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brethren took up stones to cast at him for LECT.
VIII. making himself the Son of God: and when he told them they should see him coming in the clouds, and sitting at the right hand of power, they pronounced him to be guilty of blafphemy, and inflicted those sufferings which were necessary to his exaltation. They sold him into the hands of the Romans, to be treated as a Nave, scourged, and crucified. With the kingdoms of the Gentiles, to whom his brethren delivered him, he remains to this day; and thither they must come after him, if they are to meet with him, as Joseph was followed by his family into Egypt.
Much more might be said to shew how exact the parallel is between the history of Joseph and the history of Christ, if we were to pursue it. We see Jofeph in company with two malefactors in the prison, and promising life to one of them: we see him endued with such wisdom, that even Heathens were obliged to own that this Hebrew spoke by the spirit of God; and
LECT. they were content that he should receive
the power and glory of dominion amongst them; while his brethren had rejected him as an insignificant dreamer. One circumstance, however, I must not pass over, which is particularly noted by St. Stephen; that at the second time fofeph was made known to his brethren. At the first meeting they knew him not: but after they had accused themselves for being guilty of his death, and had imputed their troubles to its proper cause, then their brother was made known unto them. Thus we trust it will be at last betwixt Christ and the Jews. The time will come, when they shall see the true reason why they have been wandering backwards and forwards, and seeking their bread with anxiety and fufpicion, in a strange land ; and shall say with the brethren of Joseph, we are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguise of his soul when he befought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us *. God who found out the iniquity of * Genesis xlii, 21.
Joseph's brethren, and at last opened their LECT. eyes to see and confess it, can turn the S hearts of the Jews, how hard soever they may be at present, and prepare them for that second meeting when their Saviour shall be known to them
Some things which have passed before us in the present lecture would suggest many profitable réflections, if I had time to insist upon them.
From the office of John the Baptist, which was preparatory to the doctrines of Jesus Christ, we are to learn, that no man can receive the truth of the gospel, unless he is prepared by a baptism of repentance, and is ready to forsake his fins. The counsel of God for his salvation can take no effect, till his former evil ways are given up. With an attachment to his old fins and errors, he can neither understand nor approve any thing the gospel offers to him ; but will either hate or despise it, and tempt others to do the same: as the scribes did, who would not accept of John's bap
LECT. tism. Why do not all men receive the
gospel, but because some have taken part with the world, the flesh, and the devil ; and determine never to renounce them? To all such the gospel is a thing of no value.
From the case of Joseph, and our blessed Saviour, hated and persecuted as they were; we should learn to fufpeet all those whom the world magnifies, and not trust to reports and appearances, where self love and temporal interest are concerned to disguise things. This is a world in which truth is neglected, goodness evil spoken of, and innocence run down and persecuted. It is the constant practice of mankind to misrepresent and defame those whom they have injured, that their own injustice may not appear. When virtue is oppressed, it is generally silent; while its oppressors never fail to be clamorous in their own vindication : and in most cases, men may distinguish where the fault lies, by the noise that is made to conceal it. When Christ was defamed he answered not again ; and his disciples also suffered in patience; LECT. while the Jews were running here and there all over the world to tell their story, and turn the hearts of men against the gospel, that they might be prepared to disbelieve and reject it, as soon as it should come to their ears.
In the history of Joseph's brethren, you see them in distress under their wants; not able to stay at home without starving, nor daring to go into Egypt, taking the lord of the country for their enemy. Every mortal man will suffer under the like miserable dilemma, who cannot find his happiness in the world, and dare not seek it where only it is to be found. All this happens because he does not know Jesus Christ; does not know that he is the brother and the friend of finners, ready to take them under his protection and sup. ply all their wants; but supposes religion to be his enemy, and expects to be roughly handled. The brethren of Joseph did not know him; and were distressed with fear and anxiety; the Jews did not know Christ,