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does he recapitulate the circumstances of their story! How generous is his offer of redeeming his brother's liberty by giving up his own! · But, above all, how affectingly does he describe the distress and anguish of Jacob their father; and how irresistible is his petition to Joseph, that he would not suffer him and the rest of his brethren, by returning without their brother Benjamin, to behold the evil they should bring on their father, and to be the unhappy instruments of bringing down his grey hairs with sorrow•to the grave!.
Here Joseph's passion grew too big for any farther disguise. He therefore reveals himself with all the expressions of the most ardent transport and tenderness. And, Oh! what a tumult of various passions,-joy, fear, hope, doubt, guilt, and shame, must at once arise in the breasts of his brethren, when those astonishing words sounded in their ears," I am Jo"seph, your brother, whom ye sold in ^ Egypt-I am that innocent brother of yours, in whose blood ye were hardly withheld from imbruing your hands, and
to whom ye thought ye were very merçiful, when ye doomed him to a miserable exile and slavery. I, wbo am now exalted so high above you, and from whose hands ye now ask and receive both life and liberty, am no other than your once-hated, once-envied, and persecuted brother ; to whose cries ye. once were deaf, when he asked no greater a boon at your hands, than that ye would spare his life. : 065200 ot to Bio blusone
The sight of their guilt, into which they had been so suddenly surprized, struck them with silence and amazement; they were terrified at his presence, and could not answer him. But the generosity of Jeseph's nature immediately relieves them from their confusion, and even makes a kind apology for their cruelty - Be not * -grieved, nor angry with yourselves,
that ye sold me bither; for God did 4 send me before you to preserve life." ;
5. Having thus imperfectly laid before you the outline of this affecting story, I shall bow proceed to make such reflections and observations upon it, as may be of use to us in the conduct of our lives. .
ist then, That the providence of God does not only interpose in the more important and general concerns of mankind, but descends also to the care of particular persons and their affairs, is the first reflection, which must suggest itself to every thinking man, from the story before us:--a truth, which can admit of no doubt, but with such low and narrow minds, as form their conceptions of the power, wisdom, and goodness of their Maker from the poor pittance of those perfections which they enjoy themselves ;' imagining, that an attention to such a complicated multiplicity of affairs, is' either in itself impossible, or at least, would too much distract and fatigue him ; or that the concerns of individuals are below his notice; as if any thing could escape the knowledge of an all-present, all-seeing eye; as if any difficulty could be an over-match for Omnipotence; or, as if the God and Father of us all could look upon any of his creatures as too inconsiVOL. IV.
derable for his care, when it is the pure effect of his goodness that they exist at all. “ Can a woman forget her sucking * child, that she should not have compas“ sion on the son of her womb? Yea, " they may forget.” yet will not he forget, or forsake, even the very least of us, who are his offspring and the work of his hands. Ses yeup teist in vi contato Bd yoda ent oil asar and ove
But the most convincing arguments for a particular providence are drawn from matter of fact, A very slender acquaintance with the world and the history of mankind; nay, ia few serious reflections on the many surprising, turns, which most of us must have experienced in the coursei of our lives, will assure us beyond all possibility of doubt, that there is an overruling powers which frequently interposes in the affairs of individuals; producing good out of the worst of evils, and the least-expected events by the most unlikely means. Thus, in thes story:before us: Who, that had seen Joseph in the hands of his merciless brethren, or had heard: his cries in the pit, could have imagined
that these very brethren should one day come and bow themselves to the ground before him, as the arbiter of life and death to them; that he should become the support of theỉ, their father, and the whole family: and who' that saw this actually happening, could forbear looking up to God, as the first contriver of these wonderful changes, and acknowledging, that no other cause but that, which brought light out of darkness, could produce so much good out of so much evil?
"And though there were particular rea? sons, why the Almighty should in such an extraordinary manner interest himself in the affairs of Jacob's family; because that was almost the only family amongst all the nations of the earth, which at that time believed in and worshipped the true God; and because the promised Messiah was to' spring out of it; yet the same God is still both as able and willing to save to the uttermost those that come to hïm; and has declared, that no harm shall happen to them that love and féar him; that the very hairs of our head are all
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