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strengthens us with might in the inner man. The testimony of all the saints of old, the experience of all living, confirm the sure declarations of the sacred word itself, that it is good for us to wait upon God, that if we draw nigh unto him, he will draw nigh unto us, and that in the use of appointed means and ordinances, he will come unto us and bless us.
Thus confirmed in his purpose and assured of the presence and protection of God, Jacob with his family at length arrived safe in the land of Egypt, and by Joseph's direction proceeded into Goshen, a part of the country the most suitable for their occupation as shepherds. Thither Joseph hastened to meet his father, and a most affectionate and affecting meeting it was: "he fell on his father's neck, and wept on his neck a good while." And Israel spake the words which I have already quoted, and said, "Now let me die, since I have seen thy face,
because thou art
yet alive." Thus happy in each other were the father and the son after so long an absence and under such painful circumstances.
But measures must be taken for their establishment and safety. Therefore Joseph went and told Pharaoh of the arrival of his family in Goshen. He also instructed some of them to speak of themselves in such a manner as might induce the king to allow them to settle there. This they did, and the desired permission was freely given them. them. And then a circumstance followed which led to the question and answer in our text. Joseph brought his father to Pharaoh, and set him before him. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. This was suitable to his age and character, and a proof of his gratitude and good will. It is what every aged man of God may do even to his superior in rank if his inferior in years, and was kindly received by this powerful king. Struck with his venerable appearance and the piety of his words and manner, Pharaoh enquired into his age, and the question called forth that remarkable answer which I have read to you, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have
not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."
This answer of the patriarch is not more remarkable than it is useful, and it may present us with very important instruction. Let us therefore now, in the second place, endeavour to consider the various particulars of it.
1. He speaks of his life, first, as a pilgrimage. Is not this the very view in which we should regard our own lives? This world is not our rest; here we have no continuing city; we cannot take up our fixed abode in it, and say here will I dwell, and I will journey no further. No: whether we will or no, we are passing on, we are on our way to another country, and we cannot alter this our condition. What then is our wisdom? That we sit loose to all the things of earth, and set our hearts upon that other country which is to determine all our toil and travel here. No pilgrim to the holy land ever burned with such desire to reach the place to which his Vows were bent, as we should desire to reach
city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." The holy scriptures themselves tell us that such is the genuine effect of this view of human life upon those who entertain it, and that they who confess" that they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth" thereby "declare plainly that they seek a country," and not such a one as this, but "they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly, wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city." Brethren, there is a resting place, a termination of our way, which may well excite our most ardent longings to attain it. It is not the land to which, in days of superstitious zeal, so many pilgrimages were made, it is not the land where our Saviour was born, where he died, and whence he ascended unto heaven: but it is that very heaven itself to which he went, and where he now lives and reigns. Thither our pilgrimage should tend; and the posture of our minds should be that of men who have their loins girded, and their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand: and
we should be patiently and perseveringly, zealously and ardently, pursuing our way to it. Who, with an object before him that interests his heart, or a place that contains all that is dear, stops longer on his way than to take needful rest and refreshment to enable him to proceed? Oh! that we could catch a pilgrim's spirit, a pilgrim's hope, and set our affections on things above, and not on things of the earth. Oh that we too could look upon ourselves as strangers and pilgrims here, and be wholly occupied in "journeying to the place of which God hath said that he will give it to us," a place where our home is, where our treasures are, where rest awaits us, where the presence of God shall be seen, and the glory of Christ participated.
2. The patriarch speaks next of his life as made up of days. The days of the years of his pilgrimage is an expression repeated by him again and again. Our years are made up of days, and in the retrospect of life they appear but as such. But those days themselves are made up of moments, and each one as it flits away makes the number