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feeking in other things. Now, though I judge it would straiten the gospel-call there, to confine it only to the first sense ; yet I reckon the first to be so much im. ported, that feeing such persons as find a load of fin and wrath upon them, are readiest to exclude themselves, therefore they are exprefly called. Thus again, they that see themselves destitute of all good qualifications, have no money nor money-worth; nothing but poverty, and want, and worthlessness : these are ready to
exclude themselves, as being broken and lost; therefore Ee: they are particularly encouraged, as Ezek. xxxiv. 16. 10 Again,
(2.) They that are excluded by men; yea, whom ministers are ready to exclude, yet the call reaches them. 2. Men are ready to exclude from the call of the gospel,
such as refuse the call, and pour contempt upon it, viz. Mockers and scorners; yet we find such are called, Prov. i. 22, 23.-Men are ready to exclude from the call of the gospel, or the invitation to come, and gather
and think themselves happy enough without him.--Men exclude unsensible finners, that have 110 thirsty desire after Christ, but are satisfying themselves with other things; yet these are particularly called, as you may see in these two passages, Ifa. lv. I, 2.“ Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye; buy and eat, yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which is not bread ? and your labour for that which satisfieth not ? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” Now, you may notice, that the thirsting here is no desirable quality ; it was 'a thirsting for that which did not satisfy, and a la. bouring for that which was not bread; and yet they are invited to come to him, as one that hath a variety of supply ; water, to refresh ; wine, to cherish ; milk, to nourish; and all offered freely ; “ Without money, and without price:" so that here, even these that are thirsting after their lusts, and after the world, and unsa. tisfying vanities, are called. See also, Revel. iii. 18.
" I coun“ I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayelt be rich; white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and eye-fälve, that thou mayeit fee.” But who are they that are thus called ? Even there, that in the preceeding verse, said they were rich, and increased with goods, and stood in need of nothing; even these that had no sense of their need of Christ : true, these that do 11ot see their need, will not come ; but whether they fee it or not, they are called and obliged to come.----Now, men are really to exclude from the call these that are unhumbled, unfenfible finners, that are not convinced of their fin and misery; but because God's free and gracious call can effectually work upon unfenfible, stupid, brutish finners, as well as upon the obje&is that we reckon most prepared ; therefore finners want of fense, and due conviction, is brought in as a reason why they are called to came to Christ: “ I counfel thee to buy of me tried gold, white raiment, eye-salve :' why, because thou sayest, “ I am rich, and encreased with goods, and stand in need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”—Let none think then, because they do not fee their wretched and undone state without Christ, therefore they are not concerned with his call: nay, upon that very account you are concerned, says the Spirit of God; ard you may object what you will, but you will not get it put by you. Shift this call as you will, it will rise up in judgment against you, if you do not answer it. If you are an unsensible finner, not knowing that you are poor and miserable, thinking that you are rich enough already, and does not see that you are wretched, blind, ,and naked, you have the more need to come to Christ, that he may give you eye-falve, that you may fee your misery without him, and vour remedy in him.--Thus we are warranted to open the mouth of the gospel-net : and I hope, by this time, you may fee, that you are all concerned with this call. And, what do you think we intend by this universal call? Why, there is one of two things will follow ; either, to the glory of God's justice we get you ali left inexcusable; or, to the glory of his mercy, we get you all gathered into Christ; and
if there be fome of both forts, then both these erds are reached. But, О to see the last especially, even a happy gathering of the people to Shiloh!--Thus you see who are the people, of whom it is said, the gathering hall be to the Meflias. None are excluded, all are invited, and warranted to assemble to him; and when God says, To bim shall the gathering of the people be, all the people ihould lay, Amen.
III. The third thing proposed, was, To shew to whom shall the gathering of the people be ; or what is the gathering place, and where is the gathering to be. Here we may enquire, 1. What place there is in Christ for the people to gather? 2. in what respect the gathering of the people is to him?
First, What place there is in Chrift for the people to gather to? Christ is the temple to which we ought to refort; he is the only refuge and sanctuary of poor miserable fouls; and there is room enough in the temple and sanctuary, for all that fall gather into it. In general, the very Person of Christ is the gathering place, the meeting place, to which people should gather.They that come to Christ, are to close with his perfon, and then they are interested in all his purchaie; hence the many calls to come to him, to receive him, to rest on him, to trust in him, to flee to him, and fo to God in him ; for a God in Christ is the throne of grace, to which the gathering of the people should be, Hleb. iv. 16. “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.” More particularly, there is a fix-fold place or chamber in the Lord Jesus, that I Mall mention, for the gathering of the people into.
1. There is the chamber of his righteousness; no doubt this is one of the chambers spoken of, Song i. 4. Tbe King hath brought me into bis chambers: and Isaiah xxvi. 20. Come my people, enter into your chambers, and hide yourself, till the indignation be overpast. Indeed there is no escaping of divine wrath and indignation, but by gathering into this chamber of Christ's righteousness. It is one of the most splendid and well
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adorned chambers that ever was: for it is hung with the red and white hangings which Gud himself wrought: I mean, with the fair and white obedience, and the red bloody suffering and satisfaction of the Son of God. Guilty sinners cannot be saved without a law-fulfilling, justice-fatisfying righteousness : but when they gather into this chamber they are absolutely safe, and may say, “Surely in the Lord have I righteousnels and strength, Isa. xlv. 24. The Lord is well-pleased, for his righteousness fake;" infomuch, that none can lay any thing to their charge, Rom. viii. 33. They may laugh at all challenges, while they shut their chamber-door upon themselves; they are then chambered, like Noah in the ark, which was pitched within and without, Gen. vi. 14. fo as no drop of water could come in : fo here,
2. There is the chamber of his name, for the gathering of the people into ; “ The name of the Lord is a strong tower, to which the righteous run, and are safe,” Prov. xviii. 10. He is the strength, as well as the righteousness of Israel : and to this chamber, in which there is everlasting strength, we ought to throng. 'Many a closer there is in this chamber: if we should mention all his titles, all his offices, all his relations, all his divine attributes and perfections which belong to his name, there would be no end of telling ; but every one, and any one of them, is a fit place for gathering to; every corner of this chamber is perfumed, infomuch, that nene are gathered into it, but they are ravished with the sweet smell thereof; “ Because of the favour of thy good ointment, thy name is as ointment poured forth.” His name is, Cbrist the Anointed; and every name he hath is an anointed name : He is an anointed Jesus, an anointed Surety, an anointed King. And when any of his names are cleared up, and opened, it is like the opening of a box of ointment; it is like the opening of a chamber-door, full of ravishing perfumes.
3. There is the chamber of his bofom, for the gathering of the people into; He gathers them with his arms, and carries them in bis bofom, Isa. xl. 11.; his kind and merciful bofom and bowels, which yearn toward finners,
Jer. xxxi. 20. This is a large chamber, James v. 11. The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy; the original is, nonu'ott247 Xvos he is of LARGE BOWELS, or FULL OF BOWELS: there is place enough in these bowels of infinite mercy for finners to gather in into; and this chamber of his bofom is standing open for all comers. The chamber-door of his heart is open, that the gathering of the people may be in to it: and as it is a large chamber, that can contain you all, being as broad and wide as the infinite mercy of a God in Christ; so it is a warm chamber: 0 it is a warni and heartfome chamber, to get into the heart and bofom of Christ. They that gather in there, will fit under the warm and benign influence of God's love and grace in Christ: their hearts are warmed, and made to burn within them ; “ Did not our hearts burn within us, when he talked with us by the way, and opened to us the scriptures?" Luke xxiv. 32. While he was opening the scripture, he was stirring up the fire of love; they were in the chamber of his warın heart and bofom, and it made them to have a warm heart too: surely, believer, you know what a sweet chamber that is.
4. There is the chamber of fulness, to which the gathering of the people should be. This is a chamber that comprehends all the rest of the chambers within it; but because it is so notable and glorious, we name it among the rest. It is the best furnished chamber that ever you heard tell of; for, all the fulness of the Godhead is in it: “ It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col. i. 19. and ii. 9, 10. " In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and ye are complete in him.” To this chamber should all poor beggar and bankrupt finners, that have lost their stock in the first Adam, gather together, that out of his fulness they may receive, grace for grace, John i. 16. In this chamber are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know. ledge, all the treasures of grace and glory, all the treasures of God's perfections, and all the treasures of the Spirit's graces. Your great want is the want of Gud; and you may find him in this chamber: your licxt wart