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Rom. ix.4,5. Tho' they were the people of his first love, the feed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom so many precious promises were made in behalf of their feed : Lehold their Shiloh comes to them, and they will not have him ; “ He came to his own, and his own received him not.” They owned the sceptre was departed from Judah, when they said, We have no king but Cesar; and so by their own confeffion, Shiloh is come, since the sceptre was departed from Judah. And, because they would not fubinit to the spiritual sceptre of the promised Messias, they have been without a king, without a prince, without a fceptre, or law-giver, without a governor and government, 'for 1700 years and more, even since Shiloh came, to whom there is a gathering of other people in their room. Oh! shall we not lament their long continued rejection ? Their feventy years captivity in Babylon was nothing to this; yea, their four hundred and thirty years bondage in Egypt was nothing to this ! Alas! how long, how long shall his anger last against that people! How long shall they be under the guilt of the blood of Christ, which they imprecated upon themselves and their posterity, saying, His blood be upon us, and our children! Oh! pray, pray for that antient people of God, and that the blood of Shiloh may cleanse them from that blood-guiltiness! When they were in favour with God, the believers. among them had mind of us poor Gentiles, when we were the little fifter that had not breasts, Song viii. 8. ; and now, when we are fucking at the breasts of gospel ordinances and facramental folemnities, Oh! shall we not mind them when their breasts are cut cif, when they that were the natural branches are broken off, and we that were the wild olive-tree, are grafted in to partake of the root and fatness of the good olive-tree? Rom. xi. 17. 24. Oh ! let us not boast against the branches; “ For if thou boastest, thou bearest not the root, but the - root thee.” See ver. 18, 19, 20, 21. Let us not boast, but let us beg, that they may be again grafted in ;

For if the casting away of them be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but

life from the dead ?” ver. 15. The day of the return and conversion of the Jews will be a day of greater gathering to Shiloh, even among the Gentiles, than we have yet feen; and it would fare better with us, if we were more employed in praying for thein. Mean time, this dark and doleful dispensation, that as yet they are under, was not darkly foretold in the words of our text, that, upon the sceptre's departing from Judah, Shiloh the Messiah should come, And to him should the gathering of the people be: that is, the Gentiles; plainly intimating a wonderful mystery of providence, that the King of the Jews should come to the Gentiles, and be crowned king among them, that fo the Jews might have it to say at length, That the King of the Gentiles is become the King of the Jews; as well as the Gentiles have it to say, That the King of the Jews is become the King of the Gentiles:

2. Hence fee the sovereign mercy of God in Clirist towards the poor Gentile nations, and the isles of the Gentiles not forgotten; for he particularly promifes, That the isles shall wait for his law, Ifa. xlii. 4. And, O wonder, that we, in this remote island, were in his view, when he promised, That to him should the gather. ing of the people be. Jacob, by inspiration of the Spirit of God, said it on his death-bed, and it is now more than three thousand years ago ; that is indeed to him not fo niuch as three days; fur, to him a thousand years are as one day. Thousands of years interveening cannot make him forget his proinise ; and, so far as there is, er shall be a gathering of the people to Shiloh, so far does this promise take effect. There was a promise of this, more ancient yet, Gèn. ix. 27. “ God shall inlarge [or perfuade] Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem :" there is a promise that the Gentiles should be gathered in to partake of the privileges of the Jews; for of Japhet came the Gentiles, and among his pofterity were the isles of the Gentiles divided : fee Gen. X. I, 2. 5.; and probably this island among the rest. For confirming whereof, I shall not be positive in a verring what some alledge, that as Gomer was the eldest son of Japhet, and of him came the people called Gomeri or Cymbri; so the first inhabitants of this island

does the ancient yet, and he shall a Centiles Thou

of of Britain came of the posterity of Japhet, one of the fons of Noah, namely, of the said Japhet's eldest son Gomer; and hence, from Gomeri came Cambria, which is the Latin name of Wales in this island to this day, to which place the ancient Britons retired at the coming in of the Saxons: hence they suppose, that the isle of Britain is particularly intended here. But I shall not found any certain conclusion upon a doubtful fuppofition, though it be generally agreed to by some good historians. We may see it plain from the event, that God had a particular design that there should be a gathering of people to Shiloh in these lands, and even in Scotland. I have shewed formerly, how early the Lord visited us with the gospel ; and that we were

were enlightened therewith, after Christ's afcenfion, by which we were delivered from grofs Paganism.And when I spoke of the remarkable gathering seasons, I took notice of our reformation-days from Popery, and afterwards from Prelacy, our covenanting-days, and the like ; and therefore I am not here to insist thereupon: only, as there have been remarkable ga. thering times in Scotland, and as the Lord countenances yet the gathering means and ordinances among us: so we ought to bless him that ever gospel light shined upon us, and wait on him for more of that gathering power of his Spirit, that Scotland's barrenness now, and unfruitfulness under the means of grace, may not provoke him wholly to leave us, and make our name LO-AMMI: i. e. Not my people.

3. Hence fee the excellency of the gospel, and the reason of the efficacy thereof. Behold the excellency of the gospel, which brings the glad tidings of a Saviour to the people, and of a gathering place for the poor. Gentiles, as well as the Jews; a God-man, in whom God and inan might meet together, that scattered finners, feparated from God, might be gathered to him, Behold the condescension of our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed in this gospel, that he stoops fo low as to be the gathering room for poor finful people, to which they refort for shelter and salvation. 'Shiloh is come ;

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he is come in our nature, and with human nature he puts on human bowels, that into his very bosom, the gathering of the people may be, that all the good they have loft, may be found in Christ: yea, that the God, whom they have lost, may be found in him : for, " God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”But as herein we see the excellency, fo also behold the efficacy of the gospel, and the power thereof. What was the reason of the wonderful spreading and influence of the gospel of Christ, especially in the first ages? It is a matter for which no human policy can account, that the gospel, preached in fimplicity, by men of the meanest character, should make its way through forces of devils and men, should gain so many profelytes, fubdue so many kingdoms. Had this doctrine been suited to flesh and blood, and, like Malo. met’s, indulged men in fenfual enjoyments, and promis. ed afterwards the highest degrees of sensual pleasures; had the gospel been designed for encreasing the stock of earthly treasure, it were no wonder that it should have gained so much ground; for all carnal men would readily receive this doctrine, and tenaciously retain it.. Nay, had it proceeded upon mere rational grounds and foundations, fome philosophers, at least, would have embraced it. But that a doctrine, that teaches to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts; a doctrine, that teaches to crucify the old man, with his affections and lufts; the lufts of the eye, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life ; a doctrine, that enjoins us to look to things that are not seen; a doctrine, that commands us to leave all things, deny ourselves, and count all but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ: that this doctrine, however highly rational, yet hạth no foundation in reason, and admits consequences of no rational demonstration, many thereof being above the reach of reason; that this doctrine, that owes nothing to the character of its preachers, and owes as little to human force; that this doctrine should have gained fo great a ground, obtained fo vast success, in a time wherein the profession thereof did make the professors of it, to run the risque of poverty, death, and disgrace; this, I say, is a mystery,

that

that none shall be able to unfold, but these who plow with this gospel-hiefer, that the gospel is the very inItrument of divine power, whereby he gathers the people to Shiloh. The reason of 'this marvellous dispensation is, that the omnipotent God, who can give a being to his word, hath past his word, that to Chriít shall the gathering of the people be: and divine power, for effectuating this design, is put forth in the gospel ; which, therefore, is called the power of God to falvation, while therein is revealed the righteousness of God, from faith to faith. And this treasure is put in earthen velsels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of man: And, O that this power were put forth on this occasion, for gathering the people to Shiloh ! • 4. Hence fee what ought to be the great design of peoples gathering to gospel-ordinances; the leading end is, what the prophet expresies, Jer. 1. 5. “ They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord :" That is, Let us gather together unto Shiloh ; let us lay ourselves under the influence of his gathering power, and cast ourselves into his gathering arms, while he is stretching forth the arms of his frée gracé, in a preached gospel. O Sirs! What is the design of these gatherings of people together, if there be no gathering to Shiloh ? If we look to the views and designs of the most part, we will find, that the gathering to Shiloh, is least of all in their view. As there were wise virgins and foolish ; so there are wise hearers, and foolish : fome come to ordinances, only for a náme, because they would not be thought any worse than their neighbours : fome come for diversion, to spend an hour or two in hearing, because they have little else to do; some come for attendance såke, be. cause they are waiting on their master or mistress; fome come for company's sake, their fellows saying, Let us go to fermon; Content, says the other, and so they go for company; fome come for curiosity's sake, they have heard people speak to the praise, or dispraise of such and such a man, and they will see whether it be as they say; some come for carping and cavilling, not to be judged by the word, but to judge it, and censure

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