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whether it comes from presumption, you, if this is the case with some that despondency, or indifference, whoever are here, 0 do not once again refuse lives in any known sin, whatever his to listen to your own undoing. The temptation may be to commit it, what- | time never may return when you shall ever his contrasting virtues may be to hear this invitation again. The Albalance it, whatever judgment his mighty God is set against you, and friends may pass upon it, whatever unless a puny creature like you can creed he professes, whatever party he stand in conflict with the Omnipotent may support, whatever aid he gives to Jehovah, you have no hope whatever, the church, whatever use he may be that, when your summons comes, you in the world, whoever lives in sin must shall be happy at the last. May God perish. Whoever lives in the way of Almighty bring you, by his own grace, sin, though he has been often invited to repentance-set before you
the to receive mercy, and has entertained awful consequences of going on in the hopes that he shall have mercy, and way of known sin-help you to take has formed some half resolutions; and the resolution this very night to return travelled, as it were, almost to the to him-implant in you a confidence gate of heaven, whosoever lives in any in his own goodness—make you alive way of known sin assuredly will pe- to his invitations, and so lead you, as to rish.
be assured, unless you yourself reject Sinners, how many, many, times them, you may be led into all the have you heard this awful truth, and blessings of the new covenant of grace, you have turned a deaf ear to it; you to be blessed with all spiritual blesswould not listen, your consciences ings in heavenly places in Christ Jewere hardened ? Now I do intreat
DELIVERED BY THE REV. T. MORTIMER,
AT ST. MARK'S CHURCH, WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 26, 1831.
Genesis, xlix. 22, 26.-“ Joseph is a fruitful bough, cren a fruitful bough by a
well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers hare sorely gricred him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel. Eren by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of hearen abore, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of thy father hare prerailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the ererlasting hills ; thcy shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren."
This chapter brings before us a very him than his fears. Here was an old solemn and affecting scene. It is the venerable man-a man of God; and death of an old man-no common man. he was now on a dying bed. He was It is the death of an aged saint-no anxious for his children to be assemcommon saint. It is the death of an bled around him ; and at the head of old patriarch-no common patriarch. the family he delivered to them his dyWhere was he now? He was in ing charge. His addresses to Judah Egypt. He had Joseph with him, and to Joseph, are the two most beaubut he said he should never see Joseph tiful of all his addresses to his children. any more. He had declared, as for At some future time, it may be our himself, he should go down with grey business to bring before you this whole hairs to the grave, and in suffering- chapter in its fulfilment in a course but it was not so. God was better to of sermons; and, therefore, I shall not now enlarge upon it, as to its pro- and glad, when we ought to attune phetical bearings on the descendants our harps and sing! “All these things and posterity of Joseph.
are against me," says Jacob. They These predictions were remarkably were all for him : they were all so fulfilled ; even Ephraim and Manasseh many links in one great and blessed were two fruitful boughs; or rather, chain, designed for his prosperity and Joseph might be said to be “
a fruitful peace. bough whose two branches ran over a Here is not only a reference to sufwall.” The posterity of Joseph increas-fering, but an acknowledgment of grace ed remarkably, so that it became quite given. “ The archers have sorely proverbial in Israel.
grieved him, and shot at him, and I leave then all its prophetical bear- hated him. But his bow abode in ings, and I take the passage, In its strength.” Perhaps there never was application to Joseph personally. And a more remarkable history in the then, in the use that we, as Christians, world than that of Joseph. It is wonmay make of it for our own comfort. derful the way in which it pleased
Here is a reference to past troubles. God, to make every thing that was in“ The archers hit him sorely.” Is this tended for his injury, turn to the man's true ? See how poor Joseph was good. He was taken down to Egypttreated by his brethren. See from a very soon he was made great—very child how soon he began to be afflict- soon every thing was committed to his ed: how soon he began to know sor-charge in the house of Potiphar; and row and trouble; and though the fa- then, when his wicked mistress atvourite child of his father—foolishly tempted to seduce him from the path so (for whenever parents show undue of piety, and virtue, and godliness, favouritism to any child, they are sure even then, it pleased God to make that to suffer for it). Joseph, though the very thing, in the end, to work in an favourite child of his father, yet how astonishing manner for the good of soon did he begin to suffer? You Joseph. How did his bow abide in know his history—you know of his strength? You know. He was cast being carried down to Egypt-you into prison as a malefactor—there he know of his being sold as a bond-ser- met with two other prisoners, the chief vant; and we are told, that “the iron butler, and the chief baker—they had entered into his soul.” All this while their dreams—they tell their dreams the Almighty was preparing him for to Joseph—he interprets their dreams something great, and noble, and mag
--all comes true-every thing he has nificent—while he was preparing him said is fulfilled. After this, after to be lord over his mother's sons, and the death of the chief baker, and prince over all his father's children. after the restoration of the chief butler, So that in point of fact, though his Pharaoh has a dream-he cannot untroubles were great and singular, they derstand it—his wise men cannot un. were not more so than his after success, derstand it. The chief butler rememwhen it pleased God to turn again his bers this marvellous, this strangely captivity,
singular young man in the prison-he Now old Jacob, in adverting to his tells Pharaoh, “I do remember my son's past trouble, could not help re- faults this day”-he tells what ocmarking what he himself had suffered, curred in the prison—they hasten with when they brought the coat of many the royal command to bring Joseph colours, and told him, with all the out-he comes—he explains the dream indifference imaginable, “This have we to Pharaoh—he gives all the glory to found : know now whether it be thy God—he says, “God shall send Phason's coat or no?" Jacob knew the roah an answer of peace"-he tells coat of many colours which he had him to find out a wise and prudent given to his beloved child: when he man to administer the affairs of Egypt, saw it he said, “An evil beast hath and thus do all that could be done devoured him: and Joseph without during the seven years of plenty, to doubt is rent in pieces.” How igno- prepare for the seven years of famine; rant and how foolish is man! How and Pharaoh showed his good sense, soon do we take up the mournful and by immediately suggesting that Joseph sorrowful, when we ought to be joyful should be the man—that he should
have the rule—that Egypt should be then in the twenty-sixth verse, “ The placed under his power—that he should blessings of thy father have prevailed be the second person in the kingdom. above the blessings of my progenitors, Did not his bow abide in strength ? unto the utmost bound of the everlastWill any man dare to tell me, that this ing hills.” With what feelings must was all chance-all accident? Such a the dying old saint have enlarged on man would show that he had very all these points, when he considered little claim to a sound mind. Chance that not long before, Joseph himself and accident! No such thing, my had been a captive. But markbrethren ; it was the goodness of the “The God of thy father.” Jacob had Lord. His bow abode in strength a profound reverence for Abraham and —and how? He tells us : by the hands Isaac, and he wished it now to be unof the mighty God of Jacob.
derstood, that the blessing of his foreThere is something peculiarly in- fathers was descending on his children, teresting, in hearing the old man on while he was going the way of all the his dying bed, give this name to the Lord earth. Let children learn to seek these -The Lord God of Jacob. A few blessings, and let parents be such, as more days, a few more hours, and Ja- that their blessing may be worth hav. cob would be gone; but he hands ing, let them be really devoted to God; down this name to his children-The so that when they lift their holy hands God of Jacob. O, there is something without wrath or doubting, commenddelightful, when a father of a family, ing their children to the blessing of knowing the blessings and powers of God, there may be these recollections religion, tells his children, My dear on the part of the children, My father children, the God of Jacob is my God; was a holy man, he blessed me in God's he has been my God through all my holy name and now he is gone, I look pilgrimage—he is my God now—and and I labour for that blessing he prohe will be your God for ever.
nounced upon me while he was yet Here is a reference to his struggle- alive. his acknowledgment of the support, of But what is there in all this to us? the strength given to him. His bow Some of you are now passing through was strengthened by the mighty God affliction. You come to your minisof Jacob. The Lord God is the great ters for comfort, and you have a right feeder; the shepherd who provideth to look to them to be the channels of for the great flock; “ the stone of comfort to you; but you must look Israel.” This little parenthesis, and higher than them. God is now prethe other which you meet with in a paring you to suffer—the archers shoot former part of the chapter where Jacob at you-one trouble
after says, “I have waited for thy salva- another. I am sure, and I speak adtion, O Lord,” are some expressions visedly, the troubles and afflictions of a pious mind, which cannot help that come before me, as a minister ; bursting forth, even in the midst of the brought to my notice in their seveprophecy he is delivering, bursting ral details, are sometimes enough to forth to give all the praise and all the crush my heart. I am ready to say, glory to God. Then he goes on ad- O that I could help the people, that I verting to his trials, he speaks of his could relieve such an one of my brebeing despised by his brethren. They thren in this case, and such an one of hated, they despised him, they sold my brethren in another case ; but I him, they did all but murder him ; but cannot. I can hear their cry, I can God was with him, and afterwards sympathize with them, but I cannot raised him up above them all.
take them away. God can. Look at There is another thing to be noticed Joseph-see how he was called to sufin these words as they relate to Joseph, fer, and see how allhis sufferings were and that is, he speaks of the God of made subservientto, and preparatory for his father. “Even by the God of thy his enjoyment of the most wonderful father, who shall help thee, and by the prosperity that the world ever witAlmighty, who shall bless thee with nessed. Are you Christians ? Rememblessings of heaven above, blessings of ber that those who are seen in glory, the deep that is under, the blessings with white robes, and palms in their of the breast and the womb." And hands, were once sufferers like you,
they once knew what it was to be in little children, we do not know what trial, trouble, and affliction. “Who is good for us; and the more I see of are these,” is the inquiry made of St. the church of Christ and the world, John. Sir, thou knowest,” said the and my own heart, the more I see the modest Apostle—“ These are they need of affliction to bring us in the which came out of great tribulation, way of heaven. We need affliction to and have washed their robes, and made keep us in the way of heaven, and we them white in the blood of the Lamb. need affliction to perfect us ; for I do Therefore are they before the throne believe, that of all the means under of God, and serve him day and night heaven, there is none like sanctified in his temple: and he that sitteth on affliction. Now the archers seem to the throne shall dwell among them. be wounding, and one is ready to say, They shall hunger no more, neither I am wounded, and you come to us thirst any more, neither shall the sun and tell us of your wounds; I take light on them, nor any heat. For the you to record this day, do we not Lamb which is in the midst of the take you to the chief Physician, do we throne shall feed them, and lead them not tell you there is balm in Gilead ? unto living fountains of waters: and Then looking at the passage, FOR God shall wipe away all tears from OUR OWN COMFORT. I ask whether their eyes.”
there are not many of you, who Now you say you hope to get there through grace have maintained your by and bye. You say you are pil- | Christian profession, and sustained grims here, and that you have set out your Christian warfare even till now? from the city of destruction to the city And how is that? Others that were of light, and the land of glory. Then stronger than you, or that you thought do not be surprized if you have trou- so, have fallen, have gone away and ble. If God loves you, you are sure walked no more with us. Some have to have trouble : “For whom the turned aside to the world, like Demas, Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scour- who loved this present evil world ; geth every son that he receiveth.' but here your bow was made strong These afflictions, there is a needs be by the mighty God of Jacob. Did I for them. We like them not; but in address you just now as a sufferer? I how many instances God answers our did. I address you now, however, prayers by afflictions! For instance, as soldiers fighting, bearing up against you ask for the conversion of some of difficulties, with your bow made strong your unconverted brethren—you bring by the mighty God of Jocob. them before God-you entreat him Now, my brethren, notwithstandwith tears and prayers to give them ing all our sorrows, I bid you take
He hears the prayer-it is good heart upon it through God's not lost. By and bye comes an angel grace. Yes, a good heart-a good from heaven with some trial for you, spirit-solid courage of soul; that some affliction. Not the affliction that you may not be daunted, that you you would like to have, but that which may not be dismayed, that you may of all others, perhaps, you least wish not be driven to despair-why? Befor, that concerning which, you are cause there is Omnipotence on your ready to say, Any thing but this. No, side. Though you are poor he is rich, says your Lord and Master, that is though you are weak he is mightythe way I will answer your prayers. he is all in all. What do you want I will bring those for whom you have besides ? O, that all men would come been praying to a knowledge of myself, to Jesus, and take the day as it comes. and the experience of my grace and What shall I do to-morrow? you are mercy. Ah, my brethren, we are like I saying.
(To be continued.)
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