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you, if this is the case with some that are here, O do not once again refuse to listen to your own undoing. The time never may return when you shall hear this invitation again. The Almighty God is set against you, and unless a puny creature like you can stand in conflict with the Omnipotent Jehovah, you have no hope whatever, that, when your summons comes, you shall be happy at the last. May God Almighty bring you, by his own grace, to repentance-set before you the awful consequences of going on in the way of known sin-help you to take the resolution this very night to return to him-implant in you a confidence in his own goodness-make you alive to his invitations, and so lead you, as to be assured, unless you yourself reject them, you may be led into all the blessings of the new covenant of grace, to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Je

whether it comes from presumption, despondency, or indifference, whoever lives in any known sin, whatever his temptation may be to commit it, whatever his contrasting virtues may be to balance it, whatever judgment his friends may pass upon it, whatever creed he professes, whatever party he may support, whatever aid he gives to the church, whatever use he may be in the world, whoever lives in sin must perish. Whoever lives in the way of sin, though he has been often invited to receive mercy, and has entertained hopes that he shall have mercy, and has formed some half resolutions; and travelled, as it were, almost to the gate of heaven, whosoever lives in any way of known sin assuredly will perish.

Sinners, how many, many, times have you heard this awful truth, and you have turned a deaf ear to it; you would not listen, your consciences were hardened? Now I do intreat sus.

A Sermon



Genesis, xlix. 22, 26.—“ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel. Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren."

THIS chapter brings before us a very | him than his fears. Here was an old solemn and affecting scene. It is the venerable man-a man of God; and death of an old man-no common man. he was now on a dying bed. He was It is the death of an aged saint-no anxious for his children to be assemcommon saint. It is the death of an bled around him; and at the head of old patriarch-no common patriarch. the family he delivered to them his dyWhere was he now? He was in ing charge. His addresses to Judah Egypt. He had Joseph with him and to Joseph, are the two most beaubut he said he should never see Joseph tiful of all his addresses to his children. any more. He had declared, as for At some future time, it may be our himself, he should go down with grey business to bring before you this whole hairs to the grave, and in suffering chapter in its fulfilment in a course but it was not so. God was better to of sermons; and, therefore, I shall not

now enlarge upon it, as to its prophetical bearings on the descendants and posterity of Joseph.

Here is not only a reference to suf

These predictions were remarkably fulfilled; even Ephraim and Manasseh were two fruitful boughs; or rather, Joseph might be said to be "a fruitful bough whose two branches ran over a wall." The posterity of Joseph increas-fering, but an acknowledgment of grace ed remarkably, so that it became quite given. "The archers have sorely proverbial in Israel. grieved him, and shot at him, and I leave then all its prophetical bear- hated him. But his bow abode in ings, and I take the passage, In its strength." Perhaps there never was application to Joseph personally. And a more remarkable history in the then, in the use that we, as Christians, world than that of Joseph. It is wonmay make of it for our own comfort. derful the way in which it pleased Here is a reference to past troubles. God, to make every thing that was in"The archers hit him sorely." Is this tended for his injury, turn to the man's true? See how poor Joseph was good. He was taken down to Egypttreated by his brethren. See from a very soon he was made great-very child how soon he began to be afflict- soon every thing was committed to his ed: how soon he began to know sor- charge in the house of Potiphar; and row and trouble; and though the fa- then, when his wicked mistress atvourite child of his father-foolishly tempted to seduce him from the path so (for whenever parents show undue of piety, and virtue, and godliness, favouritism to any child, they are sure even then, it pleased God to make that to suffer for it). Joseph, though the very thing, in the end, to work in an favourite child of his father, yet how astonishing manner for the good of soon did he begin to suffer? You Joseph. How did his bow abide in know his history-you know of his strength? You know. He was cast being carried down to Egypt-you into prison as a malefactor-there he know of his being sold as a bond-ser- met with two other prisoners, the chief vant; and we are told, that "the iron butler, and the chief baker-they had entered into his soul." All this while their dreams-they tell their dreams the Almighty was preparing him for to Joseph-he interprets their dreams something great, and noble, and mag--all comes true-every thing he has nificent-while he was preparing him said is fulfilled. After this, after to be lord over his mother's sons, and the death of the chief baker, and prince over all his father's children. after the restoration of the chief butler, So that in point of fact, though his Pharaoh has a dream-he cannot untroubles were great and singular, they derstand it-his wise men cannot unwere not more so than his after success, derstand it. The chief butler rememwhen it pleased God to turn again his bers this marvellous, this strangely captivity. singular young man in the prison-he tells Pharaoh, "I do remember my faults this day"-he tells what occurred in the prison-they hasten with the royal command to bring Joseph out-he comes-he explains the dream to Pharaoh-he gives all the glory to God-he says, "God shall send Pharoah an answer of peace"-he tells him to find out a wise and prudent man to administer the affairs of Egypt, and thus do all that could be done during the seven years of plenty, to prepare for the seven years of famine; and Pharaoh showed his good sense, by immediately suggesting that Joseph should be the man-that he should


Now old Jacob, in adverting to his son's past trouble, could not help remarking what he himself had suffered, when they brought the coat of many colours, and told him, with all the indifference imaginable, "This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no?" Jacob knew the coat of many colours which he had given to his beloved child: when he saw it he said, "An evil beast hath devoured him and Joseph without doubt is rent in pieces." How ignorant and how foolish is man! How soon do we take up the mournful and rrowful, when we ought to be joyful


and glad, when we ought to attune our harps and sing! "All these things are against me," says Jacob. They were all for him: they were all so many links in one great and blessed chain, designed for his prosperity and peace.

have the rule that Egypt should be placed under his power-that he should be the second person in the kingdom. Did not his bow abide in strength? Will any man dare to tell me, that this was all chance-all accident? Such a man would show that he had very little claim to a sound mind. Chance and accident! No such thing, my brethren; it was the goodness of the Lord. His bow abode in strength -and how? He tells us by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.

There is something peculiarly interesting, in hearing the old man on his dying bed, give this name to the Lord -The Lord God of Jacob. A few more days, a few more hours, and Jacob would be gone; but he hands down this name to his children-The God of Jacob. O, there is something delightful, when a father of a family, knowing the blessings and powers of religion, tells his children, My dear children, the God of Jacob is my God; he has been my God through all my pilgrimage he is my God now-and he will be your God for ever.

Here is a reference to his struggle his acknowledgment of the support, of the strength given to him. His bow was strengthened by the mighty God of Jacob. The Lord God is the great feeder; the shepherd who provideth for the great flock;" the stone of Israel." This little parenthesis, and the other which you meet with in a former part of the chapter where Jacob says, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord," are some expressions of a pious mind, which cannot help bursting forth, even in the midst of the prophecy he is delivering, bursting forth to give all the praise and all the glory to God. Then he goes on adverting to his trials, he speaks of his being despised by his brethren. They hated, they despised him, they sold him, they did all but murder him; but God was with him, and afterwards raised him up above them all.

There is another thing to be noticed in these words as they relate to Joseph, and that is, he speaks of the God of his father. "Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that is under, the blessings of the breast and the womb." And


then in the twenty-sixth verse,
blessings of thy father have prevailed
above the blessings of my progenitors,
unto the utmost bound of the everlast-
ing hills." With what feelings must
the dying old saint have enlarged on
all these points, when he considered
that not long before, Joseph himself
had been a captive. But mark-
"The God of thy father." Jacob had
a profound reverence for Abraham and
Isaac, and he wished it now to be un-
derstood, that the blessing of his fore-
fathers was descending on his children,
while he was going the way of all the
earth. Let children learn to seek these
blessings, and let parents be such, as
that their blessing may be worth hav -
ing, let them be really devoted to God;
so that when they lift their holy hands
without wrath or doubting, commend-
ing their children to the blessing of
God, there may be these recollections
on the part of the children, My father
was a holy man, he blessed me in God's
holy name and now he is gone, I look
and I labour for that blessing he pro-
nounced upon me while he was yet

But what is there in all this to us? Some of you are now passing through affliction. You come to your ministers for comfort, and you have a right to look to them to be the channels of comfort to you; but you must look higher than them. God is now preparing you to suffer the archers shoot at you-one trouble comes after another. I am sure, and I speak advisedly, the troubles and afflictions that come before me, as a minister; brought to my notice in their several details, are sometimes enough to crush my heart. I am ready to say, O that I could help the people, that I could relieve such an one of my brethren in this case, and such an one of my brethren in another case; but I cannot. I can hear their cry, I can sympathize with them, but I cannot take them away. God can. Look at Joseph-see how he was called to suffer, and see how albhis sufferings were made subservient to, and preparatory for his enjoyment of the most wonderful prosperity that the world ever witnessed. Áre you Christians? Remember that those who are seen in glory, with white robes, and palms in their hands, were once sufferers like you,

they once knew what it was to be in
trial, trouble, and affliction. "Who
are these," is the inquiry made of St.
John. 66
Sir, thou knowest," said the
modest Apostle-" These are they
which came out of great tribulation,
and have washed their robes, and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne
of God, and serve him day and night
in his temple: and he that sitteth on
the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither
thirst any more, neither shall the sun
light on them, nor any heat. For the
Lamb which is in the midst of the
throne shall feed them, and lead them
unto living fountains of waters: and
God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes."


little children, we do not know what
is good for us; and the more I see of
the church of Christ and the world,
and my own heart, the more I see the
need of affliction to bring us in the
way of heaven. We need affliction to
keep us in the way of heaven, and we
need affliction to perfect us; for I do
believe, that of all the means under
heaven, there is none like sanctified
affliction. Now the archers seem to
be wounding, and one is ready to say,
I am wounded, and you come to us
and tell us of your wounds; I take
you to record this day, do we not
take you to the chief Physician, do we
not tell you there is balm in Gilead ?

Then looking at the passage, FOR OUR OWN COMFORT. I ask whether there are not many of you, who through grace have maintained your Christian profession, and sustained your Christian warfare even till now? And how is that? Others that were stronger than you, or that you thought

Now you say you hope to get there by and bye. You say you are pilgrims here, and that you have set out from the city of destruction to the city of light, and the land of glory. Then do not be surprized if you have trou-so, have fallen, have gone away and ble. If God loves you, you are sure walked no more with us. Some have to have trouble : "For whom the turned aside to the world, like Demas, Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scour- who loved this present evil world; geth every son that he receiveth." but here your bow was made strong These afflictions, there is a needs be by the mighty God of Jacob. Did I for them. We like them not; but in address you just now as a sufferer? I how many instances God answers our did. I address you now, however, prayers by afflictions! For instance, as soldiers fighting, bearing up against you ask for the conversion of some of difficulties, with your bow made strong your unconverted brethren-you bring by the mighty God of Jocob. them before God-you entreat him with tears and prayers to give them his grace. He hears the prayer-it is not lost. By and bye comes an angel from heaven with some trial for you, some affliction. Not the affliction that you would like to have, but that which of all others, perhaps, you least wish for, that concerning which, you are ready to say, Any thing but this. No, says your Lord and Master, that is the way I will answer your prayers. I will bring those for whom you have been praying to a knowledge of myself, and the experience of my grace and mercy. Ah, my brethren, we are like

Now, my brethren, notwithstanding all our sorrows, I bid you take good heart upon it through God's grace. Yes, a good heart-a good spirit-solid courage of soul; that you may not be daunted, that you may not be dismayed, that you may not be driven to despair-why? Because there is Omnipotence on your side. Though you are poor he is rich, though you are weak he is mightyhe is all in all. What do you want besides? O, that all men would come to Jesus, and take the day as it comes. What shall I do to-morrow? you are saying.

(To be continued.)

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