Page images


L Aving thus gone through the most re11 markable Pallages of Mr. Bonnell's Life, and withal given the Reader fome general view of his Piety and Virtue; I shall now enter tpon that part of this Work, for the fake of which the rest was put together, and without which the World is not much concern'd to know his Story: And that is, particularly to describe his Character and Excellencies; to recommend him as a Pattern worthy our Imitation, in all the duties of the Christian Life; and to shew from him, how Beautiful Christianity is, when reduc'd to Practice; when it becomes a rule of Life and Manners; and not, as it is with most Men confin'd to the Thoughts, and made an unactive Notion of the Mind.

As to his Person ; He was Tall,well Shap'd, His Person, and Fair. His Aspect was Comely, and she'w'd Temper and great sweetness, mix'd with Life and Spright- Accomplish liness. There was a venerable Gravity in men. his Look, a natural Modesty, and sincere Oa penness. But in the House of God, his countenance had something in it, that look'd Heavenly and Seraphical ; an undissembled Piety, a Devoutness that never can be imitated nor acted, when it does not refide in the Heart;



and appear'd always easie and unforc'd. His natural and acquir'd Seriousness, was temper'd with a very engaging Chearfulness in Conversation.

Hewas Master of the Accomplishing as well as Necessary parts of Learning; had throughly digested the Greek and Roman Authors, understood the French Language perfectly well, and had made good progress in the Hebrew. In Philosophy and Oratory, he exceeded most of his Contemporaries in the University; and .pply'd himself with good success, to Mathematicks and Musick. In the course of his Studies, he read several of the Fathers; and among his Private Papers, I find some parts of the Greek Fathers, particularly Synefius, Translated by him into English. He had a Delicacy of Thought and Expreslion, that is very rarely to be met with ; so that there was a particular Beauty and Flame, in any thing that he Compos'd, especially upon Pious Subjects. He had a nice Taste both in Men and Books, and was very conversant in our best English Divines : But he particularly admir'd Hooker ; whom he us'd to commend, as an Author who writ with a Primitive Spirit, but modern Judgment and Correctness. All Books of Devotion he read with with a very sensible Pleasure, but was particularly fond of two Authors, Kempis: and Sa. les, and has left behind him a correct Translation of The Introduction to a Devout Life writ: ten by the latter. But the Holy Scriptures were his constant and daily Ştudy ; He read


that is belicacy of Thy him into Particularly

them, he thought them,nay, he pray'd themover too, abundance of bis Meditations taking their rise from those passages of scripture he then read. Few understood, or practic'd better, the Arts of gentile Conversation ; and none more industriously avoided all Discourse that look'd affected and vain, or any way seem'd to aim at raising his own value. He feldom talk'd with any, but (without designing it) he gain'd upon them, and had a particular Art of Ob. liging. His. Abilities for Business, are very well known to all the Cfficers of the Revenue, and many Others, who had the experience of them besides : And those who were oblig'd to attend him, were so treated by him, as if it had been his Duty to wait on them: It being his great study to give every one Ease and Dispatch; and none knew what Delays or Difficulties meant, where he was concern'd, or had power to remove them.

But these are things of a lower nature (tho’ very excellent in themselves) when compar'd with his Piety towards God, his Justice and Charity to Man, his Sobriety and Temperance with respect to himself: I shall therefore in the Prosecution of this Work, consider Mr. Bonnell as a Christian; and give the justest account I can, from such Materials as I have before me, of his discharging the several Duties we owe to God, our Neighbour, and our Selves,


he Love of God what he ear his soul. His His Love to ty of the Lawre and confirm Meditations, cies

The Exemplary LIFE of His Love to The Love of God the first and greatest des God's

ty of the Law, was what he earnestly endeavour'd to excite and confirm in his soul. His Papers are full of excellent Meditations, to engage us to love God, with all our Faculties and Powers ; and Penitential Complaints of his Loves falling so fort, both of his Duty and Desires. And he took the true way, to kindle this Heavenly Flame of Divine Love in his Heart, even by frequently contemplating those Attributes of God, which are aptest to command our Love; His infinite Goodness and unlimited Bounty ; His paternal Care, and watchful Providence; But chiefly that stupendous Instance of his Love, the Redemption of the World, by the Death and Pallion of his Son.

He had great and noble thoughts of ChriItianity, and never reflected on the wonderful Compassion of God in fending his Son to Dye for us, without the strongest Emotions of Love, and Thankfulness, and Wonder. The Love of Christ was the Subject of his daily Thoughts;. It fill'd his Heart and employ'd his Pen: And his Private Meditations upon the astonishing Love of our Redeemer, do fhew of what Spirit he was, that Compos'd them; a Spirit truly affected with that infinite Love, all over Humility and Gratitude, and overflowing with Love, Acknowledge. U ments and Praise.

I shall here Insert a fewo of these Meditations, by which the Reader may Judge of the Reff.,



Can my Soul{lays he in one place ever think Meditations videot enough, O my God, of the wonders of thy to excite our

3 Love, in all that Thou hast done for Thy Love to God. So 6 Creatures! That the Majesty of Heaven,

" and the whole incomprehensible Trinity,

shou'd be concern'd and engag’d, for our Re.
demption, when one word of Thine, O my
God, might have made infinitely more Crea-
tures than all the Sons of Men! By this

the Holy Angels know, and wonder at the E ' unaccountable methods of thy proceeding:

« One while, looking with adoration and ac
I mazement on Thee, our common Creator

c and Lord ; and another while, on us Men, of " to see whether we are not affected with the

like adoration and wonder, who are so ( deeply concern'din it. Can ye, O Mortals, Ć (say they, be patient to let our God do all

this for you, and take no notice of it, as if
o it were your Due, and not the Wonder of
+ Heaven! Did you know, O Mortals, did
& you know, what our God is, that does these
I things for you ; did you know him, as we

know him, you wou'd shrink back at the
I thoughts of it, and your Souls wou'd be over-
< power'd with confusion. O too Stupid Men!
« Too highly favour'd, and too little sensible

of it, were it not that some few Souls among

you, have burning, and reverend thoughts
• of this astonishing condescention, surely we

shou'd sue to the Majesty of our God, to
« have leave to make you Examples of Ven-
' geance, for your Brutish Ingratitude. But,
Oye tender Souls, who honour, who adore
G 2

o our

« PreviousContinue »