Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clarke, Samuel (1626-1701)

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576478Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 10 — Clarke, Samuel (1626-1701)1887Alexander Gordon

CLARKE or CLARK, SAMUEL (1626–1701), annotator of the Bible, the eldest son of Samuel Clarke, divine (1599–1683) [q. v.], was born at Shotwick, near Chester, on 12 Nov. 1626. He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, and was appointed fellow by the Earl of Manchester on 13 March 1644. Refusing to take the ‘engagement’ of fidelity to the Commonwealth, exacted in April 1649, he was deprived of his fellowship in 1651 (after 3 April). At the Restoration he held the rectory of Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, from which he was ejected by the Uniformity Act of 1662. The son was more advanced than his father in his nonconformity. After a sojourn at Upper Winchenden, Buckinghamshire, the seat of Lord Wharton, he settled at High Wycombe, in the same county, where his ‘peaceable prudence’ carried him through the perils of the time, and enabled him to gather a congregation, originally presbyterian, now independent. He assisted in the ordinations which kept up the succession of nonconformist ministers. His theology was of the Baxterian type. The work of his life was his annotated edition of the Bible, already planned by him as an undergraduate. This is still a useful book; the notes are remarkable for their brevity; the soundness of the author's judgment won the praises of such different men as Owen, Baxter, Doddridge, Whitefield, and Bishop Cleaver. Clarke died at High Wycombe on 24 Feb. 1701. His portrait, engraved by R. White, was reproduced for Palmer by Mackenzie. Samuel Clarke (1684–1750) [q. v.] of the ‘Scripture Promises,’ was his grandson.

He published, besides separate sermons: 1. ‘The Old and New Testaments, with Annotations and Parallel Scriptures,’ &c. 1690, fol., reprinted 1760, and Glasgow, 1765; in Welsh, 1813, fol. 2. ‘An Abridgement of the Historical Parts of the Old and New Testament,’ 1690, 12mo. 3. ‘A Survey of the Bible; or an Analytical Account of the Holy Scriptures by chapter and verse,’ &c., 1693, 4to (intended as a supplement to the ‘Annotations’). 4. ‘A Brief Concordance,’ &c. 1696, 12mo. 5. ‘Of Scandal’ (a treatise on the limits of obedience to human authority). 6. ‘An Exercitation concerning the original of the Chapters and Verses in the Bible, wherein the divine authority of the Points in the Hebrew text is clearly proved,’ &c., 1698, 8vo. 7. ‘Scripture-Justification,’ &c., 1698, 4to (written ‘almost twenty years’ before; Baxter had expressed a wish for its publication, but it was sent to press by John Humphrey, the last of the London ejected ministers, to whom Clarke had lent the manuscript on being asked for his opinion of Humphrey's ‘Righteousness of God,’ 1697, 4to). 8. ‘The Divine Authority of the Scriptures asserted,’ &c., 1699, 8vo (in reply to Richard Simon and others; Clarke extends inspiration to the verse divisions as well as to the points in the Old Testament).

[Funeral Sermon, Peace the End of the Upright, by S. C. (his son), 1701; Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 105, Contin. 1727, p. 141; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial, 1802, i. 301; Monthly Repos. 1806, p. 617; Granger's Biog. Hist. of Eng. 1824, v. 74; Parker's Hist. of High Wycombe Congregational Church, 1848; Hunt's Religious Thought in England, 1871, ii. 324.]

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