Adam Clarke, LL. D., a British clergyman, born at Moybeg, Londonderry co., Ireland, in 1700 or 1762, died in London, Aug. 20, 1832. He joined the Methodist society in 1778, and soon after became a class leader and home missionary. After a short residence at the Kings-wood school, in 1782 he entered the itinerant ministry, in which work he continued with few interruptions till 1805. Nearly every part of England, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Shetland islands enjoyed his labors as a preacher and missionary. In 1805 he was appointed to London for the second time, and remained ten years in active service as a pastor, a promoter of public charities, and a diligent student of profane and sacred literature. During the long period of his itinerant labors he had devoted much attention to oriental studies, and as early as 1798 had begun to gather materials for his "Commentary on the Bible." In 1802 he published a "Bibliographical Dictionary" (6 vols.), a work which immediately attracted the attention of scholars.
Previous to his last settlement in London he had translated Sturm's "Reflections" and Fleury's "Manners of the Ancient Israelites," besides publishing "A succinct Account of Polyglot Bibles " from 1516 to 1750, and "An Account of the various Editions of the Greek Testament," from the Com-plutensian to that of Griesbach. On his removal to London his attainments in oriental literature directed the attention of the committee of the British and foreign Bible society to him as a fit person to superintend their publications in the oriental languages. To him was largely intrusted the preparation of their Arabic Bible. So useful were his labors in connection with this society that at the close of 1808, when the rule of the conference required his removal from London, they requested that the rule might be suspended, and he be permitted to continue his labors. This request was granted. In 1800 he had published a supplement to his " Bibliographical Dictionary," under the title of the "Bibliographical Miscellany " (2 vols.); and in 1808 appeared the first volume of his "Succession of Sacred Literature." In 1807 the university of Aberdeen conferred on him the title of A. M., and in 1808 that of LL. D. In the latter year he was intrusted by the British government with the preparation of state papers for the continuation of Rymer's Foidera. On this work he labored 10 years, adding 10 folio volumes to the 20 that had already appeared.
Meantime the labors upon his "Commentary" had been diligently prosecuted. The first part appeared in 1810, and in 1812 he had completed the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua. His literary attainments had now secured him membership in various learned societies at home and abroad, and his conference had honored him by thrice choosing him president of their body. The "Wesleyan missionary society being organized in 1814, Clarke became the most powerful advocate of its cause, and spent much time in preaching and travelling in its interest. In 182:3 he fixed his residence at Haydon hall in the vicinity of London, where he continued his labors on his "Commentary." At length, after 40 years of literary toil, the work was completed in 1826. During the period of his residence at Haydon hall he was active in the organization of Methodism in the Shetland islands, and was zealous in the promotion of various philanthropic and Christian schemes. In addition to the works already mentioned, and his "Commentaries" (0 vols. 8vo), he edited Baxter's "Christian Directory," Shuckford's "Sacred and Profane History," Har-mer's "Observations on various Passages of Scripture;" and published "Discourse on the Eucharist" (1808), and "Memoirs of the Wesley Family," besides numerous contributions to periodicals on subjects pertaining chiefly to oriental and Biblical literature.
His "Miscellaneous Works" have been collected and published in 13 vols. 8vo.