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Mr. Alcott. Should you not want to have a physician?
ANDREW. I always do have one.
WELLES. The brass serpent was to make them remember to have faith in God. Their faith in God cured them.
Edward C. Being born again interested
Mr. Alcott. Have you been, or do you want to be? EDWARD C. No.
Mr. Alcott. Being born again means being made better in spirit.
EDWARD C. I should like to be better, but I do not want to have my body born again.
John B. I think Nicodemus was interested by the miracles of Jesus, and wanted to know whether he could believe in the rest.
Mr. Alcott. Did Jesus explain bis miracles to him? John B. He talked about spiritual birth with him.
SAMUEL R. Being born again, I think, Spiritual
means that at death the spirit goes back
to heaven. It was born before the body at first, and goes back to its first state.
Mr. Alcott. What is the use of the Spirit's entering the body, and suffering, if we
return to what we were before? (Sumuel hesitated.) WELLEs. It has learned to resist temptation.
Mr. Alcott. Suppose that temptation is not resisted, and wrong is done?
WELLES. We can then form resolutions.
Mr. Alcott. What feeling makes us form resolutions of amendment?
George B. Repentance.
what? CHARLES. The Spirit's Faculties. *Mr. Alcott. Which is Self-Consciousness? Certain knowle:Ige, “lifts us up.” A little baby is good; but being tempted by outward things, it becomes acquainted with both the outward and in ward world, and thus acts out its spirit.
EMMA. We ought to do as well as know.
Mr. Alcott. So we come into the world to put our Spirits into action, either for keeping or recovering our innocence.
Lucia. Being born again means that the Spirit should grow better all the time.
Mr. Alcott. What does the word Renovation.
again mean in this place? LUCIA. (After a pause.) The soul must come back to the goodness it had when it was a baby. We must lose some part of our goodness and find out what wrong is, and then become good agaiu like a baby.
Mr. Alcott. What do you call a baby at
Lucia. (Successively.) Innocent. - Good.
– Angelic. MR. Alcott. Is there a better word still? Ellen. Holy.
MR. ALCOTT. And holy means what; like God Godlike?
(All assented.) Ellen. I thought being born again meant to have a new heart.
Mr. Alcott. What is having a new heart?
Ellen. To have all your sins forgiven.
ELLEN. By praying earnestly, with the Prayer.
spirit; that is, to mean and feel what we
Mr. Alcott. Some of you thirik, perhaps, that prayer consists in saying over some words, whether you know what the words mean or not. Is it not true striying to do right that makes prayer?
(All assented.) Is it right then - a prayer - to sit at dinner and eat more than you need?
(All said no.)
Ellen. It means to want to act right; to be pure like a baby. It says “ again,” because once we were pure and holy.
MR. Alcott. And are not those demons, Fallen Spirits.
and whisper wrong feelings and thoughts into the souls of these holy ones?
(All held up hands.) What shape did those demons take who went and wbispered evil into the ears of your little brothers and sisters? was it the shape of Charles, or Lemuel, or William ?
(All exclaimed, no.) Did you ever strike a little brother or sister?
(Several held up hands.) Were you not then such demons? Did you ever fret a
babe - hurt its feelings be selfish to it - set it an example of disobedience, or any other wrong thing? (Some confessed to all these things.)
Little babies lose their babyhood their pure and holy life, in a great measure, be
cause those around them do not meet their holiness with love and generosity, and teach them about outward things, and bear patiently the mistakes which these little ones make with their heads, not hearts, while they are learning the outward world, and things of time. Take care that you do not help to destroy their holiness. Jesus said, " Whoever shall cause one of these little ones to offend, it were better for him that a mill-stono were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the depths of the sea.” Who kept his baby hood?
MR. ALCOTT. There is truth in that, I believe; and yet it is language so liable to be misunderstood, that it had better not be used. Do you know of any child of your acquaintance, who has such holiness and simplicity as always “to come to the light,” having nothing within it that may not be seen?
(There was no answer.) We shall resume this subject at our next Conversation.
RESTAURATION OF SPIRIT.
Idea of the Supernatural. — Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus, from
the Sacred Text. – Type of Retribution. — Naughtiness. – Imaginative Faith. — Ideality of Jesus. Sense of Supernatural. - Restauration. Idea of Spiritual Renewal. Peccability of Childhood. - Emblem of Spiritual Agency. Type of Self-Sacrifice. — Type of Conscience.Open-heartedness.
Idea of the
Mr. Alcott. We resume the subject of our last Conversation. Do you remember what it was ?
CHARLES. The Supernatural. Supernatural. (Mr. Alcott described a storm at sea, and the sailors in
despair, after having struggled with its terrors, going beyond Nature to prayer — the Supernatural ;
then death, where the Natural grows still, before the Supernatural, - then, the coming of Thought
into the mind — the eagerness to express it.) Mr. Alcott. Do you understand the birth of the Supernatural within the Soul ?
(They assented.) Ellen. Jesus taught Nicodemus to be good by being born again. Mr. Alcoit. What does
does being born again mean?