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these are expressed by the spouse in one word, Draw me, we will run after thee. The passive gathering is God's drawing finners to Christ, the active gathering is their running to him when drawn. This is such a necessary distinction, that it must be taken along with the whole of our discourse upon this subject; wherein we must consider this gathering sometimes in an active and sometimes in a passive sense, because the one cannct be without the other. When irresistible power is put forth, there must be a gathering, Psal. cx. 3. “ Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power :" And where there is such a gathering, it is a fruit of that exerting of divine power in its irresistible efficacy. Hence I offer,

2. A second remark, that in this gathering of the people to Shiloh, there are certain gatherers employed. The great and glorious gatherer is God himself, when he draws finners to himself with the cords of love and bands of a man; that is, in a powerful irresistible manner; and yet not violating the will, as Arminians dream ; but with loving and rational arguments, conquering, carrying, captivating, and overpowering the whole soul. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are employed in this gathering-work : it is done by the care of the Father, by the pains of the Son, and by the power of the Holy Ghost: it is done by the motion of the Father, by the mediation of the Son, and by the might of the eternal Spirit. God the Father is the gatherer; he is said to gather into one all things by Christ, Eph. i. 10. Christ himself, to whom the gathering is, is also the gatherer, John xi. 52. where it is said of him, that he would gather together into one, the children of God that were scattered abroad. And that the Holy Ghost is the immediate gatherer, is plain, in that as the Father sends the Son to gather, so the Son fends the Spirit to gather the people to him : hence the Spirit is said to reveal Christ, to testify of Christ, to glorify Chrift, to invite the people to Christ, Rev, xxii. 17. The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And he not only says it externally to the ear by his word; but internally to the foul, by his common motions; and efficaciously to the

heart, heart, by his irresistible operation ; like that word by which the world was made, when God said, Let there be light, and there was light : fo, when the Spirit says, Let there be faith, there is faith. Hence, he that is called the Spirit of faith, 2 Cor. iv, 13. is also the Spirit of power, 2 Tim. i. 7. For he both begins and carries on the work of faith with power, and so powerfully draws finners to Christ, and effectually gathers the people to Shiloh. The principal gatherers then are the blessed perfons of the glorious Trinity: the Father does it, through the Son, by the Holy Ghost. This adorable three-in-one work to each other's hand. There are subordinate gatherers, which God does employ ; particularly ministers of the gospel, whose greatest work lies in winning fouls, and gathering people to Christ; therefore called, workers together with God, 2 Cor. vi. 1. Their principal business is to found the trumpet, and gather the people to Shiloh : they are to preach Christ, to proclaim Christ, to offer Christ, to invite finners to Christ, and that is all they can do. They may cast down the gospel-net, but they will take no. thing, unless the Lord himself gather in the fish; Except the Lord build the city, the builders build in vain. The gospel is then the power of God to falvation; that is, his organical power, the instrument of his power, when it is the ministration of the Spirit; “ Not by strength, nor by might, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord.” Seek then, that his power may accompany the word, otherwise, it will not be a gathering word.Now, as ministers are the subordinate gatherers, under Heaven's influence, by office; fo may private Christians, whose fouls are gathered to Chriít: they may be gatherers in their station, not indeed by office ministerially and authoritatively, but by private admonition and counsel charitatively. Thus parents, by their precept and example,, may be the instruments of gathering their children to Christ; masters, their servants; and private Christians, their neighbours. And happy these that through grace are thus employed, whether as ministers or Christians! for they are wise, “ He that winneth fouls is wise. And they that be wise,”' (Dan. xii. 3.) or, as it may be read, “ they

that that be teacbers, fhall shine as the brightness of the firmament: and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.” But then again,

3. The third remark I offer is, that there are certain airths, or particular quarters from whence the gathering of the people is made. Whence are they gathered,

may you say? Why, this is to be considered beth in CF point of place, and in point of state.

Ift, In point of place. Whence is the gathering to Shiloh, and from what airth? Why, even from every

airth; " They shall come from the eart, and from thie -- west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall

fit down in the kingdom of God,” Luke xiii. 29. This LTE gathering to Shiloh, confidered even literally and extenDe fively, will be from all the four quarters, and from all Gis the four corners of the eartır; from Europe, Ada, Africa, do and America. Hence it is said of Chirist's deirinion, rei Pfal. lxxii. 8. that he shall have it from sea to sea, oin and from the river to the ends of the earth: and not only The the large continent, but the little isles are include!, ver.

1: 10, VI. “The kings of Tarshish and the illes shall bring ca presents, and the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer To: gifts: yea, all kings shall fall down before him, and all

his nations shall serve him.” You have all the four airtlis en mentioned, Ifa. xliii. 5, 6. “I will bring thy feed from

w the east, and gather thee from the west; and will say to ced the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: Det bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the

ends of the earth.” While the isles and ends of the earth are so much mentioned, even the outmost cuds of the earth, to be Christ's poffeffion; we may therein fee and wonder at the grace of God, that in his council of old, concerning the gathering of the people to Shiloh, he had a view to our remote northern illes among the reft;

even Britain and Ireland, Scotland and Zetland. When 'God will count the people that were gathered to Shiloh,

it will be said of poor, remote Scotland, Tbis 111cn and that man was born there; and, O that the number were increased, and a greater gathering-time would come than ever hath been! O for a gathering of power, a day of power!. However, it is from all airths that the VOL. IV.

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gathering of the people shall be to Christ: it is not confined to one place ; to him shall' the gathering be, from Asia in the east, and from America in the west, from Africa in the south, and from Europe in the north, not forgetting the European isles in the midst of the northern seas.

2dly, In point of state. Whence is the gathering of the people to Shiloh, and from what airth ? from what fiate and condition are they to be gathered ? Here let me allude to the four elements, water, fire, earth, and air, out of which they are gathered.

(1.) Some are gathered as it were out of the water, and filled out of the flood; and hence, as ministers in gathering fouls, are called, Filhers of men, and the gofpel, the Filh-net cast into the sea for gathering of every kind, Matth. xiii. 47.; so, they are gathered out of the fea of a troublesome tempestuous world, out of the floods of fin and misery, where they are swimming. When the Lord gathers people to himself, he must fish them, and gather them out of many waters and great depths, even out of the depth of security, out of the depth of fenfuality, where they are swimming pleasantly, vet dangerously, ready to swim in to the dead sea of everlasting deitraction. Nothing but the hand of God could rcach to the bottom of the depth whence the Lord does gather his elect.

(2.) Some are gathered as it were out of the fire: Zech. iii. 2. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

There is the fire of lust and lewdness, that some are burning in; For wickedness burns as the fire, Isa. ix. 18. and to be gathered out of the Torrid Zone, and brought to a temperate climate, is a great matter. Out of this fire they must be gathered, that are gathered unto Shi. loh. There is the fire of God's wrath, which is a confuming fire, wherein they are in utmost danger of be. ing consumed for ever; but when the Lord gathers the people, he puts his hand, as it were, into the midst of the fire, and plucks them as brands out of the burning. Again,

(3.) They are gathered out of the earth ; out of the dust and dung of the earth. Some are grovelling

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on the earth, and licking the dust like serpents, hav. ing their hearts and affections clogged with the clay, in respect of their worldly-mindedness, earthly dispofitions, and covetousness, while the heart is fo set uponi earthly things, that they are loft, and hid among the clay, and covered with the dust; and from thence they must be gathered ; “ For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and {mote him; I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; and lead him also, and reitore comforts. unto him, and to his mourners,” Ifa. lvii. 17, 18. O the kindness of God, in çathering suuls out of such a difmal situation! Yea, fome are not only covered with the dust, but lying among the dung of this earth, sticking in the miry clay, and wallow. ing in all the grofs abominations and pollutions of the world, such as these mentioned, I Cor. vi. 9, 10, II. ; yet out of the very dung does he gather the people to Shiloh; “ Such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are fan&tified, but ye are justified.” He gathers his sheep out of the most dirty mire. Let none prefume; for he is sovereign, and lets fome stick and perish, in the mire : let none despair; for he is merciful, and draws out some from the very dung. When Antigomus, a king, past by a ditch, into which a sheep was fallen, the historian says, he pulled it out, though foul, and dirty, with his own hand; for which he was exceedingly beloved, and commended by his subjects.-But behold the King of Israel is yet kinder; he not only stoops to filthy ditches of sin, into which his sheep

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in his bofom, Isa. xl. 11. that he may warm them with his heart-love, and wash them with his heart-blood. Again,

4. They are gathered out of the air, in a manner; while the prince of the power of the air is flying away with them, they are gathered out of his claws. Some that are Satan's captives, they are flying in the air, as it were, with the wings of pride and vanity, exalting themselves above all that is called God. They learn

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