Quotes on Damnation
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275. After-life; Damnation; Death; Salvation
I expressed a horrour at the thought of death. Mrs. Knowles: "Nay, thou should'st not have a horrour for what is the gate of life." Johnson (standing upon the hearth rolling about, with a serious, solemn, and somewhat gloomy air,) "No rational man can die without uneasy apprehension." Mrs. Knowles: "The Scriptures tell us, 'The righteous shall have hope in his death.'" Johnson: "Yes, Madam; that is, he shall not have despair. But, consider, his hope of salvation must be founded on the terms on which it is promised that the mediation of our Saviour shall be applied to us, --namely, obedience; and where obedience has failed, then, as suppletory to it, repentance. But what man can say that his obedience has been such, as he would approve in another, or even in himself upon close examination, or that his repentance has not been such as to require being repented of? No man can be sure that his obedience and repentance will obtain salvation." Mrs. Knowles: "But divine intimation of acceptance may be made to the soul." Johnson: "Madam, it may; but I should not think the better of a man who should tell me on his death-bed he was sure of salvation. A man cannot be sure himself that he has divine intimation of acceptance; much less can he make others sure that he has it." Boswell: "Then, Sir, we must be contented to acknowledge that death is a terrible thing." Johnson: "Yes, Sir, I have made no approaches to a state which can look on it as not terrible." Mrs. Knowles (seeming to enjoy a pleasing serenity in the persuasion of benignant divine light,) "Does not St. Paul say, 'I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course; henceforth is laid up for me a crown of life'?" Johnson: "Yes, Madam; but here was a man inspired, a man who had been converted by supernatural interposition." Boswell: "In prospect death is dreadful; but in fact we find that people die easy." Johnson: "Why, Sir, most people have not thought much of the matter, so cannot say much, and it is supposed they die easy. Few believe it certain they are then to die; and those who do, set themselves to behave with resolution, as a man does who is going to be hanged. He is not the less unwilling to be hanged."
Boswell: Life

1,100. Damnation
"Since all rational agents are conscious of having neglected or violated the duties prescribed to them, the fear of being rejected or punished by God has always burthened the human mind."
Johnson: Rambler #110 (April 6, 1751)

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