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JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN.
GEN. 37. 4. And when his brethren sare
that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
E now enter upon the interesting and af fecting history of Joseph. A history which all young persons delight to read, but from which few derive that instruction which they ought. Let me hope you will attend to the few things which are now to be noticed in --this Lecture, relating to the History of Jo. seph- The life of Joseph is perhaps the most remarkable in the history of Man. It is too beautiful to be imitated by any writer that is not inspired by God. It is related with great simplicity, and abounds with the most interesting and affecting scenes. A writer who did not believe the Bible to be true, once said that he never read the History of Joseph without tears. The Mother of Joseph was dead. A child who has no mother, com
mands oor pity and deserves our love. We cannot but feel for Joseph, because he is deprived of the friend and guide of his youth. His father would, but cannot supply the loss of a beloved Mother. The child who knows and loves his Mother, must every moment feel and lament her loss. No voice so sweet, no smile so pleasant, no hand so soft, no frown, no displeasure so severe as her's. Joseph had lost his Mother, and was capable of feeling her loss, he knew her worth. He saw his Father's tears, and wept when the pillar was raised over the grave where she was buried. Such was Joseph when his History begins, His person and his youth makes us not only love him, but we are anxious for his future welfare.
1. We notice the EMPLOYMENT of JOSEPH,
Joseph being seventeen years old was feeding the flock with his brethren. How dangerous is the path of youth at the age of seventeen. How many snares and temptations surronnd him. How much depends on the principles in which he has been instruc. ted i-on the impressions that are made upon
bis mind. His labits. of life and general. conduct will io a great measure, lite furmedis from the example of his companions
Joseph is introduced to us as a shepherd; feeding his father's flock; engaged in the saine employment as his brethren.
" And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. Dan and Nuphtali, Gad and Ashur were his compa brions. Brethr p are not always the most suitable companions. Joseph's bretlirerr were Inost of them, if not all of them, very wicked. Josephi was much with them, and their em ployment allowed them much leisure time to pursue those evil inclinations which had already discovered tlemiselves op inore than one occasion.
Ik. We must notice the CONQUCP of soSEPH's BRETHREDO
It was evil. * And Joseph brought unto his father their evil reports." What, was Jos ph a tell-tafe? Did lie try to make mise chies, and by repres«nting the wicked conduct of his brethren, endeavor to gain all his fa. ther's love? No, Joseph was grieved at the
conduct of his brethren. He was vexed with their evil words and evil deeds, there. fore he left them, could not bear to stay with them any longer. He had seen and heard such things as he knew were sinful
.. What these things were we are not told. Jacob's sons did those things when absent front their father's presence, which they dare not do when at home. The nrind of pious Joseph was hart, for he appeared to have walked in the fear of God and to have remembered his Creator in the days of his youth. His father would naturally inquire the reason of his kaving his brethren and returning home. He told his father what he had seen and beard and it was an evil report, not a good one. How much must Jacob feel when he had heard what Joseph had to say.!
II. JACOB's great PARTIALITY for JOSEPH.
« Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children; because he was the Son of his old age, and he made him a coat of
colours. This was very wrong in Jacob to love Joseph more than all his other children : and he was "Btill more to be blamed for showing his partial
ity in such a manner as to give Joseph a finer coat than the rest of his brethren. Joseph might be more obedient, more affectionate and dutiful to him than the rest of his chil. dren, on that account he might love him more, but it was because he was the son of his old age. In this respect Benjamin ought to have had the largest share of Jacob's love, but Benjamin was but an infant child, scarce, ly twelve months old. Joseph was the only son that had any love to God in his heart, and that made him dutiful to his father, This coat of many colours was afterward the cause of great grief and pain to Jacob. It might be of small value in itself, but as a work of superior regard it only excited the envy and in will of his brethren.
IV. The HATRED of JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
« And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethrer, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him. This was the cousequence of Jacob's partiality and his giving Joseph a coat of many colours. Joseph might be called his father's favorite son, his darling bog. He loved him for the sake of his mother. Je