The experience of Abraham when bidden, as he believed, by Jehovah to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering, holds a lesson of peculiar significance for those who are trying to work out their problems in the light of Christian Science. On page 579 of Science and Health we read: "This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding."

No more severe test could be imposed on any one's loyalty to Truth than the patriarch was called upon to face in relinquishing the idol of his earthly hopes, the son through whom he had expected to see realized the coveted boon of a glorious posterity. The spirit of obedience which prompted him, in the first instance, to take preliminary steps toward the enactment of a terrible tragedy, enabled him, as events progressed, to gain a more enlightened understanding of divine Principle and its demands on men. The chastening of mortal sense brought the conviction that God did not call for the slaughter of a human being, that the sacrifice demanded was not that of flesh and blood, but of an idolatrous propensity which centered affections and hopes on human personality. Abraham had heard the voice of Truth but had misinterpreted the message.

Following this liberation of thought, the patriarch was led to descry what he had not before noticed,—a ram caught in a thicket. In substituting the animal type of offering for a human victim, Abraham approached a step nearer the impersonal, spiritual ideal of sacrifice brought out centuries later in the demonstrations of the Prophet of Galilee.

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Mental Breadth
November 6, 1915

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