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CHARLES. I think if Jesus had come with a king's crown, and sceptre, and royal robes, and bringing a great deal of money and honors, they would have let him do any thing on Sunday that he wished, and said not a word about it.
FRANKLIN. I don't think he would have done so much good if he had come so.
MR. ALCOTT. Had they right notions about power and dignity?
MR. ALCOTT. Can you tell me of any example in modern times of a mistake, such as these Jews made about the Sabbath day? LEMUEL. Some people think it is wrong to go and see sick people on Sunday.
JOSIAH. I have heard people say it was wrong to go to an apothecary's shop on Sunday.
GEORGE B. People think it is always wrong to sew on Sunday; but it would not be wrong to sew a shroud. W. AUGUSTUS. People think it is wrong to go and buy medicine on Sunday, but it is not.
HALES. Some people think it is wrong to eat on Fast day, but we do.
ANDREW. Some think it wrong to ride out on Sunday, or to take a walk.
(Franklin and Corinna agreed.)
MR. ALCOTT. Do you think those things are wrong? ELLEN. I think it is wrong to go out on a visit, because it will be likely to take your mind from what you ought to be thinking of yourself; but it is not wrong to visit the sick, or to go out to talk on interesting subjects.
EMMA. If they were going to take a ride for mere pleasure, I think it would be as well to take another day; for though you might not think or talk of any
thing wrong, and the riding would not be wrong, yet other and different kind of people would do so.
JOSIAH. A friend of mine was sick, and the doctor thought it would be well to go and ride on Sunday — and that was right.
GEORGE B. It is wrong to go and sail on Sunday. ELLEN. Yes; I know that it is wrong, because boats almost always get upset that go and sail on Sunday. (The children laughed.)
I have very often heard so; I have often heard of pleasure boats being upset on Sunday; and I should think it would be so that God would make it so on purpose as a punishment.
Would the same wind upset it on
any other day?
GEORGE B. I don't see why that man should not take up his bed and walk, if Jesus told him to.
WILLIAM C. I don't think he would have been cured, if he had not had faith enough in Jesus to do any thing he commanded him to do.
MR. ALCOTT. Do you imagine people standing round, and calling Jesus a bad man, and Jesus telling him to do this thing which they thought wrong, to prove his faith?
WILLIAM C. Yes; he wanted to see if he too would think it wrong.
FRANKLIN. It tried his faith, because the people all thought it was wrong.
EMMA. It could not be wrong, if Jesus had told him to do it.
MR. ALCOTT. What kind of faith was this that Jesus called out?
SUSAN. Faith that Jesus could cure him.
I do not see how that man could have faith in Jesus, when he lived in that Porch, and could never have seen any of his miracles, or heard of his power.
FRANKLIN. I don't think he did live in the Porch, but somewhere else, and had heard of Jesus.
CHARLES. I think he was not so well taken care of as to live always in that Porch. But I think it was his strong desire to be cured that made him so easy to believe that Jesus could cure him.
MR. ALCOTT. What is meant by Jesus conveying himself away?
CHARLES. Why, he walked away as any man would. I suppose the lame man was so delighted at finding himself well that he did not take notice.
MR. ALCOTT. What has been the subject to-day?
EMMA and OTHERS. Faith curing sickness.
MR. ALCOTT. Have any of you been more interested than usual to-day?
(Several said yes.)
How many have been as much interested as usual?
How many not so much?
Those who have tried as much as usual to-day may stand up.
Sometimes I ask a question, and you look as if you were going to say something, and I wait, and nothing comes; how is that?
SAMUEL R. I can't express my thoughts. (Several agreed.)
ELLEN. I have no thoughts to express.
CHARLES. I don't have either difficulty; but sometimes my attention is diverted, and I do not hear what is going on.
JOSIAH. I cannot always remember the words I want to use. I sometimes have to wait; and I try to remember my words by saying them over to myself; but very often, while I am doing it, my words, and thoughts, and all, are forgotten!
MR. ALCOTT. Sometimes I do not express myself well, or so that you can understand me. How many feel that?
(Some raised their hands.)
Whenever that is the case, you should say that you do not understand the question. Do you always have thoughts?
(All rose, and some said, “almost always.”) How long do you think we have been conversing to-day? (The judgment varied from ten minutes up to two hours. It was two hours.)
RESURRECTION OF SPIRIT.
Review. Conversation of Jesus with the Jews on the Cure of the Impotent Man, from the Sacred Text. Wholesome Food.. -Retribution. Type of the Appetites and Passions. - Repentance and Contrition. Illustration of Contrition. - Confession of Faults. Quickening Agency of Conscience. Spiritual Renewal. - Persecution. - Activity of Spirit. Unity of Spirit.-Limitations of the Flesh. - Paternity of Spirit. - Spiritual Renovation. Retribution. -- Subject.
Mr. Alcott began by recalling the miracle at the pool of Bethesda, and asked what else they remembered.
NATHAN. We talked about the porches.
MR. ALCOTT. I might have remarked to you, that this man being impotent could not put himself into the pool without assistance.
ELLEN. He says, "There is no man to put me in."
MR. ALCOTT. What principle did the conversation lead us to think of? You know we spoke of people's ascribing things to wrong causes of a little infant's thinking a twirling leaf was alive.
(Mr. Alcott referred to the Dutch superstition about the Stork's protecting houses.)
CHARLES. 'That is because Storks are kind.