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I invited home with me the man whose pious behaviour I had for several years observed on this day, and found him a kind of Methodist, full of texts, but ill-instructed'. I talked to him. with temper, and offered him twice wine, which he refused. I suffered him to go without the dinner which I had purposed to give him. I thought this day that there was something irregular and particular in his look and gesture, but having intended to invite him to acquaintance, and having a fit opportunity by finding him near my own seat after I had missed him, I did what I at first designed, and am sorry to have been so much disappointed. Let me not be prejudiced hereafter against the appearance of piety in mean persons, who, with indeterminate notions, and perverse or inelegant conversation perhaps are doing all that they can.

At night I used the occasional prayer with proper collects.


July 2. I paid Mr. Simpson ten guineas, which he had formerly lent me in my necessity and for which Tetty expressed her gratitude.

July 8. I lent Mr. Simpson ten guineas more.

July 16. I received seventy-five pounds. Lent Mr. Davis twenty-five 3.

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Almighty God, the Giver of wisdom, without whose help resolutions are vain, without whose blessing study is ineffectual, enable me, if it be thy will, to attain such knowledge as may qualify me to direct the doubtful, and instruct the ignorant, to

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prevent wrongs, and terminate contentions; and grant that I may use that knowledge which I shall attain, to thy glory and my own salvation, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.


Oct. 1765.

At church, Oct. -65'.

To avoid all singularity 2; Bonaventura3.

To come in before service, and compose my mind by meditation, or by reading some portions of scripture. Tetty.

If I can hear the sermon, to attend it, unless attention be more troublesome than useful.

To consider the act of prayer as a reposal of myself upon God, and a resignation of all into his holy hand.


Engaging in Politicks with H-n.

Νου. 1765.

Almighty God, who art the Giver of all Wisdom, enlighten my understanding with knowledge of right, and govern my will by thy laws, that no deceit may mislead me, nor temptation corrupt me, that I may always endeavour to do good, and to hinder evil. Amidst all the hopes and fears of this world, take not thy Holy Spirit from me, but grant that my thoughts may be fixed on thee, and that I may finally attain everlasting happiness, for Jesus Christs sake. Amen.

Endorsed. Prayer on Politicks, Nov.


65, No. 51 E.

Jan. 1, [1766] after two in the morning. Almighty and most merciful Father, I again appear in thy presence the wretched mispender of another year which thy mercy has allowed me. O Lord let me not sink into total depravity, look down upon me, and rescue me at last from


1 Life, i. 500.

person, who for his piety was named

2 For Johnson's dislike of singu- the Seraphic Doctor? BOSWELL. larity, see ib. ii. 74.

3 He was probably proposing to himself the model of this excellent

4 William Gerard Hamilton. For my note on the connexion between him and Johnson, see Life, i. 518.


the captivity of Sin'. Impart to me good resolutions, and give me strength and perseverance to perform them. Take not from me thy Holy Spirit, but grant that I may redeem the time lost, and that by temperance and diligence, by sincere repentance and faithful Obedience I may finally obtain everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


March 3. I have never, I thank God, since new year's day deviated from the practice of rising. In this practice I persisted till I went to Mr. Thrale's some time before Midsummer: the irregularity of that family broke my habit of rising. I was there till after Michaelmas 2.


March 7, 1766.


Almighty and most merciful Father, who hast graciously supplied me with new conveniences for study, grant that I may use thy gifts to thy glory. Forgive me the time mispent, relieve my perplexities, strengthen my resolution, and enable me to do my duty with vigour and constancy; and when the fears and hopes, the pains and pleasures of this life shall have


Quoted in the Life, iv. 397.

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2 Hawkins's Johnson, p. 458 n. This entry was, I believe, made at two different times. On March 9, 1766, Johnson wrote to Langton :'Burke is a great man by nature, and is expected soon to attain civil greatness. I am grown greater too, for I have maintained the newspapers these many weeks; and what is greater still, I have risen every morning since New-year's day, at about eight; when I was up, I have indeed done but little; yet it is no slight advancement to obtain for so many hours more, the consciousness of being.' Life, ii. 16. See also post,

pp. 40, 48. It was therefore in the spring of 1766 that he made the first part of the entry. His visit to Mr. Thrale's was paid in the following summer. Post, p. 43.

3 In the letter to Langton, quoted in the last note, he says:-'I wish you were in my new study; I am now writing the first letter in it. I think it looks very pretty about me.' Hawkins describes it as 'an upper room, which had the advantages of a good light and free air.' Hawkins's Johnson, p. 452. Johnson had moved into 'a good house in Johnson's Court, Fleet Street,' in the latter part of 1765. Life, ii. 5 ; iii. 406.


an end, receive me to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Endorsed Novum Museum, March 7, —66.

Transcribed, June 26, -68.


Good Friday, March 28, 17661. On the night before I used proper Collects, and prayed when I arose in the morning. I had all the week an awe upon me, not thinking on Passion week till I looked in the almanack. I have wholly forbone M [? meat] and wines, except one glass on Sunday night.

In the morning I rose, and drank very small tea3 without milk, and had nothing more that day.

This was the day on which Tetty died. I did not mingle much men [? mention] of her with the devotions of this day, because it is dedicated to more holy subjects. I mentioned her at church, and prayed once solemnly at home. I was twice. at church, and went through the prayers without perturbation, but heard the sermons imperfectly. I came in both times at the second lesson, not hearing the bell.

When I came home I read the Psalms for the day, and one sermon in Clark. Scruples distract me, but at church I had hopes to conquer them 5.

From the autograph record by Johnson of Good Friday, March 28, Easter Sunday, March 30, and May 4, and the copy of the record of Saturday, March 29, preserved in the Bodleian Library (Select Autographs, Montagu). These entries are given in Appendix A to my edition of the Life, ii. 476.

2 Apparently he had 'omitted church' of late.

3 This use of small applied to tea on the analogy of small-beer was, I think, uncommon.

Dr. Samuel Clarke, of whose sermons, though he was 'a condemned heretic as to the doctrine of the Trinity,' Johnson thought highly. 'He had made it a rule not to admit

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Johnson warned Boswell against scruples. I am afraid of scruples,' he wrote. Life, ii. 421. 'Let me warn you very earnestly against scruples.' Ib. ii. 423. 'I am no friend to scruples.' Ib. v. 62. On his death-bed, he said: 'Scruples made many men miserable, but few men good.' Croker's Boswell, p. 844. See Post, p. 93.

I bore abstinence this day not well, being at night insupportably heavy, but as fasting does not produce sleepyness, I had perhaps rested ill the night before. I prayed in my study for the day, and prayed again in my chamber. I went to bed very early-before eleven.

After church I selected collects for the Sacraments.

Finding myself upon recollection very ignorant of religion, I formed a purpose of studying it.

I went down and sat to tea, but was too heavy to converse.


Saturday, 29. I rose at the time now usual, not fully refreshed. Went to tea. A sudden thought of restraint hindered me. I drank but one dish. Took a purge for my health. Still uneasy. Prayed, and went to dinner. Dined sparingly on fish [added in different ink] about four. Went to Simpson'. Was driven home by my physick. Drank tea, and am much refreshed. I believe that if I had drank tea again yesterday, I had escaped the heaviness of the evening. Fasting that produces inability is no duty, but I was unwilling to do less than formerly.

I had lived more abstemiously than is usual the whole week, and taken physick twice, which together made the fast more uneasy.

Thus much I have written medically, to show that he who can fast long must have lived plentifully 2.


Saturday, March 29, 1766. I was yesterday very heavy. I do not feel myself to-day so much impressed with awe of the approaching mystery. I had this day a doubt, like Baxter, of my state, and found that my faith, though weak, was yet faith 3. O God! strengthen it.

I Ante, p. 35.

2 'He told me,' writes Boswell, 'that he had fasted two days without inconvenience.' Life, i. 468; iii. 306; v. 284.

3 Baxter describes the doubts of his own salvation which exercised him many years. Reliquiae Baxterianae, ed. 1696, p. 6.

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