by Clarence E. Macartney

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Isaac - The Man Who Dug Old Wells (2 of 16)
Clarence E. Macartney
Genesis 26:18

Once on a summer day, floating down the Ohio River, our boat grounded on the sands of a large and densely wooded island, the largest island in the Ohio, some distance below Parkersburg. Disembarking, we roamed over the island and soon came upon the evidences of a former habitation; fragments of well-cut stones that had once marked the line of a driveway, and here and there the vestiges of a once splendid mansion, foundation stones, broken arches, and fragments of a wall. It was the home the expatriated Irishman Harman Blennerhassett had built for himself and his lady in that island wilderness. Once the hospitality of kings was dealt out there with a lavish hand, and the parks and lawns resounded with European music and cultivated conversation. The wilderness paradise began to wither when Aaron Burrentered it and enticed Blennerhassett to join him in his mysterious enterprise in the Southwest. Now the island is a river solitude, with only these scattered ruins to speak of the once lordly home that graced the wilderness. Wandering about we came upon an old well that had been dug more than a century before. Someone had rigged a windlass over it, and we lowered the bucket to a great depth, raised it again and drank eagerly of the pure and refreshing water, just as cool and just as refreshing as when Aaron Burr and Blennerhassett and his lovely lady drank of it a century ago. The good water is still there. That was what Isaac did. He dug again the wells which his father Abraham had dug before him, knowing that he could not improve upon the location of those wells or the water which flowed in their depths.

So far as fame is concerned, Isaac had the misfortune to come between two of the greatest and most striking personalities of the Bible, Abraham, who was his father, and Jacob, who was his son. Isaac was not an innovator. There is nothing striking or dramatic or thrilling in his life ...

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