When Isaac alone is left, in whom the weary old age of the good man may repose, he is shortly after ordered to sacrifice him. What more frightful thing can the human mind imagine than for a father to become the executioner of his own son?
If Isaac had died of sickness, who would have not thought Abraham the most miserable of old men – given a son in jest – on whose account his grief of childlessness should be doubled? If he had been killed by some stranger, the calamity would have been much increased by the indignity.
But for a son to be slaughtered by his own father’s hand surpasses every sort of calamity. In short, throughout life he was so tossed and troubled that if anyone wished to paint a picture of a calamitous life, he could find no model more appropriate than Abraham’s!
JOHN CALVIN, The Reformer (1509 – 1564)
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