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Hickes, Brett, and other eminent divines of that 1734. persuasion ; and did not recollect that the seven Bishops, so justly celebrated for their magnanimous resistance of arbitrary power, were yet Nonjurors to the new Government. The nonjuring clergy of Scotland, indeed, who, excepting a few, have lately, by a sudden stroke, cut off all ties of allegiance to the house of Stuart, and resolved to pray for our pre sent lawful Sovereign by name, may be thought to have confirmed this remark; as it may be said, that the divine indefeasible hereditary right which they professed to believe, if ever true, must be equally true still. Many of my readers will be surprized when P mention, that Johnson assured me he had never in his life been in a nonjuring meeting-house," :
Next morning at breakfast, he pointed out a passage in Savage's “ Wanderer,” saying " These are fine verses.”—“ If (said he) I had written with hostility of Warburton in my Shakspeare, I should have quoted this couplet: .. .
Here Learning, blinded first, and then beguilid, · Looks dark as Ignorance, as Frenzy wild. You see they'd have fitted him to a T,” (smiling.) DR. ADAMS. “ But you did not write against Warburton.” Johnson. “ No, Sir, I treated him with great respect both in my preface and in my Notes."
Mrs. Kennicot spoke of her brother, the Reverend Mr. Chamberlayne, who had given up great prospects in the Church of England on his conversion to the Roman Catholick faith. Johnson, who warmly admired every man who acted from a conscientious regard to principle, erroneous or not, exclaimed fervently, “ God bless him." ...
1784. Mrs. Kennicot, in confirmation of Dr. Johnson's
opinion, that the present was not worse than former
Henceforth be quiet and agree,
Each kiss his empty brother ; • Religion scorns a foe like thee,
* But dreads a friend like t'other. The point is well, though the expression is not correct; one, and not thee, should be opposed to t'other."9
? I have inserted the stanza as Johnson repeated it from me mory ; but I have since found the poem itself, in “ The Foundling Hospital for Wit,” pripted at London, 1749. It is all follows :
“EPIGRAM, occasioned by a religious dispute at Bath.
" On Reason, Faith, and Mystery high,
“ Two wits harangue the table ;
“ No swears 'tis all a fable.
On the Roman Catholick religion he said, “ If you 1784. join the Papists externally, they will not interrogate you strictly as to your belief in their tenets. No reasoning Papist believes every article of their faith. There is one side on which a good man might be persuaded to embrace it. A good man of a timorous disposition, in great doubt of his acceptance with GOD, and pretty credulous, may be glad to be of a church where there are so many helps to get to Heaven. I would be a Papist if I could. I have fear enough; but an obstinate rationality prevents me. I shall never be a Papist, unless on the near approach of death, of which I have a very great terrour. I wonder that women are not all Papists." Boswell. “ They are not more afraid of death than men are." JOHNSON. “ Because they are less wicked.” DR. ADAMS. 6. They are more pious.” JOHNSON. “ No, hang e'm, they are not more pious. A wicked fel. low is the most pious when he takes to it. He'll beat you all at piety.”
He argued in defence of some of the peculiar tenets of the Church of Rome. As to the giving the bread only to the laity, he said, “ They may think, that in what is merely ritual, deviations from the primitive mode may be admitted 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
“ Peace, coxcombs, peace, and both agree,
“ N , kiss thy empty brother ; “ Religion laughs at foes like thee,
“ And dreads a friend like t'other,
1784. communion of saints' in the Creed means thé com
munion with the saints in Heaven, as connected with Ætat.75.
* 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 supporter* of a doctrine, which, I know not why,
s Waller, in his “ Divine Poesie,” Canto first, has the same thought finely expressed :
“ The Church triumphant, and the Church below,
! 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 serpent, was deeply concerned in the fall of man, and whose head, as the prophetick language is, the son of man was one day to bruise; that this evil spirit, though that prophesy be in part completed, 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 degree of power in this world hostile to its virtue and happiness, änd sometimes exerted with too much success; all this is so clear froin Scripture, that no believer, unless he be first of all spoiled by philosophy and rain deceit, can possibly entertain a doubt of it."
Having treated of possessions, 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."
“ But then with regard to the influence of evil spirits at this day
should, in this world of imperfect knowledge, and, 1784. 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 set no value on the moral character of men who pay their addresses to them; the greatest pro
d the varie who rezon concernen is
upon the souls of men, I shall take leave to be a great deal more peremptory.-[Then, having stated the various proofs, he adds,] 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 demoniack influence upon the minds of men is elearly 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 illustrated in a short but excellent Commentary 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 'sacred form of devotion," has understood this in the same sense :
Guard us from all temptations of the Foe."