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venerable parent, "they took Jofeph's coat, "and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the "coat in the blood"-diabolical machination! "and they took it to their father, and faid, this "have we found; judge whether it be thy "fon's coat or not.' You who are parents, "whofe lives are bound up in the lives of "children," ye best can tell, what were the feelings of this indulgent, of this afflicted father! Ye beft can tell, what were the forrows of his heart, when the child of his hopes was devoured, as he thought, by evil beafts, and was, without doubt, rent in pieces. Here we must leave him, mourning for his fon many days, and accompany this fuppofed dead fon, through a variety of scenes fingular and furprifing-fcenes planned by the wisdom, and executed by the agency, of God.

The Midianites, when they arrived in Egypt, fold Jofeph unto Potiphar, an officer of diftinguished rank in the court of Pharaoh. Whatever was the department for which his mafter defigned him, the attachment of Potiphar was equalled only by the fidelity of Jofeph. "He "made him overfeer over his house, and all "that he had, he put into his hands." He Q 3


was advanced, by a quick fucceffion of events, to an eminence of power which often intoxicates, and which, as often, in the wifdom of Providence, is the occafion of falling. But in all this "he erred not, nor acted foolishly"— in affliction, patient and refigned; in profperity, he was meek and humble.

A circumftance altogether unexpected contributed to his apparent ruin, but produced, in the end, his highest elevation. Solicited, by the wife of Potiphar, to an act, unlawful in itself, and injurious to his master, he is enabled, by a fenfe of right, and a principle of gratitude, to withstand the importunate folicitation"how can I do this great wickedness, and fin

against God?" Mifreprefented, however, to his mafter, he is degraded from being any longer overfeer of his houfe; and "though


innocency was found in him," he is dragged to prifon, and immured in a dungeon, where "his feet were hurt in the stocks, the iron "entered into his foul."

In this gloomy manfion were two officers of Pharaoh's court. And they dreamed each a dream which Jofeph interpreted; and it happened in three days from that time, to


both of them, as he had predicted. Two full years after, Pharaoh dreamed two portentous dreams, which, when no one of the wife men, and magicians could be found to interpret them, the ungrateful chief butler, to endear himself to the king his master, vouchfafed to recollect his fellow-prifoner, and to acquaint Pharaoh with his fupernatural qualifications. When Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, he affured him, that he did not poffes the power of interpretation as a natural endowment; "it is not in me, God fhall give Pha"raoh an answer of peace." Having heard the dreams, he interpreted them to the entire conviction of the king, and his attendants.. Pharaoh, ftruck with his wisdom, and observing" an excellent spirit to be in him, faid unto Jofeph, fee, I fet thee over all the land of

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Egypt." Jofeph was now thirty years old, when he arrived at this fummit of greatness. He entered upon his office by taking a furvey of the country, and giving directions how the plentiful harvests might be properly disposed; for it is faid, "he gathered corn as the fand "of the fea, very much until he left num

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But the feven years of plenty expired. " And “ "the famine was over all the face of the earth;' not only in Egypt, but in all the neighboring countries; and among those who wanted bread were the father and brethren of Jofeph. "And Jofeph's ten brethren went down to buy "corn in Egypt. But Jacob fent not Benja

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min, Joseph's youngest brother, with them, "left peradventure mischief should befal him "in the way." Upon their arrival in Egypt, they were directed to Joseph, and the dream which he had related, and which incenfed them against him, now received its completion; for they came, and bowed themselves "before him, with their faces to the earth." He recognized his brethren, but affumed a character unnatural to the amiable ferenity of his temper. "He made himself strange unto "them, and fpake roughly unto them," and accused them of defigns hoftile to the Egyptian Government-"ye are fpies, to see the "nakedness of the land ye are come." Το remove fo injurious a fufpicion, they relate to him their kindred, and fituation-the very object he had in view. But regardless of their arguments, he perfifts in his declarations.


When they repeat more fully their circumstances and condition, he pretends to be confirmed in his fufpicions. "That is it that I "fpake unto you, faying, ye are fpies;" for if your father fent you, indeed, from the land of Canaan, to buy corn, and ye have yet a brother, why did he not fend him alfo?" Hereby ye "fhall be proved;" at the last he determines that one of them shall be kept in custody, and the others fhould return to the land of Canaan. "And they did fo❞—they agreed to his propofal. What a variety of sensations must have crowded in his breaft! the hearing his native language after an abfence of twenty-two years from his father's houfe; the predictions of his brethren's obedience to him fulfilled; the account of his brother's health and welfare; the recollection of the mifery his father had fuffered on his account, and the joyful expectation that he should foon be restored to his embraces! With fuch fenfations he was overpowered; and nature required relief. He retired, therefore, and wept. Previous to their return to the land of Canaan, Jofeph gave orders that, when their facks were filled, their money should be restored. When they came


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