All applications for the Royal mercy having failed, Dr Dodd
prepared himself for death, and with a warmth of gratitude wrote
to Dr Johnson as follows:--
'June 25, Midnight.
'Accept, thou GREAT and GOOD heart, my earnest and fervent thanks
and prayers for all thy benevolent and kind efforts in my
behalf.--Oh! Dr Johnson! as I sought your knowledge at an early
hour in my life, would to Heaven I had cultivated the love and
acquaintance of so excellent a man!--I pray God most sincerely to
bless you with the highest transports--the infelt satisfaction of
HUMANE and benevolent exertions!--And admitted, as I trust I
shall be, to the realms of bliss before you, I shall hail YOUR
arrival there with transport, and rejoice to acknowledge that you
were my comforter, my advocate, and my FRIEND. God be EVER with
Dr Johnson's reply.
'To the Reverend Dr Dodd.
'Dear Sir,--That which is appointed to all men is now coming upon
you. Outward circumstances, the eyes and thoughts of men, are
below the notice of an immortal being about to stand the trial
for eternity, before the Supreme Judge of heaven and earth. Be
comforted: your crime, morally or religiously considered, has no
very deep dye of turpitude. It corrupted no man's principles.
It attacked no man's life. It involved only a temporary and
reparable injury. Of this, and of all other sins, you are
earnestly to repent; and may God, who knoweth our frailty, and
desireth not our death, accept your repentance, for the sake of
His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!
'In requital of those well-intended offices which you are pleased
so emphatically to acknowledge, let me beg that you make in your
devotions one petition for my eternal welfare.
'I am, dear Sir,
'Your affectionate servant,