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more lasting than any which his forefathers had yet pronounced," for the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills." To see how far the promised blessing had been given when the tribes were settling in the land of Canaan, look at the 17th chapter of Joshua, 14th verse. And we have already observed how great this tribe became in later times. In 1 Chron. we find the birthright was Joseph's; and accordingly he had (as the law of the Jews directed, Deut. xxi. 17.) a double portion among his brethren. The land allotted him was in a remarkably fruitful part of the country, and so situated (part of it lying on the sea coast) that he had "the blessings of the deep," as well as "the blessings of the heaven above,” a due proportion of sunshine and rain.
If we reflect as we ought to do, we cannot help admiring the work of God in the whole history of Joseph and his brethren. But, if we consider farther, we shall see that many of the characters in the Old Testament were types or figures of that great Saviour, who was revealed to us in the New Testament. In the instance of Joseph, we may see how, in many respects, he was a type of the Saviour, who came so many hundred years afterwards.
V. 29--13. Jacob had already given directions to Joseph, privately, respecting his burial; but he here repeats his charge to all his sons, to ensure what he so much wished, and to satisfy them all that Joseph was obeying his command, in removing him from Egypt to the burying-place of his fathers. Then having delivered to them all that God had revealed to him of the future, and uttered his last request, he laid himself down quietly to die. "He was gathered unto his people." This was said of Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac at their death, as well
* Chap. xlvii. 29–32.
Remarks on the forty-ninth Chapter of Genesis. 341
as of Jacob: they were gone to the multitude of their forefathers. What beautiful composure there is in the death of this aged saint! "I am to be gathered unto my people :" and when he had finished his directions, he laid himself down and died. Here is no agitation, no tumult, his warfare was accomplished, his race was run, he had finished the labours of the day, and, now the evening was come, he entered into rest, he sat down with Abraham and Isaac in the kingdom of God, he was welcomed to the joy of his Lord. Aged Reader, if you are a Christian indeed, what an enviable state is yours! You stand upon the borders of your inheritance, there is but one step between you and everlasting glory. Soon you will see God "face to face. Being delivered from the bondage of corruption, you will serve Him perfectly, whom, having not seen, you love; and you will join the holy and happy company of the redeemed, in praising for ever in heaven that God, whom it has been your delight and desire to serve upon earth.
There is one point in this prophecy, which very strikingly shews that it was not a parent's fondness, but the Spirit of God, which suggested these blessings. It is, that though Joseph was his father's favourite son, and though Jacob must have felt a father's pride in seeing his dignities and honours, and must have longed to promise him a continuance of them in his seed, he, nevertheless, foretold that the sceptre of dominion should be Judah's: he passed by his darling, to put the crown on the head of him whom God saw fit thus to exalt.
T. B. P.
LETTER FROM A YOUNG NATURALIST. MR. EDITOR,
Ir is my opinion that we lose a great deal of pleasure and profit only for want of a little thought; and that this is the case, even with many who are seriously disposed. I will tell you what I allude to in particular. We are surrounded by the works of a God, whose power and wisdom are infinite, whose mercy and goodness are unbounded. Addison tells us, in his beautiful hymn, that
"The spangled heavens, a shining frame
"The unwearied Sun from day to day
The work of an Almighty hand."
And he does indeed tell us the truth.
But are we
not apt to forget that we may and ought to learn the same pleasant and profitable lesson from every thing around us? And that the power, wisdom, and love of God are as fully displayed in the smallest insect as in the glorious Sun itself? Yet insects are disregarded by most people, and considered beneath their notice, while in reality there are very few things more worthy our attention, and that for many reasons. In the first place, they are so "fearfully and wonderfully made" that it must afford great pleasure to a thinking person to observe the beauty of their form, their curious habitations, and various modes of living. Secondly, God himself commands us, by the mouth of the wisest of men, to look for a lesson in morals and wisdom from insects: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Thirdly, we have a most comforting proof of His watchful Providence, when we see what care He takes of the smallest creatures that have life and feeling. And should not this strengthen our faith
Letter from a Young Naturalist.
in the promise of God to care for us, seeing that He careth for things of less consequence even than sparrows? Fourthly, the contemplation of the merciful designs and the wise arrangements of God, for the good of all His creatures, ought surely to fill us with love and gratitude, and call forth fresh praise and adoration, from "our lips, and produce them in our lives." And lastly, it should raise our ideas of the happiness of heaven, where we shall "see Him face to face," whose "favor is life, and whose loving kindness is better than life itself;" when we perceive how wonderfully
"Even these His lowest works, declare
If we did but view things in a right way, we should esteem it a happy lot, if our business required us to be out all day among the works of God; for it affords the best opportunity for meditating on God and on his works. God is in the garden and in the fields. What can be a more delightful feeling than to look at the works of God?
"To lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And who has better opportunities for the enjoyment of this feeling, than the pious labourer? With regard to insects, there is another consideration, which should induce us to study them a little. If parents would take the trouble to tell their children some of the entertaining facts which have been discovered concerning them, I think we should not see insects so often and so wantonly tortured. I always feel particularly anxious to prevent cruelty in children; for I do not consider the poor animals as the only sufferers, the children themselves suffer; for their hearts become hardened; and the evil of a hard heart who can tell? It causes the sincere Chris
tian many a severe struggle, and makes the repentance of a sinner tenfold more difficult!
I offer these ideas, Mr. Editor, as a hint how I think the subject ought to be improved, and the study of nature made pleasant and beneficial, especially for young people. Some of the following facts you may perhaps consider worth the attention of your readers; and the reflections on them, though they will not suit all tastes, may be acceptable to many, and may, at least, I trust be productive of some benefit.
Your obedient humble Servant,
Most people who live in the country know something about bees. Every little child can tell us what a lesson of diligence and industry we should learn from "the little busy bee," who "improves each shining hour." They know that the waxen cells, and the sweet honey they contain, are made by these active little creatures, who work so hard from morning till night all the summer long. But it is not to children alone that bees set an example; the oldest and wisest amongst us would do well to take a hint from them in many things. We are acquainted, for instance, with the astonishing way in which these little animals cling to their queen bee, following her wherever she goes, and showing their attachment in every possible manner. And is not this an example for us? Yet they are only guided by instinct, and we are exhorted by the word of God" to honour the king," and "to submit to the higher powers." Every one knows the shape of their cells, having most of them six sides, which is called hexagonal; and it is a curious fact, that the shape they have chosen, is that very one, which will take the least room, use the least wax, and yet