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by listening to his tale, and showing that you feel for bim under his affliction. There is another, and a very different way of proceeding, however, wbich we ought to avoid full as carefully as the unfeeling coldness I have described: that of flattering the passions of the sufferer. You have been injured, or have met with contempt and unkindoess; you tell me your story with many expressions of resentment; now I might be tempted to indulge your feelings, by entering fiercely into the quarrel, dwelling upon every particular of the offence, and putting it in the worst light, and your passions would be soothed and gratified by my doing so, but would this be right? By no means. It would be adding fuel to the flame which ought to be extinguished.—Never let us please our neighbour at the expence of his real good; but, while we shew our fellow feeling for him in his trial, let us endeavour also to lead him to temperate views of the conduct of those who bave caused it.
V. 8. “Do not interpretations belong to God?" -The prisoners were probably thinking of some vain devices, by which it is customary among the Egyptians to discover the meaning of dreams; but Joseph sought to direct them to that God who “revealeth the deep and secret things.”
V. 9-13. Thus the chief butler's uneasiness was removed : and the event proved that the interpretation was of God. Now some of my readers may think, “ Then I am right in trusting in my dreams; some say it is all nonsense, and we are not to go by them, but I see they did in the Bible.” Yes: and why did they in the Bible, but because in dreams and visions God spake in time past, when his word was not yet written ? But now we are to trust only to the word of God.
V.14. This request shewed the confidence which Joseph felt in the truth of his interpretation, as well as the hope which naturally sprung up in his mind,
that the man to whom he had acted so friendly a part, would think on him, and shew him kind. ness.
V. 16—19. The chief baker's expectation of a favourable interpretation of his dream, because his companion's had been so, was very natural, for we are all inclined to believe good respecting ourselves rather than evil: but the contrary being given, sbewed Joseph's sincerity, and also distinguished him from a mere fortune teller, whose cry perpetually is, “ You'll be a lucky person.”
V. 20-22. We, in this country, have little idea what it is to live in a place where the king's will is law, and where the rich and great may oppress the poor, and punish their servants and dependants, without ever being called to account. Here were Joseph, the chief butler, and the chief baker, all cast into prison: the former without a trial, though innocent; and the two latter, it should appear, at the mere whim of Pharaoh, and were finally disposed of according to his pleasure, without consalting law or justice. In England such things cannot be, but there are many countries where they still occur every day. Then let us be thankful for rulers, who are “not a terror to good works but to the evil,” and let us shew our gratitude to them and to God, by being quiet and peaceable subjects, and rendering to all their due;" custom to whom custom is due, tribute to whom tribute, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour."
V. 23. “ Yet did not the chief butler," &c.Such is the way of the world-forgetting, when in prosperity, those who have befriended them in adversity: and even those who are not of the world, may, sometimes, when all things smile around them, be reproached with inattention to their suffering brethren. Then let us learn that, “it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.” “ Happy is he who hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” This Joseph experienced, as we shall see in our next.
T. B. P.
We may often trace what men call ill luck, to an idle disposition, “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
- Why are you discontented, when you see your next-door neighbour comfortably off, while your unfurnished shelves, and broken windows, and almost empty grate, look wretched and forlorn ? Is there not a cause for his children being better clothed than yours, his table better covered, and his house better furnished ? “Oh! yes," you answer, cause enough, he has good friends; and nobody ever looks upon me.' Nobody! I fear your memory is rather short. Whence came those frocks, which now hang in tatters upon your two little girls ? and where did your wife get her cloak? which, old and soiled as it looks, was new the beginning of last winter?-have you forgotten the stranger who pitied you, and helped you so much? -Now do not be offended, if I say, that the real reason why those, who know you, are not much inclined to help you, is, because you will not help yourself. When you get a job, you take two days to do the work of one-of course, then, people will rather employ a more industrious man, if one is to be found when you hear of a place for your boy, you think to-morrow will do very well to see after it; and when you apply, some one else has got it: when you are out of work, you run to the parish, instead of enquiring all round, and exerting yourself to get employment. And your wife and children are much like yourself. Their clothes drop off for want of a stitch. When a new thing is given them, it is always on, because they will not take the trouble to pat a patch on the old : and they leave the work to the end of the week, which should be done at the beginning—then Saturday's business is to be done on Sunday; and, if it were not, they would not be seen at the school, or at church, because they have nothing decent to go in. Thus it fares ill with the soul, as well as the body. And though Fou would not be without a Bible in the house on any account,” yet it is scarcely ever read, beCause you cannot take the trouble; your wife has not time; and the children cannot read-you " never could afford to pay their schooling, at least not long enough to make them scholars."
You cannot deny all this.—Then complain no longer of ill luck, and want of friends ; but be your own friend, and your children's friend, by setting them an example of honest industry from this time, and making them do what they are capable of. Never forget this short saying, “as a man soweth, so shall he also reap;" and remember, it applies to spiritual, as well as temporal concerns : of both it may be said, “ the soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing."
T. B. P.
EXTRACT FROM A SERMON ON CONFIRMATION.
(Continued from p. 294.)
This do in remembrance of me. 5. Lastly, in the address of the Bishop, you were exhorted to embrace every opportunity of receiving the sacrament of the Lord's supper. With this exhortation I hope and trust that many of you have already determined in your own minds to comply, and that you are anxious to prepare yourselves to celebrate your Redeemer's death with becoming seriousness. In this place, the Lord's supper is administered every month, and it will rejoice us to see many of you draw near with faith, and receive it to your comfort. If you feel a want of instruction and direction, we have to request, that you will come and make known your wishes openly and freely to your ministers. In the mean time, for information on this subject, I would recommend you to read those parts of the gospels in which the institution of the Lord's supper is re. corded, the communion service in the prayer book, -and the latter part of the church catechism. Indeed, better instruction, or fuller information can hardly be given, than that contained in the catechism. He who understands this, understands all that is essential respecting the Lord's supper. You there learn that the Lord's supper was ordained in commemoration of Christ's death; that, when devoutly received, it is a means of strengthening and refreshing the soul for its Christian warfare;and that the proper preparation for it consists, in repentance for past sin,-in a sincere and stedfast purpose to lead a new life for the time to come,in a lively faith in Jesus Christ,-and in charity and good will to mankind.—Great and awful is the number of those who neglect this sacred ordinance of our religion ;-and one cannot but fear that old persons will instil into young ones, and parents communicate to their children, those scruples and objections, by which they themselves are deterred from appearing at the Lord's table. Some time ago, I distributed among my congregation, a paper in which some of the common pleas for neglecting the Lord's supper are considered,--and the terrible sentence of eating and drinking damnation cleared op and explained :--that paper I shall be glad to put