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Conscience an Accuser.

Conscience an Accuser.

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Published by glennpease
BY HENRY ALEXANDER DOUGLAS


Gen. zlii, 21.


"And they said one to another, we are verily gaUty concerning
our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he
besought us and we would not hear ; therefore is this distress come
upon us."
BY HENRY ALEXANDER DOUGLAS


Gen. zlii, 21.


"And they said one to another, we are verily gaUty concerning
our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he
besought us and we would not hear ; therefore is this distress come
upon us."

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 03, 2013
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COSCIECE A ACCUSER.BY HERY ALEXADER DOUGLASGen. zlii, 21."And they said one to another, we are verily gaUty concerningour brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when hebesought us and we would not hear ; therefore is this distress comeupon us."THE speaker here is conscience. The tongueswhich speak are the tongues of Joseph's tenbrothers ; but the same feculty is -astir, at one andthe same time, in every one of them, and brings all of them at once to the same conclusion, that the cause of this distress in which they now find themselves isnothing else but the deed which they had done toJoseph some twenty years before. The blood of Joseph whom they had slain in will and sold in deed,was crying out within their hearts against them, andwas being required by God at their hands. Their sin,though long forgotten, had found them out. Theyhad never been sorry for it. They had never con-fessed that it was sin, or repented of it. To use thefigure in the Proverbs, they had eaten and wiped theirmouths and said, I have done no wickedness. • Andconscience was now saying to them, * If you haveforgotten your wickedness, there is One above who hasa long memory and forgets nothing.' It is a strikingDigitized byCjOOQlC40 COSCIECE A ACCUSER. [SERM.instance of that reflexive energy of conscience by
 
which it bears its witness against unremembered sin ;and I think that it may do us all good to dwell uponit during this season, when we are reading Joseph'shistory, and ought also to be humbling ourselvesbecause of all our sins.About twenty years before these words were spoken,eleven brothers, sons of Jacob, were together in alonely region, without a single witness of the actswhich they might do. Joseph, the youngest of theeleven, had but just joined them, having been sentfrom a distance by his :^ther to see how his brotherswere. He was a great favourite with his father,because he was the son of Rachel ; and his brotherswere jealous of him, by reason partly of his father'sfondness, and also because of dreams which God hadsent him, to intimate his future exaltation, not onlyabove themselves his brethren, but even above hisfather Jacob.And now the jealousy which had long been ran-kling within them, attained so great a height that theyresolved upon his death. An opportunity was given.He was alone with them. It was easy to account forhis death without rousing suspicion. They said,therefore, " Come now and let us slay him, and casthim into some pit, and we will say some evil beasthath devoured him, and we shall see what will becomeof his dreams." From this deliberate act of murderthey were turned by Reuben, who seems to have hadno share in their malicious purpose, and who proposed,instead, that they should let him into a pit in whichwas no water, intending when they were gone totake him up and restore him to his father. To thisthey agreed. But when the deed was just done, andDigitized byCjOOQlC
 
IV.J COSCIECE A ACCUSER. 41they had coolly sat down to eat breads as thoughnothing strange had happened, a company of traderscame in sight, and suggested to Judah a new mode of dealing with him. He proposed that they should sellthe lad to these merchants ; for, said he, " he is ourbrother and our flesh." They all consented to theproposal. Joseph was sold accordingly; and itsfuture governor was sent to Egypt as a piece of merchandize.This was twenty years before. And now, twentyyears after, the eleven brothers meet again. Ten of th^n, — ^the same ten who sold him, — ^preserved byGod's forbearance in spite of their sin, are now inprison and at the foot of Joseph ; while Joseph whomthey had sent out of their sight, as they thought forever, is the greatest man in all the country, and theirlives are hanging in his hands.What a strange revolution of the wheel of Provi-dence ! The wonders of fiction are nothing to thewonders of fact. If one had said when Joseph wasdescending into that deep pit, from which escapeappeared impossible, or even when the bargain withthe merchants had been just concluded, — ^ Ah, ye maymay do as ye please, but a time is coming when yourlives shall be at Joseph's mercy, and ye shall be asgood as slaves in Joseph's hands,' he would haveseemed as great a dreamer as Joseph had himself been. Yet there is the fact. The ten brothers are inward and Joseph is governor of all the land of Egypt.And yet, stranger still, is their remembrance of thesin which they had done so long before. Twentyyears ago they had thought to kill and had actually soldJoseph. What had they to do now with an act whichhad happened then? They did not know Joseph.

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