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At Departure, or at Home. GRANT, I beseech Thee, merciful Lord, that the designs of a new and better life, which by thy grace I have now formed, may not pass away without effect. Incite and enable me, by thy Holy Spirit, to improve the time which Thou shalt grant me ; to avoid all evil thoughts, words, and actions, and to do all the duties which Thou shalt set before me. Hear my prayer, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen. These Prayers I wrote for Mrs. Lucy Porter, * in the latter
end of the year 1782, and transcribed them October 9, 1784.
On leaving Mr. Thrale's Family.
October 6, 1782. 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.
October 7. I was called early. I packed up my bundles, and used
the foregoing Prayer, with my morning devotions somewhat, I think, enlarged. Being earlier than the family, I read St. Paul's farewell in the Acts, and then read fortuitously in the Gospels, which was my parting use of the library.
. * Daughter-in-law to Dr. Johnson, she died at Lichfield, in 1786.
September 6. I had just heard of Williams's death. ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, who art the Lord of life and death, who givest and who 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 Anna Williams.* Look upon her, O Lord, with mercy, me, by thy grace, to die with bope, 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 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,
[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.)
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 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 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 my 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 5, 1784.]
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, I am now, as to human eyes
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.
[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 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 in at the Psalms; could not hear
• Ile died the 13th following.
the reader in the lessons, but attended the prayers with
tranquillity. To read the New Testament once a year in Greek.
Receiving the Sacrament, I profess my faith in Jesus. I declare my resolution to obey him. I 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 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 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. I then dined, and trifled in the parlour and library, and
was freeq. 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
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 bless