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Posts tagged spirituality


In the journal of the young James Boswell (later Samuel Johnson’s biographer), . . . a document otherwise notable chiefly for its obsessive focus on social climbing and fornication, we get this: “I went to Mayfair Chapel and heard prayers and an excellent sermon from the Book of Job on the comforts of piety. I was in a fine frame. And I thought that God really designed us to be happy. I shall certainly be a religious old man. I was much so in my youth. I have now and then flashes of devotion, and it will one day burn with a steady flame.”

It is safe to say, I think, that Boswell would not be renowned for his piety at any stage of his life. Kierkegaard’s mouthpiece Anti-Climacus speaks well to this topic [in The Sickness Unto Death]: “In general, it is extremely foolish . . . to suppose it should really be such an easy affair with faith and wisdom that they just arrive over the years as a matter of course, like teeth, a beard and that sort of thing. No, whatever a human being comes to as a matter of course, and whatever things come to him as a matter of course, it is definitely not faith and wisdom.”