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ruler of the land of Egypt; and in every station acquiring by his virtue and wisdom, favour with God and man. When overseer of Potiphar's house, his fidelity was proved by strong temptations, which he honourably resisted. When thrown into prison by the artifices of a false woman, his integrity and prudence soon rendered him conspicuous, even in that dark mansion. When called into the presence of Pharaoh, the vise and extensive plan which he formed for saving the kingdom from the miseries of impending famine, justly raised him to a high station, wherein his abilities were eminently displayed in the public service. But in his whole history, there is no circumstance so striking and interesting, as his behaviour to his brethren who had sold him into slavery. The moment in which he made himself known to them, was the most critical one of his life, and the most decisire of his character. It is such as rarely occurs in the course of human events ; and is calculated to draw the highest attention of all who are endowed with any degree of sensibility of heart.
From the whole tenour of the narration it appears, that though Joseph, upon the arrival of his brethren in Egypt, made himself strange to them, yet from the beginning he intended to discover himself; and studied so to conduct the discovery, as might render the surprise of joy complete. For this end, by affected severity, he took measures for bringing down into Egypt all his father's children. They were now arrived there ; and Benjamin among the rest, who was his younger brother by the same mother,and was particularly beloved by Joseph. Him he threatened to detain ; and seemed willing to allow the rest to depart. This incident renewed their distress. They all knew their father's extreme anxiety about the safety of Benjamin, and with what difficulty he had yielded to his undertaking this journey. Should he be prevented from returning, they dreaded that grief would overpower the old man's spirits, and prove fatal to his life. Judah, therefore, who had particularly urged the necessity of Benjamin's accompanying his brothers, and had solemnly pledged himself to their father for his safe return, craved, upon this occasion, an audience of the governor;
gave him a full account of the circumstances of Jacob's family.
Nothing can be more interesting and pathetic than this discourse of Judah. Little knowing to whom he spoke, he paints in all the colours of simple and natural eloquence, the distressed situation of the aged patriarch, hastening to the close of life; long afflicted for the loss of a favourite son, whom he
supposed to have been torn in pieces by a beast of prey ; labouring now under anxious concern about his youngest son, the child of his old age, who alone was left alive of his mother, and whom nothing but the calamities of severe famine could have moved a tender father to send from home, and expose to the dangers of a foreign land. “ If we bring him not back with us, we shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant, our father, with sorrow, to the grave. I pray thee therefore let thy servant abide, instead of the young man, a bondman to our lord. For how shall I go up to my father, and Benjamin rot with me? lest I see the evil that shall come on my father."
Upon this relation Joseph could no longer restrain himself. The tender ideas of his father, and his father's house, of his ancient home, his country, and his kindred, of the distress of his family, and his own exaltation, all rushed too strongly upon his mind to bear any farther concealment. “ He cried, Cause every man to go out from me ; and he wept aloud.” The tears which he shed were not the tears of grief. They were the burst of affection. They were the effusions of a heart overflowing with all the tender sensibilities of nature. 1 rmerly he had been moved in the same manner, when he first saw his brethren before him. “ His bowels yearned upon them ; he sought for a place where to weep. He went into his chamber; and then washed his face and returned to them.' At that period his generous plans were not completed. But now, when there was no farther occasion for constraining himself, he gave free vent to thestrong emotions of his heart, The first minister to the king of Egypt was not ashamed to show, that he felt as a man, and a brother. “ He wept aloud; and the Egyptians, and the house of Pharaoh, heard him.”
The first words which his swelling heart allowed him to pronounce, are the most suitable to such an affecting situation that were ever uttered ;-" I am Joseph; doth my father yet live ?”'_What could he, what ought he, in that impassioned moment, to have said more? This is the voice of nature her. self, speaking her own language; and it penetrates the heart: no pomp of expression ; no parade of kindness; but strong affection hastening to utter what it strongly felt. “ His brethren could not answer him ; for they were troubled at his presence.” Their silence is as expressive of those emotions of repentance and shame, which, on this amazing discovery, filled their breasts, and stopped their utterance, as the few words which Joseph speaks, are expressive of the generous gitaticns, which struggled for vent within him. No painter
could seize a more striking moment for displaying the characteristical features of the human heart, than what is here presented. Never was there a situation of more tender and vir. tuous joy, on the one hand ; nor, on the other, of more over whelming confusion and conscious guilt. In the simple nar ration of the sacred historian, it is set before us with greater energy and higher effect, than if it had been wrought up with all the colouring of the most admired modern eloquence.
ALTAMONT. The following account of an affecting, mournful erit, is related by Dr. Young, who was present at the meluncholy scene. Thesad erening before the death of the noble youth, whose last hours suggested the inost solemn and awful reflections, was with him. No one was present, but his physici m, ani se intimate whom he loved, and whom he hail ruiner. Almy coming in, he said, “ You and the physician are come too late. I have neither life nor hope. You, both air at miste cles. You would raise the dead!" Heaven, I said, wisi ra ciful Or," exclaimed he,- I'could not have been this guilty. What has it not done to bless and to save me :-) have been too strong for Omnipotence! I have plucked down ruin.”-I said, the blessed Redeemer,-ai Hold ! hold! you wound me !_That is the rock on which I split: I denied his game !":
Refusing to hear any thing from me, or take any thing ' from the physician, he lay silent, as far as sudden dirts of pun
would permit, till the clock struck: Then with vehemence he exclaimed; “Oh, time! time ! it is fit thou shouldst thus strike thy murderer to the heart!--How art thou fled for ever!
A month! Oh, for a single wet's l I ask not for years ! though an age were too little for the much I have to do.” On my saying, we could not do too much : th:t heaven was a blessed place." So much the worse.-'Fis lost! 'tis lost :-Heaven is to me the severest part of hell.!"
Soon after, I proposed prayer, “Pray you that can, 1 never prayed. I cannot prayếnor need l. Is not Heaven on my side already ? It closes with my conscience. Its se, verest strokes but second my own. Observing that his friend was much touched, at this, even to tears.--(who could forbear? I could not with a most affectunute look he said,
“ Keep thosc terrs for thyself. I have undone thee.-Dos! ihert weep för me ? that is cruel. What can pun me more
Itere his friend, 100 ni'ich affected, would have left him. “ No stay-tho! still miyst hope ; therefore he:ır me. tlow midts Have I tuked ! Ilow mwly bust thou listened and he. tieveil! but look on. my present state, as a full answer to thee. aard tó ñyself. This boily is all weekness and pun; bit iny soul, as if stungitp' bị torment to gre:iter strengtli an:) spirit is fill powerf.il to reason ; fill mighty to susler: And that, which thus triumphs within the jews of immortality. is, doubtlessi, in mort il - Anl, as for a Deity, nothing less thin an Almighty coull inļlict whit I feel.”
I wils also it to contritufite this passive, invol:int iry con* fessor, on his asserting the two pri:ne articles of his creei, era torteil by the rock of niture, when he thus, very passion itely exliimad :
-No, no! let me speak on. I have not long to spe.ik. - Mymrich injure:l friend ! my soul, as my body, lies i: riiins ; in scattere.lfragments of broken thought-Renors 3 for the past, throws my thought on the future. Worse lreol of th: fiture, strikes it back on the past. I turn, and turn, and tini no riv. Dilst thou feet half the mountain thiti: on m, thoi woul:lst struggle with the martyr for his stike ; and hlas Heaven for the Annes !--thit is not an everlasting time ; that is not nngrenchable fire.'
How were we struck! yet, soon after, still more. With what an eye of distraction, what a fice of desprir, he crie. out! " My principles have poisoned my friend ; my extravaSince has bezrired my boy! my unkin:Iness has mordere! my wite !--:Inlisthere another hell? Oh! thou blasph.:n: 1. yetind'lgent LORD GOD! Hell itself is a refuze, if it hiile me froin thy frown!" Soon after, his understanding frileil. His terri'i ingination littered horrory not to be repeated, or eter forgotten. And ere the sun (which, I hope, kuuseen fort lite him) arose, the guy, young, noble, 1:1 genious, ac. nitishednu moat wretchel Altemont, expired!
If thix is a min of pleasure, what is a min of paia? How pinck, how totul; is the transit of such persons! In whit a dis. mil glønmi they set for ever! How short, al.s! the day of their rejasing !--Por a moment they glitter-they dizzle In a monient, where are they? Oblivion covers their mensorfes. Ah!:woll it stiil! Infamy snatches them from obliv, ion. In the long living annis of infamy their triumphs are recorded. Thy sufferings. poor Altamont! still bleed in the
um of the beart-atricken frica for aliamuat hait . friend. He might have had many.
llis transient morning might have been the dawn of an innortill day. The panic might have been gloriously enrolled in the records of eter. nity. His memory might have lett a sweet tidyrance be. hind it. grateful to the surviving triend, salutiry to the succeeding generation. With what capacity was he endowed! with what advantages, for being greatly good! But with the talents of an angel, a min may be a tool. li he judges amis in the supreme point, judging right in all else, but aggrt. * vales his folly ; as it shows lim wrong, though blessed with the best capacity of being right.
DENOCRITUS AND HERACLITVS. The rices ar.d fullies of men should ercite compassion rather
than ridicule. Democritus. I find it impossible to reconcile myself to a melancholy philosophy.
Ileraclitus. And I am equally unable to approve of that vain philosophy, which te:ches men tó despise and ridicure one another. To a wise and feeling mind, the worlu itp pears in a wretched and painful light.
Dem. Thon iirt too much affecteil with the state of things: and this is a source of misery to thee.
Iler. And I think thou art too little moved by it. Thr mirth and ridicule bespeak the buffoon, rather than the pni. losopher. Does it not excite thy compassion, to see tuankind so frail, so blind, so far departed from the rules ut virtue !
Dem. I am excited to laughter, when I see so much im. pertinence and folly
Her. And yet, after all, they, who are the objects of thy ridicule, include, not only minkind in general, but the persons with whom thou livest, thy friends, thy fimily, nay even thyself.
Democritus and Heraclitus were two aucient pliilosophers, the former of whom laughed, and the latter weut. at the errors and foiling on piankind.