Historical Children's Literature Collection

The history of Joseph & his brethren, embellished with cuts; to which is added, the life, journeyings,… [between 1840 and 1857?]

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Full Text

 VI? T?. A M
In Canaan lived a man-of .righteousness.
Whom the great God in love was pleas'd to bless
With twelve sweet sons, one Joseph called by nat&€U
Whose worthiness we'll to the world proclaim.
Being endued with blessings from above9
He gained the favour of his father's love,
Now while his brothers hated him, behold!
He dream'd a dream, which unto them he told ;
Saying, "As we were binding in the field
Our sheaves of wheat, it was to me revealed
That mine arose upright, and yours around,
Stood making low obedience to the ground*"
These words of his, they did anger breed ;
They say, must you reign over us indeed?
The like of this was tiever known before,
Thus for his dreams they hated him the more*
Soon after this as Joseph sleeping '    ,
Free from the toils and troubles of the day,
He dreamed a second dream, and told the same
Unto his brothers, as to them he came ;
Saying, in sleep appeared before my eyes,
The sun, the moon, the seven stars likewise,
All making their obedience unto me,
With meek and humble humility.
He told it likewise to his father dear,
Who chid him, saying, wh&t is this 1 hear ?
Must I, thy mother, and thy brothers too,
Be all obliged to bow the knee to you,
Low on the earth, as if you reigned and ruled i
'Tis very hard that aged parents should
A meek and lowly veneration pay
To you who ought to honour and obej.
This very paragraph will clearly show
How they did seek young Joseph's overthrow,
His father sent him to the rural plain,
Where with their flocks his brothers did remain.
When afar off young Joseph they espied,
Behold, here comes the dreamer now, they cried
Let us conclude to take his life away,
And cast him in a pit without delay,
Then see how all his dreams will come to pass:
But Reuben, Reuben pitied him, alas t
And hid him in the pit, there to remain,
Till he might safe c'onduct him home again./
What mortal man is able to express,
Poor Joseph's grief when in the wilderness
He lay confined ? no doubt his present tears
Caused his youthful* eyes to flovc with tears.'
While in the pit young Joseph lay confined,
They sat them down to eat, and ere they dhaed
Some Ishmaelites from Egypt passed by;
Then Judah made his brothers this reply,
" What shall it profit to us now, I pray,
If we should take this precious life away?"
They all consented to the same with speed,
For loth they were to see their brother bleed*
Then from the lonesome pit the child they drew*
And sold him to those trading merchants, who
A score of silver pieces for hi*** Pa*d,
And then to Egypt he was soon conveyed.
When Reuben found him not, how did he grieve
The rest contrive their father to deceive,
By staining Joseph's coat with purple blood,   ■
Which crm^ed poor Jo>o.ph -"ninny a wcr;y~" Hc-ad*
111    • BR! M
II    \;
,  .    .
• - ;
When Joseph to the land of Egypt cattle,
One Potiphar a man of noted fame,
Bought him with silver and preferred him straight,
Making him steward of his whole estate.
On whom his mistress cast her wanton eyes,
And he reproved her, and said, be wise,
And cast, henceforth, these idle thoughts away—
How can I do that wicked thing, 1 pray ?
New finding her entreaties would not cb,
She went to seize him, but away he lew,
Leaving his garment in her hand also :
Now from that time she proved his i&oft&l foe.
She said, my lord, (when he returned at night,)
Thy Hebrew strove with all his might,
To mock thy lady, but was ne'er the near,
I cried, he fled, and left his garment here.
No sooner had she made this false repoif
Of Joseph's coming in so vile a sort,
But Potiphar immediately he flew
Into a sad and cruel passion too,
And cast him into prison where he lay
Till the chief butler and the baker, they
By Pharaoh's strict command were sent to be
Confined from their former liberty.
The baker and the butler both, we find        [mind,
With dreams one night were much disturbed
When they to Joseph did themselves apply,
He told them what their dreams did signify ;
One he restores unto his former place,
The other, he must die in sad disgrace ;
The butler must his former place supply,
The baker hj the laws be doomed to die,
Still Joseph lay confined in prison fast,
Until two tedious years were gone and past.
At length Pharaoh dreamed, but none in the* land
Could his dream interpret or understand.
Then the chief butler to the king did say,
" I needs must own my faults this day:
In prison lies a Hebrew servant there,
Who will the truth of all your dreams declare:
Then from a prison to a palace straight,
Joseph was brought, and Pharoah did relate
His dreams, and did full satisfaction find,
Which eased the grief and anguish ®f his mind:
He gave such satisfaction to the king,
That from his royal hand he drew a ring,
And gave it Joseph, saying, " Thou shalt be
fext to myself in royal dignity."
Behold the dreams of Pharoah did fortell,
A mighty famine, which at length befell;    I
Joseph in Egypt was head ruler over all;
But when his brothers came, and seemed to fall
Before him, straight his dreams came in his mind
Yet he spoke rough, and seemed most unkind :
You're spies said he, they answered, no,
We are true men, my lord, pray say not so.
Sons of one man, we twelve in number were,
The youngest now under his father's care
Remains at home, the other he is not.
He knew them, yet his anger seemed hot,
And for three days they were in prison cast,
Confined they lay, yet Joseph came at last.
And laid upon them all a strict command,
To bring their young brother out of hand.
11     -
When they had eaten up tli       lender store
Jacob he needs must send them down for more ;
But knowing that his youngest son must go,
His eyes with melting tears did overflow.
With presents then they did return again,
And Joseph doth them kindly entertain.
When he his brother Benjamin beheld.
His bowels yearned, his heart with joy was filled ;
But here's a grief which did them all surround,
The nightly lord, his silver cup was found
On Benjamin ; this made them sore afraid,
That for that crime they would be captives made;
Then to the house, of Joseph they returned,
Judah he pleaded, till his bowels yearned,
To be a captive in his brother's room,
Lest he should see his father's threatened doo
 12    ,, '
" My lord, hear thy servant now I pray, i
Our father, when we brought the child away
Expressed such grief and sorrow for his sake,
That if he stay, his aged heart will break :
Seeing his tears, which fell like showers of rain,
I promised then he should return again.
Therefore, &y lord, pray let him go, for I
Am loth to live to see my father die."
Joseph from tears could now no longer hold:
He said, <* I am your brother whom you sold
To Egypt, when on me your anger fell;
And is my father yet alive and well?".
Then on each other's necks they wept amain.
Their cries were heard, from tears could not refrain
" 0 fetch my father hither," Joseph cried,
" That for the family I may now provide."
The sons of Jacob Pharaoh did command,
To take both food and waggons from the land
Of Egypt, to fetch their father straight;
They did, and poor old Jacob's joy was great
He said, still, as his spirits did revive,
it is enough, Joseph is yet alive,
The son for whom I mourned, therefore I
Will go and see him now before I die.
!Chen on his journey still he doth proceeu,
And in the land of Goshen, there indeed
Joseph did meet him, whom he straight did bring
Into the royal presence of the king.
When Jacob before king Pharaoh stood,
&is age one hundred and thirty years, a good
Old man was he ; Pharaoh gave to his race,
The land of Goshen for a dwelling-place*
When J'pseph knew his pious father lay
his sick bed, to him he hastes away,
Joseph he brought Manasseh and Ephraim,
Placed them before his father's eyes now dim,
At sight of them, cries Jacob, " Who are these f*
" My sons," says Joseph, *i from between my knees,
When near, he kissed them, and with sweet einbr&(
Admires his GOD before his Joseph's face.
These boys of thine which were in Egypt born,
They shall be mine, not orphans or forlorn.
Manasseh he blest, commended to his GOD,
Bids him to mark the steps that Abraham trod,
Displeased was Joseph to see his elder son
Put by, and the younger the blessing won ;
But Jacob replied, " Son, I know it well.
For Ephraim shall unto great nations swelL*
Jacob he calls his first born, Reuben, near,
Weak as the water from the fountain clear;
Simeon and Levi, men of cruelty,
They smote a man, and caused him so to die.
Judah'g bright sceptre shan't from him depart
Till Shiloh come rejoicing every heart.
Zebulun's a small port where tall ships may pass,.
Issachar well resembles the couchant ass.
Dan as a judge will do his people right,       *
Gad by a troop at last will win the fight;
Asher his bread is fat, and of a dainty sort,
Naphtali's a hind loosed for the hunter's sport
Joseph's a bough laden with pleasent fruit,
Near to a well, whose branches sap recruit :
Benjamin like a ravenous wolf doth slay,
Devours his prey, then bears the spoil away.
Filial affection's to old Jacob good,
When Canaan's land lay destitute of food,
Then Joseph kind his aged father fed,
When thousands daily starved for want of bread j
His love expressed with mind sedate and calm,
Then with rich spices did his corpse embalm;
When breathless lay upon a bed of down,
He treats blest Jacob, father of renown ;
Falls on his clay and with a kind embrace,
Salutes the late most venerable face
Of Pious Jacob, now growing stiff and cold,
It must be so when life is charged to mould,
Plenty of tears did from his eye balls flow,
To show mankind he did his duty know,
That nought's too much to pay a parent dear,
From children that the awful GOD do fear.
When seventeen long years ^acob had dwelt,
Behold, the fatal hand of death he felt:
To Joseph he commits the special care
Of his great funeral, and tells him where
He would be laid, which was fulfilled at large,
According to the -tenor of his charge ;
For having yielded up his vital breath,
He dropped into the frozen arms of death.
Numbers of mourning coaches out of hand
Prepared were ;' thus to his native land
He was conveyed a sleeping-place to have,
Near to the borders of his father's grave.
Upright he was, and just in all his ways ;
Pray now observe the number of his days,
He was, when he dropt off this earthly stagea
One hundred and forty-seven years of age*
EkiKf Paul, thotigh not one of the twelve, yet for
Hi great eminence in the ministry of the gospel,
had the honour to be styled an apostle, particularly
above all the rest that were not of the number, and
hath justly the next place to St* Peter allotted ta
him, both in regard they were so conversant in
their lives, and inseparable in their deaths. He
was boHL at Tarsus, not only of Jewish parents,
but originally descended from an ancient Jewish
family of the tribe of Beiijatttiii in Judea* where
he had his education, which was a flourishing
Acadettiy, whose scholars (as Strabo testifies) excelled those of Alexandria, and even Athens itself.
In the schools of this city, he was brought tip from
his childhood, and became an excellent proficient in
all the polite learning of the ancients, yet at the same
time he was brought up to a manual trade, as even
the most learned of their Rabbins were, for enabling
them to get a livelihood if occasion required it; it
being a maxim (especially amongst the Jews,) that
he who teacheth not his son a trade, teacheth him
to be a thief; for learning of old was not made an
instrument to get a maintenance by, but for the
better polishing the mind; so that the learned
among the Jews were frequently denominated (as
Drusius observes,) from some one or other handy-
craft trade, as Rabbie Judah, the baker; Rabbie
Jochanan, the Shoemaker, &c.
Having at Tarsus attained to a great perfection
in the liberal arts and sciences. He was sent to
Jerusalem to be instructed in the knowledge of the
laws ; and for the better accomplishing him in that
study, was put under the tuition of Raban Gamaliel
the son ©f Simon, (the sam^ probably that took up
our Saviour in his arms.)    He was an eminent
|dctor of the law, one of the families of the sohoolt
It Jerusalem, and a person of principal note and
iuthority in the Jewish Sanhedrim, in which that
Irave and prudent speech, mentioned in the Acts
if the Apostles, which he made on behalf of the
ipostles and their doctrine, took great effect. At
lie feet of this great doctor St. Paul was brought
Jf% as he himself testifies ; and by his instructions
ie soon advanced to that degree, that he gained himself a reputation above all his fellow scholars.
Moreover he Was a' strict professor of the sect of
lie Pharisees, which of all others amongst the Jews,
yas the severest and most magisterial; and the
jjrcfessors thereof, generally great applauders of
Siemselves for their sanctity, despising and censur-
jmg all others as reprobates, and unworthy of their
society, and presuming (as Josephus writes) to
govern even princes themselves. With the fiery
lenms of this sect, our apostle was too deeply infected, whicli made him a most zealous persecutor
of the Saints ; so that when the blood of the martyr
{Stephen was shed, I (saith he with sorrow after his
fcjonversion) was standing by, consented to his death,
Ibid kept the raiment Qf them that slew him. Nay,
If Ml the apparators, and inquisitors, employed by
p Sanhedrim, to execute their warrants ; upon
Ipose upstart heretics, as they called theiii, who
(reached against the law of Moses, and the tradition
if the fathers; he was the Man that strove to be
| be forwardest. In. this zeal to execute his office,
Is he was on his way to Damascus, with some others
} f his fellow officers, breathing out vengeance and
destruction against the poor christians, their was
I n & sudden a most glorious light shot fill! upon
Lim, and the rest that were with him, so that they
[ell to the ground in great amazement, and at the
tame time a voice from heaven was directed to him,
ring, " Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?*
to which, amazed as ne was, he answered, Lorcf
who art thou? the voice replying, that it was Jesu$
whom he persecuted, and that it was hard for hi
to kick against the pricks. He again desired furthe
instructions ; Lord, said he, what wilt thou have m
to do ; upon which he was bid to rise, and go t
Damascus, and there expect what should be furthei
revealed to him ; rising from the ground he found
his sight gone. In this plight being led to Damasj
cus, he was there three days fasting, and probably,-
then he saw that celestial vision mentioned by him!
wherein he heard and saw things past utterance!
and those divine revelations, which gave hini
occasion to say, that the gospel he preached, he wa|
not taught by man, but had it revealed to him bj
Jesus Christ. The three days being expired]
Ananias, a devout man, and one of the seventy
disciples came to him, according to the command
he had received from our Lord, who appeared tcj
him, to go and enquire for one Saul of Tarsus, anc
having laid his hands on him, told him his message
upon which his sight was restored to him, and th
gift of the Holy Ghost conferred on him; presently]
after he was baptized, and made a member of tlif
church, to the great joy of the rest of the disciples,
that he should become not only a professor, but i
preacher of that faith, which he so lately was s
bitter persecuter of. His stay at this time a]; Damas 1
cus was not long, for being warned away by a
vision from heaven, he took a journey into Arabia,
where he preached the gospel for three years, and
then returned to Damascus, where the unconverted
Jews eagerly sought his ruin, endeavouring to seiz(
him, but he escaped through the help of the disciples,
and the rest of his friends who were zealous feiif
his safety.
Thus far we have made an entrance into the lif^j
and acts of this great jostle, with which there i:
scarcely any thing equally memorable in history \
nor could the further prosecution thereof have been
omitted, but that all the travels of this apostle in
the pursuance of his ministry, from the time of his
conversion to the last of his being at Rome, with
the most principal transactions, and the severest
accidents that happened to him therein, are already
related in the exposition of the map of the voyages
of the apostles, and more particularly those of St
Paul, in which, for avoiding needless repetitions,
the sequel of his life may not unfitly be referred.
We shall therefore make some enquiry into the
time and occasion of the several epistles wrote to
the several churches*; as also unto the time and
manner of his death
When he went from Athens to Corinth, it is said
he wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians,
which he sent Silas and Timothy, who returned
during his stay, and before his departure he wrote
his second epistle to them, to excuse his not coming
to them as he promised in his first. Not long after
at Ephesus, he is said to have written his epistle to the
Galatians; and before he left Ephesus, he wrote
his first epistle to the Corinthians. Moreover, he
sent from thence by Apollos and Silas to Titus,
whom he left in that island to propagate the faith,
and had him made bishop thereof, in which he
gives him advice for the better execution of his
episcopal office. At Macedonia, whither he went
from Ephesus, having by Titus received an account
of the church .of Corinth's present state of affairs,
he sent by him at his return, when he was accompanied by St. Luke, his second epistle to the
Corinthians ; and about the same time he wrote his
first epistle to Timothy, whom he had left at
Ephesus. From Corinth he went to Macedon,
whither he sent his epistle to the Romans, by
Phebe, a deaconess of the Church of Cenchrea, not
far from Corinth.    Going thence to Rome, he sent
his epistle to the Phillipians by Epaphroditus, who
had been sent from them with relief, not knowing
to what straits he might be reduced by his im-  !
prisonment at Rome.    In the next place, he sends
by Tychicus his epistle  to the Ephesians.    Not
long after, (if not about the same time) he wrote
his   epistle  to   the  Colossians,   and   sent   it   by
, Epaphras,  his   fellow-prisoner for  some  time  at
Rome.    As  for  his  second   epistle  to   Timothy,
there is some dispute about the time of his writing
it;  only it seems probable by authentic authors,
that   it  was  written  after   the   Philippians  and
Ephesians     As for the epistle to the Hebrews, it
is not known when, or from whence written, and
rather conjectured, than certainly known to have
been St. Paul's.    Tertulliah judgeth it to be written by Barnabas;  but the most received opinion
is, that it was St. Paul's, but written by him in
Hebrew, and so sent to the Jews ; but for the better
publishing it to the Gentiles, translated into Greek,
some say by St. Luke, and others by St. Clement,
for the style of whose epistles to the Corinthians
, and Ephesians is observed by St. Jerome to come
very near the style of this epistle, and to eontain a
purer vein of Greek than is foijnd in the rest of St.
Paul's epistles.
Our apostle having been now two years a prisoner
at Rome, is at length set free, and soon after departs to visit other parts of the world, for the
further divulging the gospel, but into what particular parts is variously conjectured; some think
into Greece, and some parts of Asia, where he had
not yet been; others will have it that he went
preaching, as well into the Eastern as Western
parts of the world; for in his epistle to the Corinthians it is said, that Paul being a preacher both
Eastward and Westward, taught righteousness to
$ whole world, arid went to the utmost bounds of
West.    That he  went into  Spain,  may be
fthered both from his own words, as intimating
to do, and also from the testimony of other
ithors, as Theodoret, who writes, that he not only
nit into Spain to preach, but brought the gospel into
3 isles of the sea, and particularly into our
and of Britain ; and more particularly in another
xce, he reckons up the Gauls and the Britons
longst those people to whom the apostles, and
>ecially the tent-maker, as he calls him, had
ralged the Christian faith.
^Farther mention of St. Paul we find none till his
txt and last coming to Rome, which is said to be
lout the 8th and 9th years of Nero's reign; and
I came in the fittest time to suffer martyrdom he
jhld have chosen ; for whereas at other times, his
|vilege of being a Roman citizen gained him
»se civilities which common morality could not
j him, he had to do with a person with whom
crime of being a christian weighed down all
dogies that could be alledged; a person whom
rdness and debauchery had made seven times
re a Pagan than any custom or education could
re done. What his accusation was, cannot be eerily determined, whether it was his being an
ociate with St. Peter in the fall of Simon Mas^us,
his conversion of Poppsea Sabina, one of the
iperor's concubines, by which he was curbed in
career of his insatiate appetite.    Neither can it
resolved, how long he remained in prison, what
certain time of his suffering was, and whether
cording to the custom) he was first scourged ;
y Barentons speaks of two pillars in the church
jSt. Mary, beyond the bridge in Rome, to which
li ho and St. Peter were bound, when they were
}t is affirmed that St. Paul and St. Peter suffered
 upon the same day, though different kinds of deatr|
Others will have it that they suffered on the sa\
day of the year, but at a year's distance ; and otht
affirm that St. Paul suffered several years after t
Peter; but all agree that Paul, as a Roman, hat
the favour to be beheaded, and not crucified.    Hi
execution was at the Aquas Salvise, 3 miles fron
Rome ; and he is said to have converted the thre
soldiers that guarded him thither, who also suffered
for the faith.    Some of the fathers add, that upo?
his death there flowed from his veins a liquor mor
like milk than blood, the sight whereof (saith Si
Crysostom) converted the executioner.
He was buried about two miles from Rome, \
the way called Via, Ostiensis, where Lucina, a nob!
Roman matron, not long after settled a farm f
'rhe maintenance of the church.    Here he lay b
.ndifferently entombed for several ages, till t;
reign of Constantine the Great, who in the year
our Lord, 318, at the request of Sylvester, bish
of Rome, built, a very sumptuous church, support*
with a hundred stately pillars, and beautified wi
a most rare and exquisite workmanship, and aft
all richly gifted and endowed by the emperor hii
self.    Yet was all this thought tbo mean an honor
for so great an apostle by the emperor Valentinia
who sent an order to his Prsefect Salustinus,
take that church down, and to erect in its room o.
more large and stately, which, at the instance oft
Pope Leo, was richly adorned, and endowed by t
Empress Placidia,  and  doubtless,  hath recebj
great additions ever since, from age to age.
Thus was brought up, became converted, anc*
preacher of the gospel, and thus was put to de*
and buried, this great apostle of the Gentil
superior in learning aud natural parts, and j
inferior in zeal to any of the rest of the apostles,


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