iniquity :-- tell then your hearers, not only that the conscience must be sprinkled, but that it was God himself who provided a Lamb! All false religions in variably endow the Infinite Being with attributes unfavourable to the present condition of man, and with feelings inimical to their future felicity, and in opposition to their present good : such descriptions and attributes can never win man's confidence, and as far as they are used and carried into the Christian ministry, are a broad libel upon the Almighty.” Vol. iii. p. 246.

“ On his daughter's 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 ii. 31-35;' Dr. Clarke replied, I have not even a note of that sermon, but I well remember preaching it.' On bis daughter remarking, ' Father, how was it possible for you to have got through such a sermon without the slightest note for date of periods of empires, or for their geographic situation ;' he replied, • Mary, I had the whole before me as clear as the noon-day: 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 subjoined, "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, Mary, I felt, while I was dwelling on the power of God, and on His mercy as revealed in Cbrist 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.'” Vol. iii. pp. 411, 412.

“ He never entered the pulpit but with diffidence, and with almost a painful sensation of his responsibility as a Messenger of the Gospel of Christ Jesus: I have heard him say, that the thought of so inadequately declaring the counsels of God as to make the Gospel of none effect to the salvation of sinners, frequently drank up his spirit and made his soul tremble; and this, perhaps, operating as such a feeling ought to operate in a well-constituted mind, caused that fervour of exhortation which frequently marked his discourses, when all the energies of his mind and power of his language were drawn forth to describe the infinite mercies of the God of love." Vol.iii. p. 473.

A man who felt and preached thus, could scarcely fail to rivet the attention, and by the blessing of God to penetrate the hearts, of his hearers.

We had almost omitted to mention, taking for granted that our readers knew it, that Dr. Clarke was among the most zealous and persevering advocates for the extinction of West-India slavery. Well might he tell Mr. Wilberforce, with honest rejoicing, in a letter dated August 1830, that the Methodist ministers, with their societies and congregations, would “ bring before the two houses of the legislature at least one million of names of honest men, who are determined to use their preponderating influence in all the counties of England to petition for the speedy and total abolition of colonial slavery ;” and well might Mr. Wilberforce in reply “ lament the insane as well as wicked bitterness with which those most respectable men who are devoting themselves as missionaries to the service of God among the poor slaves in Jamaica, are persecuted by the legislature of that island.” But, blessed be God, we are now writing under happier auspices, and we will not revive painful recollections, unless circumstances should occur to render them necessary. We, however, rejoice with trembling; for wounds so deep are not easily healed.

The circumstances of Dr. Clarke's lamented decease, which took place on Sunday, Aug. 5 of last year, are too recent, and too well-known, to render it necessary for us to add much to this lengthened recital by detailing them.

The nature of his disorder, and the rapid exhaustion consequent upon it, made it impossible that his last hours should be spent in calm and sustained conversation, or even in lengthened acts of devotion. But he was in every sense prepared to die. The visitation of that fearful malady, to which he himself fell a victim, had pressed much upon his spirit as a national judgment calling upon men to repent and turn to God. He writes, for instance, as follows, June 9, from Ireland, where he had been detained by severe CHRIST, OBSERV. APP.

5 L

p. 389.

illness, brought on or increased by the fatigues of preaching and visiting schools and stations * :

“ I find that the cholera is got to Liverpool, and a universal terror has struck the hearts of the people: all have lost their confidence and courage, and consequently are more likely to receive, than to resist infection. Now is the time for faith in God! and where the cholera is, there faith, and its object, God in Christ, are of essential consequence. For my own part, though I have suffered much, I am still suffering with but little prospect of a speedy termination ; yet my principal distress arises from my being necessarily a trouble to others. On this account, more than on any other, I pray earnestly to God to return to me in the spirit of health and mercy.” Vol. ii.

During his whole journey homewards the same subject appears to have engrossed his mind :

“ Oakfield (near Liverpool) June 27.- The weather being fine and warm, I have been able to walk a little ; but I am as weak as a child, and have little power to move my limbs, but through mercy I have little pain, though much uneasiness. 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 : business is nearly at a stand, for scarcely any person will enter the town from the country through the same terror. May God take care of my friends and myself: 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.” Vol. iii. p. 401.

“ June 29.—I have just sent and taken my place for Worcester to-morrow: may God give me strength for the journey, and safety on the way. In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum !

“ Saturday, June 30.—I set off from Oakfield this morning to Birkenhead, to enter the coach for Worcester. In leaving Liverpool I thought I had left the Cholera behind me; but when I came to Chester I found it had got there before me: we drove on to Wrexham, and there also was the Cholera." Vol. iii. p. 402.

Having arrived home, he enters the following affecting memorial in his journal :

“ Thus terminates a journey remarkable for affliction, disappointment, and suffering. I went over to Ireland to work ;-I could do nothing, being called to suffer. 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 iny 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 ?-felt that my lot was hard, and that I was not permitted by Him to do that work which was merely for His glory? No; I was only disappointed, and I

* Dr. Clarke often complains of the unreasonableness of the people of his communion, in exacting from their ministers labours beyond their strength. Thus he says, during one of his Irish tours, when worn down with travelling, writing, exhorting, and incessant preaching both in chapels and in the open air

“ June 23.—1 preached this morning to a congregation of upwards of 1200, and felt much freedom in enforcing and explaining the necessity of that salvation which God has provided for man. In the evening I preached to above 1500: but I found it difficult to speak, my voice and strength having been exhausted by the exertion of the morning.

“Early on the 24th we set off for Lisburne: though I had been almost totally exhausted with my yesterday's work, yet they insisted on my preaching at Lisburne at eleven, as it was their quarterly meeting. In vain I urged and expostulated. They said, 'Surely you came out to preach, and why should you not preach at every opportunity?' I must have rest. Surely you can rest after preaching.' I replied, • I must preach to-morrow at Lurgan, and shall have but little time to rest.' Oh, the more you preach, the more strength you will get.' 'I came out for the sake of health and rest.' Oh, rest when you return home.' 'I cannot rest at home, as I have got more work to do there than I can manage.' Then,' said they, you shall get rest in the grave.'

“ I give this specimen of the inconsiderateness and unfeelingness of many religious people, who care little how soon their ministers are worn out, because they find their excessive labours comfortable to their own minds; and should the preacher die through his extraordinary exertions, they have this consolation, ‘God can soon raise up another.' Though not convinced by this reasoning, I still preached, to a very crowded congregation; and it was a time of uncommon power." Vol. ii. p. 270.

endured the mortification without a murmur. I was merely afflicted, but I was enabled to bow my neck to His yoke, or lie at His footstool. I believe I felt that He was doing all things well; that I was safe if in His hands, and therefore I could say, and did often repeat, that commendatory petition frequent among our pious forefathers-In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum, Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit.

“ The cholera was before me, bebind 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 or two creeds! If Christianity be not true, there is no religion upon earth, for no other religion is worth a rush to man's salvation : if we have not redemption in Jesus, there is no other Saviour! If not justified through His blood, and sanctified by His Spirit, there is no final happiness. Here is the Reductio ad absurdum; for God must have intended the salvation and happiness of man. But there is a Christ, there is redemption through His blood : I have this redemption, and I am waiting for the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Jesus.

“ I feel a simple heart: 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; Εμοι γαρ το ζην, Χριστος" και το αποθανείν, κερδος, Phil. i. 21. Γηρασκω αει, πολλα διδασκομενος.

“May I live to Thee, die in Thee, and be with Thee to all eternity. Amen.Adam Clarke.” Vol. iii. pp. 404, 405.

Notwithstanding his exhaustion, and the alarming forebodings of his family, who witnessed with much affliction his altered appearance since his last journey, he thought it his duty to return to Liverpool to attend the Conference. He did so on the 19th of July, and was appointed to preach the opening sermon. Not content with the excitement and fatigues of the Liverpool Conference, we find him a few days after at Frome, to assist his son, the curate of the place, in forming a Visiting Society for that populous town*. He entered into the matter with even more than his wonted zeal, and greatly promoted the object. His speech at the public meeting for the promotion of the Society is stated to have been unusually powerful and affecting, as we can well believe from the following passage. Speaking of the various grades of society which were united in 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 !” Vol. iii. p. 449.

From Frome he went to Bristol, and preached his last sermon at Westbury, near that city. One of his hearers reports, that,

“ While exhorting his auditory to accept of the salvation offered to them in the text, and which was urged upon them by his messeng that morning; in charging

* We ought not to pass unnoticed such a father's testimony to his son's exertions, in a letter to his daughter :—“ When you consider his amazing plan to visit the thirteen thousand persons that constitute the population of Frome, and relieving and instructing all those who should be found to need instruction and relief; you may call it Quixotish. When you consider his having penetrated into every lane and alley and court, &c., and accurately divided it into fifty-three districts; and when you consider his baving gone into every house of all sects and parties, and prevailed upon a sufficient number to occupy those fifty-three districts as visiters; you may judge this to be a task Herculean. And when you farther consider that this young man, without patronage, but by his own moral weight, has projected and established such a work; and when you add to this, that he was capable of bringing forward to the assistance of an institution that was calculated for the bodily relief and salvation merely of the poor, all the constituted authorities of the place, ihe Marquis of Bath, the Earl of Cork, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, the county representatives, the clergy, &c., you may well be astonished.” Vol. iii. p. 420.

them to attend to the solemn truths he had delivered, he was exceedingly zealous in his manner, and then 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." Vol. iii. p. 424.

We give without note or comment the following account of one of his last conversations :

“ We all dined together on the day preceding his departure for Bristol. The conversation was of a general nature, till, the passing of some ladies before the window, who were believers in the Lights, Gifts, Manifestations,' &c., of Irving, Armstrong, Erskine, and others, led the discourse to that subject. My father stated that he had that morning given a serious warning to an acquaintance of his wbo 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 Chris. tianity, 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.” Vol. iii. pp. 465, 466.

He returned home to Haydon Hall August 21. In the morning and evening family worship, it was remarked that 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 Alinighty God to turn the hearts of the people unto Himself, and cut short His judgment in mercy.” On Saturday, August 25, the day before he died, 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.” Being engaged to preach at Bayswater, near London, the next morning, Sunday, he went over in a friend's carriage to sleep there, to be ready for the service. In the night he became very ill, and the medical gentlemen who were called in instantly pronounced his disease to be an attack of cholera. He was too much enfeebled to sustain the conflict long, and before eleven o'clock at night he was for ever at rest. He was able to speak only a few words from the commencement of the attack. Once, in reply to his kind host's exhortation to commit his soul into the hands of his God and Saviour, he said, “I do, I do." Once he asked, “Am I blue;” and once, when hi son was moving from his bed-side, he said with anxiety, “Are you going?” But the friends of such a man needed not the testimony of a death-bed to confirm their blessed assurance of his eternal safety. Even amidst the paroxsyms of bodily agony we may truly say, “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.”

MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE. We are glad to see that excellent and laws, partial restrictions on trade, impewell-conducted cheap publication, the diments to the use of machinery, and Saturday Magazine, applying itself, among other relics of mistaken legislation, canother subjects, to the instruction of its not long be permitted to exist ; and it is readers in the elements of political eco- well that even our handicrafts should unnomy. A greater service, next to direct derstand the propriety and importance of religious instruction, can scarcely be af- those changes which wisdom, justice, and forded to the labouring and manufacturing benevolence demand. The papers to classes in this country, than to teach them which we have alluded, though short and the general principles which regulate the familiar, are judicious, and worthy of the movements of the social machine. Poor high character of the work in which they


appear; a work which we feel the greater which thou hast forbidden under pain of pleasure in again recommending, on ac- beavy displeasure; as for sins, O Lord, count of the valuable religious paragraphs they are innumerable: in the multitude, which are interspersed with every num- therefore, of thy mercies, and by the ber, and the excellent spirit and bearing merits of Jesus Christ, I entreat thy Diof the papers, which are free from party- vine Majesty, that thou wouldest not feeling, and well adapted to popular enter into judgment with thy servant, nor amusement and instruction.

be extreme to mark what is done amiss, The Christian Knowledge Committee but be thou merciful to me, and wash of Literature las published a very cheap away all my sins with the merits of that and excellent collection of Christmas precious blood that Jesus Christ shed for Carols, which we hope will be widely cir- and not only wash away all my sins, culated, and supersede the popular trash but also to purge my heart, by (thyj Holy that is sold under that name. Dr. Mant Spirit, from the dross of 'my natural is much to be honoured for employing his corruption; and as thou dost add days pen in this apparently humble but valuable to my life, so (good Lord) add repentservice.

ance to my days, that when I have past The Rev. Mr. Roberts, of Bristol, this mortal life I may be a partaker of in visiting prisons, inquired in 167 in- thy everlasting kingdom, through Jesus stances of malefactors under sentence of Christ our Lord. Amen.” death, whether they had ever witnessed Our readers will perceive, by an adveran execution. It appeared that no fewer tisement on the cover of our December than 164 out of these 167 condemned of. Number, that a design has been adopted fenders had been spectators in the crowd for commemorating Mr. Wilberforce in upon these melancholy occasions, which bis native county of York, by the instithe legislature designed to operate as tution of a school for the instruction of warnings to the profligate. Of so little the indigent blind. Such an institution efficacy are sanguinary examples in deter- well accords with the charitable feelings ring from crime !

of that much loved and lamented man, The following prayer, in the hand-writ- and the large and wealthy county of York, ing of King Charles the First, was recently which he so long represented in the legisdiscovered in His Majesty's State-Paperlature, ought not to allow the design to Office: we modernise the spelling :: languish for want of funds. His Grace

A Prayer, 1631.- Good Lord, I thank the Archbishop, in taking the chair upon thee for keeping me this day (night]; I the occasion, expressed in the strongest humbly beseech thee to keep me this night terms his feelings of respect and affection [day) from all dangers or mischances that for the memory of so excellent a man, so may happen to mybody,and all evil thoughts distinguished a philanthropist and stateswhich may assault or hurt my soul, for man, and so exemplary a Christian. Jesus Christ his sake: and look upon me, The specific gravity of proof spirits by thy unworthy servant, who here prostrates the English excise regulations, is 0.933, himself at thy throne of grace ; but look to which point, if lighter, they may be upon me, O'Father, through the merits lawfully brought by the addition of water. and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy be- A Chinese, who had diluted a quantity of loved Son, in whom thou art only well- spirits which he sold to an English ship pleased; for, of myself, I am not worthy after furnishing a sample, was so much to stand in thy presence, or to speak with astonished at the exact quantity of water my unclean lips to Thee, most holy and added being detected by the hydrometer, eternal God; for thou knowest that in that he thought that an evil spirit must sin I was conceived and born, and that have revealed his fraud, and, upon the ever since I have lived in iniquity, so that principle of the instrument being exI have broken all thy holy command, plained to bim, he offered any price for so ments, by sinful motions, evil words, and extraordinary a detector. It is thus that wicked works; omitting many duties I human science is often employed to guard ought to do, committing many vices against human depravity.

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. We have not a single article of public we close our pages, with an earnest prayer intelligence to remark upon. The chief that, amidst all the jarrings of secular subject of external political interest, is politics and theological warfare, the the state of Spain and Portugal, in both realm of Him who is the Prince of Peace of which countries the two opposing may be exalted ; that His glory may be parties continue to wage a dubious war- extended, and His salvation made known, fare. At home, our public men are re- till the kingdoms of this world sball be posing after their toils, or preparing for come the kingdoms of our Lord and of the conflicts of the ensuing Parliamentary his Christ, and He shall reign for ever and campaign. Here, then, as Christian ever King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Observers, gladly breathing for a while Hallelujah. Amen! after the busy scenes of an eventful year,

« VorigeDoorgaan »