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Joseph is any where declared to be a type of Christ, notwithstanding the circumstances wherein they resemble each other, are as numerous and remarkable, as in almost any other instance whatever. We forbear therefore to assert anything on this subject with confidence, while, in compliance with the opinion of the most judicious commentators, and indeed with the almost irresistible conviction of our own mind, we proceed totrace theresemblance of Joseph to Christ in
I. His distinguishing character
To our Lord also is a similar title frequently ascribed [Jesus was that “beautiful and glorious BRANch,” which was in due time to spring from the stem of Jesse,” the fruit. whereof was to fill the whole earth.” It was not one tribe only, or two, that was, to acknowledge him as their head, but all the tribes; yea, Gentiles as well as Jews, even all the ends of the earth: his fruit was to shake like the woods of Lebanon, and they, who should spring from him, were to be numerous as the piles of grass,” the stars of heaven,” and the sands upon the sea shore.” And so abundantly has this prediction been already verified, that we may say of this branch as the Psalmist did of that which typically represented it, “It has taken deep root, and filled the land: the hills are covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof are like the goodly cedars; it has sent forth its boughs unto the sea, and its branches unto the river.”].
But the resemblance will more fully appear, while we consider
II. His grievous sufferings - 2
a Isai. iv. 2. and xi. 1. b Isai. xxvii. 6. c Ps. lxxii. 16. * Gen. xv. 5. “ Gen. xxii. 17. * Ps. lxxx. 9–11. 5 Gen. xxxvii. 3.
(108.) . Joseph A TYPE or chrisT. 27
And can we err in tracing here the sufferings of our Lord? [Jesus was, infinitely above all others, the well-beloved of his Father;P and, while he faithfully reproved the sins of his brethren, declared to them his future exaltation and glory." Filled with envy and wrath against him, they said, as it were in malignant triumph, “This is the heir; come let us kill him;” so cruelly “ did they reward him evil for good, and hatred for his love.” When he was come to them from his Father with the most benevolent design, behold, one of his own disciples sold him, and that to strangers too, for thirty pieces of silver. He was accused of blasphemy against God, and of rebellion against his king; and, without any one appearing to speak on his behalf," was instantly condemned; and thus, though “none could convince him of sin,” “was
, numbered with the transgressors.” Could there have been
such a co-incidence of circumstances between his lot and
* Gen. xxxvii. 2. i Ib. 5, 9. k Ib. iv. 11.
Matt. xxvi. 15, 16. u Isai. liii. 8. See Bp. Lowth's translation, and note, and Ps. lxix. 20.
There is yet one more feature of resemblance to be
noticed in IV. His glorious advancement After all his trials Joseph was exalted to a throne. [Through the good providence of God, Joseph was enabled to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh, and was, on that account, brought from the dungeon, and made, next to Pharaoh, the supreme governor of the Egyptian kingdom:* all were ordered. to bow the knee to Joseph;8 and all, who came for a supply of corn, received this direction, Go to Joseph.” Thus did
* Gen. xl. 14, 15. y Gen. xlii. 7, 9, 12. * Gen. xlv. 5. a 1 Pet. ii. 23. b Isai. liii. 7. • Luke xix. 41. * Luke xxiii. 34. * Luke xxiv. 47. * Gen. xli. 14, 15, 41.
§ Ib. 43. * Ib. 55.
(108.) . Joseph A TYPE of cHR1st. 29
God exalt him to be both “the shepherd and the stone of Israel,” that he might not only provide for Egypt and the neighbouring kingdoms, but be an effectual support to all his kindred, and preserve the lives of those very persons, who had sought his destruction.] ** Can we reasonably doubt but that in this he was a type of Jesus? [Jesus was raised from the prison of the grave by the
effectual working of God's power: “he was highly exalted;
and had a name given him above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow:” “all power was committed to him in heaven and in earth; and all things were put under him, HE only excepted, who did put all things under him.” Whatever we want for our souls, we must receive it all out of his fulness: the direction given to every living creature is, Go to Jesus, Look to Jesus.” And how does he exercise his power? Behold he calls his sinful brethren from a land of want and misery, and bring; them to his own land of peace and plenty. There he o: them with the bread of life, and “reigns over the house of Jacob for ever and ever.” Thus, as “ the great shepherd of the sheep,” he both feeds and rules his flock, while as “the foundation” and “corner-stone” he supports and connects, confirms and dignifies, all the “Israel” of God."]
By way of IMPRove MENT we observe
1. The purposes of God, whatever may be done to frustrate them, shall surely be accomplished [We are amazed at the variety of incidents, that seemed to put the elevation of Joseph, and of Christ, almost beyond the reach of Omnipotence itself. Yet God’s purposes were
accomplished by the very means used to defeat them. Thus
shall it be with us also, if we confide in the word of God. Whatever means Satan, or the world, may use to “separate us from God,” they shall not prevail. “What God has promised, he is able also to perform.” Let us therefore trust in him; for He will work, and who shall let it? He hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? His counsel shall stand; and he will
do all his displeasure."] * > * 2. God’s dearest children must expect many trials in their way to glory
[Joseph, and Christ, endured much before their exaltation. And we also “through much tribulation shall enter into the
‘Phil. ii. 9–11. Ps. lxxii. 8, 9, 11. k l Cor. xv. 27. John i. 16. "Isai. xlv. 22. John vii. 37. n Heb. xiii. 20. 1 Pet. ii. 6. "Isai. xliii. 13, and xiv. 27. and xlvi. 10.
so E kingdom.” The number and weight of our trials are no | grounds of concluding ourselves to be objects of God's dis- o pleasure: they should rather, especially if they be sanctified a to us, be considered as tokens of his love.P. As the captain of our salvation was, so also must we be, made perfect through sufferings." Let us then “arm ourselves with the mind that was in Christ.” We shall surely have no reason to regret the \! difficulties of the way, when we have attained the rest prepared o for us.] * |
3. We should not labour to control events, but study o
rather to accommodate ourselves to the circumstances in which God has placed us - j
[How often might Joseph have escaped from the house of || Potiphar, or sent to his brethren the news of his exaltation in | Egypt! But he left all in the hands of God, endeavouring only to fulfil his duty, whether as a slave or a steward, whether as a jailor or a prince. Thus did our Lord also, when he could in ten thousand ways have changed the course of events. Let us do likewise. Whatever be our circumstances or con- o: dition in life, let us be more desirous of glorifying God under o them, than of contriving, by any means, to alter them. God’s | time and manner of accomplishing his own ends will be found | infinitely better in the issue, than any we can devise." Let us then tarry his leisure, and leave ourselves wholly to his dispo
sal; and approve ourselves to him as faithful, and obedient o children.] - - o
CIX. Mos Es AND ch RIST com PARED IN THEIR o PRO PH E TIC A. L OFFIC E. o
Acts ifi. 22, 23. Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet o shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren o like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he * shall say unto you; and it shall come to pass, that every soul o which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from *: among the people. o
THERE are innumerable beauties in the holy scrip- § tures, which escape the notice of the superficial observer, o but which,when discovered,abundantly compensate all the s labour, that can attend the minutest investigation. Critics § have bestowed much pains in searching out the beauties ^ of heathen authors, and have often given them credit for l