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bereaved of his comfort afterwards by the supposed loss of his beloved Joseph; terrified with the apprehenfion of losing Benjamin, distressed by a famine, and called away at an hundred and thirty years to a strange country when he was rather withing to be released from the burden of life; he whose days had been thus evil, now draws near to the end of his journey; he is before Pharaoh; but he is going to Abraham and Isaac, to inherit the promises made to them and to their seed. We shall by and by witness his departure, and see with what faith a Patriarch could die.
As Jacob blessed Pharaoh when he came in, so in like manner he blessed him when he went out ;-Nor would the king of Egypt despise the repeated blessing of this aged servant of God;
it was the prayer of Faith, the effettual fervent prayer of a righteous man which availeth much. You see how Pharaoh was rewarded for exalting Jofeph, and entertaining the family of Jacob; it drew down blessings up rr- his head; the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him --- and Egypt is preferved during a long season of famine, because it afforded a secure assylum to the posterity of Abraham.
Jacob is still the type of human nature; but infirm as our nature may be, it has God for its support; poor and vile and mean as it is, it has been ho-noured by the incarnation of the son: of God, who; to accomplish our falvation, became the son of man, the mystic son of Jacob, the true faviour of his brethren. Let us learn to think rafpe&fully of that nature of which he
partook, which he hath glorified, and exalted to the right hand of God: Let us consider the dignity of human nature; it is not what it feein: Man is not to be compared with the beasts that perish; like them he seemeth to die, but his hope is full of immortality; his body may wax old as doth a garment, but the more precious part of kis substance can never perish nor decay.
On this account do we regard an old man with reverence, because we look upon him as an immortal spirit going to God. The multitude of years should teach wisdom—and with the hoary head of age we expect to find a prudence and discretion, which weighs in the balance time and eternity; an experience, which forms a just judgment of the things of this present world; a pious resignation, which submits itself in humble confidence to the will of
God; and an holy faith, which relies on the divine promise for its recompence in the world to come. Such was the appearance of Jacob when he stood before Pharaoh. There is something in the presence of a venerable old man that fills us with awe. It reminds us of God, whom the scriptures represent as the Ancient of days. From beholding Jacob the servant of the living God, we naturally transfer our thoughts to the God whom Jacob served. Reflecting on the frailty and mortality of human life, as exemplified in the decaying frame of extreme old age, we console ourselves with the cternity and immutability of God. The human form, magnificent even in its ruins, betrays the stupendous workmanship of a divine architect; those shrivelled limbs shall bloom a. fresh, and the face of human nature
so deformed by the wintry blasts of this mortal life, fhall renew its lustre, never more to fade. There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease: Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground, yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. This corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this inortal fhall put on immortality.
We may each of us ask ourselves the question of Pharaoh to Jacob; I do not mean as to the
of tural life, but by way of enquiry and self-examination as to our growth and advancement in the divine life. In this fenfe How old art thou ? __ is a question that should make us turn our thoughts inwardly upon ourselves.