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The Character of Joseph. HOW many changes Joseph pass'd, Before he thirty years had known! He's now a slave, in prison cast,
And now exalted next the Thron
Yet grace appears in every scene,
And gilds the various paths he trod, How wise, how just, how kind to man, How fearful of offending God!
In deep adversity depress'd,
He's cheerful, active, and resign'd,
And when with wealth and honor bless',
From his example may we learn,
THE FIRST JOURNEY OF JOSEPH'S BRE
THREN TO EGYPT.
GEN. 42. 3. And Joseph's ten Brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
You have heard what Joseph did during the years of plenty. How he was employed in building store houses for the corn which he bought up. These years were ended, and the seven years of famine come. "And the d. arth or famine was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread." The private stores of the people were soon consumed, and they went to the king and cried for bread. Pharaoh told them to go to Joseph. He opened all the store houses and sold corn to the people, at a just and reasonable price. Thus he preserved them from being oppressed by the high price of corn, and from perishing for want. The public granaries were not opened till all the private stores were consumed. This gave him great influence, both with the princes, whose treasury he enriched, and the people 17 whose
whose wants he supplied. Jacob heard by report that there was corn in Egypt, and was assured of the truth of this report, by those who had purchased supplies of corn in Egypt. It was now the second year of the famine, and they were probably reduced to great distress, and knew not what to do. Jacob said unto
his sons, Why look ye one upon another. Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt, get you down thither and buy for us from thence, that we may live and not die."
1. THE JOURNEY OF JOSEPH'S BRE. THREN TO EGYPT. And Joseph's ten Brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. They are not called Jacob's sons, but Joseph's Brethren, because it is Joseph's history, that is here related. They went themselves, they did not send their servants. They could lay
out their own money much better, than any servant they had. Benjamin was not permit ted to accompany them, lest he should come into any danger. He was his father's darling, he was Joseph's brother. A number of other persons accompanied them on the same business. "And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came, for the fa
tnine was in the land of Canaan." As they had a large quantity of corn to buy, they were brought before Joseph. No doubt he expect ed that they would come, some of them at least, if not all of them. "And Joseph's bre
thren came and bowed down themselves before him, with their faces to the earth." This was the custom in Egypt, as well as in India, that they should bend their bodies, and make obeisance to him. Now it was that their empty sheaves did obeisance to his full one. Now Joseph's dreams are partly accomplished. Joseph saw his brethren and knew them. He had parted with them when he was seventeen years of age, he was now about thirty-eight or thirty-nine years of age, two and twenty years had made a greater alteration in him than it had done in them, therefore they knew him not. All foreigners that were in any way remarkable were brought before him, in order to prevent any abuse of the privilege of purchasing corn, to prevent their coming for any bad purposes. He inquired from whence they came, and what was their real design. He made himself strange, and spoke roughly unto them, and accused them of being spies: and that they
came to see the nakedness of the land. All this was done that his dreams might be ac complished, that he might bring them to repentance, and that he might learn the true state of his family. For they told him that they were brethren, the sons of one man, that they were formerly twelve in number, ten of whom were come to buy corn. The youngest at home with their father, and one is not.
II. JOSEPH'S BRETHREN put in PRISON "And he put them altogether into ward three days." This he did to frighten them, to lead them to think of their conduct to him. Not seeing Benjamin with them, he began to fear that they had done some mischief to him. Considering the roughness of Joseph's manner, the authority which he possessed, and the crime of which he accused them, they most likely expected nothing but death. death. He desired them to send one of their number to fetch their youngest brother, that he might know whether they told the truth. They did not seem willing to comply with this request E Perhaps they could not agree who shoald be the messenger, therefore he put them all into confinement