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A HYMN.

Jacob's Vow. Gen. 28. 20, 24.

GOD of Jacob by whose hand
We children still are fed,
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led,

To thee our humble vows we raise,
To thee address our prayer,
And in thy kind and faithful breast
Deposit all our care.

If thou through ev'ry path of life
Wilt be our constant guide;
If thou wilt daily bread supply
And raiment wilt provide;

If thou wilt spread thy shield around
Till all our wanderings cease,
And at our Father's house above
Our souls arrive in peace;

To thee "Almighty God, to thee"
We will ourselves resign,

And count that not our tenth alone
But all we have is thine.

[When from our earthly parent's house
Thou dost us far remove,

O bind our wand'ring hearts to thee
And fill them with thy love.]

Doddridge.

LECTURE

LECTURE XXIX.

RACHEL THE SHEPHERDESS.

GEN. 29. 9. And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she kept them.

JACOB'S journey now was pleasant, he went

on his way with a cheerful countenance and a glad heart. He had no burden now upon his mind. His cares and fears are now over, and we are only told that he " of the people of the East." to the very field, where his uncle's flocks were to be watered. He beheld a well and three flocks of sheep lying by it. The Shepherds came up and rolled away the stone from the well's mouth, and having watered the sheep, they replaced the stone upon the well's mouth. Jacob inquired from whence they came. They answered, from Haran, "know ve Laban the son of Nahor, we know him. Is he well? He is well; and, behold, Rachelhis daughter cometh with the sheep. And Jacob said, Lo, it is yet

came into the land God guided him

high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep and go and feed them." This might seem rather strange that Jacob should direct these men to whom he was an entire stranger, what to do. It appears however that he wished them to depart, that they might not be present when Rachel came to hear the conversation that passed between them. They however informed him, that they must stop till all the flocks are watered. The flock which Rachel had under her care, was not yet arrived. This was probably a rule formed among themselves, to prevent the waste or unequal use of water, which was no doubt valuable and scarce, and also that the well might be left secure. In Arabia they cover the wells to prevent their being filled up by sands, which are put in motion by the wind. Sometimes wells or cisterns of water are locked up, so that no one can use the water without leave of the person to whom the well belongs. It is supposed that Rachel had the key of this well, or that they dare not roll away the stone till she came, because the well belonged to her father.

father.* In some places the rich Natives of India have tanks from which they permit persons to come and take water: this is esteemed a favour, because many poor people live at a great distance from the river.

While they were talking, Rachel came to the well with her father's sheep, for she kept them. Jacob went and rolled away the stone to water the flock of Laban his mother's brother, this being done he kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice and wept. He then told her who he was, and she rau and told her father; who, when he heard that Jacob was his sister's son, he ran to meet him and em braced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Let us then,

I. Relate a few particulars of Rachel's HIS

TORY.

When she first met with Jacob at the well, we find that she kept sheep, she was therefore well employed. Her industry was something like that of Rebekah; she not only kept the sheep, but drew water for them. It

is

See Harmer's Observations, 1st vol. page 199.

is worthy of observation, that Sarah, Rebekali, and Rachel are represented as engaged in their domestic employments, when they are brought forward to particular notice. Sarah at the visit of the Angels to Abraham made cakes with her own hands. When Eliezer, the servant of Abraham met with Rebekah, she was coming to fetch water for her brother's household, and Rachel the beautiful and beloved wife of Jacob, first appears as the keeper of her father's sheep. She was industrious, Jacob did not find her idle, but employed. This is the best way for young persons to keep them-selves from mischief, from sin, from being tempted by Satan. Better keep sheep, than be idle. Rachel was humble also, her employment shews that she was not above what is accounted a mean and poor business. How many females there are that would rather do any thing than keep sheep. We find also, that she was affectionate. Jacob loved her and he met with a suitable return of affection. It is said that she was beautiful and well favored, that is, she had a fair countenance. How many there are to whom beauty is a How many who are proud of their

share,

beauty.

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