Adam Clarke

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Adam Clarke (1760-1762) was a noted British Methodist theologian and Biblical scholar. Clarke was born in Moybeg county of Londonderry, Ireland, and became primarily known as the author of his extensive commentary on the Bible, a work he himself penned, and which took forty years to complete. This became a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries, and is available today, including as part of many Bible programs.[1]

For part of his adult life Clarke served under Wesley, and followed him in affirming Arminianism, opposing the Calvinistic distinctives regarding predestination, as he held to the offer of justification from God to all persons. Clarke and also held to the Methodist doctrine of entire sanctification.[2]

Clarke endured many hardships on his way to becoming educated, and as a circuit rider preacher. The life of Clarke is well told by Douglass Gorrie in The lives of eminent Methodist ministers.[3]


  • The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, said an eminent scholar, have God for their Author, the Salvation of mankind for their end, and Truth without any mixture of error for their matter.
  • Let it ever be remembered that genuine faith in Christ will ever be productive of good works; for this faith worketh by love, as the apostle says, and love to God always produces obedience to his holy laws.
  • Many talk much, and indeed well, of what Christ has done for us: but how little is spoken of what he is to do in us! and yet all that he has done for us is in reference to what he is to do in us.
  • Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.
  • Pride works frequently under a dense mask, and will often assume the garb of humility.
  • As preachers of the gospel of Jesus, do not expect worldly honors: these Jesus Christ neither took to himself, nor gave to his disciples.
  • If you go forward in the spirit of the original apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, trusting not in man but in the living God, he will enable you to pull down the strong holds of sin and Satan, and that work by which he is pleased will prosper in your hands.
  • To be filled with God is a great thing, to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater; to be filled with all the fullness of God is greatest of all.
  • This perfection is the restoration of man to the state of holiness from which he fell, by creating him anew in Christ Jesus, and restoring to him that image and likeness of God which he has lost.[4]