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angels of God when a sinner repenteth. Yet he pursued his purpose, and having caused Simeon to be bound before their eyes, he prepared to send the others away. Why Simeon was selected we are not informed, and where the Scriptures are silent, we need not conjecture. But he also did another thing to them ; he ordered the money which was paid by them for the corn to be placed in the sack of each, unknown to them.-Whether he had any further intention beyond that of kindness we do not read, but the effect was to fill them with perplexity and dismay. As soon as it was discovered in the sack of one of them, their instant exclamation was, “ What is this that God hath done unto us?” They thought that God was in some way the author of it, and that he was pursuing them with evil; and doubtless they went heavily on their way, and full of strange thoughts, till they arrived again before their father in Canaan. There they related all that had happened ; the rough treatment they had received, the suspicion which had fallen on them, the defence they had made, the terms on which they had been suffered to return, and the necessity of leaving Simeon behind them. In addition to this distressing relation they find, upon opening all their sacks, that behold every man's bundle of money was in his sack, and this filled both them and their father with fear. It seemed, even to Jacob also, that some evil was intended them; and it caused their aged father to break out into this passionate expression of grief and complaint, “Me have ye bereaved of my children, Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away, all these things are against me.” Joseph already was lost, of the fate of Simeon he had no hope, and should Benjamin go to Egypt, either in the expectation of having Simeon released, or from the hard necessity of purchasing more food, he anticipated that he also would never return. What distress overwhelmed his spirit! Faith and patience for the time were gone. The venerable man accused his sons, and was ready to fret against his God.

In conclusion I would again call your attention, first, to the great point which I

have already noticed so much. Reflect on the certainty that punishment attends on sin. See these sons of Jacob whom formerly we left triumphing over their brother, now receiving the wages of their desert.

" The triumphing of the wicked is short. They are here before us conscience-striken, and as full of fear as they before were of guilt. Doubtless this was not the first time that they had felt the sting of conscience : each, no doubt, had often thought with pain and fear of the part he had borne in the transactions of that day, in which they had so misused their brother ; but now the circumstances in which they were placed made the feeling too strong for a solitary confinement in their own individual bosoms, and they openly confessed to one another what they had often previously felt. They are brought into trouble, and they know that they are plagued thus, as the Psalmist says, “ because of their offence." Now turn the thought of your mind to some presumptuous and yet prosperous sinner, who seems to own no will but his own, and to live only for his

own pleasure. Or see some transgressor, who ever appears to be unchecked, unpunished, in health and prosperity, and coming in no misfortune like other people. Be assured that God will nevertheless visit his iniquity. Though sentence against him may not be executed speedily, yet it will come at last.

Woe to the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him.”

Here or hereafter he will surely be punished. Perhaps in this life, or otherwise certainly in the eternal world, God will enter into judgment with him. Oh ! hear this, all ye who sin, and if ever conscience reproves, let its convictions work within you, till they issue in a sincere repentance, and an earnest application to the mercy of Jesus.

I wish you, secondly, to consider the mistaken judgment which is often formed of the ways of Providence.

In this the wicked greatly err. So long as they remain unafflicted, they are undismayed, continue secure in their sins, and often proceed in them, not only for a longer time, but also

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to a greater degree. But I also wish you particularly to notice, that even good men often err in their judgment of the ways of Providence. Hear Jacob exclaiming, “ Me have ye bereaved of my children, Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away also. All these things are against me. How greatly was he mistaken! They were all for him. All that was now going on was for his happiness and joy. And oh! how often, when providences seem cross, and dark clouds hover over the believer's path in life, and painful disappointments and trials come upon him, in his own person, in his earthly circumstances, or domestic relations, Oh! how often does he fall into despondency, and reckon as grievous afflictions the things, which, perhaps, if he could see to their end, he would discern to be his greatest mercies. May God help us all to cast our care upon him, to bow with true submission to every affliction, and to believe in his wisdom, mercy, and love, in every most trying dispensation.

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