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there are two circumstances which particularly enhancea the blessedness of that “multitude who stand before the throne;" these are, access to the most exalted society, and renewal of the most tender connexions. The former is pointed out in the Scripture, by "joining the innumerable company of angels, and the general assembly and church of the first-born; by sitting down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven;" a promise which opens the sublimest prospects to the human mind.
2. It allows good men to entertain the hope, that, separated from all the dregs of the human mass, from that mixed and polluted crowd in the midst of which they now dwell, they shall be permitted to mingle with prophets, patriarchs, and apostles, with all those great and illustrious spirits, who have shone in former ages as the servants of God, or the benefactors of men; whose deeds we are accustomed to celebrate; whose steps we now follow at a distance; and whose names we pronounce with veneration,
3. United to this high assembly, the blessed, at the same time, renew those ancient connexions with virtuous friends, which had been dissolved by death. The prospect of this awakens in the heart the most pleasing and tender sentiment that perhaps can fill it, in this mortal state. For of all the sorrows which we are here doomed to endure, none is so bitter as that occasioned by the fatal stroke which separates us, in appearance for ever, from those to whom either nature or friendship had intimately joined. our hearts.
4. Memory, from time to time, renews the anguish; opens the wound which seemed once to have been closed; and, by recalling joys that are past and gone, touches every spring of painful sensibility. In these agonizing moments, how relieving the thought, that the separation is only temporary, not eternal; that there is a time to come of re-union with those with whom our happiest days were spent: whose joys and sorrows once were ours; whose piety and virtue cheered and encouraged us; and from whom after we shall have landed on the peaceful shore where they dwell, no revolutionsd of nature shall ever be able to part us more! Such is the society of the blessed above. Of such are the multitude composed, who “stand before the throne."
SECTION VI. a Clem-en-cy, klêm'-men-së,mercy, k For-eign, för'-rin, not domestick, remission of severity
alien. b Pa-tri-arch, pa-tre-årk, the father i Con-ceal-ment, kỔn-sele-mẽnt, and ruler of a family.
act of hiding, secrecy. c Pot-i-phar, pot'-te-får, a captain m Ef-fu-sion, èf-fü'-zhủn, a pouring
general of the forces of Egypt, out, waste. under Pharaoh.
In Yearn, yern, to feel great internal d Fi-del-i-ty, fè-del'-e-té, faithful uneasiness, to be moved. adherence.
o E-mo-tion, e-md-shản, disture Re-sist, re-zist', to oppose, witha bance of mind. stand.
p Ex-pres-sive, eks-prés'-siv, harf Ar-ti-fice, år'-té-fis, trick, strata ing the power of utterance, or regem.
presentation. 8 Im-pen-ding, im-pén-ding, hang- 9 Seize, séze, to grasp, take forcibly, ing over.
fr Char-ac-te-ris-ti-cal, kår-8k-te. h Nar-ra-tion,når-rd-shủn, relation, ris'-te-kål, constituting the charhistory.
acter. i In-ci-dent, in'-sé-dént, casualty, s O-ver-whel-ming, d-vir-hwelevent.
ming, crushing underneath some
thing violent and weighty. The clemency and amiable character of the patriarch
JOSEPH. 1. No human character, exhibited in the records of Scripture, is more remarkable and instructive than that of the patriarch' Joseph. He is one whom we behold tried in all the vicissitudes of fortune: from the condition of a slave, rising to be ruler of the land of Egypt; and in every station acquiring, by his virtue and wisdom, favour with God and man. When overseer of Poti. phar's house, his fidelityd was proved by strong temptations, which he honourably resisted.
2. 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 wise and extensive plan which he formed for saving the kingdom from the miseries of impendingě famine, justly raised him to a high station, wherein his abilities were eminently displayed in the public service.
8. 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 decisive of his character. It is such as rarely occurs in the course of hu
man events; and is calculated to draw the highest atten tion of all who are endowed with any degree of sensibility of heart.
4. 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.
5. 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 incidenti renewed their distressThey all knew their father's extreme anxiety about the safety of Benjamin, and with what difficulty he had yielded to his undertaking this journey.
6. 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 governour; and gave him a full account of the circumstances of Jacob's family.
7. Nothing can be more interesting and pathetick 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 to 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.
8. "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 not with me? lest I see the evil that shall come on my father.”
9. 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.”
10. 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. Formerly 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.”
11. 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 the strong 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."
12. 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 impassionate moment, to have said more! This is the voice of nature herself, 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, 13. “ His brethren could not answer him:
or 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 agitations which struggled for vent within him,
14. 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 virtuous joy, on the one hand;
nor, on the other, of more overwhelmings confusion and conscious guilt. In the simple narration 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.
SECTION VII. a Ex-it, éks'-lt, departur quitting, force, gain by oppression. the theatre of life.
& Un-quench-a-ble,an-kwensh'-å-bl, b Sug-gest, sig-jést', to hint, insinu- unextinguishable. ate.
|h Tran-sit, trần -sit, the passing of c Phy-sic-ian, fb-zish'-ån, one who a planet just by or under any oth
professes the art of healing. er fixed star or planet. d Mir-a-cle, mir--kl, something i Sal-u-ta-ry, sål’-lů-tå-re, whole
above human understanding: e De-i-ty, de'-e-t?, Divinity, God. k Ag-gra-yate,åg'-grå-váte, to make f Ex-tort, éks-tort', to draw byl worse, to provoke.
ALTAMONT. The following account of an affecting, mournful exit,a is relat
ed by Dr. Young, who was present at the melancholy scene. 1. The sad evening before the death of the noble youth, whose last hours suggested the most solemn and awful reflections, I was with him. No one was present, but his physician, and an intimate whom he loved, and whom he had ruined. At my coming in, he said, “ You and the physiciano are come too late.
I have neither life nor hope. You both aim at miracles. You would raise the dead!" 2. Heaven, I said, was merciful--- Or,” exclaimed he,
I could not have been thus guilty. What has it done to bless, and to save me!-I have been too strong for Omnipotence! I have plucked down ruin”-I said, the blessed Redeemer,-“Hold! hold! you wound me!--That is the rock on which I split:-I denied his name !"
3. Refusing to hear any thing from me, or take any thing from the physician, he lay silent, as far as sudden darts of pain 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 forever!-A month!-Oh, for a single week! 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: that heaven was a blessed placem“ So much the worse. -Tis lost! 'tìs lost I Heaven is to me the severest part of hell!"