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prevailing through the whole of the fifty-first Psalm, especially in the fourth verse where be cries, “ Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” But how much better was it in Joseph that it was felt when it ought, and prevented him from committing the crime which caused such bitter sorrow and anguish to David! My brethren, if you

would avoid sin and keep yourselves pure, you must seek a strong and settled principle of religion. You must impress your minds with a deep feeling of the authority of God, the holiness of his nature, the sanctions of his law, and the purity of his gospel. These are the only sure foundations of morals; and if a regard to these be wanting, every other restraint will be weak; for those who think lightly of wickedness, and care little about sinning against God, will not be restrained by any considerations of what is due to man. When the first and great commandment of the law is disregarded, the second will suffer an equal contempt. But as he that loves God, will love his brother also, so he that refuses to sin against God, will not be the person to act injuriously, dishonourably, or wickedly, against his neighbour.

But I have now to observe that this honourable and pious behaviour of Joseph made no impression upon his mistress. She was destitute of both honour and religion, and still continued daily to solicit him to sin, no thoughts of the duty which she owed to her husband, no fear of God being in her to make her bridle her licentious desires. He therefore made it his care to avoid her, he would not hearken to her, nor be with her.

Now herein he shewed the sincerity of his professions, and a watchful circumspection for himself, lest even in spite of his good resolutions he should be betrayed into sin. He thus proved that he not only feared, but that he hated the crime which she would have tempted him to commit. He shewed that he was aware also of his own liability to be ensnared, and therefore he would not expose himself to temptation by parleying even for a moment with the tempter. Had Eve acted thus, she had not brought sin and

death upon herself and all her posterity. We saw in an early part of the sacred history, that she was mindful at first of the command which God had given to her and Adam ; but she allowed herself to listen to the artful objections and persuasions of the serpent; she began to desire the forbidden fruit; and then she fell, and brought that lamentable ruin upon the world, of which all creation, and man above all, so dreadfully feels the effects. Thus it is that “ lust, when it is conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” We ought to know ourselves and our danger far better than Joseph could be expected to do. For we are clearly instructed in our great natural depravity; we are warned that even though spirit may be willing, yet the flesh is weak;" we are taught by our blessed master himself to pray that we may not be led into temptation. All this should make us the more fully aware of our danger, and urge us to flee at once from the first suggestions or allurements to sin. We should not allow ourselves to tamper with it. We should refuse to hold converse upon it; we should banish it from our thoughts; we should studiously avoid all persons and places which might lead us into it. This is the only way to be safe. Can a man take fire into his bosom and his clothes not be burnt ? Can a naturally depraved creature listen to and parley with temptation, and not eventually be overcome by it? The conduct of Joseph in this particular is full of instruction to us. It is an admirable practical comment on our Lord's twofold direction, “ Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation :" it strongly exemplifies the admonition of the proverb, “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men: avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." We should think of the holy indignation of the Psalmist, and say, “ Depart from me, ye wicked, for I will keep the commandments of my God.” We should consider even the voice of a human tempter as the voice of Satan, as our blessed Lord when he said, “ Get thee behind me Satan for thou savourest not the things which be of God.”

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We find this unprincipled woman proceeding to still greater lengths. On one occasion when Joseph was obliged to go

into the house upon some business of the family to which his duty called him, and none of the men were within, she laid hold of an opportunity so favourable to her desires, and was more urgent than she had ever previously been, and even laid hold upon him. He broke away from her with abhorrence, but in order that he might escape, he was obliged to leave his garment in her hand. And now her breast becomes fired with an opposite passion. Hatred takes the place of desire, and overpowers it.

She becomes furious for revenge, and determines to accomplish his ruin. She calls aloud to the servants of the house, pretends to them that Joseph would have dishonoured her, tells them that when she cried aloud for help, he fled hastily away, and exhibits his garment to give a colour to her story, and corroborate her lie. The same account she gives to her lord as soon as he returned, which she had also told to the servants, and attributes a

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