Mar 15 • 6M

Conclusion of "The Vanity of Human Wishes"

Samuel Johnson

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Back in the days when there weren’t any helpful drugs to clear away the obsessions of a troubled mind, a mountain of a man named Samuel Johnson, as his good friend Boswell once described it, kept them at bay like a gladiator in the arena, fending off the wild animals by the sheer force of his will. But there was more to it than Boswell understood, or perhaps more than what he felt comfortable touching upon, since it was so deeply personal. That is, Johnson was a man of profound faith in God. It wasn’t a sentimental thing, not for Johnson. It wasn’t a matter of good taste in church art or church music. It was a conviction; and sometimes a conscious decision to say to God, “I cast myself entirely upon Thy mercy.” Johnson was the most learned man in England of his time, yet he was usually strapped for money, and not because he gambled or lived the high life — quite the opposite. He made his living by the pen, supporting his dear wife Tetty, who was twenty years his elder, and bein…

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