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and to be benevolent to all mankind.” He looked 1781. at me with a benignant indulgence; but took occasion to give me wise and salutary caution. “ Do not, Sir, accustom yourself to trust to impressions. There is a middle state of mind between conviction and hypocrisy, of which many are conscious. By trusting to impressions, a man may gradually come to yield to them, and at length be subject to them, so as not to be a free agent, or what is the same thing in effect, to suppose that he is not a free agent. A man who is in that state, should not be suffered to live ; if he declares he cannot help acting in a particular way, and is irresistibly impelled, there can be no confidence in hiin, no more than in a tyger. But, Sir, no man believes himself to be impelled irresistibly; we know that he who says he believes it, lies. Favourable impressions at particular moments, as to the state of our souls, may be deceitful and dangerous. In general no man can be sure of his acceptance with God; scme, indeed, may have had it revealed to them. St. Paul, who wrought miracles, may have had a miracle wrought on himself, and may have obtained supernatural assurance of pardon, and mercy, and beatitude; yet St. Paul, though he expresses strong hope, also expresses fear, lest having preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away.”
The opinion of a learned Bishop of our acquaintance, as to there being merit in religious faith, being mentioned ;-JOHNSON. “ Why, yes, Sir; the most licentious man, were hell open before him, would not take the most beautiful strumpet to his arms. We inust, as the Apostle says, live by faith, not by sight.”
VOL. IV. . K
1781. I talked to him of original sin,in consequence of
the fall of man, and of the atonement made by our Ætat. 72.
SAVIOUR. After some conversation, which he desired me to remember, he, at my request, dictated to me as follows:
“ WITH respect to original sin, the enquiry is not necessary; for whatever is the cause of human corruption, men are evidently and confessedly so corrupt, that all the laws of heaven and earth are insufficient to restrain them from crimes.
" Whatever difficulty there may be in the conception of vicarious punishments, it is an opinion which has had possession of mankind in all ages. There is no nation that has not used the practice of sacrifices. Whoever, therefore, denies the propriety of vicarious punishments, holds an opinion which the sentiments and practice of mankind have contradicted, from the beginning of the world. The great sacrifice for the sins of mankind was offered at the death of the MESSIAH, who is called in scripture, • The Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.' To judge of the reasonableness of the
4 Dr. Ogden, in his second sermon “ On the Articles of the Christian Huith,” with admirable acuteness thus addresses the opposers of that Doctrine, which accounts for the confusion, sin, and misery, which we find in this life: “ It would be severe in God, you think, to degrade us to such a sad state as this, for the offence of our first parents: but you can allow him to place us in it without any inducement. Are our calamities lessened for not be ing ascribed to Adam? If your condition be unhappy, is it not still unhappy, whatever was the occasion ? with the aggravation of this reflection, that if it was as good as it was at first designed, · there seems to be somewhat the less reason to look for its amend
scheme of redemption, it must be considered as ne- 1781. cessary to the government of the universe, that God
OP Ætat. 72 should make known his perpetual and irreconcileable detestation of moral evil. He might indeed punish, and punish only the offenders; but as the end of punishment is not revenge of crimes, but propagation of virtue, it was more becoming the Divine clemency to find another manner of proceeding, less destructive to man, and at least equally powerful to promote goodness. The end of punishment is to reclaim and warn. That punishment will both reclaim and warn, which shews evidently such abhorrence of sin in God, as may deter us from it, or strike us with dread of vengeance when we have committed it. This is effected by vicarious punishment. Nothing could more testify the opposition betwet. the nature of God and moral evil, or more amply display his justice, to men and angels, to all orders and successions of beings, than that it was necessary for the highest and purest nature, even for DIVINITY itself to pacify the demands of vengeance, by a painful death; of which the natural effect will be, that when justice is appeased, there is a proper place for the exercise of mercy; and that such propitiation shall supply, in some degree, the imperfections of our obedience, and the inefficacy of our repentance: for, obedience and repentance, such as we can perform, are still necessary. Our SAVIOUR has told us, that he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill: to fulfill the typical law, by the performance of what those types had foreshewn; and the moral law, by precepts of greater purity and higher exaltation."
[Here he said, “God bless you with it.” I ac.. knowledged myself much obliged to him; but I
1781. begged that he would go on as to the propitiation
being the chief object of our most holy faith. He then dictated this one other paragraph.]
“ The peculiar doctrine of Christianity is, that of an universal sacrifice, and perpetual propitiation. Other prophets only proclaimed the will and the threatenings of God. Christ satisfied his justice.”
The Reverend Mr. Palmer, Fellow of Queen'sCollege, Cambridge, dined with us. He expressed a wish that a better provision were made for parishclerks. Johnson. “ Yes, Sir, a parish-clerk should
s This unfortunate person, whose full name was Thomas Fysche Palmer, afterwards went to Dundee, in Scotland, where he officiated as minister to a congregation of the sect who call themselves Unitarians, from a notion that they distinctively worship ONE God, because they deny the mysterious doctrine of the TRINITY.
They do not advert that the great body of the Christian Church in maintaining that mystery, maintain also the Unity of the GodHEAD: the “ Trinity in Unity!-three persons and ONE God.” The Church humbly adores the DIVINITY as exhibited in the holy Scriptures. The Unitarian sect vainly presumes to comprehend and define the ALMIGHTY. Mr. Palmer having heated his mind with political speculations,, became so much dissatisfied with our excellent Constitution, as to compose, publish, and circulate writings, which were found to be so seditious and dangerous, that upon being found guilty by a Jury, the Court of Justiciary in Scotland sentenced him to transportation for fourteen years. A loud clamour against this sentence was made by some Members of both Houses of Parliament; but both Houses approved of it by a great majority; and he was conveyed to the set. tlement for convicts in New South Wales.
[Mr. T. F. Palmer was of Queen's College, in Cambridge, where he took the degree of Master of Arts in 1772, and that of S. T. B. in 1781. He died on his return from Botany Bay, in the year 1903. M.]
be a man who is able to make a will, or write a 1781. letter for any body in the parish.”
Ætat. 72. I mentioned Lord Monboddo's notion that the ancient Egyptians, with all their learning, and all their arts, were not only black, but woolly-haired. Mr. Palmer asked how did it appear upon exa. mining the mummies ? Dr. Johnson approved of this test.
Although upon most occasions I never heard a more strenuous advocate for the advantages of wealth, than Dr. Johnson, he this day, I know not from what caprice, took the other side. " I have not observed (said he) that men of very large fortunes enjoy any thing extraordinary that makes hap.. piness. What has the Duke of Bedford? What has the Duke of Devonshire? The only great instance that I have ever known of the enjoyment of wealth was, that of Jamaica Dawkins, who going to visit Palmyra, and hearing that the way was infested by robbers, hired a troop of Turkish horse to guard him.”
Dr. Gibbons, the Dissenting ininister, being mentioned, he said, “I took to Dr. Gibbons.” And addressing himself to Mr. Charles Dilly, added, “I shall be glad to see him. Tell him, if he'll call on me, and dawdle over a dish of tea in an afternoon, I shall take it kind.”
The Reverend Mr. Smith, Vicar of Southill, a very respectable man, with a very agreeable family, sent an invitation to us to drink tea. I remarked Dr. Johnson's very respectful politeness. Though always fond of changing the scene, he said, “ We must have Mr. Dilly's leave. We cannot go from your
5 Taken from Heredotus.