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he will make your case his own. An earthly brother's affection may be limited in its outgoings by a regard to his own welfare, and his wish to aid you may be checked by his want of power ; but it is not so with your Elder Brother, who is able as he is willing to serve you to the uttermost. In Him all fulness dwells, and he is more ready to hear than you can be to pray. Draw near, then, unto Him as unto a merciful and faithful High Priest, and, for your encouragement, remember his most gracious word. “ Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The elegant and accomplished author of “ The Christian Year," has made a happy application of this beautiful circumstance in the history of Joseph, in the following exquisite little poem :

" When Nature tries her finest touch,

Weaving her vernal wreath,
Mark ye, how close she veils her round,
Not to be trac'd by sight or sound,

Nor soil'd by ruder breath.
Who ever saw the earliest rose

First open her sweet breast ?
Or, when the summer sun goes down,
The first soft star in evening's crown

Light up her gleaming crest ?
But there's a sweeter flower than e'er

Blush'd on the rosy spray-
A brighter star, a richer bloom,
Than e'er did western heaven illume

At close of summer day.
'Tis Love, the last best gift of Heaven;

Love, gentle, holy, pure:
But, tenderer than a dove's soft eye,
The scorching sun, the open sky,

She never could endure.

Even human love will shrink from sight

Here on the coarse rude earth:
How, then, should rash intruding glance
Break in upon her sacred trance,

Who boasts a heavenly birth?
So still and secret is her growth,

Ever the truest heart,
Where deepest strikes her kindly root,
For hope or joy, for flower or fruit,

Least knows its happy part.
God only and good angels look

Behind the blissful screen ;
As when, triumphant o'er his woes,
The Son of God by moonlight rose;

By all but Heaven unseen:
As when the Holy Maid beheld

Her risen Son and Lord :
Thought has not colours half so fair
That she to paint that hour may dare,

In silence best ador'd.
The gracious dove, that brought from Heaven

The earnest of our bliss,
Of many a chosen witness telling,
On many a happy vision dwelling,

Sings not a note of this.
So, truest image of the Christ,

Old Israel's long-lost son,
What time, with sweet forgiving cheer,
He call'd his conscious brethren near-

Would weep with them alone.
He could not trust his melting soul,

But in his Maker's sight :
Then why should gentle hearts and true
Bare to the rude world's withering view

Their treasure of delight!
No-let the dainty rose awhile

Her bashful fragrance hide-
Rend not her silken veil too soon,
But leave her in her own soft noon,

To flourish and abide.”



We may easily enough conceive the astonishment and fear which possessed the minds of Joseph's brethren, when the simple, but heart-touching words, “ I am Joseph,” fell from him. No wonder that they could not answer him-no wonder that they were troubled at his presence. Was it possible ? and, if possible, how could it be accounted for? We may well suppose that they looked unutterable things, and that their countenances were expressive now of shame, now of remorse, now of amazement, now of terror. It was, indeed, an eventful moment, a surprising revelation ; and, no doubt, when they found heart at length to turn on him their half-fixed eyes, they would scan, with all the earnestness of awakened feeling, those features which, though changed by years and thought, were still, as to their cast and outline, the same as they had looked upon forty years before in the vale of Hebron. How strange, they might think, was it that they had not recognised him ere now; and how very senseless they must have thought themselves for not knowing, even in the robes of Egyptian splendour, their long-lost brother! Those who have ever witnessed the first meeting of long-separated friends, must have noticed that the one whose memory served him not, did, as soon as the announcement was made to him, reproach himself severely for his own stupidity, as to him it seemed ; that he then saw in every lineament a something which ought at the very first to have suggested the discovery; and that he was confounded with his own bluntness of perception. Thus, too, it might be with Joseph's brethren. That face, altered as it was, could they not have remembered it, or fancied, at least, that it bore some likeness to one which they had known familiarly in former years ? That eye, so significant of deep and comprehensive mind, had they seen nothing like it in the brother whose superiority of genius awakened their envy ? That voice, which gave utterance to the tones of a foreign tongue, could they not have discovered in it some similarity to that which had once pleaded beseechingly for mercy from them, but in vain ? Yes, doubtless, the heart felt all this, though the mouth said it not; and they must have deemed themselves slow indeed in failing to arrive at a conclusion which, when made to them by another, seemed obvious enough.

This, however, was the most tolerable part of their confusion; for, if they had been free of guilt in regard to him, the revelation would have been joyful indeed. Had they had nothing of cruelty with which to charge themselves, surprise would have been followed by intense gladness of heart. But here, alas ! was one whom they had most injuriously treated, whose finest affections they had trampled upon, whose cries they had disregarded, and whose life they had all but taken. Now, therefore, might conscience write bitter things against them, and the words, “ I am Joseph,” pierce them to the quick. We all know

with what reluctance the eye looks upon any thing which suggests painful remembrances. The man who has deeply wronged another, will go miles out of his way rather than meet him. How often has the mention of an abused name aroused the horror of a dying sinner! Rather than hear it he would be crushed in atoms to the earth ; rather than look upon the memorial, however simple, of his misdeeds, he would be dispossessed of reason and intelligence. And, now that Joseph's brethren were unexpectedly in his presence, they must have vividly recollected all the circumstances of the past, and wished rather that they had never been born. The short sentence, “I am Joseph,” must have been to them as if he had said, “ I am he whom you conspired to murder, and against whom, even from my boyhood, you plotted mischief. Think how you behaved towards me in my father's house. I am he, whose words you ridiculed, and whose intimations of future greatness you laughed to scorn. You see now how they have been brought to pass. I am that very brother whom, when I came to visit you in Shechem, you determined foully to get rid of. Do you not remember the pit into which, weary and thirsty as I was, you cast me, and of your then sitting down, as if you had done nothing amiss, to eat bread by yourselves. Have you forgotten how earnestly and affectingly I pleaded with you for my life, and how unheeding you were to all my remonstrances ? And, when at length by the good providence of God I was delivered from perishing by your hands, did you not basely accept of money as my price, and go back to a weeping and wondering father with a lie upon your right hands ? Behold in

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