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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Do Words Contain Any Wisdom of Themselves?

That depends on who uses them. Jesus said, “The words I say unto you are eternal life.” Now if another person should say the same words, there would be no life in them. Jesus says, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life.” The disciples could not understand for Peter said, “To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Words without meaning are like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. What is the life of a word? It is the wisdom it communicates to the person who receives it. If I never heard the word dog, there is no life in it to me, for life is wisdom, but if you put life into the word, then the life is the substance and the dog is in it. If you say orange to a person who does not know it and apply the word to the thing, then wisdom comes in the odor which is the substance or life of the orange; but without any application or explanation, it is like a cloud without rain; it contains no wisdom or life.

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