Imatges de pàgina

tion which the king could possibly bestow on him. Accordingly we find, that Pharaoh considered his merit, and rewarded it. And he said unio Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath Shewed thee all this, there is none fa discreet and wife as thou art.

Thou fhalt be over my house, and only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Toseph's hand, and array. ed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. And he made hion to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Boro the knce : and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Behold, then, this favourite of the Almighty, not only released from a state of ignominy and contempt, but advanced to the highest rank; second in honour and dig. nity to the exalted prince of a noble and extensive kingdom; the guardian and protector of a whole people. We shall find, as we advance in the history, that pleasures still greater than any which power dor can bestow were reserved for him. In the mean time, from what we have already heard, we have reason to conclude, that the gracious Providence of God worketh every day, and every hour, unseen perhaps and unacknowledged, for the defence and preservation of the righteous. Never let the good and virtuous mind sink under the bur. then of present affliction, for God will always make it the foundation of future hap


and splen

piness. If

, like Joseph, we resist evil, it will flee from us. If we confide in the Most High, he will never leave nor forsake


but will, with the affliction, make a way for us to escape from the gloomy abodes of grief, shame, and sorrow, to the mansions of honour, pleasure, and felicity.





The Lord was with Joseph, JOSEPH, whom in my two last discourses

we have accompanied thro’a variety of distresses and temptations, was now, by the gracious providence of God, delivered from all his sorrows and misfortunes, and exalted to the highest state of happiness which his ambition could wish for or desire; the favourite of a grateful fovereign, the admiration of a powerful, obliged, and united people: his honours and preferments, gained not by the servile arts of adulation, fraud, or chicanery, but acquired by real merit, and con. ferred on him with universal approbation. Happy was the king that had such a minifter, and still happier that nation which had such a' guide and protector,


Joseph, who did not, as minifiers too often do, think himself at liberty to facrifice every thing to his own interest and advantage, was thoroughly sensible of the weight and importance of the trust repofed in him. He acted like an honest and upright patriot, faithful to the master who cmployed him, and anxious for the preservation of the people committed to his care. In the seven years of plenty, when ihe core was gathered as the sand of the fea, he laid it upin the storchouses which he prepared for that purpose. IIc would not, as I before observed to yoii, suffer it to be exportei, as it probably had formerly been, into foreign countries, but kept it at home, well-knowing that when the lamine which he had foretold should come, there would be a great and pressing demand for it. At the end of the seven years, that dreadful calamity which he had predicted did actually succeed, and the dearth was in all lands. Then did the Egyptians fully experience the judg. ment and prudence of Joseph, who poured balm into their wounds, and softened all their calamities. Whilftevery nation around them was sinking under the misfortune, they were satisfied with abundance, and in the land of Egypt, says the scripture, there was bread. They had not only enough for themselves, but were able also to supply their indigent neighours. Thus may the wisdom and integrity of one truly great man restore a sinking nation: thus may he even convert misfor


gone before

tunes into blessings, and render that evil, which threatened ruin and destruction, productive of benefit and advantage to them. All countries, says the history, came into Egypt to Jofeph for to buy corn; a circumstance which we shall see was of more consequence to Jofeph than every thing which had it. For after all that can be said in favour of public splendor, honours, fame, affluence, and every external mark of felicity, true happiness is perhaps only to be found within the narrow circle of private life, and the sweet endearments of domestic affection. Raised as Joseph was to fo superior an eminence, God had in store for him a blessing far preferable to any which he had ever bestowed on him. The sight of his aged father was a nobler spectacle than the most gorgeous palace could furnish; and the dinner with which he entertained his brethren, was doubtless, to him, a more exquisite feast than all the dainties which Pharaoh's court could ever have afforded him.

Let us then turn back our eyes on the poor, aged, unhappy Jacob, who had now for the space of thirteen years, lamented in anguish and despair the supposed death of his beloved Joseph; when behold a public calamity arose to increase and embitter private distress. The famine was fore in the land of Canaan: even that land which had flowed with milk and honey, was now poor and destitute. This, no doubt, greatly afflicted the aged Patri.


arch; for those who have been used to affluence and prosperity, are always the most impatient under


and forrow; and nothing so embitters present distress, as this grating remembrance of past felicity. Little, doubtless, did Jacob think that fo fevere a judgment would prepare the way for his future happiness.

Very often doth it happen unto us, as it did unto Jacob; we arraign and condemn the providence of God, even at the very time when it is secretly working for our good. We are told, that as soon as Jacob heard the welcome news that there was, corn in Egypt, he immediately called his sons together, and dispatched them with money to purchase, as soon as possible, that necessary and muchwanted commodity, keeping behind only his youngest fon Benjamin, to commune with and comfort him in their absence. They obeyed the orders of their father, and fet out upon the journey.

Joseph, we must here call to mind, had, with his new dignity, assumed the new name also of Zaphnath Paa-nêah; a name given him by Pharoah, and significant of his important office, meaning, according to the received interpretation, his prime minister. To Zaphnath Paa-nêah then, a name utterly un. known to them (and which accounts, amongst other reasons, for their not remembering him) Jacob's sons were directed to apply, as to the only person who could relieve them,


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