SICKNESS AND DEATH OF MR. BROWN; FURTHER EXTRACTS FROM PRIVATE JOURNAL; VISITS TO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE; ARRIVAL OF MR. WETMORE; DEPARTURE FROM ENGLAND, AND VOYAGE HOME; SETTLEMSENT AT STRATFORD; LETTERS TO THE BISHOP OF LONDON; MARRIAGE. A. D. 1723-1727.
THE dreadful malady from which Mr. Cutler had just recovered now fell upon another member of the party. On Thursday, the 4th of April, Brown complained of being ill; and two days later his disease was pronounced to be the small-pox. "God grant him," entered Johnson in his diary, "a safe deliverance;" and the same day he removed his own quarters to an apothecary in the next door. He does not appear to have thought it imprudent to remain so near, or he was so anxious to learn each day the progress of the disease, and the signs of its yielding to treatment, that he could not think of being at a distance from his friend. Edward Jenner was not yet born, and hence his great discovery of vaccination as a preventive of the small-pox was unknown to the medical profession. Individuals were then subject to it in its worst form in the natural way, and inoculation was sometimes resorted to as a means of escaping its virulence, and securing a more speedy and perfect recovery.
For nearly a week Johnson went in and out of his new quarters visiting noted places, and mingling with his clerical friends. On the 7th of April, it being Palm Sunday, he was at the Royal Chapel, St James's Palace, where he saw the King, George the Prince, the Princess, and sundry bishops and persons of the nobility. Dr. W. Wake, Abp. of Canterbury, preached from Luke xiii. 6-9,--The barren fig-tree. He applied it to the present state of the nation. It is evident that the symptoms in the case of Brown had not become alarming. A few quotations from the journal of Johnson will best tell the story:--
April 9.--This day I was first at Child's Coffee House. We dined at the Cross Keys in Holborn with Mr. Hammond, in company with Mr. Massey and thirty English gentlemen. I wrote to my friends in the evening.
10th.--This day we were at St James's, Clerkenwell, where we heard Dr. Sherlock, Dean of Chichester, preach from Isaiah liii. 3, on "Christ's sufferings." Afternoon I was at the N. E. Coffee House with Mr. Sandford, and spent the evening (after evening service at St Foster's) with Mr. Berriman and Mr. Scullard at Coach Makers' Hall. [In another place Johnson speaks of "St Foster's, alias Vedast." The reference is to St Vedast's Church, Foster Lane, built by Wren, with a three storied spire, and still in use as a parish church.]
11th.--This day we were at Whitehall Chapel at service, to see the ceremony of washing the disciples' feet performed, being Maundy Thursday. Afterwards we met Mr. Oliver at the New England Coffee House, who went with us to wait on Mr. Tryon, the Treasurer, where we saw Mr. More. In the evening I removed my lodgings to Mr. Skinner's.
12th.--This day being Good Friday, we were at service at the Royal Chapel at St James's, where Dr. Stanhope, Dean of Canterbury, preached an excellent sermon from John i. 29,--"Behold the Lamb of God," etc. I was at evening prayers at St Martin's, Ludgate.
13th.--This day, thinking Mr. Brown a little better, Mr. Cutler, Mr. Manning, and I, went to Greenwich, where we were on board the Royal Carolina; there viewed the glorious Hospital, then the Palace, the Park, and Royal Observatory, and after that Mr. Crawley's Iron Ware House. But woe is me! alas! alas! on our return we are accosted with the sorrowful news of Mr. Brown's death. O Father, not my will, but thine be done! O my grief! I have lost in him the best friend in the world,--a fine scholar, and a brave Christian. It is thy will, O God; let me be silent, and shut my mouth. But my flesh trembles for fear of Thee, and I am afraid of thy righteous judgments. O give me grace to be resigned, and to get good by it. O prepare his friends for the news, and comfort them. O save and spare me, if it may be thy will, for Christ's sake.
14th.--This day being Easter Sunday, Mr. Checkley and I were at St Paul's Cathedral, where we had a sermon from Rev. i. 17-18,--"I am he that was dead, and am alive," etc. We received the Holy Communion from the hands of Dean Younger, Mr. Baker, and Mr. Carleton. Afternoon we were at St Alban's, Wood Street, where Mr. Massey preached from Is. liii. 10,--"When thou shalt make his soul an offering," etc. With him we went home, and there I lodged that night.
15th.--This day I was at service at St John's Chapel, Clerkenwell; thence to Lady Blaket's and Dr. Astry's. After that I went to Mr. Berriman's, who with Mr. Scullard, and Mr. Wats and other lay gentlemen, went with me to divert me out into the fields and meadows to the new burying place, where I saw Mr. Nelson's tomb; thence to Dr. Marshall's and Dr. Astry's; thence to Whitehall, whence we went by water to Mr. Scullard's, where we spent the evening. There I lodged.
16th.--This morning Mr. Scullard went with me to see the wine vaults and water works. After that I was at St Bride's to hear the Spital sermon preached by Dean Waugh from 1 Cor. xiii. 13,--The greatest, charity. The children sang wonderfully. This evening my dear friend, Mr. Brown, was interred in St Dunstan in the West, attended by about thirty of the clergy of the town.
These extracts show the depth of Johnson's sorrow at the death of his classmate and companion. The constantly changing scenes through which he passed could not put it from his mind. It was the one great disappointment of his journey, and he often referred to it afterwards with feelings of affectionate sadness. When human props fall from under us it is a comfort to be able to lean upon divine supports, and to do what is imposed upon us with increased faith and diligence. This was the privilege of the survivor who mourned so deeply the loss of his gentle and loving friend.
The private journal of Johnson carries us back a century and a half, and brings to view now and then manners and customs which seem strange to many at the present day. The frequent gathering of clergymen at coffee houses and clubs was among the social habits of the time, and as little was thought of acquaintances meeting at the 'Vine Tavern' for a literary feast, as would now be thought of a party of travellers stopping at an inn and asking for refreshment and lodgings for the night. The reader will be glad to have introduced more of the notes of the subject of this volume. They are brief; and written without any attempt at rhetoric or fine description; but the simple words are graphic, and present a lively picture of what the writer saw and heard:--
April 21.--This day being Sunday I preached my probation sermon on Phil. i. 27, at St Dionis Back Church, in Fenchurch Street, before Dr. Smith and Mr. Hay, members of the Society. We dined at Mr. Bridger's with the clergyman, his brother. After dinner we took coach to Trinity Chapel, in Hanover Square, where I preached the same before sundry persons of quality. We spent the evening at the Dean of Elv's, Dr. Moss, with the two Finches, Mr. Finch and the Dean of York, and Mr. Massey and Mr. Collens.
22d.--This day I read Morning Prayers for Dr. Polling at St Ann's; in the afternoon we walked in Lincoln's Inn Fields, were a considerable time in the Library, and at Evening Prayers in the Chapel. and after that at St Foster's; thence to Moorfields, where we saw a remarkable gun which went off eleven times in a minute; spent the evening with Mr. Wheatly, Berriman, Scullard, and the other company, at Mr. Kodden's.
23d.--This day in the morning we went to drink a dish of tea with Mr. Collens, a very worthy clergyman; after that we were at Lincoln's Inn, thence to John's Coffee House in Swithin's Lane, with sundry clergymen; then at N. England Coffee House with Mr. Harrison; after that we waited on Dr. Barrowby, a worthy gentleman, our physician; we spent the evening at the Vine Tavern with Messrs. Berriman, Lewis, Scullard, Higgot, Clhampion, Brigen, Wait, Vaughan, Rice, and Bp. Bradford's son.
24th.--This day in the morning we visited Mrs. Kitty Lockwood, and then Mr. Rawden; after that we were at Morning Prayers at Lincoln's Inn; thence we took a walk in St James's Park, and dined with Dr. Astry. We were at Evening Prayers at St Foster's, and spent the evening at Mr. Jno. Berriman's with Mr. Wheatly, Mr. Wait, and the other gentlemen.
29th.--This day in the morning we waited on Dr. Edmund Gibson, Lord Bishop of London, lately advanced, who treated us very kindly; thence we were at Court.
30th.--This morning we were at Westminster Abbey, where we viewed the cloisters and monuments, and by Mr. Church's means saw the school and dormitory, as also Abp. Laud's own handwriting, and the original names and warrant of the Regicides. We dined with Mr. Truby and Mr. Bowyer; then we were at Mr. Downing's, thence to wait on Dr. Bennet, with whom we spent the evening.
May 1.--This day in the morning we were at Mr. Scullard's, with whom we went to Mr. Clonidon's, who conducted us to Gresham College to Dr. Woodward's, thence to the work house, thence we went to prayers at St Mildred's, Poultry. Mr. Scullard read prayers. Thence we went to John's Coffee House in company with sundry clergymen. We dined at Mr. Tryon's; after that we were at Mr. Bowyer's with Mr. Snape and Dr. Colebatch, and waited on Sub-Dean Gosling; were at Chapter Coffee House with Dr. Grey and Mr. Wheatly. Supped at the Old Devil Tavern with Mr. Manning and Mr. Wood.
2d.--This day I was at Mr. Checkley's; then we were all at Dr. Grey's and Dr. Marshall's, with whom we spent the evening. Read Dr. Woodward's remarks on the ancient and present state of London.
3d.--This day we dined with Dr. Woodward at Gresham College, who showed us his fine collection of rarities, of animals, minerals, antediluvian shells, Roman urns, and other antiquities of 2 or 3000 years. After that Mr. Wilmer showed us his collection of plants. We spent the evening at Mr. Berriman's; I finished Dr. Berriman's sermon at Induction.
4th.--This day I was at my Lord Mayor's with Messrs. Rawden, Chapman, and Pope, thence to St Mary-le-Bow, at the confirmation of Dr. Edmund Gibson, Bp. of London; we dined at Mr. Carter's with Dr. Moss, Dean of Ely, who took us into his coach and brought us to Holborn, and thence we went to Mr. Jenks', with whom we conversed, and after that with Mr. Middleton.
5th.--This day being Sunday I read prayers at St Michael, Queenhithe. Mr. Estwick preached from 1 Pet. ii. 21, on "Christ's example." I assisted in the administration of the Sacrament. We dined at Mr. Scullard's; for him I preached at St Antholin's; afterwards we were.... at Dr. Baile's; thence we went to St Ann's, where Mr. Cutler preached for Mr. Wheatly on Eccl. xii. 13, 14,--"Fear God," etc. With him we dined.
6th.--This day I was at Mr. Bowyer's, where I saw the Bishop of Rochester as he came from the Tower to the House of Lords; thence we went to Dr. Grey's, and we dined with Mr. Rawden in company with Mr. Abbot and Mr. Jenner.
7th.--This day we heard Dr. Roderick preach a Latin sermon at Sion College from these words: "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." After which we dined there in company with about fifty of the clergy convened on that occasion. After that we went over the river with Mr. Scullard and viewed St Saviour's Church, i. e. St Mary Overie's, and then the water works, and spent the evening at the Vine with our former acquaintances.
8th.--This day we took horses and went in company with Mr. Waterman to Harrow-on-the-Hill, to wait on Mr. Cox, with whom we dined, and after that we went to Eton and Windsor.
9th.--This day we visited the Castle and Palace at Windsor, and after that we went to Hampton Court, and saw the fine palaces there, in both which glorious places we saw everything curious, magnificent, or entertaining, and then returned this evening to London.
11th.--This day we were first at Mr. Bowyer's to see the Bishop of Rochester go by; thence we went to Court, thence to Dr. Grey's, and spent the evening with Mr. Berriman, Scullard, Last, etc.
12th.--This day, Sunday, I heard Dr. Thomas Wilson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man, preachl froim Mar. xii. 32-34,--Of the love of God,--at St Vedast Foster's. We dined at Mr. Scate's. Afternoon I preached before that Bishop for Mr. Berriman at St Mary's, Aldermary. After service we were at Mr. Scate's again with the Bishop. After that Mr. Berrimlan and I went to the Tower, and we spent the evening at Mrs. Parker's.
13th.--This day we went with Dr. Grey to view Sion College Library, where we saw John Wickliff's Bible, original manuscript, then we went to Moorfields. After dinner we were at Change, we were at the Chapter House and Coffee House with Dr. Lang and Mr. Oliver, we spent the evening in visiting Walter Newbury, a Quaker countryman; finished Mr. Wheatly's Tract of' "Bidding Prayer."
14th.--This day we heard Dr. Moss, Dean of Ely, at St Lawrence Jewry, preach on the Eternity of Hell Torments,--Matt. xxv. ult.,--with whom and about twenty clergymen we were at the Coffee House afterwards; we spent the afternoon at Mr. Truby's with Mr. Oliver, Dr. Jones, and one or two clergymen.
15th.--This day we were first to wait on Dr. Marshall, who (being the King's chaplain) introduced us into the Palace of St James, where we were at prayers with the young Princesses, and had the honor to kiss their hands. We dined there with the King's chaplain, and after that went home with Dr. Marshall, and waited on the Dean of Ely and Dr. Grey.
16th.--This day we were at St Paul's Cathedral, at the Installation of Edmund, Bishop of London, performed by Dr. Bowers, Bp. of Chichester, and the whole chapter. Afternoon we were there again at service, after that with Mr. Negus, after that at St Foster's, and went with Mr. Berriman to the Tower, and spent the evening with him and Mr. Garden.
17th.--This day in the morning we waited on Dr. Astry; thence we went to Tyburn to see Counselor Layer hanged.
19th.. This day I read prayers in the morning at St Magnus for Mr. Scullard, with whom I dined. Afternoon I preached before Dr. Waddington [afterwards Bishop of Chichester] at All Hallows the Great for Dr. Berriman. After service we were at Mr. Shaler's with Mir. Berriman and Mr. Scullard; thence to Mr. Checkley's, and spent the evening with Mr. Webster.
20th.--This day we took coach and came to Oxford, and lodged at the Angel Inn.
21st.--This day first we waited on Dr. Shippen, the Vice-Chancellor at Brasen Nose College; thence we went to Trinity College, where Mr. Stockwell showed us the fine gardens and Chapel of the College. We dined with Dr. Shippen, V. C., and thence we waited on Mr. Trognair, Green, and Atkinson of Queen's College, with whom and the rest of the Fellows we supped in the Hall and saw the Chapel and Library, and spent the rest of the evening.
22d.--This day we went first to Pembroke College to wait on Dr. Painting and Mr. Lockton, who showed us the gardens; thence we went to Magdalen College, where we dined with Mr. Warton (and the Fellows), who after a little conversation went with us to the famous Bodleyan Library, which we viewed, and the Antiquity and Picture Galleries; thence to the glorious Theatre and Printing House; thence to Trinity College to wait on Dr. Dobson, Mr. Ball, and Mr. Stockwell; here we were at Evening Prayers; thence we went to Corpus Christi College to wait on Mr. Bar. Smith, who showed us the gardens, library, manuscripts, and chapel of that College; after, removed lodgings to Mr. Barnes.
23d.--This day (being Ascension day) we went to wait on Mr. Conybeare of Exeter College, who went with us to Christ Church, the Cathedral, where Mr. Wyat preached before the University.
24th.--This day we were first at Queen's College with Mr. Trognair; thence we went to Merton to wait on Mr. Moseley; thence to Trinity College to dine with Dr. Dobson, President, who brought us into the schools where Dr. Potter, Bp. of Oxford, was Moderator-to a Theological Dispute on Baptism and Prayers for the Dead; thence we went with Mr. Atkinson to the Printing House and the Museum, where we saw all the curiosities of the air-pump and other engines, the skeletons, mummies, medals, jewels, antiquities, etc..
25th.--This day in the morning we were at prayers at Queen's College; thence, accompanied by Mr. Smith of St John's, we went first to Oriel College, thence to Corpus Christi, thence to Christ's Church, where we saw the ancient monuments, painting on the glass, etc.
26th.--This day (being Sunday) we were at service at Queen's College Chapel, and thence to St Mary's Church, where Mr. Owen preached on Christ's Ascension,--St Mar. ult., "He was received up into heaven,"' etc. We dined at Dr. Shippen's, V. Ch., with Dr. Delaune and Mr. Leybourne, etc., where we received our Diplomas for the Degrees. After that we walked in the fields, and were at evening service at St John's College, where cxxxix. Ps. was sung. We spent the evening at Corpus Christi College in company with Mr. Smith, Aylmer, Burton, etc.
27th.--This day we went with Mr. B. Smith to see the Bodleyan Library, the medals and antiquities, the manuscripts and curiosities of that glorious structure; thence we went to the Vice-Chancellor's, whence we had the honor to ride in his coach in company with Dr. Delaune, President of St John's College, and Dr. Dobson, President of Trinity, to Cuddesdon, to wait on Dr. Jno. Potter, Bishop of Oxford, who treated us with the utmost civility. With him we had the honor to dine and spend the afternoon, and after our return we spent the evening with Dr. Delaune.
28th.--This day we first waited on Dr. Francis Gastrel, Bp. of Chester; then we dined with Mr. Conybeare at Exeter College; thence we took horses and rode out to see the famous seat of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, in company with Mr. Burton and Mr. Greenaway--a most magnificent structure, gardens, and bridge. We spent the evening with Burton.
29th.--This day being Restauration, we were at church at St Mary's, where Dr. Felton, Principal of Edmlund Hall, preached on Ps. 50,--Offer unto God thanksgiving,--an excellent sermon; then we had the honor to dine with Dr. Gastrel, Bp. of Chester. Afternoon we were with our acquaintance at Corpus Christi, where we supped with the Fellows in the Hall; with them we walked in the fields, and spent the evening with Mr. Greenaway at Hart Hall, having been before at Queen's.
30th.--This day we went first to wait on the learned Mr. Saml Parker; thence to St M. Magdalene, where Mr. Dudley Woodbridge showed us the Park, President's garden,.. etc.; thence we went to Edmund Hall and took our leave of Dr. Felton; thence to the public Schools and Convocation House, where was a congregation, and the Vice-Chancellor gave degrees to some gentlemen; we dined with the Fellows of Queen's College and took our leave of them; then of Dr. Dobson and the Fellows of Trinity, then of the Vice-Chancellor, and then of Dr. Delaune and Dr. Haywood at St John's. We spent our evening with sundry gentlemen at Mr. Blathwait's, and thus we take our leave of Oxford.
31st.--This day we took coach and came to London.
Their return to the metropolis, after an absence of ten days, was followed by the renewal of civilities to their friends, and preparations for a visit to Cambridge.
June 3.--This day we were first at Westminster to wait on Edmund, Bp. of London, who treated us very kindly; thence at Whitehall, now Banqueting House; thence I went to Mr. Downing's, thence to N. E. Coffee House and wrote home. We dined with Mrs. Cardel, were at Evening Prayers at St Foster's, and spent the evening at the Queen's Head with Messrs. Wheatly, Ryan, Berriman, Jebb, and Wagstaff a nonjuring clergyman.
6th.--This day (being Thursday in Whitsun week) we first drank a dish of tea with Mr. Berriman, with whom we went to Gresham College, where the charity children meet, whence, in company with a great number of the clergy, we went in procession before the children to St Sepulchre's, where there was a sermon preached on the occasion by Dr. Waterland, from Prov. xxii. 7,--"Train up," etc. The children, to the number of 4 or 5,000, sung gloriously- the finest emblem of heaven in the world.
7th.--This day we took coach and came to Cambridge. Here the same kind attentions were bestowed upon them as in Oxford. They first paid their respects to the heads of several of the colleges, and visited King Henry's Chapel and the Library of Trinity. Johnson continues his notes:--
9th.--This day (being Trinity Sunday) we were in the morning to drink a dish of tea with Dr. Laney at Pembroke, with whom we went to service at St Mary's Church, where Mr. Trotter preached from Luke xxi. 15,--"Give a mouth and wisdom," etc. We dined with Dr. Ashton at Jesus College, were afternoon at St Mary's again, where Mr. Pearce preached from St John xiv. 16,--"I will pray," etc. We were at evening service at Trinity College Chapel, where was fine music; we supped at Trinity Hall.
10th.--This day we first drank a dish of tea with Dr. R. Jenkins, Master of St John's College; after that we were to see the Pictures, Library, and curiosities there; thence we waited on Dr. Middleton, Prof. bibliothecarum, who showed us the Royal Library given by K. George; thence we went to dine with Dr. Dickens, in company with Dr. Warren, Mr. Oldsworth, and Dr. Berriman; thence we all went to Emanuel College, were there at evening service, and in the gallery and library and gardens. We supped and spent the evening with Mr. Marshall.
11th.--This day we went in the morning to wait on Mr. Mickleborough of Bennet or Corpus Christi, whence we went to church at St Mary's, where Mr. Fosset preached a Latin sermon on Church discipline from 1 Cor. v. 2. We went to the congregation where the Vice-chancellor, Dr. Cross (in the room of Dr. Snape, absent), with the rest of the Doctors and Masters sat, and we with others received our Degrees, pro forma. After that we dined with the Vice-chancellor in company with Dr. Laney, the two Proctors, and Mr. Beadle; thence we were at congregation again, where sundry others were graduated. After that we went to Trinity College, and were there at evening service and in the Library, and waited on Mr. Pilgrim, Greek Professor; we spent the evening at Jesus College with Mr. Lucas and Harding.
12th.--This day we went first to Bennet College Library, where we saw Abp. Parker's donation to that College, his plate, ancient manuscripts, and particularly the instrument of his consecration and the handwriting of the first Reformers, etc. We dined at St John's with Dr. Jenkins, and then went to Caius College to wait on Mr. Symson, and conversed there with sundry gentlemen; saw the Chapel and library; thence we went to the Coffee House, and conversed with Mr. Baker and Dr. Middleton, etc. We spent the evening at Mr. Symson's in company with Mr. Burroughs and Mr. Sanderson, the Blind Mathematical Professor--a prodigy.
14th.--This day we went in the morning to C. C. C. C. to drink a dish of tea with Mr. Mickleborough, thence to church to St Mary's, where we had a sermon in Latin by Dr. Hall on the text,--"The disciples were first called Christians," etc. We dined at Jesus with Mr. Harding; thence we went to Magdalen and Peterhouse, and to wait on Mr. Marshall at Emanuel, and to take our leave of Dr. Laney, Dr. Cross, Mr. Pilgrim, and Mr. Lawson, and spent the evening with Dr. Dickens, Dr. Warren, Mr. Nichols, and Mr. Marshall, and thus we take our leave of Cambridge.
15th.--This day we took coach and came up to London in company with Dr. Bentley. The journeys to Oxford and Cambridge were the longest which they made out of London, after their arrival in that city. It was no part of their plan to travel into other counties of England, and they saw nothing of Scotland or Ireland. Besides the four days at Canterbury, the ten at Oxford, and the seven at Cambridge, the whole time of their sojourn was passed in London. The little book of private notes is nearly ended, and the entries now begin to show preparations for the homeward voyage.
June 16th.--This day (being Sunday) we were in the morning at St Foster's, where the Bp. of Man preached on Mar. xii. 32-3, 6--"The love of our neighbor." Afternoon I was at St Austin's.
17th.--This day we waited first on the Bp. of London, then after dinner took a walk to Islington with Mr. Clendon, Berriman, and Champion; on our return we went to see the great fire that happened that day, and spent the evening with Mr. Wheatly.
18th.--This day we first waited on Dr. Snape, Vice-chancellor of Cambridge; then on Dr. Knight. We spent the afternoon with Mr. Phillips in seeing Sir John Parsons' Brewhouse and the Tower, and in company with Capt. Ruggles and Mr. Hooper at N. E. Coffee House. N. B.--I lodge now at Mr. Manning's--apothecary.
19th.--This day we were first to drink a dish of tea with Dr. Berriman and his brother, then about sundry private affairs, and at John's Coffee House with sundry clergymen.
21st.--This day we were first to wait on Mr. Jennings, then before the Society de Propaganda at St Martin's Library, then before the Bp. of London with Dr. Berriman. We spent the evening with the good Dean of Ely and Dr. Grey.
22d.--I moved lodgings to Mr. Budd's, the Rising Sun, on Fleet Street. We spent our evening with Dr. Bennet after Evening Prayers at St Giles'.
23d.--This day being Sunday I was in the morning at St Paul's. Dr. Skirret preached from Matt. vii. 21,--"Not every one," etc. There I received the communion. Dean Godolphin, Dean Younger, and Sub-dean Gosling administered. Afternoon I heard Mr. Oliver from Rom. xii. 2,--"Be not conformed," etc. It was at St Austin's. After that I was at Chapter Coffee House with Mr. Higgot and Mr. Norton. Spent the evening with Mrs. Humphreys and another pretty gentlewoman.
26th.--This day we went in the morning to wait on Edmund Bp. of London, who gave us his License certificate and benediction by imposition of hands. Then we waited on Dr. Lovel. We dined with Dr. Grey, where were Dr. Marshall and Mr. Hains. We spent the evening at Dr. Bennet's; were at service there.
30th.--This day being Sunday I preached at St Nicholas, Cole Abbey, in the morning, from Phil. i. 27,--"Only let your conversation be," etc. We dined at Dr. Bennet's with sundry gentlemen. Afternoon I preached the same sermon at the Cathedral Church of St Paul, for Dean Younger, with whom I went home, and he was very kind. We spent the evening with Dr. King, master of the Charter House, in company with the Bishop of Man, etc.
July 4.--This morning we were first surprised with the arrival of our friend Mr. Wetmore from New England. [Dr. Chandler, in his Life of Johnson, p. 37, states that Mr. Wetmore "accompanied them in the tour" to Cambridge; but this is a mistake, as it was made prior to his arrival in England.] We went with him to Westminster; thence at Morning Service at Lincoln's Inn, and waited on Dr. Lupton; thence at sundry places, and at Evening Service at St Foster's with Mr. Berriman.
5th.--This day we went to DI. Berriman's and Mr. Oliver's, then to Westminster; waited on Mr. Sherlock, and dined with Dr. Lovel. Then came to Evening Service at St Foster's, and Dr. Cutler and I stood witnesses for Mr. Wetmore at the font. We spent the evening at Mr. Truby's with Dr. Dawson, Mr. Oliver, Newhouse, etc.
6th.--This day I was first to wait on Dr. King, Master of the Charter House; after that at St John's, then at Mrs. Cardel's, then we were at Mr. Hay's, and spent the evening at Pratt's with Dr. and Mr. Berriman.
7th.--This day I preached and assisted in administering the Sacrament for Mr. Wheatly at St Swithin, and afternoon for Dr. Berriman at All Hallows the Great. We spent the evening with Mr. Newman.
11th.--This day we were at Lambeth to take our leave of the Abp. of Canterbury, who after sundry civilities gave us his solemn Apostolical Benediction by imposition of hands. We spent the evening at Mr. Manning's.
14th.--This day I heard Mr. Barrel (formerly a Papist) at St Bottolph's, Aldergate, on "Charity." Afternoon I heard Mr. Vernon at St. Paul's,--"God and Mammon." We spent the evening with Mr. Newman at the Temple.
18th.--This day we were at the Abbey at Westminster at the Bp. of Man's Tryal, and spent the afternoon with Mr. Jones, Salmon, and Yale.
19th.--This day we were at service at Westminster Abbey, then at the Treasury, took our leave of sundry friends, and spent the evening with Mr. Oliver and Dr. Warren.
25th.--This day I was at service at the Royal Chapel, at St James's, at Mr. Wetmore's ordination, and received the Sacrament of the Bp. of London; the rest of the day spent in taking leave of our friends.
26th.--This day we took our leave of London and came down to Gravesend, Mr. Manning and Mr. Wetmore with us.
They sailed down the river Thames on the 28th, and were ashore at Deal, and afterwards in "a bad storm." Being windbound they had an opportunity of landing at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and went to Newport and Carisbrook Castle - the latter places associated with the memory of the unfortunate King Charles I. "Farewell to England!" said Johnson as the vessel carried them out of sight of land. They encountered storm after storm on the passage, in one of which a man was washed overboard and lost. On the 22d of September he wrote in his journal: "This day finished Father le Compte's 'History of China,' and Dr. Goodman's 'Winter Evening Confessions,' and (God be praised) this day, after 8 weeks from London and above 6 from the Lizard, we made Piscataqua, and landed there. And so ends my voyage for England. We go hence for Boston by land."
He was now to be separated from the companionship of Dr. Cutler, though for many years afterwards they had frequent interviews and a constant correspondence. He passed a few days with Mr. Honyman in Rhode Island, and then proceeded to the paternal roof in Guilford from which he had been so long absent. His arrival at Stratford in the beginning of November was joyfully welcomed by his little flock; and Mr. Pigot, who had been waiting to be relieved, hastened to his new charge in Providence.
Johnson felt the responsibility of his situation, and was alive with the work of organizing and settling the Church of England in Connecticut. At this time there was no house of public worship for Episcopalians in the Colony, but one had been commenced in Stratford, and was opened for religious services on Christmas Day, nearly fourteen months after his establishment in that town. His predecessor had communicated to the Society that he would "find it a most difficult task to answer the expectations of the towns around him, there being work enough for Sunday laborers in the Lord's harvest;" and his own letters to the Bishop of London and others, written after a cursory survey of the field, are full of solicitude for the ("necessitous state" of the Church. Their replies are equally earnest. One dated February 17, 1725, from the Rev. J. Berriman, so frequently mentioned in his private journal, contains the first intimation which Johnson received of the scheme of Berkeley:--
DEAR SIR,- I received yours of October last, and cannot let slip the present opportunity of writing, though I have little time to write in, and less business to write about.
I am glad you continue to remember me among your other friends in these parts, though you are so far removed from us. You may assure yourself nothing will ever blot you out of my remembrance, and as I shall always find a peculiar pleasure in reading your letters, so I shall be diligent in answering you, if it will give you any satisfaction.
It is with regret I hear of the difficulties Dr. Cutler labors under, and the hard usage Mr. Checkley has met with. May it please God to make it all turn to the benefit of yours and of the whole Church in general, and I beseech Him to succeed your labors, and to send more laborers into your harvest. A very pious Dean in Ireland is quitting his preferment there to go and settle in the Bermuda Islands, where he proposes to erect a College - to bring up the natives of America to do the office of Missionaries, etc.. Several friends of his go with him upon this expedition.
We hear of two Nonjuring Bishops (Dr. Welton for one) who are gone into America; and it is said the Bishop of London will send one or more of a different stamp as an antidote against them. God Almighty prevent the bad effects of the one, and in his due time accomplish the other, and furnish you with a plentiful supply for all your wants.
The good Bishop of Man continues to be persecuted by those stiff-necked rulers that have given him so much disturbance. The Deputy-governor lately put a man into a captain's commission who was under the censure of the Church on purpose to affront and provoke the Bishop, and throw contempt upon his authority, pretending the Bishop has nothing to do with military men. It is hoped and expected the insults he daily meets with will occasion some good law to be made to curb the exorbitant and almost independent power of the King of Man.
Dr. Waddington is made Bp. of Chichester, Dr. Clavering of Landaff, Dr. Bradshaw of Bristol, etc. My brother is married, and I am moved to his lodgings in Bow Lane, and Mr. Scullard boards with us. Mr. Chas. Wheatly has buried his wife. Lord Chancellor is turned out of office and fallen into great disgrace.
I am your very affectionate friend and serv't.
Johnson urged the importance of bishops in this country, not only to ordain the men who were inclined to the Episcopal ministry, but to exercise proper supervision in ecclesiastical matters. In a letter written twelve months after his arrival at Stratford, he said to Dr. Gibson, the Bishop of London:--"It is a great satisfaction to us to understand that one of your Lordship's powerful interest and influence is engaged in so good a work as that of sending bishops into America, and that there is nothing you desire more or would be at greater pains to compass. This gives us the greatest hopes that by your Lordship's pious endeavors, under the blessing of God and the benign influence of our most gracious King, it may at length be accomplished. And we humbly hope that the address and representation of the state of religion here which we have lately presumed to offer, may, in your Lordship's hands, be of some service in this affair. I pray God give it success."
The position of Johnson now made him influential among the friends of the Church throughout New England. He was the only Episcopal clergyman in Connecticut and had strong adversaries around him in those from whose fellowship he had withdrawn. They did much in conformity with the narrow spirit of the age to thwart his plans, and drive him from the Colony, by rendering his situation uncomfortable and embarrassing. But he had prepared himself for all such opposition, and nothing helped more to wear off its edge and win for him the respect and confidence of many who were at first suspicious of the purity of his motives, than his constantly cheerful and benevolent temper, and the frankness and courtesy with which he defended his opinions.
For nearly two years he had lived among his poor people and been content with such provision as their humble circumstances allowed. But on the 26th of September, 1725, he married Mrs. Charity Nicoll, widow of Benjamin Nicoll, Esq., and daughter of Colonel Richard Floyd of Brookhaven, Long Island. She had three children by her former husband--two sons and a daughter--and no sooner had the stepfather established himself in his own house than he undertook to instruct the sons in a preliminary course of education, and prepare them for Yale College, where they both graduated in 1734. The father of Johnson wrote him a congratulatory letter on his happy marriage, and informed him at the same time that his mother was in a languishing condition, with little prospect of recovery. Her death, which occurred in the succeeding March, preceded a sickness of his own that brought him nigh to the grave, and of which he made this entry in his private journal, under date of June 13, 1726: "Blessed be thy goodness, adored be thy kindness, patience, and forbearance, O good and gracious God, who hast preserved me from the danger I have been exposed to in my late sickness at Boston, and granted me so successful, so speedy a relief and recovery from so dangerous a distemper. What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits? Let my soul praise Thee while I live, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Thou forgivest all my iniquities, and healest all my diseases. Thou savest my life from destruction, and crownest me with loving-kindness and tender mercy. May I never forget thy benefits! but remember my recovery from this sickness as a fresh motive to lay out the life and powers which are yet lent and continued to me, with greater zeal and engagedness for God's glory, the advancement of his Church, and the good of the souls of men; and may it be as a warning to me to walk with more watchfulness and circumspection all my days, that I may be ready to depart whenever my last summons shall arrive."
Before the year had rolled round, another severe affliction befell him in the decease of his father,--"a man remarkable for a friendly temper, and delighting much in hospitality to strangers." According to the son's account, he was favorably impressed with the Church of England, "entirely brought off from most of the fanatical and predestination principles,.... and would have communicated with us, if he had lived." The bitter and uncharitable spirit of the times had served to deter him from this, and he was not so thoroughly persuaded as to "I think it necessary to leave the Dissenting Communion."