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it should be good news to us: and for confirming our faith herein, take these fix grounds and reasons for it.
1. There must be a gathering of Gentile people to him, for filling up the room which the Jews lett: Christ came to his own, and his own received him not.-And fince the Jews rejected him, and cast out themfelves by unbelief, the Gentiles are taken in, to succeed to them in their church-privileges; “ Through their fall, salvation is come to the Gentiles," Rom. ix. II. And ver. 19. “ These branches were taken off, that the Gentiles might be grafted in.” The room which the Jews left vacant must be filled up with Gentiles, Luke xiv. 15,—24. where the gospel.entertainment is com: pared to a great man's fupper, to which many are invited; some reject the invitation, particularly the Jews, that had the first honour of being invited to the banqueting-house ; that is, to partake of Christ and his gospelblessings : others embraced the gracious offer, particularly. the poor, despised, out-cast Gentiles, even these who were without the law. Hence fee and read ver. 21, 22, 23.: there you see the Gentiles called, to fill up the room that the Jews left vacant.
2. There must be a gathering of the people, the Gentiles, to reprove and punish the unbelief of the Jews, from whom the fceptre is departed, and to provoke them to jealousy, Rom. xi. I I. : for, as because of unbelief they were broken off, ver. 20.: fo for the punishment of their unbelief. See what God says to them, Deut. xxxii. 21. compared with Rom.. X. 19. “ I will provoke them to jealousy, by them that are no people. The Jews had the first offer, Acts iii. 26.; and the Gentiles had but their leavings. But what a provocation it was to the Jews, to see the Gentiles taken into favour, is represented in the parable, Luke xv. 11,----32. where the elder brother envied the reception and entertainment of the prodigal Gentiles; and more plainly, Acts xiii. 49. where you see how the Gentiles were received, ver. 46, &c. Thus, whenever the Jews heard that the apostle Paul had a commission to go to the Gentiles, fee how they were provoked, Acts xxii. 21, 22. It was their fin that they were thus inraged; and God makes oftentimes peoples sin their punishment: a man needs no greater plague, than to be left to the impetuous rage of his own lufts. However, in gathering of the Gentiles, God shews his anger and difpleasure at the unbelief of the Jews; and, to this day, their posterity, scattered up and down the earth, are under the dismal effects of this anger; for, ever fince Shiloh came, the Jews have been fèt to the door, and the Gentiles gathered in. Yea,
3. There must be a gathering of the people, the Gentiles, to pave a way for the glorious gathering of the Jews again, Rom. xi. 23,—26. Here is a twofold mystery, namely, that the gathering of the Gentiles will make way for the renewed gathering and conversion of the Jews. I shall read you some promises you have thereof, Isa. xi. 10,-12. Jer. xxii. 3,-6.---These, you may fee, have evidently a further look than their deliverance from Babylon, Zech. xii. 10. and xiii. In As we have encouragement to pray for the conversion of the Jews; fo if there were a Spirit of prayer to a God in Christ aniong us, in their behalf, who were his ancient people, we might then think, the happy day were hastening, wherein it is promised, that the Gentiles. fall further the gathering of the Jews, Isa. xlix. 22. and lx. 9, 10. and lxvi. 18,-23. See Zech. ii. 10,12. and viii. 21,—23. Again,
4. There must be a gathering of the people, the Gentiles, to shew the sovereignty of his grace, and freedom of his mercy, Rom. ix. 15. “ That he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and compassion on whom he will have compassion.” The Jews expected to mono. polize this privilege, of being God's people and church, continually to themselves; and few thought, that the Gentiles should become fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the houshold of God: but God's thoughts are not our thoughts; he hews his sovereignty, in pitching upon what nation of the earth it pleases him; “ The potter hath power over the clay, of the fame lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour.” The great Creator of the ends of the earth does thus shew his power and authority, in
making these a people that were no people, and these his people that were not his people, Rom. ix. 25, 26. This therefore was one of the great mysteries of godliness, “ Christ preached unto the Gentiles, and believed on in , the world,” I Tim. iii. 16. This was a great mystery, that with great difficulty could be received, and believed by the apostles; for when Peter' was persuaded, by tlie vision of a sheet knit at the four corners, wherein was all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air, not to despise the Gentiles as common and unclean, and accordingly had preached the gospel with success to them, he was accused by the rest of the apostles, Acts xi. 2, 3. till Peter making his defence,“ They held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life,” ver. 18. And in all this the Lord acted in a suitableness to his ancient promise, concerning the calling and inbringing of the Gentiles. It is long since God promised by Noah, saying, “God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem," Gen. ix. 27. Now, of Japhet came the Gentiles, Gen.x.5. and of Shem came the Jews; so that by this prophecy, there is a clear prediction of the conversion of the Gentiles, and their inheriting the pri. vileges of the Jews, to the praise of sovereign grace.
5. There must be a gathering of the people, the Gen. tiles, to shew the extent and sufficiency of his grace, as well as the fovereignty and freedom of it: how exten. sive is his grace and goodness, in gathering in the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, under the wings of his favour and mercy; while he fets open his entertaining room-doors to finners, out of every tongue, and nation, and kindred, where neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, are excluded ; but all are one and alike in Jesus Christ, Gal. iii. 28. Col. iji. 18. Herein he appears to act with a greatness like himself, becoming his boundless infinity, and not after the manner of men, but like a God; and so to signalize his goodness beyond the compass of man; “ For he is God, and not man,” Hof. xi.9. It were a diminution of the glory of his grace, if it were said, This is nothing but what a man might do.
It It is his glory, to act in such a manner, as is proper to none. but a God, a God of boundless grace and unparalleled goodness; that, when poor dogs, Pagans, Gentiles finding his goodness even extending to them castaways, that were rejected of men, they may have it to say, Is this the manner of men, O Lord!
6. There must be a gathering of the people, the Gentiles, to show the glory and greatness of Christ's kingdom : That his dominion reacheth from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth : See Psalm lxxii. 8. 10. As it is the glory of a king, to have many fubjects, a numerous train, and a great retinue ; so it is the glory of our Shiloh, that the gathering of the people is unto him, even Gentiles as well as Jews; and so many the more to celebrate the praises of free grace, and to adorn the triumph of his glorious throne above, with loud acclamations of Grace, grace. Solomon tells us, Prov. xiv. 28. That “The glory of a king is in the multitude of his subjects :” So it is the glory of King Jesus, to have a multitude of people gathered to him : And, O that he may get honour here this day, by gathering a multitude of souls, that they may come and set the crown upon the head of an exalted Jesus!
2dly, Why to Shiloh must the gathering of the people be? Why,
1. To him must the gathering of the people be, because to him the headship and government of the people does belong. All the people, that come of Adam, have loft their head since Adam's fall: or, if they have no other head than the first Adam, they are no better than an headless company, yea, and worse ; for, from Adam their first head, there is nothing but sin and death con. veyed, Rom, v. 12. But now, the second Adam, the premised Shiloh, is constitute the Head of the people, the Head of the body the church, That in all things he might bave the pre-eminence, Col. i. 22. And to whom should the gathering of the people be, but to him, who is the Head of the people, and, The Head over cll things to the cburcb ? Eph. i. 22. He is the Head influential and political : the Head of influences ; for all the influences of light, and life, and strength, and comfort, come
an headless than the first Adanall, or, if the
from him : the Head of government; for, Ifa. ix. 6,7. • The government is laid upon his shoulders, -and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end: upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice for ever.” The fveptre is departed from Judah ; but it shall never depart from Jefus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah: the sceptre is fallen into his hand; and to whom should the gathering of the people be, but under the scep. tre of this glorious King ? O that there were a flocking to touch the sceptre of King Jesus! For, “ God hath made this Jesus, who was crucified, to be both Lord and Christ, Acts ii. 36. He hath set his King upon his holy hill of Zion, Psalm ii. 6. He hath exalted him, by his right hand, to be a Prince and Saviour," Acts v. 31. The sceptre, and the law-giver is departed from Judah, from the Jews, since Shiloh came; but the sceptre and the Law-giver is come to the Gentiles ; for, « The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, the Lord is our King, he will save us,” Isa. xxx. 22.- There needs 1:0 other reason, why the gathering of the people must be to him ; for he being the Head and King of the people, by God the Father's appointment, all divine honours are owing to him: he niust be the object of our faith, love, trust, obedience, and worship, as he is God-man, Mediator: and it is the will of the Father, that all men honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and to him must the glory of the gathering be: “ Upon him must be hung all the glory of his Father's house,---even all the vessels of small quantity, as well as great, from the veffels of cups to the vessels of flagons," Isa. xxii. 24. All the vessels of mercy, that are gathered together to God's house, they must be gathered to him, and fastened on him, as the glorious Nail in a fure placé, ver. 23. ; " For it is he that builds the temple of the Lord, and Thall bear the glory : for he shall fit and rule upon his throne,” Zech. vi. 13. People may gather about the throne of a king; and, O! should not the gathering of the people be about the throne of grace, to see the glory, and touch the sceptre of him that fits upon the throne ? Vol. IV.