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man's spiritual salvation "is ordered in all things," and rendered as sure as the temporal salvation of the house of Israel was in the scheme which we have noticed ?
Joseph's brethren did not believe that they, their wives and their little ones were all to be fed from the bounty of him whom they had so cruelly treated and sold into Egypt. But what power had their ignorance and unbelief to frustrate the divine plan in which their welfare was secured ? It is true, they could not enjoy a confidence in their brother until they knew him and were assured of his forgiveness; but he was as truly their brother and friend during their ignorance and unbelief as he was after he had made himsell known to them. Is it not equally true, that Jesus is the sinner's friend and Saviour as truly during the season of ignorance and unbelief as he is after faith is given?
The name of Joseph in Egypt was synonymous with bread, it was synonymous with life; and in no other name was there any confidence. All power in Egypt was committed into the hands of Joseph, there was no other name given whereby the life of the people could be saved. Is not all this true in spirit respecting the name of Jesus, is it not synonymous with Saviour? Is not this the bread of God which came down from heaven, and gave life to the world?
In his wise and gracious appointment, the God of heaven gave life to millions in Joseph before they were born; "and this is the record that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” This life was the life of the world from the beginning. This was our life before we came into this world, and the unborn ages to come are equally entitled to all its blessings.
The envy, the hatred, the deadly enmity of Joseph's brethren towards him, could do no more than was necessary to promote his glory and advance him in the way of the divine appointment. So all the cruel envy, hatred and persecution practised on the blessed Jesus, by his enemies, only advanced him towards that glory that during eternal ages will continue to brighten
and beautify the rational creation of God. As we may notice this subject in part in our next lecture, which will be on the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, we may be brief.
How tender are the words of Joseph to those who had hated him without a cause :
6 Come near to me I pray you.” This is the language of the blessed Jesus in the Gospel of his grace. He speaks to every sinner, saying, coine near to me I pray you.”
The apostle says " we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God; for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
As we have seen that the blessing which came upon the head of Joseph, was in all respects, as large and rich as could be desired, may we not believe with confidence, that the Redeemer will as fully “see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied ?" If in room of that most interesting account of the humble submission of all Joseph's enemies to him, we were informed that three only were ever brought to repentance, and to be humble before him, and also to receive of his bounty, could we consider his reward to be equal to what the present account makes it? Would it be possible, in this case to see how his dreams were fulfilled ? His sheaf stood upright, and all his brethren's sheaves made obeisance to it. The sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars made obeisance unto him. With less than the submission of all could these heaven-inspired dreams have fully come to pass ? With all this was he blessed, and blessed in the sweet enjoyment of a forgiving spirit, and in the victory that spirit gained over the affections of his brethren.
Moreover, bountifully blessed in his liberal bestowments on his dependant brethren. - They were all blessed in him, but he was the most blessed of all: for “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Thus we believe, that with less than the reconciliation of all men to Jesus, the faithful word of all God's holy prophets since the world began, who have spoken of the restitution of all things, can never be fulfilled. Nor can Jesus
see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied with less
Blessed were the people that heard tne joyful ti-
THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST.
MATTHEW, xii. 31, 32.
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to
Our Saviour spake the words of our text in his reply to the Pharisees, who said of him, “ this fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils."
The circumstance which led the Pharisees to speak as we have just noticed was the following. There was brought unto Jesus one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
And all the people were amazed, and said, is not this the son of David ? That is, is not this man who cast out devils and works so many miracles the Messiah or Christ of whom the law and the prophets have spoken ? As the Pharisees were bitterly opposed to Jesus, this exclamation from the people gave them great uneasiness, for as much as the people were in favor of Jesus, so much they must be in opposition to the Pharisees. In order, therefore, to prevent the people from believing in Jesus, the Pharisees said that he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.
It seems that the miracles of Jesus were so evident, so open, so undisguised, that his keenest eyed enemies found no chance of success with the people by denying the facts of the miracles; they must, therefore, de
ceive the people by some other means.
In the case of the miracle wrought on the man that was born blind, they seemed to doubt the fact of his having been born blind; but having called his parents and received their testimony, they were compelled to believe the fact ; but they said to the man to whom sight had been given, “ give God the praise, we know that this man is a sinner.” It was contended, that as this miracle was performed on the sabbath day, he who wrought it could not be of God. If the Pharisees could persuade the people that Jesus was a sinner, notwithstanding all the miracles which he did, they were sure that they would not believe that he was the Messiah promised. But it seems that the people had discernment enough to raise the question, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ?” This question must receive some sort of an answer; and almost any thing would do that superstition would countenance, for the common people supposed that these Pharisees and learned doctors of the law, being godly people and of deep discernment must know.
When, therefore, their wisdom suggested that the miracles of Jesus were effected by the agency of the prince of the devils, it was by no means difficult for the people to give credit to the opinion, for they were already fixed in the superstitious notions of devils.
The declaration, that Jesus cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, was a declaration directly against the spirit and power by which the miraacle was effected. In reply to this the Saviour reasoned in his usual, natural, plain and energetic manner, as follows: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else, how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except