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After he came to Maturity of Age, notwithstanding the Largeness of his Eftate, and the Importance of his fecular Affairs, he oblig'd himself to an uninterrupted Conftancy, both in the private and publick Exercises of Religion. It was his Practice to Pray in fecret, and read fome part of the Holy Scripture thrice every Day, befides the Reading other good Books, and joyning in Family Prayers. The Sanctification of the Lord's Day was fo much his Delight, that in the Morning thereof he, for the most part, arose the first in his House, and having called his Children and others up, that they might have Time to prepare themselves for a more reverend Attendance on the Publick Worship in the House of God, he then betook himself to his own preparatory Devotions. And as he had a high Esteem of, and did constantly attend upon God's Word and Sacraments publickly difpenfed; fo he was a moft cordial Friend and Well-wither to all pious and faithful Minifters and Dispensers of thofe facred things; encouraging their Labours with a liberal Hand, and manifefting his Zeal for the Preaching the Gofpel, not only by his great Care in presenting Learned and Pious Men to the Churches of which he had the Patronage, but alfo by his large and extraordinary Bounty towards the Advancing of Religion aud Learning, both at home and in foreign Plantations. When any Place belonging to his Presentation became vacant, fo cautious was he about the Difpofal of it to a fit Perfon, that he would spend fome Days in Fafting and Prayer to be directed therein; profeffling folemnly, That his Spirit did tremble at the fetting his Hand and Seal to a Prefentation, left he should bring the Lofs of the People's Souls to be required of him. And therefore, when by all his own Care, and the Advice of Friends, fuch an one could not be procur'd for the Place void, that for his. Integrity and good Abilities could give him juft Satisfaction, then he left it wholly to the better
better fort of People in that Parish to chufe their own Paftor.
It was his conftant Practice to be early at Church, that he might be prefent to joyn with the Congregaon before there was one Word fpoken, or one Petition fent up to God. And after the Publick Worship was over, as foon as he returned home, the firft thing he did, was to retire into his Clofet, to beg a Bleffing from Heaven upon the good Inftructions he had heard. When there was an Opportunity for Receiving the Sacrament, he spent great part of every Day of the foregoing Week in Reading, Praying, and Examination of his Spiritual State, that he might go to the Holy Supper with a due Preparation for it. Neither did his fingular Piety in the Things of God make him the more remifs in the Duties of Juftice and Charity towards Men, but rather rendred him the more accurate in them all.
As he was Master of a large Family, he suffered no profane or vicious Perfon to wait upon him; but his Servants were generally Perfons of fincere Religion, Fidelity and Probity of Manners. In the Relation of an Husband he gave an illuftrious Pattern of Conjugal Love, Faithfulness and Sweetnefs. To his Children he performed not only the Part of an Earthly Father, in his tender Affection to their Bodies, but also of a Spiritual or Heavenly Father to their Souls, by his fedulous Care of their Religious Education, and by inftilling into them pious Counfels and Inftructions, and many times by taking them feverally into his Clofet, and there Praying over them, and for them. And if any of them had offended him, fo fingular was his Moderation and Wifdom, that he would never Reprove, much lefs Correct them in his Displeasure, but waited till he could find a more convenient Time, in which he might do it with a calm and cool Judgment, without any wrathful Paffion. On the other fide, he was fo ready to encourage thein
them in Well-doing, that usually all his extraordinary Refpects and Favours to them were difpenfed rather as the Rewards of their Duty, than the Fruits of his Bounty.
I fhall omit divers Inftances of his more than ordinary Piety, fevere Virtue, Heavenly Mindedness and juft Contempt of the World, notwithstanding the Splendor of his outward Condition, and the Abun dance of his Temporal Enjoyments. The Reader may find a further Account of them in the Sermon preach'd at his Funeral by Mr. Fairclough, who was intimately acquainted with him and his Family for Thirty Years together; from whom I have collected the Substance of what is here faid of him.
I would not cloy my Readers by multiplying Examples of this fort, I will add but two or three more, tho' there is the lefs Danger of a Surfeir, where the Entertainment is fo innocent and wholfome. I fhall beg leave, in the next place, to prefent them with fome Extracts from the Life and Character of James Bonnell, Efq; late Accomptant-General of Ireland; written by Mr. William Hamilton, Arch-deacon of Armagh; Sold by A. and 7. Churchill, in PaterNofter-Row. A Book, which I wish our Young Gentry (as well as others) would buy and read. Several eminent Bishops in Ireland have given an extraordi. nary Recommendation thereof, confirming Mr. Bonnell's Character under their Hands, and allowing their Atteftations to be publish'd for the Satisfaction of the World.
The Memorials of this Gentleman are fuch a Representation of Piety, with all its Charms about it, as fhews not only the Poffibility, but the Sweetnefs and Pleasantnefs of a Religious Converfation, in a Perfon of no mean Condition or narrow For
The Arch-bishop of Dublin tells the Readers of Mr. Bonnell's Life, "That therein they will find fuch a Spirit of Devotion, fo many Marks of a true, fincere and unaffected Piety, fuch ardent Breathings "of his Soul to God in fecret, and fuch a total and entire Refignation of his Will to God's Will upon feveral Occafions, as can hardly fail of beget"ting the like Difpofition in those who perufe it with a Mind pioully and devoutly inclin'd
The Bishop of Meath fays, "That he read Mr. cc Bonnell's Life with great Satisfaction; and he most "earnestly recommends it to all devout Chriftians, as 66 a Life truly Primitive, adorn'd with all the native. Beauty of fincere Religion, in which they may "fee the vaft Advantages of an Early Piety: And he "hopes this will make them perfuade their nearest "Relatives to dedicate themselves to the Service of "God in their Youth (as this Gentleman did at Ten "Years Old) which will have great Influence over "them all their Life after, as it apparently had on "him. For as he grew in Years he encreased in all "Virtues and Graces, and became an eminent Pre"ċedent of uniform Obedience, profound Humility, "and entire Refignation in all Conditions. He was
(fays his Lordship) a true Son of the Establish'd "Church, and a moft exact Obferver of her Rules and "Offices: He was alfo exceedingly Charitable to the "Poor; and always Zealous in the Promotion of Piety, and Extirpation of Vice.
The Bishop of London-Derry gives the following Teftimonial of Mr. Bonnell's Piety, Humility, Sweetnefs of Temper, &c.
"As to his Piety, it had a Degree of Warmth and "Zeal, that feem'd near Enthusiasm; together with "all the Solidity, Conftancy and Regularity, that the "Prin
"Principles of Reason and Revelation are apt to pro"duce, in a Mind that fincerely gives up itfelf to be "conducted by them; the Example was moft Edify"ing, and ftirr'd up many to Imitation.
"As to his Humility and Sweetness of Temper, "they were extraordinary, and made him comply "with his Friends in feveral Inftances, that otherwise "would have been very uneafy to him. He feem'd to "have as little of Self in his own Opinions or A&tiLL as any that I ever knew, and could with the great "eft Chearfulness facrifice his own Interest and Eafe 66 to the Publick and his Friends.
"He had a peculiar Value for Friendship, and the Art, in Perfection, of managing it to Advantage; "efpecially that Part of it that is exercis'd. in Re"proofs; in which he was fuch a Mafter, that he
could gain Accefs into the rougheft Minds, and "reprefent to them their Faults with fo much Artifice, "that they could not but fee and acknowledge their "Deformity, without being offended at him who held "the Glafs to them: He could do this, not only to "Friends (with whofe Humour, he was acquainted) "but likewife to Strangers, with such a Peculiarity of "Addrefs, that he fometimes laid the Foundation of "Friendship in a Reproof, tho' it be too often the "Cause of its Diffolution.