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and success rarely to be met with, ancient and modern languages, history, chronology, and philosophy, and intermeddled with all sorts of wisdom; and what he thus learned he spread before his readers, and the numerous auditors who attended upon his ministry, in a style and manner calculated to instruct and to edify them in the knowledge of God the Father, and of His Son Jesus Christ.
That Dr. Clarke was eminently distinguished for his deep and uniform piety is attested by all who knew him. The Rev. Henry Moore -whose partiality for Dr. Clarke was not likely to lead him into any extravagant eulogy-says of him, in his funeral Discourse, that he was what Mr. Whitefield said a minister of the Gospel should be, namely, without spots.' This testimony is the more valuable, because it came from one who had known Dr. Clarke from the time he entered upon his public life until the day of his death, and beheld him in all the relations which he sustained to the Church of Christ, and to the various institutions with which he stood connected.
It was indeed this spirit of deep devotion to God, and with which he became inspired at the memorable era of his conversion, that laid the foundation of his religious and literary fame. What else but a consciousness of the Divine favor, arising from communion with God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, could have inspired him with that burning zeal for God's glory, and have sustained him amid the arduous labors which he was called to perform? that which gave a right direction to, and sanctified all his actions. It was this which made him so eminently useful in the cause of God, in the ministry of reconciliation, and which induced him to make every thing within his reach contribute to aid him in promoting the present and eternal salvation of a lost world.
It ought not to be concealed, that there was a peculiarity about the character of Dr. Clarke, which might subject him to the charge of egotism by those who did not enter into his views, and were not acquainted with the natural independence of his mind. This, doubtless, arose from the clearness with which he apprehended truth, and the strong 'manner in which he fortified himself against the assaults of
It was not from a slight view that he was led to form a judgment in respect to any subject, but from a deep, patient, and thorough investigation, surveying it in all its parts and various relations; and having thus made his decision, he pronounced it with that firmness which some might construe into unjustifiable dogmatism. Nor will we deny that he betrays, in some instances, that species of egotism which generally accompanies those who are fully confident of being right. But these are only occasional aberrations from that general line of modesty and moderation, which mark the conduct of all human beings whose minds are so formed, and whose habits of reflection and
observation have been such, as to enable them to grasp a subject with ease and clearness. This, however, is not the conduct of the egotist. He is one that betrays the emptiness of his mind by dogmatically pronouncing upon a subject without reflection, who contradicts almost self-evident propositions merely because he has never considered them, and who snarls at every thing which does not agree with his prejudices and prepossessions. When a well-informed man has to encounter one of these self-constituted judges, he needs a double share of patience, not because he is personally insulted, but because the majesty of truth is insulted and outraged. From these defects of character Dr. Clarke was happily freed.
In regard to the great doctrines of God our Savior, the venerable Wesley was Dr. Clarke's examplar. In this respect he found every thing ready for use. And it is no small confirmation of the truth of these doctrines, that all the researches of Dr. Clarke only tended to confirm him in the belief that they were the revealed truths of God; and also that the discipline established by Wesley for the government of his societies, and the plan for preaching the Gospel, was according to apostolic and primitive order. Hence Dr. Clarke felt a strong attachment to Methodism in all its parts, believing it to be admirably adapted to promote pure religion among men, declaring his conviction that his success in winning souls to Jesus Christ was most manifest when he insisted on the peculiarities of Methodism. But his strong attachment and tenacious adherence to these peculiarities did not prevent that liberal flow of soul toward other denominations, which characterize a truly catholic mind. This liberality of sentiment evinced itself in numerous occasions, and in none more manifestly than in his studied avoidance, as much as practicable, of all controversy. His own opinions he stated most clearly, unequivocally, and candidly, and then left others to think and speak for themselves.
We may finally sum up all, in saying that Dr. Adam Clarke was distinguished as a good and great man—a pious Christian, a sound divine, and an eminent scholar. Those infirmities which are consistent with these excellences, he undoubtedly exhibited; for none of his friends ever claimed for him an infallible judgment, nor a perfectly faultless demeanor.
We close what we have to say, by a few remarks upon his writings. These have already been enumerated in the preceding part of this review.
It is to be expected that the productions of his pen will partake of the character of his mind, as they are but its development spread out before the reader, so that the character of the one is inferred from the features of the other. These therefore are all along distinguished by a deep vein of piety, of original thought and expression, and yet by a simplicity in their style which shows that their author was much more solicitous to instruct the ignorant than he was to please the fastidious taste of the critic. Yet, such is the strength and importance of the thoughts which are recorded—the energy and perspicuity of the style —that the reader is seldom weary in perusing his pages, or at a loss to comprehend his meaning. In this respect he has given evidence that the most critical idea, the most profound and abstruse subject, may be so managed by the dexterous use of language, as to be easily brought within the comprehension of every reader of common understanding.
And this, too, is an evidence that Dr. Clarke wrote for the instruction, and not for the amusement of his readers—that to develope the beauties, and to display the energies and value of truth, was his object —and not to dazzle you with high sounding words of vanity.' How many miss the mark here!. When we read some authors our attention is perpetually drawn off from the matter in hand to the manner of the writer; and we are either fatigued by the stiff and labored style in which the author has clothed his thoughts, or disgusted by perceiving a manifest effort to display himself, instead of instructing his reader.
But with Dr. Clarke all is simplicity and energy, though his style is by no means destitute of that elegance which commends him as a writer to the most polished mind. We allow, indeed, that there is sometimes a carelessness manifest in some portions of his writings ; while, at other times, his frequent use of italics and capitals, with a view to arrest the reader's attention, evinces a laudable desire to make every sentence tell on his understanding, memory, and conscience. Though these may be considered as defects which mar, in some measure, the beauty of the typography, they serve, as they are intended to do, to awaken the reader's attention to the importance of the subject under consideration, and to make him enter more fully into the author's train of reflection and course of reasoning. This feature, while it must be reckoned among Dr. Clarke's peculiarities, shows that he thought profoundly, and wished his readers to understand his thoughts and to profit by them.
But for a full and particular view of his writings, they must be read and studied. They will richly compensate the student for his expense and labor, although he may not subscribe to all his opinions. With some of his sermons we are less pleased, than we are with other portions of his productions. Though they contain a rich vein of instructive piety, of sound theological truth, and display withal the same characteristic peculiarity we have before noticed, there is nevertheless, at least in some of them, a tedious verbosity, probably arising out of Dr. Clarke's habit of sifting every thing to the bottom, minutely explaining and amplifying every thing which seemed to grow out of the subject. By this means he not only exhausts the subject, but draws largely upon the reader's patience., But, as to his Commentary, and some select pieces, which he has given to the public, they never pall upon the mental appetite. By the interesting nature of the matter, and the energetic, simple, and yet elegant character of the style in which they are written, they carry you along whether you will or not, pleased and edified by what you read. An accurate judge pronounced Dr. Clarke's Life of Professor Porson to be one of the most finished pieces of composition of the kind which he ever had read. Though this eulogy may betray some spark of partiality in favor of the writer, yet it must be acknowledged that that production of Dr. Clarke's pen should rank high among the literary works of the day.
But that which enhances the worth of Dr. Clarke's writings is the deep vein of piety which runs through them all. While he seemed to delight in luxuriating in the rich fields of literature and science, and to dig about the roots of the learned languages, he was still more delighted in drinking from the wells of salvation, and of partaking of the fruits with which the trees of righteousness were loaded. Having drank deeply from these wells, and continually feeding, himself with this heavenly fruit, he was able, from his own experience, to lead others to the flowing fountain, that they might drink and be refreshed. He was never, indeed, more at home than when explaining and defending those truths of the Gospel which relate to experimental and practical godliness. And the manner in which he spoke upon these subjects shows that he spoke of what he had seen and felt. As a sample of this, we give the following extract from his note on Ephesians iii, 19.: That ye may be filled with all the fulness of God:
• Among all the great sayings in this prayer, this is the greatest. To be FILLED with God, is a great thing; to be filled with the FULNESS of God, is still greater ; but to be filled with all the fulness of God, utterly bewilders the sense, and confounds the understanding.
Most people, in quoting these words, endeavor to correct or explain the apostle, by adding the word communicable ; but this is as idle as it is useless and impertinent. The apostle means what he says; and would be understood in his own meaning. By the fulness of God, we are to understand all those gifts and graces which He has promised to bestow on man; and which He dispenses to the Church. To be filled with all the fulness of God, is to have the whole soul filled with meekness, gentleness, goodness, love, justice, holiness, mercy, and truth. And, as what God fills, neither sin nor Satan can fill; consequently it implies that the soul shall be emptied of sin ; that sin shall neither have dominion over it, nor a being in it. It is impossible for us to understand these words in a lower sense than this. But how much more they imply (for more they do imply) I cannot tell. As there is no end to the merits of Christ, no bounds to the mercy and love of God, no limits to the improvability of the human soul ; $0 there can be no bounds set to the saving influence which God will dispense to the heart of every believer. We may ask, and we shall receive ; and our joy shall be full.'
With this extract we close what we have to say on the life and writings of Dr. Adam Clarke.
VILLERS' ESSAY ON THE SPIRIT AND INFLUENCE OF
THE REFORMATION. An Essay on the Spirit and Influence of the Reformation ; a work
which obtained the prize on the following question, proposed by the National Institute of France :- What has been the influence of the Reformation by Luther on the political situation of the different states of Europe, and on the progress of knowledge ? By C. VilLERS, some time Professor of Philosophy in the University of Gottingen. Translated from the French, with an Introductory Essay, by SAMUEL MILLER, D.D., Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, N.J.
We cannot say that this book perfectly answers our expectation. The author, no doubt, philosophizes accurately enough on the causes which preceded and finally produced the reformation ; but it seems to us that he does not sufficiently recognize the hand of God in this mighty event. An event which produced results so beneficial to mankind-which wrought a revolution in men's faith, opinions, and practices, of such a radical and extensive character—which conferred benefits so illustrious and lasting, affecting the temporal, spiritual, and eternal interests of so many millions of immortal beings—should not be looked upon merely with the eye of a cool, calculating philosophy, but should inspire that enthusiasm of soul which can be enkindled only at the altar of God. We do not, indeed, say that Mr. Villers refuses to recognize the hand of God in the production of these grand results. He speaks respectfully of Christianity, professes faith in the Divinity of its Author, and eulogizes the reformation as the offspring of a magnificent chain of causes under the management of an all-controlling energy; but, at the same time, it appears to us, that he does not distinguish with sufficient clearness between those causes which produce great political events by means of human agencies and the natural course of things, and that direct efficient agency of the Holy Spirit operating upon the human heart, which alone can produce spiritual regeneration, and effectuate that mighty revolution in morals and manners which mark and characterize the progress of pure Christianity. If Catholicism and its attendant evils be viewed simply as the offspring of those corruptions which grew out of a long abuse of a mere human institution; and if Protestantism be considered as the result of the human mind, acting under the ordinary impulses excited