Imatges de pÓgina
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his mind. His habits of life and general. conduct will in a great measure, be formed from the example of his companions.

Joseph is introduced to us as a shepherd, feeding his father's flock; engaged in the same employment as his brethren. "And the lad was with tlie sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Ashur were his compa nions. Brethren are not always the most suitable companions. Joseph's brethren were most of them, if not all of them, very wicked. Joseph was much with them, and their em ployment allowed them much leisure time to pursue those evil inclinations which had already discovered themselves on more than one occasion.

H. We must notice the conduct of JoSEPH'S BRETHREN.

It was evil. And Joseph brought unto his father their evil reports." What, was Jos ph a tell-tale? Did he try to make mischief, and by representing the wicked conduct of his brethren, endeavor to gain all his father's love? No, Joseph was grieved at the

conduct

conduct of his brethren. He was vexed with their evil words and evil deeds, there fore he left them, could not bear to stay with them any longer. He had seen and heard such things as he knew were sinful.-What these things were we are not told. Jacob's sons did those things when absent from their father's presence, which they dare not do when at home. The mind of pious Joseph was hurt, for he appeared to have walked in the fear of God and to have remembered his Creator in the days of his youth. His father would naturally inquire the reason of his having his brethren and returning home. He told his father what he had seen and heard and it was an evil report, not a good one. How much must Jacob feel when he had heard what Joseph had to say.!

II. JACOB's great PARTIALITY for JOSEPH.

"Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children; because he was the Son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. This was very wrong in Jacob to love Joseph more than all his other children: and he was still more to be blamed for showing his partial

ity in such a manner as to give Joseph a finer coat than the rest of his brethren. Joseph might be more obedient, more affectionate and dutiful to him than the rest of his children, on that account he might love him more, but it was because he was the son of his old age. In this respect Benjamin ought to have had the largest share of Jacob's love, but Benjamin was but an infant child, scarcely twelve months old. Joseph was the only son that had any love to God in his heart, and that made him dutiful to his father. This coat of many colours was afterward the cause of great grief and pain to Jacob. It might be of small value in itself, but as a work of su→ perior regard it only excited the envy and ill will of his brethren.

IV. The HATRED of Joseph's BRETHREN. "And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him. This was the consequence of Jacob's partiality and his giving Joseph a coat of many colours. Joseph might be called his father's favorite son, his darling boy. He loved him for the sake of his mother. Jo

seph

seph was probably the image of his mother "beautiful and well favored." It was the resemblance that he bore to his mother that gave him such a lovely appearance in the eyes of his father. He saw the living picture of his beloved Rachel in Joseph's face. His father did not keep him at home while his brethren were abroad in the field. No, he shared their labours and fatigues, and fed the flock of his father. Joseph did not bring the evil report of their conduct as a tále bearer desirous of making mischief and raising himself in his father's favor at their expence. No, it was either told in answer to his father's inquiries, or that his father might suitably reprove and admonish his brethren. When his brethren came home Jacob no doubt reproved them for their evil deeds, they knew who it was that told their father. Joseph's prudent, pious and dutiful conduct was a continual reproach to them, and they hated him. When they saw what Jacob gave to Joseph, their hatred was so much increased that they could not speak peaceably unto him. Conscious of his superior excel lency they considered Jacob's approbation of bis conduct as a silent but continual reproof

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to them. “When a parent feels and disco vers a partiality for one child above another he himself is the cause shall arise to wound his

of all the evil that

own peace. The object of his affection may become a spoiled child, a wicked youth and an abandoned chaFacter. Let the favorite child remember that he is laying the foundation of much unhappiness to himself, as well as the rest of the famiky."

V. CATECHETICAL QUESTIONS.

1. What is said of Jacob in the first verse of the chapter from whence the words of the Text are taken? And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger,

2. How old was Joseph when he fed his fa. ther's flock? Seventeen years old.

3. With whom did he feed his father's flock? With his brethren.

4. He had many brethren, was he with any of them in particular or all of them? And the Jad was with the sens of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah.

5. What account did Joseph bring to his fa

ther

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