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of mere opinion. For, if a man be truly regenerate, will he not of necessity prefer and seek out the society of the godly, and avoid as much as possible the “ vain conversation ” of the worldly? That it is sometimes necessary, and even proper, to hold intercourse with the latter, is implied in many parts of holy Scripture; and in the fifth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians some most important directions are given. But as your correspondent is so circumstanced as to be “ under the controul of others,” and “ frequently obliged to associate with the worldly-minded,” it were better, perhaps, that he (or she) should confine his attention to the course of conduct most proper to be followed under such circumstances, in place of directing his inquiries to the question how he ought to act in a situation it may never be his lot to enjoy. He is now in that appointed for him by a wise and merciful Providence, and has only to refer to His word for guidance. Our blessed Saviour thus addresses his Father in behalf of his disciples : “ I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil " (John vii. 15). And in directing them to “ let their light so shine before men that they may see their good works, and glorify their Father who is in heaven” (Matt. v. 16), he intimates that a consistent Christian walk on their part is one of the means he condescends to employ in leading a sinful world to glorify God. If your correspondent is “ very seldom able to enjoy the society of the Lord's people,” he may rejoice at having thus greater opportunity than he might otherwise have of seeking his portion in God, and less temptation to love “ the creature more than the Creator." And if his affections do not sympathize with the thoughtless persons he converses with, he may well, on that account, “ rejoice and be exceeding glad ;” taking heed that his own “ communication be that which is good, to the use of edifying."
But let J. L. E. see to it that he is himself really one of “ them that are within ;' that he is indeed become a child of God; and that his “ living in the Spirit ” is evidenced by his “ walking in the Spirit.” Let him bear in mind, that it is only by virtue of a spiritual union with Jesus Christ that he can have any title to be considered as separated from the world ; and let a deep, contrite sense of his own short-comings produce in him a modest demeanour towards those from whom, by the grace of God alone, he is made to differ. We little know how much of worldliness may still be lurking within our own heart, till corresponding circumstances call it forth, even though generally vain pursuits may be distasteful to us. May the “ strength" of God be “ made perfect in our weakness,” and enable us at all times to “ walk in wisdom towards them that are without.”
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. The Clerical Magistracy of this empire has been for years, in the opinion of the friends of the Established Church, a monstrous deformity, detrimental to the labours of her hierarchy, subversive of her doctrines, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. A Clerical Magistracy (too often purchased at the sacrifice of political independence), placing a merciful and placable minister of the Gospel in the seat of a stern and implacable judge, wears of necessity, in the eyes of the flock, too harsh and repulsive an aspect to admit of a cordial association in their minds with the meekness and forgiveness which should beautify the devoted servants of the Prince of Peace. Entertaining these sentiments, my arguments are levelled not at individuals, but against a system which is in the highest degree impolitic, deeply injurious to the vital interests of the Church, derogatory to the ministerial character, and which invariably alienates the affections of the lay members of the community.
I have seen, with poignant regret, that in various parts of the country several of the clergy have lately unnecessarily been added to the commission of the peace. In the county where I reside, and in the surrounding counties, there is no dearth of resident lay gentlemen of education and fortune, who are upright and indefatigable in the enforcement of the laws of the realm. Why then should the clergy be withdrawn from the admi. nistration of the cup of salvation, and be required to unsheath the sword of justice? In remote, thinly populated districts, some illusive motives may be adduced for a clergyman being a magistrate : yet how can he reconcile the discharge of his secular duties with his ordination oath, “ that he will be diligent in prayers, in reading of the Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the world and of the flesh?” I trust however, sir, that, in conformity with their consecration vows, in order to give themselves wholly up to the work of the ministry, in deference to the imperative voice of the nation, and as they prize the esteem of their hearers, the objectionable, incompatible, and inconsistent system of a clerical magistracy will shortly be extinguished by the secession of its members ; for, if not, the nation will demand from a “reformed Parliament” its speedy abolition.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
LIFE OF DR. ADAM CLARKE.
(Concluded from page 754.) Dr. CLARKE, upon his appointment the second time to the London circuit, in 1805, found himself in a vortex of occupations, from which he never wholly emerged; his life from this period having become a scene of such unremitting and exhausting labour as few men could or would have endured for a single year.
His labours as a Methodist preacher were alone sufficient to wear down the strongest mind and body; for, besides preaching four or five times every week, with all the other duties of his office, he was called to superintend the whole of the London societies and chapels—an occupation now shared by six colleagues--and had to attend to every detail, temporal and spiritual, throughout this extensive branch of the Methodist connexion. In 1806 he was elected President of the Conference, which met at Leeds ;-a distinction among his brethren which he resolutely declined, till two of them, he says, “by main force lifted me out of my seat and placed me upon the table.” The labour and excitement were almost more than he could bear, particularly in the public and private examinations of the young preachers, who, whatever the “ Dialogue with a Methodist” may say to the contrary, are
. We concur with the writer of the above as to the impropriety, generally speaking, of uniting the magisterial with the clerical office_though we have the pleasure of knowing instances in which the union has been productive of great public benefitbut we strongly deprecate the harsh, and we believe unjust, terms in which he describes the magisterial character; and we have therefore taken the liberty of omitting a few lines of his paper, though we were unwilling to refuse opening our pages to the consideration of the question.
made to undergo a very strict scrutiny. But he was comforted in his labours by seeing the zeal and Christian simplicity of the people, who were coming to the preaching from twenty miles round. The following anecdote shews their spirit and temper. A member of the Society of Friends, seeing a very plain-looking countryman at six o'clock in the morning covered with dust and carrying a large great coat, thus accosted him : “Friend, whither art thou come ? thou appearest to have travelled far, and to be much fatigued.” “Glory be to God,” replied the countryman, “I am cooming to the Methodist Conference; I am coomd forty mile, and ha walked all night: I ha got fifteen shillin, mon, and ha savd it fro my wage these twalve week at upwart o' a shillin a week.” The Friend, struck with his appearance and honest bluntness, said, “ Friend, I like thy spirit ; thou seemest sincere and zealous in thy way; turn in hither and refresh thyself, and thou shalt be welcome to what the place will afford.” Dr. Clarke remarks upon the anecdote, “ How valuable is this simplicity of spirit; how much more happiness do those people feel who take God at his word, than those experience who are disputing with God Himself every particle of His own Revelation. Julius Cæsar Scaliger, who perfectly understood thirteen different languages, seeing the comparative happiness of the simple and the ignorant, exclaimed, “Oh that I had never known the alphabet.' But it is probable that from these uninstructed persons as many sources of comfort are sealed up, as there are causes of distress to those whose understandings are properly cultivated.”
But his labours as a Methodist preacher were far from being his only occupations. He wrote or edited various works of Biblical research or illustration; and contributed many papers, characterised by great learning and ability, to the Eclectic Review, which was at that period under the management of Mr. Greatheed, who well knew how to make good use of his friend's large attainments in critical, Oriental, and theological studies.
Added to these varied labours, the British and Foreign Bible Society now began to occupy a large measure of his most affectionate regards and indefatigable attentions. The Society, which was then in its infancy, had nominated him a member of its committee, and his Biblical knowledge and Oriental studies constituted him a powerful auxiliary in many of its important objects. Mr. Butterworth, who was one of its earliest members, besought him to add this one other duty to his already long catalogue of engagements; and his sense of the importance of the object itself, joined with his desire for the instruction and salvation of all the human race, induced him to comply with this new demand. How zealously and carefully he laboured in this new sphere of duty is too well known by the friends of that invaluable institution to need recapitulation. Besides his judicious advice respecting the choice or preparation of versions, and his indefatigable industry in various intricate matters of learned research and attention, he even prepared types which no one else knew how to construct—as in the case of the Tartar Testament-and by his minute acquaintance with the technicalities of Oriental literature and printing performed services in this great work of Christian philanthropy which no person but himself possessed the peculiar qualifications to render. The Society felt so strongly the value of his assistance, that when the time approached at which, according to the ordinary course of the rules of Methodism, he was to be removed from London, it formally petitioned the Conference to suspend the rule in his case, and to allow him to remain in the metropolis beyond the limits otherwise prescribed for removal ; and the Conference, much to the honour of all parties, cheerfully complied with the request.
The services which Dr. Clarke performed for this invaluable society were wholly gratuitous; for he even refused to accept the slightest acknowledgment or compensation, though solicited by the Committee, for those literary labours which, in justice to himself and his family, fairly entitled him to claim an honourable remuneration, upon the Scriptural principle that "the labourer is worthy of his hire;” and that if one, who can ill afford the time and exertion, undertakes for many a duty in which all are equally interested, his colleagues are bound to see that his devotion to the common cause shall at least not be allowed to fall with too heavy a pecuniary weight upon himself and those who are dependent upon him. The conduct of what is called “the religious world,” has not always been either generous or just in this respect.
To recreate his mind amidst these multiplied toils, Dr. Clarke, some time after being appointed to his second triennial term in London, made a tour into Wiltshire with Mr. Butterworth ; which furnishes his biographers with occasion to introduce various passages from his diary and letters. An English county within a few hours' journey of London, is not, however, so absolutely unknown a region as to require us to quote a passing traveller's remarks upon its localities; but two or three passages, connected with his own personal feelings or narrative, may deserve to be extracted, as coincident with the general object of the memoir.
The following was an “adventure" at Amesbury: “ In a ride of about three or four miles we reached a small town, or rather village, called Amesbury: it is situated among the hills, in a chalky soil, and is dry, neat, and clean : there is one inn in the place, the George, which, much to our satisfaction, afforded us a tolerable supper and beds, and also stabling for our horses. Almost our first inquiry was, “are there any religious people here?' The waiter, who was an intelligent man for his station, told us that there was a people who had left the church, and were much under the direction of a baker, whose name he did not know. Determined to find out this ecclesiastical baker, Mr. Butterworth, Miss Martin, Henrietta, your little sister Mary, and myself, sallied out: it was a fine moonlight evening, and the sky perfectly serene: we knew not the man's name, nor where he dwelt, but inquiring of a woman on the way, she gave us full directions, and said the baker's name was Edwards. I rapped at his door, and a decent woman opening it, I asked if Mr. Edwards was within. Being answered in the affirmative, I desired to see him. He soon came and invited us in: we entered, and told him that we were strangers passing through the country, and that on coming to the village we had inquired if there were any religious people there, and that we were directed to him. As soon as we sat down, I asked him to what class of religious people he belonged : he replied, “to Mr. Wesley's people. We found that preaching had been established there about twelve months, and that they had eleven members in class, and that sir of these enjoyed a clear sense of their acceptance with God: that he had come to reside in the village on purpose to introduce Methodism into it, and that it had previously been tried upwards of thirty years without effect, the preachers having been constantly beaten out of it. We easily perceived that the decent upright steady conduct of this worthy couple had done honour to their profession; for there was now a large congregation, and nothing but peace: their own light shining steadily before them, they had seen their good works, and glorified their Father who is in heaven : we were so pleased with them ourselves, that we invited them to sup with us at our inn, where we spent a comfortable hour together.” Vol. ii. pp. 129, 130.
We pass over Dr. Clarke's enthusiasm at Stonehenge,' and his description of its ruins, together with the manners and customs of the shepherds who are wont to depasture their flocks upon the Plain of Salisbury, and other matters, not wholly unknown to the world; but we must not refuse a few passing lines to honoured Old Sarum, more especially in memory of its recent celebrity as the sting of parliamentary epigrams and popular orations. Dr. Clarke seems to have thought the postillion somewhat simple in declaring that there was “nothing to be seen there," and that " no person went to see it;" but postillions understand perfectly well Euclid's definition of a straight line, and are accustomed to be very discreet in their disclosures when then they find travellers more curious than locomotive. Had the answer been given in Madame de Genlis' Palace of Truth, where persons were constrained to utter, not what they intended, but what they
secretly meant, it would perhaps have been, Yes, there are some old ruins, which travellers often alight to visit ; but as this detains me on the road, and I have better employment in store at the inn, I do not wish you to know any thing of the matter.” But Dr. Clarke and his friends were persevering, and were rewarded as follows:
“ We all set forward, and to me this was a very high treat: we found here the remains of a very ancient city and fortress, surrounded by a deep trench, which still bears a most noble appearance: on the top of the hill the castle or citadel stood, and several remains of a very thick wall, built all of flint stone, cemented together with a kind of everlasting mortar, which are the only remains of its ancient grandeur. The castle and city were destroyed in the 525th year of the Christian æra. What is re. markable, these ruins are still considered in the British constitution as an inhabited city, and send two members to Parliament: within the breadth of a field from this noble hill there is a small public-house, the only dwelling within a very great space, and containing a very few persons: which, excepting the crows, hens, and magpies, are the only beings which the worthy members have to represent in the British Senate. I went through this small house, in order that I might have it to say I had been all over the borough of Old Sarum.” Vol. ii. p. 131.
Dr. Clarke missed inspecting the monuments in Salisbury Cathedral, because, it being the time of Divine Service when he visited it, he did not think it proper to examine inscriptions, even on the outside of the building, while God was being worshipped. Fonthill he thought over-done and tawdry ; but Wilton made ample amends; and still more the family chapel of Wardour Castle. The following passage shews the powerful effect which even the externals of Popery are calculated to produce upon the feelings and the imagination. Can we wonder, after reading it, that the Church of Rome is making converts even in the very heart of Protestant England ? We may add, is there nothing to be learned, by those who profess a purer faith, and especially by the noble and titled families of this our highly favoured land, when they see the powerful effect of influence and example, as illustrated in the case of several ancient Roman Catholic families, whose mansions have become so many foci for the accretions of Popery.
“ This is one of the finest and most solemn little buildings I ever saw. You must know that the Earl of Arundel is a Catholic nobleman, and the chapel belonging to it is laid out in the Romish taste : two lamps perpetually burning before the altar, on which is placed an elegant and costly crucifix. Through a window of stained glass, of exquisite workmanship, a sufficient measure of light is admitted to make every object visible enough, in conjunction with the two lamps already mentioned : indeed the mixture of these two lights produces a sort of illumination which partakes at once of the cheerfulness of day and the solemnity of night, and yet the spectator cannot tell where the one acts separately from, or independently on the other; except in the narrow limits of the silver lamps themselves, and the surface of the painted window : in all other parts of the chapel they are imperceptibly blended.
“ Your sister, Mary Ann, on coming into this chapel, as if suddenly influenced by the spirit of devotion, immediately kneeled down before the altar, and continued in this posture, without opening her lips, for several minutes. The steward who followed up, appeared to be a deeply serious and devout man. As soon as be entered he bowed himself before the altar; and on leaving the chapel he walked backward, with his face to the altar, till he got to the door, and then bowed both his head and knee. To superficial and irreligious minds all this might appear superstition : but I confess, where I meet with so much solemnity, decorum, and reverence, I feel no hesitation to ascribe these acts to a more heavenly principle: be who can enter a church or a chapel, or any place dedicated to the worship of God, as he does into his own habitation, or into that of his horses, which is a very common case, has, in my opinion, no proper notion of religious worship, and is never likely to derive much edification to his own soul from his
attention on the ordinances of God. Twice we had the privilege of seeing the Earl : we also saw his domestic priest, and other members of his family. His character in the country is excellent, for personal probity, irreproachable conduct, and charity to the poor. I could plainly see pleasing evidences of his Lordship's influence through the whole country: the people were decent, sober, amazingly affable, and well-bred. How much good might our noblemen do, and how much evil might they prevent, were they all actuated by the same amiable principles and benevolent conduct.
" Another thing particularly impressed us, it was the number of religious books which we saw in almost every apartment: such as “ The History of the People of