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I shall offer some considerations, for pressing home this exhortation upon the people.
I. Consider, that Shiloh is come to the people, that the people may come to him ; for this is what I mean, by gathering to him, namely, a coming to him by faith: and this faith, you know, is a receiving and reiting upur him alone for salvation, as he is offered in the gospel. Now, fine he cannot be received, but in and by the gospel-offer, the word of grace, the word of promile in the gofpel; therefore to receive him, is to believe in him, John i. 12. As it is by unbelief that we depart from him, Hi-biji. 12. "Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God:' fo it is by believing in him, that we gather to him: and to believe in lim, is to credit the record, that God hath given of his Son ; " And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son: he that does not thus believe, hath made God a liar," I John v. 10, 11. To come to him by faith, then, is to close with him in the gospel. record, and upon the divine testimony ; to have a divine persuasion of the truth and goodness of the gospel-meliage,
a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came to save finners, of whom I am the chief,” I Tim. i. 15. and so it is just a taking him at his word, and taking his word of grace, his word of honour for your falvation, according to the gospel-oiler of him. If you be saving, then, that you cannot come to him by faith; it may be very true, for indeed you cannot come, til be draw you, John vi. 44. You cannot believe, till Tre Spirit of grace jix in with this word of grace ; but do you know what you are saying, when you say you canant come to him by faith, though the word of grace came to you in particular, to be believed by you? You are saying, in effect, that God is a liar; I cannot tale his word for it: I cannot believe that he is speaking to me: or that he means any good to me. "To you is the word of this salvation sent," says the gospel : “N, says "unbelief, never a word of that is true, with respeci 56 to we: let them apply ii to whom it is funt, but I
as cannot “ cannot think it is to the like of me.” Wretch ! you are calling the God of truih a liar: Oh! blacphemy! If it were not to you, your unbelief would not be your fin; but of all fins it is the most damning, as well as the prolific womb that genders other fins, llowever, Shiloh is come to yon, that you may come to him ; " He came to his own, and his own [viz. the Tews,] received himn not:" intimating, that the design of the work, and design of his coming, was that they might conie to him, receive him, and gather to him. And now he is come to you, Gentiles; he is come to the people: and shall the people reject him too? He is come to us in the flesh, by taking on cur nature; he is come to us in the gospel, the gospel-offer, the gospelpromile, the gospel-invitation; and though he should never come any other way, yet it states your obligation, and lays a foundation for your coming to him; and if you reject him, you are as inexcusable, as the Jews that rejected him were.
2. Consider whom it is you will be gathered to, when gathered unto Shiloh: Surely, they that know his name, will put their trust in him, and fo gather to him. Pfal. xxiv. 9, 10. “ Lift up your heads, Oye gates, that the Kinga of glory may come in.” Oh! who would not caft open the gates of their hearts to receive such an honourable guest! Oh! if you knew what a glorious one Christ is, you could not find in you heart to reject and delpise him : he is not a man fimply, or an angel, but a God-man, the Lord of men and angels. It is not poftible to tell what glory is in lim, for God is in him;
Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the fieth," i Tim. iii. 16. A Ged-head dwelling in our fleil, is the world's wonder: it is such a mystery, that the world cannot receive it; but this is the gospel that we preach, “ That God is in Chrift reconciling the world to himself,” 2 Cor. v. 19. O think, what of God is in Christ! (1.) The authority of God is in him; My name is in bim, Exodus xxiii. 21. this is the proper name, Shiloh, the Sent, the Authorised, and Sealed of the Father, John vi. 27. He came in his Father's name, as well as his own, to seek and save lost finners. As the authority of God, fo, (2.) The wisdom and power of God is in him: “We preach Christ crucified, the wisdom of God, and the power of God," I Cor.i.23,24. All the treasures of divine wisdom, and all the magazine of divine power are in him. And not only fo, but again, (3.) The Spirit of God is in him ; “ I have put my Spirit upon him, that he may bring forth judynient to the Gentiles,” Isa. lxii. I. He hath not only the Spirit of wisdom, to contrive for the best ; and the Spirit of power, to save to the uttermoft ; but also the Spirit of
gathering of the people be to him? O! what of God is in him! (4.) The righteousness of God is in him ; and his righteousness is the rightcousuess of God, which is revealed to you in this gospel, from faith to faith, Rom. i. 17. (5.) The love of God is in him, für divine love is wrapt up in this garment of flesh and blood; “ In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him,” i Johniv.. (6.) The mercy of God is in him. Oh! poor finner, when you
be your cry; but in vain will you seek God's mercy, to the prejudice of God's justice; and behold, justice and mercy meet together, and kiss one another, only in Christ : mercy will vent no otherwise, but in Christ, in whom alone God is well-pleased, and by whom his justice is satisfied. What shall I say? (7.) The salvation of God is in him, Acts iv. 12. “ Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no name given under heaven among men whereby we can be saved, but the name of Jesus.” Yea, (8.) The fulness of God is in him : “For it hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col. i. 19. and accordingly, Col. ii. 9. " In him dwells all the fulness of the God-head bodily." None of God's attributes or excellencies are out of him ; " He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express iinage of his perfon *.” There is enough here to provoke all the world to gather to him. . * The above particulars may be seen formewhat more fully illuftrated, Vol. III. pag. 165, 166, 167.
L4 . 3. Con..
3. Consider what you must be gathered to, if you be not gathered to Shiloh.
(1.) If you be not gathered to Christ, you will be gathered to your idols and lusts : and have you not provoked God too much already, by gathering towards that airth ? May not the time past fuflice you to have wrought the will of the Gentiles? Will you prefer a base luft to bleiled Jesus? a lust that would damn you, to a Jesus that would save you! Again,
(2.) If you be not gathered to Christ, the best airth veu can pretend to go to, is to be gathered to the Law as your husband : and, Oh! is a broken covenant of works a better bargain, think you, than Christ? Nay, nay ; “ As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse,” Gal. iii. 10.; that is, as many as think to be justified and accepted of God by their obedience to the command of the law, they are under the threaten. ing and curse of the law; for, “ Cursed is every one that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them:" and hereby, you are a debtor to the whole law, Gal. v.3.; and, because you cannot pay the debt of obedience to the command, you must ly under thie debt of fatisfaction to the curse: and therefore under the heavy curse and condemnation of the law is your fuul gathered, while you are out of Christ, Yea,
(3.) If you be not gathered to Christ, you must be gathered to the devil: for there is no medium, either Christ or the devil must be your master: if Christ be not entertained, you entertain the devil in his room. And do you consider what sort of guest he is? He is a guest that will blind you; for, he is the god of this world that blinds the minds of them that believe not. He is a guest that will blast you, and blast every word to you that you hear, or else run away with it, that you may never get good of it; for he catches away the very feed that is sown in the heart, Mat. xiii. 19. - He is a guest that will deceive you, by persuading you that you have either been gathered to Christ already, and that you are a good enough believer, or else that it is time enough for you to be gathered to Christ.-And so he is, in a word, a guest that will destroy you, and devour
you: you, as well as delude you ; for, “ The devil goes about like a roaring lion, feeking whom he may devour.” And as now he is your tempter, so afterwards he will be your tormentor. Therefore, again,
(4.) Let me tell you, if you be not gathered to Shiloh, you must be gathered to hell : for, “ He that believeth not, ihall be damned," Mark xvi. 16. And it is not the minister that says it, it is the say and affirmation of the God of truth ; and if his say be not enough, know he hath sworn, as well as said it, Hebrews iii. 18. He swears in his wrath, that you shall not enter into his rest. And to whom does he swear thus in his wrath? Even to them that believe not. Alas! there is no little wrath abiding that soul against whom God swears in his wrath ; it will be wrath proportioned to the worth of that blood of Christ, which you do trample under your feet. Oh! “llow shall you escape, if you neglect fo great salvation ?» Let not the devil persuade you, that all these things are but fancies; for, when death's cold sweat begins to break upon you, you will find them to be fad realities, if you be not gathered unto Shiloh.--And therefore, again,
4. Consider what things are a-gathering, that should hasten your gathering in to Shiloh. Clouds are gathering fast in our sky; a cloud of wickedness, a cloud of error, a cloud of wrath, a cloud of death. : (1.) A cloud of wickedness is gathering; nay, this cloud is already gathered to such a blackness, that we cannot say, “ The iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full;” or that the iniquity of Britain and Ireland is not yet full'; nay, cur covenant-breaking, covenant-burning, covenant-burying, fin and defection, beside all other evils, have made our cup full, fome time ago: but it feems God hath a mind our cup ihould run over, that so his cup of judgments may run also: for a cloud of wickedness is gathering more and more.
(2.) Clouds of error are gathering also; a black cloud especially of Arianism, which threatens the destruction of the very foundation of Christianity; And if the foundation shake, what fall the righteous do? Cf.