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certainty of receiving a full, a candid, and an immediate explanation upon every point. That information being once obtained, he would then be in a capacity to determine what course he should pursue, and whether he should make himself known, and become useful to his family in their distress.

We have now seen that the cautious brevity with which the brethren of Joseph answered his enquiries, and a seeming inconsistency between their present answer and their former assertions, naturally renewed his suspicions and doubts with regard to the real situation and existence of his father. We have also seen that these suspicions and doubts induced him to practice a second artifice towards his brethren, the direct object of which was to ascertain the fate of his father, with as much certainty as he had already by a previous artifice ascertained his brother's fate: and we have further shewn that the second contrivance was calculated, like the first, to secure his object with as little perplexity and as much expedition as perhaps the nature of the circumstances would permit. It only now remains for us to examine the effect which the plan actually produced, and the manner in which it operated upon each individual concerned.

We may observe, then, in continuing our analysis of the story, that when the brethren were accused of "rewarding evil for good," and the cup was was found in Benjamin's sack, they unanimously refused to be considered blameless, and returned once more with their brother to the city to become the bondmen of the prince, and share the fate and the misery of Benjamin. "And Judah said, Behold we are my lord's servants, both we and he also with whom the cup is found." Manifest as was the sincerity of these words, we yet find not that the purpose of the Patriarch was changed. "And he said, The man in whose hands the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you get you up in peace unto your father."

What was the tone and manner in which this determination was pronounced, it is impossible to say. Whether by his actions or his voice Joseph intimated to his brethren the doubts he entertained, and the difficulties he had felt, in reconciling their various declarations with regard to his father, we cannot tell; but certain it is, that no sooner had the word "father" been uttered, than Judah once more pressed forward, and in terms of the most unpretending earnestness, and pathetic sincerity, declared his readiness "to abide instead of the lad." "Then," says Moses, "Judah

came near unto Joseph," and in a speech of such careless and inimitable beauty, and with arguments so persuasive, and tenderness so touching, urged home his suit upon the reason and the feelings of the Patriarch, that, whatever might have been his previous intentions, whatever his premeditated views, all his resolutions were broken by the resistless impulses of nature, and he could no longer refrain or conceal himself before them all. "And he wept aloud, and said unto his brethren, I am Joseph, doth my father yet live?”

It has been usual to consider this whole artifice to have been designed by Joseph to try the affection of his brethren towards Benjamin. It was undoubtedly his object in their former visit to determine whether they had done actual violence to the only remaining child of Rachel, and therefore he demanded his presence in Egypt. But I cannot be persuaded to think that it was his sole, or even his principal object in the plan which is now under our review, still further to probe the nature of their fraternal feelings towards their youngest brother. For if that was really his purpose, it does not seem consistent with his conduct throughout. For why then did he not discover himself when Judah and his brethren first returned and informed him of their

unanimous resolution to share the bondage of Benjamin. In this all the brothers united to display their sentiments-and Joseph relented not. Surely their interest in Benjamin had now been sufficiently proved, and it seems difficult upon this supposition to say why he still remained unmoved. But it is still more difficult, upon this supposition, to account for his afterwards yielding to the peculiar intercession of Judah. Judah's offer related only to himself as a substitute for Benjamin, and how such an offer was to prove the affection of the rest more than it had hitherto been proved, it is hard to conceive. Nor do we find any thing in the tenor of Judah's speech which in any way marks their love for Benjamin to have been either particularly sincere or strong. The burthen of Judah's grief lay in his fear that if Benjamin returned not from Egypt, his father's gray hairs would be brought down with sorrow to the grave. His plea for offering himself was, not that he himself so loved Benjamin that he could not bear to see him in bonds, but that he had become surety for the lad unto his father." And the prayer for his own detention instead of Benjamin, was founded, not on his own estimate of the value of Benjamin's life, .but on the impossibility of his "going up to his father, if the lad were not with him, lest peradventure he

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should see the evil that should come upon his father." His father seems almost alone present in Judah's thoughts. Every argument is drawn from his father's feelings, every appeal is grounded on his father's grief, and his father's name is in every line, recurring with a frequency of repetition which under any other circumstances would have ruined the eloquence of whose beauty and whose force it now forms the principal part. It is filial, therefore, and not fraternal affection which pervades the whole. It was filial, therefore, and not fraternal affection, by the display of which the feelings of the Patriarch were so irresistibly kindled; and the moment we take the view of the subject, we find the whole conduct of the Patriarch explained. Joseph doubted whether his father still lived, or, if alive, whether he still retained the same lively interest in the children of Rachel which he had once done; and these doubts arose from the difficulty he experienced in reconciling some apparent inconsistencies in the statements of his brethren. When Judah stepped forth to make known their general resolution to share in Benjamin's bonds, undeniable as was the kindness and generosity of the proposition, Joseph still remained undiscovered, because his difficulties were not solved, nor his doubts removed. His father was still not mentioned,

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