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enjoy. “He,' says the incomparable Dr. Goodwin, entered upon the kingdom and government of the world when man fell, and undertook to order all things in it; so as that a greater revenue of glory should in the end arise to God out of the confusions and sins of men in the world, and in the executions of divine resentments, and by providences meeting with men according to their own ways, than should have risen to God out of the state of innocency in a direct way. Infinite wisdom, power, providence, justice, patience, yea, all the glorious perfections of the divine nature, are shewn forth in Christ's administration; in his ordering all things, and the affairs of this sinful world. “ The Lord reigneth, though the earth be never so unquiet,” Psalm xcix. 1.'
Joseph, the son of Rachel, was Jacob's beloved son, the object of his peculiar care and delight; though his other sons had their hatred and envy drawn forth in consequence of it, as also on account of the dreams Joseph had dreamed, which he had related, which contained in them a mystical meaning. Joseph being seventeen, his father sends him from Hebron, where he now was and dwelt, to Shechem, which is said to be sixty miles, to visit his brethren. Before he came, they were removed from Shechem to Dothan, which some make to be four, others eight miles distant from it. His brethren upon the sight of him conspire to slay him ; but by the advice of Reuben, they agreed to cast him into a pit. He being come to them, they stripped him of his coat of many colours ; they cast him into a pit : after which, at the motion of Judah, they sold him to the Ishmaelites, who were going to Egypt, for twenty pieces or shekels of silver, which amounted to twenty-five shillings of our money. These Ishmaelites sell him to the Midianites, who conveyed him to Egypt, and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
Joseph may be considered a type of Christ, agreeably to the rule which the Jews themselves assented to, and their teachers taught them ; which was, that whatever eminent and extraordinary excellency was found in any of their ancestors, renowned in the old testament, or in the ceremonial law; all such foresignified the Messiah to come, as the perfection and centre of them. Joseph, his excelling holiness above his brethren, and his eminent advancement over them, was an apparent type of Christ. Joseph, sold to the Gentiles, was a Saviour to Jews and Gentiles ; so was Christ. Joseph, at the motion made by his brother Judah, one of the patriarchs, is sold for a slave, see Psalm cv. 17. for twenty pieces of silver : and Christ was sold by Judas, one of his apostles, for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. See Exod. xxi. 32. As Joseph was one separated, singled out by God, and sent by the co-operation of divine providence to save his father and his family from the famine coming on them ; so Christ was sent to save with present and everlasting salvation all his elect. As Joseph was beloved of his father ; so Christ is the Son of God's love, his beloved Son, in whom his soul delighteth.
Many and great were the domestic trials which befel Jacob. To be deprived of his son Joseph was very great and cutting affliction. His fourth son, Judah, being married to a Canaanitess, seems to have taken place before the rape committed on Dinah, when he was about thirteen or fourteen years old, by whom he had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. Er, Judah's first-born, when he was as may be conceived about thirteen or fourteen, was married to Tamar. It is said of him, that “ he did evil in the sight of the Lord ;" and as our Lord was to come out of Judah, so, as Ainsworth expresseth it, God would have no wicked man to be his progenitor; so that very soon after Er's marriage with Tamar he is cut off. It is said, " the Lord slew him.” Judah marrieth his second son, Onan, to Tamar, to the intent he might raise up seed to his brother, who, by his unnatural .act, frustrated the end of his marriage ; which most impious act hastened his speedy death by the hand of God. Judah sends Tamar, his daughter-in-law, to her father's house, where she remained without being given to Shelah, the remaining son of Judah, to wife; who in consequence of it, in disguise places herself in her father-in-law's way, who not knowing her, committed incest with her ; who upon it conceived and bare twins by him, whose names were Pharez and Zarab.
Ainsworth says, Judah, by his free confession of his sin when he was informed of it, and by his abstaining from all further evil with her, in this appeareth the true repentance of this patriarch. And though he was not in all likelihood above thirty years of age, yet we find no mention of any children he ever had more, but these two sons of Tamar, and Shelah his son, from which three only the families of Judah are reckoned, Gen. xlvi. 12. Numbers xxviii. 19, 20. 1 Chron. ii. 3, 4. Either he married not after this time, or God blessed him not with children any more. The genealogy of Christ is reckoned from Abraham, in the line of Isaac, in the line of Jacob, in the line of Judah, and the line of Pharez and Tamarhath the honour to be named in it. From whence it is to be observed, that the mystical headship which the elect have in Christ, secures their relation as his elect seed in that federal manner unto himself, that they can in no wise nor sense become the seed of the serpent the devil, though they are corrupt and degenerate as the offspring of fallen Adam. Also, the sins recorded concerning the twelve patriarchs, shew that Christ is the Saviour of sinners. Tamar, a Gentile, being recited in and mentioned in Christ's ancestry, declares him to be the common Saviour of the elect, both Jews and Gentiles.
It deserves peculiar attention, the providence which God exercised towards Jacob's family, which at this period of time was the seat where he had fixed liis church. He having foresignified to Abraham that his seed should sojourn in a strange land; to accomplish and bring about this, Joseph is sold into Egypt; he has the Lord's presence and blessing evidently with him. He is tempted by his mistress, who lusted after him; but he most stedfastly and honourably overcame her solicitations ; upon which, he is falsely accused by her
to her husband, who casts him into prison. The Jews reckon that he lived twelve months with his master, and twelve years in prison, thirteen years in all. During his abode in prison, he hears and interprets the dreams of the chief butler and baker, which interpretation received its accomplishment. Two years after which, Pharaoh has a remarkable dream, portending the plenty and famine which were to come on the land. His magicians not being able to interpret these dreams; the chief butler remembering Joseph, recommends him as the only one to the king, who sends for him out of prison, and relates to him his dreams, which Joseph interprets as mystically and figuratively signifying seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine. He gave, at the same time, advice what was convenient to be done. Having proposed a scheme which was approved by the sovereign and his ministers, he is appointed as the proper person to execute it: and being made viceroy over the kingdom, he receives from the king a new name, even this, Zaphnath-paaneah, and a wife, who bare him two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, before the famine came. As Joseph was cast into prison, and afterwards suddenly advanced; so Christ is said by the prophet to be taken from prison and from judgment: he having suffered, died, arose, and ascended, and was crowned with glory and honour at his Father's right hand. Joseph in his advanced state forgives ; so Christ on the cross, and when he first came to heaven, as a testimony thereof, he converted three thousand of the Jews that had crucified him.
The famine came, as Joseph had predicted, after the seven plenteous years, which were felt, it being sore in all lands which lay near and were contiguous with Egypt, as Syria, Arabia, Palestine, and Canaan, which had been vexed with a famine in Abram's time, see Gen xii. 10, and again in Isaac's time, and now in Jacob's time; to show that the Lord is pleased to try and exercise the faith and patience of his saints with the same outward common calamities which befall the world. Jacob hearing there was corn in Egypt, sends ten of his sons down thither to buy food. Upon sight of them, Joseph recollects his dreams which he had related to them in the land of Canaan, which now began to have their fulfilment: but they knew not him, it being about twenty-two years since they had seen him, and then he was young; now he was clothed as a prince, and spake the Egyptian language. He addressed them very roughly; enquired very diligently concerning the condition of his aged parent; he orders their sacks to be filled with corn, their money to be restored, and contrives within himself how to get down to him his beloved brother Benjamin, and his father : to accomplish which, he detains Simeon, whom he bound before their eyes, and kept till they returned again from their father to him. The nine brethren return to Jacob; they relate all that had befallen them, and how the governor of Egypt insisted on having Benjamin brought to him ; which together, with the return of their money in their sacks' mouth, very greatly distressed him and them. But the continuance of the famine causes Jacob to move it to his sons that they go down to Egypt again to buy corn ; which they utterly refuse, except Benjamin, who was now thirty, is sent with them. With much reluctance Jacob complies; and they were friendly and cordially received and entertained by Joseph, who in policy makes an entertaienmnt for them, and also an experiment of his brethren's regard and affection to Benjamin. And afterwards discovers and makes himself known to them, saying, “ I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt;" which raised a variety of affections in them, and broke forth in a torrent of most passionate affections from him to them. Joseph's brethren bowed to him. And of Christ it may be said, o all shall bow to him." Zaphnath-paaneah, the name which Pharaoh gave Joseph, is expounded by some, the man to whom secrets are revealed ;' by others, a finder out of secret things;' by Jerome, the Saviour of the world. As Joseph's exaltation when he was about thirty began ; so our Lord at this age of thirty began his administration openly. See Luke iii. 23.
Pharaoh understanding that Joseph's brethren were come to him, is greatly pleased, and expressed his desire that Joseph's father might come and settle in Egypt. Joseph sends his brethren back to fetch his father to him; he provides them with provisions and carriages to bring him down, and all that belonged unto him. Jacob's sons returning and acquainting their father with all these things, he at first did not believe them; but upon sight of the waggons sent from Egypt to convey him, his spirit revived, and determines to go and see his son. He leaves Canaan, and descends into Egypt. Having journeyed from Hebron to Beersheba, which is said to be twenty miles, he offered sacrifices, and is favoured with a vision of God, who encourages him to pursue his journey, saying, “ I will go down with thee into Egypt,” which was to prove a furnace of affliction to his offspring : “and I will bring thee up again;" a promise made not only to Jacob in his person, but to Jacob in his posterity. He returned not out of Egypt in his person, but as the father of a numerous posterity. He that would go down with the root, and would afterwards bring up the branches, would most certainly be with them in all their afflictions. This journey of Jacob's was in the one hundred and thirtieth year of his life, see Gen, xlvii. 9 ; and two hundred and fifteen years after the promise made to Abram, Gen. xii. 4 ; and in the year of the world, according to Ainsworth, 2298. The first king of Egypt was Mizraim, the son of Ham ; he is by the Greeks called Osiris, supposed to be Seostris by some, in whose time Abraham went into Egypt. After him, Typhon, an usurper, succeeded.
Orus, the son of Osirus, or Mizraim, was restored to the kingdom by his uncle Lehabim, the Pharaoh who was the advancer of Joseph ; who was succeeded by Amasis Theomis, or Amos, and in his time it was that Jacob went down into Egypt.
(To be continued.)
ON RECONCILIATION. The doctrine of reconciliation is very comprehensive, for it involves various parts of the economy of grace. Those who are reconciled, must have been on terms of friendship, although something has occurred that has injured both parties; the superior not having received what in equity he was entitled to demand from his dependent subject. Man has, by sinning against God, proclaimed war against him; and the principle of enniity that exists in him against his righteous Governor, urges him to every excess that degenerate nature is capable to practice. For the seeds of vice grow, and they are seen in all their forms in the conduct of the intelligent part of the creation : yet Almighty God has wisely formed a plan, by which he has maintained'his just rights, viridicated his own character, and mercifully provided one for his offspring. The love of God is the impulsive cause of all his actions; he can do nothing but what his love for his own perfection is discovered. When he acquired, by exerting his power, a creature in union with one of the Persons in his essence, he evinced his love towards his forthcoming family, who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The eternity of Jehovah's love towards the elect, is a truth that cannot be suspected ; and it has a considerable influence on their minds and conduct, while passing through this unfriendly world to the land of perfect peace and purity. We may glance at the doctrine of reconciliation in three distinct senses ; viz. something done for us something wrought in us; and something discovered by us. In these distinct views of the case we perceive the love of God towards us.
The essence of God, and the persons peculiar to his own mode of existence, is eternal ; therefore we read of the “mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” This purpose is the decisive reason why it became necessary that Christ, and all creatures, should exist. Besides this, we are informed in the scriptures, that a covenant of grace and redemption was framed and agreed upon in heaven, for the glory of God and the salvation of the church. Some of the terms of it we may briefly enumerate. God purposed to make man in his own likeness, and to place under law subject to himself. From among the mass of creatures which lay before God, he chose an innumerable number in the person of his Son, as their head of grace. “ He was brought forth from everlasting, and his delights were with the sons of men.”
In VOL. VIII. -No. 92.]