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Joseph is a fruitful bough; the archers have sorely
grieved him, and shot at him; but his bough abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob: from thence is the Shepherd, the
Stone of Israel. Gen. xlix. 22—24. JOSEPH is an eminent type of the Messiah : let us trace the resemblance. Joseph was in a peculiar manner beloved by his father; CHRIST is the dear Son of his Father's love. Jacob made for Joseph a coat of many colours; God prepared a body in human nature for CHRIST, filled and adorned with the various gifts and graces of the Spirit without measure. Joseph was hated by his brethren, and they could not endure to think he should have the dominion over them; the Jews, Christ's brethren according to the flesh, hated him, and would not have him to reign over them. Joseph was sent by his father a long journey to visit his brethren, and know their welfare; CHRIST was sent from the bosom of the Father, to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Joseph's brethren conspired to take away his life; the Jews said, “ This is the heir, let us kill him;" and they consulted to take away his life. Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver at the motion of Judah; and CHRIST by one of the same naine, was sold for thirty pieces. Joseph was delivered to strangers, and CHRIST to the Gentiles. Joseph being reckoned dead by his father, and yet alive, may be an emblem of CHRIST's death and resurrection from the dead.
O Jesus! I in Joseph see
What things were gain to me, those I counted loss
for Christ; yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things; and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in
him, as my righteousness. Phil. iii. 7-9. This was the life and constant mind of St. Paul. The words “ In Him," “ in CHRIST," " in the Lord," “ I am CHRIST's," &c., occur continually. I choose them also for my staff, and my song in the wilderness; they shall be my great tower, my strong fortress, my sweet paradise, mine only element and life. Here may I take up mine abode for ever, and the Lord keep me stedfast! "It is good for us to be here ;" for this is Pisgah, the mount of the Lord, where Jesus, being transfigured, reveals his glory to his disciples. Here we should build our tabernacle; and here may death find me at last. Help me, O thou Spirit of the Lord, to be a true believer in Christ Jesus, not having mine own righteousness," nor trusting to anything that I have done or am able to do, but casting away as worthless all that the world calls excellent, I may cleave to CHRIST and be found in him, O may I be able to make CHRIST my resting-place and my refuge at all times,
Had I ten thousand gifts beside,
And build on him alone;
But Christ the corner-stone.
And holiness complete;
And all his justice meet.
The Penitent's Prayer.—What must I do to be
saved ? Acts xiv. 30. Divine Answer.- Believe on the Lord Jesus, and
thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts xvi. 31. Faith is not a confidence of our own making, but it is God that works it in a broken and repenting heart. This faith purifies the heart, crucifies the old Adam, overcomes the world, changes us in heart, mind, and all the powers and faculties of the soul, which is the true Protestant faith ; and not that we only think and say, “I believe." By this we must try our faith. All true believers have received it, under a sense of godly sorrow, and with brokenness of heart. If we feel something of this, and apply to CHRIST by prayer for faith and grace, we have a sure mark of faith already; for if we did not believe we would not pray. And he that daily applies to the blood of CHRIST for cleansing, has true faith and hope already, though he is but weak, and does not taste any joy. The Lord grant to all our souls that repentance unto life, and that faith in Jesus Christ which are the såving graces of the Spirit, that in due time, when the end is come, we may receive a crown of glory to wear for ever in the presence of the Prince of Life, and of God himself.
Ye dying souls, that sit
In darkness and distress,
To Christ's recovering grace.
Their thankful tongues shall own,
In Christ, the Lord alone.
And see their guilt forgiven;
And take the saints to heaven.
Abstain from all appearance of evil, that ye may
be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the
world. Phil. ii. 15. See also Eph. v, 8. BE as the sun in the firmament—he giveth light to all
1; so let your light shine before all men. By doing so some may walk in it, and God will be glorified. Be no slaves to the flesh, but on the contrary, shew a willing and holy service to the most high God! Bless those that are against you. Lord, I desire to shine in good works, the genuine fruits of faith ; therefore will I give myself up to thee, to purge me, that I may bring forth more fruit. Looking upon myself as thine, I would not only abstain from evil, but from the very appearance of it. Some are satisfied with knowing they are blameless, and care not what others think of them; but for the Gospel's sake I desire to appear blameless before others, lest some offence should come through me; which, as far as in me lieth, I would prevent. Thy children, O God, are as lights in the world. O pour thy grace, that heavenly oil, into my lamp, and so trim it that it may give light unto all around, that they may be led to glorify thy holy name.
O Lord, my stubborn will subdue;
Dispel my darkness by thy light;
All things displeasing in thy sight.
My spirit, Lord, be one with thine;
Till in me thy full likeness shine.
Let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let
him takeof the water of life freely. Rev. xxii. 17. IF there be a sense of sin, and want of spiritual blessings, and a willingness to be saved by grace, though you know not that it is CHRIST's secret power that makes you willing, yet being athirst and willing, you are invited : do not puzzle and perplex yourselves with such questions as these : Am I elected ? Have I a right ? Am I prepared ? but come upon the invitation, and take pardon, peace, righteousness, and every Gospel blessing, as free gifts to the needy. If one ready to perish with hunger and thirst, were invited to a feast and assured of welcome, and he should stand hesitating, Have I a right ? Am I worthy? would it not seem preposterous in him thus to demur, wher his necessities were pressing upon him, and a plentiful table before him? The weary, the hungry,
the thirsty, the guilty, the worthless, the vilest, are invited to believe in Jesus, who came only to save sinners, and hath assured them in his word, that those who thus come to him, “ he will in nowise cast out."
The Spirit in the word,
And in his motions cries,
And come for large supplies.
Is welcome to receive
That heaven will freely give.”
We bless thy gracious call;
Our Saviour and our AU.