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two lions, a tiger, and three bears broke loose, and devouring all before them.”
Mr. Adam had now arrived at the age when the body is incapable of sustaining the ordinary labours of a parish minister ; he was therefore induced to receive into his house a curate. The first whom he employed was the Rev. John Lawson, the next the Rev. Robert Storry, afterwards vicar of St. Peter's, Colchester; and about the period of his death, the Rev. S. Knight, afterwards vicar of Halifax, and author of “ Family Prayers,” &c., was curate of Wintringham.
The services were enough to afford employment for a clergyman in the vigour of youth, and each curate was indefatigable in discharging the duties, both public and private, which devolved upon him.
Mr. Adam generally paid an annual visit to York, where his sisters resided ; and sometimes to Scarborough. On these occasions he enjoyed the society of some clergymen who continued his friends, till death for a season separated them. He also joined the clergy who met at the Rev. J. Stillingfleet's, at Hotham, in Yorkshire ; at whose house the Rev. Joseph Milner often visited. In allusion to one of these visits, the Rev. Joseph Milner writes to Mr. Stillingfleet, “I am always obliged to you for your hospitality ; but Easter is a time of very little vacation to me."
Mr. Adam was now declining in health, and was not able to meet his clerical brethren at Hotham-so regularly as formerly. He was subject to very severe attacks of disease ; to which he makes frequent reference, both in his “Private Thoughts,” and in his letters.
In the year 1770, a circumstance occurred, which showed how deeply he felt for the honour of God among his brethren.
A gentleman, who had, like too many, entered into holy orders without any proper sense of the high nature of the sacred office, or any real call from God, was curate in an adjoining parish. Mr. Adam had often heard, with much concern, of his unbecoming conduct, and wished for an opportunity of setting before him the nature of his unclerical proceedings.
It happened that, at the yearly feast, in Mr. Adam's parish, this young clergyman went to the village to pursue his pleasures, and to indulge in his wonted irregularities.
On hearing that he was in the parish, Mr. Adam sent for him to the rectory : he took him aside, and talked to him with much plainness and seriousness respecting his conduct,-faithfully set before him the nature and guilt of his behaviour, both as a christian and as a minister ;-and so rcasoned with him of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, “ that he” not only, like Felix, “trembled," but from that hour became a new man, and by his future conduct evidenced in his life, his ministry, and in his death, which happened two or three years after, the unspeakable blessing of that evening's conversation.
The following extract from the Life of the Rev. H. Venn adds interest to Mr. Stillingfleet's account.
April 30th, 1717. I went on the evening of Thursday to Wintringham; the dear, blessed man,
inquired cordially after you. At Wintringham I met with a young clergyman, who some months since was a careless and worldly character. Dear Mr. Adam talked to him so affectionately, that, through the grace of God, the young man is now beginning to preach the word of life. He came with me as far as Lincoln, thirty four-miles, and spent the evening with me. I spoke much to him, and went to prayer at the conclusion. I left him this morning at five, and have ridden fifty-two miles since.”
His paraphrase on the Epistle to the Romans-Visited by Jolin
Thornton, Esq.-Prayer to be used in a season of pain-Letters to Colonel Pownall—He publishes a volume of Sermons-Letters to the Rev. Robert Storry, his former curate.
The last of Mr. Adam's thoughts to which a date is affixed, belongs to this period.
“ 1771, October 4th. I had a most lively sense, in a dream, of a full dependence on God for help in time of deep distress, far beyond anything I ever conceived, or can retain when I am awake.”
This year, Mr. Adam published a “ Paraphrase and Annotations on the First Eleven Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans.” It is fluous to give an opinion upon a book which is found in the library of almost every biblical scholar. The doctrinal views of the author are there exhi. bited in regard to some points, in which he did not agree with Mr. Venn and others, who were warm advocates of system.
The preface to the work is valuable, and has been
It is super
useful, in preventing many from being led away by error, respecting faith, and the necessity of our possessing the assurance of faith, in order to our acceptance with God.
In the year 1773, Mr. Adam was visited by the late John Thornton, Esq. The following interest. ing letter refers to that circumstance. It is very probable that the scheme of purchasing advowsons was then discussed. The editor is disposed to this opinion, because Mr. Adam's curate, the Rev. Mr. Storry, was soon after presented to the living of St. Peter's, Colchester, by Mr. Thornton's sister, Mrs. Wilberforce. Efforts were then making, in which Mr. Adam is thought to have taken an active part, to educate young men of piety and talent for holy orders in the Church of England. It was first taken in hand by benevolent and pious persons; and afterwards a society was formed, under the name of the Elland Society.
TO THE REV. J. STILLINGFLEET.
Wintringham, July 5th, 1773. “ Dear Sir, “ In my own thoughts I do not use to distinguish much between the active and passive righteousness of Christ, but consider them both together as making up one whole. The passive for pardon, the active for a title to reward, says Mr. Hervey, and to this I have no objection ; but if another thinks the way to favour, reward, glory, is open by the removal of the curse, let him enjoy his opinion for me; and I would say further for you, and J. B., let go disputes as much as possible, and give the right-hand of fel