« AnteriorContinuar »
warding evil for good. Never be ungrateful.
Keep your hands from picking and stealing." Do not return to your parent's house laden with things not your own : you may tell them they were given you, but your own consci
accuses you; you know that they were not obtained by honest means. See what it is to be an Advocate. Whenever you plead for your brother or sister, follow Judah's example, first conciliate and endeavour to soften the an. ger of those before whom you plead. Beg that yon may be permitted 10 tell your story. Ask for pity, for mercy, for pardon, engage to become burety for the good behaviour of
brother or sister for the future, especially if it is the first offence. Let your petition be humble, impressive, kind and general. Always dig. play the most tender regard for your parents, and the most sincere affection for
bros thers and sist=rs. If innocent, God will info terpose in your behalf, in some way or other. If guilty, submit to your punishment, and pray that God would bless it for the good of LECTURE XLVII.
JOSEPH MAKING HIMSELF KNOWN TO HIS
Gen. 45. 3. 4. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph: doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him: for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom
ye sold into Egypt. You have heard how Judah pleaded for Benjamin, and offered to remain a slave for life instead of him. This affecting speech and generous proposal quite overcame Joseph. He could not restrain his tears, he 'could not conceal his feelings any long. er, he commands that all except his brethren should leave the room.
He then Wept so loud that the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. After he had relieved his mind by a flood of tears, be tells them who lie is, and they no longer behold him as their judge, but as their brother. It is said that a certain painter unable to paint the agony of a father weeping over the dead body of his only child, hid his face in the garment which covered her lifeless remains. How then shall the scene which followed be described, that scene in which Joseph makes himself known to those who stood before him in silence, waiting for his answer to what Judah had said in behalf of Benjamin. His wishes are all accomplished, his brethren are humbled under a deep since of past guilt. “ God hath found out the inquity of thy servants.” This must refer to their cruelty to Joseph, as such he understood it. Their af. fection for Benjamin; unwilling to return without him. Their tender concern for their aged parent. Judah's offer to remain a bondinan rather than see his father grieve or bring down his grey hairs with sore row to the grave. All this must have made a very deep impression on Joseph's mind. And all he could say was to command all his servanis to leare the room.
Then comes the SECRET which he had so long concealed.
I. We shall first notice what JOSEPH said, when he MADE HIMSELF KNOWN to his BRETHREN. I AM JOSEPH!!! and thus adds, DOTH MY FATHER YET LIVE? He had put off the state of the Governor of Egypt, and the severity of a Judge. He puts on the love and affection of a brother. Tears introduce those three little words, I am Joseph. These were tears of tenderness and strong affection. He could not appear any longer strange: He now reveals his real name and character. Hitherto they had addressed him as Govers nor of Egypt; as Zaphnath Paaneal; and that they might not think it another person of the same name, he adus “ I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.” This would at once humble and en'courage them. His name might have assisted them to recollect his voice and his features, but it was necessary to mention also their selling him into Egypt, that he might remove all doubts in their minds. What must have been tlieir surprize and astonishment when they saw him burst into tears,
Hear what is said of them when they heard these words, I AM JOSEPH. " And bis brethren could not answer him ; for they were troubled at his presence.” A discovery so unexpeciệu, brought to their remembrance all their past guilt. What surprize! What terror! What contusion of face! Wiat fear, what grief, wliat hope, what joy must have all at once been mingled together in their minds; No doubt, they started back with terror at his words. Then Joseph said unto them. come near, I pray you; and they came near. Perhaps lie might call them tear to bim, that the Egyptians might not hear their conversation. Well might they be troubled at his preselice. Will night they be silent when they had nothing to say in their own defence. Perhaps Reuben indulged the hope of being forgiven; as to Benjamin, he had nothing to fear. The rest of Joseph's brethren had every thing to fear. If Joseph had been actually dead, and had risen and appeared to them ; If lie had accused them and reproached them for their cruelty, they could not have been more afraid. Therefore we shall notice,