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But not yet satisfied, for the voice was in his ears as that of Jacob, he bade his son come near that he might feel his hands and his neck, for he was blind. And when he felt that he was hairy, he “discerned him not.” Yet once again he asked, “Art thou my very son Esau?" and again Jacob repeated his falsehood, “I am.”

Then was Isaac convinced, and he eat and drank with him. But Jacob was in fear lest his brother should return and discover his treachery, and he trembled at the thought that this would bring down upon him his brother's furious wrath and his father's curse.

But now the meal was ended, and Isaac bade his son come near and kiss him. With lowly reverence and filial love he approached to receive the valued embrace, and then, kneeling at his father's feet, with his head bowed down and his hands humbly folded upon his breast, he received the blessing he had so much wished to obtain,

The Patriarch arose upon his couch, uplifting his withered hands and sightless eyes to Heaven, his thin scattered locks of snow-white hair fell back upon his purple robe, and a sun


beam that found its way through the door of the tent, fell upon his high bald forehead and played about his head like a crown of glory. His furrowed countenanee was illuminated with the loftiness of the Spirit of Prophecy that rested upon him, and his voice was full of a melody, richer and sweeter than that of his younger days, as the words of the blessing fell from his lips.

For a while his hands continued still stretched towards Heaven, and then, as he continued speaking they gradually descended, as if emblematic of the coming of the benediction, until they rested upon the head of his kneeling son. And as that son bent lower and lower at the feet of the Patriarch, all fear of the world's injuries, all trembling at the wrath of his brother, or the consequences of his deception vanished. The blessing which Jehovah, from the highest Heavens was pronouncing by the mouth of his Prophet fell upon his ears and sank into his heart excluding every other thought, filling his soul and spirit, and absorbing every faculty in extatic joy and gratitude. See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord

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hath blessed; therefore God give thee of the dew of Heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee ; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee; cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be every one that blesseth thee.”

Jacob arose and went forth from the presence of his father, but scarcely was he gone when Esau returned from hunting. He also made savoury meat, and all unconscious of the subtlety of his brother, carried it to his father. Alas! for Esau ! Hast thou forgotten how that forty years ago thou so despisedst thy birthright and this precious blessing which it conveyed, that thou didst sell it for a paltry mess of pottage to satisfy thy hunger. Though thy punishment has tarried long, it now approaches, and no place wilt thou find for repentance, even though thou seek it “with strong crying and tears."

When Esau stood in the presence of his father and replied to his enquiry, “Who art thou?" in the words Jacob had used, “I am Esau, thy first-born.” Isaac was astonished, and he trem

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bled very exceedingly," exclaiming again as doubting if he had heard the words correctly, “ Who? Where is he then that hath taken venison and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest and have blessed him ?” And, as the Spirit of God revealed to him that it was done well, he added with solemn earnestness. “Yea, and HE SHALL BE BLESSED.

Oh! those words-to Esau those bitter words of confirmation! Hard though his heart was, and habitually careless, they fell upon it like a mighty mass of iron upon a flint, and rent into a thousand pieces that which could not soften or bend. With a wild and agonised cry of despair ing anguish, “with a great and exceeding bitter cry," he fell at his father's feet, exclaiming with the earnestness of one who begged for more than life, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!”

The piercing cry, the prostrate form of him who until now had never bent; the earnest intensity of supplication in the words, "O, my father," wounded the heart of Isaac ; but, more than all, could he have seen it, would the half dispairing agony of the countenance, hanging

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upon his, and watching for the words that would give or take from him almost his soul, have wrung the inmost heart of the tender father.

But what can that father reply? His heart bleeds for the agony of his firstborn ; but he

: ; cannot recall the blessing which his prophetic spirit knows to be that of Jehovah. “Thy brother," he says, came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.”

Then the bitterness of Esau's soul turns towards his brother, and he cries, “Is he not rightly named Jacob, (signifying a supplanter,) for he hath supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now he hath taken away my blessing.” And then, renewing his entreaties, he exclaims, “Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me ?"

But still the father replies, “ Behold I have made him thy Lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him, and what shall I now do unto thee, my son ?”

But Esau cannot be answered thus, he clings to his father's garments and refuses to leave

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