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upon which moft Depends, would not be put (as it too often happens) into the worst Hands; who for want of Right Qualities, are neglected by thofe, whofe Bufinefs it is to Secure them from Contempt, and whofe Example Influences Others, till they lofe all Authority, even with those who are under their Care, and confequently all Capacity of doing them Good. But with Mr. Bonnell, 'twas entirely Otherwife; He was every way Quali fy'd to gain Efteem, His Learning and Prudence, his Behaviour and manner of Life.commanded juft Refpect; His Fortune fecur'd him from all Temptations to mean Compliances, (for on that alone he could have Subfifted) and the great severity of his Life, Exacted Reverence from all he Convers'd with.
During Mr. Bonnell's ftay in Mr. Freeman's Family, he had frequent Returns of Sickness and Pain; his Conftitution was Tender and eafily Injur❜d: And I find by the Meditations he then Compos'd, That his Body was an uncomfortable Companion to his Mind; and that he was frequently Disturb'd in his Religious Course, by Bodily Disorders. He complains with great Paffion of himself, for being fometimes Uneafy under a load of Sickness, and wishing its removal with too much eagerness. One or two of these Meditations Written in the Year 1680, in the Twenty Seventh Year of his Age, will give the Reader a View of of his happy Progress in Piety; and how Bravely he encountred the Difficulties he met with, from the World and Himself; from a
Diftemper'd Body, and those other Infirmities which all Mankind feel, and are not to be entirely conquer'd while we are in this World.
Thus in one place he confeffes his Weaknefs to God, and Prays for his Help. O my 6 God! What shall I think of my Self? What 'fhall I fay to Thee! What am I but a Sinful 'Difcontented Creature, whofe Obedience has at best been very Imperfect! Thou haft long Afflicted me with a Lingring Sickness in the Flower of my Life; and haft added (because I have not duly Improv'd by this) other Chastisements befides, and which I 'hope have not wanted their Effect upon my 'Soul. Thou Lord art Wife, and thy Wif 'dom is deeply to be ador'd by us, which I 'humbly defire to do. But ah! Lord had
my Wisdom been to choose my Chastisement, 'I would have had less of a Painful Sickness, and more of fuch other Afflictions, as thou 'layeft upon Men; and this, not to please my Flesh, but for the Good of my Soul, having found by fo much Experience, that this is not fo proper to kill our Sins, and turn our 'Hearts to thee; not fo mortifying to the "Pride or Discontent of our Minds; not fo quickening to Repentance, and other Chriftian Graces, as the lofs of Eftate, and difpleasure of Men; the falfeness of Friends,and injuries from Others. True indeed, when once Thou didst raise my Sickness fo, as to ⚫ confume my Body, and make even my Life Dangerous, through the Bleffing of Thy C
Grace, it had a faving Effect upon my Soul: 'But in all other times, the Natural Effect of C it has been, to make me Intermit my Devotions, and Disturb my Pious Thoughts; to make me Uneafy and Difcontented with my 'Condition, and Impatient after Change. 'But in other Afflictions, while the Health of 'Body remains Entire, the Heart is Humbled, our Devotions are Quickned, and we Fast and Pray to good purpose, till our Soul is brought over to Thee, and confirm'd in thy Ways. If I now faft, it is not only all the 'time in Pain, but ends in more, by Encreasing my Distemper, and Indifpofing my Mind for the Exercises of Religion; the conftant Pra&tice of which alone maintains the Life of my Soul. And yet Thou chooseft thus to Afflict me ftill! However Lord, I will Faft, and O! that I may never omit to Pray. And do Thou, O Lord, Fortify my Soul I befeech Thee, that in That I may ever Perfevere: Let me confider that the Life of my 'Soul is above the Health of my Body, however I find it daily to Decay.
Upon the whole, O my God, I am weary ' of being Discontented and Murmuring against Thee. I humbly confefs, that I have found in the Depth of my Heart, that my Prayers to Thee, for making me Contented with my Condition, have had too often this meaning, that Thou should'ft make my Condition fuch as I might (vouchsafe to) be contented with; and that when I have refolv'd to fubmit my felf to Thee, and be contented,
it has been with a profpect, or fecret hopes, after fuch a Condition; and that therefore, when Thou haft difapointed these wilful and groundless Hopes, I have refum'd my former Impatience: This, Lord, upon a Serious Review, has been too often the Senfe of my 'Heart. But behold, I am truly Difpleas'd at my Self, and both Weary and Alham'd of my Impatience; and therefore do defire most humbly to Return unto Thee, and with Thee, to Condemn my Self. Thou haft 'vouchfafed often, to enlighten and quiet my Soul, who have not deferved that favour " from Thee: And this one Confideration 'fhall fatisfie me, as it has done, that Thou only know'ft the time of my Life here, and how to make a fuitable Provifion for that time. Yet, O Lord, I groan under the Bur'den of an Áking Flefh, and many (tho' not Extream, which is thy Mercy) never intermitting Pains. My Sins indeed deserve this, and more: But might I choose for the good of my Soul, as I faid, (which I know thou doft favour,) I fhou'd with Submission to thy Wisdom, defire some other kind of Chastisement and take leave to wonder at thy Difpen'fation to me. But I am abundantly fatisfy'd, ' and aflur'd in my felf, from thy immenfe 'Wisdom and exceeding Love, to which I heartily and cheerfully refign up my self, 'that even this is best for my Soul, however unlikely it feems to me. Thy Wisdom is ' above my Shallow Comprehenfion, and there'fore to Thee I Sacrifice thefe Glimmering Sparks
Sparks of my faint Reafon, and fhall repofe my Self upon Thy mighty Love.
Another time Reflecting upon the Sins, which had been the Effects of his Sicknefs and Affliction, he endeavours to quiet his Mind, by propofing to it the more dangerous Sins, which generally attend Profperity and Health, You fee, O my Soul, (Jays he) what Sins Sick'nefs and Affliction lead you to, (which in'deed are I, and the Lord in Mercy grant me Pardon for them,) but you do not fee to "how much greater, Health and Plenty, Free'dom and Applaufe, Honour and the good things of this World, wou'd have brought you, had God vouchfafed them. It is not poffible for thee, to have a prospect of these; but from the wickedness of thy Heart, thou may'ft guess what wou'd have become of thee, had he dealt with thee with a more bountiful Hand, and as he does with fome o'thers. The Child that dare Sin even under the Rod, what wou'd it have done in the 'midft of Smiles?
'O Let the confideration of thofe Sins, from which the goodness of God has kept thee, make thee heartily contented with the C way that he hath taken with thee; and ex'ceeding joyful with that Condition, which hath been a means to thee of avoiding any 6 one Sin. It is a Curfed Delusion of the 'Devil, who plunges Souls in Sin, that have begun only to Tamper with it; and draws them wholly away from God, who have wantonly turn'd a little out of the right Path;