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The following remarks, if they do not wholly exculpate him from blame, may at least serve greatly to extenuate the evil of his conduct.
1. He does not appear to have been employ
ed by the country, but by the king only, and that for himself. He did not buy up the corn during the years of plenty at the public expence, but he paid the people for it out of the king's private purse.
2. If the Egyptians had believed the word of God, as the king did, they had the same opportunity as he had, and might have laid by grain enough, during the seven plentiful years, fully to have supplied their own wants during the years of famine; but they disregarded the dreams and the interpretation, as people did the preparations of Noah; the only use they made of the plenty, was to waste it in luxury as it came. It was just therefore, that they should now feel some of the consequences.
3. In supplying their wants it was absolutely necessary to distribute the provisions not by gift, but by sale, and that according to what we should call the market price, otherwise the whole would have been consumed in half the time and the country would have perished,
4. The slavery to which they were reduced, was merely that of bing tenants to the king, who accepted of one fifth of the produce for his rent; indeed it was scarcely possible for a whole nation to be greatly oppressed, without being driven to redress themselves, and probably - what they paid aforetimes as rent, was much the same thing as we pay in taxes, and enable the king to maintain his state and support his government without any other burden. There is no mention made, I believe, in history of this event producing ill effects upon the country.
5thly. Whatever he did, it was not for himself or his kindred, but for the king, by whom he was employed. The utmost therefore that can be made of it to his disadvantage, does not affect the disinterestedness of his character.-Fuller.
REMARKS. Ask the children how old they are, and then tell them how old such children were that we read of in the scriptures, that were God's children, that did any thing remarkable.
JOSEPH'S VISIT TO HIS SICK FATHER.
GEN. 48. 1. 7.—And it came to pass af ter these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick; and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee. And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.: A VISIT to the sick man's chamber has of
ten been very useful both to old and young. There are many important lessons to be learnt, especially from those who fear God, who "have served him from childhood even unto
old age. (Perhaps this was a reason among others why Joseph took his two sons with him, when he went to see his sick father.) It is our duty to visit those who are sick, we may have an opportunity either to do good, or to get good. The sick-bed is the place where we may either administer comfort and advice to others, or receive instruction ourselves. If we visit a sick friend whom we love, it is kindly taken, it revives and cheers those who are in pain, to see that they are
not forgotten by those they love. Jozeph took his two sons with him that they might receive their dying grandfather's blessing, that what they might see in him and hear from him, might make a lasting impression on their minds. It is good for young people to visit the aged saints of God, that they may hear their dying testimony to the goodness of God and the pleasures of true reli gion. This will greatly encourage those who are but babes in grace and years, who have but just begun to walk the heavenly road to everlasting bliss. I dare say Manasseh and Ephraim would never forget this visit as long as they lived. Pious parents are desirous of a blessing for their children as well as themselves. Joseph had been more kind and tender to his father, than all his brethren, and Jacob BLESSED him and his children with peculiar blessings above the rest. When he blessed Joseph, he felt his heart enlarged. It was a subject on which the good old man delighted to dwell, he poured upon him the blessings of Almighty God, the God of his Father, who should bless him with the blea sings of heaven above; blessings of the deep
that lieth under; blessings of the breasts and womb; the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessing of thy progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills, they shall be upon the head of Joseph and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. This is the painful but endearing circumstance which drew down upon his head, all these numerous blessings from his father Jacob.
1. JOSEPH'S VISIT TO HIS DYING FATHER.
Jacob, though most likely confined to his bed, did not die immediately after having sent for Joseph, to request him not to bury him in Egypt. Joseph therefore returned to his important employment, but hearing that he was worse and expecting his death, he went to visit him, and took with him his two sons, who were now about twenty years of age. On hearing that his beloved son was come to see him, he is said to have strengthened himself and sat up in his bed. The mention of his name, cheers his mind, animates his spirit, and he seems to obtain new life and vigour; he exerted all his strength