« PoprzedniaDalej »
cany Vows, immediately set upon it; and very great did I find the Benefit, of being Sequestred from the World, and enjoying my self alone: It inur'd my Mind to Devo'tion, and kept it sensible and tender, and
accustom'd me to Acts of Mortification and - Self-Denyal. These Days, if the Weather were Fair and Calm, I wou'd usually spend
in the fields ; if otherwise, in some Empty 'Chamber in the College ; in the absence of
my Chamber Fellow, in my own Chamber;
or in my Study, if he were there : But not ' so as to give him, or any else, the least suspicion of this Practice, all the time I was there.
His Advancement in Learning, kept equal Pace with his Improvements in Piecy and Years; for he prosecuted his Studies with In, defatigable Diligence, and perform'd all his Academical Exercises with General Approbation: And when sometimes his eager pursuit of Learning wou'd occasion a Thought to arise în his Mind, that a whole Day every Week, was what he cou'd not spare from his Studies, with Indignation he wou'd Reject that Suggestion, as coming from his Spiritual Enemy; He consider'd (as he expresses it) that it were just in God to punish such Thoughts, by blasting all his Studies; but if he chearfılly gave that time to God, bis Goodness won'd supply that and more to him, having promised to add all things to those, who first seek
the Kingdom of Heaven, and his Righteousness.
From Catherine Hall (after he had taken his Mr. Free Degrees in Learning, he remov'd into the inan's Family. Family of Ralph Freeman of Aspeden Hall in
Hertfordshire, Esq; and undertook the Education of his Eldest Son; a Trust, which he ever Esteem'd one of the most Weighty in the World, and which none shou'd undertake without earnest Resolutions of Conscientiously Discharging it. And 'twas very happy for Mr. Freeman, that he found one who had all those Qualifications, which he cou'd wish in an Instructor and Friend for his Son : Great Sweetness of Temper, join'd with a sound and
penetrating Judgment; a Sedate Gravity to command Respect, mix'd with an easy Chearfulness to gain Love; a happy way of Explaining the Difficulties of Learning, having clear Notions himself, of what he undertook to make Intelligible to his Pupil; a noble Genius and lively Fancy, temper'd with Discretion and Prudence; and what was more valuable than all these, great Stri&ness of Life, and an excellent Talent at Recommending Piety to Young Persons, which is a peculiar Art; few knowing how to cloath Religion in its True Dress, most making it rather a Burthen than a Pleasure to Beginners, so as rather to frighten them from it, than engage them to love it.
This Gentleman, Mr. Bonnell, very happily Instructed, making the most Difficult parts of Learning, Plain and Easy to him; but his
Principal Aim was, to give Young Mr. Freeman right Notions of Religion and Virtue ;
1 which he not only endeavour'd in his constant Conversation with him, but for His use Compos’d many Pious Meditations, with short ReHexions and Advices upon the daily Occurrences of Life.
He continu'd in Mr. Freeman's Family till Goes into the Year 1678, and then went with his Pupil Holland with into Holland, and stay'd near a Year in Sir Le Mr, Free, oline Jenkins's Family at Nimeguen very much man. to his Satisfaction. From Nimeguen he went in the Embassadors Company through Flanders and Holland, and so return'd for England. From that time he continu'd with his Pupil till the Year 1683, when Mr. Freeman was sent into France and Italy. In 1684, Mr. Bonnell went into France, and met Mr. Freeman at Lions; and in His Company Visited several Parts of France : And so great was his Tenderness and Concern for Mr. Freeman,that he being taken Dangerously Ill of the Small-Pox at Tours, Mr. Bonnell constantly. Expor'd himself to that Diftemper, tho''twas what he never had; and upon his being able to use them, supply'd him with many Excellent Meditations, and of ten join'd with him in Prayers and Thankfgivings for his Recovery:
By his Prudent Behaviour, and Ingenious Conversation at Nimeguen, he procur'd Sir Leoline Jenkin's Esteem and Friendship, who in his Letters to Mr. Freeman's Father, highly Applauded Mr. Bonnell's Conduct, and was ever ready to serve him with his Interest ac Court, when his Affairs required it. And, with Respect to his Pupil Mr. Freeman,
never Man took truer Pains to Instruct and Accomplish him to Improve him with Knowledge, and Adorn him with Piety; so he con. tinually reap'd new Satisfactions from the Success of his Labours; but chiesty the most Delightful Part of them, his Endeavours to give Mr. Freeman a Right Sense of his Duty to God, and fix the Impressions of Religion in his Mind. They frequently join'd together in Prayer, and every Day their Devotions led the way to their Studies; the Te Deum and some ! other Psalms being the first Business of it. And tho he kept Mr. Freeman Close to these Exercises, yet he manag’d them fo, as that they might not prove Uneasy to a Youthful Mind. And to this Day Mr. Freeman retains a most Grateful Sense of Mr. Eonnell's Care of him, and has own'd in the kindest manner since his Death, That it was his Prudent Management and Good Instructions, which kept him from follom.ng many Ill Examples of great Looseness and Ima moral 'ty: and hindred him from running into o many Mischiefs be shou’d bardly othermise have avoided: That when he was absent from him, he constantly re-minded him by Letter, of his former good Instructions; which had the greater Impres
, fions on bim, a's knowing they were meant in great Kindness.
And no doubt, Mr. Freeman will always Reflect with Pleasure, on the Advantages he Enjoy'd by Mr. Bonnell's Conversation and Example so many Years; will consider how Invaluable a Blessing that was, and what reafon he has to Praise God for it; lince such an
Instructor, and fo Faithful a Friend, might have preserv'd many Men (had they been so happy as he was) from those Fatal Miscarriages which have ended in their Ruine : And that therefore he lies under particular Obligations to God, for fo Diftinguishing a Mark of his Favour and Goodness; which I am perá swaded, he will always answer, by following the Instructions, and imitating the Life of his Excellent Friend.
Were the Generality of our Gentry, Bless'd with Instructor's of Mr. Bonnell's Temper and Piety ; his Gravity, Prudence, and Holy Life ; with those who are acquainted (as he was) with the Methods of Gentile Conversation; can Dive into a Young Gentleman's Genius, and rightly form his Mind; we shou'd soon see a happy Change in their Principles and Lives : Religion would have their first and Principal Regard, and it would be no part of their Character, to be Vicious or Prophane. Such ought to be Enquir'd after, for this Noble Trut, who are not narrow in their Fortunes, nor servile in their Natures, and have had a Generous Education Themselves ; such whose Presence carries Awe along with it, and whose Lives are fit to be made Patterns to their Pupils. And when such excellent Persons are found, they are to be Treated in such a manner, as may bring both their persons and Ems ployments into Etteem and Credit ; as may plainly shew, that They and their Labours are highly Priz'd and Valu’d. By this means the greatoft Trust in the Common-Wealth, and