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allur'd with the Arguments it uses to urge it; having been all along poffefs'd that it was my Duty, fo I was more eafily Inclin'd to it. At length by my Intenfe Reading of this Book, and being delighted with the Meditations, Soliloquies, and Paffionate Paffages of it, my whole Thoughts were taken up with the Things of another World, and I grew cool to all the Delights of this. While these Thoughts were upon me, the Lord's-Day came welcome to me which I was prepar'd to Sanctify, according to the Directions of my Book, and tormer Inftructions, which I had long before receiv'd with my Education; but never found my felf fo willing to Practice them, as Then. On that Day my Thoughts were wholly taken up with Religious Contemplations; fo that when I went into my Chamber in the Evening, and there made a Recollection of C my whole Life, according to the Schemes for Examination, which I had in the Practice of Piety and other Books, and being taken up. in an intense confideration of my Sins, and my Duty; of God, and Heaven, and Hell,
c. my Affections were rais'd to a pitch higher than Ordinary, and my Spirits more fix'd and compos'd. I then proftrated my felf before God, and humbled my felf for my Sins; being, as I imagin'd, in fuch a pitch of Godly Sorrow as wou'd anfwer the Characters of it, which my Book propos'd to me. Then taking up Refolutions of Amendment, and begging Strength of God, I rofe
up from my Knees, in a pleas'd Perfwafion that the work of Repentance (which my Book told me I must begin with, and be very Solemn) was paft. And that now, I might with comfort pass on, to the Metho dical Practice of the Duties of Religion. So I chearfully lay down, and chearfully rofe. "I read the Bible, I Pray'd, making ufe of the Forms in the Practice of Piety and other Books that I had, and on Sunday Mornings more largely confeffing my Sins, and examining my felf. Thus went I chearfully on, endeavouring to maintain my Ground, and perfift in my Practice; Rejoycing much that the work of Converfion as I thought, was paft with me, which the Books I then Read, and the Perfons that Difcours'd with me, had fo much poffefs'd me with. Nevertheless under what Opinion or Notion foever I then did it, I do, as I have juft caufe, Blefs and Praise the God of Heaven, That he did fo early let me fee, what was the Practice of Godliness; That I enjoy'd fo great an C encouragement after Holiness, as a taft of the Sweetness of it. For this great and distinguifhing Goodness of the Lord, my Soul doth and ever will Praise his Holy Name! • At this time Mr. Tenifon my Mafter (of whose Religious Care of me I fhall always have a: very grateful Remembrance) Discours'd with me about Receiving the Sacrament; I readily confented, not being a little Rejoic'd at the Invitation, which feem'd to come as it were from God himself. So I practis'd the & Directions
Directions which my Books gave me, and endeavour'd to prepare my felf according to my Light and Ability. My Notions of it were obfcure, for the Books I had read were fo, and very Allegorical. Yet I hope 'God will lay no Sinto my Charge, that might arife from thence; fince it was what I was then capable of, from the Instructions I had.
These were the happy Beginnings of Mr. Bonnell's Piety: And what mighty Advances in Religion might not be hop'd from a Zeal fo Early, and yet fo ftrong? How few, even in their Happiest Periods of Life, when their Reason is beft Improv'd, and their Graces moft Lively and Vigorous, can give a better Account of their Piety, than Mr. Bonnell in the beginning of his Youth? How firm and lafting must the Building be, whofe Foundation was fo deeply laid? And fuch his Piety prov'd, encreafing with his Reafon and Years, till all were compleated in a Happy Eternity.
At Fourteen Years of Age, being fit for the University, he was remov'd from Trym-Schools But his Friends who were nicely Solicitous about his Education, chofe to fend him to a Private Philofophy-School in Oxfordshire; believing him there, more out of the way of Temptation; and refolving not to expofe him to the Infectious Dangers of a great City, and numerous Acquaintance. But how much Perfons of the like Sentiments, are mistaken in their Opinions of these private Seminaries, may appear from Mr. Bonnell's Account of
that, which his Friends made choice of for him, and preferr'd to all our Famous Seats of Learning. I was fent (fays he to Oxford'fhire to a Private House, for fear of being Corrupted at the University: Our Tutor was Mr. Cole, who had formerly been Principal of St. Mary-Hall in Oxford; He Read , to us Ariftotles-Philofophy, and Inftructed us in the Claffics and Oratory: He Preach'd Twice ' every Sunday to his Family and Us: Here I stay'd Two Years and a Half; but my Unhappiness was, that there was no Practice of receiving the Sacrament in that place, fo that I could have no folemn Earnest, and ferious Recollection of my felf; neither 'were my Associates fuch, from whom I might learn any part of Godliness, but on 'the contrary all Debauchery; fo that my Friends Care feem'd herein to be deluded, had I not been otherwife Principl'd before, ' and had fome Tincture of my Trym Sentiments, ftill on my Mind: Our Tutor was 'too Remiss in matters of Morality and Re'ligion, tho' I cannot accufe himself of any thing that was Ill. At laft he Concludes, I cannot with comfort reflect upon the time spent in that place, And he has been often heard to fay, when speaking of that Private School, That in it were all the Dangers and Vices of the University without the Advantages.
From Oxfordshire he remov'd to Catherine Hall in Cambridge, having been Entered there, a Year before, by his Friend and Kinsman Mr. Strype then of the fame Houfe, There his
Tutor was the Learned Doctor Calamy, who upon feveral Occafions exprefs'd the Efteem he had for his Pupil, commending him to Mr. Strype and Others for his Learning, Gravity, and Manliness, both in Difcourfe and Behaviour; but chiefly for his Conftancy at Religious Duties, being hardly ever known to miss Prayers, all the time he continu'd at Cambridge. Here he enjoy'd all thofe Advantages the want of which he lamented fo much before; the frequent returns of the Sacrament kept his Mind in a true Devout Frame, put him upon the strictest Re-fearches into his paft Life, and the most folemn and ferious Refolutions of adhering to his Duty. Here alfo he had Friends and Companions, every way fuited to his own Genius and manner of Life, fuch as were most remarkable for their Parts and Piety; The chief of which were Doctor Gouge, late Minister of St. Martyns in the Fields, London; Doctor Blackall, Minifter of St. Mary Aldermary, London; and Mr James Calamy, his Tutor's Brother. Here he pursued all those Methods of Devotion he had begun before, and went on to farther degrees of Religious Strictnefs; particularly, here he first refolv'd upon keeping Fafting Days, which all his Life after he Religiously obferv❜d. 'This (ays be) is what all Books of Devotion Commend, and what I had known to be the Practice of feveral Religious Perfons. Looking upon it therefore as my Bounden Duty, I bethought my felf what Day of the Week wou'd be moft Convenient, and without