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presence. But

in Egypt, were taken at once into Joseph's house. He intended to do them honour, and to admit them to eat in his presence. their fears made them misinterpret his intention. They expected to be called to a severe account respecting the money, and that he was about to lay hold of this as an occasion to seize them all as slaves. Therefore they endeavoured to explain the affair to his steward. They told him how to their surprise they had found the money in their sacks, that they could not conceive who had put it in, and that they had brought it again to restore it to him along with other money for the purchase of more food. How great must have been their surprise when they heard him reply, “. Peace be to you, fear not : your God and the God of your father hath given you treasure in your sacks, I had your money.” They would be surprised that he had no demand upon them; they would be surprised at the piety of his words; and they would not know what to think of this extraordinary circumstance: again they would be ready to say, as they did when first the

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money was found, “ What is this that God hath done unto us ?” Our inability to look into futurity often makes us wonder at the dealings of God with us. Let our wonder settle into resignation, trust, and waiting patience; and ere long we shall find that the darkness, by which our view is now obstructed, will be past, and a light will shine around us, discovering all the ways of God.

The confidence of the men would be greatly increased when they found that Simeon was set at liberty, and when they learned the honour that was intended them. Greater encouragement still would be taken from the kind reception which they met with from Joseph. When they appeared in his presence, they presented the present which they had brought him, “and bowed themselves to him to the earth.” He asked them of their welfare, and enquired, doubtless with much anxiety, after his father. “ Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? And with an answer in the affirmative, they again bowed down their

heads, and made obeisance," thus repeatedly fulfilling the original dream of Joseph.Then he looked on Benjamin, his own and only brother by the same mother, and laying his hand upon his head, he blessed him thus,“ God be gracious to thee, my son.” And here his feelings had almost betrayed him, and nearly produced the discovery before he intended it. He was obliged to retire that he might allow his full heart to relieve itself by tears. On his return he controled his emotions and ordered the tables to be spread, one for himself, according to his dignity, another for the Egyptians, who thought it would defile them to eat at the same table with the Hebrews, and a third for the sons of Jacob. Here again two more circumstances occurred which would appear very extraordinary to them. They were placed, apparently by his orders, according to their ages, and well might they marvel at his knowledge of them. Also, when the meat came to be served to them, a much larger portion was sent to Benjamin than to any of the rest, which was a customary

token of kindness and honour. All this would be astonishing and inexplicable, and serve to excite strange thoughts within them. After having been thus magnificently and joyfully entertained they were dismissed in the morning with peace and safety as they thought. All together, with Simeon restored and Benjamin unharmed, and with a sufficient supply of provision, they set their faces homewards, thinking, no doubt, of the pleasure which their return would give to their father, and rejoicing at their happy escape from so many fears and dangers. But behold a sudden change. The steward of Joseph pursues and overtakes them, and charges them with the crime of having stolen a silver cup of his master's, which he says was peculiarly valuable to him, not only on account of its intrinsic worth, but also because he used it for the purpose of divination. Little did they think that the cup had been secretly placed in Benjamin's sack by the steward himself in obedience to the order of Joseph ; and therefore conscious of their innocence, they disown the charge, offer their sacks to his search, and consent that if the cup be found in any of them, that person,

to whom the sack belonged, should be put to death, and all the rest would be his bondmen. The search commenced ; it was carried on without any appearance of the cup, through the sacks of all, till that of the youngest alone remained, and when they were confidently anticipating a complete acquittal, lo, even there the cup was found. Nothing could be more amazing or distressing. The charge had been proved by discovery of the property stolen, and proved against the very person, whom of all they could most wish to save. They knew not what to say; but full of fear and distress they reloaded their beasts, and returned to the city, to abide the doom which might be decreed to them. They were brought before Joseph ; they were severely taxed with both baseness and folly in stealing the cup, and Judah, as spokesman for the whole, felt himself in such a dilemma, that he could offer nothing in the way of denial or excuse ; he could only submit to the justice of Joseph, and to the sentence which themselves had

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