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vantage to Satan against him. The man behaved in a frantic manner, and pretended to prophecy. Some who heard him, checked him as a lunatic, and forbade his public exhibitions, mindful of our Saviour's predictions and warnings against false prophets ; others boasted of him as endued with the Holy Ghost, and, forgetting the Divine admonitions, were ensnared by his arts, and encouraged his imposture. Two women were by Satan possessed of the same spirit, and spake foolish and fanatical things. They gloried in their own supposed superior sanctity and happiness, and were deluded with the most flattering expectations. Few of the Phrygians were seduced, though they took upon them to revile every church under heaven which did not pay homage to their pretended inspirations. The faithful throughout Asia in frequent synods examined and condemned the heresy.
“ It has ever,” continues Milner, “ been one of the greatest trials to men really led by the Spirit of God, besides the open opposition of the profane, to be obliged to encounter the subtle devices of Satan in raising up pretended illuminations, which, by their folly, and wickedness, and self-conceit, expose godliness to contempt. The marks of distinction are plain to serious minds, and those of tolerable judgment and discretion, but men void of the fear of God will not distinguish. We see here an instance of what has often been repeated from that day to the present in the church of Christ ; and real Christians did then, what ought always to be done now, examine, expose, condemn, and separate themselves from, such delusions; while enthusiasts, of every age, in folly, pride, and uncharitableness, have followed the pattern of Montanus. Nothing happened here but what is foretold in Scripture, and is, in truth, so common a concomitant of the real work of God, that wherever it appears, there this appears also. But the eruptions of fanaticism are too unnatural to remain long in any degree of strength. Whatever high pretensions they make to the influences of the Divine Spirit, they are ever unfavourable to them in reality, not only by their unholy tendency during the paroxysm of zeal, but much more so by the effects of contemptuous profaneness and incredulous scepticism which they leave behind them. It is for the sake of these chiefly that Satan seems to invent and support such delusions.”— Milner's Church History, vol. i. pp. 284-286.
PROPOSED MEMORIAL OF MR. WILBERFORCE.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I PERCEIVE by the newspapers that it is intended to erect some suitable memorial of public respect and affection for that much honoured and lamented Christian senator, the late Mr. Wilberforce : and I doubt not, indeed, that many a tablet will be reared to his memory; and in multitudes of hearts the recollection of his splendid talents, and his still more splendid virtues, will be embalmed; many also, I hope, will be the plans of usefulness devised by which his name and character will be perpetuated, so that, being dead, he will yet speak. Without meaning to object to any other proper mark of respect, I have presumed to think that a Missionary Station, instituted in each of the West-India Islands, and denominated “ The Wilberforce Mission," would be a fitting memorial. I should conceive that abundant support would readily be afforded by the Christian public to such an object, and that the labours of that venerated servant of Christ would thus be carried out to their brightest consummation : for he contemplated the emancipation of the captive, great and glorious as that object is, not merely for its own sake, but as a means to an end; and that end pre-eminently the liberation of the soul from the thraldom of Satan, and its reconciliation to God. The peculiar circumstances of the Slave population have hitherto acted as a grievous barrier to missionary operations, and almost virtually excluded from these children of bondage, the light of the Gospel : but that barrier is now broken down ; the conscience of the Negro is freed from those manacles which the daring iniquity of man had imposed, and the missionary is placed under the protection of the mild and tolerant spirit of British law. Arising out of this auspicious change, a new, and I trust a mighty, impulse will be given to Mis. sionary endeavours ; and as it has pleased Almighty God to call away our Elijah in this cause, may his mantle be caught, and his name be connected with those means which shall be employed for the elevation of the African bond-slave to the glorious liberty of the children of God.
In such a plan as this, numbers, whose humble lot excludes them from any participation in other schemes, would find a means whereby they might testify their esteem and love for so distinguished a character; and in so doing would share the enjoyment of a high privilege. The Negro, too, would feel that the Missionary came to him recommended by a name which during the long and dreary period of his degradation and sorrow always carried with it the hope of better days, and with which his present brighter prospects are inseparably associated.
Should the idea I have thrown out be deemed inapplicable, or otherwise undeserving of adoption, the consideration of the subject might be the means of eliciting something more valuable.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
LIFE OF DR. ADAM CLARKE. An Account of the Infancy, Religious and Literary Life of Adam Clarke,
LL.D. F.A.S. ; written by one who was intimately acquainted with him from his Boyhood to the Sirtieth Year of his Age: edited by the Rev.
J. B. CLARKE, M. A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. 3 vols. 8vo. 1833. We are very glad that we did not commence our notice of the first volume of Dr. Clarke's Life till the whole three were published : for, to say the truth, there is occasionally an appearance of personal vanity in the auto-biographical portion of the memoir which excites a friendly smile ; for a man cannot always maintain dignity in sketching his own life and character; and it is natural enough, that, in describing his rise from a very obscure station to one in which his fame spread throughout the world, the hero of his own narrative should think that the world will be as much astonished as himself at his unexpected elevation.
Dr. Clarke freely speaks of himself as a man who has risen to “ fame," or “eminence;" and takes for granted that the public will be greatly interested in tracing his progress. If there was vanity in this, the vanity was at least grounded upon fact, and not fiction; for he was informed that some hungry scribbler was already preparing a surreptitious memoir of him, and he was earnestly persuaded by his family to detail himself the events of his life, that they might not be travestied by others. He at length reluctantly complied, but even then with much reservation.
“My early life' (much in this manner he would speak] 'no one can know; nor can any one describe my feelings and God's dealings with my soul, some of which are the most important circumstances in my life, and are of most consequence to the religious world :—these I have now secured, and placed in their proper light:-what therefore others could neither have known nor described so truly as I, are here prevented from being lost :--my public life many have known, and it is before the world : if it be of importance, there will be found some who will transmit its events to posterity; and being passed before the eyes of all men, should there be misrepresentations, there will necessarily be plenty who can correct them :-at any rate, I have done what I feel to be the most important part; for the rest, there are ample materials ; and, as the living will, in all probability, write of the dead, let my survivors do their part.-Nothing shall ever induce me to write the history of that portion of my life when I began to acquire fame, and great and learned men saw fit to dignify with their acquaintance, and to bestow honours and distinctions on, a Methodist Preacher.' In. this resolution he never for a moment wavered, and hence there was no more of his Life written by himself than what is contained in the present [first] volume.” pp. viii. ix.
Perhaps even in this very passage some of our readers may think there lurks a little vanity; but, in truth, though we have used that ungracious word, we do not think that it would be fair to accuse Dr. Clarke of undue egotism ; for he was urged against his will to write some account of his life, and it would have been affectation for him to have shut his eyes to the fact that there was a very large number of persons who would be interested in the detail; and no man could feel more strongly than he did the difficulty of so writing as to speak truth on such a subject, without an appearance of vanity. Thus he says, in a letter to his son:
** And thus have I brought myself on in my journey through life to the ninth year of my age; and unless death stop me, I shall not stop in it till this be finished. I have written it in the third person as to the subject, and in the first person as to the narrator. This form may be altered if necessary. I recollect, when Mr. Thorsby wrote his own life, the pronoun I occurred so often in it, that the printer was obliged to borrow I's from his brother printers, as his I's had run out. Your father has never been in the habit of speaking much of himself; he has never boasted, nor pretended great things; and it would ill become him, when about to pass the great deep, to occupy his time, or that of his readers, with unreal history, or unceremonious, and, generally speaking, unwelcome pronouns.” p. vii.
But as we advance in the narrative, and particularly as we peruse the continuation of the memoir by his relatives, we forget our alarms about egotism, and our respect and esteem for this excellent man rise with every successive portion of the memoir. If we can convey to our readers only a portion of those feelings which, after perusing these volumes, we more than ever entertain towards the late Dr. A. Clarke, they will not complain that we have inflicted upon them too tedious a digest, even should it extend to many pages. Dr. Clarke has himself well shewn the great utility of such narratives. He says:
“ It is to be regretted that few persons who have arrived at any degree of eminence or fame, have written memorials of themselves, at least such as have embraced their private as well as their public life. By themselves or contemporaries their public transactions have been in general amply recorded, with the apparent motives which led them to their particular lines of action, and the objects they aimed at by thus acting : but how they became capable of acting such parts; how their minds acquired that impulse which gave them this direction; what part an especial Providence, parental influence, accident, or singular occurrence, and education, bad, in forming the man, produeing those habits which constituted his manners, and prepared him for his future lot in life, we are rarely told. And without this, we neither can trace the dispensations of Providence, nor the operations of those mental energies by which such effects have been produced. Hence the main benefit of biography is lost, -emulation leading to imitation bas no scope. We cannot follow the man because we do not see his previous footsteps : he bursts generally on our sight, like a meteor, and we are dazzled with the view: to us he is initimable, because he is enrobed with all his distinguishing perfections and eminence before we are introduced to his acquaintance." pp. xiii. xiv.
“ To exbibit a man through every period of his life, who has obtained some distinction as well in the republic of letters, as in religious society; and how he acquired this distinction, is the principal design of the following sheets: and the reason for doing this, is threefold.-1. To manifest the goodness of God to those who trust in Him; and how He causes all things to work together for the good of such persons; that He may bave the praise of His own grace: and 2dly, To prevent the publication of improper accounts, the only object of which is to raise unholy gains, by impositions on the public. 3dly, To shew to young men, who have not bad those advantages which arise from elevated birth and a liberal education, how such defects may be supplied by persevering industry, and the redemption of time. Young Ministers, especially, may
learn from these Memoirs a useful lesson. They see what has been done towards mental improvement, in circumstances generally worse than their own, and that a defect in talents frequently arises from a defect in self-cultivation ; and that there is much less room for excuse than is generally supposed : in short, that no quarter should be shewn to those who while away time, and permit a sort of religious gossipping to engender in them the disgraceful habits of indolence or sloth.” pp. xvi. xvii.
If such excellent purposes as these are in any measure accomplished by this interesting narrative, it will not have been written in vain.
After several pages of antiquarian and classical lore upon names in general, and that of Clarke in particular, with such an account of the autobiographer's parents and ancestry as could be collected—and from which it appears that his father was originally a sizar in Trinity College, Dublin, but married early, became a licensed schoolmaster, got into misfortunes, and suffered much from poverty-we are informed that Dr. Clarke was born in the year 1760 or 1762, neither the year nor the month being ascertain. able, " in an obscure village called Moybeg, in the township of Cootinaglugg, in the parish of Kilchronaghan, in the barony of Longhinshallin, in the county of Londonderry.” We trust our printer will be fortunate enough to convey these words to the eye ; but we should despair of enunciating them to the ear. The reason given for no register being accessible is, that either none was kept during the incumbency of the worthy clergyman of this not-to-be-enunciated district, or that, if kept, it was lost ;-a very characteristic, but unhappily not rare, specimen of the atten. tion formerly paid in many country parishes to those parochial documents which affect the property and the ancestry of every family in the kingdom. Even to this moment the system is most inefficient; and often the details are incorrect and slovenly, particularly from the want of due care in seeing that correct duplicate copies are provided, and made available in case of any accident happening to the parish record.
Of his infant days and the memorabilia of his family Dr. Clarke records as follows:
“ Adam met with little indulgence, was comparatively neglected, nursed with little care, and often left to make the best of his own course. He was no spoiled child, was always corrected when he deserved it; and sometimes when but a small degree of blame attached to his undirected conduct. Tbrough this mode of bringing up, he became uncommonly hardy, was unusually patient of cold, took to his feet at eight months; and before he was nine months old was accustomed to walk without guide or attendant in a field before his father's door. He was remarkably fond of snow; when he could little more than lisp he called it his brother, saw it fall with rapturous delight; and when he knew that much of it lay upon the ground, would steal out of his bed early in the morning, with nothing on but his shirt, get a little board, go out, and with it dig holes in the snow, call them rooms, and when he had finished his frozen apartments, sit down, naked as he was, and thus most contentedly enjoy the fruit of his own labour. Though by no means a lusty child, he had uncommon strength for his age, and his father often took pleasure in setting him to roll large stones when neighbours or visitants came to the house. Many of the relatives of A. C.on both sides the house, were remarkable for vast muscular powers. One of his maternal uncles, the Rev. I. M'Lean, a clergyman, possessed incredible strength, which he often used, not in the best of causes. He could bend iron bars with a stroke of his arm ; roll up large pewter dishes like a scroll with his fingers; and when travelling through Bovagh wood, a place through which his walks frequently lay, he has been known to pull down the top of an oak-sapling, twist it into a withe by the mere strength of his arms and fingers, and thus working it down in a spiral form to the earth, leave it with its root in the ground, for the astonishment of all that might pass by. One day, dining at an inn with two officers, who, perhaps, unluckily for themselves, wished to be witty at the parson's expense, he said something which had a tendency to lessen their self-confidence. One of them considering his honour touched, said, 'Sir, were it not for your cloth I would oblige you to eat the words you have spoken.' Mr. M‘Lean rose up in a moment, took off his coat, rolled it up in a bundle and threw it under the table, with these fearful words, · Divinity lie thou there, and M.Lean do for thyself. So saying, he seized the foremost of the heroes by the cuff of the neck and by the waistband of the breeches, and dashed him through the strong sash-window of the apartment a considerable way on the opposite pavement of the street. Such was the projectile violence, that the poor officer passed through the sash as if it had been a cobweb. Both extremes met in this family; a sister of this same gentleman, one of A. C.'s maternal aunts, was only three feet high." pp. 22–24.
Dr. Clarke relates that he had a perfect remembrance of incidents which occurred when he was only three years old. At five he had the small-pox, for which the usual recipe was a hot room, blankets many, close curtains, and spirituous liquors, “ to make the pock strike out;” but no authority could confine him to his bed : he escaped whenever he could without his clothes into the open air ; and his cool regimen, he says, saved his life, and left him without a scar. He recollected perfectly well the delightful relief he found in this burning disease from the fresh breeze. The present generation feel astonished at the ignorance and prejudice of their forefathers; but the next will perhaps read with equal amazement the directions officially issued in the year 1832 for the cure of cholera with cajeput oil, hot-air baths, mustard emetics, and other short-lived placebos of the day.
About the age of six, young Clarke held a conversation with another little boy upon eternity, which seems to have made a permanent impression upon his mind.
* They both wept bitterly, and, as they could, begged God to forgive their sins ; and they made to each other strong promises of amendment. They wept till they were really sick, and departed from each other with full and pensive hearts ! In reviewing this circumstance, Adam has been heard to say :- I was then truly and deeply convinced that I was a sinner, and that I was liable to eternal punishment; and that nothing but the mercy of God could save me from it: though I was not só conscious of any other sin as that of disobedience to my parents, which at that time affected me most forcibly. When I left my little companion, I went home, told the whole to my mother with a full heart, expressing the hope that I should never more say any bad words, or refuse to do what she or my father might command. She was both surprised and affected, and gave me much encouragement, and prayed heartily for me. With a glad heart she communicated the information to my father, on whom I could see it did not make the same impression; for he had little opinion of pious resolutions in childish minds, though he feared God, and was a serious conscientious churchman. I must own that the way in which he treated it was very discouraging to my mind, and served to mingle impressions with my serious feelings, that were not friend. ly to their permanence : yet the impression, though it grew faint, did not wear away. It was laid deep in the consideration of eternity; and my accountableness to God for my conduct; and the absolute necessity of enjoying his favour, that I might never taste the bitter pains of eternal death. Had I had any person to point out the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, I believe I should then have been found as capable of repentance and faith, (my youth and circumstances considered.) as I ever was afterwards. But I had no helper, ‘no messenger, one among a thou. sand, who could shew man his righteousness."” pp. 26, 27.
Dr. Clarke says, that from his childhood he had an extraordinary horror of being corpulent, or becoming a drunkard; both which misadventures he concatenates together, and says that they were both predicted as his lot by a dumb, or pretended dumb man, who professed to tell fortunes. He thought that the spae-man might possibly be correct; but he believed there was no evil awaiting him in futurity which God could not avert. He therefore went immediately out into a field, got into a thicket of furzebushes, and, kneeling down, he most fervently uttered the following petition:-“ O Lord God, have mercy upon me, and never suffer me to be like Pearce Quinlin!” This he urged, with little variety of language, till he seemed to have a persuasion that the evil would be averted. This idle prediction left a deep impression upon his mind, and so strengthened his dread of becoming “a drunkard or a porpoise," that he seems to have felt very grateful for the warning. We learn little else of his childhood, but that he was a very inapt scholar, and found it very difficult to acquire the knowledge of the alphabet. For this dulness he was severely censured and chastised: but this, so far from eliciting genius, rather produced an increase of hebetude, so that he began to despair of ever being able to acquire any knowledge by means of letters. When he was about eight years Christ. OBSERV. No. 383.