페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

'and veneration: as a relick of antiquity, it is dear and valuable to all posterity ; and, as a pieceof writing,. it possesses at one and the fame time, and in the highest degree, every elegance of literature: in.point of .style, it is various and masterly ; the images are pathetic beyond .the force of encomium to do them justice, and the morality and virtues inculcated, are obvious, invportant, and . domestic. Were it possible to alter, without taking from its beautiful simplicity, what a noble subject is here for an epic poem! To alter the genuine text., indeed, advantageously, is not, I conceive, possible: but to make the story the groundwork of a poetical fabric, what an exquisite piece might the genius of Milton make of it! I am in doubr^ whether such a.pen, so suited as it was to sacred subjects, might not render a poem upon the History of Joseph equal, if not, in some respects, superior, to the now unrivalled Paradise Lost.

And yet it is with reluctance I drop the comment on this entertaining subject, till I have a little attended the worthy Joseph in his prosperity: his faithful dealing as a steward : his honesty and integrity as a man trusted with very extensive treasures, insomuch, that his master "knew not ought "which he had, save the bread which was "before him :" his generous ideas of honour and hospitality, in resisting the charms of his mistress: his reception and forgiveness of his brethren; his attachment to the youthful Benjamin; and his kind and filial interviews with his father, are all of them scenes so highly finished and captivating, in their kind, that, they create a sort of pious enthusiasm as we readr and the heart can scarcely take leave of them without asigh.

[ocr errors]

Death of Jacob.

P ASS AG E.

And It Cami To Pass, After These Things, That One Told Joseph: Behold Tht Father Is Sick;

AND HE TOOK WITH HIM HIS TWO SONS, Manasseh

And Ephkaim.

And One Told Jacob, And Said I Behold, Thv Son Joseph Cometh To See Thee; Andiskael StrengthEned HIMSELF, AND SAT UPON HIS BED.

TT71T H what affectionate zeal Joseph "* hastened to his father, upon hearing of his sickness! There is beauty and nature in the behaviour of Jacob on this tender occasion. As soon as he heard that his son was coming, he strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. Notwithstanding all the languors of decay, he exerted himself to perform the last paternal offices of love: the very idea of his Joseph, so far

strengthened strengthened him, that he sat upon the.bed. Of such potency, to the very last, are the finer sensibilities of the human heart. But this interview was not more affecting, than important. How interesting was the ancient ceremony of blessing! Indeed, the benediction of. an expiring man is always desirable; but when the dying is a father, and that father deserves the name,. with what an aweful idea it affects the soul! Behold the good old man, when he had given proper directions for his funeral, stretching forth his hallowed hand, to bless. And hear, in what language he begins: "God, before whom my fathers,.

. " Abraham and Isaac, did walk; the God "which fed me all my life long, unto this

.4} day, the angel, which redeemed me from ^all evil, bless the lads: Let my name be "named on them, and the names of my "fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and let them "grow into a.multitude in the midst of "the earth." ■What a flow of eloquence and sublimity is here; how glowing. the sentiments; how pathetic the occasion! By

« 이전계속 »