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vanced, by pious reflections, in my submission | far as is lawful, I humbly implore thy mercy in to God and my benevolence to man; but I his present state. O Lord, since Thou hast been have corrected no external habits, nor have kept pleased to call him from this world, look with any of the resolutions made in the beginning of mercy on those whom he has left; continue to the year; yet I hope still to be reformed, and succour me by such means as are best for me, not to lose my whole life in idle purposes. and repay to his relations the kindness which Í Many years are already gone irrevocably past, have received from him; protect them in this in useless misery; that what remains may be world from temptations and calamities, and grant spent better, grant, O God. them happiness in the world to come, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
By this awful festival is particularly recommended newness of life; and a new life I will now endeavour to begin, by more diligent application to useful employment, and more frequent attendance on public worship.
I again, with hope of help from the God of mercy, resolve,
To avoid idleness.
To study religion.
Almighty God, merciful Father, by whose protection I have been preserved, and by whose clemency I have been spared, grant that the life. which Thou hast so long continued, may be no longer wasted in idleness or corrupted by wickedness. Let my future purposes be good, and let not my good purposes be vain. Free me, O Lord, from vain terrors, and strengthen me in diligent obedience to thy laws. Take not from me thy Holy Spirit, but enable me so to commemorate the death of my Saviour Jesus Christ, that I may be made partaker of his merits; and may finally, for his sake, obtain everlasting happiness. Amen.
September 2d, 1781.
When Thrale's health was broken, for many months I think before his death, which hap pened April 4th, 1 constantly mentioned him in my prayers; and after his death, have made particular supplication for his surviving family to this day.
This is my seventy-third birthday, an awful day
What has passed in my thoughts on this anni-
September 18th, Vesp. 10° 40′, circ. Almighty and most merciful Father, who hast added another year to my life, and yet permittest me to call upon Thee, grant that the remaining days which Thou shalt yet allow me, may be past in thy fear and to thy glory. Grant me good diseases of my body, and compose the disquiet of resolutions and steady perseverance. Relieve the my mind. Let me at last repent and amend my life; and, O Lord, take not from me thy Holy Spirit, but assist my amendment, and accept my repentance, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sunday, October 14th, 1781, (Properly Monday morning.) I am this day about to go by Oxford and Birmingham to Litchfield and Ashbourne. The motives of my journey I hardly know. I omitted it last year, and am not willing to miss it again. Mrs. Aston will be glad, I think, to see me. We are both old, and if I put off my visit I may see her no more; perhaps she wishes for another interview. She is a very good woman. Hector is likewise an old friend, the only com
This book is not in the Editor e possession.
panion of my childhood that passed through | the school with me. We have always loved one another. Perhaps we may be made better by some serious conversation, of which how ever I have no distinct hope.
At Litchfield, my native place, I hope to show a good example, by frequent attendance on public worship.
At Ashbourne, I hope to talk seriously with —.
Having been, from the middle of January, distressed by a cold, which made my respiration very laborious, and from which I was but little relieved by being blooded three times; having tried to ease the oppression of my breast by frequent opiates, which kept me waking in the night and drowsy the next day, and subjected me to the tyranny of vain imaginations; having to all this added frequent cathartics, sometimes with mercury, I at last persuaded Dr. Laurence, on Thursday, March 14th, to let me bleed more copiously. Sixteen ounces were taken away, and from that time my breath has been free, and my breast easy. On that day I took little food, and no flesh. On Thursday night I slept with great tranquillity. On the next night (15th) I took diacodium, and had a most restless night. Of the next day I remember nothing, but that I rose in the afternoon, and saw Mrs. Lennox and Sheward.
Sunday 17th. I lay late, and had only Palfrey to dinner. I read part of Waller's Directory, a p'ous rational book; but in any except a very regular life difficult to practice.
It occurred to me, that though my time might pass unemployed, no more should pass uncounted, and this has been written to-day, in consequence of that thought. I read a Greek chapter, prayed with Francis, which I now do commonly, and explained to him the Lord's Prayer, in which I find connexion not observed, I think, by the expositors. I made punch for myself and my servants, by which, in the night, I thought both my breast and imagination disordered.
March 18th. I rose late, looked a little into books. Saw Miss Reynolds, and Miss Thrale, and Nicolaida; afterwards Dr. Hunter came for his catalogue. I then dined on tea, &c.; then read over part of Dr. Laurence's book, "De Temperamentis," which seems to have been written with a troubled mind.
My mind has been for some time much disturbed. The peace of God be with me.
I hope to-morrow to finish Laurence, and to write to Mrs. Aston and to Lucy.
19th. I rose late. I was visited by Mrs. Thrale, Mr. Cotton, and Mr. Crofts. I took Laurence's paper in my hand, but was chill; having fasted yesterday, I was hungry, and dined freely, then slept a little, and drank tea; then took candles, and write to Aston and Lucy, then went on with Laurence, of which little remains. I prayed with Francis.
Mens sedatior, laus Deo.
To-morrow Shaw comes. I think to finish Laurence, and write to Langton.
Poor Laurence has almost lost the sense of hear ing; and I have lost the conversation of a learned, intelligent, and communicative companion, and a friend whom long familiarity has much endeared. Laurence is one of the best men whom I have known.
Nostrum omnium miserere Deus.
20th. Shaw came; I finished reading Laurence. I dined liberally. Wrote a long letter to Lang ton, and designed to read, but was hindered by Strahan. The ministry is dissolved. I prayed with Francis, and gave thanks. To-morrow-To Mrs. Thrale-To write to Hec. tor-To Dr. Taylor.
21st. I went to Mrs. Thrale. Mr. Cox and Paradise met me at the door, and went with me in the coach. Paradise's Loss. In the evening wrote to Hector. At night there were eleven visitants. Conversation with Mr. Cox. When I walked I saw the penthouses covered with snow.
22d. I spent the time idly. Mens turbata. In the afternoon it snowed. At night I wrote to Taylor about the pot, and to Hamilton about the Fœdera.
23d. I came home, and found that Desmoulins had, while I was away, been in bed. Letters from Langton and Boswell. I promised L― six guineas.
24th, Sunday. I rose not early. Visitors, Allen, Davis, Windham, Dr. Horsley. Dinner at
Strahan's. Came home and chatted with Williams, and read Romans ix. in Greek. To-morrow begin again to read the Bible; put rooms in order; copy L's letter. At night I read 11 p. and something more, of the Bible, in fifty-five minutes.
26th, Tu. I copied L's letter, then wrote to Mrs. Thrale. Cox visited me. I sent home Dr. Laurence's papers with notes. I gave Da guinea, and found her a gown. 27th W. At Harley-street. Bad nights-in the evening Dr. Broomfield and his family-Merlin's steelyard given me.
28th, Th. I came home. Sold Rymer for Davies; wrote to Boswell. Visitors, Dr. Percy, Mr. Crofts. I have, in ten days, written to Aston, Lucy, Hector, Langton, Boswell; perhaps to all by whom my letters are desired. The weather, which now begins to be warm, gives me great help. I have hardly been at church this year; certainly not since the 15th of January. My cough and difficulty of breath would not permit it.
This is the day on which, in 1752, dear Tetty died. I have now uttered a prayer of repentance and contrition; perhaps Tetty knows that I prayed for her. Perhaps Tetty is now praying for me. God help me. Thou, God, art merciful, hear We were married almost seventeen years, and my prayers, and enable me to trust in Thee. have now been parted thirty.
then read 11 p. from Ex. 36 to Lev. 7. I prayed with Fr. and used the prayer for Good Friday. 29th, Good Friday. After a night of great disturbance and solicitude, such as I do not remember, I rose, drank tea, but without eating, and went to church. I was very composed, and coming home, read Hammond on one of the Psalms for the day. I then read Leviticus. Scott came in. A kind letter from Gastrel. 1
read on, then went to evening prayers, and afterwards drank tea with buns; then read till I finished Leviticus 24 pages et sup. To write to Gastrel to-morrow. To look again into Hammond.
30th, Sat. Visitors, Paradise, and I think Horsley. Read 11 pages of the Bible. I was faint dined on herrings and potatoes. At prayers, think, in the evening. I wrote to Gastrel, and received a kind letter from Hector. At night Lowe. Pr. with Francis.
31st, Easter day. Read 15 pages of the Bible.
AT THE TABLE.
Almighty God, by whose mercy I am now permitted to commemorate my Redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that this awful remem
brance may strengthen my faith, enliven my hope, and increase my charity; that I may trust in Thee with my whole heart, and do good according to my power. Grant me the help of thy Holy Spirit, that I may do thy will with diligence, and suffer it with humble patience; so that when Thou shalt call me to judgment, I may obtain forgiveness and acceptance, for the sake of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
ON LEAVING MR. THRALE'S FAMILY.
Almighty God, Father of all mercy, help me, by thy grace, that I may with humble and sincere thankfulness remember the comforts and conveniences which I have enjoyed at this place, and that I may resign them with holy submission, equally trusting in thy protection when Thou givest and when Thou takest away. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, have mercy upon me.
To thy fatherly protection, O Lord, I commend this family. Bless, guide, and defend them, that they may so pass through this world, as finally to enjoy in thy presence everlasting happiness, for
Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
O Lord, so far as, &c.-Thrale.
devotions somewhat, I think, enlarged. Being earlier than the family, I read St. Paul's fare well in the Acts, and then read fortuitously in the Gospels, which was my parting use of the library.
I had just heard of Williams's death. the Lord of life and death, who givest and who Almighty and most merciful Father, who art takest away, teach me to adore thy providence, whatever thou shalt allot me; make me to remember, with due thankfulness, the comforts which I have received from my friendship with mercy, and prepare me, by thy grace, to die with Anna Williams.* Look upon her, O Lord, with hope, and to pass by death to eternal happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1784. EASTER DAY.
April 11th. Almighty God, my Creator and my Judge, who givest life and takest it away, enable me to return sincere and humble thanks for my late deliverance from imminent death; so govern my future life by thy Holy Spirit, that every day which Thou shalt permit to pass over me, may be spent in thy service, and leave me less tainted with wickedness, and more submissive to thy will.
Enable me, O Lord, to glorify Thee for that knowledge of my corruption, and that sense of thy wrath, which my disease, and weakness, and danger awakened in my mind. Give me such sorrow as may purify my heart, such indignation as may quench all confidence in myself, and such repentance as may, by the intercession of my Redeemer, obtain pardon. Let the commemoration of the sufferings and death of thy Son, which I am now by thy favour once more permitted to make, fill me with faith, hope, and charity. Let my purposes be good, and my resolutions unshaken; and let me not be hindered or distracted by vain and useless fears, but through the time which yet remains, guide me by thy Holy Spirit, and finally receive me to everlasting life, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
AGAINST INQUISITIVE AND PERPLEXING
August 12th, 1784. O Lord, my Maker and Protector, who hast graciously sent me into this world to work out my salvation, enable me to drive from me all such unquiet and perplexing thoughts as may mislead or hinder me in the practice of those duties which Thou hast required. When I behold the works of thy hands, and consider the course of thy providence, give me grace always to remember that thy thoughts are not my thoughts, nor thy ways my ways. And while it shall please Thee to continue me in this world, where much is to be
This lady, who was afflicted with blindness, lived many years with Dr. Johnson, and died in his house. She wrote several Poems, which were published in ona volume 4to. 1766.
done, and little to be known, teach me, by thy Holy Spirit, to withdraw my mind from unprofitable and dangerous inquiries, from difficulties vainly curious, and doubts impossible to be solved. Let me rejoice in the light which Thou hast imparted, let me serve Thee with active zeal and humble confidence, and wait with patient ex-I pectation for the time in which the soul which I Thou receivest shall be satisfied with knowledge. Grant this, O Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Ashbourne, August 28th, 1784. Almighty and most merciful Father, who afflictest not willingly the children of men, and by whose holy will now languishes in sickness and pain, make, I beseech Thee, this punishment effectual to those gracious purposes for which Thou sendest it; let it, if I may presume to ask, end not in death, but in repentance; let him live to promote thy kingdom on earth, by the useful example of a better life; but if thy will be to call him hence, let his thoughts be so purified by his sufferings, that he may be admitted to eternal happiness. And, O Lord, by praying for him, let me be admonished to consider my own sins, and my own danger, to remember the shortness of life, and to use the time which thy mercy grants me to thy glory and my own salvation, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[The following Prayer was composed and used by Doctor Johnson previous to his receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, on Sunday, December 5th, 1784.]
Almighty and most merciful Father, I am now, as to human eyes it seems, about to commemorate, for the last time, the death of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Grant, O Lord, that my whole hope and confidence may be in his merits, and thy mercy; enforce and accept my imperfect repentance; make this commemoration available to the confirmation of my faith, the establishment of my hope, and the enlargement of my charity; and make the death of thy Son Jesus Christ effectual to my redemption. Have mercy upon me, and pardon the multitude of my offences. Bless my friends; have mercy upon all men. Support me by thy Holy Spirit, in the days of weakness, and at the hour of death; and receive me, at my death, to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
in at the Psalm; could not hear the reader in the lessons, but attended the prayers with tranquillity.
To read the New Testament once a year in
Receiving the Sacrament, profess my faith in Jesus. declare my resolution to obey him. implore, in the highest act of worship, grace to keep these resolutions.
I hope to rise to a new life this day.
On the 17th, Mr. Chamier took me away with him from Streatham. I left the servants a guinea for my health, and was content enough to escape into a house where my birthday, not being known, could not be mentioned. "I sat up till midnight was past, and the day of a new year, a very awful day, began. I prayed to God, who had safely brought me to the beginning of anoth year, but could not perfectly recollect the prayer, and supplied it. Such desertions of memory I have always had. When I rose on the 18th, I think I prayed again, then walked with my friend into his grounds. When I came back, after some time passed in the library, finding myself oppressed by sleepiness, I retired to my chamber, where, by lying down, and a short imperfect slumber, I was refreshed, and prayed as the night before. then dined, and trifled in the parlour and library, and was freed from a scruple about Horace. At last I went to bed, having first composed a prayer.
19th, Sunday. I went to church, and attended
the service. I found at church a time to use my prayer, O Lord, have mercy
world, who sendest sickness and restorest health, Almighty God, Creator and Governor of the enable me to consider, with a just sense of thy mercy, the deliverance which Thou hast lately granted me, and assist by thy blessing, as is best for me, the means which I shall use for the cure of the disease with which I am now afflicted. Increase my patience, teach me submission to thy will, and so rule my thoughts and direct my ac tions, that I may be finally received to everlasting happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[The following Meditations and Prayers have no whose help labour is useless, without whose light
dates in the MS.]
I did not, this week, labour my preparation so much as I have sometimes done. My mind was not very quiet; and an anxious preparation makes the duty of the day formidable and burdensome. Different methods suit different states of mind, body, and affairs. I rose this day, and prayed, then went to tea, and afterwards composed the Prayer, which I formed with great fluency. I went to church; came
* He died the 13th following
ON THE STUDY OF RELIGION. Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without search is vain, invigorate my studies, and direct my inquiries, that I may, by due diligence and right discernment, establish myself and others in thy Holy Faith. Take not, O Lord, thy Holy Spirit from me; let not evil thoughts have dominion in my mind. Let me not linger in ignorance, but enlighten and support me, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord God, in whose hand are the wills and affections of men, kindle in my mind holy desires,
and repress sinful and corrupt imaginations; ena- | oy thy Holy Spirit, to amend my life, according ble me to love thy commandments, and to desire to thy Holy Word, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. thy promises; let me, by thy protection and influence, so pass through things temporal, as finally not to lose the things eternal; and among the hopes and fears, the pleasures and sorrows, the dangers and deliverances, and all the changes of this life, let my heart be surely fixed, by the help of thy Holy Spirit, on the everlasting fruition of thy presence, where true joys are to be found. Grant, O Lord, these petitions. Forgive, O merciful Lord, whatever I have done contrary to thy laws. Give me such a sense of my wickedness as may produce true contrition and effectual repentance, so that when I shall be called into another state, I may be received among the sinners to whom sorrow and reformation have obtained pardon, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Almighty and most merciful Father, whose clemency I now presume to implore, after a long life of carelessness and wickedness, have mercy upon me. I have committed many trespasses; have neglected many duties. I have done what Thou hast forbidden, and left undone what Thou hast commanded. Forgive, merciful Lord, my sins, negligences, and ignorances, and enable me,
O merciful God, full of compassion, long-suf fering, and of great pity, who sparest when we deserve punishment, and in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy; make me earnestly to repent, and heartily to be sorry for all my misdoings; make the remembrance so burdensome and painful, that I may flee to Thee with a troubled spirit and a contrite heart; and, O merciful Lord, visit, comfort, and relieve me; cast me not out from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me, but excite in me true repentance; give me in this world knowledge of thy truth, and confidence in thy mercy, and in the world to come life everlasting, for the sake of our Lord and Saviour, thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
O God, make me to remember that the night cometh when no man can work.