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when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. It shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck e.”

" Is such our reverence for the earthly authors of our being; is such our obedience to that, “ which is the first commandment with promise ?” or dare we defy the “curse” denounced by the Lord God upon him, “ who setteth light by his father or his motherf?”

2. Together with the most exemplary filial piety, we have seen Joseph distinguished by the warmest affection towards his brothers. A sense of the most unmerited and severest injuries experienced from them, had not been able to stifle his benevolence, and did not prevent him from manifesting the dictates of that benevolence in the most substantial and valuable services. Is such our affection, our good-will to our brethren, to our“ kinsmen according to the flesh ?" But not only

we are all brethren : “ hath not one God created us 8 ?” hath not one Saviour

SO:

f Deut. xxvii. 16.

e Prov. i. 8. vi. 20, 21, 22. & Mal. ii. 10.

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redeemed us? Do we then all “ love as brethren ?" Do we as brethren, dwell together in unity i?” Do we put away from us all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, with all malice? And are we kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us k ?" Can we “ bless them that cur us ? can we do good to them that hate us, and pray for them which despitefully use us and persecute us'?"

66 If our enemy hunger, can we feed him ? if he thirst, can we give him drink ? Instead of being overcome of evil, do we endeavour to overcome evil with good ?” “ Sirs ye are brethren," said Moses to two of the Israelites, as they strove together ; “ why do ye wrong one to another"?” The principle, in its literal application, regarding the Jews as a distinct people, o children of the blood of Abraham,” ran through the whole of their laws : in its enlarged signification, under the notion which the Gospel holds forth, that all men are children of God, that all men are redeemed by Christ, it runs through the Christian law. He is not a good Christian, who “ does wrong” to one of his brethren, to one of his fellow creatures, whether he be the aggressor or retaliate the injury. The world indeed will tell us otherwise : it will often justify aggression; it will enjoin revenge as a duty. But “ the spirit which reigneth in the children of the world,” is not the spirit of “ the children of light.” That blessed Spirit commands us to “ do good unto all men”;" "as much as lieth in us, to live peaceably with all men;" to

hi Pet. iii. 8. ' Matt. v. 41.

i Psalm cxxxiii. 1. m Rom. xii. 20, 21.

* Eph. iv. 31. n Acts vii. 26.

avenge not ourselves p.” Do we give this proof of the Spirit abiding in us ?

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3. Lastly; the conduct of Joseph in the capacities of a servant, a subject, and a ruler ; as one, acting under the command of others, and as one, invested with authority himself; leads us to consider the manner, in which we conduct ourselves under similar circumstances. As a servant, he was faithful to his master; as a subject, he was obedient to his sovereign; as a ruler, he studied to promote the interests

o Gal. vi. 10.

p Rom. xii. 18, 19,

of those committed to his charge. According as we are placed in any or all of these situations, does our conduct give proof of the same honesty and integrity ? If our lot be that of a servant, do we “ obey in all things our masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God, and as the servants of Christ; heartily and with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free q ?" It was this sense of his responsibility to God, as I have before remarked, which preserved Joseph true to his duty towards his master in a season of great temptation; and it is the same sense, which St. Paul is anxious to impress on those in the like situation ; doubtless for this reason, that religion is the only sure defence of morality. As subjects, are we obedient “ to the higher powers","submissive to the laws, and respectful to those who are intrusted with the execution of them ;-—and that not only “ for wrath, but also for conscience sake;" not only for fear of “ the sword which the ruler beareth, to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil ;” but because we know obedience to be our duty, which we cannot fail in to man, without displeasing God? If we be intrusted with power, do we exercise it justly and mercifully? justly, in compliance with the law, whence the authority is de. rived; mercifully, out of regard to those towards whom it is to be exercised? The ruler, the officer of the law, in whatever department he may be stationed, is “ the minister of God for good” to those who are the subjects of the law.

9 Col. iii. 22. Eph. vi. 5.

Rom. xiii. 1.

Is it our study then to promote the good of those to whom our authority extends ? to correct and reform the vicious; to protect the innocent and the distressed; and to reward the virtuous and deserving ? In a word, whether we be servants, subjects, or rulers, our respective stations are stewardships, for which we are accountable, and in which we shall be “ required to be found faithful$ :" they are talents, with which we are

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si Cor. iv. 2.

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