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doubly repaid by a natural and gracious return of earthly blessings. But the highest object of a gospel minister, is to prove a savour of life unto life to the souls of their hearers, and to be the happy instruments of promoting their immortal interests.
2d. We may see, that the gospel is worthy of all ac ceptation, of the cordial reception of every creature, or human being to whom it is addressed. The tree of life grows out of the gospel, and its leaves are for the Healing of the nations. It bears twelve manner of fruit, and yields her fruit every month; and thousands of thousand, and ten times thousand, are now participating of its delicious and heavenly repast; and it proffers a rich feast to all the world, though thousands rather starve than come. The river of life flows from the gospel, and all who drink of it, quench their parching, dying thirst. It has healing streams which are flowing to the remotest corners of the earth, that all who wash may be healed of their diseases; yea, and the polluting, incurable leprosy may be cleansed and healed. Eat then, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly; and wash at the head fountain of the waters of salvation. The Spirit and the bride, say come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Yes, and beckoning angels at heaven's gates are looking down to see if we will come. Blessed gospel! how worthy of acceptation, which pours joy and consolation into the soul, yields the peace and balm of our mortal life; renders triumphant and victorious in the trying hour of death; and crowns with glorious immortality beyond the grave.
3d. This subject teaches us not to esteem it a burden to be charitable and to send the gospel to others, but 10 claim it as our unspeakable privilege:
Let sweet charity attend our door,
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth ; and
there is that withholdeth more than is meet; but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself. Let us take a few examples. Suppose an aged
a father and mother were bowed down with all the infirmities of old age, tattered with rags, afflicted with rheumatick complaints, and under a shelter which could not secure from the inclemencies of the weather. Suppose they should receive some comfortable clothing and other aids in their necessities. How would their souls daily bless the kind hand of charity! Surely you would say, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Picture to yourselves a family of half famished children surrounding their mother, preparing them victuals from provisions received from some unknown hand. Listen to the simplicity of their inquiries, who was that charity that stopt at our door? Hear their expressions of gratitude and thankfulness. With blushing cheeks and a glowing heart, you would see the propriety of this exhortation, Let not thy lett hand know what thy right hand doeth. My dear hearers, we live in such plenty, that we know not what it is to want; consequently we are insensible of the blessings of our charity. We know not how much good we do, when we give. Methinks I hear one say, I have ro part in this matter; for I never gave for charitable purposes. Open your heart then, reach forth your hands, and reap the reward of the liberal. One evening a missionary, to some heathens soliciting a Bible, promised to give them one next morning. At the break of day, he saw they were laying on the ground, and had endured the dampness and chills of an inclement night. Being asked the reason, their reply was, they feared if they returned home, they should miss of a Bible. Charity once presented a Bible to a woman lately made rich in faith, but miserably poor in the good things of this life. She most thankfully received it, pressed it to her bosom, and exclaimed, Had I ten thousand dol
lars, and could I not obtain a Bible without them, I would give them all for one. To some the Lord has given ability and opportunity in many ways, to do much for the advancement of his cause; and to others, but little. O may both be enabled at last joyfully to render an account of their stewardship. Have our hearts been chilled with cold infidelity, and the substance which the Lord has lent us to promote his glory, been withheld in time past? May we then now redeem our time, arise and trim our lamps. And may we bear in mind, that the gift of a poor widow's two mites is a sacrifice at which we shall be glad to look, in the great judgement day, when the divine Redeemer shall demand the credentials of our almsgiving, as evidence of our sincerity as his friends. Amen and Amen.
JOSEPH'S AFFECTION, SEASONABLY MANIFESTED, WORTHY
Genesis, xlv. 4.
I am Joseph, your brother. THE history with which these words are connected, is very curious and interesting; and the instruction which it affords, is manifold and important. Human depravity with some of its basest designs and most unnatural transactions, is delineated; and the nobleness of human uprightness is also recorded. Whilst we behold the varied intentions and schemes of men, we are presented with a wonderful exhibition of the marvelous providence of God, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Let some of the facts with which this subject is connected be noticed ; and serve as an introduction to this discourse, for the practical purposes of our social and religious life.
The term Joseph, is expressive of increase or addition. And when God remembered Rachel, that she bare a son, she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another
That son was Benjamin, or son of the right hand. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Joseph and Benjamin were both loved with peculiar affection by their father; for they were the sons of his beloved wife, Rachel. It appears that Joseph was a person of remarkable natural talents, of singular beauty, and piety; and probably these endeared him yet more to his father, who made him a coat af many colours. For this and his dreams, his brethren
Hiated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. This is the relation of the first dream of Joseph to his brethren: Behold, we were binding sheaves in
: the field and lo, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves stood round about and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said unto him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? and they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren: behold the sun and the moon, and the eleven stars, made obeisance to me. And his father rebuked him, and said, Shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren, indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee, to the earth? And his brethren envied him, but his father observed the saying. From the event, it appears that their interrogations were the right interpretation of the dreams, of which they had some apprehension, especially the father. Shortly his . brethren devise to slay him. Reuben, in order to save his life, advises to cast him into a pit; but Judah persuaded them to sell him to the Ishmaelites; and they sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. The coat of many colours is dipt in the blood of a kid, and presented to the aged father a sad spectacle. But the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and the Lord made all that he did, to prosper in his hand. He escaped the share of a treacherous mistress, that he sinned not against his master nor his God, though his innocence was the occasion of his being cast into prison. Now they call upon Joseph to interpret the dream of the chief butler. In his dream there
appeared three branches on a vine, which budded, shot forth blossoms, and brought forth clusters of ripe grapes. Says Joseph, The three branches are three days, and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand after the former manner. The chief Haker's dream, was three white baskets on his head,