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assembly, mine honour, be thou not united ;” and with David, Pfal. xxvi.9. “Gather not my soul with finners.” If you belong to these drunken, tippling, idle, and debauched gatherings; you may be sure, that you are not gathered unto Shiloh. The godly may indeed fall into such company, but it is not their element to embrace their society; nay, fellowship with the faints, the excellent ones of the earth, is their delight: and fellowship with the wicked, is so far from being their delight, that their fociety is rather a burden, and brings them to a wo is me; “Wo is me, that I fojourn in Meshech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar! I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Now, fee to it, if you be not gathered out of the world, you are not yet gathered to Shiloh; for if you be cloathed with the Sun, then you have the moon of this world under your feet, and upon your head a crown of twelve stars: that is, the doctrine of the gospel, delivered by the twelve apostles, and preached by gospel-ministers, which are called stars in his right-hand, will be your crown, a golden crown to you : yea, his word will be to you, as more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold. And this leads me to another mark of those that are gathered to Shiloh.
5. If you be gathered to Shiloh, then gathering means and ordinances will be always desirable to you; for they that are gathered, will be always a-gathering to him, till they be for ever with him, in the full and immediate enjoyment of him ; now try yourself by this mark. I enlarge a little upon each, because I design not to multiply particulars. ---If you be gathered to Shiloh, then the gathering means will be desirable to you. Now, what conscience do you make of the means ? For, there is a generation, that boldly say, they have religion, yet they use not duly, either public, private, or secret means. If ever you be gathered to Christ, all the gathering means, all his ordinances, will be sweet to you : you will seek him where he is to be found; not in the city, about the streets and broadways, among the watch-men, but a little further, Song iii. 2, 3, 4. They that never used means, were never gather
ed; they that are gathered, are fill endeavouring to improve them, because they are always gathering to him: Therefore try yourselves here further, on this score, and see where you are, in Shiloh, or not. If you be gathered to Shiloh, you will be confiantly gathering to him, and living on him ; for such are not of those that draw back to perdition, but of those that believe, to the saving of their souls. They that go out from him, were never of him ; therefore says Christ to his disciples, “Will ye also go away?” John vi. 67. To which, the true believer's answer is, “ Lord, to whoni . shall we go, thou hast the words of eternal life ?” ver. 68. Let me therefore alk you, whether or not you intend to abide with Christ ? Surely, if you be gathered to him, you resolve through grace, to remain with him, and to be still coming to him, 1 Pet. ii. 4.; and as newborn babes, defiring the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, ver. 2. Indeed, they that abide with Christ cannot but grow; and this, I say, to find out hypocrites, that perhaps use the outward meáns, and resolve, in their fashion, they will abide with Christ; that is, they will not turn Papists or malignants, turn. who will, and yet know not what it is to be ever gathering to, and growing in the Lord Jefus. I know that faints have their winter-blasts, that set them back; but they have also their summer-refreshings, to set them forward again, and make them grow in knowledge, faith, love, experience; or else, for want of this growth, they are always quarrelling themselves : but, for other professors, that never were rooted in Christ, they keep still their old footing and disposition. Men would blush for shame, to have it faid to them, they are as foolish this day, as they were this-day-twentyyears; or, that they are as bad in their callings, and as ill at their trade, as when they began ; and yet, in Christianity, many are as ill as they were thirty, forty; fifty years since ; as ignorant of Christ and the gospel, as great strangers to communion with God in Chrift. Surely, they that are gathered to Christ, they will ftrive to get forward, they cannot get enough of him, but press toward the mark. They that have got enough VOL. IV. + L
of Christ, have got nothing as yet; and they that have got hin, they may think they have got nothing to what they fee to be in him; and therefore they press forward, whenever they are themselves. And, indeed, when you are not going forward, you are going backward. When a man rows against the stream, he holds up the boat; but let him lay aside the oars, he will go further down than he came up. Hence, gathered fouls are asliduously for making use of the oars of gathering means, that they may reach forward : and lience, as God's gathering means will be delightful, so the devil's scattering means will be hateful to him that is gathered ; every thing that tends to make a separation betwixt Christ and him, will be uneasy, especially when he hath made any progress at ordinances.---Oh! to think of a separation again, will be fad and forrowful ! Wo is me, that I am going back to a world of fin, and finners, and temptation again! Being gathered to him, he cannot think of being separated from him.
6. If you be gathered to Shiloh, then it will be your defire and endeavour to gather others to him; the soul that comes to Chrilt, will feek to draw others after him, John i. 45, 46. Whenever Christ found Philip, Philip found Nathanael, and fays, “We have found the Meflias; O come and see him." When Christ manifefted himself to the woman of Samaria, fhe invites the men of the city to come to him ; " O come see a man that told me all things that ever I did,” John iv. 29. Never a soul was gathered to Christ, but desired to gather others, especially its friends and relations. The parent that is in Christ, will be careful to gather his children to Christ; the master his fervant, Genesis xviii. 19. “ I know,” says God of Abraham, “ that he will command his children and his houshold after him, and they fhall keep the way of the Lord.” It is not possible, but that soul that comes to Christ, and hath got a draught of his free love, if it could command ten thoufand, it would command them to come to Christ. If you never had a care or concern this way, to know the Lord, you declare you was never gathered to him. But, you whose foul's desire is, to gather others to Christ, you may
sure, concerning yourself, that you are gathered to Shiloh.---Now, if you try yourselves impartially by these marks, you may come to find whether you have been gathered to Shiloh, yea, or not.
2 dly, The second fort then, that I would speak to, are fome that may be sure, that they were gathered to Shiloh; and it is to be feared, that unbelievers make up the greatest part of this allembly: and therefore I must be allowed to speak, especially to them; and if believers themselves give ear, and the Lord concur with the word of general exhortation, they may get a new grip and a firm hold of Shiloh, by the bye. My exhortation to the people in general, then, elpecially those that were never gathered unto Christ, is in the words of the prophet, Zeph. ii. I.“ Gather yourselves together ; yea, gather together, O nation not defired :" that is, either not defiring, even you that have no defire towards God and Christ, and his grace and favour, but are very indifferent about it; or, nation' not desirable, having nothing lovely or amiable about you, to recommend you to God; yet, “ O gather together, before the decree bring forth, and before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you; for, if once his wrath begin to burn, blessed are all they that trust in him," and gather to him. Also, in the words of the prophet, Isaiah xlv. 20. 22. “Asemble yourselves, and come:" Why? what is that? It follows, “ Look to me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else.” Shiloh is come, and he is come for the salvation of the people. O let all the people say,
" AMEN ; even fo, come Lord Jesus:" Here is, “ The feast of fat things, that the Lord of hosts hath made on this mountain, for all people,” Ifa. xxv. 6. “ Therefore let all the people alsemblethemselves and come, that they may eat and drink.” I allude to Ezek. xxxix. 17. where God speaks to every feathered fowl, and every beast of the field, saying, “ Afiemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves on every side to my facrifice, that I do sacrifice for you, even a great facrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh, and drink blood.” Indeed, “ Except you
eat the flell, and drink the blood of the Son of God, you have no life in you,” Joho vi. 53. Therefore, allemble yourselies and come, gather to this facrifice upon the mountains of Israel for you; a facrifice of a sweet-fmelliur favour unto God. Here is the carcase;' let the eagles be gathered together. We mult preach this godjel to every creature, every rational creature ; yea,
o men that have lost their reason, and turned to beaits; every beast of the field, tame or wild, clean or unclean, AOS X. 12.
What means the opening of the heavens there, and the descending of the iheet, the great sheet linit at four corners, containing all manner of wild bealls, anal creeping things, and fowls of the air? Why, the meaning was, Go call ail, and every ore of the people. The Gentiles, fome of then are creeping in the dust, and wallowing in the mire of finful lusis and worldlymindecliness ; others are flying in the air of pride, vanity, and felSihnefs : bat, go you and call the poor sinful creatures within your reach, whether they be creeping on the earth, or flying in the air : all the sinful houle of Adam, are made up of such a sort of people; but go, and tell them, that now Shiloh is come; and, to him must the gathering of the people be. Therefore; in the name 1 of the great Shiloh, and in liis Father's name, we invite
and exhort all the people that have hitherto been gathering to the devil, and gathering to their lusts, and gathering to the world, and gathering to their idle cabals, and drunken goslipings, siniul diversions, and damnable debaucheries, now to think in earnest of gathering unto Shiloh ; for, Shiloh is conne, and let the gathering uf the people be to him.
Now, feeing nothing but divine almighty power can gather ouls unto Christ; therefore, Oman, woman; every individual who is just now hearing me, whether old or young, look to God for power to accompany the call: for the gospel-call uses to be the channel, in which divine power runs, for conquering fouls. And because I know not but this power may accompany this call, for making out the promise in the text, that to hin fall the gathering of the people be; therefore,