Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Boreham on Leaving a Useful Bequest

“Isaac dug again the wells of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them, and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.”
Genesis 26: 18

Isaac is not one of the Homeric figures of Bible history; indeed, there are only two things to be said about him. He was the son of his father; and he was the father of his son! He was the son of his father, and, as his father's son, he performed one of the most charming acts of filial devotion ever recorded. That is very beautiful. Isaac made up his mind that, though Abraham might be buried, Abraham should never die. Isaac was content to be Nobody in order that his father might be Everybody. He made his father's immortality the supreme aim of his own existence. He unstopped the wells that Abraham had dug.

Centuries afterwards Jesus rested on one of these wells, and uttered words of everlasting life to the woman of Samaria. Centuries later still, these self-same wells refreshed the exhausted troops of General Allenby [during the First World War].

Isaac made it possible for his father, Abraham, to lift a cup of cold water to the parched lips of spent wayfarers through countless generations. One of these wells is known as Jacob's well to this very day.

The world can only make real progress so far as each generation hands on to its successor, not only the intricacies and complexities that it has itself invented, but also the simplicities that have refreshed the hearts of people from time immemorial.

It is splendid for our generation to be able to bequeath to posterity the cinema, the radiogram, television, nuclear research. But with these we must hand on our English Bible, our family altar, our peaceful Sunday, or posterity may look upon our sensational bequest as a very doubtful gain. For these are the fountains that never fail.

F W Boreham, The Tide Comes In, pp 54-56.

Image: Jacob’s Well.