Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 Almighty and most merciful Father, I again appear in Thy presence the wretched misspender of another year which Thy mercy has allowed me. O Lord let me not sink into total depravity, look down upon me, and rescue me at last from the captivity of sin. Impart to me good resolutions, and give me strength and perseverance to perform them. Take not from me Thy Holy Spirit, but grant that I may redeem the time lost, and that by temperance and diligence, by sincere repentance and faithful obedience I may finally attain everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century The man who has never had religion before, no more grows religious when he is sick, than a man who has never learned figures can count when he has need of calculation.
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885 Continuing a short series on prayer: Madness frequently discovers itself merely by unnecessary deviation from the usual modes of the world. My poor friend Christopher Smart showed the disturbance of his mind, by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the street, or in any other unusual place. Now although, rationally speaking, it is greater madness not to pray at all, than to pray as Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray, that their understanding is not called in question... I did not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I'd as lief pray with Kit Smart as any.
Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 O God, Who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired, should be sought by labor, and Who, by Thy blessing, bringest honest labor to good effect; look with mercy upon my studies and endeavors. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right, and afford me calmness of mind, and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do Thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind upon the present scene, to produce confidence and elation, and to make him who enjoys affluence and honors forget the hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise than by affliction awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught to know how little all our acquisitions can conduce to safety or quiet, and how justly we may inscribe to the superintendence of a higher power those blessings which in the wantonness of success we considered as the attainments of our policy and courage.
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796 [Dr. Johnson to a Quaker:] Oh, let us not be found, when our Master calls us, ripping the lace off our waistcoats, but the spirit of contention from our souls and tongues.
Easter Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast preserved me by Thy fatherly care through all the years of my past life, and now permittest me again to commemorate the sufferings and merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, grant me so to partake of this holy rite, that the disquiet of my mind may be appeased, that my faith may be increased, my hope strengthened, and my life regulated by Thy Will. Make me truly thankful for that portion of health which Thy mercy has restored, and enable me to use the remains of life to Thy glory and my own salvation. Take not from me, O Lord, Thy Holy Spirit. Extinguish in my mind all sinful and inordinate desires. Let me resolve to do that which is right, and let me by Thy help keep my resolutions. Let me, if it is best for me, at last know peace and comfort, but whatever state of life Thou shalt appoint me, let me end it by a happy death, and enjoy eternal happiness in Thy presence, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 A student may easily exhaust his life in comparing divines and moralists without any practical regard to morals and religion; he may be learning not to live but to reason... while the chief use of his volumes is unthought of, his mind is unaffected, and his life is unreformed.
Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 Almighty and most merciful Father, by Whose providence my life has been prolonged, and Who has granted me now to begin another year of probation, vouchsafe me such assistance of Thy Holy Spirit, that the continuance of my life may not add to the measure of my guilt, but that I may so repent of the days and years passed in neglect of the duties which Thou hast set before me, in vain thoughts, in sloth, and in folly, that I may apply my heart to true wisdom, by diligence redeem the time lost, and by repentance, obtain pardon, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304 Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784 We took tea, by Boswell's desire; and I eat one bun, I think, that I might not be seen to fast ostentatiously. When I find that so much of my life has stolen unprofitably away, and that I can descry by retrospection scarcely a few single days properly and vigorously employed, why do I yet try to resolve again? I try, because reformation is necessary and despair is criminal. I try, in humble hope of the help of God.
Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected.
The lustre of diamonds is invigorated by the interposition of darker bodies; the lights of a picture are created by the shades; the highest pleasure which nature has indulged to sensitive perception is that of rest after fatigue.
I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works. An assault upon a town is a bad thing; but starving it is still worse.
Lexicographer: a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to be quite true.
Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great.
Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
We are inclined to believe those whom we don not know because they have never deceived us.
I hate mankind, for I think of myself as one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.
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