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delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness; and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, and deliver him to his father again." See, how his brethren returned him evil for good: for his love they became his enemies: when they saw him afar off they conspired against him. It was not in anger, no, it was a deliberate plan. He that hateth his brother is a murderer: Is not this true? Did they not conspire to take a way Joseph's life. How cruel was their de sign. What, would nothing less than Joseph's blood cool their anger and quench their thirst of revenge! Joseph had done then no harm. He could not help his father's fondness. He wore the coloured coat, it is true, but then it was in obedience to his father's wishes. How ungrateful were they for the trouble he had taken in coming nearly fifty miles to see how they did. They saw him not as a brother, as bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh, but as the favorite of their father, one that he loved more than all his children. See how scornfully they speak
speak of him: "Behold, this dreamer cometh." These dreams were uppermost in their thoughts, they could not endure the thought of their being fulfilled, and therefore conspire to take away his life, that he may not have dominion over them. They agreed together to conceal the murder by a lie: "We will say some evil beast hath devoured him." They were worse than those evil beasts on which they meant to lay the blame of Joseph's death. The most savage animals do not devour those of their own kind; they do not eat each other. Tigers do not eat tigers. Vultures do not devour vultures. Jackals do not eat each other. But these unnatural, cruel and bloody minded men will kill Joseph; they will take away his life, and shed innocent blood without cause.
IV. The RECEPTION JOSEPH met with from his Brethr.n.
"And it came to pass when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him: And they took him and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty,
there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites cane from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery, and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt."
When Joseph came to his brethren, it was with a smiling countenance, with pleasure- in his heart. They shew no sigus of joy. No running to meet Joseph, no affectionate and brotherly embrace, no inquiries after the `welfare of their aged parent. No, like robbers and murderers, they seize him, and roughly taking off that enved coat, that coat of many colours which their aged parent had given him, they hurry him away, and, regardless of his tears an 1 supplications, they cast him into the pit. In vain did he beg them to pity and spare his life; they would not hear him. It was by Reuben's interference that his life was spared, and he intended to take him out of this pit as soon as possible and send him back to his father. The pit was empty; if there had been any water in it, Joseph might have been drowned; but there was no water in it. They
They sat down to eat bread. How could they eat while Joseph was in the pit, hungry and weary, weeping and expecting to be staryed to death. I almost wonder they were not afraid of being choked by their food after what they had done; but sin not only shuts up the bowels of compassion, but hardens the heart and blunts the feelings of every hu man heart.
V. CATECHETICAL QUESTIONS.
1. How many dreams had Joseph? Two, one concerning the shaves of corn bowing to his sheaf, and the other concerning the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing to him and making obeisance to him.
2. What did his father say to his dreams? His father rebuked him, and said unto him, shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, indeed bow down to thee to the earth?
3. What did his brethren say? They envied him and hated him yet the more, and said one to another, behold, this dreamer cometh.
4. Where did Joseph go to visit his brethren? To Shechem.
5. Where did he find them? In Dothan.
6. When he came to them, what did they do to him? Stripped him of his coat of many colours, and cast him into a pit.
7. After they had cast him into a pit, what did they do? They sat down to eat bread.
8. Who proposed to put Joseph into a pit? Reuben, that he might take him out and deliver him to his father.
9. What happened while they were eating bread? A company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery, and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
VI. PRACTICAL ADDRESS.
We see the progress of sin. First, they hate Joseph, and hatred increases more and more, especially when they heard his dreams. They then call him "the dreamer," by way of reproach, and last of all they conspire toge ther to take away his life, and this must be concealed by a lie. Envy, malice, hatred, cruelty, murder and falsehood, all these sins they commit, and to these they added opposition G 7