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I will go to the right, or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
And here I would say a few words to elder brothers and sisters, who may sometimes try to have their own way, because they are older than their companions: but is this kind? and when you feel disposed to do it again, think of Abraham: he was older than Lot, and might have told him to go where he pleased; yet, for the sake of peace and good will, he gave up his own right of choice to his nephew, telling him to take the way he liked best: and it is very pleasing to your Heavenly Father, when he sees children, instead of quarrelling, if they both wish for the same thing, cheerfully giving to their little brothers and sisters that which they would have liked. themselves.
We should learn to have charity to all around us; that is, we should so love every one as to be willing to give up our own right to them; for "charity seeketh not her own." Those who have charity think little of themselves, and will gladly part with much, for the sake of others. Our Lord hath said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Surely there
is no need for me to say any thing more than this, to persuade you to become gentle and affectionate one to another. And now I will tell you how obedient Abraham was to the commands of his Creator.
Abraham had a son, whose name was Isaac,-his only son, whom he loved very dearly; and it pleased God to try his faith in a very remarkable manner, by telling him to take his son into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering. It was common in those days to worship God by building an altar, and laying thereon sometimes a lamb or kid, or whatever might be intended for an offering, which was then burnt; and nothing but the very best of the flock, and those that were without spot or blemish, were considered good enough to be offered to that God from whose hands they received all that they possessed.
We may suppose that when Abraham was told to offer up his only son in this way, it grieved him exceedingly; but he knew that he ought to obey his Maker, he knew that all the blessings he enjoyed came from the hand of that God, who now required this painful sacrifice; and we read that he rose up early in the
morning, and went unto the place of which God had told him, and, while they were on their journey, Isaac said unto his father, "Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?" His father answered him, that God would provide one. When they came to the place, Abraham built an altar, and laid the wood upon it, and then took his son and laid him on the wood; but we find that, just as Abraham had taken up his knife to slay him, "the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham; the good man answered, Here am I.' Then said the angel, 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.'
Then was Abraham very glad, and, turning round, he saw a ram which had been caught in a thicket, of which he made an offering, instead of his child; and the Lord was pleased with him, because he did not withhold his son from Him, and promised that he should be the father of a mighty nation, as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sand upon sea-shore.
the Affectionately yours.
THE descendants of Abraham in time became a large family. Jacob, the grandson of the patriarch, was the father of twelve sons, who lived in a country called Canaan, in the northwest corner of Asia; their names were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin: they led the life of shepherds, taking care of their flocks, and cultivating their fields.
Jacob loved Joseph more than his other children, and clothed him in a coat of many colours, as a mark of his love: of this his brothers were very jealous, and one day, when he had roused their jealousy yet more, by telling them two of his dreams, in which they were seen as bowing before him; they formed the wicked intention of putting him to death, for which purpose they threw him into a pit ; but some merchants coming past, on their way into Egypt, they took him out, and sold him to them as a slave; they then dipped his coat in some blood, and shewed it to their father, who was much grieved,
and thought that some wild beast had devoured him.
These wicked men little thought that, by selling their brother into a strange land, they were taking the very step which would bring to pass those dreams which had so offended them, or that they themselves were soon to follow and bow before him: but we shall see how often human designs fail in their end, and the history of Joseph is a most striking instance of the power of that God who can mould even the hearts of kings to do his will.
When the Midianites who had bought Joseph, reached Egypt, they sold him to Potiphar, who was an officer of Pharoah's, and here he conducted himself so well that the hand of God was with him, and he obtained great favor with his master, who made him ruler over all his house, and, from the time that he entered his master's house, we read that the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house and in the field; but in the midst of all this prosperity, he was falsely accused, and thrown into prison, where he lay for more than two years.
But He who had preserved his life when thrown into the pit, and who had