Arminian Today

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The Death of Adam Clarke

The following is the story of the death of Dr. Adam Clarke, the great saint of God who sought God with all his strength until his final day.  May we learn from Psalm 116:15, Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

Thomas Stanley requesting him to fix a time for preaching a charity-sermon, Dr. Clarke 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; and, in the hope of gaining upon his appetite, his kind and considerate friend 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 he had been affected with some degree of diarrhea; but now, contrary to custom, it was not attended with the slightest pain. On being pressed to take something for it, he took ginger and rhubarb, but refused every other recommendation “The diarrhea increased all night. On the Sabbath morning he was heard to be up very early, but this was no unusual thing. At six o’clock, 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 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 him look exceedingly ill, replied, ‘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 postchaise, if you are determined to return.’

Shortly after Mrs. Hobbs come down, with Miss Hobbs and Miss Everingham, the servant having informed these ladies of Dr. Clarke’s indisposition. “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 with the gig for a medical gentleman, — Mr. Greenly, a friend of the family, who chanced to have come to town on the preceding evening from Chatham, where he had professionally attended the cholera-hospital. In the meantime Mr. Hobbs had called in a medical man in the neighborhood, and sent off to inform his sons of their father’s illness. Mr. Theodoret arrived shortly, and Mr. John not long after, accompanied by the Doctor’s nephew, Mr. Thrascyles Clarke, who had been for many years a surgeon in the Royal Navy, and had frequently seen cases of cholera in the East.

As soon as the medical gentlemen saw Dr. Clarke, they pronounced the disease to be cholera. The family wished him to be taken up-stairs; but he was by this time so weak, that it was found he could not get up. A small bed being in the adjoining room, he was conveyed there, and laid down upon it. Mr. Hobbs then said, ‘ My dear Doctor, you must put your soul into the hands of your God, and your trust in the merits of your Saviour.’

To which Dr. Clarke could only faintly reply, ‘I do, — I DO.’ “Dr. Wilson Philip arrived about nine o’clock. All the means that skill, experience, and attention could devise and employ were used to arrest the disease.

Service-time having arrived, the chapel, as usual on such occasions, was filled. An aged minister, after reading prayers, ascended the pulpit, and announced that Dr. Clarke was laboring under an attack of cholera. The impression 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, who arrived a little before four in the afternoon. On her entering the room, Dr. Clarke feebly extended his hand toward her. One of the Doctor’s daughters, Mrs. Hook, on hearing that her father was indisposed, though she knew not the extent of the calamity, had set off for Bayswater; and her father opened his eyes feebly, and strove to clasp his fingers upon her hand. But he had not attempted to speak but twice; once in the morning, when he asked his son Theodoret, ‘Am I blue?’ and again at noon, on seeing him move from his bed-side, he asked, with apparent anxiety, ‘Are you going?’

Dr. W. Philip again visited him in the afternoon; but Mr. Thrasycles Clarke and Mr. Greenly never left his room, nor relaxed in their efforts to save a life they saw to be fast hastening away. The female members in this kind family forgot all personal risk in attending upon the affliction of one who had to them been so often the minister of peace. His two sons chafed his cold hands and feet frequently in the day, and often stepped behind his head to lift him higher on the 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 his 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 all passed away before eleven o’clock in the forenoon. But there was a total prostration of strength, and difficulty of breathing; which, as night advanced, increased so much, and proved so distressing to Mrs. Clarke, that she was obliged to be removed 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 snore into the sickchamber, 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.”

Deep and solemn was the feeling which the announcement of the death of Dr. Adam Clarke produced in London, and throughout the land. The Methodist communion felt that they had suffered few such losses since the day when their founder himself was removed to his eternal rest. And not only the body to which he more intimately belonged, but good men of every name, deplored his departure with a sincere and religious lamentation, as if bereaved of a personal counselor, companion, and friend.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/18/2013 at 10:00 AM

Posted in Adam Clarke, Death, Life And Death

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