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GEORGE K. Why, I suppose it must be the spirit
MR. ALCOTT. Does the eye see?
FRANCIS. Yes; but the spirit makes it see.
Does the knife cut?
SEVERAL. Yes; but the hand uses it.
LEMUEL and LUCIA. No; it is the spirit uses it. MR. ALCOTT. Do you think, that the organs used for mastication have any power of their own?
CHARLES. No; but the spirit gives them power.
MR. ALCOTT. Why is it that you think the body sees and hears, eats and drinks?
The spirit sees and hears, but does not
eat and drink.
MARTHA. The spirit eats and fixes the food and builds it upon the body.
MR. ALCOTT. Has your spirit the appetite?
What moves the mouth?
SEVERAL. The spirit.
MR. ALCOTT. What is the connexion between the spirit and the mouth?
CHARLES. I do not think any one can tell that.
MR. ALCOTT. It is very simple, if you will think. What makes the spirit act on the body?
MR. ALCOTT. Where is hunger, in the soul or the body?
SEVERAL. In the soul.
CHARLES. In the body. The soul does not hunger for food.
MR. ALCOTT. What acts in hunger?
CHARLES. The stomach wants something to do. MR. ALCOTT. Does the hunger begin to act on the stomach, or the stomach act on the hunger?
CHARLES. We are so made that we hunger at times; and the spirit directs the action of the body when it hungers, and makes it eat; but the spirit does not hunger for food. The spirit hungers for inward things, and directs the body and makes it eat; it does not get the food into itself.
MR. ALCOTT. But the spirit surely gets the good from the act of eating, does it not?
CHARLES. The spirit causes the body to eat, and the effect of the body's eating is good on the spirit ; but the effect is not the cause.
MR. ALCOTT. The effect is always involved in the Did you ever hear these words "Blessed are ye, when ye shall hunger and thirst after righteousness"?
CHARLES. I said the spirit hungered after inward things, but the body after material things. I think there is something low in making the spirit hunger after food.
MR. ALCOTT. Yet the spirit must take care of the body, supply its waste and build it up, as it tends to decay.
Opinions of the Children.
ANDREW. Mr. Alcott, I do not think that the soul hungers, because it makes the body hunger, any more than that the man is the house, because he builds it.
MR. ALCOTT. Those, who agree with
(One or two did.)
Those who think that the Spirit hungers, may hold up their hands.
I am unable to decide this question.
CHARLES. Then why do you reason against me, and bring up every argument that you can against what I say?
MR. ALCOTT. I do not reason against you; I am endeavouring to bring out what you think, and also the other view.
CHARLES. What is your object then?
MR. ALCOTT. I will ask Lemuel- What is it that I am trying to do?
MARTHA. I think you wanted to show Charles that the Spirit eats, and not the body; for Charles seems to think that the body can do things without the Spirit. CHARLES. Well, if I do seem to think so, I do not; I think the body hungers, but the Spirit shows it how to satisfy its hunger; but you wanted to make me think that the Spirit hungers.
MR. ALCOTT Do any of you think that I wanted to make Charles think so?
SAMUEL R. I thought you wanted to make Charles see as you did about this.
MR. ALCOTT. I do not usually tell my opinion, but it is true that I cannot conceive of the body hungering, any more than I can conceive of the body's seeing, or hearing, or touching, or running, or walking. CHARLES. So it does run, and walk, and all; but the Spirit makes it.
MR. ALCOTT. It is my opinion that the Spirit itself hungers after food for the body, as well as after spiritual things that the Spirit sees, hears, walks.
CHARLES. I think the Spirit sees and hears, but that
it only makes the body hunger and walk.
MR. ALCOTT. I see how it is in your mind and where the difficulty lies.
CHARLES. Well, I wish you would make me see how it is, for I cannot see that the Spirit hungers after food. MR. ALCOTT. So I perceive; but we must now drop the subject, and bring the conversation to a close. It will come up again hereafter.
What has been the subject?
FRANCIS. Spirit acting through the body. (Several repeated the idea in several modifications.)
MR. ALCOTT. The conversation has been Conversation. long to day. - We have had more than usual of argument, if argument it can be called.
CHARLLS. I don't think it has been much of an argument on your side, for your side was only asking questions.
MR. ALCOTT. No; it is my object to make you argue make you reason, by giving the terms. I have not sought in these conversations to present my own views of truth, but to call forth yours; and by so doing make you conscious of your own powers of finding it. It is the part of a wise instructer to tempt forth from the minds of his pupils the facts of their inmost consciousness, and make them apprehend the gifts and faculties of their own being. Education, when rightly understood, will be found to lie in the art of asking apt and fit questions, and in thus leading the mind by its own light to the perception of truth.
FORESIGHT OF SPIRIT.
Multitudes follow Jesus, from the Sacred Text.
Preaching. Prophecy. Idea of Prophets Conditions of Prophecy. Prophetic Instincts. - Inspiration. --- Sympathy with Suffering and Sorrow. Reformation. --- Gentiles. Imperfection. - Subject. Suspension of the Conversations. - Synopsis of the preceding Conversations. Close.
MR. ALCOTT. How many have read over the lesson for the day?
(Many held up hands.)
The rest may read it over now.
He then asked, what was the subject of the last conversation?
NATHAN. Whether it was right to heal on the Sabbath day.
ANDREW. Jesus curing the withered arm.
(Lemuel and Others repeated the same idea.)
MR. ALCOTT. What subject opened out of these circumstances?
They did not answer, and Mr. Alcott read the lesson for the day.