« PreviousContinue »
of good learning, yet when they meet with one who is capable of entering into their deeper views, find a delight in conversation to which others are strangers, and they find a response to the observations of each other, which makes their intercourse very agreeable."*
These bereavements, which Mr. Adam sustained in the loss of his wife, and his friend Mr. Walker, served rather to quicken than to abate his zeal, as a parish priest. We find him at this period engaged in catechising the elder children of his parish : he commended the plan in a letter to Mr. Walker, and he adopted it himself. The catechism which he used as a text-book, was Lewis's edition of the Church Catechism explained, with scripture proofs.”+
The editor has listened with much pleasure to his mother, when she has been speaking to the Rev. Mr. Knight, late rector of Halifax, in Yorkshire, and the late Rev. Mr. Cocker, of Bunny, in Nottinghamshire, of the clergymen and visitors she had met at the rectory. Among these she mentioned the Rev. Messrs. Walker, Burnett, Lawson, Jane, Venn, Richardson, Joseph Milner and Isaac Milner, Stillingfleet, John Wesley, Basset, &c., Mr. John Thornton and Sir George Saville, &c.
* The editor thinks this is from the pen of the Rev. Joseph Milner of Hull.-Edit.
+ One of these is before the writer, which at the time was presented to his mother by her godfather, Mr. Adam. It is inscribed “to Miss Sarah Scarborough, a gift from the Rev. T. Adam, 1761.” Mr. Adam lived to see her marry, and become the mother of a large family, and a daily intercourse was kept up between him and his god-daughter to the period of his death.
The editor's mother lived to the age of seventynine years, an ornament to the gospel, and a blessing to the poor. She died February 27th, 1827,* two months after the editor's father, to whom she had been married nearly fifty-nine years. The young people were expected to commit to memory the whole of the proofs in the Catechism ; and to repeat them to Mr. Adam within a limited time, when each one had a pecuniary gratuity from him.
In order to prepare the children with ability to read and write, he obtained a parish clerk competent to conduct a daily school. In this schoolt an education was provided at a cheap rate; and it was attended by the sons of farmers and tradesmen from the surrounding villages. In this school the Bible was daily read, and the Catechism taught. The children also went to church to the morning prayers every Wednesday; and many on the Thursday evening also, when there was a lecture. This person, who was school-master and clerk of the parish, lived to a great age, and died in the church during the service, while performing his official duty.
The following extract from the pen of Mr. Adam, preserved by the Rev. J. Lawson, will bring our
* The Christian Guardian for 1829, pages 92–96, contains an obituary of Mrs. Westoby, from a funeral sermon by the Rev. L. Grainger, who was curate of Wintringham nearly thirty years, and is now rector of Barnet Le Wold, Lincolnshire.
† “ Amongst Mr. Adam's charities, he put a number of chil. dren to school, until they were able to read the Bible for themselves in their mother tongue; which, under God, must give birth to true morality, or Christian faith and practice.”-Note in John Foster's Elegy
notices of Mr. Adam to the close of the year 1762. Mr. L. was a zealous and pathetic preacher. He was called the weeping preacher, and was said to have endured many conflicts in his mind, but his death was most triumphant.
“ The chamber where the good man meets bis fate
1762, December 18th. I awoke heavy, disconsolate, sore amazed, with a sense of guilt, under strong apprehensions of the condemnation that is due to me, and inclined to reason myself more and more into them. I instantly checked myself with the following thoughts, and I have cause to bless God for the comfort of them, and say to my triumphant Saviour,
“Sweet is the memory of thy grace.”
“I am often taking pains, and striving hard, as it were, to put out the eye of faith, and to argue myself out of my hopes, by aggravating my sin; not to enhance the mercy of redemption, but setting it in battle array against the love of God, and the grace and power of Christ, as if it were too heavy for him to take up, and bear upon his cross, and the stains of it too foul to be washed away by his blocd. What is this but giving the lie to God, denying the blood that bought me, blotting out the glad tidings of Scripture, darkening its glory, and taking the sun out of it, and so condemning myself to a state of perpetual gloom, discontent, and melancholy? And
why do I thus foolishly and perversely poison all my comfort, put an insuperable bar in the way of my obedience, and choke my love, which would otherwise spring naturally and freely from a root of faith, and waits only for the steady, full belief of Christ's victorious grace, and all-sufficient merits, to come to the birth in me? He died, not for saints, but for sinners. I am a sinner, and, at the worst, but a sinner,—therefore he died for me. O my soul, stick to this conclusion against all thy fears, the accusations of conscience, and the assaults of the enemy, that thou mayst rejoice in God thy Saviour, and be fixed, once for all, in a holy state of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, pure love and free obedience to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. -So help me God.”
Diary-Ministerial success at South Firraby-Anecdotes--Mr.
Adanu's curates--The good effects of his expostulation with a Clergyınan.
THERE are but few particulars to show the manner in which Mr. Adam employed his time during the next seven or eight years from 1762. chial duties were not intermitted ; and they were two full services on the Sunday, prayers on the Wednesday morning, and a lecture on the Thursday evening.
In 1763, February 23rd, he writes “Grant that this day I fall into no sin. When I was saying these words, I sinned grievously by an uncharita-. ble thought of C. S.” This entry serves to show the habit of self-observation which Mr. Adam practised, and the severity with which he scanned his own thoughts. The person to whom he alludes was propably his parishioner, whose conduct excited suspicion of certain immoralities, though the proofs were not then at hand. Till they were forced