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Conversations. I studied this passage beforehand, and in no instance have we succeeded so ill. It is better to give the subject up to the children, and let them lead us where they will. The course pursued in this, is in violation of the plan proposed at the beginning of the Conversations, and confirms the naturalness of that plan, by the want of success which has attended this effort. I think this worthy of remark.
Purification of the Temple, from the Sacred Text.- Idea of Indignation. Emblem of Indignation. Moral Intimidation. - Awe - Dramatic Emblem. Religious Enthusiasm. - Self-Purification. - Worship.
Mr. Alcott read the
Before the Vulgar Era, 27. Julian Period, 4740.
Temple at Jerusalem.
* Matt xxi. 12. Mark xi. 15. Luke xix. 45.
PURIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE.
JOHN ii. 13-17.
13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandize. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
† Pa. Ixix. 9.
Mr. Alcott explained the origin of the Feast, the courts of the Temple, &c, and asked the usual question.
JOSIAH. Jesus meant to show them that they were wicked in making any place to worship God in, a place for any thing else. I can see Jesus going into the temple, and the little tables of shops, and the sheep lying about. Jesus was
smiling when he went in ; but when he sees this he looks pretty cross.
MR. ALCOTT. What feeling has he in his mind? JOSIAH. I have had it sometimes - he feels that they ought not to do so.
EMMA. It was indignation.
MR. ALCOTT. What is the difference between anger and indignation?
EMMA. Anger wants to hurt, to injure ; but indignation only feels the wrong, and wants to have others feel
MR. ALCOTT. Is the outward expression alike?
FREDERIC. He felt displeasure; there was no anger, nor peevishness, nor fretfulness. He seemed rather impatient, but not worrisome; he wanted to get them away quick.
FRANKLIN. I have thought he cried a little.
ANDREW. His feeling was sorrowfulness for their using the temple of God as a shop.
LEMUEL. He looks red at the men who are selling in the temple.
MR. ALCOTT. Is anger right?
LEMUEL. No; but indignation is, when it does not go too far.
he did not use the whip.
MR. ALCOTT. Who else think he did not use the
When it does not come to blows. But
(The majority thought he did not.)
What was the whip for?
SEVERAL. It was an emblem of warning.
MR. ALCOTT. What made them all go out, if he did not use the whip?
JOSIAH. He took the whip to drive the cattle out.
MR. ALCOTT. What made the people go out? JOSIAH. Because they were afraid he would whip them. And yet it seems as if it was a kind of deception to have frightened them so. My mind is not clear about it. He must have known that he would have frightened them with his whip, and yet he could not have intended for one moment to whip them.
EMMA. They went out because he tokl
them to go, and they were ashamed of themselves on account of something in his manner. AUGUSTINE. I think he held up his whip, in a warning, emblematic way, and looked at each, till one by one they went out.
JOHN B. I think he whipped, but very calmly, without passion, so as to make them think,
GEORGE K. They went out because they feared his miraculous power.
MR. ALCOTT. Was there in this act any thing hasty, violent, or any want of self-control?
AUGUSTINE. He never lost his self-control in his life. MR. ALCOTT. Some people have thought that Jesus was hasty in doing this; others have thought it was a necessary severity, by which he showed them, in a manner they could understand, that they had done what was unworthy. What do you think?
EMMA. I think it would have been better not to have used the whip.
AUGUSTINE. I think Jesus knew best.
MR. ALCOTT. The whole scene may be considered as a dramatic exhibition of indignant enthusiasm, I think the use of
the whip was only as an emblem; the scourge was probably made very deliberately before their eyes, and the action probably attracted the attention of all. Prophets among the Jews were in the habit of doing emblematic things. The multitude thought him a prophet, and they watched his doings, and were convicted in their consciences, and went out of themselves. Then he overturned the money-changers' tables. "And his disciples remembered that it was written " by their prophets, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
What does zeal mean?
EMMA. To do things willingly.
FREDERIC. The temple of God absorbed
his thoughts-that is what the rest of the words mean. MR. ALCOTT. What did Jesus come to purify?
FRANKLIN. Our thoughts and feelings.
MR. ALCOTT. Where do we go to purify our spirits?
work of purification?
FREDERIC. He purified himself.
MR. ALCOTT. By victory over temptation what next?
FRANKLIN. He purified water into wine.
FRANKLIN. The temple.
MR. ALCOTT. Jesus was earnest in the purification of the Body and the Church. He could not bear to see the Temple desecrated to the ends of trade. Against idolatry of gold he set himself on all occasions.