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fore he smooths, and fits it more and more for use; fo, the fouls of saints are, at first conversion, but rough casten, as it were ; therefore the Lord, by visiting of them, and manifesting himself to them in his ordinances, does more and more fit the veslel of mercy for a fill of the liquor of glory : hence these divine incomes now and then, that make them cry out, “O my soul thirsts for God, for the living God, when shall I come and appear before God ?" Psal. xlii. 2. As the toffed mariner longs for the haven, the harbour; fo does thie foul, that hath met with God in ordinances, long to meet with him in heaven. As one tells us, “ That when once “ the Gauls of old had tasted of the sweet wine that was “ made of the grapes of Italy, nothing would fatisíy them 66 but Italy, Italy;" fo the soul that once tastes of the goodness of God, and sweetness of Christ, and the grapes of Paradise, nothing satisfies that fouil at such a time, but, O Paradise, Paradise! O to be in glory's land, in Immanuel's land! O to be for ever with the Lord! It is true, as the Lord is sovereign, and sometimes hides his face from his children in these ordinances, and facramental foleninities, infomuch, that they go mourning without the fun: so, the measures of his communications are various ; fometimes more bright and glorious, and sometimes more dark and cloudy : but as we enjoy the. light and benefit of the sun, even when we cannot see it, because of the clouds ; so believers do sometimes enjoy much of the light, and heat, and warmth of the Sun of righteousness, even when, by reason of many clouds, they cannot see him so clearly as at other times; however, every glance of his glory, in these galleries of ordinances, hath such a foul-gathering influence, such an heart-drawing virtue, that this harveit-time may be called a gathering-season; while all the faculties of the foul, all the affections of the heart are gathered to, and centered on Christ, and longing to be gathered about the throne, to see him face to face. And this leads me to the fourth and last period, with respect to the season of this gathering of the people to Shiloh.

4thly, The gathering seasons may be considered, with relation to the consummate gathering of the saints;

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prebyteries particularly in thies in all the ga

and of this final gathering there are two seasons, namely, the day of death, and the day of judgment...

1. The day of death is a gathering day to the saints; for chen Christ gathers his lilies to himself; Ny beloved is gone down into bis zarden, to garber lilies, Cant. vi. 2. When the lilies are ripe, he gathers them inio his bofum; lie picks up one here, and another there ; and indeed some of the sweeteit smelling lilies in all the garden of his church, particularly in this and some neighbouring presbyteries, bath the Lord been lately gathering: and among the rest, that lily that used to cait such a favoury gospel-Imell, at former folemnities here; you cannot but know what I mean : but, O Sirs, if God shall gather up all the sairest and sweetest of his lilies from among us, our garden will become but unbeautiful and unfavoury: the beauty and saveur is gone, when the lilics are gathered; unless the Lord himself shall make other such lilies to grow up in their room. I remember that one of the last favoury smells that that lily cast among us, at the last years solemnity, was in the pleafant opening of that word, 6 Now, we see thro' a glass darkly, but then face to face:" and, no doubt, it was in the prospect of being gathered to the place of immediate vision, and full enjoyment of God and the Lamb. And indeed a time of death is a time of gathering of the saints to glory, where their dark, and partial, and tranfient enjoyment of God here, is turned to a clear, full, perfect, permanent, and uninterrupted enjoyment: for then, they know him, as they are known; “ And there is no temple there ; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple of it," Rev. xxi. 12.---And therefore, to him, as the temple in heaven, fall the gathering of the people be. Ilence, death to the godly is called a gathering, Gen. xlix. 33. It is said of Jacob, when he died, “ He was gathered unto his people :" why, one would think, he was rather taken away from his people; for he was dying, and all his children and grand-children about him; yea, but he had people elsewhere, and better company, that he was going to, even the general aslembly and church of the first-born, that are written in hea. ven, the spirits of just men made perfect, and all the

saints saints that had gone before him. ( Sirs, see what company ye choose now; if ye be of the wicked and ungodly, your death will be but a gathering to the devil and reprobatcs in hell; if you lose heaven at the first shot of death, you are gone for ever: when a man fhoots at a mark in his life-time, if he miss at one thot, he may shoot another, and fhoot again and again, till he hit ; but if you miss heaven at the first shot of death, you are not to live again to shoot another shot for it: therefore, let your life now be a pressing towards the mark; a shooting at the right mark, a gathering to Shiloh : for these that are gathered to him graciously in life, will be gathered gloriously to him at death; for then, the fouls of believers do immediately pass into glory; when their bodies are laid in the duít, their souls are gathered to their people in heaven, where Christ is the centre of the assembly ; " And so shall we be ever with the Lord,”? 1 Thef. iv. 17. There are angels and arch-angels in heaven, there are faints and seraphims there; but all will not make a heaven without Chrift; he is the light of the place, and the heart of the com. pany for ever, and to him thall the gathering of the people be. But then,

2. The day of judgment will be a most remarkable season of the consummate gathering of his people to him: the text indeed speaks mainly of Christ's first coming in the fleih, The sceptre shall not depart from Judak, till Sbilob come, and to bim fall the gathering of the people be; but it will be also true of his second coming in the clouds of heaven; for then will he gather liis saints together unto him, there that have made a covenant with him by (acrifice, Pfal. 1. 5. Therefore the apostle joins his fe.. cond coming, and his glorious gathering together; “We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," 2 Thef. ii. I." Then will he fend his angels, with the great found of a trumpet, and they fhall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another,” Matthew xxiv. 31.; wherever the wind of providence hath driven their dust. Though the dust of the believer's body may be scattered to all.

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corners of the earth and fea, and resolved to the original elements, of which it was at first compounded; yet God will gathör it all together again, when he makes the earth to give up its dead, and the sea to give up its dead, Rev. XX. 13. Aud thcrefore, Tho' worms deftroy this body, yet in their flesh shall they fee God, according to the words of job, wherein he expresseth his faith of the happy resurrection, Job xix. 25. “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;" for then, as God will gather together their scattered bones and duft, so he will bring their glorified fouls along with him; “ Them which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with himp,” i Thess. iv. 14. and he will reunite these two intimate friends, foul and body; they shall meet with one-another, and meet the Lord in the air.

O my brethren, let none of us think it incredible, that God slıould raise the dead; for, in that day when Shiloh comes again, he will gather together and make up all his jewels, Mal. iii. 17. Though his jewels be lying among the dust, yet he will separate his jewel-dust from the rest of the dust; for, as Christ is the Loadstone, that draws the hearts of people to him, that are gathered to him by his grace now, according to his own word, “ When I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me;" fo, at his second coming, he will be the glorious Load-stone, that will draw all the precious duft of his saints together to him. Any of you who know the virtue of the load-stone will know this, (which I have fome. times tried with a load-stone in my hand) let the filings of steel, never so small, be mixed with dust, fo as it is impoffible, you would think, to separate the dust of the fieel from the dust of the other earth; yet, if you bring near the load-stone, all the filings of the steel will separate from the rest, and fly up to the load-stone, in the tenth part of the twinkling of an eye. Well, if the load-stone have such a virtue, what must be the virtue of him who gave virtue to it? Whenever Shiloh comes in the clouds of heaven, behold, in the twinkling of an eye, all the redeemed that sleep in the dust will be gathered ; the glorious Load-stone will put forth its vir

tue, tue, and they will be all drawn to him in a moment, 1 Cor. xv. 52. 1 Thef. iv. 16, 17. There is the confummate gathering of the people to Shiloh.

It is true, the day of judgment will be a separating day, the theep will be separate from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, Mat. xiii. 20. But however terrible that day will be to the Christless world, that could never be gathered to Shiloh, when they fhall be çather. ed together in bundles, and cast into the fire of God's everlaiting wrath ; yet glorious, glorious will the gathering be of all the redeemed! As they will be gathered to him, so they will be affefiors with him in judgment; “ Know ye not that saints, shall judge the world, yea, they shall judge angels,” i Cor. vi. 3. They ihall fic upon the bench of judgment with Christ, and applaud him in all his judicial procedure against wicked men and devils. These, who farmerly trampled them like dirt under their feet, will then stand, like so many guilty pannels before them; and when the irreversible doom goes forth, “ Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” the gathered faints will joyfully adore the equity of the Judge, and will not so much as give a sigh or sob at the terror of the fentence pronounced against the wicked, but clap their hands, and send them to hell with a fhout. Oh! that wicked and Christless souls would fear and tremble, and flee from the wrath to come, in the awful apprehenfion of this glorious day ? Devils quake at the apprehension of this day ; Tbey believe, and tremble: and yet finful men are fearless. But when the great Judge will erect his fiery tribunal in the air, fee if you shall be able to bear up, be as stout-hearted as you can.

O man, death is insensibly stealing away your breath; and after death, comes the judgment; and then comes the doleful gathering of the wicked to be the fuel of eternal flames: because oft he would have gathered you, as a hen does her chickens under her wings, but ye would not be gathered, therefore you will be separated from him for ever: you would not come for his bles. {ing, therefore you must depart with his curse; “ Depart

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