« PreviousContinue »
from me, ye cursed; Then fall they be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.” Oh! finner, flee, flee to Shiloli ; let the gathering of the people be to him now, that you may share of the glory of the consummate gathering of the saints. After judgment, the gathered saints, will return, and come to Zion with fongs. God having in that day gathered together, and made up all his jewels, what a bright constellation will these jewels make, when they fall be all gathered together in the firmament of glory! Yea, they will shine as the brightness of the firniament, and as the stars for ever and ever, Dan. xii. 3. i Then, fays Chrift, fhall the righteous fhine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” Mat. xiii. 23.; that is, even all these poor creatures that have been gathered to Shiloh, as the Lord their righteousness and strength.
O Sirs, this glorious gathering day will be upon you, before we be all gathered together on earth again. Some that were at the lait years gathering here, are now gone to eternity; and you will never see them again, till you and they be gathered together before the awful tribunal of God: and, without all peradventure, there are here that will never fee another facra. ment at Airth: it may be you, man; it may be you, woman; it may be such a minister, or such a private person ; it may be such a gentleman, or such a lady, such a youth or such a girl, as have little thoughts of death at present. O Sirs, I am looking to you, and
you to me; but we will never all fee one-another, till we fee the Son of man, the Son of God, coming in the clouds of heaven, and gathering all the world before him ; and therefore in the view of that gathering day, O let not this gathering of people here, part from one another and disiniss, till once there be a gathering unto Shiloh.
Now, we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, at the great day of his appearance,” that you consent to be gathered, and that this present gathering be not dissolved, till your hearts and affections be gathered to Shiloh, and centered in him. Oh! choose rather to die upon the spot, than not be gathered unto him this
day day. Many a gathering word and call you have got these days bygone, and Christ is saying, “ How oft would I have gathered you, yet ye would not !” O! is he saying, I would gather you, man, woman? Then, what would you ? Have you no will to he gathered out of the slinking prison of your lusts and idols, your self and self-righteousness, your worldly-mindedness, and covetousness, your pride and vanity! Whatever be the filthy sinking prison that you are like to perish in, he is saying, I would gather you out of it:' And, O man, woman, would you rather be gathered unto the devil, than be gathered unto Shiloh ? Would you rather . be gathered to a tavern of drunkenness, lewdness and carnality, than gathered to the temple of grace and glory? Would you be gathered to Shiloh, or not? It is crme just to this, man, “ What would you that I fhould do unto you?" Would you that I should gather you? Behold he is declaring his will in this gospel. Is he saying, The gathering of the people shall be to him? Does he say, It Thall be? Then, O say, AMEN, Lord ; So let it be.
The strength of unbelief lies in your unwillingness to be gathered : and if the will were once broken, it would be a day of power; “ Thy people fall be willing in the day of thy power,” Pfal. cx. 3. O! has there any power been here to make you willing? Willing to be gathered to him as a Priest, and a Prince both? Willing to be gathered out of the prison of sin, as well as out of the prison of hell and wrath ? Willing to be gathered to him for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and complete redemption : and to be indebted to him for all and every part of his falvation ? Willing to have all from him for nothing, fo as the praise and glory of all may redound to himself? O Sirs, are you thus willing to be gathered under his wings of grace and glory? Then, glory to God for the power that hath made you willing : or,
if you cannot say, that that power is what you have felt, yet is it that will-breaking power you would be at, saying, O let this gathering power be exerted? There is hope in Ifrael concerning you. 0 may finners be gathered to and close with him !
This is God's design by the gospel ; and, we hope, it is our design in preaching it, to get finners gathered. And, O let me tell you, that there is such a glorious gathering of excellent things in him, as may engage the hearts of all the finners here to gather unto him, and all the believers here to be still gathering to him more and more.
Well, what-for a gathering is there in him? O! there is a gathering of all glories in him; the glory of faints, the glory of angels, the glory of God is in him : so that he is altogether lovely. The gathering of all perfection is in him, and all divine attributes and fulness; for, “ It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell :” So that he hath all fulness of ability and authority to save. -The gathering of all righteousness and firength is in him; therefore, “ To him should men come,” Ifa. xlv. 24.--The gathering of all the promises is in him ; for, “ All the promises are Yea and Amen in him :" There is no promise out of him.-The gathering of all graces is in him, that out of his fulness we may come and receive grace for grace: And to whom should the gathering of the people be, but to him that hath all grace for them?- The gathering of all blessings is in him; for, all spiritual blessings in heavenly places are only in Christ Jesus, Eph. i. 3. And to whom should the gathering of the people be, but to him, of whom it is said, that "Men shall be bleft in him, and all nations shall call him blessed ?" Psalm lxxii. 17.: and no blessing is to be had out of him.-The gathering of all mercy is in him ; and therefore all the mercies of the everlasting covenant are called, The fure mercies of David. All the mercy of God is in Chrift; and there is no mercy in God, out of Christ, towards any finner.—The gathering of all gifts iz in him; “He hath received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that God the Lord might dwell among them.” The gift of the Spirit especially ; for he hath received the Spirit above measure; and so hath all the influences of the Spirit to give. He received gifts for men : all is for men, and for the people: all the promised righteousness, graces, blessings, mercies, and gifts that he hath received, as Mediator, and that are gathered in him,
is for the people, that the gathering of the people may be to him. There is a gathering of all things in him ; for he is all in all, and all things are yours, if once you be gathered to him ; whereas you have nothing at all but fin, death, and misery out of him.--In a word, there is a gathering of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all unsearchable riches in him, for making you up, and making you happy for ever: 'and to whom should the gathering of poor ignorant people be, but to him ?--What fall I say? There is a gathering of all saving offices in him; he is a Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator, Redeemer, Surety, and all oflices in one : whatever be your want, he hath an office for supplying it; whatever be your debt, he haih an office for paying it; whatever be your disease, he hath an office for curing it :, for diseases in the mind, he is a Prophet; for diseases of the conscience, he is a Priest; for diseases of the will, he is a King. And for all other maladies that can be named, he hath all other healing offices, that can be named : yea, for wonderful maladies, he hath wonderful offices; for wonderful fins, he hath wonderful pardons; for wonderful plagues, he hath wonderful balsams and plaisters.
O Sirs, is there such a gathering of all good things in him for the people! and shall there be no gathering of the people to him ? Christ hath no other use for these things that are thus gathered in him, but for the behoof of the people that are gathered to him; and they would all be useless, if there were no gathering of the people to him. Alas! fhall he be an useless Shiloh for you ? And have you no need of him, no use for him ? Oh! dole and misery! Will you stand at a distance from him, as if he were an useless Christ? But if
you have any use for him then, all that he wants is to have your employment: to believe, is to employ him to do all your work in you and for you. Doing and believing are very different things : if you be for doing all yourself, in order to your own salvation and juftification, then you make Christ useless, and his death vain ; “ If righteousness come by the law, Christ is dead in vain,” Cal. ii. 21. But if you be for believing,
then know what believing or faith is.
or faith is. Faith doth nothing, but gives Christ all to do, and lets him have the glory of doing all that belongs to his office, saying, Lord work; work for me, and work in me. And hence, though believing be not doing, yet the best believer is the best doer; in regard the work that is put in Christ's hand is best done ; and because, while faith does no. thing, but only employs the strength of Christ to do all, then, through Christ's strengthening, it can do all things.
Now, O Sirs, shall Christ get no employment here? Will there be no gathering to him for righteousness and strength? I hope fome have been gathered and drawn to him, and can say, “ The Lord God of the Hebrews met with us,” and made a soul-gathering influence run through, yea, thoroughly through our hearts. O Sirs, let the whole of your life be a gathering to Shiloh, and a living upon him. And, now the great gathering of the people here may be joyfully difmissed, though they shall never all meet together again in time, if this promise of Christ hath taken effect, To bim Mall the gatbering of the people be *.
VI. The Sixth general Head was, To give you the Reafons of the Doctrine. And here I am to show you, 1. Why there must be a gathering of the people, the Gentiles ? 2. Why to Shilol must the gathering be? Why to him?
ist, Why are the people, the Gentiles, to be gathered ? For this part of the text concerns the Gentiles, in contradistinction from the Jews; To bim fall the gathering of the people be, the Gentile people. It was in pursuance of this design that the apostle Paul was called the apostle of the Gentiles: and he magnifies his office, and boalls of it, saying, “ To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,” Eph. ii. 8. This is a question of the greatest concern to us Gentiles: Why, is our name put in Christ's commission ? O Sirs,
* What follows, to the end, was delivered in two discourses, at a facramental occafion at Carnock, July 4th. and 5th. 1725.