Page images
PDF
EPUB

? come to extremity, and God arises to Judge 'ment against a People, works of Mercy and · Charity are most likely to prevail for a Bles! sing; either to the turning away the rub. ? lick Scourge, or saving particular Persons ? from the general Calamity. And are not : works of Mercy at such times particularly

reasonable? For what signifies keeping of Superfluiries when we know not how long we shall live to use them? Or if we live, is

ịt not better to give them now to those ç that need them, than to keep them to be taç ken away by such as will only Destroy them,

Tho' Mr. Bonnell bore his own share of the Calamities of that time with a very calm and serene Mind, yet there was one thing that gave him no small Disturbance, and that was, our Troubles not producing that Reformation among Protestants which might have been expected while the Rod was upon them, tho' no doubt a great many were very much bettered by it. What his sense of these things werc will sufficientiy appear by the ensuing Meditation compos’d on Whit-Sunday 1089.

? To have a heart full of concern for the · Glory of God and the Souls of Men, to see

the World lyé in Wickedness and Ignorance of God, and not be able to remedy it, is it not an uncomfortable State ? But

to be fill'd with a Divine Power and Abili. "ty to work upon the Hearts of Men, to con"vince them and bring them off from this Sin ? and Ignorance, as the Apostles'were by the

coming down of the Holy Ghost, can any

! thing be a greater Comfort ? To force

the world to believe the Truth of

what they witnessed, and acquit them from į being Deceivers, is it not an exceeding com' fort ? But how is this comfort fulfill'd to us? ļ We see a World, in which we are, lying in

Wickedness; the Judgments of God gone out against it, and yet the Inhabitants of it do not learn Righteousness; God seems re! solved to Reform or Cut us off, and yet lit

tle Reformation appears. And what can ? those now do who see this state of our Age, who see it, and see themselves without Powe

er to help it? Who see the Wickedness of 'the World and cannot snatch Men out of

the Fire? Where is the Lord God of Elijah? " Where is the Promise of the Comforter, so ? plentifully fulfilled to the Blessed Apostles ' of our Lord ? Where is this double Porti ! on of his Spirit that descended on them?

Is not the Promis, He shall remain with you always ? Lord God, these are thy Flock now,

as much as they were of Old, thy People ' and the Sheep of thy Pasture, tho’they have 'gone astray, tho’ they refuse to be reclaim'd.

0 comfort thy Servants with Power to call 'home these wanderers from Thee, and bring ? them into thy Fold: To Convert the un' repenting World, to turn many to Righ

teousness, and cover a Multitude of Sins. ! Amen.

When in the Progress of the War, the Protestants in Dublin were deny'd the exercise of their Religion ; their Churches turn’d in

[ocr errors]

to Prisons, and their Ministers confin'd: Mr. Bonnell deeply lamented those Sins which brought down that which he accounted the severest of God's Judgments; and endeavour'd to supply the want of the Churches publick Prayers, by the greater Constancy and Fervors of his Private Devotions. Thus June the 25th 16yo, a few Days before the Victory of the Born, he express'd the Sorrows and Devotion of his Soul, in the following Media tation

· Juftly, O Lord, for our negligence in thy . Worship and Service, doft Thou shu: us

out from the liberty of meeting together to · Celebrate it. Yet even this I trust will turn ' to good, to those that Fear Thee, in making " them more zealous and fervent in Praying (to Thee in Private; And afterwards that "Thou wilt give them Grace to redeem the

Faults they have been guilty of, by greater ' Fervency in Publick, when Thou shalt gra. i ciously restore to us the liberty of it. But, " Lord, we are not better than Thy Servants, ? who are totally depriv'd of these means. • (Ah! That it is not to be said how far we may < be worse than they ;)Why then should it be ' prelum'd that Thou wilt deal with Us so

much more graciously, than Thou hast

thought fit to do with Them. We are in ? Thy hands, and have deserved no good from ? Thee. Justly may'st thou deprive us of the

liberty and exercise of our Religion. But ? then let not the extraordinary supplies of {Thy Grace be wanting to us ; for Thou

• can't

can'st work without means, as well as witla 'them; and even this severe dispensation of

Thy Providence, will be turn'd to a mercy ļ to all of us, if it puts us upon Repentance ľ for all our abuses of that great freedom of I! Thy Holy Ordinances, which Thou hast so

long indulg'd to us; for our irreverent, i careless, undevout Behaviour in Thy WorE ' ship; for our pleasing our selves in other * ! things, in our coming into Thy House of

! Prayer, besides meeting and serving Thee : our God. If it help us to repent of these se

buses of Thy House here, before Thou take E ' us to Thy House in the Heavens; and if it

? fills us with hungrings, and thirstings,and

longings after those opportunities of serv

ing Thee, which we have ton slightly valu'd ? hicherto; Thou may'st make even a total

deprivement, turn to a greater Blessing, to E ' us, as I trust thou wilt do, if thou shalt think

? fit io to deal with us, than the freest enjoy-
?ment. Thou knowest how to conduct thy Ser
ç vants to thy Self; for this is the end of all

their Travels; O let this Aim fill our Souls, ! and we shall unconcernedly leave to Thee

the ordering of the things of this World, s which we have done with.

But these Calamities were soon over, succeeded by all that Joy which long wilh'd for Liberty, Safety and Peace cou'd give. One general Release discharg'd all our Prisoners; and our Churches again return’d to their true use, and became Houses of Prayer. And as Mr. Bonnell had always express'd his Sorrow

in

in Penitential Complaints and Fervent Prayers to God, so now his Joy turn'd all to Praiscs, But how different were his Reflexions upon that surprizing Turn of Affairs, from those of most others, who shar'd in the deliverance it gave! As different it is to be fear'd as his Behaviour had been before. The mutual Caresses of the Protestants, after their new-gain'd Freedom, he improv'd to the noblest purposes, thence to raise his Mind to Heaven, and contemplate those endearments, that Seraphic Love and Joy which shall fill the Souls of the faithful, at their meeting in

that happy place. The Day of How did we see (fays he) the Protestants Dublin's Deos on the great day of our Revolution, Thursliverance.

! day the Third of July, (a Day ever to be re-
(membred by us with all thankfulness; O
( had it been begun with visiting our Church-

es and presenting our selves there to God Cour deliverer,) Congratulate and Embrace ' one another as they met, like Persons alive

" from the Dead! Like Brothers and Sisters ... meeting after a long Absence, and going a' bout from House to House, to give each o

ther Joy of God's great Mercy; Enquiring I of one another how they past the late days

of Distress and Terror! What apprehen. fions they had ; what fears or dangers they were under; those that were Prisoners, how they got their Liberty, how they were treated, and what from time to time they thought of things !

« PreviousContinue »