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one time shall make a person a member

These all had converse with the soul : for life.

Mysterious work of Heav'nly, skill. Art. 3d. All life subscriptions, and Clay join?d to spirit, form’d an'whole,

And quicken'd dust obey'd the will. all donations of money, shall con

God call'd the life he gave away; stitute a permanent fund, the interest

The dust return'd from whence it came; only to be expended.

The spirit left the stiff’ning clay, Art. 4th. The business of this So And death dissolves the wond'rous frame. ciety shall be transacted by a Presi. Be witty, mortal; bold and free, dent, Vice-President, Recording Se But own thy knowledge centers here: cretary, Corresponding Secretary,

Ere long, like this, thy scalp shall be

Not worth the sordid Sexton's care. Treasurer, and nine Managers, all of whom are to be chosen annually. Perbaps a crown these temples bound,

Before it subject nations bow'd ; Six managers shall constitute a quo. Now, undistinguish'd in the ground, rum. The Managers, at the annual Tlie beggar tramples on the proud. meeting, on the second Tuesday in All, all must pass this dreary road, October, shall inake a report of their To dust and silence, cold and gloom, proceedings to the Society.

And rest in one obscure abode, Art. 5th. All life Subscribers shall The dwelling of the world—the tomb. .be Directors, and shall vote at special o Thou, whose gift 'tis to bestow

Much more in virtue and in truth; weetings.

0, lead me through this vale of woe, Art. 6th. This constitution shall

Thou staff of age and guide of youth. not be altered except by consent of Sustain me in this mortal hour, two thirds of the members, voting at Because 'tis thou alone canst save; the annual meeting.

And let me triumph, in thy pow'r, Mrs. Thomas Colden, President.

A joyful victor o'er the grave. -Mrs. Clark, Vice-President.

[Orthodox Churchman's Mag. Miss M. A. Willett, Corresp. Sec. Miss A. A. Vanhorne, Record. Sec. On Monday, the 23d of November, Mrs. Lasher, Treasurer.

T. & J. Swords will publish, “ Swords's

Pocket Almanack, and Christian Calendar, Directors--Mrs. Susan B. Phin- for the year of our Lord 1819; being the ney, Mrs. Jane Murray, Mrs. Ger- third after Leap year. Containing the trude Colden, Mrs. Margaret Gala- rising, sitting, and eclipses of the Sun and tian, Mrs. Maria Walden, Mrs. Sarah Moon, the time of high Water, &c." Also

Observations on the Observance of SunC. Ruggles. Managers-Miss Jemima Graham, Fasts of the Church-Succession of Ame

days—Explanations of the Festivals and Miss Catharine M'Coy, Miss A. M. rican Bishops-List of the Clergy of Galatian, Miss Jane Colden, Miss the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Susan F. Bogart, Miss Hannah Gala. United States Standing Committeestian, Miss Maria Graham, Miss Eli- Time of Conventional Meetings, Relia

gious Societies attached to the Episzabeth Galatian, Mrs. Mary Schoon- copal Church in the United States maker,

Scientific, Literary, and Benevolent Institutions Officers of the Government of the

United States Ministers Plenipotentiary On opening a Grave, and laying hold from the United States to Foreign Powers

--Ministerial Appointments from Foreign of a Skull.

Powers to the United States-Officers of

the Government of the State of New This preacher, siler:t, yet severe,

York-Common Council of the City of Proclaims mortality to man:

New-York-Courts in the State of New. Thou like this emblem shalt appear, York-Clerks of the Supreme Court

When time has measured out thy span. Mayor's Court-Rates of Postage-Times Here hung the lips that once could smile, of arrival and closing of the Mails, &e. And here were fix'd the orbs of light,

&c. &c. Extinguish'd now, corrupt and vile, Suffused in everlasting night.

Priated and published by T. & J. Swords, Gay friend, here hung the list’ning ear,

No. 160 Pearl-street, New-York; where That fed the soul with sense by sound;

Subscriptions for this Work will be received

at one dollar per annum, or 24 numbers. Here the loquacious tongue, and here All Letters relative to this Journal must

The nose, on this distorted wound. come free of Postage.

THE

AND

LITERARY REGISTER.

No. 21.]

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1817.

[VOL. I.

Remarks on the last Hours of Dr. with the Divine standard and test of SAMUEL JOHNson.

truth, he felt himself both defective (From Wilks's Christian Essays.)

and disobedient. A few practical remarks upon the Together with this conscientious subject of the last hours of this illus- feeling he had adopted certain incortrious man will tend to show that rect, not to say superstitious, ideas what Dr. Johnson's best friends and respecting the method of placating the biographers have been almost asham- Diety. He seems, for example, to ed to confess, and have industriously have believed that penance, in its exerted themselves to palliate, con- confined and popish sense as distina stituted, in truth, the most auspicious guished from simple penitence, is of circumstance of his life, and was the great avail in procuring the Divine best proof of his increase in religious favour and forgiveness. Thus when knowledge and holiness of mind." his conscience distressed him on ac

Whoever considers with a Chris. count of an act of disobedience to his tian eye the death of Dr. Johnson will parent, we find him many years afreadily perceive that, according to terwards remaining a considerable the usual order of Providence, it time bare-headed in the rain, exposed could not have been free from agita- in the public streets to the ridicule tion and anxiety. Johnson was a man and the conjectures of every spectaof tender conscience, and one who tor. As far as filial affection and from his very infancy had been in. true amiableness of misd are constructed in Christian principles. But cerned, the actor in sysh a scene dehe was also, in the strict judgment of serves and ensures wúversal venerarevealed religion, an inconsistent man. tion and esteem. Even while we Neither his habits nor his companions smile at the sonewhat ludicrous nahad been such as his own conscience ture of the action, we instinctively approved; and even a short time be- feel a sympamy and respect which perfore his end we find one of his biogra- haps a wiser but less remarkable mode phers lamenting that "the visits of of exhibiting his feelings might not idle and some worthless persons were have procured. But Johnson seems never welcome to him," on the ex to kave performed this humiliation presą ground"

that these things drove from higher considerations than mere on time." His ideas of morality sorrow for the past ; for he emphatibeing of the highest order, manycally adds, “ in contrition I stood, things which are considered by men and I hope the penance was expiatoat large as but veniel offences ap. ry.". peared to him as positive crimes. If these words really mean any Even his constitutional indolence and thing and when did Dr. Johnson ut. irritability of mind were sufficient of ter words without meaning ?--he must themselves to keep him constantly have intended by them to express his humbled and self-abased ; and though hope that the previous fault was really among his gay or literary companions atoned for, in a religious sense, by he usually appears upon the compara- the subsequent act of self-denial ; or, tively high ground of a Christian in other words, that God accepts humoralist, and the strenuous defender man penance as an expiation for huof revealed religion, yet compared man sins ; a doctrine to which revealVou. I.

41

ever.

ed religion gives no sanction what Let us view some of the recorded

Johnson's system appears at circumstances of the transaction, and this time to have been, as it were, a so doing we shall, as Christians, have sort of barter between himself and much more occasion to applaud the heaven, and consequently his chief scriptural correctness of Johnson's fear was lest the equivalent which he feelings respecting the value of his presented should not be sufficient to soul, the guilt of his nature, and the entitle him in the Divine 'mercy to the inadequacy of man's best merits and pardon of his transgressions.-His repentance, than to congratulate him trust on the Redeemer, though per- upon the accession of such miserable fectly sincere, does not appear to have comforters' as those who appear to been either exclusive or implicit ; for have surrounded his dying pillow. though all his prayers for mercy and Finding him in great mental disacknowledgments of blessing were tress, I told him,' remarks one of offered up solely through the merits his biographers, of the many enjoy. and mediation of Jesus Christ, he ments of which I thought him in posseems, in point of fact, for many session, namely, a permanent income, years to have viewed the atonement tolerable health, a high degree of rerather as a medium through which putation for his moral qualities and God is pleased to accept our imper. literary exertions, &c. Had Johnfect services, and to make them ade. son's depression of mind been nothing quate, by the conditions of a remedial more than common melancholy or law, to the purchase of heaven, than discontent, these topics of consolation as a sacrifice by which alone heaven would have been highly appropriate; is fully secured and freely given to they might also have been fitly urged the believing penitent.

as arguments for gratitude and thanksTo give, therefore, comfort to the giving to the Almighty on account of mind of such a man as Dr. Johnson, such exalted mercies. In either of there vere but two modes; either by these points of view the piety of Dr. blinding his conscience, or by increas- Johnson would doubtless have prompting his fath; either by extenuating ed him to acknowledge the value of his sins, or b; pointing out in all its the blessing, and the duty of contentglories the suficiency of the Christian inent and praise. But as arguments ransom. The friends who surrounded for quieting an alarmed conscience, this eminent man Qaring the greater they were quite inadequate ; for what part of his life, were little qualified would it have profited this distinguishto perform the latter, and there- ed man to have gained all his wellfore very naturally rescrted to the merited honours, or, even were it former. They found ther: patient, possible, the world itself, if, after all, so to speak, in agony ; ut in- he should become, as he himself afstead of examining the wound ard ap- terwards expressed it,' a cast-away? plying the remedy, they contented The feelings of Dr. Johnson on this themselves with adininistering anc- subject were more fully evinced on a dynes and opiates, and persuading subsequent occasion. One day, in their afflicted friend, that there existe particular, remarks Sir John Hawed no cause of danger or alarm.

kins, when I was suggesting to him But Johnson was not thus de. these and the like reflections, he

gave ceived. The nostrum which has lul. thanks to Almighty God, but added, led its millions to a fatal repose, on that notwithstanding all the above behim, by the mercy of God, had no ef. nefits, the prospect of death, which fect. His convictions of sin were as was now at no great distance from lasting as they were deep; it was not him, was become terrible, and that therefore until he had dircarded his he could not think of it but with great natural and long-cherished views of pain and treuble of mind. Nothing commutation and human desert, and assuredly could be more correct than had learned to trust humbly and ex Dr. Johnson's distinction. He ac. clusively to his Saviour, that his mind knowledges the value of the mercies

became at peace.

lation ; but that he had, by prayer is a stranger. He is therefore to add one more what was the doctrine gress of such a mind as Dr. Johnson's Noveniber, 1817.] Last Hours of Dr. Samuel Johnson, which he enjoyed, and he gratefully few days, in consequence of a very

gave thanks to Almighty God' for pressing request to spo me, I found them; but he felt that they could not him labuuring under very great desoften the terrors of a death-bed, or jection of mind. He bad me draw make the prospect of meeting his

near him, and said he wanted to enJudge less painful and appalling. ter into a serious conversation with Hawkins, who could not enter into me; and upon my expressing my his illustrious friend's inore just and willingness to join it, he, with a look enlarged views of human guilt and that cut me to the heart, told me that frailty, confesses himself to have been he had the prospect of death before 'very much surprised and shocked at him, and that he dreaded to meet such a declaration from such a man,' his Saviour. I could not but be asand proceeded therefore to urge for tonished at such a declaration, and his comfort the usual arguments of advised him, as I had done before, to extenuation. He reports that lie reflect on the course of his life, and told him that he conceived his life to the services he had rendered to the have been a uniforin course of virtue ; cause of religion and virtuc, as well that he had ever shown a deep sense by his example as his writings; to of, and zeal for religion; and that, which he answered that he had writboth by his example and his writings, ten as a philosopder, but had not lived he had recommended the practice of like one. In the estimation of his it; that he had not rested, as many offences lo reasoned thus : "Every do, in the exercise of common hones man kpws his own sins, and what ty, avoiding the grosser encamities, grace he has resisted.

But to those yet rejecting those advantages that of thers, and the circumstances un. result froin the belief of Divine Reve

which they were committed, he and other exercises of devotion, you can

look on himself as the greatest sinner tivated in his mind the seeds of Jod- that he knows of.'

At the concluness, and was

become habitual, pious. sion of this argument, which he strong. This was the rock on

wuch num. ly enforced, he uttered this passionate berless professed Christ;ms have fa- [impassioned] exclamation : Shall I tally split; and to tb inercy of the who have been a teacher of others, Almighty must it - ascribed that the be myself a cast-away?"

In this interesting passage--intergreat and goodDr. Johnson did not which je narrator attempted to in: -how many important facts and reculmile but this, that his friend, like flections crowd upon the imagination ! me Pharisee in the Gospel, ought to Wo see the highest human intellect place his confidence upon his being unable, at the approach of death, to more meritorious than other men, find a single argument for hope or and instead of attributing the praise comfort, though stimulated by the to Him, who had made him to dif- mention of all the good deeds and fer," was to sacrifice to his own net, auspicious forebodings which an anxand burn incense to his own drag' ious and attentive friend could

sugCan we wonder that with such flat- gest. Who that beholds this emi. tering doctrines constantly sounding nent man thus desirous to open his in his ears, Dr. Johnson was suffered mind, and to enter into a serious to undergo much severe mental dis- conversation' upon the most momen. cipline, in order to reduce him in his tous of all subjects which can interown esteem to that lowly place, which est an immortal boing, but must rea as a human, and consequently a fal- gret that he had not found a spiritual len being, it was his duty, however adviser who was capable of fully enhigh his attainments or his talents, to 'tering into his feelings, and adminisoccupy.

tering scriptural consolation to his « In a visit which I made him in a afflicted mind?

logue. Pr

The narrator informs us in this hitherto found peace with his Creator, passage, that he could not but be as- through the blood' of Jesus Christ, tonished at such a declaration as that yet he could not be satisfied with the which Dr. Johnson made. But in ordinary consolations of an uninformreality, where was the real ground ed or Pharisaic mind. for astonishment ? Is it astonishing The sun did not, however, set in that an inheritor of a fallen and cor- this long continued cloud, for Johnrupt nature, who is about to quit the son at length obtained comfort, where world, and to be judged according alone true comfort could be obtained, to the deeds done in the body,' should in the sacrifice and mediation of Jee be alarmed at the anticipation of the sus Christ; a circumstance to which event, and be anxious to understand Sir John Hawkins transiently alludes, fully the only mode of pardon and but the particulars of which must be acceptance ? Rather is it not asto- supplied from the narrative of Bos nishing that every other intelligent well, whose words are as follows: man does not feel at his last bour the Dr. Brocklesby, who will not be same anxieties which Dr. Johnson suspected of fanaticism, obliged me experienced 2-unless, indeed, they with the following account: For some have been previewsly removed by the time before his death all his fears hopes revealed in that glorious dis were calmed and absorbed by the e prepensation which alone undertakes to valence of his faith; and his trust in point out in what way the Almighty the merits, and propitiation of Jesus sees fit to pardon a rebellious world. Christ. He talked often to me about No man would or could hae been the necessity of faith in the sacrifice astonished, who knew his own leart; of Jesus, as necessary beyond all good for, as Dr. Johnson truly remarind, works whatever for the salvation of every Christian, how fair soever hi mankind. character in the estimation of others,

Even allowing for the brevity of ought to look upon himself as the th: statement, and for the somewhat

greatest sinner that he knows of;' a chillas circumstance of its coming remark, be it observed, which shows from th.

pen of a man who will not how deeply Dr. Johnson had begun be suspet ad of fanaticism, what a to drink into the spirit of that great triumph washere for the plain unsaApostle, who, amidst all his excellen- phisticated doc

Cuines of the Gospel, cies, confessed and felt himself, as was especially

that of a se justification by just remarked, “the chief of sinners.' faith in Jesus Chris. After every

What a contrast does the advice of other means had been tr , and tried Hawkins, as stated by himself in the in vain, a simple penitentia. reliance preceding passage, form to the scrip. upon the sacrifice of the Reu. tural exhortation of our own Church! produced in the heart of this dezt Instead of advising his friend seriously man a peace and satisfaction which nu to examine himself whether he re. reflections upon human merit could pented him truly of his former sins, bestow. He seems to have acquired steadfastly purposing (should he sur a completely new idea of Christian · vive) to lead a new life, having a theology, and could doubtless hencelively faith in God's mercy though forth practically adopt the animating Christ, with a thankful remembrance language of his own church in her of his death, and being in charity with eleventh article, that we are justified all men," he bids him look back to by faith only, is a most welcome dochis past goodness, and is astonished trine, and very full of comfort.' that the survey is not attended with There are several ways in which the hope and satisfaction which he the distress of Dr. Johnson during his had anticipated. But the truth was, latter years may be considered, of that on the subject of religion, as on which the most correct perhaps is that every other, Dr. Johnson entertained of its having been permitted as a kind far more correct ideas than the friends and fatherly chastisement from the around him; and though he had not Almighty for the inconsistencies of

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