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ful articles to the newspapers, as well as to the Gentleman's Magazine.
He was anxious to prevent the nation from incurring guilt in its corporate capacity. When a proposal was made to raise the militia, the first draft of the bill contained a clause to enable the
government to call them out to be exercised on a Sunday after
Mr. Adam thought this would be an affront to God, and a profanation of his holy day. He therefore resolved, though but a private clergyman, to use such means as were in his power to prevent that part of the act from passing into a law. He went to the Archdeacon of Stowe, who entered with zeal into the measure. They made application to those who were in power. The matter was eventually taken up by the Bishops; and at that time the objectionable part of the bill was removed. Mr. Adam's mind was relieved; and he was made instrumental in preventing additional guilt from coming upon his country by an open violation of the fourth commandment.
2ndly, His benevolence towards his brethren in the sacred profession.
His house was open to the men of his order, whether they were incumbents or curates. himself by no means in affluent circumstances; as he did not exact all his right, three hundred pounds per annum was nearly the whole of his income. He did not indeed estimate a clergyman merely on account of the greatness of his income. In his private thoughts he writes, “ A poor country parson fighting against Satan in his parish, has nobler ideas than Alexander had."
The great number of poor clergymen, and the destitute condition in which their widows and children were frequently left, induced Mr. Adam to organize a plan for their relief.
By the assistance of the venerable Archdeacon Basset, and other clergymen, who co-operated with him in the plan, Mr. Adam set on foot the society, entitled, “ The Charity for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of
and necessitous Clergymen in the Archdeaconry of Stowe, Lincolnshire.”
Bishop Tomline recommended the plan in the several counties in the diocese of Lincoln. And the same kind of societies are now established in most of the dioceses of England and Wales. Mr. Adam was very kind to the necessitous among his brethren; but, like his friend, John Thornton, Esq., he was stern towards those who indulged in extravagance and waste in their expenses.
3rdly. His private character. 1. His moral conduct.
From the earliest account which could be obtained of Mr. Adam, he appears to have always been a man of strict morals. He was preserved from running into those irregularities of conduct in which some have indulged, who, in after life, have become strictly virtuous. The change which took place in Mr. Adam by the transforming power of the gospel, was not a change of conduct so much as a change of principles and motives. His religious views, when he became a converted man, did not make that strongly-contrasted difference in his outward behaviour, which sometimes arrests the attention of the transient observer, who sees the intemperate made sober; and the profane and dishonest begin to lead a godly, righteous, and sober life. After his conversion to God, he rejected those selfish principles from which he had acted. The love of God was shed abroad in his heart; and the love of Christ constrained him to seek the glory of God in all he said and did ; yet few excelled him in maintaining the true temper and conduct of a Christian, while he performed the daily duties of life.
2. His regular habits.
In the distribution of his time, and in administering the affairs of his family, he observed the greatest order.
He did this, not merely on the principle of prudence or utility, as men who adopt the plan, because it secures some temporal advantage ; but from a religious sense of the importarce of time, as a talent which he had received from God, and for which he expected to render an account.
3. His personal and domestic economy.
His dress, the furniture of his house, and his mode of living, exhibited a model approaching to the primitive simplicity of an earlier period of the Christian church, so that a visitor at the rectory of Wintringham might have imagined himself a guest with good Ignatius, or Chrysostom, rather than with a divine of the eighteenth century. This did not, in him, proceed from covetousness; a sin which some might ignorantly object to him, and which he heartily detested. He seldom thought so much of increasing his comforts, as of enlarging his charities. His own observation will show his principle.
“ If my substance increases, woe be to me if all who have a claim upon me are not the richer for it.”
He judged himself in this particular, ---"I am a cow poorer, a thought richer; if I do not give more, God will take more away.'
He made no secret of his conyiction of the exceeding evil of that sumptuous and magnificent style of living, which he saw was beginning to be common; and which he considered as ill becoming the character of a clergyman, who ought rather to study a contempt of the world, and be separated from its follies. His table was ever spread with true hospitality for the reception of his friends, while temperance and simplicity were always found at his board.
He gave the communion-plate to the church; and on the Sundays, when the sacrament was administered, the churchwardens, who attended, afterwards dined with him. He seems, indeed, to have considered the whole of his parishioners as his family: and especially the poor in his parish and neighbourhood, who shared largely in his bounty.
4. His disinterestedness.
He not only gave to the needy, but he forbore to augment his income, from the fear of increasing their necessities. There was, at the period of his incumbency, a rich common pasture, adjoining the river Humber; and two or three other pieces of grass land, of considerable extent. These were of great benefit to the poorer inhabitants. It was the urgent desire of many who were owners of land, to have these included in the act of inclosure ; and the ad. vantage thence arising to the living, was fully laid before him. Mr. Adam was convinced that it would injure the poor, and he therefore positively refused to hear of it; nor, though repeatedly solicited, could
he ever be brought to consent to the measure. Soon after his death, the inclosure of the lands took place.
His integrity and uprightness, in all his dealings with others, were conspicuous throughout his whole life. No loss, on the one hand,—or gain, on the other, seemed to possess the least influence, to induce him to depart from the principles of justice and charity.
5. His humility.
He possessed true lowliness of mind, arising from a deep sense of his own natural vileness, and exceeding unworthiness before God; and not any affected semblance of the grace. Humility was wrought into a habit in him, and discovered itself more and more to those who enjoyed his society. In all his conduct towards others, this grace influenced him. He was naturally irritable; yet one of his curates, who lived six years with him in the parsonage house, has testified, that he did not know him to have been angry more than once during that period. He was very jealous of himself, lest the motives and principles from which he acted should be vitiated by pride ; for he knew “ that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
II. His defects.
Mr. Adam had a peculiar temperament of body and mind. He had also his proper gift of God, and his own talent, for which he should give account: these he cultivated, and he will continue, by his works, to profit the church of Christ till the end of the world. The editor will, however, enumerate