Thursday, October 29, 2009

Johnson: praying with people

Thursday, October 29, 2009
    Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885
    Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
    —Psalm 55:17 (NIV)
    Madness frequently discovers itself merely by unnecessary deviation from the usual modes of the world. My poor friend [Christopher] Smart showed the disturbance of his mind, by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the street, or in any other unusual place. Now although, rationally speaking, it is greater madness not to pray at all, than to pray as Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray, that their understanding is not called in question... I did not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I’d as lief pray with Kit Smart as any.
    ... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., v. I [1791], James Boswell, New York: Derby & Jackson, 1858, p. 317-318 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant Your peace to those who seek You in prayer.
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