When Joseph His Brethren Beheld

When Joseph his brethren behold,
Afflicted and trembling with fear;
His heart with compassion was fill’d,
From weeping he could not forbear;
A while his behaviour was rough,
to bring their past sins to their minds;
But when they were humbled enough,
He hasted to shew himself kind.

How little they thought it was he
Whom they had ill-treated and sold!
How great their confusion must be,
As soon as his name he had told!
“I am Joseph, your brother he said,
“And still to my heart you are dear;
“You sold me, and thought i was dead,
“But God, for your sakes sent me here.”

Though greatly distressed before,
When charg’d with purloining the cup;
“They now were confounded much more,
Not one of them durst to look up,
“Can Joseph, whom we would have slain,,
“Forgive us the evil we did?
“And will he our houshold maintain?
“O this is a brother indeed!”

Thus, dragg’d by my conscience, I came,
And laden with guilt to the Lord;
Surrounded with terror and shame,
Unable to utter a word:
At first he look’d stern and severe,
What anguish then pierced my heart;
Expecting each moment to hear
The sentence, “Thou cursed depart.”

But oh! what surprise when he spoke,
While tenderness beam’d in his face;
My heart then to pieces was brok,
O’erwhelm’d and counfounded by grace;
“Poor sinner, I know thee full well,
“By thee I was sold and was slain;
“But I died to redeem thee from hell,
“And raise thee in glory to reign.

“I am Jesus, whom thou hast blasphem’d,
“And crucify’d often afresh;
“But let me henceforth be esteem’d
“Thy brother, thy bone, and thy flesh;
“My pardon I freely bestow,
“Thy wants I will fully supply;
“I’ll guide thee and guard thee below,
“And soon will remove thee on high.

“Go publish to sinners around,
“That they may be willing to come,
“The mercy which now you have found,
“And tell them that yet there is room.”
Oh, sinners, the message obey!
No more vain excuses pretend;
But come without further delay,
To Jesus, our brother and friend.