George Whitefield Sermon 3

Abrham's Offering Up His Son Isaac

Genesis 22:12 "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do

thou any thing unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou

hast not withheld thy Son, thine only Son from me."

FULL TEXT: Genesis 22:1-12

The great Apostle Paul, in one of his epistles, informs us, that

"whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we

through patience and comfort of the holy scripture might have hope." And as

without faith it is impossible to please God, or be accepted in Jesus, the

Son of his love; we may be assured, that whatever instances of a more than

common faith are recorded in the book of God, they were more immediately

designed by the Holy Spirit for our learning and imitation, upon whom the

ends of the world are come. For this reason, the author of the epistle to

the Hebrews, in the 11th chapter, mentions such a noble catalogue of Old

Testament saints and martyrs, "who subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness,

stopped the mouths of lions, etc. and are gone before us to inherit the

promises." A sufficient confutation, I think, of their error, who lightly

esteem the Old Testament saints, and would not have them mentioned to

Christians, as persons whose faith and patience we are called upon more

immediately to follow. If this was true, the apostle would never have

produced such a cloud of witnesses out of the Old Testament, to excite the

Christians of the first, and consequently purest age of the church, to

continue steadfast and unmoveable in the profession of their faith. Amidst

this catalogue of saints, methinks the patriarch Abraham shines the

brightest, and differs from the others, as one star differeth from another

star in glory; for he shone with such distinguished luster, that he was

called the "friend of God," the "father of the faithful;" and those who

believe on Christ, are said to be "sons and daughters of, and to be

blessed with, faithful Abraham." Many trials of his faith did God send this

great and good man, after he had commanded him to get out from his country,

and from his kindred, unto a land which he should show him; but the last

was the most sever of all, I mean, that of offering up his only son. This,

by the divine assistance, I propose to make the subject of your present

meditation, and, by way of conclusion, to draw some practical inferences,

as God shall enable me, from this instructive story.

The sacred penman begins the narrative thus; verse 1. "And it came to

pass, after these things, God did tempt Abraham." After these things, that

it, after he had underwent many severe trials before, after he was old,

full of days, and might flatter himself perhaps that the troubles and toils

of life were now finished; "after these things, God did tempt Abraham."

Christians, you know not what trials you may meet with before you die:

notwithstanding you may have suffered, and been tried much already, yet, it

may be, a greater measure is still behind, which you are to fill up. "Be

not high-minded, but fear." Our last trials, in all probability, will be

the greatest: and we can never say our warfare is accomplished, or our

trials finished, till we bow down our heads, and give up the ghost. "And it

came to pass, after these things, that God did tempt Abraham."

"God did tempt Abraham." But can the scripture contradict itself? Does

not the apostle James tell us, "that God tempts no man;" and God does tempt

no man to evil, or on purpose to draw him into sin; for, when a man is thus

tempted, he is drawn away of his own heart's lust, and enticed. But in

another sense, God may be said to tempt, I mean, to try his servants; and

in this sense we are to understand that passage of Matthew, where we are

told, that, "Jesus was led up by the Spirit (the good Spirit) into the

wilderness, to be tempted of the devil." And our Lord, in that excellent

form of prayer which he has been pleased to give us, does not require us to

pray that we may not absolutely be led into temptation, but delivered from

the evil of it; whence we may plainly infer, that God sees it fit sometimes

to lead us into temptation, that is, to bring us into such circumstances as

will try our faith and other Christian graces. In this sense we are to

understand the expression before us; "God did tempt or try Abraham."

How God was pleased to reveal his will at this time to his faithful

servant, whether by the Sheckinah, or divine appearance, or by a small

still voice, as he spoke to Elijah, or by a whisper, like that of the

Spirit to Philip, when he commanded him to join himself to the eunuch's

chariot, we are not told, nor is it material to inquire. It is enough that

we are informed, God said unto him, Abraham; and that Abraham knew it was

the voice of God: for he said, "Behold, here I am." O what a holy

familiarity (if I may so speak) is there between God and those holy souls

that are united to him by faith in Christ Jesus! God says, Abraham; and

Abraham said (it should seem without the least surprise) Behold, here I am.

Being reconciled to God by the death and obedience of Christ, which he

rejoiced in, and saw by faith afar off; he did not, like guilty Adam, seed

the trees of the garden to hide himself from, but takes pleasure in

conversing with God, and talketh with him, as a man talketh with his

friend. O that Christ-less sinners knew what it is to have fellowship with

the Father and the Son! They would envy the happiness of saints, and count

it all joy to be termed enthusiasts and fools for Christ's sake.

But what does God say to Abraham? Verse 2. "Take now thy son, thine

only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and

offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I

shall tell thee of."

Every word deserves our particular observation. Whatever he was to do,

he must do it now, immediately, without conferring with flesh and blood.

But what must he do? "Take now thy son." Had God said, take now a

firstling, or choicest lamb or beast of thy flock, and offer it up for a

burnt-offering, it would not have appeared so ghastly; but for God to say,

"take now thy son, and offer him up for a burnt-offering," one would

imagine, was enough to stagger the strongest faith. But this is not all: it

must not only be a son, but "thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest." If it

must be a son, and not a beast, that must be offered, why will not Ishmael

do, the son of the bond-woman? No, it must be his only son, the heir of

all, his Isaac, by interpretation laughter, the son of his old age, in whom

his soul delighted, "whom thou lovest," says God, in whose life his own was

wrapped up: and this son, this only son, this Isaac, the son of his love,

must be taken now, even now, without delay, and be offered up by his own

father, for a burnt offering, upon one of the mountains of the which God

would tell him.

Well might the apostle, speaking of this man of God, say, that

"against hope he believed in hope, and, being strong in faith, gave glory

to God." For, had he not been blesses with faith which man never before

had, he must have refused to comply with this severe command. For now many

arguments might nature suggest, to prove that such a command could never

come from God, or to excuse himself from obeying it? "What! (might the good

man have said) butcher my own child! It is contrary to the very law of

nature: much more to butcher my dear son Isaac, in whose seed God himself

has assured me of a numerous posterity. But supposing I could give up my

own affections, and be willing to part with him, though I love him so

dearly, yet, if I murder him, what will become of God's promise? Besides, I

am now like a city built upon a hill; I shine as a light in the world, in

the midst of a crooked and perverse generation: How then shall I cause

God's name to be blasphemed, how shall I become a by-word among the

heathen, if they hear that I have committed a crime which they abhor! But,

above all, what will Sarah my wife say? How can I ever return to her again,

after I have imbrued (to wet or stain) my hands in my dear child's blood? O

that God would pardon me in this thing, or take my life in the place of my

son's!" Thus, I say, Abraham might have argued, and that too seemingly with

great reason, against complying with the divine command. But as before by

faith he considered not the deadness of Sarah's womb, when she was past

age, but believed on him, who said, "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son

indeed;" so now, being convinced that the same God spoke to and commanded

him to offer up that son, and knowing that God was able to raise him from

the dead, without delay he obeys the heavenly call.

O that unbelievers would learn of faithful Abraham, and believe

whatever is revealed from God, though they cannot fully comprehend it!

Abraham knew God commanded him to offer up his son, and therefore believed,

notwithstanding carnal reasoning might suggest may objections. We have

sufficient testimony, that God has spoken to us by his son; why should we

not also believe, though many things in the New Testament are above our

reason? For, where reason ends, faith begins. And, however infidels may

stile themselves reasoners, of all men they are the most unreasonable: For,

is it not contrary to all reason, to measure an infinite by a finite

understanding, or think to find out the mysteries of godliness to


But to return to the patriarch Abraham: We observed before what

plausible objections he might have made; but he answered not a single word:

no, without replying against his Maker, we are told, verse 3, that "Abraham

rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his

young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt-

offering, and rose up and went unto the place of which God had told him."

From this verse we may gather, that God spoke to Abraham in a dream,

or vision of the night: For it is said, he rose up early. Perhaps it was

near the fourth watch of the night, just before break of day, when God

said, Take now thy son; and Abraham rises up early to do so; as I doubt not

but he used to ruse early to offer up his morning-sacrifice of praise and

thanksgiving. It is often remarked of people in the Old Testament, that

they rose early in the morning; and particularly of our Lord in the New,

that he rose a great while before day to pray. The morning befriends

devotion; and, if people cannot use so much self-denial as to rise early to

pray, I know not how they will be able to die at a stake (if called to it)

for Jesus Christ.

The humility as well as the piety of the patriarch is observable: he

saddled his own ass (great men should be humble) and to show the sincerity,

though he took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, yet he

keeps his design as a secret from them all: nay, he does not so much as

tell Sarah his wife; for he knew not but she might be a snare unto him in

this affair; and, as Rebekah afterwards, on another occasion, advised Jacob

to flee, so Sarah also might persuade Isaac to hide himself; or the young

men, had they known of it, might have forced him away, as in after-ages the

soldiers rescued Jonathan out of the hands of Saul. But Abraham fought no

such evasion, and therefore, like an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no

guile, he himself resolutely "clave the wood for the burnt-offering, rose

up and went unto the place of which God had told him." In the second verse

God commanded him to offer up his son upon one of the mountains which he

would tell him of. He commanded him to offer his son up, but would not then

directly tell him the place where: this was to keep him dependent and

watching unto prayer: for there is nothing like being kept waiting upon

God; and, if we do, assuredly God will reveal himself unto us yet further

in his own time. Let us practice what we know, follow providence so far as

we can see already; and what we know not, what we see not as yet, let us

only be found in the way of duty, and the Lord will reveal even that unto

us. Abraham knew not directly where he was to offer up his son; but he

rises up and sets forward, and behold now God shows him: "And he went to

the place of which God had told him." Let us go and do likewise.

Verse 4. "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw

the place afar off."

So that the place, of which God had told him, was no less than three

days journey distant from the place where God first appeared to him, and

commanded him to take his son. Was not this to try his faith, and to let

him see that what he did, was not merely from a sudden pang of devotion,

but a matter of choice of deliberation? But who can tell what the aged

patriarch felt during these three days? Strong as he was in faith, I am

persuaded his bowels often yearned over his dear son Isaac. Methinks I see

the good old man walking with his dear child in his hand, and now and then

looking upon him, loving him, and then turning aside to weep. And perhaps,

sometimes he stays a little behind to pour out his heart before God, for he

had no mortal to tell his case to. Then, methinks, I see him join his son

and servants again, and talking to them of the things pertaining to the

kingdom of God, as they walked by the way. At length, "on the third day, he

lifts up his eyes, and saw the place afar off." And, to show that he was

yet sincerely resolved to do whatsoever the Lord requested of him, he even

how will not discover his design to his servants, but "said, verse 5. To

his young men," (as we should say to our worldly thoughts, when about to

tread the courts of the Lord's house) "Abide you here with the ass; and I

and the lad will go up yonder and worship, and come again to you." This was

a sufficient reason for their staying behind; and, it being their master's

custom to go frequently to worship, they could have no suspicion of what he

was going about. And by Abraham's saying, that he and the lad would come

again, I am apt to think he believed God would raise him from the dead, if

so be he permitted him to offer his child up for a burnt-offering. However

that be, he is yet resolved to obey God to the uttermost; and therefore,

Verse 6. "Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it

upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and they

went both of them together." Little did Isaac think that he was to be

offered on that very wood which he was carrying upon his shoulders; and

therefore Isaac innocently, and with a holy freedom (for good men should

not keep their children at too great a distance) "spake unto Abraham his

father, and said, My father; and he (with equal affection and holy

condescension) said, Here am I, my son." And to show how careful Abraham

had been (as all Christian parents ought to do) to instruct his Isaac how

to sacrifice to God, like a youth trained up in the way wherein he should

go; Isaac said, "Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a

burnt-offering?" How beautiful is early piety! How amiable, to hear young

people ask questions about sacrificing to God in an acceptable way! Isaac

knew very well that a lamb was wanting, and that a lamb was necessary for a

proper sacrifice: "Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for

a burnt-offering?" Young men and maidens, learn of him.

Hitherto, it is plain, Isaac knew nothing of his father's design: but

I believe, by what his father said in answer to his question, that now was

the time Abraham revealed it unto him.

Verse 8. "And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a Lamb

for a burnt-offering." Some think, that Abraham by faith saw the Lord Jesus

afar off, and here spoke prophetically of that Lamb of God already slain in

decree, and hereafter to be actually offered up for sinners. This was a

lamb of God's providing indeed (we dared not have thought of it) to satisfy

his own justice, and to render him just in justifying the ungodly. What is

all our fire and wood, the best preparations and performances we can make

or present, unless God had provided himself this Lamb for a burnt-offering?

He could not away with them. The words will well hear this interpretation.

But, whatever Abraham might intend, I cannot but think he here made an

application, and acquainted his son, of God's dealing with his soul; and at

length, with tears in his eyes, and the utmost affection in his heart,

cried out, "Thou art to be the lamb, my Son;" God has commanded me to

provide thee for a burnt-offering, and to offer thee upon the mountain

which we are now ascending. And, as it appears from a subsequent verse,

Isaac, convinced that it was the divine will, made no resistance at all;

For it is said, "They went both of them together;" and again, when we are

told, that Abraham bound Isaac, we do not hear of his complaining, or

endeavoring to escape, which he might have done, being (as some think) near

thirty years of age, and, it is plain, capable of carrying wood enough for

a burnt-offering. But he was partaker of the like precious faith with his

aged father, and therefore is as willing to be offered, as Abraham is to

offer him: And "so they went both of them together."

Ver. 9 At length "they came to the place of which God had told

Abraham. He built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound

Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood."

And here let us pause a while, and by faith take a view of the place

where the father has laid him. I doubt not but that blessed angels hovered

round the altar, and sang. "Glory be to God in the highest," for giving

such faith to man. Come, all ye tender hearted parents, who know what it is

to look over a dying child: fancy that you saw the altar erected before

you, and the wood laid in order, and the beloved Isaac bound upon it: fancy

that you saw the aged parent standing by weeping. (For, why may we not

suppose that Abraham wept, since Jesus himself wept at the grave of

Lazarus?) O what pious, endearing expressions passed now alternately

between the father and the son! Joseph records a pathetic speech made by

each, whether genuine I now not: but methinks I see the tears trickle down

the Patriarch Abraham's cheeks; and out of the abundance of the heart, he

cries, Adieu, adieu, my son; the Lord gave thee to me, and the Lord calls

thee away; blessed be the name of the Lord: adieu, my Isaac, my only son,

whom I love as my own soul; adieu, adieu. I see Isaac at the same time

meekly resigning himself into his heavenly Father's hands, and praying to

the most High to strengthen his earthly parent to strike the stroke. But

why do I attempt to describe what either son or father felt? It is

impossible: we may indeed form some faint idea of, but shall never full

comprehend it, till we come and sit down with them in the kingdom of

heaven, and hear them tell the pleasing story over again. Hasten, O Lord,

that blessed time! O let thy kingdom come!

And now, the fatal blow is going to be given. "And Abraham stretched

forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son." But do you not think

he intended to turn away his head, when he gave the blow? Nay, why may we

not suppose he sometimes drew his hand in, after it was stretched out,

willing to take another last farewell of his beloved Isaac, and desirous to

defer it a little, though resolved at last to strike home? Be that is it

will, his arm is now stretched out, the knife is in his hand, and he is

about to put it to his dear son's throat.

But sing, O heavens! and rejoice, O earth! Man's extremity is God's

opportunity: for behold, just as the knife, in all probability, was near

his throat, ver. 11, "the angel of the Lord, (or rather the Lord of angels,

Jesus Christ, the angel of the everlasting covenant) called unto him,

(probably in a very audible manner) from heaven, and said, Abraham,

Abraham. (The word is doubled, to engage his attention; and perhaps the

suddenness of the call made him draw back his hand, just as he was going to

strike his son.) And Abraham said, Here am I."

"And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any

thing unto him: for now know I that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not

withheld thy son, thine only son from me."

Here then it was that Abraham received his son Isaac from the dead in

a figure. He was in effect offered upon the altar, and God looked upon him

as offered and given unto him. Now it was that Abraham's faith, being

tried, was found more precious than gold purified seven times in the fire.

Now as a reward of grace, though not of debt, for this signal act of

obedience, by an oath, God gives and confirms the promise, "that in his

seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed," ver. 17, 18. With

what comfort may we suppose the good old man and his son went down from the

mount, and returned unto the young men! With what joy may we imagine he

went home, and related all that had passed to Sarah! And above all, with

what triumph is he now exulting in the paradise of God, and adoring rich,

free, distinguishing, electing, everlasting love, which alone made him to

differ from the rest of mankind, and rendered him worthy of that title

which he will have so long as the sun and the moon endure, "The Father of

the faithful!"

But let us now draw our eyes from the creature, and do what Abraham,

if he was present, would direct to; I mean, fix them on the Creator, God

blessed for evermore.

I see your hearts affected, I see your eyes weep. (And indeed, who can

refrain weeping at the relation of such a story?) But, behold, I show you a

mystery, hid under the sacrifice of Abraham's only son, which, unless your

hearts are hardened, must cause you to weep tears of love, and that

plentifully too. I would willingly hope you even prevent me here, and are

ready to say, "It is the love of God, in giving Jesus Christ to die for our

sins." Yes; that is it. And yet perhaps you find your hearts, at the

mentioning of this, not so much affected. Let this convince you, that we

are all fallen creatures, and that we do not love God or Christ as we ought

to do: for, if you admire Abraham offering up his Isaac, how much more

ought you to extol, magnify and adore the love of God, who so loved the

world, as to give his only begotten Son Christ Jesus our Lord, "that

whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?"

May we not well cry out, Now know we, O Lord, that thou hast loved us,

since thou hast not withheld thy Son, thine only Son from us! Abraham was

God's creature (and God was Abraham's friend) and therefore under the

highest obligation to surrender up his Isaac. But O stupendous love! Whilst

we were his enemies, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under

the law, that he might become a curse for us. O the freeness, as well as

the infinity, of the love of God our Father! It is unsearchable: I am lost

in contemplating it; it is past finding out. Think, O believers, think of

the love of God, in giving Jesus Christ to be a propitiation for our sins.

And when you hear how Abraham built an altar, and laid the wood in order,

and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood; think how

your heavenly Father bound Jesus Christ his only Son, and offered him upon

the altar of his justice, and laid upon him the iniquities of us all. When

you read of Abraham's stretching forth his hand to slay his son, Think, O

think, how God actually suffered his Son to be slain, that we might live

for evermore. Do you read of Isaac carrying the wood upon his shoulders,

upon which he was to be offered? Let this lead you to mount Calvary (this

very mount of Moriah where Isaac was offered, as some think) and take a

view of the antitype Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bearing and ready to

sink under the weight of that cross, on which he was to hang for us. Do you

admire Isaac so freely consenting to die, though a creature, and therefore

obliged to go when God called? O do not forget to admire infinitely more

the dear Lord Jesus, that promised seed, who willingly said, "Lo, I come,"

though under no obligation so to do, "to do thy will," to obey and die for

men, "O God!" Did you weep just now, when I bid you fancy you saw the

altar, and the wood laid in order, and Isaac laid bound on the altar? Look

by faith, behold the blessed Jesus, our all-glorious Emmanuel, not bound,

but nailed on a accursed tree: see how he hangs crowned with thorns, and

had in derision of all that are round about him: see how the thorns pierce

him, and how the blood in purple streams trickle down his sacred temples!

Hark how the God of nature groans! See how he bows his head, and at length

humanity gives up the ghost! Isaac is saved, but Jesus, the God of Isaac,

dies; A ram is offered up in Isaac's room, but Jesus has no substitute;

Jesus must bleed, Jesus must die; God the Father provided this Lamb for

himself from all eternity. He must be offered in time, or man must be

damned for evermore. And now, where are your tears? Shall I say, refrain

your voice from weeping? No; rather let me exhort you to look to him whom

you have pierced, and mourn, as a woman mourneth for her first-born: for we

have been the betrayers, we have been the murderers of this Lord of glory;

and shall we not bewail those sins, which brought the blessed Jesus to the

accursed tree? Having so much done, so much suffered for us, so much

forgiven, shall we not love much! O! let us love Him with all our hearts,

and minds, and strength, and glorify him in our souls and bodies, for they

are his. Which leads me to a second inference I shall draw from the

foregoing discourse.

From hence we may learn the nature of true, justifying faith. Whoever

understands and preaches the truth, as it is in Jesus, must acknowledge,

that salvation is God's free gift, and that we are saved, not by any or all

the works of righteousness which we have done or can do: no; we can neither

wholly nor in part justify ourselves in the light of God. The Lord Jesus

Christ is our righteousness; and if we are accepted with God, it must be

only in and through the personal righteousness, the active and passive

obedience, of Jesus Christ his beloved Son. This righteousness must be

imputed, or counted over to us, and applied by faith to our hearts, or else

we can in no wise be justified in God's sight: and that very moment a

sinner is enabled to lay hold on Christ's righteousness by faith, he is

freely justified from all his sins, and shall never enter into

condemnation, notwithstanding he was a fire-brand of hell before. Thus is

was that Abraham was justified before he did any good work: he was enabled

to believe on the Lord Christ; it was accounted to him for righteousness;

that is, Christ's righteousness was made over to him, and so accounted his.

This, this is the gospel; this is the only was of finding acceptance with

God: good works have nothing to do with our justification in his sight. We

are justified by faith alone, as saith the article of our church; agreeable

to which the apostle Paul says, "By grace ye are saved, through faith; and

that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Notwithstanding, good works

have their proper place: they justify our faith, though not our persons;

they follow it, and evidence our justification in the sight of men. Hence

it is that the apostle James asks, was not Abraham justified by works?

(alluding no doubt to the story on which we have been discoursing) that is,

did he not prove he was in a justified state, because his faith was

productive of good works? This declarative justification in the sight of

men, is what is directly to be understood in the words of the text; "Now

know I, says God, that thou fearest me, since thou hast not withheld thy

son, thine only son from me." Not but that God knew it before; but this is

spoken in condescension to our weak capacities, and plainly shows, that his

offering up his son was accepted with God, as an evidence of the sincerity

of his faith, and for this, was left on record to future ages. Hence then

you may learn, whether you are blessed with, and are sons and daughters of,

faithful Abraham. You say you believe; you talk of free grace and free

justification: you do well; the devils also believe and tremble. But has

the faith, which you pretend to, influenced your hearts, renewed your

souls, and, like Abraham's, worked by love? Are you affections, like his,

set on things above? Are you heavenly-minded, and like him, do you confess

yourselves strangers and pilgrims on the earth? In short, has your faith

enabled you to overcome the world, and strengthened you to give up your

Isaacs, your laughter, your most beloved lusts, friends, pleasures, and

profits for God? If so, take the comfort of it; for justly may you say, "We

know assuredly, that we do fear and love God, or rather are loved of him."

But if you are only talking believers, have only a faith of the head, and

never felt the power of it in your hearts, however you may bolster

yourselves up, and say, "We have Abraham for our father, or Christ is our

Savior," unless you get a faith of the heart, a faith working by love, you

shall never sit with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Jesus Christ, in the kingdom

of heaven.

But I must draw one more inference, and with that I shall conclude.

Learn, O saints! From what has been said, to sit loose to all your

worldly comforts; and stand ready prepared to part with everything, when

God shall require it at your hand. Some of you perhaps may have friends,

who are to you as your own souls; and others may have children, in whose

lives your own lives are bound up: all I believe have their Isaacs, their

particular delights of some kind or other. Labor, for Christ's sake, labor,

ye sons and daughters of Abraham, to resign them daily in affection to God,

that, when he shall require you really to sacrifice them, you may not

confer with flesh and blood, any more than the blessed patriarch now before

us. And as for you that have been in any measure tried like unto him, let

his example encourage and comfort you. Remember, Abraham your father was

tried so before you: think, O think of the happiness he now enjoys, and how

he is incessantly thanking God for tempting and trying him when here below.

Look up often by the eye of faith, and see him sitting with his dearly

beloved Issac in the world of spirits. Remember, it will be but a little

while, and you shall sit with them also, and tell one another what God has

done for your souls. There I hope to sit with you, and hear this story of

his offering up his Son from his own mouth, and to praise the Lamb that

sitteth upon the throne, for what he hath done for all or souls, for ever

and ever.