The way of love is a way of faith, consequently obscure and dark; and herein consists its merit.
We walk in it blindly, not knowing where we are, and whither God is leading us. Reason understands nothing of it; and we must sacrifice it from the beginning to the end. It is but at the end of the way that we shall see the reason of the various paths along which God has made us tread.
When God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son to him—that child of promise, from whom would one day proceed the Messiah—if Abraham had reasoned upon an order apparently so opposed to the law of nature; if he had sought to compare this command with the predictions which had been made to him; if he had consulted his paternal tenderness; if he had asked God what his child had done to deserve such cruel treatment, and what he himself had done to be made to execute the sentence; his great sacrifice, that sacrifice so glorious to God, so pleasant in his eyes, which he rewarded even in the same hour with the renewal of his oath, and with the assurance of his protection, and of his special blessings, would never have taken place. Abraham would have rendered himself unworthy of the glorious title of Father of the Faithful; he would have left the way of faith, in which he had always walked, he would have fallen short of perfection; and we know not what dire consequences might have arisen from disobedience caused by vain and false, but most seductive reasonings.