Salvation in a mystery: or A prospective glasse for Englands case. As it was laid forth in a sermon preached at Margarets in Westminster, before the Honourable House of Commons, at their monthly fast, March 27. 1644.
Bond, John, 1612-1676., England and Wales. Parliament.
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THAT which by your first command, was in part, presented to your eares from the Pulpit; is here at your second command, fully represented to your eyes from the Presse. It is a piece, I dare say, as rare and usefull for the Plot and Subject, which are immediatly the Lords; as it is plaine and homely in my stile and me∣thod: In the dresse thereof, I thought it a duty to put off Ornaments; for although it was Preached upon the yeerly day of the Kings Inauguration,* yet that season was also the Monthly day of the Kingdoms Humiliation; when you did endeavour to Weepe, Pray, and Fast for the Royall Fa∣milie; whilst others (perhaps at Oxford) did Drinke, Blas∣pheme, Page  [unnumbered]and Debauch themselves, to shew their Loyaltie to His Majesty.

The subject of this sermon, is like the two Pillars which guided (our type) Israel through the Wildernesse to Canaan by day, and night: The one was a Cloude, which might well signifie the Lord hiding himselfe: The other of Fire, importing him to be the Saviour of Israel even whilst he was in that Cloude.

There is much talke now a dayes of now light, and that new light as it is held forth by some, is nothing lesse then old dark∣nesse. I may safely promise you in this Treatise, at least, the dawning of a light that is new Orthodoxe and certaine: By which I have endavoured to begin the discovery of a hidden Mine of precious Providence; though all my labours, have scarcely opened the uppermost surface of the ground. I shall leave the ac∣curate searching of the veynes to more able observers.

I confesse that I did make an Essay upon his very Text, in my native climate, before my banishment; but being plundered of those speculative thoughts; and having, since that time in some measure experimented this text; I conceive my selfe bound in conscience to give you some meate out of my Eater. Surely there is a vast difference betweene hearing of the Lord by the hearing of the eare and when our eyes have seene him.*

May it please you therefore to travell over this unusuall dis∣course once againe; because Mysteries commonly are not understood at the first perusall. Sure I am that never any Parliament in England, had greater need of Viatica than your selves: You are made a Spectacle to Angels and Men; And beleeve it, you are set up, for the fall and rising againe of many in England. The Lord hath cut off all bridges behind you (and blessed be his name that they are cut off) And now, together with you, all the Treasures of great Britaine and Ireland are imbar∣qued: And according to your standing or falling in this great Cause, must the present Generation and their Posterities in the three Kingdoms, begin the dates of their perpetuall weal or woe; for, pure Reformation, or open Popery; ingenious Liberty, or Norman Slavery must now be made the settled Master: Nay, Page  [unnumbered]to allude to Caesars speech, you do now carry the whole Prote∣stant Cause, withall its Fortunes.

For mine owne part, there is nothing upon earth, that doth more amaze mine intellectualls, then the prodigious Lethargie that doth still rest upon the heads and hearts of cursed Neuters, and Protestant Malignants in the Land, even now when both parties do abhor indifferency, and that the excreable Rebels of Ireland are brought over: But I might silence my selfe in this Quos perdece vult Jupiter, cos dementat. Surely the Lord hath smitten the generallity of the Land with madnesse and blindnesse and astonishment of heart, as he threatned the Iews. * Otherwise they could never dreame of defending Parliaments by Malefactors, Property by Desperado's, and Protestanisme by Irish Rebels. May, we not fear lest the Spanish, or Irish, or other Forreigners, may beg the whole Land of the King, and obtaine it, alleadging that the Nation, is not Compos mentis?

But my hope shall be, that after the Lord hath deeply hum∣bled us for our old and new abominations, * and broken us as he did Nebuchadnezzer, when he hath hewen us downe, cut off our branches, shaken off our leaves, and scattered our fruits;* when he hath driven us from men, and suffered our haires to grow like Eagles feathers, and our nayles like Birds clawes;* then at the end of the dayes, mens reason and understanding shall returne to them againe, and perhaps, our glory also. At least, I am confident, * that God will leave in the middest of us an afflicted and poore people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.

Meane while, it is my Petition to you, and for you (worthy Patriots) that you may hold-out through all those seas of diffi∣culties which are before you; * And that you may remember that God is not unrighteous to forget your worke and labour of love, which you have shewed toward his name: Yea, * you may take it for a positive promise. The Lord is faithfull, who shall stablish you, and keepe you from evill; * and we have con∣fidence in the Lord, touching you, that you both do, and will Page  [unnumbered]do, the things which he commands you.*And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient wayting for Christ. This is the fixed hope, and shall ever be the fervent prayer, of

From my Study at the Savoy April 20. 1644.

Your Humble and willing Servant, JOHN BOND.