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Adam Clarke (?1760-1832)

Adam Clarke was the most influential British Methodist in the generation after Wesley. He was born in Northern Ireland, the son of a Church of Ireland minister and was converted under Methodist influence in 1778. Clarke began preaching in 1782 and joined the Wesleyan itinerancy later that year.

A preacher of great ability, Clarke served an unprecedented three terms as President of the Wesleyan Conference, and did much to hold the Connexion together during the troubled years that followed John Wesley's death.

He was also one of the greatest scholars of his age despite his lack of a university education. He was fluent in at least twenty languages and among his publications were the revised edition of Rymer's Foedera of the Public Records, and his famous Commentary on the Bible which is still in print. Clarke's writings were particularly influential in the development of the doctrine of sanctification in the American Holiness movement.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995) and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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