When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise me that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt,
I. WHAT IT WAS.
1. It was not anxiety about temporal support, for that had been generously made sure to him by his son Joseph.
2. It was not concern about the future fortunes of his family, for these had been graciously taken under God's protection.
3. It was not uncertainty as to his own personal acceptance with Jehovah, for of that he had long ago been assured.
4. It was scarcely even fear of his approaching death, for besides being a thought with which Jacob had long been familiar, to a weary pilgrim like him the event itself would not be altogether unwelcome.
5. It was dread lest his lifeless body should be interred in Egypt, far from the graves of his ancestors in the holy land.
II. WHENCE IT AROSE.
1. From the deeply-seated instinct in human nature, which makes men wish, if possible, to sleep beside their fathers and friends. Though religion teaches us to believe that every spot on earth is in a manner holy ground, yet it does not induce a spirit of indifference as to the last resting-place where we shall lie.
2. From a firm faith in the Divine promise that his descendants should yet return to Canaan. Even if Jacob did not anticipate that this would immediately occur, if, as is probable, he had already dark forebodings that the period of exile and servitude spoken of by Jehovah to Abraham was about to commence, he was yet able to detect a silver lining in the cloud, to see the happy time beyond, when his children, in accordance with the promise "I will surely bring thee up again," should return home to their presently abandoned inheritance.
III. HOW IT WAS REMOVED.
1. By Joseph's promise. Requested by his aged parent to convey his body back to Canaan, when the life had departed, Joseph solemnly, engages to carry out that parent's wishes to the letter. "I will do as thou hast said."
2. By Joseph's oath. As if to remove every possible ground of apprehension, the old man further binds his son by an appeal to heaven. "And he said, Swear unto me; and he (Joseph) sware unto him." The venerable patriarch's anxieties were at an end. "And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head." - W.
Bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.1. Approaching death should make men put their houses in order, and prepare for the grave.
2. The best of sons are best trusted with the interring of parents.
3. Favour, benevolence, and fidelity dying parents may beg of surviving children.
4. Parents may bind children not to bury them in places inconvenient (ver. 29).
5. The law of nature may appoint burial with fathers, much more the law of faith.
6. The faith of the Patriarchs did work as to the place of burial to appoint it.
7. The testamental word of parents, though hard, yet should be sacred with good sons (ver. 30).
8. Holy worship of God is meet from dying saints, for His gracious disposal to the grave.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.Montmorency, constable of France, having been mortally wounded at an engagement, was exhorted by those who stood around him to die like a good Christian, and with the same courage which he had shown in his lifetime. To this he most nobly replied in the following manner: — "Gentlemen and fellow-soldiers, I thank you all very kindly for your anxious care and concern about me; but the man who has been enabled to endeavour to live well for fourscore years past can never need to seek now how to die well for a quarter of an hour."
(Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.)
Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.At the time when His Majesty, George the Third, desirous that himself and family should repose in a less public sepulchre than that of Westminster Abbey, had ordered a royal tomb to be constructed at Windsor, Mr. Wyatt, his architect, waited upon him with a detailed report and plan of the building, and of the manner in which "he proposed to arrange its various recesses." The king minutely examined the whole, and when finished, Mr. Wyatt, in thanking His Majesty said he had ventured to occupy so much of His Majesty's time and attention with these details in order that it might not be necessary to bring so painful a subject again under his notice. To this the good king replied, "Mr. Wyatt, I request that you will bring the subject before me whenever you please. I shall attend with as much pleasure to the building of a tomb to receive me when I am dead as I would to the decoration of a drawing-room to hold me while living, for, Mr. Wyatt, if it please God that I shall live to be ninety or a hundred years old I am willing to stay; but if it please God to take me this night I am ready to obey the summons."
(Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.)
One Thousand New Illustrations.It is almost the universal custom in America, and seems to be growing in favour here, for great men to be buried in the place where they have mostly lived, and among their own kith and kin. Washington lies at Mount Vernon; Lincoln at Springfield; Emerson and Hawthorne under the pines of New England; Irving on the banks of the Hudson; Clay in Kentucky. They are laid to rest not in some central city or great structure, but where they have lived, and where their families and neighbours may accompany them in their long sleep.
(One Thousand New Illustrations.)
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
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