of mind than Joseph's other brethren. It seems that he did not remain with the rest. How shocking it is to read, that after having stripped their brother, and thrown him into a pit, they sat down to eat, though they had witnessed the anguish of his soul, and heard his earnest entreaties that they would have compassion on him to Judah seems to have abhorred the sin of fratricide; but he so far agreed with the rest, that he wished the object of their mutual envy to be removed out of the way. . . . . to The Midianitish merchantmen are supposed to have been some of the descendants of Midian, one of the sons of Abraham and Keturah ; and the Ishmaelites were of the posterity of Ishmael. These travellers seem to have associated together for safety and society, as is still the custom in those eastern countries, which are infested with wild beasts and robbers. Their arrival at this critical period was a providential interposition. Rending the clothes appears, from several passages o Scripture, to have been the ancient way of expressing grief for calamity, or sorrow for sin. . Jacob's affliction for the loss of his son was very natural ; yet he was certainly wrong in refusing to be comforted, and in resolving to mourn to the day of his own death ; but we may suppose that he made use of these expressions in the first transports of his grief, and afterwards patiently submitted to what he concluded to be the will of God. It is needless to expatiate on the wickedness of Joseph's brethren ; but it may be necessary to point out to young. persons, that they should be very careful not to carry evil reports of each other to their parents. Joseph's imprudence in telling tales, and his father’s in listening to them, seem to have furnished his brethren with the first pretence for openly expressing their hatred of him : not that this justified their malice; for they were men of experi- ence

ence in the world, and ought to have excused Joseph in consideration of his youth. Besides, it is a very great meanness as well as a sin to indulge envy on any occasion. Young persons may farther learn from the error of Joseph, that it is exceedingly dangerous to boast of superior advantages. None, indeed, can expect, hike Joseph, to have divine revelations : but we may chance to have distinctions of another kind, from which we may promise ourselves advancement in the world; in these eases, we should be extremely cautious not so provoke jealousy and envy in the minds of our relations, by exulting over them. " ' " - * † - ::. It is shocking to think, that it should ever enter into the hearts of men, to sell and buy each otherfor slaves Yet how many people are there still existing in the world; who follow this inhuman traffick, with as much composure as Jacob's sons did : one party receiving money in exchange for those, who, if not brethren by blood, are so by nature; the other tearing away a promising youth; or helpless virgin (the sole comfort perhaps of their aged parents), a wife from her beloved and affectionate husband, a tender mother from her darling child, never, never more to meet again the dear objects of their best affections; but condemned, for the remainder of their wretched lives, to the vilest drudgery, the most inhuman cruelty, and the hardest fare : O that such unnatural merchandizers would but reflect on the anguish of mind they occasion 1 Anguish, which rankles in the soul, more than an envenomed and barbed arrow in the flesh! ... "

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From Genesis, Chah. xxix.

AND Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah, captain of the guard, an ‘. Egyptian, Egyptain, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man ; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lo RB made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and, he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. ... , , 2 * And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord:blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in the house, and in the field. . . . . . . ... And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat; and Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. ...And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph ; and she said, Idie with me. But he refilsed, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I; neither bath he kept back any thing from me, but thee, because thou art his wife : how then can I do this great wickedmass, and sin against God.” - And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. . . . . . . . . . . . . . And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me .

me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. - And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, ye have brought in an Hebrew unto us, to mock us: he came in unto me to lie with me, and 1 cried with a loud voice: and it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice, and cried, that he left "his garment with me, and fled, and got him out." And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. o * . . ; . o * . " o * . o And she spake unto Potiphar according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. wo to wo And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spike unto him, saying, After this manner did shy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. - o - o . . . . . . .” - . o ... . . o "...And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the pio, a fice who is king's Pioners were bound:

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But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. to ... And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison: and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him: . and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.



Though Joseph's cruel brethren sold him into the hands of strangers, who carried him far from that sacred spot, where the Lord was worshipped as the only God ; and into a country rendered abominable by the practice of many corruptions; yet was he not forsaken, , or abandoned. In the anguish of. his soul, he cried unto the Lord, and He heard him ; and though infinite wisdom saw fit to try the virtues, that he might prove a bright example to the world, Divine goodness accompanied him whithersoever he went : for we may regard it as an instance of God's providential care, that he did not fall into the hands of a cruel master. ... We may reasonably conclude, from the blessing which attended Joseph's services, that, like his father Jacob when an hireling to Laban, he resolved that his righteousness should answer for him in the time to come". . It appears that Potiphar, though an Egyptian, had a knowledge of the Loop, and an idea of a particular providence, by his perceiving that a Divine blessing attended the services of Joseph, and by the trust which, in consequence of this conviction, he reposed in him. It is likely that Joseph was not invested with the stew. ardship, till Potiphar had experienced his fidelity in an inferior capacity; during which period he might attain a knowledge of the Egyptian language, which bore great affinity to that of Canaan. ' ' ... The expression He knew not what he had, save the bread which he did eat, implies the highest degree of " *- *** - ** * : . . . . . . . o

confidence. ” * -

It is a sad reflection, that a man of so much merit as Potiphar appears to have been, should have had so abandoned a woman for his wife. Her behaviour

* See Section xxxvii. needs

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