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not a few among ourselves. Can you not find something in your own case resembling the neglect and forgetfulness of this chief butler. Alas, there are too many who are like him. They have no affectionate and grateful remembrance of him, to whom they are under immense and innumerable obligations; who has not only announced, but has even died to procure for them a state of dignity and glory in the kingdom of heaven; who has brought them out of a condition of misery to which the dungeon of Pharaoh was as nothing, that he might exalt them to a glory to which the honour of being Pharaoh's cupbearer could bear no comparison. May the ingratitude of this butler hold up a glass to these; that seeing therein their own likeness, they may by God's grace become sensible of their sin. May their cheeks blush with shame at their own ingratitude rather than redden with anger at his.
But, as we pursue the history of Joseph, we find that though creatures may fail, yet God does not forsake his people; though the chief butler forgat Joseph, yet the Lord
remembered him. Two full years indeed were permitted to pass, for we know that it is uniformly the Lord's plan to exercise the faith and patience of his servants. And when he saw fit to accomplish the deliverance of Joseph, he did it in his own way. Pharaoh therefore dreamed an extraordinary dream. He seemed to see seven well-favoured and fat-fleshed kine arise out of the river, which were soon afterwards eaten up by seven ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine which came up after them. The dream was repeated in another form. Seven large and full ears of corn appeared to be devoured by seven thin and blighted ones. Pharaoh was struck with the similarity of his two dreams. They evidently portended the same thing, and from their repetition something of great importance. In much trouble and perplexity he sent in the morning for the magicians of his kingdom, but they could not interpret them. And then the chief butler remembered his fault ; he related to Pharaoh the circumstances of his own dream and that of the baker, and their interpretation by Joseph,
with the exact accomplishment of them. Joseph therefore was sent for in haste, and with the interval only of dressing himself to appear in a suitable manner before the sovereign, he stood in the presence of the powerful king of Egypt. Pharaoh told him of the inability of the magicians to interpret his dreams, and informed him that he understood that he had such wisdom. Mark the answer of Joseph; "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." Humility, piety, and goodwill, are all conspicuous in these few words. He totally disclaimed any credit which might be given to him for any superior wisdom; he intimated that as the sending of the dream, so the interpretation thereof belonged to God; he directed the mind of the king to heaven, and thereby taught him to cease from man, and to refer all such things to a higher influence. We should learn from this example to have always the honour of God in our view, and not to be afraid or ashamed of speaking either of him, or for him, to any among whom we may be. This our Saviour requires of us,
"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this evil and adulterous generation, of him shall the son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory with his holy angels." "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Besides the humility and piety of this answer of Joseph there was also much encouragement in the assurance, "God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." It intimated that it was not only God's prerogative to interpret dreams, but that in this case the fulfilment should also be such as should be of advantage to himself and his kingdom. Joseph then told him that his dreams imported that there should be seven years of great plenty, which should be immediately succeeded by seven years of scarcity, so great as to swallow up all the produce of the previous years, and cause a grievous famine. This he told him was the thing intimated to him by his dreams. "What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh." In this age of the Gospel, my brethren, we believe that God seldom makes known his will by dreams,
or in any other supernatural way; and it would be dangerous to regard them as special divine communications. But he has made known his will to us, on all the most important and necessary subjects, in the clearest manner. He has sent us a direct revelation from heaven in the holy Scriptures. There we are shewn what God will hereafter do to the righteous and the wicked; there our danger and our safety are plainly stated; a way of salvation and a Saviour are made known; the bread which endureth to everlasting life is set before us; we are shewn the precious provision which is prepared for the necessities of our souls; and we are faithfully warned to avail ourselves of the present favourable opportunities for providing against those days of evil which are approaching, and in which we shall otherwise be undone.
Joseph gave such counsel to Pharaoh in his peculiar circumstances. He recommended also that a wise and discreet person should be appointed to collect large quantities of corn together during the seven years of