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while we were yet sinners, and who came to seek and to save us when we were lost. Alas, there is more need that we should be reconciled to God, than that God should be reconciled to us; but so it is, that we are not only offenders against his holiness, and transgressors of his laws, and have provoked him to indignation by sins more in number than the hairs of our heads, and redder in dye than crimson, but we are also alienated in our minds, and enemies to him by wicked works. Here then a miracle of mercy indeed is required, namely, that God should put the influence of his own grace upon the heart of that very creature who is at enmity with him, in order that he may be willing to lay aside his hatred and sin, and seek reconciliation. So it is stated in Coloss. i. 21, “You that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works yet now hath he reconciled.”
Oh! let us all adore this God of all goodness and cast away all the natural disaffection of our hearts, and come unto him on his own gracious terms of acceptance that
we may have pardon and peace. Since God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, let us all avail ourselves of this won
Let it not be said of any that he has called and we have refused, that he has stretched out his hand, but we have not regarded, that he would be reconciled, and we would remain at enmity. Oh! that we all may be made to be at peace with God, and then live in peace and harmony and love with all our brethren.
JOSEPH HATED BY HIS BRETHREN.
GENESIS XXXVII. 3. 4.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his
children, because he was the son of his old age : and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
I PROPOSE now to enter on the history of Joseph, one of the most interesting in all the Old Testament. It is at once peculiarly affecting and instructive; the language of the narrative is of the most simple and unadorned kind; yet there are instances of the pathetic, and of strong impassioned feeling in it, such as are perhaps no where else to be met with. I shall not attempt to add any
colouring to the simplicity of the style, or the pathetic touches of inartificial beauty by which the original is distinguished. You will feel it the most as you read it in its own artless and impressive words. I shall do no more, throughout this sermon, than advert to the facts, and endeavour to deduce from them such instruction as may be profitable.
Joseph was the son of Jacob by his beloyed wife Rachel, and was the last born of all his sons, except his own brother Benjamin, in giving birth to whom Rachel had died, and who probably was but little more than an infant at the time of the circumstances which are now to be narrated. In consequence of this Joseph was more tenderly beloved by Jacob than all his other children, who had been born to him before by Leah and the two handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah. He seems also to have been more pious and moral than his brothers, for he observed certain evil doings of theirs, and reported them to his father, esteeming it his duty that his father should know of their ways, that he might reprove and correct them; and in fact, he
seems to have been the only one among them who had any right impressions of religion and virtue. These circumstances produced a partiality towards him in the breast of his father, which if not improperly felt, was at least unwisely shewn by his making him as coat of many colours,” probably some richly embroidered or otherwise highly decorated dress, by which he was distinguished above his brothers. Parents should be careful not to make invidious distinctions of any kind among their children : the tendency of such is to produce superciliousness in the favoured child, and envy and hatred in the others, Such was the effect upop Joseph's brethren in the case before us; “they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him;" their minds received so strong a prejudice, and their feelings towards him were so habitually enraged, that involuntarily as it were they spoke sharply and bitterly to him on all occasions. Another circumstance soon Occurred which inflamed their animosity the more. Joseph dreamed that as they were all binding sheaves in the field, his sheaf