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“ and he is governor over all the land of “Egypt"—and it is almost too much for that shattered frame—“And Jacob's heart fainted, “for he believed them not s” But “when he “saw the waggons which Joseph had sent to “carry him—his spirit revived : And Israel “ said, It is enough Joseph my son is yet “alive: I will go and see him before I die!” We will not accompany him along a journey, the fatigues of which are lightened, by the anticipated pleasure of feasting his eyes once more on the countenance of his beloved child : but we cannot refrain from gratifying you, by permitting you to witness the meeting of such a father, and of such a son, after an absence of more than twenty years.-‘And Joseph made “ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel “his father to Goshen; and presented himself “unto him : and he fell on his neck, and wept “on his neck a good while. And Israel said “unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have “seen thy face, that thou art yet alive*!” When the first emotions of this meeting were over, and they had separately time to collect their thoughts, and to talk calmly, how much each of them would have to relate Joseph
* See note 2, at the end of this Lecture.
would mark with pain, the ravages which sorrow and time had made on his father's person, and the wrinkles which they had planted in his face Jacob would delight in retracing the resemblance of the features of a man of forty, to those of a lad of seventeen, which was the age of Joseph when he was snatched from him || And with what mutual interest, would they listen to the alternate recital of their mutual sufferings - -
But it was necessary that Jacob should be introduced to Pharaoh, whose curiosity was probably greatly excited to see the father of Joseph ; and who must have been much struck with the appearance of the venerable patriarch. “And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art “ thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The “days of the years of my pilgrimage are an “hundred and thirty years: few and evil have “ the days of the years of my life been, and “have not attained unto the days of the years “of the life of my fathers in the days of their “pilgrimage "—This was not only an answer to the king's question, but an epitome of his own life'
About seventeen years of tranquillity succeeded the storms, and rendered serene the evening, of the patriarch's life; and “the time “drew near that Israel must die!”—His family were convened around him—and his blessings poured upon the head of Joseph—and of the sons of Joseph—and of the brethren of Joseph —with parental tenderness, and with prophetic fidelity. “And when Jacob had made an end “of commanding his sons, he gathered up his “feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, “ and was gathered to his people.” This was a separation more awful and affecting than any which had yet taken place; and who does not sympathize with the pious and affectionate son, as he “mourned with a great “ and very sore lamentation,” and as he consigned the remains of his father to repose by the dust of his family P “There they buried “Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they “buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, there he “buried Leah,” and in the same grave his beloved son deposited his body! But to human grief there must be boundaries. The imperious claims of public, of domestie, and of private duty, called upon him to dry his tears—and he obeyed them. He continued to serve Pharaoh with fidelity—to lead up his family in the fear of God—to speak kindly to his brethren—and to nourish their little ones. And this appears to have been his unremitting employment, through the space of fifty-four years; at the close of which time, and at the age of an hundred and ten, he fol. lowed his father down into the grave; and left his bones to the charge of his brethren, to be deposited, when the providence of God should see fit, by those of his deceased family. In concluding this interesting and pathetic history, we arrive at the close of the book of Genesis; the following remarks may not be deemed unnecessary, before this portion of the sacred writings is entirely dismissed. . . . 1. The facts which it relates, are such as it concerns us to know, and such as an inspired communication must necessarily contain : for , they are such, for the most part, as could be obtained through no other channel than revelation. Who, for instance, but a man divinely instructed, could give us an account of the creation of all things, and of the destination of man? And yet these are the first subjects after which we naturally enquire; and we expect satisfaction from a volume professedly inspired. 2. It appears that Moses is the true and sole author of this book—and for these several reasons:—He is allowed to be, on the testimony of the heathems, the most ancient law giver: the Jews, who are governed by these laws, acknowledge no other legislator; and when we are informed that Solon gave laws to Athens, and Lycurgus to Lacedaemon, we credit the asser
tion, because it is made by the nations themselves, through the medium of the historians, and all generations have, in succession, admitted their testimony; and we have the same evidence in favour of Moses. Neither, even admitting a book of this description could be forged, could it be imposed upon a whole people, without detection, by any impostor of later date than Moses himself.
3. The connection between Genesis, and the succeeding books, is such, that if this be removed, those which remain are unintelligible; and preserving it, every thing is connected and luminous: so that the book which we have just finished, must be admitted into the canon of" scripture, and among the writings of Moses, or the whole of the five books expunged; and then have you wiped out the first record which Reason expects of Revelation—an account of things which necessarily extend beyond her own province, and as necessarily fall within that of Revelation, Besides which, the harmony of the whole volume is broken : for it proceeds throughout upon principles contained in this first book; and the authority of the scriptures, from first to last, is destroyed : for an appeal is made in every successive part of the Bible, to events which are recorded, and to facts which are stated, in Genesis,