Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

however, though man may act as he pleases, yet God overrules all things so as to bring about his own purposes. God, in this instance, had a plan in view. He had made a promise to Abraham, the grandfather of Jacob, who was the father of Isaac, that from him the Saviour should come, for that 6 in his feed all the fami. lies of the earth should be blessed.” In fulfil, ment of this promise, Isaac and Jacob were born. I should here remark, by the way, thạt to Jacob the name of Israel was given; so that when the Scriptures speak of the Israelites, it is the same thing as if they said the children of Jacob. Of these there were twelve tribes, every one of the fons of Israel becoming the father of a whole tribe. These Ifraelites, after a time, were brought out from Egypt, having been very ill treated there by king Pharaoh, and they became a great and famous people; for God wrought many miracles in the midst of them, and gave them the law of the ten command. ments, and set up his worship among them, and feparated them from the rest of the world, which continued in ignorance of God and of the scrip. tures. It was from these Israelites (or Jews, as they were afterwards called,) that the promised Saviour came. And, biefied be God, this Sa. viour is not the Saviour of the Jews only, but he is now preached to us, “ upon whom the ends of the world are come." How important then is the story of Joseph in this view. It was a.necessary link in the great chain of Pro

vidence, and this chain reaches from the be. Iginning of the world, even to the end of it. di Nor is it with the life of Joseph only, that the

providence of God concerns itself. Your life and mine, and all the various events of it, great and small, from our birth unto our dying hour, are equally under the divine direction. The fame God who sent the Ishmaelites to the pit's mouth, when Joseph was so near being left to

perish there, the same God who gave Joseph the favor in the fight of Potiphar his master, and

who afterwards delivered him out of prison, and nud made him ruler over all Egypt, appoints also to

us the bounds of our habitation, and orders our whole lot in life. If then, like Jofeph, we are serving God, let us not fear to trust him; and though we should fall occasionally into ftraits, as Joseph did, yet let us hope, when the end of our days shall come, and when the whole of our story shall be told, that we shall be able to trace the Lord's goodness and mercy even in the most afflictive circumstances of our lives, as we have now been doing in the case of Jofeph.

Nor let us wonder at the vast confusion and disorder which we sometimes see in the world in general. Let not our faith fail us, if now and then the wicked should seem every where to prosper, and the whole company of the righte

ous should come under adversiiy. The history int of Joseph shews, that it is the plan of Provi.

dence sometimes to withdraw, in appearance, als protection and favor from his own fervants, and to put off, to a future season, the evil day which is coming upon finners. Soon, however, the time will come, when all that has been crooked shall be made straight, and all that has been dark in Providence, shall be cleared up.

The story of Joseph, as we also observed, is but a small part of scripture; it fills but a few pages of that large and comprehensive volume, being connected, however, with events which go before, and with those which follow after; and just fo, methinks, the history of this whole globe of ours is but like a single leaf in a great volume, and it cannot be fully understood until the dealings of God with all his various crea. tures shall be made known, until the whole book of his providence shall be opened, and until all those events, both past and future, with which God's government of this world may be connected, shall be fully revealed. Let us wait, therefore, in the exercise of faith and hope, remembering, as the Apostle says, that while we are here below, “ We know but in part; but i when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.--For now ! we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face. Now we know in part; but then shall we know, even as also we are known,"

THE

EXPLANATICN.

OF THE

TEN COMMANDMENTS.

PART II.

FIFTH COMMANDMENT. THONOR thy father and thy mother, that

thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.”

In the New Testament, it is written, 66 Chil. dren obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” We there also read, that our Saviour himself, when he was twelve years old, was subject to his parents, and in one of the following verses it is added, that " Jesus encreased in wisdom and stature, and in lavor with God and man.”

There is hardly any sighi more pleasing than that of a little child honoring his parents, listening attentively to all that is said to him, running quickly to fulfil their wishes, and being thus " fubject" or obedient to them, after the example of Christ his Savionr. And on the other hand, there are few lights more meloncholy and unpromising than that of a child who is obfti. nate and disobedient, who does not honor hi father, nor give ear to the voice of his mother but must be spoken to, again and again, and who can hardly be brought, even by stripes, to do the thing which is commanded him.

The ill behaviour of some children, and es. pecially of very young ones, may be considered as greatly owing to a fault in their parents; for the same law which says “ Children obey your parents," implies, that parents ought to teach them obedience. In many places children seem to rule the house; the most important conversa. tion is interrupted by their unseasonable noise; every one is to wait their time, and all things are rendered subject to their humours.

Now this is just the contrary to what it should be. God has ordained, that parents shall direct, and children shall obey. He has established in the world, a plan of subordination, and that person who begins life by rebelling against his.

parents, in defiance of this Commandment of · God, will be too likely to prove a bad subject,

a violent master, an ill-tempered husband, a troublesome friend, and an undesirable connection in all the later periods of his life; whereas, a young man or woman, having for a course of years fulfilled faithfully and affectionately, and in the fear of God, every filial duty, and especially having done it under trying circumstances, has given one of the best proofs that can be afforded, of a disposition to attend to all the other obligations of relative life, and deserve to be

w this is inect to their mine, and all

« AnteriorContinuar »