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Filial Affection.

Filial Affection.

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Gen. 1, 10, " And he (Joseph) made a mourning for his father seven
days." 11

Gen. 1, 10, " And he (Joseph) made a mourning for his father seven
days." 11

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FILIAL AFFECTIO.BY I . L. MOCATTA.Gen. 1, 10, " And he (Joseph) made a mourning for his father sevendays." 11LOVE and reverence for their parents form a distinguishingtrait in the character of the patriarchs, and perhaps there isno more prominent instance than that found in Gen. xxxi, 53.Although long years had elapsed since Jacob had seen hisvenerable sire, yet he neither knew nor could conceive anymore sacred or effective oath wherewith to bind himself when making a covenant with Laban, than to " swear by thefear of his father Isaac". Deeply must his youthful mindhave been penetrated with filial affection and veneration forthese feelings to have remained in their full integrity, andmaintained so powerful a sway after a separation of manyyears' duration.But, turning to the virtuous and warm-hearted JOSEPH,we can hardly suppose that his heart was animated withless firm or ardent sentiments towards a parent so fond andworthy as Jacob. Richly endowed with every noble andexalted feeling, Joseph's generous nature must have beenmoved to its very depth by the parental affection lavishedon him during his tender years ; and, as the whole tenor of his after conduct amply proves, fervently did he love thatfather who had so loved him. This may be briefly instanced.o sooner had Joseph made himself known to his brethrenin Egypt, than he put the all-anxious query, " Doth myfather yet live" ? Knowing they had been capable of a longcourse of deceit towards their aged parent, how dare he im-plicitly trust to their representation and smooth-mouthedassurances that " the old man lived". Hopes and fears246 FILIAL AFFECTIO.
alternately welled up in his heart, and, at the bare thoughtthat the divulgence of his secret would bring with it somecertain knowledge regarding his aged sire, " he wept aloud",totally overpowered by the acuteness of feelings long, longpent up. This first emotion indulged, he lost no time inordering the early dispatch of his relatives to their homewith the news of his high elevation, at the same time sendingsuch gifts as would conduce to his beloved parent's comfort,together with promises well suited to rejoice his heart. Andthus he addressed his brothers : "Haste ye and go up to myfather, and say unto him, thus saith thy son Joseph : Godhath made me lord of all Egypt, come down unto me, tarrynot, and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and therewill I provide for thee. And ye shall tell my father of allmy glory, and of all that ye have seen, and shall make hasteand bring down my father hither".* After the accomplish-ment of this first duty, fraternal love obtained the ascendency,and " he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept.Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them".The next step taken by Joseph who could not allow either hishigh station, or the duties incumbent thereon, to stay him inthe filial respect wherewith he delighted to honour his fatherwas to hasten to Goshen himself, so that he might, at theearliest possible moment, greet that revered sire, from whomhe had been parted no less than twenty-two years. Andwhat a meeting it was ! The loving son, completely over-come by emotion, " fell on Jacob's neck, and wept thereona good while". What happiness, what bliss, thus again toembrace one so loving and so beloved ! In melting tearsalone could the profound sentiment of filial love findadequate expression. But acts were speedily to follow.Pride of office and of rank had never found a resting-placein Joseph's heart ; but great was his filial pride in one soestimable, so good, and so venerable as Jacob, and whichhe openly testified by presenting him to the King imme-* Gen. xlv, 9.
FILIAL AFFECTIO. 247diately after his own warm and honourable reception. True,his parent followed an avocation which, in the eyes of theEgyptians, " was an abomination", being but a shepherd ;yet what of that ? If Joseph had deserved well of the King,it was now he would claim his reward ; and well preparedwas Pharaoh to accord it, for not only did he receive Jacobmost graciously, promising him the ' ' best of the land", butfurther bowed before him for a blessing ! Thus did thisloving son delight to honour, and see honoured, hisvenerable and venerated sire.ow, aged as was Jacob at this period, yet for no lessthan seventeen years had Joseph the satisfaction of contri-buting to the comfort and happiness of his long-lost parent ;but the time at length arrived when Jacob was to be gatheredto his fathers, and, in the several interesting and patheticscenes which immediately preceded his demise, Josephzealously fulfilled every duty which love and reverencecould dictate. We find him visiting the sick room of hisparent to learn his wishes, and even promising on oath theirfulfilment ; then shortly afterwards he returned with hischildren, to obtain for them that benediction which he him-self held in such high estimation ; finally, in company withhis brothers, he drew nigh to the mortal couch to receive afond parent's parting blessing, and gather strength from hisaffectionately consoling words and prophetic promises. Itwas, however, after the decease of Jacob that the apparentstruggle between love and duty commenced ; for such wasthe bitterness of his grief that he could not bring himself toquit the couch of death, but in anguish of soul " fell uponhis father's face, and wept upon him and kissed him". Itwas only after this outburst of true filial sorrow that hecould command himself, and then love and duty united indictating the display of every conceivable honour to theremains of the dear departed. or was this a difficult task,for so greatly were both son and father loved and respected,that Jacob was not only mourned by the whole nation for

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