« AnteriorContinuar »
father, their wives and children. When they were come into the land of Canaan, they said to Jacob, Joseplı your son is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. But at last, when he had heard all that had past, and had seen the waggons, and the other presents his son had sent, he said.it is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive, I will go and see him before I die. Ile soon after took his journey with all his family, and went down into Egypt. And when be had paid his respects to the king, Joseph placed him in the land oi Goshen, the most truitful part of Egypt, where Jacob lived seventy years.
REFLECTIONS, Qu. Joseph's discovering himself to his brethren iş the most affecting and tender part of his story, but is preceded by strange circumstances. In short, how can we reconcile his forgetfulness and indifference towards his father and brethren, whombe leaves exposed to the fatal consequences of a cruel famine, and the extreme severity he uses them with in calumniating and imprisoning them; how, I say, can we reconcile all this with that goodness and tenderness, which cannot help shewing itself at the very time that he is using them thus severely?
1111s. It is this seeming contradiction, which should let us see, that there is soine mystery concealed under the outside of an action, which otherways might offend reason, and appear opposite to the sentiments which nature has implanted in the hearts of all mankind.
Joseph, sold by his brethren to the Egyptians, considered by Jacob as dead, forgotten by all his family, honoured in the mean time and ruling in Egypt, is incontestably the figure of Jesus Christ, delivered into the hands of the Gentiles by the Jews, generally renounced by his own nation, put to death by their cruel envy, owned and adored by the Gentiles as their Saviour and their King.
In the first journey the children of Jacob made into Egypt, it is said, [c] that Joseph knew his brethren, but was not known by them. This is the condition of the Jews. By refusing to submit to Jesus Christ, they ceased to see him, but could not free themselves from his dominion. They read the scriptures, and there they find their Lord without knowing him. They saw him, and did not receive him. He spoke to them in parables, because they were unworthy to hear the mysteries which they refused to believe. But the veil will not always remain over their heart.
During the long interval their blindness lasts, they suffer a cruel famine, not of material bread, but as the prophet had foretold, of the word of God, which they are not allowed to understand. [d] I will send a jamine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. The land of Canaan is condemned to a total sterility. The true bread of life is found only in Egypt. Whoever would live must necessarily go down thither; and till Benjamin, the last of Jacob's children, and the figure of the latter Jews, appears there in person, the famine will sorely afflict that wretched nation.
Hitherto Joseph shall appear to be hard-hearted towards his brethren. lle shall speak to them as though he knew them not, with an angry voice and a rigid countenance. [e] He made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly to them. It is thus that Christ has long behaved towards an ungrateful and blind people. He appears not to know his brethren according to the flesh. He seems to have forgotten the fathers of a faithless and bloody generation.
Yet Joseph offered violence to himself in concealing his affection. He could not refrain from weeping; he was obliged to turn aside, to hide his face, and withdraw from time to time to vent his tears. The pains he took to conceal them, was the figure of that secret mercy hid in the bosom of God, and reserved till the time appointed in his eternal counsel. The [C] Gen. xlii. 8. (0) Amos viii. 1!.  Gen. xlii. 7. Y 4
promises of God will be accomplished upon Israel;
other circumstances of his life as the figure of Jesus Christ?
Ans. There are few saints of the Old Testament, in whom God has been pleased to express so many circumstances of resemblance with his Son as in Joseph. The bare repetition of them will be an evident proof of this observation.
1 Pol one hal
PARTICULARS OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN JESUS
CHRIST AND JOSEPH.
JESUS CHRIST. He is hated of his bre- He is hated by the thren.
Jews. 1. For accusing them 1. For reproving them of some great crime. for their sins.
2. For being affection- 2. For declaring himately beloved by his fa- self to be the Son of God, ther.
and saying, that God him-
they should see him sitting
at the right-hand of God. He is sent by his father He is sent by God his to his brethren at a dis- father to the lost sheep of tante.
the house of Israel. His brethren conspire The Jews form a de against his life,
sign of putting him to
death. He is sold for twenty He is sold for thirty pieces of silver.
pieces of silver, He is given up
into the He is delivered up to hands of strangers by his the Romans by the Jews. own brethren. His
His garment was dip- The humanity he was ped in blood.
clothed with, suffers a
bloody death. He is condemned by He is condemned, and Potiphar, without any no body speaks in his deone's speaking in his be- fence. half. He suffers in silence. He suffers all kind of
injuries and punishments,
without complaining. Placed between two Placed between two criminals, he foretels the thieves, he foretels the advancement of the one, one, that he should go inand the approaching to paradise, and lets the death of the other. other die impenitent.
He lies three years in He lies three days in prison.
grave. He arrives at glory by It behoved that Christ sufferings and humilia- should suffer, and thus tions.
enter into his glory. Heis set over the house He is made head of the of Pharaoh, and over all church, and every creaEgypt.
ture is made subject unto
him. Pharaoh alone is above
He is above every creahim.
ture, but subject to God
as man. He was called the Sa- His name of Jesus viour of the world. signifies a saviour, and is
indeed the only one by
whom we can be saved. All bend the knee be- Every creature must fore him.
bow at the name of Jesus
Christ. The famine is in all Poverty and error are lands; there is no bread universal ; truth and but in Egypt, where Jo- grace are found only in seph governs.
the church, where Jesus
j' the link
All are sent back to There is no salvation, Joseph by Pharaoh.
no grace but by Jesus
Christ. All the neighbouring All nations are admitpeople come into Egypt ted into the church to to buy corn.
obtain salvation, Joseph's brethren coine The Jews will one day to him, own him, fall
fall return to Jesus Christ, down before him, and are own him, worship him, fixed in Egypt.
and enter into the church.
In all these applications, and I could add several others, is there any thing forced or constrained ? Could pure chance have possibly thrown together so many resembling circumstances, so different, and at the same time so natural? I should as soon say, that the most finished and resembling portrait was also the effect of mere chance. It is plain, that an intelligent hand did purposely contrive and apply all these colours to make a perfect picture, and that the design of God in joining together so many singular circumstances in the life of Joseph, was to describe the principal lines in that of his son. We should therefore know the history of Joseph only by halves, if we stopped at the bare surface, without informing ourselves of the hidden and mysterious sense, wherein the most essential part of it consists, as Jesus Christ is the end of the law and of all the scriptures.
I beg the reader to observe, that though these particulars relating to Joseph and Jesus Christ are so extremely natural and alike, there is no mention made of their agreement either in the gospels, or the writings of the apostles; which shews, that besides the figures which are explained in the New Testament, there are others so plain and evident, that we cannot reasonably doubt of their containing also some inystery. But we must be very cautious and reserved upon this last kind, especially when we are instructing youth, and principally insist upon the figures of which Christ and his apostles have made the application.