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in Benjamin's sack! they thought of their poor father's grief, and felt that, if any harm came to their brother, they dare not see his face again. They all went back to Joseph, and told him how it had grieved their father to part with his darling son; and that it was only because they were starving that he at length consented to let him go. Then Joseph could not refrain any longer from making himself known unto them; and he caused all his servants to go out of the place, and when he was left with his brothers, he said, “I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?" Then were they much afraid, when they found, in the powerful ruler of the land of Egypt, their poor despised brother; for they thought he might punish them for their wicked conduct; but he forgave them, and kissed them, and fell upon Benjamin's neck and wept aloud. When Pharoah heard that Joseph's brothers were come, he told them to go back to Canaan, and fetch their father, and come and live in Egypt, for the good of the land was before them.
They did so; and you may be sure the meeting between Joseph and his father was very affecting; and, because shepherds might not dwell among the Egyp
tians, Pharoah gave them the land of Goshen for a dwelling-place, and they prospered exceedingly.
THE family of Joseph lived for some time very happily in Egypt; at length Jacob died; and on his death-bed he called all his sons round him, gave each his blessing, and foretold that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until Shiloh came; meaning that of one of the family of Judah, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, should be born.
Thus reminding them of that gracious promise which God gave to Adam when he was turned out of the garden of Eden, that His Son Christ Jesus would come into the world and lay down his life, to take away that sin which the first man had brought upon us. Jacob also charged his sons not to bury him in Egypt, but
to carry his body to his native country, and bury him by his fathers, Abraham and Isaac; which they did.
And when Joseph was an hundred and ten years old he died, and he foretold before his death, that the Lord would visit the children of Israel, who were much increased, and becoming a great people; and would bring them again into that land which had been promised to Abraham and his children for ever: and he told them, whenever this should come to pass, to carry his bones with them.
After this there arose another king, named Pharoah, who knew not Joseph, and who feared lest the children of Israel should grow too mighty, take part with their enemies, and fight against them. This king laid upon them many hardships, and treated them as slaves: they had to make brick, and build cities, and had taskmasters set over them, who treated them very cruelly; and many of their children were put to death. There was one little boy, whose name was Moses, whom his parents hid three months; then, fearing they might be found out, they made a cradle with rushes, in which they placed the child, and laid it on the edge of the river,
leaving his sister to watch, and see what would become of their poor little treasure. Soon after this, the king's daughter came near, and her maidens with her: she saw something lying among the weeds, and sent one of them to see what it was; and when she opened it and saw the babe crying, she had compassion, took the child, and said she would bring him up as her son. Then his sister caine forward, and asked if she should fetch a nurse for it; and when leave was given to her, she ran and called his own mother, to whom the child was given in charge.
And here I would point out to you the goodness of God, who rules all our actions for the best. It must have been a great grief to the mother of this little boy to leave her child by the side of the river, as she thought, to die; but she did not dare to keep him any longer, for she knew that if the Egyptians found it out, he would be taken from her and put to death, she therefore left him to the mercy of her God, whose kind providence it was that the king's daughter should take pity on him. Thus his life was saved, and it was the will of God that this child, who had been so wonderfully preserved, should lead His people from the land, where
Pharoah had made them slaves, back to Canaan. When he grew up he shewed his friendly disposition to his countrymen, although he had been brought up in Pharoah's house, by taking their part against a cruel taskmaster, which so offended the king, that he sought to kill him; but Moses fled out of the country. When he had been a few years absent, and the king, whom he had offended, was no longer alive, the Lord one day appeared to him when he was keeping sheep at the foot of Mount Horeb, and told him to return to Egypt, stand before the king, and ask of him leave for all the Israelites to go three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice unto their God. Moses did as he was commanded, and, with his brother Aaron, appeared before the king, and made the request; they were refused, and the people treated worse than before. Then the Lord brought upon the Egyptians ten plagues, which were very hard to bear: Pharoah told Moses and Aaron, if they would pray to their God to stay the plagues, they should go; but his fear was no sooner removed than he hardened his heart, and would not perform his promise. The tenth and last plague was very ter