505) Miscellaneous Quotes by Samuel Johnson (and a few others)

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Human life is everywhere in a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.  —Rasselas

We fail at happiness because we attempt to obtain it by means different from those which God has appointed.  —Sermon V (alt.)

A universal reformation must begin somewhere, and every man ought to be ambitious of being the first.  —Sermon V

That man can never be miserable, nor can his tranquility be interrupted, who places all his happiness in his prospect of eternity.  —Sermon V (alt.)

Fine clothes are good only as they might make up for the lack of other means of procuring respect.  —The Life of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell (alt.)

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.  —Rasselas

Let us not forget that we are subject to the general law of mortality, and shall soon be where our doom will be fixed forever.


People travel to wonder,
at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the seas,
at the long courses of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and they pass themselves by without wondering.
–St. Augustine


From my many years experience I can unhesitatingly say that the cross bears those who bear the cross.  –Sadhu Sundar Singh
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box. –Italian proverb


Psalm 50:15 — Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. 

Philippians 2:1-2 — If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Our Father, we thank you for this food for our body, and, for the human love which is the food of our hearts.  Bless our family circle, and strengthen the love that binds together all who are gathered at this table.  Bless also the entire great family of humanity of which we are just a little part.  Give to all your children their daily bread.  Let our family enjoy its comforts not in selfish isolation, but with a willingness to share freely from the abundance you have given us.   Amen.

O God, we give you thanks for the abundance of our blessings, but we pray that our plenty may not mean want for others.  Do satisfy the needs of all your children.  Grant that the strength which we shall draw from this food may be put forth again for the common good; and that our life may return to humanity a full equivalent in useful work for the nourishment which we receive from these gifts, given by your grace.  Amen.


O God, our heavenly Father, whose gift is length of days, help us to make the noblest use of mind and body in our advancing years.  According to our strength apportion Thou our work.  As Thou hast pardoned our transgressions, sift the ingatherings of our memory that evil may grow dim and good may shine forth clearly.  We bless Thee for Thy gifts and especially for Thy presence and the love of friends in heaven and earth.  Grant us new ties of friendship, new opportunities of service, joy in the growth and happiness of children, sympathy with those who bear the burdens of the world, clear thought and quiet faith.  Teach us to bear infirmities with cheerful patience.  Keep us from narrow pride in outgrown ways, blind eyes that will not see the good in change, impatient judgments of the methods and experiments of others.  Let Thy peace rule our spirits through all the trial of our waning years.  Take from us all fear of death, and all despair or undue love of life; that with glad hearts at rest in Thee we may await Thy will concerning us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  –Author unknown; from Wings of Healing, ed. by John Doberstien



Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  —Book of Common Prayer