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is the wait of grace; and whatever grace you want, be it faith, repentance, love, or whatever else, it is lying treasured up in this chamber: if you want pardon, purity, happiness, holiness, all the stock of riches that you can imagine, to make you up for ever and ever, is treasured up in this chamber; and behold the chamberdoor is open to you all, while we preach among you Gentiles, the unfearchable riches of Christ. Let every foul here, be like beggars gathered about this door.
5. There is the chamber of his covenant, to which the gathering of the people should be; when God ga. thers people into it, he is said to thew them his cuve. nant, Psalm xXV. 14.; and in shewing his covenant, he shews fome divine fecrets to them. When the peo. pie gather in to this chamber, they are said to take hold of his covenani, Isaiah lvi. 4. 6. This chamber is remarkable for the wells that are in the midit of it.
There is bath a well for washing, and a well for drink. ing; and both are open, that the people may gather together to tliem. The well for washing is the blood · of the covenant; and that is the fountain open for sin
and for uncleanness, Zech, xii. I. It is just the boundless bottomless fea of the Redeemer's blood, which cleanses from all fin: this fountain is open, that all guilty, filthy, polluted people may gather to it, and be washed. The well for drinking, is not only that fame blod of Christ, which is drink indeed; but all the blessiags of the covenant, and all the promises of the covenant; to all or every one of which, people should gather, and draw water out of these wells of salvation with joy, Isa. xii. 3. Here is the well of water foringing up to everlasting life, John iv. 14. and all the people are invited to gather to ii; “ Whosoever will, let him come, and take the water of life freely," Rev. xxii. 17. In this chamber, there is the best of cheer; bread enough, and to Spare; all spiritual blessings of heavenly places in Christ Jesus; and this chamber, and all the cheer that is in it, whereof Christ himself is the all, it is dedicate of God for the use of the people, that their gathering
may be to it; “ I will give thee for a covenant of the people,”: isa. xlii. 6.
6. There is the chamber of his palace, for the gathering of the people into: by his palace, I mean, his church; and by his church, I mean, both his church militant on earth, and triumphant in heaven.
As for the church militant, that is the palace of the great King, Pfal. xlv. 15. there he desires to dwell, Psal. lxviii. 16. It is his house where he would have the ga. thering of the people to be; therefore he calls it a house of prayer for all people, Isa. Ivii. 7. and all are to flee unto it, Ifa. ii. 2. The crdinances and provisions of Christ's house are, in a peculiar manner, for the entertainment of the people ; and the flewards of the house have a special commision to invite all forts of finners, even these that have played the prodigal and the fool in the way of sin, to come in to it; Prov. ix. 3. “ Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: As for him who hath no understanding, Wisdom says to him, Come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled." Luke xiv. 21. 23. “Go quickly, fays the Master of the house, to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, the blind, the maimed, and the halt; yea, go to the high-ways, and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” It is a pity indeed, that ever people should be discouraged from gathering into the Lord's house, while the provisions of the house are mixed with unwholefome food of corrupt or erroneous doctrine ; while the stewards of the house do turn it to a den of thieves and robbers ; robbing the people of their Christian privileges; and while the servants of the house do fall by the ears, and begin to smite their fellow-fervants, because the Lord of the house is away, and delays his coming : while, in a word, the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the house is out of order, and in great confusion, not garnished like the palace of the great King. This indeed is matter of la. mentation, and will be fo, till the King of Zion the Mas. ter of the house himself come by the power of his Spirit, and set matters right : and, as the prophet fays, Hag. ii. 7. “ I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all
nation shall come;" fo, before the Lord comes in a glorious manner to his house, we have reason to expect he will give the house a terrible shake, and make it tremble. But in the mean time, let not the disorders * of the house hinder the gathering of the people to it; for at belt the lower cliambers of our King's palace will never be so clean, as the upper chamber in the higher house. The church militant will never be in a state of perfection here; only study you to keep always the cleanest and best side of the house, like fick people betaking themselves to the purest air. But withal, let never your gathering to his house or ordinances content you, without the presence of the Master of the house, and the Lord of ordinances, fo as you may have it to say, that not only you was brought to the banquetting-house, but also his banner over you was love.
As to the church triumphant, that is his glorious pa. lace, his higher house, of which Christ says, John xiv. 2. In my Father's house there are many mansions; thither all that have been gathered graciously, will be gathered glo. riously; with gladness and rejoicing will they be brought, and shall enter into the King's palace, Pfal. xlv.15. This is by way of eminency, the ivory palace, where all his garments smell of aloes, myrrh, and caffia ; where the people gathered to him, will be like him ; for they shall see him as he is : where they will be for ever with him, “ In whose presence is fulness of joy, and at his righthand pleasures for evermore.” As he that drinks of the ocean, tho' his thirst be never fo great and insatiable, yet leaves it as full and flowing as ever; so these that drink of the ocean of these heavenly pleasures, will find the fulness of joy never ebbing, but ever flowing thro' all eternity. Christ himself will be the heaven of heaven, and the very temple, wherein the happy people will be gathered together; - I saw no temple there : but the Lord God almighty, and the Lamb are the temple of it,” Rev. xxi. 22. If the Lamb be the temple there, then the gathering of the people there, must be to him.
Thus * See Vol. I. page 232. at the foot; and more fully, Vol. II. page 304, 305. and Vol. III. page 44.
Thus you fee, what place there is in Christ, and what chambers for the gathering the people to.
The second queltion, upon this head, was, to show in what respect the gathering of the people is to him, or in what capacity. The Scripture is very copious, and elegant in setting forth the various refpects, wherein this gathering of the people to Shilih nay take place ; and that, for conveying a due apprehension thereuf to our souls, it is set forth by what takes place, Icmetimes among rational creatures, llung ienirtives, among vegetables, and am ng inanimate things; and it is not for nought, that the Suripture is so copious ihis way, that our faith may have room and liberty to act upon Christ, in whatever respect he is reprefented.
1. From rationals ; while we view political or æco. nomical affairs among men, or whatever station or relation they are said to be in, or actions they are faid to perform, by these we will find this matter repre. fented unto us. Hence our gathering to Shiloh is like the gathering of scholars to a teacher, or of disciples to a master, that we may be taught of him; and he is therefore called the none-fuch Teacher, Jub xxvi. 22. Wbo teachetb like him? Man's teaching reacheth the ear; but his teaching reacheth the heart : man's teaching may work upon the capacity where it is; but his teaching can work a capacity where it is not. O let all the people gather to his school, who is the great Prophet, who teaches with authority, that teacheth as never man taught.-Again, it is like a gathering of pursued malefactors to a refuge : it is a flying for re. fuge to the hope fet before us, Heb. vi. 18. To gather to him, is to say by faith, with David, I flee to thee to bide me; to hide with thy wings, with thy blood, with thy righteousness, from the wrath of God, and from the curse of the law.--Again, it is like the gathering of rebels to a sovereign, casting down their arms, and owning him to be their only King and Leige-lord : gathered fouls put the crown upon King Jesus his head, saying, Other lords have bad dominion over us; but now, O let the King of glory come in! Pfal. xxiv. 7. Let bim
reigi, and let all bis enemies be scattered. It is like the gathering of wanderers to the right way home. I am ibe way, says Christ.--It is like the gathering of weary travellers to an inn, or weary labourers to a restingplace: “ Come to me, all ye that are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."--It is a gathering of guests to a feast, Matth. xxii. 10.; and of strangers to their home, that they may be no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the houshold of God, Eph. ii. 19. Before a man come to Chriít, he is abroad in a far country ; but whenever he comes to Christ, he is at home. It is a gathering of children to a father, to be pitied as a father pities his children, Pfalm ciii. 13.-It is a gathering of brethren to their elder brother, as Joseph's brethren did to their younger, that they might be supplied by him, and live upon him.--It is a gathering of beggars to a storehouse, that they may be enriched; of captives to a Re. deemer, that they may be liberate; of debtors to a Surety, that they may be ransomed; " Be surety for thy servant for good;" of lepers to a laver, that they may be cleansed; “ Purge me with hyffop, and I shall be clean; yea, wash thou me, and I shall be whiter than the snow."--It is a gathering, as broken merchants, to a free market; what a gathering of people will be to a fair or market? But they are not all buyers that come to markets, far less that come to the niarket of ordinances; however the market is free, we may buy without money and without price. The wares are precious, tried gold, white raiment, eye-falve, and the pearl of great price. All things are nothing to this pearl ; and therefore, when we fell our all to buy this pearl, yet we get it for nothing. Right gathering to Christ, is to come to his market, and to take all his wares for nothing. It is a gathering of members. to an head ; “ For he is the head of the body, the church,” Col. i. 18. From the head is derived to the body all the light, life, beauty, motion, sympathy, protection, provision, supply of good, and prevention of evil.--It is a gathering of fugitive servants to their