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and twenty years before he saw his face again. What a kind visit this was. Perhaps they liad been absent from Hebron some days, and Jacob was anxious to know how they were. How dutiful and obedient is Joseph to his father's wishes and commands. Many a favorite but spoiled child, would have said, no, I won't go, they hate me, and why should I go and se-, they will only call me names or beat me. No, tho' Joseph knew that they hated and envied him, yet he made no objection. No excuse that the distance was great, or the journey long and dangerous. He cheerfully obeyed his father and was ready to shew how much he loved and respected his brethren. To love those that hate us, and to pray for those that despitefully use üs, is one of the precepts of Christ in his Sermon on the Mount. “ And a certain man found bim, and behold he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren, tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, they are departed hence, for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren and found them in Dothan." This shews G 3


that Joseph not only undertook this journey in obedience to bis father's commands, but out of love to his brethren. For when he did not find them at Shechem, he might have returned to Hebron and told his father that he could not find his brethren. No, he wanders about the field, he went from place to place, he seeks diligently till he finds them. When he lieard from the man who met him that they were gone to Dothan, he went after them and there he found them. Let brotherly love continue. Shechem was about forty miles from Hebron, and Dothao was about eight miles further, so that Joseph travelld a journey of fortyeight miles to see his brethren.

III. Let us hear the RETURN which JoSEPH'S BRETHREN made for this KIND VISIT. “And when they saw him afar ofi, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay hiin. And they said one to another : Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now there. fore, let us slay him, and let us cast him into some pit, and we will say some evil beast liath devoured hini: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reulen heard it, and le delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no band upon him ; that be might rid him out of their hands, and deliver him to his father again." See, how his brethren returned him evil for good : for his love they became his enemies : when they saw him afar off they conspired against him. It was not in anger, no, it was a deliberate plan. He that hateth his brother is a murderer: Is not this true? Did they not conspire to take a. way Jose pli's life. How cruel was their de. sign. What, would nothing less than Joseph's blood cool their anger and quench their thirst of revenge! Joseph had done thuin no harm. He could not belp his father's fondnuss. He wore the coloured coat, it is true, but then it was


in obedience to his father's wishes. How ungrateful were they for the trouble he had taken, in coming nearly fifty miles to see how they did. They saw him not as a brother, as bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh, but as the favorite of their father, one that he loved more than all his children. See how scornfully they

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speak of him: “Behold, this dreamer cometh.". These dreams

uppermost in their thoughts, they could not endure the thought of their being fulfilled, and therefore conspire to take away his life, that he may not have dominion over them. They agreed together to conceal the murder by a lie :

6. We will

say some evil beast hath devoured him.” They were worse than those evil beasts on which they meant to lay the blame of Joseph's death. The most savage animals do not devour those of their own kind; they do not eat each other. Tigers do not eat tigers. Valtures do not devour vultures. Jackals do not eat each other. But these unnatural, cruel and bloody minded men will kill Joseph; they will take away his life, and shed innocent blood without cause,

IV. The RECEPTION JOSEPH met with from bis Brethr. n.

" And it came to pass when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on krim: And they took him and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread : and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites can e from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery, and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.”


When Joseph came to his brethren, it was with a smiling countenance, with pleasure in his heart. They shew no signs of joy. No running to meet Joseph, no affectionate and brotherly embrace, no inquiries after the 'welfare of their aged parent. No, like robbers and murderers, they seize him, and roughly taking off that enved coat, that coat of many colours which their aged parent had given him, they hurry him away, and, regardless of his tears anl supplications, they cast him into the pit. In vain did he beg them to pity and spare his life, they would not hear him. It was by Reuben's interference that his life was spared, and he intended to take him out of this pit as soon as possible and send bim back to his father. The pit was empty; if there had been any water in it, Joseph might have been drowned; but there was no water in it. G 5


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