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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Misery

Man's misery always arises from some error that is admitted as true. We confound our fears with the idea feared and place the evil in the thing seen or believed. Here is a great error, for we never see that which we are afraid of. Suppose, for instance, we see a wild animal lying down in the forest. Not knowing what it is, we are afraid, lest it be a bear or a catamount. This doubt is what makes our fear or torment. If we knew that the animal was securely chained, that knowledge would banish our fears.

Man is constantly tormented through fear of death. We may say we do not believe in the destruction of ourselves, but everything shows us that our lives are destroyed by this king of terrors. Now if it were possible to convince man that the life that can be destroyed is life only because his ignorance and fears make it so, he would then look about to see how he can save himself from the death he so much fears. At night he lies down and goes to sleep. In the morning he rises from the dead or the idea that he lived in eight hours before. Night and day are emblems of man's existence. When man is in doubt, he is in the darkness that he has been warned of.

All men must pass through this purgatory before they can awake to the light of wisdom. In passing through the night of error, shadows appear and the mind is disturbed and anxious for the light of day. In the daytime, we call ourselves awake, but we are just as much asleep to the light of wisdom as in the night. It, however, makes a difference in the ideas we fear. In the day or light of health, the ideas of disease are not near us; but in the night of trouble, we fear the darkness lest we should never again behold the light. These fears arise from our education and they are based on the fear of death, but let death be destroyed by destroying the belief in the evils that lead to it, then it is robbed of its terror. Men are in the dark about death and in this darkness Jesus appeared and brought the light of life.

It is the common opinion that Jesus came to convince man of another world, but this cannot be so for he never proved it. A scientific analysis of the scriptures will reveal the mission of Jesus. He came into the world as a saviour to save man from error and not from truth. Their religion had taught them to believe in another world. He saw the misery it wrought on the people and he made war against it. He saw that, like a serpent, it wound itself around the life of man, running its poisonous fangs through every act. Jesus was mortal like any other man, but Christ was wisdom manifested through Jesus, which could destroy the serpent by binding him with the cords of wisdom in man's own belief so that he could not deceive the people again. This was Jesus' mission: to save man from the devil and teach him to destroy all evil. Christ often comes in the form of some good Samaritan and saves man from the power of the devil. He is the creature of man's belief and he is found in priestcraft and its followers. The church has always fought Christ or science. Their offering of prayers can never take away pain or sin.

1864

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