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ADAM CLARKE, D.D., LL.D.
and he perceived among the rest for sale was a copy of the first edition of Erasmus's Greek Testament.” Early on the morning following he was at the bookseller's shop, and secured the prize. Dr. Gossett hastened to Mr. Baynes's for the same purpose, but the book was gone. He called on the doctor to see his literary curiosity, and remarked, You have been very fortunate, doctor, but how you got it before myself I am at a loss to imagine, for I was at Baynes's directly after breakfast.” “But I,” replied Clarke, was there before breakfast; and, consequently, doctor, I forestalled you." Adam Clarke was always a before-breakfast man-beginning his studies at about four o'clock in the morning
-and, therefore, he performed more enduring labour than fifty men who spend their ten hours daily in comfortable slumbers. By his early rising, combined with economy of time, he accumulated vast stores of information on almost all subjects. His reading was most extensive, and he seemed never to forget what he read. He proved to all who are desirous to distinguish themselves in the walks of literature, that nothing can be done without time, taken from either one end of the day or the other; and he proved that time must be conjoined with toil if the results are to be considerable.
As a preacher, he early took a stand amongst the most popular of the day, and he sustained it through a series of years unparalleled in the history of one man. Wherever they needed unusually large collections Dr. Clarke was the man sent for; and on the day of his death, after about half a century of labour, he was like the sun at midday, just shining brightest. As a preacher, he was happy in his expositions, logical and conclusive in his reasoning, forceful and nervous in his style, luminous in his illustrations, and most effective in his appeals. He seldom preached the same sermon twice over: he never wrote his sermons out, and never knew a single sentence of his discourse previous to his entrance into the pulpit. "From the year 1784 to 1785," says his son,“ ho preached 568 sermons, independently of lectures, expositions, &c. ; and from 1782 to 1808 he preached no less than 6,615 sermons, exclusive of exhortations, &c.'
As a writer, he is little less eminent. The amount of his compositions is prodigious, considering their kind; and the quality is such as has secured for him, at least among biblical critics, an honourable_immortality. Though critical and literary above any other English commentator, yet there is much that is practical and spiritual; and while displaying much breadth of learning and extensive research, the plainest readers may comprehend him without difficulty. Blessed with a capacious and vigorous understanding, and stored as was his mind with the riches of knowledge, his writings will ever continue to interest, and for a long time to instruct mankind.
He alway spoke out his mind on all subjects, regardless of consequences; and his scrupulous regard for honesty, in all its
phases, was ever manifested with the same warmth of feeling and determination of purpose as when he refused to become " the aider and abettor” of the cloth-stretching business. Come, Adam,” said his master, the cloth-dealer, “lay hold and pull against me, and we shall soon make it come up to the yard." Adam stood and looked astounded. “ What's the matter?" said his master. “Sir,” said Adam, "I can't do it. I think it is a wrong thing.”. Adam left his master to seek employment in which he could keep square with his conscience. He possessed through life a kind heart as well as a pure one; and his benevolence evinced that it was not merely a sentiment, but a principle, by constant benefactions to the poor. And he was, in addition, a man of deep piety: not one of form and ceremony and cant phraseology, but an intelligent and devout worshipper of his God, who drew near to him with a melting heart and a reverential confidence, 'which showed that he was consciously his child, and that, too, in the high New Testament sense, and that his delight and habit were to live and move and have his being amid the beamings of his countenance. He was born in the north of Ireland, and died at Bayswater, in London, in the year 1832.
In the present day there is a revival of superstition. In this age, deemed the most enlightened since the creation of the world, there is, strange to say, sprung up in our midst a love for the mummeries and nonsense of Popery. Men called ministers are covering themselves with various-coloured garments that make them look like harlequins; they bow, bend, turn about, and perform silly antics like so many mountebanks; and what with blazing candles, flowers, crucifixes, crosses, pictures, images, and sundry performances, they make the house of God more like a theatre than a place for worship. These absurdities, too, are practised not only in Popish, but in Protestant churches. This is deplorable. We shall faithfully expose them, and warn our young readers against Popery and all Popish perversions.
In our last number we exhibited the romantic follies of Peter the Hermit, and the frantic excitement of whole nations deluded by his extravagant vagaries. We shall now present our readers with another picture in which superstition wears a different aspect. Our
young readers will see the contrast between the silly, besotted Simeon, and the devout, the good, the learned and useful men who have enlightened and blessed our world.
But who was this Simeon Stylites? He was once a shepherd in Cilicia. He is called Stylites from the Greek word stylos, which ineans a pillar, because for a number of years he lived on the top of a pillar, and was the founder of an order of monks, or rather
solitary devotees, called “pillar saints.” Of all the forms of voluntary self-torture practised by the superstitious, this was one of the most extraordinary. He was born about the year 408. When only thirteen years of age, Simeon left his flocks, and obtained admission into a monastery in Syria, but afterwards withdrew to a mountain thirty or forty miles east from Antioch, where he at first confined himself within a circle of stones. Deeming this mode of penance not sufficiently severe, in the year 423 he fixed his residence on the top of a pillar which was at first nine feet high, but was successively raised to the incredible height of sixty feet. The diameter of the top of the pillar was only three feet, but it was surrounded by a railing which secured him from falling off, and afforded him some relief by leaning against it. His clothing consisted of the skins of beasts, and he wore an iron collar round his neck. He exhorted the assembled people twice a day, and spent the rest of his time in assuming various postures of devotion. Sometimes he prayed kneeling, sometimes in an erect attitude, with his arms stretched in the form of a cross; but his most frequent exercise was that of bending his meagre body so as to make his head nearly touch his feet. A spectator once observed him make more than one thousand two hundred and forty such reverential bendings without resting.
In this manner he lived on his pillar more than thirty years, and there he died in the year 459. His remains were removed to Antioch with great solemnity. His predictions and the miracles ascribed to him are mentioned at large in Theodoretus, who gives an account of the lives of thirty celebrated hermits, ten of whom lived in the same period as himself. The pillar saints were never numerous, and the propagation of the order was almost exclusively in the warm climates of the East. Among the names recorded is that of another Simeon, styled “the younger,” who is said to have lived sixty years on his pillar.
Such follies proceed from ignorance and the love of distinction. Dear young readers, keep to the Word of God, and the observance of its holy precepts and examples will render you wise, useful, and happy.
ANCIENT TOMBS. In many parts of the world there are mounds of earth artificially raised to denote the spots where dead bodies have been laid. They are called tumuli, and in some parts they extend for many miles, and some persons think the tracks of wandering nations may
be traced by these mounds of earth. Sometimes they denote the scenes where great battles have been fought and the slaughtered dead have been laid. Our engraving shows some tumuli at a place called Tirlemont, in Belgium. In many parts of England there are such mounds, which are often called barrows, and on digging into them human skeletons are found, together with the bones of beasts, rude jars of pottery, and weapons of war, such as spear-heads, arrow-heads, battle-axes, &c., sometimes of metal, but often of fint. These mounds have no historic record ; their remains must belong to a remote antiquity, when ancient Britons were wild savages with painted bodies, and were worshippers of idols and the host of heaven.
But more remarkable than these mounds are the sepulchres formed of huge stones, some standing upright like pillars, and others placed on the top of these as a roof or covering; so largo are many of these stones that the wonder is how they were moved, and so rough and rude that it seems no tool of metal had ever been used to give them shape and form. These singular places are often called "Druids' altars," and supposed to be the places where human and other sacrifices were offered to their sanguinary gods.
While some are to be seen in England, there are many more in Denmark. There are some fine specimens of them in the island of Guernsey. The Editor has repeatedly seen these memorials of departed ages, and wbile examining their rude massive structure, has mournfully thought of the ignorance and barbarism of the people who reared them, and their sanguinary superstitions. The entrances are formed of large stones, smooth on the side which is turned inwards, on which very large roof-stones are placed. The chambers, and even the entrances, which are from sixteen to twenty feet in length, are filled with trodden earth and pebbles, and the contents which are found in them consist of unburnt human skeletons (which were occasionally placed on a pavement of flat or round stones), together with implements and weapons, and tools of flint or boné, ornaments, pieces of amber, and urns of clay. In some cases smaller chambers have been discovered, annexed to one side of the passage which leads to the larger chamber. When in Guernsey in 1867 I saw two human skulls which had been discovered in one of these singular structures I had examined in the Vale parish. They were in the possession of a gentleman who had a vast collection of antiquities, and he very kindly described to me the process of their discovery. On digging into the mound, a large flat stone was soon discovered ; this formed the top or capstone of the tomb, and on removing it, the upper part of two buman skulls were exposed to view. One was facing the north, and the other the south, but both disposed in a line from east to west. The chamber was filled up with earth mixed with limpet shells, and as it was gradually removed, while the examination was proceeding downwards into the interior, the bones of the