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SOLD IN LONDON BY
Extract from "Ploughing and Sowing, or Annals of an Evening School; by a Clergyman's Daughter. Edited by the Rev. F. Digby Legard." 1861.
A Letter To A Friend.—"I am very sorry I cannot tell you of any set of Tracts giving the Bible stories in a very simple form; for I quite think like you, there is nothing like
those old Bible stories."
Well, my dear little Harry, I suppose you will wish me to tell you something about Joseph, as 1 believe I promised to do so in our last conversation, which was on the life of Jacob.
Harry.—Yes, Grandmama, if you please, I .should like very much to hear about him. I was looking in the Bible this morning, and I see that his life will be the last you will have to tell me of in the book of Genesis; shall you go next to the book of Exodus, as there is a great deal to speak of in that book?
Grandm.—I cannot tell you at present, my love, but perhaps, at any rate, I may select some particular events to speak to you about. But there is so much to interest you in Joseph's life that I shall not be able to say all I wish in one conversation.
In the life of Jacob, I mentioned that Joseph was the eldest son ot Rachel, Jacob's second but favourite wife, and we hear of nothing of his childhood, as he was seventeen years of age when he is first brought before our notice. In the 37th chapter we read that he was feeding his father's flocks with his brethren, and he reported to his father that they did not behave well, which made them hate him, more particularly as they knew that Joseph was their father's favourite, from being, with his brother Benjamin, the son of his old age; and Jacob to shew his love for him made him a coat of many colors.
Harry.—What is the meaning, Grandmama, of " a coat of many colors?" Was it a patchwork coat? for that must have been very ugly, I think!
Grandm.—By the notes which we find in the references, we must suppose so, as it is written, "or pieces." But we find that Turkish noblemen's children when very small wear loose coats, woven in various colors, which are very beautiful, and Joseph's may have been something of the same kind, as it appears to have been a mark of Jacob's love to Joseph, and was therefore, most probably, of value. When his brethren saw how much their father loved him, they were extremely jealous, and as the Bible says, "could not speak peaceably unto him." (Gen. xxxvii. 4.) This points out to us, Harry, how careful we should be never to let any jealousy arise in our minds. It certainly was not quite right of Jacob to shew so much partiality in his favour, but at the same time, if Joseph always conducted himself rightly, as we may suppose he did, as there is not a word ever said against him, it would perhaps only be natural that Jacob should love him more than his brethren, who had given their father so much cause for sorrow. Their next cause for hating Joseph, was the dreams he had, which were decidedly a revelation from God to him, of what would afterwards take place. Suppose, Harry, you now read from the sixth to the eleventh verse.
Harry.—"And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us ? or, shalt thou indeed have dominion over us 1 And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more, and behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that