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JOSEPH PERSECUTED.

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gave evidence of Joseph's goodness, and that he was a favourite of heaven. How truly does God love and honour those that love and honour Him !

His hatred of sin.-Joseph's elder brothers seem to have been very wicked, and Joseph heard and saw their wickedness. He probably discountenanced and reproved them, and seems to have been greatly grieved on account of their sins. “He brought unto his father their evil report.” It is not likely Joseph would have done this, except as

a last resource. Youth should not be encouraged in reporting trivial matters against brothers or sisters, yet when sin is committed, and reproof disregarded, it ought not to be concealed, but made known in the proper quarter, that means may be taken to check and reform. Joseph would have erred, if he had not used means to put a stop to transgression; and hence, whatever might be the consequences, it was dutiful and commendable to inform his father.

The unjust hatred his brothers had to him.-They hated him, not because he was evil, but because they were evil. They hated him, because he was good and would not join them in their wickedness. His soul was vexed with their evil deeds, and they hated him for exposing them, while exposure seemed the only means of their reformation. How few can bear to have their taults exposed! They hated him for the

partiality shown to him by his father, while this partiality was evidently merited by his dutiful conduct; but the coat of many colours was a dear and dangerous coat to him. They hated him for his dreams of his own future advancement, and their future debasement, while they likely believed that these dreams were a revelation from heaven, hence their hatred to him on account of them, was like hatred to heaven, and a desire to fustrate its settled purposes. Let not brothers and sisters, on any account whatever, hate each other. Let us hate nothing but sin.

The persecution he endured—“Joseph was sold for a servant.” Whenever a fit opportunity occurred, these wicked brothers resolved to kill the heaven favoured Joseph, and that opportunity soon came. With the exception of Reuben, who tried to save his life, and of Benjamin, who was probably at home with his father ; the guilty nine are eager to imbrue their hands in their brother's blood. Relenting a little, through the interference of Reuben, they cast him into a pit, where his death would be slow, but not less sure. Relenting again, while Reuben was absent, and desirous of maķing gain, they drew him out and sold him for a slave, while they resolve to deceive his father by taking to him the envied coat covered with blood. How guilty, how cruel ! Surely such wickedness will find them out.

Forty-Fifth Zabbath—Porning.

UNPARALLELED LOVE.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for

his friends," -John xy. 13. What a comfort to have kind friends, yet how few would die for their friends! This fine saying of Christ's has much implied in it—and much that may be inferred from it.

What is implied in it ?-It is implied that men generally have some friends. Friendship arises from blood connection. Members of the same family, and those closely allied to them, being brought much into contact with each other, form valuable and lasting friendships, except when these friendships are broken up by worldly matters, proving a demon of discord. Friendship arises from acquaintance and neighbourhood. As social beings, fitted to promote each other's happiness, we should be friendly with all whom we know; and when we discover valuable qualities in them, it is right that we should give them our confidence, and get theirs in return. Friendship arises from religion. Those who have embraced the same Saviour, become children of the same divine family, are members of the same church, and are expecting to live in the same heaven, should be knit together in love, and rejoice in each other's prosperity, and weep for each other's sorrows. O, how many hallowed friendships are formed among the children of God on earth, that shall be perfected in heaven, and exist through eternity! How dear to us should be a tried and faithful friend! It is implied that some one might be willing to die for a friend. David and Jonathan loved each other, and could have died for each other. Parents would sometimes be willing to die for their children, their hearts are so bound up in them. Some have such dear friends, that no sacrifice would be counted too great to promote their welfare. It is implied further, that if any one were to lay down his life for his friend, it would be the surest and highest proof of love. Life is so dear to us, and we cling to it so closely, that all worldly possessions would be sacrificed at once to save it; and if it were willingly sacrificed for a friend, no greater proof could be furnished, and no clearer evidence given of the reality of love.

What may be inferred from it ?_We may infer from this fine saying, that we are naturally the enemies of Christ. We are sinners,” “enemies." We have resisted His authority-opposed His will-slighted His invitations-and have no claim on His love. Instead of seeking our salvation, He might have sought our destruction. Instead of desiring our friendship, He might have overwhelmed us for our enmity. Instead of inviting us to a throne of grace, He

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UNPARALLELED LOVE.

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might have summoned us before His throne of judgment. Instead of holding out to us the golden sceptre of reconciliation, He might have raised the rod of His anger, and smitten us to the dust. How wonderful that enemies should be cared for and loved! We may infer that He laid down His life for us. "In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” For one friend to die for another is singular and wonderful; but O how wonderful that Christ should die for enemies ! In our nature and in our place, He hath fulfilled the law, and satisfied all the claims of justice. He hath opened a way to the holiest of all by His own blood, a new pathway to heaven, open not merely to friends, but to enemies. We can easily suppose one friend dying for another; but the death of Jesus for enemies is not a supposition, but a fact-å great fact, well fitted to awaken in us the strongest emotions, and draw our warmest affections to His bosom of love. We may next infer, Christ's matchless love. The strongest love among men is only for friends, but Christ's was for enemies, so that there is nothing like it amongst men Man's love is only a sunbeam, but Christ's is the unclouded sun. Man's love is only a drop, but Christ's love is the boundless ocean. Man's love is only an atom, but Christ's is the great globe. It “passeth knowledge.”

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