Johnson’s library prayer

  • Posted on: 24 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

On 6 October 1782, Samuel Johnson left Henry Thrale's library - and family - for the last time, some 18 months after the death of his good friend. On doing so he said the following prayer to the Thrale family …

"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.

James Boswell continued …

In one of his1 memorandum-books I find…"Sunday, went to church at Streatham. Templo valedixi cum asculo".

This translates as…

I bade good-bye to the church with a kiss".2

  • 1. Samuel Johnson's.
  • 2. Life of Johnson. James Boswell 1799. Entry dated 6 October 1782.