[Written for the Sentinel]

Abraham's Sacrifice

In this wise did Abraham the prophet
Fulfill his covenant with God.

At night alone, in land of Beersheba,
The patriarch Abraham talked with God.
A space of silence, and he heard his name
In one clear call. He knew his dear Lord's voice,
And with his heart uplifted in response,
The answer came in part, Behold, here am I.
In sweet humility the man bent low
To hear: To mount Moriah get thee hence,
And there make ready, thou, thy son beloved.
Did Abraham hear aright? There seemed
No cringing, shrinking fearfulness to rule
This man of God. Obedient he,—erect!
He heard again: Burnt off'ring. He arose
And went unto the place where he was bid.
The lad and he,—they went together now.
The place prepared, young Isaac said, My father!
With fire in hand the noble Abraham
Did speak again: My son, here am I.
Behold the fire and wood, but where the lamb?
"God will provide himself a lamb," said he.
Simple words, but with what courage fraught!
The altar ready, Isaac laid thereon,
Bound by the laws of Jewish sacrifice,
The father, knife in hand to slay his son,
Paused to list again his name twice called,—
An angel spake: "Lay not thine hand upon the lad."
Thou hast obeyed My voice; thy son thou gav'st;
In blessing will I multiply thy seed.

That which he called his own! Both fire and knife
Were necessary tools to still the strife
Of mortal longings, fears, and selfishness,
The fire to burn the chaff of self away,
The knife,—the Word of Truth,—a sharper tool,
Corrects his groping sense of sacrifice.
His covenant fulfilled, he and the lad
Arose, and dwelt in land of Beersheba.
 Beersheba: Well of oath.

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November 15, 1924

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