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faith, it can flee from earth to heaven in a moment. But this speedy gathering, I understand especially in opposition to delays, which are dangerous in religion : to delay coming to Christ one half-hour, is dangerous exceedingly ; for, if you die within that half-hour, you are undone to eternity. Now, in a day of powerful gathering, the soul makes no longer delay: but it is in an holy haste; “ I made haste and delayed not to keep thy righteous judgments.” The man is made to flee with speed, and to run with hafte out of Sodom.

(4.) When there is a gathering to Shiloh, the regular approach and address to him is made deliberately; tho' it is with speed, yet it is with deliberation; tho' none cán believe too soon by a faving faith, yet some believe too soon by a temporary faith, never having weighed matters in the balance of the fanctuary. The true approacher puts the matter in a fair. balance: he puts the disadvantages in one scale, saying, What will be my fare, If I come not to Christ? Why, “ They that are far from him shall perish:” he puts the advantages in another scale, and contes at length to that conclufion, Pl.. lxxiii. 28. “ It is good for me to draw near to God.” O! of all the gatherings, the gathering to Shiloh is beft: “ To whom shall I go ? he hath the words of eternal life.” The man is not affected only with a tranfient flash; no, by no means: he fees the wicked oft in prosperity, and the godly in adversity; he sees the large and alluring offers that sin, Satan, and the world make; and yet after all, he deliberately affirms, It is good for me to draw near to God and Chrift: Let others say, as Psal. iv. 6. Wbo will shew is any good! But my say shall be, Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance on me.

(5.) When there is a gathering to Shiloh, the regular approach and address is made chastly and uprightly: the foul views the saying, that Christ came to save finners from sin and wrath, not only as a faithful faying, but às worthy of all acceptation ; because the beauty of Christ is discovered. Some have their reason conquered, but not their love ; and, therefore, they come to Christ feignedly, and not with the whole heart: their judgment draws one way, and their affections another ;

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for their judgment is gained, but not their afiections; . as if one Mould marry a woman, not because of lier beauty, but because of her patrimony ; not from a regard to her person, but love to her portion. Some tale on with Christ, and take hold of the skirt of this lek, who yet see no forın or comelincís in him, for wliich he {hould be defired. But as it is said, “The upright love thee;" so they that in gathering to him act chailly and uprightly, they come to him out of pure love, not for servile ends : not to gratify a natural conscience, not for fear of hell only, but from a grcat love to hir, and a just esteem of him, and a ftrong desirs of scilowship with him. The man is content to come to Christ on mount Calvary, as well as on mount Tabor ; when going to Golgotha in ignominy, as well as when riding to Jerusalem in triumph : he cleaves to him; when people cry, “ Away with him, away with him ; crucify him;" as well as when they cry, “ Hosannah to the son of David.” Ile loves him when lying in the grave, as well as when mounted on a throne. The chaste and upright comer cleaves to him, when kings and princes are against him, when laws and governments are against him, when potentates and parliaments are against him, as well as when they seem to be upon his fide. It is true, indeed, that there are many unchase thoughts, and looks, and lustings after idols in the hearts of true believers, and many defections and declinings may take place; but these are wrestled with and opposed by them, and that not only by their light and conscience, but by their love and affection to the Lord Jesus, saying, Oh! Jhall I thus requite the Lord ? So that in the main they are upright. -But, to the same purpose,

6. When there is a gathering of the people to Shiloh, the right and regular approach and address to him is made intirely and undividedly. False and hypocritical comers, they come with a divided heart to a divided Christ; but true comers, with a whole heart to a whole Christ. The legalist would marry Christ, while yet his other husband, the law is not dead to him, nor he dead to it: but it is an adulterous and Vow. IV. : + F

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'unlawful match, to join with another husband while the first is living : hence true. believers in Christ are faid to be dead to the law by the body of Christ, that they might be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, Rom. vii. 4. And God throws down the old building, turns him out of that shelter, lets himn see all his legal duties, best performances, and most glaring graces, are but fig-leaves, insufficient to cover his nakedness; and discovers the neceflity, excellency, and glory of Christ's righteousness : and the man fubinits cordially to it, renouncing all hope and expectation of life, favour, and justification by the deeds of the law.--The carnal man would have Christ and his luits too : But, If you seek me, says Chrift, let theje go their way. Gathering grace makes 'the man fay, What have I to do any more with idols ? - The covetous man would have Christ and the world too: Christ satisfies his conscience, and he flies to him for that; the world fatisfies his heart, and he cleaves to it for that: but in the day of gathering power, the empti. ness of the world is dilcovered, and the man sells all for the pearl of great price.

The man that comes to Christ, he comes for all these four things, i Cor. i. 30. for wisdom, righteousness, fan&tification, and redemption: He comes to him as a Prophet, for wisdom; as a Priest, for righteousness; as a King, för fanctification ; and as his all in cll, for complete redemption : and he can want none of these, because he knows his own foolishness, guiltiness, filthiness, and misery. The true believer dares not divide righteousness from fanctification, nor pardon from purity; yea, he comes to Christ for remission of fin for the right end. What is that? namely, that, being freed from the guilt of fin, he may be freed from the dominion of it. Knowing that there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared, he does not believe remilfion of fin that he may indulge himself in the commilsion of it; no, no: the blood of Christ, that purges the conscience from the guilt of fin, does also purge the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God, Ileb. ix. 14. They that come to Christ regularly then,

they they come fo’ to him for righteousness, that they may have him also for fanctification ; otherwise the man does not really desire the favour and enjoyment of God, or to be in friendship with him who is a holy God. As the true lover loves him, not only because he is good and merciful, but because he is a pure and a holy Jesus ; fy the true believer employs Christ for making him holy as well as happy: and hence draws virtue from him for killing of fin, and quickening the foul in the way of duty. And the faith that can never keep you from a sin, will never keep you out of hell : and the faith that cannot carry you to a duty, will not carry you to heaven. Jullifying faith is a fanctifying grace ; it improves Chrilt undividedly. It is true, as it fanctifies, it does not justify; but that faith that jufiifies, does also sanctify : as the fun that enlightens hath heat with it; but it is not the heat of the fun that enligh. tens, but the light thereof: fo that faith that justifies hath love and sanctity with it; but it is not the love and sanctity that justifies, but faith as closing with Christ.

(7.) When there is a gathering of the people to Shiloh, the regular approach and address to him is made exclusively; excluding all other saviours, all other helps, all other props, saying, “ I will make mention of thy righteousness, and of thine only,” Psal. lxxi. 16. To depend partly on Christ, and partly on our own righteousness, is to set one foot on firm ground, and another on quick fand. If a man fet one foot upon a rock, and another upon the deep water, and lean to them both with equal weight; yea, if he give any of his weight to the foot that is on the water, he will be sure to sink into the deep; so here : these who rely partly upon the merits of Christ, and partly upon their cwii good works for jullification, will inevitably perish in the issue : therefore in the day of gathering to Christ, the foul is brought to say, “ Surely in the Lord only have I righteousness and strength,” Ifa. xlv. 24.Thus Paul excludes the best righteousness that ever he had, either before or after conversion, from the matter

of his justification, Phil. ii. 8. When he compares his best righteousness with Christ's, he looks upon it as a dunghill, a stinking dunghill, where there is no pleafure; and a sinking dunghill, where there is no ftanding. Such is our righteousness, if it be not excluded from our justification before God, and acceptance with him. If we go about to establish cur own righteousness, it stinks in the divine nostrils as dung: and not only fo, but it is a sinking ground to stand upon, there is no firmi footing; the more a man leans to it, the more he sinks in it. Christ's blood is the only sacrifice of a sweet smelling favour to God; every facrifice stinks, that is not perfumed therewith :---Christ's righteousness is the only sure foundation and firm ground for standing on before God. As the way of fin is a finking way, fo the way of self-righteousness is little better ; for the fin that is in man's best righteousness trips up his heels, and lays him in the mire, where he sinks to hell, if he be not brought to build upon a furer ground, and to take a better way..

(8.) When there is a gathering to Shiloh, the regular approach and address to him is made progresiively, as also peremptorily and irreversibly, saying, as Psalm 1xxx. 17. “ Henceforth we will not go back.” O! after we have tasted of the bitterness of fin, and the bitterness of wrath; after the wings of our souls have been finged with the flames of heil; after the arrows of conviction shot out of the bow of omnipotence have pierccd our fouls, so as no man, minister, or angel, could pull them out; Christ did it, with his cwn land, and therein manifested his powerful grace, as being the Man of God's right-hand. Shall we again turn our back upon him? No; Henceforth, through grace, we will not go back. The true believer comes to Christ, so as never to part with him, saying, as Ruth to Naomi, Ruth i. 16. “ Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will gó; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Nothing shall part thee and me.” Yea, the man, having once come to Christ, is still coming nearer and nearer to him ; “ To

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