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MAINE.

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ARKANSAW.
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Conwayboro', Henry Durant. Washington, Alex. M. Oakly.
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GEORGIA.
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David Folsom.
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CANADA.
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Montreal, William Hedge.
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SOUTH AMERICA.
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Buenos Ayres. Rev. Wm. Torrey
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Lion Square. Glasgow, William Collins. BELFAST, Wm. M'Comb.

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120

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No. 84..---May, 1833. .
Contents—“ Lessons from the Life of Joseph ;" by Rev. Mr. Ma-

The Solemn Question Answered;" by Rev. Mr. Neving.

SON.

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Genesis xlv. 28.-And Israel said, it is enough : Joseph my son is yet

alive ; I will go and see him before I die.

The same sons who had practised an ingenious falsehood to convince Jacob that Joseph was dead, afterward found it more difficult, by telling the truth, to convince him that Joseph was yet alive, and the governor of all Egypt. There is a natural caution in the human mind against admitting the evidence of a delightful discovery ; for the dawn of hope concerning a great benefit awakens fear lest it should fail to be made our own; and the heart vibrates between confidence and diffidence until the evidence is reviewed, and becomes too clear to admit of doubt. While the patriarch listened to the story of his sons, concerning the greatness of Joseph, his heart fainted with doubt; but when he went forth from his tent, and saw the wagons which Joseph had sent, his spirit revived, and he said, “ It is enough”-I am satisfied : “ Joseph my son is yet alive.”

This discovery of Joseph removed from the mind of Jacob a load of grief, which the old man had long sustained, and even cherished with sacred fondness; for his tenderest affections were ever connected with Rachel and Joseph, both of whom had been early taken from him. He had refused to forget them : but now he was comforted. He was sure that Joseph was yet alive, and a man of great power in Egypt, and he prepared for his journey.

But between the departure of Joseph from his father and this discovery of him in Egypt, there was a long and mysterious chasm of which Jacob knew nothing, but which he was anxious to explore. He wished to hear by what marvellous course his son had been preserved alive, and how he

Vol. VII.--12

had made his way to the station he now filled. You may naturally Buppose him questioning his sons, whenever they halted in their journey through the wilderness of Arabia, towards the city of the King of Egypt.

His sons knew more of this matter than they wished to relate. They had kept the secret from their father for a long course of years ; and even now they had no inclination to reveal it. They found themselves in an extremely painful attitude. They were urged by the pressure of famine, and the fear of Joseph, to take their father down to Egypt; but, in doing so, they were sure that their father would learn every thing from his favorite son, and, possibly, they might both turn against the whole family and punish them. Guilt is ever distrustful; it throws its own shadow on those around, and then fears to confide in them. The guilty brothers were afraid and ashamed to confess their former treachery ; their forced and late repentance might be doubted : and yet they were more afraid of their brother than of their father; therefore they resolved, if possible, to obtain the forgiveness of their father while on the way to Egypt, and to secure him as their mediator with Joseph.

But how shall they break the disgraceful secret? There was one of them who had not consented to their wickedness until it was done. Reuben had intended to deliver Joseph from the pit, and restore him to his father ; though, after he failed in that, he joined with his brethren in the falsehood about finding the bloody garment. He could most safely open the matter to the old man, and plead for his brethren, because he would not be pleading for himself.

But when Jacob knew that Joseph had entered Egypt as a slave, it was more than ever mysterious how he had risen to be governor of all the kingdom! There is a melancholy pleasure in reviewing the hardships of our friends, when we see them restored to happiness. The tears shed by Jacob, at the thought of Joseph having been a slave, were mingled with joy, and he was eager to learn the steps of his elevation from slavery to power and honor.

You know the history. But it may not be unprofitable to pause on some points of it, and make the reflections which we may well suppose the father made, as from time to time he listened to the personal narrative of his favorite son.

I. In a few days after leaving his father, Joseph found himself the blave of Potiphar, the captain of the body-guard of the King of Egypt. There was no hope of returning, or of sending, to his father. Now, observe his conduct. Instead of cursing his lot, and yielding to sullen despondency, he at once set himself to make the best of his condition. He applied all his faculties to serve his master, and secure his confidence and kindness. And he was successful. How much happier was he, while rising in his master's esteem by unwearied faithfulness, than his brethren, who were living in luxury, while their father's grief reproached them as often as they saw his face! Better is slavery in a strange land, with a pure conscience, than liberty and abundance with a guilty mind.

You see, by the conduct of Joseph, that enjoyment can be found in

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