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Reconciliation: of Jacob andEs Au.
A■ND TiSAU RAN TO MIET HIM, AND EMBRACED HIM, AND lElt OB MIS NECK AND K1SIID HIM J AND TH£Y WEPT..
QCEN ES of reconciliation go as. near ^ to the heart as any in human nature; and the chapter, whence this text is taken, is, perhaps,. as fuU of tender circumstances as any extant : It recites the kind interview between Jacob and Esau.
These two brothers were thrown into some disagreement by the artifice of Rebekah, their mother, who, being partial to her son Jacob, advised him, and put him in the way of deceiving his father, and robbing his brother of his birth-right: an cxrot which, though certainly, on her part, E 3 proproceeding from injudicious fondness, must ever remain as a spot upon her character. And, at the time, it occasioned very serious consequences: for Esau, as was very natural, hated Jacob, after the blessing of which he (Esau) was defrauded, and he said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand, and then I will slay my brother. To prevent the execution and ill effects of this menace, Rebekah, dreading the harm which might happen to her favourite child, advised him to retire till the fury of Esau might turn away; He did so, and a long time being now past since the quarrel, he was returned into his own country, with his wives and his wealth, and his little ones, whom he loved. The remembrance, however, of the wrong which he had done his brother, touched him with additional sincerity as he drew near to the land where the offence was committed, Ttere is an honest sensibility about us, which makes the very trees seem silently to upbraid us as we pass by the place where we have done an injury to a
neighbour. When he saw Esau advancing, his heart fainted within him: for there is actually in guilt, that, which in the bravest tempers operates for a time, like downright cowardice. But how much was he mistaken, or rather, how little did his fear give him pause to consider the natural and potent affections of the human heart!
The absence of a friend soon buries our resentment, and revives the images of tenderness; and when the frantic moments are past—when the dear offender is gone far from us, how busy is imagination to consider ourselves as the aggressors: how anxious to recall the conversations of kindness, and the sentiments of endearment! Hence one may reasonable believe, that Jacob was scarce departed, before Esau relented, and sighed for his return: Oh Jacob, my brother, my brother, (perhaps he might fay) why wert thou so eager to leave me? the reflecting hour would soon have visited me —nay, it is already come, and I again weep for thy society: the love which was E 4 formed formed in the cradle, should not be interruted by our tumultuous passions, and I have a heart, Jacob, that throbs to embrace thee: wherefore then, my dear brother, ah wherefore wentest ihou away? Indeed, the sentiments of Esau, at their first meeting, justifies this supposition : for, ■when Elau saw him, he ran to meet him, fell with inexpressible fondness upon his neck, and gave him the fraternal kiss. He then enquired after his attendants, and paid a proper respect to his wives and his children; after which, both the brothers wept. Here is the subject of a noble scripture-piece : the whole moving treasures of Jacob drawn up in order; the mothers with their children and attendants, with Jacob at their head, on the one hand'; and Esau, with four hundred in his train, on the other. They meet —a silent suspence prevails this moment—the next locks the brothers in the embrace of each other. In the mean time, what must be the sensations of the spectators? the female tear could not surely be repressed, the attend«. • danu