finally set down in that capacity for Windsor, the circuit in which he resided. As some atonement, however, for the violence which had been done to his feelings by the appointment of the preceding year, which was persisted in notwithstanding his remonstrances, and also to reconcile him to the similar appointment of the year then present, it was added, "N. B. Though Dr. Clarke is set down Supernumerary for Windsor, he is not' 'bound to 'that circuit, but is most respectfully and affectionately requested to visit all parts of our Connection, and labor according to his strength and convenience." On the 4th of August, he sent an early 'copy 'of the Stations to his friend, Mr. Thurston when, alluding to his new appointment, he wrote, "The Conference is great and glorious, has done its work almost, and cannot exist beyond Monday. See what a roving commission they have given me!"
Having promised to assist his youngest son, who was curate to' the (apparently non-resident) vicar, of Frame, in the formation of an association which he had projected for ameliorating the condition of the poor in that extensive parish, Dr. Clarke left Liverpool for Worcester,. where he rested at the house of his son-in-law, Mr. Rowley, concerning whom, and his family, he writes that they had "the cholera within a few doors of them,"' and proceeded thence to Frome on the following day. In the letter in which he described his motions to Mrs. Clarke, it is stated, "This constant traveling and labor, confinement in the Conference &c. greatly fatigue me'; and almost every day I am expecting to be knocked up.. Never was my mind more vigorous, and never my body so near sinking."
The Rev. J. B. B. Clarke has given the following interesting account of this meeting with his venerable father:-- " About eleven o'clock on the morning of the 8th, much earlier than I had reason to expect my father, I was passing through the hall, when. I saw the well known blue traveling-bag resting against the wall; and, filled with unexpected joy, I went to the dining-room which he had entered just before me. 'The old man, you see, Joseph, is come,' said he, with his usual tone of kindness, as he placed his hand upon my head, and kissed me; 'though battered and tossed about, he has still strength to come at the call of his son." He sat down for a few minutes, while I took off his gaiters; and then, as was his frequent custom, he began to walk slowly, diagonally across the room, asking various questions about myself and family, and talking of the occurrences and company he had met with on the road from' Cheshire. It was then that I observed a very marked difference in his appearance. His cheeks had fallen in; and he was considerably thinner than when I had last. seen him. His step was slow and heavy, with small. remains of that elastic firmness for which his walking was always remarkable; and the muscles of his legs had evidently much shrunk -- a sign of old age, which his straight and well-proportioned limbs had never before shown. His neck also was apparently shorter; and, besides these symptoms of decay, which I never for a moment supposed to be other than the mere effects of recent illness, when walking out with me there was more dependence on my arm and on his staff than had ever been usual with him. All these things pained and distressed me, but did not strike me as being the precursors of his final removal. Indeed, I never thought of my father's death with any distinctness of feeling. Like the end of the world, I knew both events would sometime happen; but so indefinitely distant did each seem, that neither possessed power to alarm. I could not realize to my mind the lasting silence of that ever kind, and cheerful, and 'instructive voice. "Why should such a man die?' was my constant feeling. His work 'is not finished, his mental powers are brighter and clearer than ever, his will is as active towards the good of others as' in the prime of his strength, and his bodily powers are only a little temporarily weakened. Then 'why should such a man die?' In the afternoon, the plan of the intended Society was laid before him. He entered at much length into its object, and 'appeared particularly gratified at the extensive and influential support which it had obtained. During the course of his conversation; it was impossible not to notice the depth of interest which he felt. His tone of voice, manner of action, strength of expression, all showed that what he said and did were the results of feeling and consideration. Nothing dropped, as it were, casually from him. This observation applies to every moment during his stay with me, and to every subject, however trifling, of which mention was made: constantly cheerful and pleasant, and even playful; but then, there was mingled with them, such blandness, and mildness, and holiness, as at once won you to affectionately love the man who thus felt and looked and spoke. A touch of heaven seemed to have passed upon all his feelings. The individual appeared as one who was not preparing to be, but had already been, beatified. His joy was so pure, his kindness so heartfelt, his piety so intense, his manners and voice so expressive of inward peace. Many times, while we stayed together, was I compelled to give way to the emotions of my heart, in the mental exclamation, 'Thou God of love, I bless thee for my father!'
"On the morning of the public meeting, the 9th," continues Mr. Clarke, "he rose as usual, at about five o'clock; and, though he had passed a bad night, he was evidently better than on the preceding day, and complained of nothing but a slight tendency to dryness of., mouth, an affection which sometimes very seriously' inconvenienced him, which he trusted, would pass. away. It fortunately did. On the platform, where many, both speakers and hearers, were assembled, he sought 'out' and secured his usual situation, -- a place far back, behind the ' front 'ranks, where he could remain unobserved by any one. It is not my design, even were it in my power, to record the speech which he made on the above occasion. The effect produced by it was surprisingly great. None seemed to listen to him as to a stranger, but as to one with whose moral worth they were well acquainted, and whose intellectual dignity they reverenced. While detailing the rise of the Stranger's Friend Society, under his own directions, 'in the city of Dublin, he accounted for his feeling in favor of active Christianity much in the following manner:-- "When I came forth, my Lord,' the Marquis of Bath was in the chair, 'among my fellows, as a public minister, I felt the importance of not making any man. my model, and not taking any peculiar creed as the standard of my faith. As I was to explain and enforce Scripture on my own responsibility, I resolved that all should be the result of my own examination. But there was a necessity that all should be reduced to some kind of creed; that it should not be a scattered host of unconnected thoughts, but a combined and irrefragably deduced series of incontrovertible doctrine, agreeing with truth and fitted for use. This compelled me to arrange my particulars into generals, to concentrate my forces, and call in my stragglers: nor did I ever cease thus to condense my creed, till I had reduced its several parts under the two grand heads: love to God, and love to man. Here I found that I had a rule to which I could refer all my conceptions of the great and holy God, and all my endeavors for the welfare of mankind. It was a creed of practice and not of theory, capable of being drawn into use at a moment's notice; and, under the influence of that short creed, Love to God and love to man, I began that society, in a great measure similar to this, the well-known, far-spread, and long-tried Stranger's Friend Society.' Alluding to the pleasure ,which he felt in seeing at the meeting, as the Society's active supporters, the heads of the Church, with many of its clergy, he spoke with much strength and emphasis of his regard for the Church; and, turning to the Bishop of Bath and Wells,
 who had spoken before him, he said,' The Church which I so highly reverence, and which, I pray to God,' its head, may enjoy an endless prosperity and a still increasing purity.' Speaking of the various grades of' society which were united as the officers and supporters of the institution, he said, 'In your Lordship, and your noble and Right Reverend supporters, the Earl of Cork, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells, I behold the representatives of the highest ranks in the land, peers spiritual and temporal. I am told that there are present here Members of Parliament. Clergy and gentry, and all grades, have united and come forward as the poor man's friends, and as officers of this Society. It is a grateful sight. Thus also it is even with the economy of heaven; since, concerning it, we hear of thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers; for orderly government seems to be well-pleasing to God; and what other degrees may be required to constitute the harmony of the celestial hierarchy, I know not; but -- I shall soon be there, and then I shall know the whole!' Though my father spoke long (yet who felt it so?), and the weather was oppressively hot, he did not seem much exhausted by the exertion; but, at the conclusion of the meeting, walked down to my house, where the Marquis of Bath, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells, with many others, had already arrived, to partake of some refreshment; and he pleasantly met the humorous address of the Bishop on his entrance, 'Dr. Clarke, come forward here; many good things have come out of your mouth to-day, let me help to put some of our good things into it in return.' During the whole of the afternoon and evening, he spoke with unmixed pleasure of his satisfaction; and, at our evening family devotions, he prayed most fervently and individually for its welfare, and for a blessing upon all who conducted or were engaged with it; and this was a petition which he never ceased to put up while he stayed, when the family was gathered together morning and evening."
To this account of the meeting it cannot be superfluous to add the following extract from a letter, in which he gave his friend Mrs. Corner, of Liverpool, whose house he describes as "one of those few places, out of his own family, which he could call homes, and in which he could feel at home," an account of his journey from Liverpool to Frome, and also of the meeting above described. It is highly characteristic:-- "When I came forward, all eyes were directed to the old gray head; and I was looked at as if I had been some strange nondescript animal which had been often spoken of, but never before seen! For a few seconds, I stood the silent object of general attention, after having made my humble bow to each of the constituted authorities, -- the Marquis, the Earl, and the Bishop; and then the assembly, en masse. Having broke silence, I addressed the Marquis, and humbly begged leave to ask for what purpose I was called before his Lordship, having nothing to ask, nothing to argue, nothing to recommend, either from private communication or written document; not even a resolution or motion to serve as a peg to hang a speech on. I spoke this pleasantly; and in a moment it was perceived that the Secretary had neglected to send me the resolution that I was to bring before the meeting. The pleasant manner in which I treated my own embarrassment, tickled the fancy of all; and I had a general cheer. The resolution was handed along the platform; and, when it came to my hand, I read it aloud. It treated of the visitors; 'and its chief object was the collection, which was to be made at the end of the meeting. When I came to the visitors, I strongly recommended that females should be employed; and, in doing this, mentioned the case where a number of men had been sent into a particular district, of which they could make little or nothing; and when, after several trials, it was still unproductive, at the suggestion of a friend, a number of women were sent to the same ground, who labored faithfully and to good effect: and, when an inquiry was made and a balance struck, it was found that one woman was equal to seven men and a half! Here the emotion was intense, and the effect general. The Marquis laughed downright, and the Bishop smiled aloud, and the Earl joined as heartily as the rest. The eyes of the ladies sparkled like diamonds; and even the face of thick-lipped, moping melancholy was gathered into a smile, and laughed ere it was aware; and cheers proceeded from all quarters. Finding that I had got the key of their hearts, and the strings of their purses, I announced the collection. The Countess of Cork, the Bishop's grand-daughter, and some other ladies, took the plates, and received the contributions; and the effect was such, that nothing like it had ever appeared at Frome; for the collection amounted to about ú160." The society which Dr. Clarke's youngest son was instrumental in forming, differed from the generality of similar societies formed by Churchmen. It "knew nothing," as we learn from the prospectus, "of sect or party;" and the whole of its excellent rules corresponded with this first great principle.
But a speech at the institution of his son's society 'was not the only assistance which Dr. Clarke rendered. On the following Sabbath, he preached a sermon in its behalf, in the Wesleyan-Methodist chapel of Frome. In the amount of the collection at the meeting, ú160, it had been seen what were the doings and feelings of the great. " It was reserved for me," says Dr. Clarke, " to witness the effects of the same principle among the poor. The collection, though apparently small, was noble. Now, look how ú15 was contributed by the poor." He then shows, that the collection consisted of one half-sovereign, eleven half-crowns, ninety-one shillings, two hundred and four sixpence, three hundred and forty-eight pence, nine hundred and eighty-eight half-pence, and one farthing."
To this may be added his son's account of the collection:-- "It was more than four-fold what was accustomed to be raised for their most popular charities. A strong man was obliged to be sent to bring it down; for it was mostly in half-pence! When I was counting it, there was found a farthing, which my father put into his waistcoat pocket with these words, 'Zeal can always find means of doing something. I will purchase from the collection this proof of it;' which was handed to him, on his giving the shilling that was deficient in the specified amount of the collection. This farthing was found in his pocket after his death, carefully wrapped up in a paper containing its history."
In the course of his sermon, he observed," Fifty years have now passed since I first came to this place, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. Then, your preacher was a boy in years, unskilled in experience, untaught in knowledge; but not wholly unlearned in that truth which maketh wise the simple. Since that time, I have been always learning. I have studied my own heart; and there is yet work there to be done. I have been observing the ways, and striving to know the love, of God, in which is, indeed, a height to attain, a depth to penetrate, a breadth to understand, which increase in magnitude as we draw nearer to the fountain of light and glory. And now, my brethren, I come again before you. My hairs are now gray; yet. I acknowledge 'it as my proudest boast, that Adam Clarke is still a learner at the feet of his Master." In a. subsequent part of the discourse, he made the following powerful appeal to drunkards:-- " Is there here a drinking husband, a spendthrift father? Can you love the wife of your bosom? You have sworn before the altar of God to cherish her through all the trials of life. She is the mother of your children. On her falls all the burden of your household toils, the wearying care of helpless infancy. And yet, this wife, this mother, you can leave to drink her cup of water, lonely, poor, or feeble, while you spend your children's and their mother's means of life, in noting and drinking with the drunken. Shame on you! Shame on you! Hence to your houses, and make those houses your homes! where love, and peace, and sobriety, and godliness, flourish; and where may there always be found, husbands, mothers, and children, who have kept the faith as becomes the disciples of Christ Jesus!"
About an hour before Dr. Clarke left his son's house, to preach this memorable sermon, one Mr. Hartford, of Road, called to see him. This person was one of the fruits of the Doctor's early ministry in the Bradford circuit, and used to conduct him to the various places where he preached. Dr. Clarke's account of his interview with this worthy man is as follows:-- "You have heard," he observes, in a letter to his daughter, "of my preaching at Road fifty years ago, when several young persons were convinced of sin, to thirteen of whom I gave notes of admission next morning. I went down. The man, who was waiting, was quite confounded, and did not know what to say, or how to behave! In my free way, I took him by the hand. He said, What! be this' he! the tidy little boy, that, fifty years agone, myself and many other young ones went all about the country to see and hear; under whom, I and several others were convinced of sin, and, by the grace of God, continue to this day!'-' Yes, I said, this is the form, into which the labor, wear, and tear, of fifty years, have thrown that quondam little boy.' I then briefly related the circumstances of that night, and some of the following days, &c. I asked how many were still alive of those whom I then admitted? He said, 'Ten were dead long ago; but himself, Lucas, and Miss Perkins, now Mrs. Whittaker, remained, and that the good had gone on and increased from that day to this.' Nota bene," adds Dr. Clarke, remembering the passage which was impressed upon his mind, when he went to pay a visit to Mr. Bredin, at Coleraine, " when I received my commission from God, these words were contained in it:--'I have ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.'"
To preserve the connection between the meeting and the sermon, we have omitted some affecting details, for which the public is indebted to the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke, and to which we now return. On the Friday between those events, says Mr. Clarke, "we had much conversation on my family affairs, and particularly on my ministerial duties and conduct. At the conclusion of the conversation, he rose from the sofa, and, coming up to me, paused for a few seconds, as if in meditation, or perhaps engaged in mental prayer; and then raising his hands, he placed them on my head, and, in a solemn voice, full of affection, he said, ' God bless thee, my son!'
Upon the paternal benediction, spontaneously bestowed, Mr. Clarke set a high value. "I looked upon it," he observes, " as an act which said, 'I will do all which an earthly parent can, but will still place my child under the care of that heavenly Father, who will more than fulfill my office when I am gone.' This protective rite was thus mine. This is the reason why I prized it; and a knowledge of a peculiarity in my father caused me to rejoice that it was secured to me. My father's bodily constitution was of such a nature that the attack of any severe pain or illness completely prostrated his strength; and, with it, fell his animal spirits, leaving nothing behind but uncomplaining endurance and patient resignation. It, therefore, always struck me, that the blessing so earnestly desired could never be given by him on his death-bed, when, in all probability, his animal powers would be unable to obey the dictates of his will."
"The same feeling (continues the narrator), which prompted him to give his blessing to me, induced him to bestow it also upon my wife, who gave me the following account of the occurrence, which took place while I was out on some parish duties:-- 'After inquiring from me the detail of many parochial plans and duties, he drew me to him, and said, "Matilda, you remember I ordained you to be a helper to your husband in your first parish in Liverpool; but here I must add, may the Lord bless and strengthen you to do his work in this place; for you have, indeed, a wide sphere of usefulness both among the rich and poor." The circumstance in Liverpool to which he alluded was the following:--On his visit to us soon after our marriage, he took an early opportunity of conversing with me on the importance of the duties to which I had pledged myself by my union with a minister of the altar. Then, laying his hand on my head, as I sank down on my knees before him, he said, "My dear child, you do not now belong to yourself, or even to your husband. The people of God have a right in you; and, as a helper in the work of the ministry, I ordain you in the name of the Lord Jehovah. It will be your part especially to visit the sick, to comfort the mourners, and to lead the young in the paths of righteousness. God grant you his Spirit to be your teacher, and his blessing to prosper the holy work!"'"
In the evening of the day on which this impressive scene occurred, the Liturgy of the Church became the subject of conversation:-- " One of our friends," remarks his son, " having made some observations on the very great difficulty, for any length of time, of so sustaining the devotional feelings, as to do justice to the spirit of the Church Prayers, Dr. Clarke replied, 'I think that the failure in devotional feeling, in some instances, is necessarily produced by too much being required from us. This has always appeared to me as being a strong objection to the repetition of the Gloria Patri, at the conclusion of each psalm. This form, which should raise us to the very heights of devotion, recurs every few minutes, and is repeated, perhaps after psalms descriptive of the vengeance of the Almighty on the rebellious nations. These things should not be stumbling-blocks in the way of the weak.'" Doubtless, he produced this as one instance only of the many needless, and therefore vain repetitions, 'in the Prayers of the Establishment.'
We have seen already what was Dr. Clarke's opinion concerning the pernicious doctrine of universal restitution. This formed the subject of one of his conversations with his son. "We had been speaking," observes that reverend gentleman, "of that sect of religionists who maintain that a period will arrive when even the penal fires of hell shall be extinguished, and the spirits of the condemned shall be received into happiness. He spoke of the tenet as being unscriptural, and of the utter folly of making our feelings tests of God's' justice, as though what was awful in idea must, therefore, be untrue in fact; 'but,' said he, 'an anecdote that I have heard of the celebrated Whitefield, has always appeared to me to be an admirable answer to such reasoners; and, though merely an anecdote, it possesses all the force of an unanswerable argument. Whitefield, in one of his sermons, had been combating the error we have just been speaking of, and wound up the discourse thus:-- "So then it would appear, that the time will, at some indefinite period, arrive, when those who have been redeemed by Christ's blood, and the damned spirits, will be inhabitants of the same heaven, and sit down together upon thrones of glory! There must, therefore, instead of one, be two songs in heaven: one will be, 'Glory to the Lamb for ever and ever;' and the other, 'Oh rare damnation!"
"On Monday morning," continues the deeply interesting narrative of Mr. J. B. B. Clarke, "my father, my wife, and our little daughter Alice, with her nurse and myself, all set off together for Weston super Mare, where we were intending to spend a few days with' my mother-in-law, Mrs. Brooke. I 'thought that rest and sea-air might do my father good. He was in very excellent spirits, and had not suffered from his Sunday preaching. Most part of the way he nursed and played with the little child, delighting in her sagely important look, when he placed his large broad-brimmed hat upon her head, and making sportive observations on the vehicle we were obliged to occupy to Wells, where Mrs. Brooke's Carriage was to meet us. He arrived at Weston rather wearied. Next morning we took a walk, when he was evidently not much delighted with a bathing-place, which he called a 'congenes of mud, varied by barren sands;' and, having nothing particularly gratifying in the surrounding prospect to engage his thoughts, he seemed to turn with the greater delight to recollections of past scenes, dwelling with great pleasure and much affection on the universally kind feeling shown to him by his brethren at the Conference. This was a subject to which he often recurred, and expressed his thankfulness to God that he had been enabled once more to meet the Preachers, and that the meeting was such as to be remembered with the utmost satisfaction indeed, he several times abruptly introduced a mention of the joy he felt, which clearly proved what great hold the circumstance possessed on his mind. No man was ever more devoted in his love to Methodism than my father; though individuals might be wrong or unkind, yet still he always clung to Methodism with the entire affections of his heart, sanctioned by the confirmed approval of his understanding. Any members of the Body he considered as entitled to his best services; and any token of regard proceeding from the Society he felt as his fullest and best reward for either arduous service or personal sacrifice.
"In his few and short walks on the sands of Weston, he several times noticed and pitied the state of those who were obliged, by age or indisposition ,to use wheeled chairs for exercise: often he exclaimed, 'God forbid that I should ever be reduced to that!' His feeling on this point was intense. I believe that he never saw a person shattered, either in frame or understanding, without a temporary pang, or without putting up a mental prayer to God that such might not be his case."
The day before Dr. Clarke left Weston for Bristol, on his road homeward, the passing before the window of some Ladies, who were believers in the pretensions of Irving, Armstrong, Erskine, and others of that blasphemous school, led the discourse to that subject. "My father," observes Mr. Clarke, "stated that he had that morning given a serious warning to an acquaintance of his who was tainted with that evil leaven, and hoped it might be of advantage to her, for she had fallen into a 'gloomy croaking;' uncharitable feelings were indulged toward all who did not see as she saw; they were considered as being merely in the outskirts of Christianity, or as being blindly ignorant of its privileges. Such people possess a kind of spiritual pedantry, which excites them to a vain confidence of themselves, or undue undervaluing of others. He expressed himself very strongly and decidedly against the pretensions and speculations of the above-named individuals, as well as against their 'spurious sort of Christianity.' He considered it only as a temporary evil, which probably would not last out the lives of its inventors, and from which the church of God had nothing to apprehend; its own pretensions would be its own confusion.
"On Thursday morning," adds the affectionate son," I went with him to the Bristol coach, waited till he was driven away, and never saw him more!"
On the 19th of August (being the Sabbath), Dr. Clarke preached, by appointment, at Westbury, near Bristol. Of this sermon, which was the last he preached, an account has been furnished by Mr. H. R. Griffiths, of Walworth, the Secretary of the London Stranger's Friend Society. This gentleman, happening to be in Bristol at the time, went over to Westbury to hear Dr. Clarke. The following is the substance of his account:-- "The Doctor took his text from 1 Tim. i.
15: 'This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.' He was exceedingly zealous in his manner, and made an especial allusion to the cholera, describing it 'as a mighty scourge in the hand of Jehovah, and a judgment which should awaken all men to flee to God, through Christ, as their only safety and sure refuge.' When the service was ended, he retired into the vestry; and several of his friends, together with his brother-in-law, Mr. Thomas Exley, of Bristol, followed. I was about to do the same, when I perceived him making his way through the congregation, in order to leave the chapel. Having reached the door, Mr. Thomas Wright, of Bristol, requested him to wait until he brought his chaise from the inn. The Doctor replied, ' No, he would walk on,' which he accordingly did, leaning upon my arm. Upon my adverting to his leaving many of his friends behind, he said, 'This has ever been the case with me: if I had always accommodated myself to other people, I should never have accomplished what I have done. I cannot lose time, though by it I had gained the character of being a very good-natured fellow; for it might have been added, I was as harmless as a chicken, and as fruitless as an oyster.' Dr. Clarke then spoke of his habits and pursuits through life; then, changing the topic of conversation, he referred to his new supernumerary appointment, observing, 'The Conference have given me plenty of work, and a roving commission. I am going to begin it next Sunday, by preaching at Bayswater for the chapel, and the Sabbath following at Wilderness-row; and I have promised Mr. Beaumont that I will preach for him in the Southwark circuit; so I am in no want of work.' The venerable Doctor then inquired particularly respecting the late Rev. John Storry's death; and asked me if he died of Asiatic cholera. I told him the medical gentlemen reported it as such. He thereupon made particular inquiries as to the time of his being taken, the mode of the attack, how long he suffered, and if severely, &c. Dr. Clarke knew I had been with Mr. Storry at the time of his death; and I gave him accurate information on all these points. He then made kind inquiries respecting Mrs. Storry. At this time we were drawing near to the opening of the Down, which lies between Westbury and Bristol; and he then began walking slower, observing, ' I have no wish to walk beyond these trees and grounds that shelter the road; having been warm in preaching, I should feel the wind cold upon the Down.' Some of his friends then coming up, and the chaise arriving, Dr. Clarke shook hands with me, bade God bless me, and proceeded. on his way to Bristol."
On Monday, the 20th of August, Dr. Clarke left Bristol for Bath; and, in writing from the latter city to his friend Mrs. Tomkins, one of those who had supported the Shetland Mission, he observes:-- " I have had either incessant work and traveling, or confinement and suffering, for nearly four months, and now I should have rest; but that, I doubt, is yet far from me."
While in Bath, he received from Mrs. Clarke an account of a terrible disaster at Shetland, by which about thirty fishing-boats, each containing five or six men, were supposed to have perished. From a letter written by Mr. Robert Manwaring, one of the missionaries, it appeared', that of those who perished many were Methodists, and some leaders of classes. "How many members we have lost in all," said that gentleman, " I cannot tell; but we have now about forty widows, and nearly two hundred fatherless children, belonging to our Society. I hope our dear English friends will enable the poor widows to pay their rent, as it was by the fishing alone that they paid it."
This distressing account, as may be supposed, deeply affected the mind of Dr. Clarke. He would not hear, however, of money being collected to enable the poor creatures to pay their rent, justly deeming that no landlord, even in the most barbarous countries, would attempt to exact, from their widows and orphans, the rent of tenants who had lately perished in his service. "'Whatever may be sent from this country," he observes, "will be sent to relieve the present necessities of those most desolate persons, not to pay rents, &c.; as, by the destruction of the lives of the men, all sources of gain are dried up, and their widows and orphans left to the mere mercy of the public; and to a public, too, ill able to afford effectual or permanent relief." A public subscription was immediately set on foot, to relieve this case of signal distress; and the English public came forward with a liberality commensurate to the occasion.
Dr. Clarke left Bath for London on the same day on which he arrived there, and reached the house of his friend Mr. Hobbs, at Bayswater the same evening. There he slept; and, on the following morning, Mr. Hobbs drove him to call upon his son, in St. John's square, and thence to' his daughter's (Mrs. Smith), at Stoke Newington. He' appeared as cheerful as usual. His two grandsons, having run down, on hearing his voice, to meet him, he kindly inquired for the rest of the children; and, being told that they should be sent down directly from the nursery, he replied, "No, I will go up and see them, if the little ones are asleep." One after the other, he kissed them, and passed into the sleeping-nursery, where the two youngest were in bed. He looked upon them, paused for a minute in silence, and then turned to leave the apartment, after bidding all good morning. As he was leaving the room, on the nurse, an old servant of his, saying, "Oh, master, I am so glad to see you back again," he returned a step, put out his hand, and said, "Thank you, Cottier!" Remounting the gig, he was driven to Canonbury-square, to see his other daughter, Mrs. Hook, and thence returned to Bayswater to dinner; after which, he took the Pinner coach, and got to Eastcott about seven in the evening.
Thursday the 23rd, and Friday the 24th, he passed in writing letters, one to Miss Birch, in reference to the calamity at Shetland, and another to Mr. Harper, respecting the Irish Schools, from which the following is an extract:-- " At Conference I had a good deal of conversation with the Committee, about the Schools. I offered them, with the money in hand; and said, ' I will go over and establish others, if you will give me authority.' They questioned me, whether the schools were 'such as were absolutely necessary, because education of no kind could be found in the place, nor within an attainable distance.' I told them that it was even so, in the places where the six schools were established. They said, they would soon have a full meeting of the Mission Committee, of which I should have due notice; and then the subject of the Shetlands, and my Irish schools, should be considered.'"
After Dr. Clarke's return home, it was remarked, that, in the morning and evening family worship, he invariably prayed in reference to the cholera, by name, that "each and all might be saved from its influence, or prepared for sudden death:" and, as regards the nation at large, "that it would please Almighty God to turn the hearts of the people unto himself, and cut short his judgment in mercy."
On Saturday, August 25, he summoned the family as usual; and it was observed he commenced his prayer with these words, "We thank thee, O heavenly Father, that we have a blessed hope, through Christ, of entering into thy glory;" and, on rising from his knees, he remarked to Mrs. Clarke, "I think, my dear, it will not be my duty to kneel down much longer, as it is with pain and difficulty that I can rise up off my knees."
As he was engaged to preach at Bayswater, on the Sabbath morning, his friend Mr. Hobbs had promised to go for him in his chaise, which he accordingly did. On the way, his conversation was cheerful; but, on his arrival, he appeared fatigued, and, as the evening advanced, was unusually languid. Several friends' called upon him; and, on Mr. Thomas Stanley, since deceased, requesting him to fix a time for preaching a charity sermon, he replied, " I am not well; I cannot fix a time; I must first see what God is about to do with me." At supper, he was languid and silent: Mrs. Hobbs had got for him some fish, to which he was always partial; but he could not eat of it, and took a little boiled rice instead.
Ever since Dr. Clarke's return from Bristol, his bowels had been considerably affected; but, as this was his constitutional ailment, an increase of it did not make him uneasy; especially as, contrary to custom, he suffered not the slightest pain. On being pressed to take something for it, he took ginger and rhubarb, but refused every other recommendation urged upon him.
On Saturday evening, he retired early to bed; but the diarrhea increased upon him during the night. On the Sabbath morning, he was heard to be up very early; but, as this was not unusual, it created no surprise. At six, however, he requested the servant to call Mr. Hobbs, who obeyed the summons with all speed, and, on coming down, saw Dr. Clarke standing with his great-coat on, his small traveling-bag in his hand, his hat lying on the table, just ready for a journey. Addressing Mr. Hobbs, he said, "My dear fellow, you must get me home directly. Without a miracle, I could not preach. Get me home: I want to be home." Mr. Hobbs, seeing Dr. Clarke look exceedingly ill, replied, "Indeed, Doctor, you are too ill to go home: you had better stay here. At any rate, the gig is not fit for you. I will go and inquire for a post-chaise, if you are determined to return to Eastcott." The unusual circumstance of Dr. Clarke's sending for Mr. Hobbs, alarmed Mrs. Hobbs, who went down shortly after, as did also Miss Hobbs and Miss Everingham. By this time he had sunk into a chair; and, finding him very cold, they had got a fire, and the three ladies were rubbing his forehead and hands, while Mr. Hobbs sent for a medical gentleman, a friend of the family, Mr. Charles Greenly, of Chatham, who had come to town on the preceding evening. Besides this gentleman, who had professionally attended the cholera hospital in Chatham, Mr. Hobbs called in a medical man residing in the neighborhood, and sent to inform Dr. Clarke's sons of their father's illness. Mr. Theodoret Clarke arrived shortly, and Mr. John Clarke not long after, accompanied by Dr. Clarke's nephew, Mr. Thrasycles Clarke, who had been for many years a Surgeon in his Majesty's navy, and had frequently seen cases of the cholera 'in the East. As soon as the medical gentlemen saw Dr. Clarke, they pronounced the disease to be an attack of cholera. The family wished him to be taken upstairs; but he was by this time so weak, that it was found he could not get up. A small press-bed being in the adjoining room, he was laid down upon it. Mr. Hobbs then remarked, "My dear Doctor, you must put your soul in the hands of your God, and your trust in the merits of your Saviour:" to which Dr. Clarke could only faintly reply, "1 do, I do." Dr. Wilson Philip was sent for. He arrived about nine; and every means that skill, experience, and attention, could devise and employ, were used to arrest the disease in its progress. Service-time having arrived, the chapel was, as usual on such occasions, filled; and,, on Mr. Womersley getting into the pulpit, after the reading of the Prayers, and announcing that Dr. Clarke was laboring under an attack of cholera, an impression was made upon the congregation which may be better imagined than described.
A friend of Dr. Clarke's, Mr. Thurston, on hearing this, immediately left the chapel, and hastened to the house of Mr. Hobbs, to learn if, indeed, it could be true; and if, in the dismay and hurry of the family, Mrs. Clarke had been sent for. He immediately drove off to Haydon-hall, to bring Mrs. Clarke to Bayswater. She arrived a little before four o'clock in the afternoon. When she entered the room, Dr. Clarke feebly extended his hand towards her. His daughter, Mrs. Hook, on hearing that her father was indisposed, instantly set off for Bayswater. When she arrived, he opened his eyes feebly, and strove to clasp his fingers upon her hand. He had attempted to speak but twice, once in the morning, when he asked his son Theodoret, "Am I blue?" and again at noon, when, on seeing him move from his bed-side, he inquired with apparent anxiety, "Are you going?" His two sons chafed his cold hands and feet frequently in the day, and often stepped behind his head to lift him higher on his pillow. Hope did not abandon them; nor could Mrs. Clarke be brought to believe that death had made a sure lodgment, and that life was fast sinking under its power. From the first Dr. Clarke appeared to suffer but little pain. The sickness did not last long; and a slight degree of spasm which succeeded it, had passed away before eleven in the forenoon; but there was a total prostration of strength, and difficulty of breathing, which, as evening advanced, increased so much, and proved so distressing to Mrs. Clarke, that it was found necessary to remove her into the adjoining room. A few minutes after eleven, Mr. Hobbs came into the room where she was sitting, and in deep distress said, "I am sure, Mrs. Clarke, the Doctor is dying." She passed with him once more into the sick chamber, and said, "Surely, Mr. Hobbs, you are mistaken; Dr. Clarke breathes easier than he did just now." To which Mr. Hobbs, in strong emotion, replied, "Yes; but shorter." At this moment, Dr. Clarke heaved a short sob, and his spirit went forth from earth to heaven!
Though accompanied," says the son of Dr. Clarke before quoted, "by every circumstance that could assuage grief, yet the departure of such a father must ever be felt by his family as a dire calamity. They were supported under it; for they knew whither he had journeyed before them. The blow must at some time have come; and God, in mercy, so ordered events, that it fell with no additional force, but merely with its own dead weight. His constitution could not endure severe pain; therefore, by a lingering illness, producing no suffering, and never suspending any of his powers of activity, he was reduced to such a state of weakness, that his frame had not power to struggle in pain with the disease, but gradually sank, with full consciousness, into his last sleep. He thought upon decay, of either body or mind, with very little short of real anguish; therefore, he was called away when he was active in his Master's service, and with all the powers of his mind in undimmed brightness. He was far from desiring a sudden death, and yet a protracted dying would have been to him most severely afflictive; therefore, his body was not harassed by pain, and he had all the time granted him for preparing to meet his God, that, I believe in my soul, he ever desired. On the subject of sudden death, he once thus expressed himself:-- ' That sentence frequently applied to the death of the righteous," sudden death is sudden glory," is a foolish expression. No man should desire to be taken off at a moment's warning. When my time comes to go the way of all the earth, I should pray not to be taken suddenly into the presence of my God. Gladly would I have time to brace on my armor, and to take my shield. Then would I meet and struggle with the monster, in the power of my Redeemer; and, to the last gasp, Death, though conqueror, should possess no victory over Adam Clarke.' Though his animal powers had failed, and his speech was gone, yet entire consciousness remained, as many of his actions proved. His knowledge of persons around him also evinced it; and, from the posture of his hands, it was at once seen that he was indeed 'bracing on his armor, and taking his shield.' All his children had seen him, for events had brought him to abide with me for several days; and, in coming to me, he had chosen to pass through Worcester, where my eldest sister, Mrs. Rowley, resides, and thus had spent some time with the only two of his children who could not be with him in his last moments. In all these, and various other circumstances attending his demise, his family see and acknowledge more than a general superintending Providence; they see that God dealt with him according to his wish; there was no rough dismissal from his earthly tabernacle, and but a short interval between the full enjoyment of life and the attainment of a blessed immortality.
This awful event, by which earth was suddenly deprived of one of its most useful inhabitants and brightest ornaments, and one of the most illustrious and faithful servants of God was introduced into the heavenly mansions, was first announced to the public by the Editor of the' Christian Advocate newspaper, in the columns of which there appeared, the day after it took place, a short but spirited sketch of his character, and a brief account of his illness and decease. This article was copied into all the London papers of the following day; so that, in a very short space of time, the members of the Christian church throughout the kingdom, were made acquainted with the very sore and sudden bereavement which it had sustained.
From the ensuing number of the above-named journal, in which still more ample justice was done to the merits of the illustrious dead, by a memoir of considerable length, and, remembering the speed with which it was drawn up, remarkably interesting, faithful, and accurate, it appears that the remains of Dr. Clarke were interred in the burying-ground behind the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel, City-road, London, on Wednesday, the 29th of August, 1832. It had been announced that the solemn ceremony would be performed on the 28th; and many hundreds of persons came from all parts of the metropolis on the morning of that day, anxious to testify their respect for his memory, by being present on the occasion. Although the day on which the funeral took place was exceedingly wet, and one disappointment had been experienced, great numbers of persons assembled. Accompanied by all the preachers present, the corpse was met by Mr. Entwisle, who began the solemn service with, " I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord;" and read impressively that part of the form appointed for the occasion. When drawing towards the close, he paused for a few moments, to impress upon all present the solemnity of the scene before them, and then resumed his reading. Three verses were sung of the well-known hymn, commencing,
Hark! a voice divides the sky, Happy are the faithful dead."
Afterwards, Mr. Entwisle spoke a few words. He need not, he said, say to any of them, "Know ye. not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel!" They well knew this. It was not his intention to deliver such an address as ought, on such an occasion, to be delivered: in due time, an improvement would be made of the awful event -- awful, not to him who had departed this life, and who now rested from his labors, but awful to them as a religious body, to the bereaved members of his family, and to a large circle of beloved friends. Mr. Entwisle concluded with an extempore prayer, in which he prayed that the awful and mysterious dispensation of Providence might be duly improved by the religious body with which the deceased had been so long connected. The friends and preachers now accompanied the body to the grave, where the service was resumed by Mr. George Marsden, amidst the sighs and tears of nearly all that were assembled. The grave in which the remains of Dr. Clarke are interred, is next to the vault in which the ashes of Mr. Wesley repose. He often expressed a wish to be buried near his spiritual father. It is about twenty feet deep, and in ground never before used. When the body was lowered into the tomb, all the relatives of the deceased were greatly affected; but none more so than Mr. John Wesley Clarke, his eldest son. In many parts of England, it is customary for the nearest relative to drop a little earth upon the coffin. Guided by this custom, this gentleman held out his hand, apparently to receive some earth. This being given, he squeezed it for a moment, then put it to his lips, as if to kiss it, and, immediately dropping it upon the coffin, burst into tears.
Several of Dr. Clarke's surviving brethren in the ministry, and some ministers of other denominations, did honor to his memory, by preaching sermons on occasion of his death. Among these were Messrs. H. Moore, J. Entwisle, Sen., J. Beaumont, B. McNicol, VT. France, J. Anderson, and J. Fielding; but, as, in describing his character, we may have occasion to refer to the discourses of most of these gentlemen, it is not necessary to speak of them more particularly in this place.
A few days after the decease of Dr. Clarke, the Editor of the Christian Advocate, at the conclusion of a warm eulogium, proposed that a public monument should be erected to his memory. The following was part of the proposition:-- "Let a committee of fit and responsible men be immediately formed; and we are persuaded, that, in, less than two months, a sum will be forthcoming, sufficient to provide for the erection of a monument in some degree worthy of the man to be commemorated." This hint was immediately taken, and a committee was formed. In the mean time, the project was communicated to the Duke of Sussex, who was known to entertain a great esteem for Dr. Clarke. His Royal Highness was then in Wales; but a letter, dated September 9, 1832, was received from his secretary, who was commanded to state, that, "had not the letter followed his Royal Highness to Wales, he would have been most happy to have lent his aid at the meeting intended at Peele's Coffee-house, Fleet Street, in furtherance of the object considered desirable by the friends of the late pre-eminently learned and pious Dr. Adam Clarke." The writer was "commanded likewise to express how sensibly his Royal Highness felt the loss which he, as well as the Christian world, had sustained, by the death of a man so talented, learned, and of so acknowledged a reputation; and, at the same time that his Royal Highness agreed in the measures about to be adopted for the preservation of his memory, and would be most happy to add his mite towards the erection of some monument," he commanded his secretary to throw out on his part, the very proper suggestion, "that the subscription should be small, so as to enable the least wealthy of the Doctor's admirers to contribute their mite likewise in furtherance of so laudable an object." His Royal Highness requested that he might be furnished with the resolutions, &c., already adopted, -a request which was, of course, complied with.
For the succeeding, as well as the preceding information, we are indebted to the Christian Advocate, to the editor and one of the proprietors of which, unquestionably belongs the credit of having originated the proposal of erecting a public monument to the memory of Dr. Clarke.
Immediately after the publication of the hint in that journal, it appeared that a very general wish prevailed among the lay friends and admirers of Dr. Clarke, that the distinction mentioned should be conferred upon him. No one volunteering, however, and because it is proper that a mark of respect, in order to be unequivocal, should be quickly paid, Mr. John Stephens, the proprietor alluded to, made the beginning. He drew up and addressed to a number of gentlemen, composed indifferently of Dissenters, Methodists, and Churchmen, a circular letter, inviting their attendance at a meeting at Peele's Coffee-house, Fleet Street, to form a committee, and to make other arrangements for the attainment of the object in view. A meeting was held, and Thomas Farmer, Esq., of Kennington, was called to the chair. Mr. Farmer then stated to the meeting, that, as he had that day been requested to inform them, it was already in the contemplation of the immediate friends and connections of Dr. Clarke to erect a monument to his memory; and he suggested the propriety of giving place to them. On the contrary, it was urged by several gentlemen, among whom were Dr. Morrison, of Chelsea, and Mr. Stephens, that a proper deference might be shown to the parties alluded to by the chairman, without a total abandonment, by the present meeting, of the object of its assembling. It might be that Dr. Clarke's friends did not intend a public monument, but merely a tablet to his memory in the City-road chapel; in which case they and the meeting might each pursue their respective plans without opposition or collision. Mr. Farmer avowed that he, for one, should not be content without a public monument; and, this appearing to be the common feeling of the gentlemen present, it was unanimously resolved to adjourn for a short period, to give time to Dr. Clarke's religious connections to make known their purpose. Accordingly, resolutions to this effect were passed, and a paper, of which the following is a copy, was presented to the trustees and executors of Dr. Clarke:-
At a meeting of the friends of the late Doctor Adam Clarke, convened at Peele's Coffee-house, on Friday evening, September 7th, 1832, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of erecting a public monument to the memory of that distinguished scholar and divine (Thomas Farmer, Esq., in the chair), it was 'Resolved, That, in consequence of an intimation conveyed to the meeting, that the immediate religious connections of Dr. Clarke intend adopting certain measures for the purpose of commemorating the virtues of that eminent individual, this meeting feels itself called upon to adjourn for ten days, till it shall be ascertained what may be the nature of those measures which may be contemplated by the immediate connections of Dr. Clarke.'"
In the mean time, some of the Wesleyan-Methodist ministers resident in London, came to an understanding among themselves (promoted chiefly by the late Mr. R. Watson), that it should be recommended to Conference to erect tablets to the memory of Dr. Adam Clarke and the late Mr. Benson. "We are glad," observes the Editor of the Christian Advocate, "that, through the agitation in our columns of the question of erecting a monument to the Doctor, it is likely that due, though tardy, justice will be done to the distinguished merits of so successful and talented a preacher as Mr. Benson. The propriety of the determination to which the brethren of Dr. Clarke have come is unquestionable. He is not less deserving of a monument, considered as the most illustrious Wesleyan minister of his day, than he is of a public tribute of esteem, considered as a great scholar and divine; and the one design is perfectly compatible with the other."
When it thus became apparent that the immediate religious friends and connections of Dr. Clarke designed only to commemorate his talents, his attainments, and his usefulness, as one of their brethren, without reference to the obligations under which, by his eminent labors in the field of biblical science, he had laid the entire Christian world, it was seen that those with whom the project of a public monument had originated, were quite at liberty to pursue their own plans. A variety of circumstances, however, occasioning delay, it was not till Saturday, October 20, that these gentlemen resumed their purpose; when, by a circular, drawn up by Mr. Stephens, an adjourned meeting was convened. At this second meeting, several resolutions were passed, and a committee of gentlemen was named and appointed, to whom it was referred to make arrangements for a public meeting, to be convened by advertisement. Having thus tended this project until it began to assume the shape of probability, Mr. Stephens left it in the hands of gentlemen, who, he had no doubt, would carry it into complete effect; 'and it will, doubtless, be a consolation to him, and to the Editor of the Christian Advocate, in after years, to reflect that they had the first hand in securing to the memory of that great and good man, Adam Clarke, a tribute which, as they justly observe, has often been paid to men less eminent for intellect and piety, but seldom to a man in whom those qualities were combined in so high a degree.
But, "envy will merit as its shade pursue;" a truth which, as it was realized by Dr. Clarke during his life, was exemplified with reference to him even after the grave, which puts an end to rivalry and should put an end to enmity also, had closed over him. The first intimation which the public received of the proceedings of the Committee with whom it rested to make preparations for the erection of a monument to Dr. Clarke- the first, that is, after the publication of the foregoing facts in the Christian Advocate, appeared on the cover of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine for February, 1833, and that in the following extraordinary form:-- " Application having been made to stitch up with the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, an advertisement of a monument intended to be erected to the memory of Dr. A. Clarke, resolved unanimously, at a meeting of the advertising committee, held January 21, 1833, 'That, with the utmost respect for the memory of the late Dr. A. Clarke, the said application be declined, on the following grounds:-- That no intimation is given, by which the public can be led to form any idea of the probable expense of the undertaking, or of the place where the intended monument is to be erected, or of the inscription which may be placed upon it, or of the parties to whom time execution of the project will be finally entrusted.' The public will be glad to learn, that the Methodist Book-Committee have unanimously resolved to recommend to the Conference the erection of tablets in City Road chapel, to the memory of the late Rev. Joseph Benson, the Rev. Dr. Clarke, and the Rev. Richard Watson, similar to those already erected, in the same place, to the memory of the Rev. John Wesley, the Rev. Charles Wesley, the Rev. John Fletcher, and the Rev. Dr. Coke."
"The spirit of this notice," it has been remarked, "was sufficiently illustrated by the review of Dr. Clarke's auto-biographical memoirs, contained in the same number," -- a review in which his memory was treated with as little respect as if he had but added one more star to the nebulous constellation of laborious dullness -- as if his greatest literary achievement had consisted in an abortive effort to revive the fame of some glistening ephemera of the Commonwealth! The addition of the name of Richard Watson, to the names of Adam Clarke and Joseph Benson, renders it scarcely needful to inform the reader, that the death of the former had occurred since it was resolved to recommend to Conference the erection of tablets to the memory of the latter two. " It is a serious reflection," observes a friend of Dr. Clarke, "that one of the principal authors of this device (the object of which was to frustrate the intended honor to the Doctor's memory) should thus have bespoken a tablet for himself." The fact is, that Mr. Watson was the individual to whom it first occurred, that Mr. Benson's character and reputation had not received the homage which they deserved; and, after he had declared it to be his opinion that that venerable divine was a more learned man than Dr. Clarke, his colleagues, who were accustomed to attach implicit faith to whatsoever dicta he pronounced, could do no less than accord an equal tribute to the former as to the latter of the distinguished ministers, concerning whose comparative merits he had delivered so invidious and erroneous a judgment. How differently did Dr. Clarke conduct himself towards Mr. Watson! It was on his motion that he was summarily re-admitted into the Connection after an alienation from it of several years' continuance; it was under the same auspices that he was prematurely received into the Hundred who compose what is called the "legal" Conference; and, in fact, Dr. Clarke omitted no opportunity of showing honor to Mr. Watson, whose rare talents he was ever forward to acknowledge, except when his doing so might have been construed by the uncandid into an attempt to mitigate the intolerance of one who combined the heat of a bigoted antagonist with the impatience of an envious rival. Each of the three whom it is intended to commemorate by the erection of tablets (for the Conference has resolved to carry into effect the recommendation of the Book Committee), is unquestionably deserving of that mark of esteem; but it is greatly to be regretted, that a measure so just should have originated in circumstances calculated to detract materially from the grace of its adoption.
As for the sage reasons upon which the rejection of the advertisement respecting the proposed monument was ostensibly founded, the authorship of them, like that of Junius' Letters, is, and is likely to remain, a profound secret. The genius who had the hardihood to propound, will scarcely have the hardihood to avow them; and yet there is no limit to the audacity of fools. The same reasons would have been just as pertinent, had they been assigned in reference to Dr. Clarke's Commentary (monumentum tvre pererinius), as they were when assigned in reference to the proposed monument. And yet, if the Wesleyan-Methodist Book-Committee of that day had refused to insert, as an advertisement, his proposals for the publication of that unique work, because,. first, the price was not stated, because, second, the extent of it was not fixed, because, third, the exact nature of the contents was not described, and because, lastly, the printer's name was not given, they would have acted just as rationally and just as commendably as their successors of the present day. The reasons in question have been described as "more plausible than substantial;" but, till some one be found more empty-headed than the inventor, they will impose upon no man.
It so happened, however, that these reasons, such as they were, had been anticipated in the very advertisement which was rejected, as the following paragraph will serve to show:-- " The Committee beg leave to announce, that the intended monument will be simple, chaste, and becoming the character of the deceased. The 'design and execution must, in a great measure, depend on the sums which may be raised. The site which will be chosen for the erection, will be the most public and prominent that can be obtained in the metropolis. And, should any surplus remain, it will be applied in aid of those charities which lay nearest the heart, and received the most strenuous support, of the venerable deceased." How (it has been justly demanded) could any committee, thus circumstanced, and before they could estimate the amount of their funds, take upon themselves to select the design and inscription for the intended monument, to determine the cost and the site of the erection, and to name the artist? Must not any premature decision of a committee on such points be liable, at any time, to be overruled by a meeting of the subscribers? It was surely enough that a respectable committee had been formed, which gave general assurances to the public, that the most respectable banking-houses in London had consented to receive subscriptions, and that a Prince of the royal blood had cheerfully and earnestly extended the sanction of his name and patronage to the undertaking. The same advertisement appeared in nearly all the other religious publications of the day, without any objection on the part of their editors
Lest,, however, facts should exceed probabilities; that is, lest the above-mentioned memorable reasons should find their way into the hands of persons answering the paradoxical description of more foolish than the most foolish, the Clarke Monument Committee judged it prudent to issue the following announcement:-- " The feeling of the committee (although, of course, this feeling cannot bind the subscribers) is, to place in St. Paul's Cathedral a simple statue of the Doctor, with no other inscription than that of 'Adam Clarke, LL. D.' The expense will probably be about 1,500l.; and surely there are in this nation at least 1,500 persons capable of appreciating the high and distinguished literary attainments of the late Doctor, and who, soaring above all party or sectarian feelings and prejudices, and spurning every minor consideration, would be willing, by the subscription of 1l. each, to hand down to posterity, in a manner worthy of his genius, the memory of a man whose example ought not to be lost upon mankind."
A committee which has had to contend with so much and such unreasonable opposition, deserves to be judged with extreme charity and candor. Although, so far as the public is informed, no definitive step has been taken towards the accomplishment of the object for which the committee was formed, beyond the mere advertisement of that object; and although a considerable period of time has elapsed since that advertisement appeared; yet, under the circumstances, we do not hold ourselves justified in attaching blame to the members. Knowing with what formidable foes they have had to contend, we readily make great allowances in their favor. Still, we will venture to suggest, that they have committed a very important error, in not publishing, from time to time, the subscriptions which they have received. Had this method of proceeding been adopted when it ought to have been, that is, a year ago, it cannot be doubted, that, by this time, the committee would have discharged all its functions, excepting, perhaps, that of superintending the actual erection of the monument. Were many times the estimated sum required, it would be cheerfully, nay, eagerly, contributed.
To complete this narrative, it seems necessary to transcribe the authorized character of Dr. Clarke, entered upon the Minutes of Conference. In that document, which proceeded, it is said, from the pen of Mr. David McNicol, now resident at Liverpool, the Commentary is not so much as mentioned. The reason is, that a certain portion of the author's surviving brethren would not allow it to be spoken of except in terms of disparagement. There several characters were drawn up before one was produced which satisfied alike the friends and the enemies of Dr. Clarke. In the former two, the rejection of which is attributed chiefly to the active interference of Mr. James Bromley, of York, the Commentary was introduced, and condemned as heretical. May bigotry and prejudice give place to, charity and candor! The following is the document in question, which, certainly, does credit to the author:--"This great man, and valuable minister of Christ, was born near Coleraine in Ireland, about the year 1762. In early life he gave striking indications of a mind possessed at once of extraordinary powers, and of an ardent thirst for knowledge; and, under the instructions of his father, a teacher of youth, commenced those studies which he prosecuted with such eminent success through every period of his subsequent life; and which he employed so nobly and usefully in the illustration and enforcement of evangelical truth. His conversion, which took place about the sixteenth year of his age, was remarkably clear and sound; accompanied with the deepest feeling, first of contrition, and then of 'peace and joy through believing;' with an entire change of heart; and with the most decided resolution to devote his whole soul to the service of God. Having spent a short time at Kings-wood-School, he was called out by Mr. Wesley, in the year 1782, as an itinerant Preacher in the Methodist Connection; and soon justified the opinion formed concerning him by that admirable judge of character, who hesitated not to affirm, 'Adam Clarke is doubtless an extraordinary young man, and capable of doing much good.' For nearly half a century did he continue to perform the most important labors as the servant of God and of mankind, in various departments of the vineyard of the church, with great integrity, and with an industry which perhaps has never been surpassed. The natural strength of his mind, and the range of his literary and biblical acquirements, were, in the opinion of competent judges, far beyond the common standard, even of those who have attained considerable rank among men of learning and research. Without at all presuming that he was wholly free from defects, either as a man, a preacher, or a writer, we may yet safely place him, in all these characters, among the great men of his age. He was highly distinguished by his extraordinary attainments in oriental literature, which appears to have been one of the most favorite studies of his life, and by means of which he has often shed a new and profitable' light upon the sacred text. Of his writings in general it may be confidently said, they have added largely to the valuable literary and biblical stores of the country. The ability and fervent zeal with which for so many years he preached the Gospel of the grace of God to enraptured thousands, in almost every part of the United Kingdom, 'will long be remembered with the liveliest gratitude to their Divine Redeemer, by multitudes to whom his labors were greatly blessed, both as the means of their conversion, and of their general edification. No man, in any age of the church, was ever known for so long a period to have attracted larger audiences; no herald of salvation ever sounded forth his message with greater faithfulness or fervor -- the fervor of love to Christ, and to the souls of perishing sinners; and few ministers of the Gospel, in modern times, have been more honored by the extraordinary unction of the holy Spirit in their ministrations. To this unction chiefly, though associated with uncommon talents, must be attributed the wonderful success and popularity of his discourses. In preaching, he had the happy art of combining great originality and depth of subject, with the utmost plainness of speech and manner. Nor was this simplicity at all destroyed, but rather augmented, by the glow and animation of his soul, when applying the offer of salvation to all within the sound of his voice, and reasoning strongly on the grand and vital doctrines of the Gospel. The ardent feeling, which, in others, sometimes leads to a rapid invention of elegant or of pompous language, in him was confined to the increased accumulation of great and noble sentiments. His favorite and most successful subjects in the pulpit were the love of God to fallen man, the atonement, repentance, faith in Christ as the grand principle of the spiritual life and of practical holiness, together with the undoubted assurance of adoption by the direct witness of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer. On these subjects, he would often rise to the genuine grandeur of evangelical preaching, pouring forth, like a torrent, the unostentatious eloquence of a benevolent and loving heart. Energy, indeed, was one very peculiar characteristic of his mind. Nor was he less remarkable for sensibility, and all the tenderness and sympathy of an affectionate disposition. He could be 'gentle, even as a nurse cherisheth her children;' yet, when environed with great difficulties in the prosecution of his noble objects, he seemed, from the extraordinary vigor and determined purpose of his soul, to conquer them with ease. His moral character was above all suspicion and above all praise. In this particular, no cloud, no speck was ever seen to darken the horizon of his life. In prayer, he was simple, spiritual, devout, and sometimes singularly ardent. His piety was sincere, and. deep, and eminently practical; the very reverse of that sensitive, but unsound, feeling, which loves to flourish on the subject of experience, but serves not God in a conscientious obedience to all the precepts of his Gospel. He was almost a perfect model of diligence in duty. The ingenuity and energy with which he husbanded his time, and carried forward the arduous plans of usefulness in which he was constantly employed, form one of the most distinguished features of his admirable character. He was a warm-hearted, faithful, affectionate, and constant friend. And in all the relations of domestic life, as a husband, a father, and a master, he was true to the duties which belong to them -- most indulgent, kind, and sympathizing; always happy in the bosom of his family, and always laboring, by every art in his power, to make them also happy. He was uniformly a firm, attached, and zealous Methodist; and, in promoting the interests of our great cause, he may be said to have been 'in labors more' abundant.' This love to the Body, and the great public interests 'of Methodism, was never more delightfully evinced than at the last Conference, when, but a very few weeks before his lamented dissolution, he mingled with his brethren in the most affectionate manner, and very cordially assisted in dispatching the business of that important assembly; and, writing to a friend on this subject, he exclaims, in the pious satisfaction of his soul, ' We have had a glorious Conference!' We may just add, that he had been thrice chosen to fill the situation of President of the Conference. He died suddenly of cholera morbus, in the vicinity of London, on the 26th of August, 1832, in the seventy-second year of his age. On the day of his death, when first seized, and entering on his sufferings, with painful suspense as to the result of them, he was exhorted by a friend to put his trust in Christ. He replied, with a point and promptness peculiar to himself, ' I have done that already;' leaving in these, which may be deemed his last words, a sublime lesson to the mortal survivors who might after- wards reflect upon his life and death, that they also should, by early, decided, and persevering piety, be found ready when their Lord should call."
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