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thy grace may be in my heart, and on my tongue, in my looks, and in my eyes, and shine bright in all my actions. Deliver me from temptations and offered occasions of falling, and may it please thee, for Jesus' sake, to establish my soul in such truth, as it may not go to seek out for itself opportunities of sinning, that it may be established in thy fear and thy love, and that I may be preserved evermore in perfect integrity and honesty of heart before thee my God. . This is it which I humbly beg; and if I want faith, it is because I know myself unworthy to receive : but my humble request being agreeable to thy heavenly will, I am bold to assure my soul, I shall not go wholly without an answer. Amen."
In the year 1684, Mr. Bonnell leaving Ireland, Mr. Freeman in France, came directly from
thence into Ireland, and took his employ
ment of Accomptant General into his own Accomptant Gene- hands, which had been since his father's
death managed by others for his use. This is an office of much business and great trust; in the discharge of which he was so remarkably diligent and faithful, so dexterous in dispatch, and so ready to oblige, that he soon equally gained the esteem of the government, and the love of all who were concerned with him. Is desirous
But as religion ever had the principal sway to quit all in his affections, so a mighty zeal for that, a ployments. contempt of this world, and a mind raised above its perishing concerns, had before this time given him strong desires of quitting all secular employments, and dedicating himself entirely to the
service of God; it could be no worldly consideration which suggested that thought to him; for the temporal advantages of his office, were greater than what he could have expected in a long time from any ecclesiastical preferment; and his station was besides of sufficient dignity and credit But in things relating to God, "he conferred not with flesh and blood,” and nothing hindered him from actually entering into holy orders, but the consideration that his employment was a great trust, and that he must render an account to God, not only for his discharge of it, but for the hands into which he should put it: a man of knowledge and sufficient skill, but chiefly who had established a character of piety and unshaken virtue, was what he wanted. And such an one, in the year 1688, he thought he had found; and had actually agreed with him about it, being not a little rejoiced with the hopes of being soon freed from noise, and hurry, and worldly business; and having nothing to do, but to take care of his own soul, and do good to the souls of others. But the news of the late Revolution changed that gentleman's thoughts, and broke Mr. Bonnell's measures.
His desires of entering into the ministry An enemy were of a very early date; for I find that to solicitseveral attempts were made by his friends, preferduring his residence in England, to procure him some settlement in the church there; some of which might have succeeded, had he seconded his friends' zeal by any endeavours of his own: but that he was so far from doing, that he reckoned it a great unhappiness to the church, that interest and application had any share in the disposal of spiritual things. And when his friend Mr. Freeman, out of a sense of Mr. Bonnell's great merit, and the services he had done him, designed to have purchased the advowson of a benefice, that he might present Mr. Bonnell to it; he himself was the only person that opposed it, and so disappointed the kind intentions of his friend.
And it is probable that some endeavours of his friends, for his advantage, occasioned the following meditation, written in the year 1680, wherein we shall see what were his sentiments of soliciting for employments in the church; and what motives he proposes to himself, why he should, in all those affairs, cheerfully submit to the will of God, and acquiesce in his wisdom.
“I have often thought it,” says he, "a great misfortune of some men, whose condition engages them in soliciting for preferment and places, which they often miss; and an unhappy effect of some employments, particularly in divinity. And I cannot but pity such men, whose employments almost necessarily engage them in such conflicts as seem very uneasy to flesh and blood, and very apt to shock a Christian temper;
for to what is one carried more violently, than to grudge and hate a rival or competitor? to speak evil of him, when occasion is offered, and envy him if he succeeds? and what jealousies, what animosities, what heart-burnings, are commonly the effect of such debates ; are naturally apt (without much struggling with one's self) to be produced by them? yet this, O my soul, will be made easy to
thee, if thou dost all with relation to God. If thou countest it thy only business in this world, to serve
and considerest, that no service can be pleasing to him that is not submissive; for if I serve God but as I will myself, I cannot suppose it will be acceptable to him: wherefore I will desire no place, preferment, nor employment, to please myself, (especially in the church, but indeed no where else) but to serve God. If, therefore, I fail of any thing of this nature, for me to be dissatisfied, or envious, or angry, or the like, is as if I should proffer my service to a master, with great professions of humility and respect, to do such a piece of work, which he thinks fit to set another servant about, and I immediately fly out into the most unmannerly and undutiful expressions, both against one and the other. I cannot say that God wholly casts me out of his service; for wherever I am in this world, I am in it: all I wait for is, a change of duties; and if God thinks not fit to employ me in that way, if indeed I principally desire to serve him,
, as I profess, I ought to be far from being displeased.
Fancy, O my soul, that thou hearest thy God thus speaking to thee: My son, it is but a little time you will stay in this world; no matter how you are employed, so you do it faithfully and well: the greater the charge is, the greater duty, and the greater account will be expected : since by all your labour, you strive only to please me, you will do that more, by labouring according to my will, where I set you, than where you seek to place yourself. It will not be long before I shall take you to myself; in the mean time, the highest thing you can do to procure my
favour is, to do your duty where my providence shall place you. And if other things fail which you desire, or aim at, count that I think not fit to remove you, and let it satisfy you, because it pleaseth me.' Ah Lord ! perfect this important lesson in my heart, which I am beginning to learn, and thou to teach me; and change me more and more by the power of thy grace, till I at last be transformed into the heavenly likeness of thy dear Son. Amen."
The following meditation, written when his thoughts were more particularly fixed upon the ministry, shews what were his sentiments of that sacred call. ing, and how necessary he judged a sincere intention to promote God's glory and the good of souls, to render us qualified for it, and useful in it. Here we may see what awful thoughts that good man had of that great and difficult work,taking care of the souls of men; and what a constant eye, all who design to be, or are engaged in that service, ought to have to God in the discharge of it, and how watchful they should be against the assaults of worldly interest and vanity
“ If we design,” says he, “any work for the good of souls, we must take care that it be undertaken by God's permission and encouragement; for we are not always competent judges of what is proper to this end, in particular cases : many things may seem, to our shallow reasons, to have a plausible tendency towards it, which God may not judge fitting : the temple had not been so fitting for God or his church's service, if built by David's hands. Therefore it is fit we should take his advice and direction (of his