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assurance of faith so to live; and when the hour ap-
MAKING HIMSELF KNOWN
TO HIS BRETHREN.
"Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians and the house of Pharoah heard.
And Joseph said unto his bethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence."-(Gen. xlv. 1-3.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
In all the compass of history, and in all the annals of mankind, never, among the sons of Adam, hath the world produced a single memoir, so truly great, amiable and interesting, as that of the patriarch Joseph. And as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, none among the patriarchs, prophets, or apostles, hath in so many and various points been set forth to the delight and contemplation of the lovers of biblical study, as "Joseph the Hebrew." (Gen. xxxix. 14.)
That portion of the word of God which is placed at the head of this chapter, and which invites the church to meditate on one of the most interesting moments in the life of Joseph, is neither the beginning, nor the close of his history.
In order to enter into an apprehension of this part `of the patriarch's life, and as far we are able also to enter into his feelings on the occasion; we must take a retrospect of some of the occurrences which went before. And the view will amply reward our attention in not only giving us an history, the relation of several very interesting events which took place in those first ages of the world; but, which is infinitely more to our benefit and comfort, will open to us what the Holy Ghost, above every other consideration, intended from Joseph's history, namely, in setting him forth a beautiful type and figure, on various occasions, of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Not however, to run over too large a tract of ground on this subject, it will be fully sufficient for our present purpose, to take up Joseph's history from the time that his father sent him to Shechem, to enquire after the health of his brethren; and to see whether it were well with them, and with the flocks. For from hence arose, in a way of the Lord's providence, all the after events which marked Joseph's life. (Gen. xxxvii. 13. &c.)
And I the rather open at this part of the history, because we here find Joseph very strikingly shadowing forth some of the outlines of our Lord Jesus Christ. For, as when the patriarch came to his brethren, they cast him into the pit, and afterwards sold him for a slave; in those transactions we trace the resemblance, though but faint compared to the original, of the Lord. As Joseph, the son of Jacob, was sent by his father to visit his brethren; so the Son of God was sent by our father from the realms of bliss, into this our world Shechem, to see if it were well with us, and how we fared. And when with all the affection of a brother, Jesus came to his own; "his own received him not," but conspired against him to slay him. And as Joseph was cast
into the pit, and afterwards sold for twenty pieces of silver; so was the Lord of life and glory betrayed, sold for thirty peices of silver, crucified, and slain ; and from the pit, and the prison, wrought out the salvation of all his people. The advance of Joseph, which afterwards took place in the court of Pharoah, became an exact resemblance of him, who though "making his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, (as the prophet speaks,) because he had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in his mouth ;” (Isa. liii. 9.) yet by his ascension at the right hand of the Majesty on high, manifested "that all power was his, in heaven and on earth." (Matt. xxviii. 18.)
In passing on through the history of Joseph, not to go over any more of it than is necessary to connect the whole with that part, the Scripture here relates his interview with his brethren. We next find him advanced as a steward in the house of Potiphar, Captain of the king's guard. (See Gen. xxxix. throughout.) And here I detain the reader just to remark, how graciously the Lord was watching over him. Every step which we tread in Joseph's history, we may behold this strikingly exemplified. The subject opened with what appeared to have been the tenderest of all possible causes, to bring about such events as followed in his life. Who could have thought that Jabob sending him merely to enquire after his brethren's health, should have been the means of his being carried into Egypt? Who that beheld him sold for a slave, by his unnatural brethren, would have concluded that this was but the very method the Lord would over-rule for his advancement to honour? Nay, to drop Joseph's history for the moment, and look higher, even to Joseph's Lord and Saviour; who that beheld Christ on the cross, would have understood that the cross and death of the Lord
Jesus, should be made the life and happiness of the Lord's people to all eternity? It is blessed to have such things in constant remembrance. Every redeemed and regenerated child of God should be on the look out, on the tower, as the prophet we read of was, to wait the Lord's manifestations to his people. For it is a truth confirmed by the testimony of the Lord's people in all ages, that they that watch the Lord, both in providence and grace, will often find that the Lord is everlastingly watching over them. (Hab. ii. 1. Isa. xxvii. 3.) It is blessed to be well versed in our own history. When the Lord had been teaching his people Israel through a long psalm, to recount his mercies over them; he closeth the whole in those blessed words :-" Whoso is wise, and will observe these things; even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord." (Psalm cvii. 43.)
Prosecuting still the subject of Joseph's history, until we arrive to that part of it, which the Scripture before us represents, of making himself known unto them in the first interview, after their unnatural conduct to him; we next find him advanced from the house of Potiphar, to the court of Pharaoh; and become governor over all the land of Egypt. In this situation, he is selling corn, from the plentiful granaries he had, by the wisdom given him by the Lord, stored up in Egypt; and enriching Pharaoh with the profitable sale. Among the numerous applications made for corn, by the several nations around, we find the sons of Jacob constrained to come from Canaan to purchase; and the brethren of Joseph, unconscious before whom they presented themselves, applied to him whom they had so cruelly treated, and bowed down before him, to obtain permission to buy corn among
those that came.
I stay not to remark the many striking incidents. which formed this part of the history. The patriarch,