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Ætat. 75.

on the ground of convenience, and I think they are as well warranted to make
this alteration, as we are to substitute sprinkling in the room of the ancient
baptism. As to the invocation of saints, he said, “ Though I do not think
it authorised, it appears to me, that the communion of faints' in the Creed
means the communion with the saints in Heaven, as connected with The
holy catholick church?.” He admitted the influence of evil spirits upon our
minds, and said, “Nobody who believes the New Testament can deny it.'
I brought a volume of Dr. Hurd, the Bishop of Worcester’s Sermons, and
read to the company some passages from one of them, upon this text,

Resist the Devil and he will fly from you.” James iv. 7.

I was happy to produce so judicious and elegant a supporters of a doctrine, which, I know not why, should in this world of imperfect knowledge, and


7 Waller, in his “ Divine Poesie," Canto first, has the same thought finely expressed:

The Church triumphant, and the Church below,
“ In songs of praise their present union show:
“ Their joys are full; our expectation long,
r. In life we differ, but we join in song ;

Angels and we assisted by this art,

“ May fing together, though we dwell apart." : The Sermon thus opens :-" That there are angels and spirits good and bad; that at the head of these last there is one more considerable and malignant than the rest, who in the form, or under the name of a serpeist, was deeply concerned in the fall of inan, and whose head, as the prophetick language is, the son of man was one day to bruise; that this evil spirit, though that prophecy be in part comsieted, has not yet received his death's wound, but is still permitted, for ends unsearchable to us, and in ways which we cannot particularly explain, to have a certain

a degree of power in this world hoftile to its virtue and happiness, and fometimes exerted with too much success; all this is so clear from Scripture, that no believer, unless he be first of all Spoiled by philosophy and vain deceit, can possibly entertain a doubt of it." Having treated of polfefions, his Lordship says, “ As I have no authority to affirm that there

, are now any such, so neither may I presume to say with confidence, that there are not any."

I “ But then with regard to the influence of evil spirits at this day upon the souls of men, I Mall take leave to be a great deal more peremptory.-[Then, having stated the various proofs), All this I say is so manifest to every one who reads the Scriptures, that if we respect their authority, the question concerning the reality of the demonick influence upon the minds of men is clearly determined.”

Let it be remembered, that these are not the words of an antiquated or obscure enthusiast, but of a learned and polite Prelate now alive ; and were spoken, not to a vulgar congregation, but to the Honourable Society of Lincoln's-Inn. His Lordship in this Sermon explains the words, " deliver us from evil,” in the Lord's Prayer, as signifying a request to be protected from “ the evil one,” that is, the Devil. This is well illuitrated in a short but excellent Commentary


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Etat. 75.

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therefore of wonder and mystery in a thousand instances, be contested by some
with an unthinking assurance and flippancy.

After dinner, when one of us talked of there being a great enmity between
Whig and Tory. Johnson. Why not so much, I think, unless when they
come into competition with each other. There is none when they are only
common acquaintance, none when they are of different sexes. A Tory will
marry into a Whig family, and a Whig into a Tory family, without any
reluctance. But indeed in a matter of much more concern than political
tenets, and that is religion, men and women do not concern themselves much
about difference of opinion. And ladies fet no value on the moral character
of men who pay their addresses to them; the greatest profligate will be as
well received as the man of the greatest virtue, and this by a very good
woman, by a woman who says her prayers three times a day.” Our ladies
endeavoured to defend their sex from this charge; but he roared them down!
“ No, no; a lady will take Jonathan Wild as readily as St. Austin, if he has
three-pence more; and, what is worse, her parents will give her to him.
Women have a perpetual envy of our vices; they are less vicious than we,
not from choice, but because we restrict them; they are the Naves of order.
and fashion ; their virtue is of more consequence to us than our own, so far as
concerns this world.”

Miss Adams mentioned a gentleman of licentious character, and said,
“ Suppose I had a mind to marry that gentleman, would my parents consent.”

Johnson. “ Yes, they'd consent, and you'd go. You'd go though they
did not consent.” Miss Adams. “ Perhaps their opposing might make me
go.”. Johnson. “0, very well; you'd take one whom you think a bad man,

to have the pleasure of vexing your parents. You put me in mind of Dr.
Barrowby the physician, who was very fond of swine's felh. One day when
he was eating it, he said, “I wish I was a Jew.'— Why, so ? (faid fome-
body); the Jews are not allowed to eat your favourite meat.'— Becauso

(said he) I should then have the gust of eating it, with the pleasure of sinning.”
He then proceeded in his declamation.

Miss Adams soon afterwards made an observation that I do not recollect,
which pleased him much; he said with a good-humoured smile, “ That there

should be so much excellence united with so much depravity is strange.”.


by my late worthy friend, the Reverend Dr. Lort, of whom it may truly be said, Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit. It is remarkable that Waller in his “ Reflections on the several Petitions,” in that facred form of devotion, has understood this in the same fense, " Guard us from all temptations of the For,"



Ætat. 75:

Indeed, this lady's good qualities, merit, and accomplishments, and her constant attention to Dr. Johnson, were not lost upon him. She happened to tell him that a little coffee-pot, in which she had made his coffee, was the only thing she could call her own. He turned to her with a complacent gallantry, “Don't say so, my dear; I hope you don't reckon my heart as nothing."

I asked him if it was true as reported, that he had said lately, “ I am for the King against Fox; but I am for Fox against Pitt.” Johnson. “ Yes, Sir; the King is my master; but I do not know Pitt; and Fox is my friend.”

“ Fox (added he) is a most extraordinary man; here is a man (describing him in strong terms of objection in some respects according as he apprehended, but which exalted his abilities the more) who has divided the kingdom with Cæfar; so that it was a doubt whether the nation should be ruled by the sceptre of George the Third, or the tongue of Fox."

Dr. Wall, physician at Oxford, drank tea with us. Johnson had in general a peculiar .pleasure in the company of physicians, which was certainly not abated by the conversation of this learned, ingenidus, and pleasing gentleman. Johnson said, “ It is wonderful how little good Radcliffe's travelling fellowfhips have done. I know nothing that has been imported by them; yet many additions to our medical knowledge might be got in foreign countries. Inoculation, for instance, has saved more lives than war destroys. And the cures performed by the Peruvian-bark are innumerable. But it is in vain to send our travelling physicians to France, and Italy, and Germany, for all that is known there is known here; I'd send them out of Christendom; I'd send them among barbarous nations,'

On Friday, June 11, we talked at breakfast, of forms of prayer. Johnson. “I know of no good prayers but those in the · Book of Common Prayer.” Dr. Adams. (in a very earnest manner) “ I wish, Sir, you would compose fome family prayers.” Johnson. “ I will not compose prayers for


Sir, because you can do it for yourself. But I have thought of getting together all the books of prayers which I could, selecting those which should appear to me the best, putting out fome, inserting others, adding some prayers of my own, and prefixing a discourse on prayer.” We all now gathered about him, and two or three of us at a time joined in pressing him to execute this plan. He seemed to be a little displeased at the manner of our importunity, and in great agitation called out, “ Do not talk thus of what is so aweful. I know not what time GOD will allow me in this world. There are many


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things which I wish to do.” Some of us persisted, and Dr. Adams faid, 1784.
« I never was more serious about any thing in my life.” Johnson. " Let Ærat. 75.
me alone, let me alone; I am overpowered.” And then he put his hands
before his face, and reclined for some time upon the table.
I mentioned Jeremy Taylor's using, in his forms of prayer, “ I am the

chief of sinners,” and other such self-condemning expressions. “Now (faid
I) this cannot be said with truth by every man, and therefore is improper
for a general printed form. I myself cannot say that I am the worst of

men.. I will not say so.” Johnson. “A man may know, that physically,
that is, in the real state of things, he is not the worst man; but that morally

may be so. Law observes, that · Every man knows something worse of
himself, than he is sure of in others. You may not have committed such

crimes as some men have done ; but you do not know against what degree
of light they have finned. Besides, Sir, the chief of sinners' is a mode of
expression for 'I am a great sinner. So St. Paul, speaking of our Saviour's
having died to save sinners, says, 'of whom I am the chief:' yet he certainly
did not think himself so bad as Judas Iscariot.” BOSWELL. “ But, Sir,
Taylor means it literally, for he founds a conceit upon it. When praying
for the conversion of sinners, and of himself in particular, he says, "LORD,
thou wilt not leave thy chief work undone." Johnson. “ I do not approve
of figurative expressions in addressing the Supreme Being; and I never use
them. Taylor gives a very good advice : Never lie in your prayers; never
confefs more than you really believe ; never promise more than you mean to
perform.” I recollected this precept in his “ Golden Grove.” But his
example for prayer contradicts his precept.

Dr. Johnson and I went in Dr. Adams's coach to dine with Dr. Nowell,
Principal of St. Mary Hall, at his beautiful villa at IMey, on the banks of
the Isis, about two miles from Oxford. While we were upon the road, I had
the resolution to alk Johnson whether he thought that the roughness of his
manner had been an advantage or not, and if he would not have done more
good if he had been more gentle ? I proceeded to answer myself thus :-
“ Perhaps it has been of advantage, as it has given weight to what you said.
You could not, perhaps, have talked with such authority without it.” Johnson.

No, Sir; I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and Impiety have
always been repressed in my company.” Boswell. “True, Sir; and that is
more than can be said of every Bishop. Greater liberties have been taken
in the presence of a Bishop, though a very good man, from his being milder,
and therefore not commanding such awe. Yet, Sir, many people who might


Etat. 75.

have been benefited by your conversation, have been frightened away. A worthy friend of ours has told me, that he has often been afraid to talk to you." Johnson. “ Sir, he need not have been afraid, if he had any thing rational to say. If he had not, it was better he did not talk."

Dr. Nowell is celebrated for having preached a fermon before the House of Commons, on the 30th of January, 1772, full of high Tory sentiments, for which he was thanked as usual, and printed it at their request; but, in the midit of that turbulence and faction which disgraced a part of the present reign, the thanks were afterwards ordered to be expunged. This strange conduct fufficiently exposes itself; and Dr. Nowell will ever have the honour which is due to a lofty friend of our monarchical constitution. Dr. Johnson said to me, “Sir, the Court will be very much to blame if he is not promoted.” I told this to Dr. Nowell, and asserting my humbler, though not less zealous exertions in the same cause, I suggested that whatever return we might receive, we should still have the confolation of being like Butler's steady and generous Royalist,

« True as the dial to the sun,

Although it be not Thone upon." We were well entertained and very happy at Dr. Nowell's, where was a very agreeable company, and we drank “ Church and King” after dinner, with true Tory cordiality.

We talked of a certain clergyman of extraordinary character, who by exerting his talents in writing on temporary topicks, and displaying uncommon intrepidity, had raised himself to aMuence. I maintained that we ought not to be indignant at his success; for merit of every fort was entitled to reward. Johnson. “ Sir, I will not allow this man to have merit. No, Sir; what he has is rather the contrary; I will, indeed, allow him courage, and on this account we so far give him credit. We have more respect for a man who robs boldly on the highway, than for a fellow who jumps out of a ditch, and knocks you down behind your back. Courage is a quality so necessary for

a maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice."

I censured the coarse invective which was become fashionable in the House of Commons, and said that if members of parliament must attack each other personally in the heat of debate, it should be done more genteelly. Johnson. “ No, Sir; that would be much worse. Abuse is not so dangerous when there is no vehicle of wit or delicacy, no subtle conveyance. The difference




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