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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 Anna Williams*. Look upon her, O Lord, with mercy, and prepare me, by thy grace, to die with hope, and to pass by death to eternal happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1784. Easter Day.
April 11. 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 iny 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
[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 one volume 4to. 1766.]
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 Thoughts.
August 12, 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 done, and little to be known, teach me, by thy Holy Spirit, to withdraw my mind from unprofitable and dangerous enquiries, 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 expectation for the time in which the soul which Thou receivest shall be satisfied with knowledge. Grant this, O Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Ashbourne, August 28, 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 Saçrament of the Lord's Supper, on Sunday, December 5, 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 ;
* He died the 13th following.
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.
[The following Meditations and Prayers have no
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 burden
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 in at the Psalms; could not hear the reader in the lessons, but attended
the prayers with tranquillity. . To read the New Testament once a year in Greek.
Receiving the Sacrament,
On the 17th, Mr, Chamjer 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 birth-day, 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 another year], but could not perfectly recollect the prayer, and supplied it. Such desertions of memory I have al
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. I 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. 19, Sunday. I went to church, and attended the
service. I found at church a time to use my prayer, O Lord, have mercy
July 30. ALMIGHTY God, Creator and Governor of the world, who sendest sickness and restorest health, 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 actions, that I may be finally