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Adam Clarke
1762–1832

      Clarke is chiefly remembered for writing a commentary on the Bible which took him forty years to complete and which was a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries.
      As a theologian, Clarke reinforced the teachings of Methodist founder John Wesley. He taught that the Bible provides a complete interpretation of God's nature and will. He considered Scripture itself a miracle of God's grace that "takes away the veil of darkness and ignorance." With such an understanding, Clarke was first and foremost a Biblical theologian, often uneasy with purely systematic approaches to theology.

      Clarke followed Wesley in opposing a Calvinistic scheme of salvation, preferring instead the Wesleyan-Arminian positions regarding predestination, prevenient grace, the offer of justification from God to all persons, entire sanctification, and assurance of salvation. Perhaps his most controversial position regarded the eternal Sonship of Jesus. Clarke did not believe it Biblically faithful to affirm this doctrine, maintaining that prior to the Incarnation, Jesus was "unoriginated." Otherwise, according to Clarke, he would be subordinate to God and therefore not fully divine. This was important to Clarke because he felt that Jesus' divinity was crucial to understanding the atonement.

      Clarke's view was opposed by many Methodists, notably Richard Watson. Watson and his allies argued that Clarke's position jeopardized the integrity of the doctrine of the trinity. Clarke's view was rejected by Methodism in favor of the traditional, orthodox perspective.

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Biography
An Account of the Life of Adam Clarke - Table of Contents
      Written By One [Adam Clarke Himself] Who Was Intimately Acquainted With Him From His Boyhood To The Sixtieth Year Of His Age Edited By The Rev. Joseph Butterworth Bulmer (J.B.B.); Clarke, M.A. (A Son of Adam Clarke) Trin. Coll. Cambridge "Habuit a natura, genus quaddam acuminis, quod etiam arte limaverit, quad erat in reprehendis ver ...read
PamphletEntire Sanctification 1. Adam Clarke: Holiness Saint And Scholar
      BY DR. ADAM CLARKE ABOUT ADAM CLARKE Adam Clarke's treatise on entire sanctification follows If you know little about Adam Clarke beyond the fact that he authored "Clarke's Commentary," you might enjoy reading the following sketch about him before reading his treatise on entire sanctification. The name of Adam Clarke is synonymous with bi ...read
Entire Sanctification 2. Entire Sanctification
      The word "sanctify" has two meanings. 1. It signifies to consecrate, to separate from earth and common use, and to devote or dedicate to God and his service. 2. It signifies to make holy or pure. 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 u ...read
Entire Sanctification 3. The Doctrine Of Salvation By Faith Proved
      OR, AN ANSWER TO THE IMPORTANT QUESTION, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? SECOND EDITION (1819 Version) Father, thy word is past; man shall find grace. And shall grace not find means?--- Atonement for himself, or offering meet, Indebted and undone, HE none can bring. Behold ME then; me for him, life for life, I offer. -- Paradise Lost, ...read
ArticleThe Ordination And Sacrament Question
      At ten o'clock the London and Bristol trustees were admitted. Mr. Pine was spokesman. He read an address and resolutions. They were: 1. That there be no ordination, no ecclesiastical titles among the preachers; that Baptism and the Lord's Supper never be administered by any who are not episcopally ordained; and that there be no preaching in ch ...read

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