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however, his first coming did not take place, till the sceptre was departed from Judah : and when the government was actually departing, or departed from Judah, that was the time when Christ came into the world; for when Herod, a stranger, and of another nation, was made king and governor of Tucah, and thereby the sceptre and royal power departed from Judah, our Lord appeared on earth. Therefore, in the narrative of Christ's nativity, Mat. ii. 1, 2. it is particularly recorded, that lie was born in the days of Herod the king, namely, when this notable prophecy of the patriarch Jacob was fulfilled.
The Jews then may hold their peace, and be filent, otherwise we can condemn them out of their own mouths; for, at the time of Christ's death, they expresly owned, faying, IVe bave no king but Cefar, Jolin xix. 15.; no king but the, Roman emperor: and now, the feeptre, that was removed from Judah before this time by conqueft, is departed from them by consent. Now, they folemnly own, that the right of govern. ment was fallen into the hands of the emperor, and so departed from Judah to Cesar; from Judea to Rome. The fceptre here is publicly resigned; We bave no king but Cefar; a plain indication, that the time for the Meffias to appear, even the set time, was now come: for, if the fceptre was departed from Judah, and the law-giver from between his feet; hence our Lord Jesus, by their own confession, is He that should conie, and we are to look for no other; for he came exacily at the time appointed. Now, from that time, to this very day, they have no king, no magistracy, no governor among themselves: their tribes are confounded, they are vagabonds in the earth, without any rule or government at all. This sign of the coming of Shiloh cannot now take place among them: this may confirm our faith of his being come, and condemn their unbelief, who obstinately deny it, though they cannot but acknowledge, that the sceptre hath ceased from Judah seventeen hundred years ago.
---So much concerning the sign.
2. The Event is the coming of Shiloh. If the question now be, Where is this Messias, in our text? Fiere it is said, Until Shilob come. But what is this to the fign? where is any mention made of the Meilias? It is univerfally received, that this Shiloh is Christ : but the question is, How Shiloh may fignify and be called Christ? The impofition of the name does agree with the nature of the person, and his work; and from divers roots, proceed divers reafuns of this name: as the lines drawn in a circle may be many, yet all agree in one centre; so, among all the divers opinions about the signification of the word Shiloh, yet all agree that it is the Meílias, who is here meant. I shall lay before you some of the fignifications of that word.
1. Some notice, that Shilofignifies peace, prosperity, and bappi. nefs; now, Christ is the Prince of peace; he preserves against the gates of hell, sin, and death: and the pleasure of the Lord shall profper in his hand; and they only are happy that are found in him. 2. Some make it to fignify reft; Christ is indeed the true resting place for weary fouls, Mat. xi. 28, 29. “ Come unto me, all ye that la. bour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me,--and ye shall find relt unto your souls.” 3. Some notice, that Shilob fignifies a repositum, a thing laid up in a store: and this agrees to him who is the defire of all nations, kept up iu the store-house of God, until the fit time in which he miglit come abroad, and appear: “ In the fulness of time, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman.” And fo, 4. Some observe, that Shilok, fignisies, Filius ejus, His Son; that is, the Son of Judah, or the Son of David; but a certain author puts ejus in the feminine gender, HER Son; that is, the Son of the virgin: and fo, in both these sentences, Christ is the Son of David, the Son of the virgin, the feed of the woman. 5. To this purpose is the observation of these that make Sbilob to fignify the membrane ; that is, the skin that wraps up the infant in the mother's womb: Christ, according to the flesh, was the Son of the womb, even of the virgin's womb. 6. And more especially, Sbilob, fignifies Sent; and Christ is indeed the Sent of God, and the best present that ever
God sent, Johın iv.7. A man that was blind was bid go and wath in Siloam, which is by interpretation Seat, to heal, not bodily diseases only, but foul dileales. As God said to Mofes in the mount,“ Get thee down, and vifit thy brethren, that connit fin below;" fo God said to Chrilt, Go down, and visit thy brethren, which are below in fin, and in the shadow of death : how frequently is lie therefore called, the Sent of God? Whatever of these meanings you put upon the word, they are all fignificant, and fhew, that Shiloh agrees to the perfun of Chrisi; and put them all together, they make his name to be as ointment poured furth, that fills the whole world with a sweet savour. He is the King of Zion, to whom the fceptre belongs; for, “ The sceptre was not to depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, till Shiloh came."---And thus you have the portion of Judah, or that part of the words that belongs to the Jews.
Now, the second part of the words is what relates to us, To bim fiall the gatbering of the people be. Here is a lap. py confluence, and concourse of people prophesied of'; where you may notice, 1. The place of their refurt, to bim. 2. The manner of their resorting to him, there will be a gathering to him. 3. The persons reforting, or the members of the meeting or assembly ; it is a gathering of the people. 4. The certainty of this event, T. bim suall the gatbering of the people be. Notice then, I say,
1. The place of their resort, or to what centre of rest their motion will tend; even to him; that is, to Shiloh, the promised Messias; to bin, who is the Son of God, the Sent of God; to him, as the only temple, the only shelter and Saviour; to him, who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; to bim, on whom the sceptre is devolved.
2. The manner of their reforting, To bim shall the GATHERING be. I find this word in the original Hebrew, to be such as gives occasion to render it thus, To bine fall the EXPECTATION of the people be; or thus, To bim Mall tbe OBEDIENCE of the people be: but our cwn translation being moft excellent and agreeable to the original, I shall especially hold by it, yet, fo as not to
exclude the other significations; for they agree upon the matter, and declare the manner of this refort of the people to Chriit; that it is not a simple assembling to him, or an outward gathering, like a confused nul titude not knowing wherefore they meet together; but that Christ shall be fo the desire of the people, the hope of the people; that it is not only a gathering of bodies, but a gathering of fouls, and a gathering of hearts unto Shiloh. They shall not only lend an outward ear, but an inward heart.obedience; not a gathering of external attendance upon him and his ordinances only, but a gathering allo of spiritual attendante, and dependence on him, complacency in him, and reverence towards him. In a word, this is such a gathering here, as imports all the acts of faith and hope in him, and all the outgoings of the foul after him in the exercise of grace internally, as well as in the performance of duty externally.
3. You have here the persons thus reforting or afsembling unto Shiloh, namely, the people; To bim shall the gathering of the PEOPLE be: that is, the Gentiles : for the blessed Shiloh was to break down the partitionwall betwixt them and the Jews. The promise here respects the Gentile nations. It is not a particular sett of people here intended; it is people in the plural num. ber. All our Latin commentators translate it either aggregatio gentium, or aggregatio populorum ; Junius and Tremellius, obedientia populorum*. The coming of Shiloh was to turn the singular number to the plural; he was to turn Cens to Gentes, and populus to populi; that is to say, (for I design not to speak to you in an unknown tongue) he was to turn a nation in particular, to nations in general; and instead of making a feast only for one fort of people, to wit, the Jews; he was to make unto all people a feast of fat things, and wines on the lees, well refined, Isa. xxv. 6.; yea, he was to turn out the Jews, and take in the Gentiles in their room for hundreds of years. And, alas! they have been turned to
* That is, the gathering of the nations, the gathering of the people, or the obedience of the people.
the door thefe feventeen hundred years by-gone, and we need to pray that the time of their rejection may be of no longer continuance; for it will not fare the worfe with us, that they be received in again. Nay, “ If the casting away of them, says the apostlė, be the reconciling of the Gentile world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Rom. xi. 15. However, at present, they that were the only church, are unchurched; they are cut off from Shiloh, and there is a gathering of the people in their room: what people ? even the people that were afar off, the Gentiles; for the Jews had been long the people near to him : they were the children of Abraham, and we the stones; and glory to him that, out of these stones, can raise up children to Abraham. They were the garden of God, when we were a defolate wilderness. The Ge les were contemned by the Jews : the Levite-priest would fcarce look upon a poor Samaritan, but passed by on the other side. We were the dogs that were without, and looked upon them as a cursed people, as indeed we were: but now, by the gathering of the people to Shiloh, the curse is turned to a blessing : the Gentiles are invited, and the Jews neglected. Where nature made a separation, grace makes a gathering and conjunction; where fin made a disjunction, grace makes an aggregation : To bim shall the aggregation, or gathering, of tbe people be.
4. You have here the certainty of this event: To bim SHALL the gathering of the people be. God revealed this counsel of his to old Jacob; and he by the inspiration of God, declares it, that it shall be. It is very true the fall be in the text here is not in the original, but it is very fitly supplied by our translators ; and the certainty of this event is as strongly asserted, when these two words are left out, as when they are put in, and in my opinion fomewhat stronger : for, if you read the text without fupplying of these two words, then it runs thus, The Sceptre foall not depart from. Judcb, nor the law-giver from between bis feet, till Sbilob come, and THE GATHERING OF