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count the cost, but not to magnify it beyond the truth. Against the cost we are to place the gain, and observe how the latter preponderates. Having seen the nature, and contemplated the reward of the service, which God requires, let us take it as it is, submit to it without reserve, and perform it without reluctance-not be slothful, but zealous in it—not wavering and unsteady, but stedfast and unmoveable-not sparing of our lalor, but abounding in our Lord's work-not forsaking his service, but enduring to the end. Thus we shall receive the crown of life.
Joseph discovering himself to his Brethren.
GENENIS xlv. 3.
-I am Joseph.
THIS Joseph was one of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob, who lived in the land of Canaan. The partial fondness, which Jacob expresses for this son, together with some extraordinary dreams which Joseph, in his youthful simplicity, related to his brethren, purporting his future superiority in the family, excited in them a spirit of jealousy and envy, which was not appeased, until they had sold him into Egypt for a slave. Here, after passing through various scenes of danger and trouble, he was by a wonderful providence exalted to the presidency of all the country, and made the next in command under the king himself. Being divinely premonished of a long and grievous famine, which was coming on Egypt and the adjacent countries, he in the preced
ing years of plenty, provided such ample stores, as were sufficient to supply the wants of the people in the unfruitful period, which was approaching. The famine, when it came, was soon felt in Canaan, where his father's family lived; and ten of his brethren, urged by scarcity, came into Egypt to buy corn for their households. They were admitted to the presence of the governor, who immediately knew them to be his brethren. But his long absence, the change which years had made in his appearance, and especially his unthought of advancement, prevented their recognizing him. For particular reasons the governor chose for the présent, to remain unknown to them. He made himself strange, affected a suspicion of their integrity, inquired concerning their country and parentage, spake to them roughly, and called them spies. He furnished them, however, with a temporary supply of corn; but demanded, that to verify their information, and to clear themselves from suspicion, they should come again, and bring with them that young brother, whom, they said, they had left with their father. In the mean time, to ensure their return, he detained one of their number as an hostage.
When they had consumed their first supply, compelled by necessity, they returned to Egypt with their youngest brother, Benjamin, whom they brought solely against the will of their father. Here again they were admitted to a conference with the governor, who treated them with hospitality, but contrived to bring them into such embarrassments, as might awaken reflections on their former ill usage of him, and give him a pretext to detain Benjamin, who was his brother by the same mother. He released the 'hostage, filled their sacks, and sent them away. But they had not gone far, before they were recalled on a charge, that one of them had stolen the governor's
favorite silver cup, which, by his order, had been artfully put into the young brother's sack, and which, 'on search, was found there. Astonished and confounded, they return, acknowledge a fact, which could not well be denied, and submit themselves to the governor's mercy. He proposes to detain for his servant the youth, with whom the cup was found and to dismiss the rest. One of the number, in compassion to his aged father, whose heart was bound up in the lad, offers himself to remain a servant in the place of the lad.
The governor, by this time, had carried the artifice as far, as fraternal and filial affection would permit. He felt for his father in Canaan, now anxiously looking for the return of his children-for the return of his youngest son. He felt the anguish which must wring the father's heart, when he should see that this son was hot among the rest. He felt for his brethren, now trembling in his presence, and waiting with painful solicitude the result of his deliberations. He felt för Benjamin, an innocent youth, charged with, and, to appearance, found guilty of a crime, which had never entered into his heart. He could no longer refrain himself. He commanded every Egyptian to retire. None remained in his presence, but these strangers from Canaan. What was now to be done, they could not conjecture. In this critical moment many anxious suspicions rushed into their minds. Here stood the governor-his brethren stood at a distance in terror-he partook of their feelings. He wept-he trept aloud. As soon as his voice could force an utterance, he said, I am Joseph. When his suffocated voice was again at liberty, he asked, Doth my Father yet live? Overcome with astonishment they could not answer him. He saw their embarrassment. Being a little recov ered from the first gust of brotherly affection, he said
to them, “Come near to me, I pray you." They came near. And he said, "I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. But be not grieved with yourselves, for God sent me here before you to preserve life." By this time he was able to give them a summary relation of his advancement, and to inform them of the continuance of the famine which was begun. He invited them to come themselves and to bring their father and children with them into Egypt, and to dwell in the best of the land. He conversed with them familiarly, kissed them affectionately sent them away laden with his bounties, and charged them to hasten their re
We will make some reflections on the manner in which Joseph discovered himself to his brethren.
I am Joseph. It is an expression of great humility. He was the governor of Egypt, entrusted with its richest treasures, and distinguished by its highest honors. He was arrayed in silken robes, he wore on his hand the royal signet, and around his neck hung a golden chain. He rode in the king's second chariot, and heard the heralds proclaim, "Bow the knee before him." He ruled all the people with such undisputed authority that without him no man lifted up his hand, or his foot in the land. This is the same man, who a little while before was sold for a slave, and confined among criminals in the common prison. So great and sudden an elevation would have swelled a vain heart with pride, and intoxicated an empty head with selfimportance. Few would have borne it with any degree of moderation, or have behaved under it with tolerable decency. But this governor was still himself. He remembered that he was Joseph a Hebrew-the son of an old pilgrim, who now sojourned in Canaan, and the brother of