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to their father's houfe, and related the occurrences of their journey; when they emptied their facks, and found every man's bundle of money in his fack, the good old Patriarch vented his apprehenfions in this empaffioned complaint, "Me have ye bereaved of my chil"dren, Jofeph is not, and Simeon is not, and
ye will take Benjamin away." Reuben, defirous" that they should live, and not die," undertakes to restore Benjamin safe to his father. A fecond time they went down into Egypt and apologizing to the steward of Jofeph's house, for the money that was found in their facks, he affures them that no evil was intended them, and acquaints them, that they are that day to dine with "the governor "over all the land of Egypt." When they were introduced into his prefence, he again enquires of the welfare of Ifrael-“ Is your "father well, the old man of whom ye fpake? "Is he yet alive? And they answered, thy "fervant our father is in good health; and
they bowed down their heads, and made "obeifance." By prefenting, with their own, the duty of their Father, his fecond dream was fulfilled. Three tables were provided for their mutual
mutual accommodation; one for Joseph, who was diftinguished as the head of the land; one for the Egyptians, his attendants and minifters; and one for Jofeph's brethren; for the Egyptians, from the peculiarity of their cuf toms, would not condescend to fit at the fame table, with the Hebrews. As they fat down to meat, Jofeph, to their utter astonishment, placed "the first-born according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his "youth."
Before they returned out of Egypt, Jofeph's filver cup, according to his own directions, was put in Benjamin's fack, that he might make a trial of his brethren's regard and affection for their youngest brother, and their father. As foon as the morning was light, they were fent away; and the steward went in pursuit of them, and challenged them, with having stolen the cup out of Jofeph's houfe. Scandalized with the reproach, they unlade their affes; but when they difcovered it in Benjamin's fack, they returned forrowful, and fore afraid to the city. When they were come into his house, Judah addreffes the Governor, from the eighteenth verse of the forty-fourth Chapter
to the end, in a strain of fuch fimple, animated, perfuafive eloquence, as art cannot equal, and learning cannot reach. Jofeph was moved with the affecting relation; and, difmiffing his attendants, he faid unto his brethren, after his mind had got relief by a flood of tears, “I am Jofeph, doth my father yet live?" Reprefent to yourselves their feelings, when they heard the declaration. Every paffion which can agitate a guilty mind-fhame at having taken offence at their brother's dreams; indignation at having conspired against his life; remorfe for occafioning their father twenty-two years of mifery; and apprehenfion, left Joseph fhould requite them "as they had thought to "have done unto him," rent their hearts with the violent conflict. But he difpelled their apprehenfions, and comforted their fouls: he reprefents them to themselves as agents in the hands of God, to accomplish his hidden purpofes. "It was not you that fent me hither, "but God,"
"When they came into the land of Canaan, "unto Jacob their father, they told him, faying, Jofeph is governor over all the land of
Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he
"believed them not."
Hearing the name of his long-loft fon, the fummit of greatness to which he was arrived, "his heart fainted," for he distrusted the authenticity of the relation. Impatient of doubt, they relate the conversation that paffed between them, and appeal to the carriages, which Jofeph had fo refpectfully fent for his conveyance. The fpirit of Jacob their father now revives. "It is enough," fays he, "Jofeph my fon is yet alive, I will "and fee him before I die.'
Methinks I fee the venerable patriarch, withdrawing from his assembled family, and retiring to offer the incense of thanksgiving, to the God of his fathers. Methinks I hear him recounting, in the posture of humility, the mercies of God, imploring forgiveness of his distrust of Providence, and pouring out his foul in devout fupplications to the awful Being, who bringeth low, and lifteth up."
Jofeph, knowing the time in which his father and his family would be at Goshen, "made ready his chariot, and went up to "meet Ifrael his father, and prefented himself "unto him; and he fell on his neck," affecting interview!" and wept on his neck a good 66 while."
"while." Who is the man fo much to be envied as Ifrael, at this interesting scene? Ye, who are fathers, fay, what would be the fenfibilities of your fouls, at meeting with the child of your bofom, who "had been dead "and was alive again, who had been loft, and
was found;" and, moreover, in a time of univerfal dearth, when "the hungry had not "bread to eat, and the thirsty water to drink,"
was governor over all the land of Egypt.” And Ifrael faid unto Jofeph, now let me "die fince I have feen thy face, because thou "art yet alive;" there is nothing in this world, in which I can now be interefted. I have gone mourning for thee many years; my hours have been embittered by thy lofs; but it hath pleased God to bless me, in letting me fee thy face before I die.
Jacob after this lived feventeen years in Egypt, the only part of his life that he can be faid to have known comfort. But even this gleam of happiness was in the setting of his days, when he could hardly discern between
good and evil when he could not taste "what he eat, or what he drank." And "the "time drew nigh, that Ifrael must die.” And