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mother distinctly call Sam. She was then at Litchfield; but nothing ensued.
Mr. Boswell one day said, “ I do not know whether there are any well-attested stories of the appearance of ghosts. You know there is a famous account of the apparition of Mrs. Veal, prefixed to Drelincourt on Death.'"-JOHNSON. “ I believe, Sir, that is given up. I think the woman declared upon her death-bed that it was a lie." --B.“ This objection is made against the truth of ghosts appearing: that if they are in a state of happiness, it would be a punishment to them to return to this world; and if they are in a state of misery, it would be giving them a respite.”-J.
Why, Sir, as the happiness or misery of unembodied spirits does not depend upon place, but is intellectual, we cannot say that they are less happy or less miserable by appearing upon earth. It is wonderful, however, that five thousand years have now elapsed since the creation of the world, and still it is undecided whether or not there has been an instance of the spirit of any person appearing after death. All argument is against it; but all belief is for it."
On the subject of our situation in a future state, he said, “ The happiness of an unembodied spirit will consist in a consciousness of the favour of God, in the contemplation of truth, and in the possession of felicitating ideas.”
“But, Sir (said Mr. Boswell), is there any harm in our forming to ourselves conjectures as to the particulars of our happiness, though the scripture has said but very little on the subject? "We know not what we shall be.'”-J. “Sir, there is no harm. What philosophy suggests to us on this topic is probable—what scripture tells us is certain. Dr. Henry More has carried it as far as philosophy can. You may buy both his theological and philosophical works in two volumes folio, for about eight shillings.”-B. “ One of the most pleasing thoughts is, that we shall see our friends again.' -J. “ Yes, Sir; but you must consider, that when we are become purely, rational, many of our friendships will be cut off. Many friendships are formed by a community of sensual pleasures! all these will be cut off. We form many friend ships with bad men, because they have agreeable qualities, and they can be useful to us.--We form many friendships by mistake, imagining people to be different from what they really are. After death, we shall see every one in a true light. Then, Sir, they talk of our meeting our relations: but then all relationship is dissolved; and we shall have no regard for one person more than another, but for their real value. However, we shall have either the satisfaction of meeting our friends, or be satisfied without meeting them." B. “Yet, Sir, we see in 'scripture, that Dives
still retained an anxious concern about his brethren."-J. “Why, Sir, we must either suppose that passage to be metaphorical, or hold with many divines, and all the Purgatorians, that departed souls do not all at once arrive at the utmost perfection of which they are capable.”B. “ I think, Sir, that is a very rational supposition.”---J. " Why yes, Sir; but we do not know it is a true one. There is no harm in believing it: but you must not compel others to make it an article of faith; for it is not revealed.” -B. “ Do you think, Sir, it is wrong in a man who holds the doctrine of purgatory to pray for the souls of his deceased friends?”—J. “ Why no, Sir."-B. “ I have been told, that in the Liturgy of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, there was a form of prayer for the dead.”—J. “Sir, it is not in the Liturgy which Laud framed for the Episcopal Church of Scotland: if there is a Liturgy older than that, I should be glad to see it.”-B. “ As to our employment in a future state, the sacred writings say little. The Revelation, however, of St. John gives us many ideas, and particularly mentions music.”-J. “Why, Sir, ideas must be given you by means of something which you know: and as to music, there are some philosophers and divines who have maintained that we shall not be spiritualized to such a degree, but that something of matter,
very much refined, will remain. In that case, music may make a part of our future felicity."
In another conversation, Mr. Boswell mentioned a kind of religious Robinhood Society, which met every Sunday evening at Coachmaker's Hall for free debate; and that the subject for that night was the text which relates, with other miracles, that which happened at our Saviour's death, 'And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.'—Mrs. Hall observed, that it was a very curious subject, and she should like to hear it discussed.; Johnson (somewhat warmly); said, " One would not go to such a place to hear it,one would not be seen in such a place-to give countenance to such a meeting.”-“But, Sir (said she to Johnson), I should like to hear you discuss it.” He seemed reluctant to engage in it. She talked of the resurrection of the human race in general, and maintained that we shall be raised with the same bodies.—" Nay, Madam (returned Jobnson), we see that it is not to be the same body; for the Scripture uses the illustration of grain sown, and we know that the grain which grows
is not the same with what is sown. You cannot suppose that we shall rise with a diseased
body; it is enough if there be such a sameness as to distinguish identity of person.”.
The Reader will, no doubt, be desirous of learning how JOHNSON supported that awful crisis, of which he, through life, expressed so much dread.
In his last illness, with that native fortitude which amidst all his bodily distress and mental sufferings never forsook him, he asked Dr. Brocklesby, as a man in whom he had confidence, to tell him plainly whether he could recover. “ Give me (said he) a direct answer." The Doctor having first asked him, if he could bear the whole truth, which way soever it might lead, and being answered that he could, declared that in his opinion he could not recover without a miracle.
" Then (said Johnson) I will take no more physic, not even my opiates for I have prayed that I may render up my soul to God unclouded.” In this resolution he persevered; and at the same time used only the weakest kinds of sustenance.
For some time before his death, all his fears were calmed and absorbed by the prevalence of his faith, and his trust in the merits and propitiation of our Redeemer. He talked often about the necessity of faith in the sacrifice of the Redeemer, as necessary, beyond all good works whatever, for the salvation of mankind.