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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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My Religious Belief

In giving to the public my ideas in regard to curing the sick, it will be necessary to correct some false ideas that have been circulated in regard to my religious belief. So I will say I have no belief in regard to any person's opinion or religion or disease. I know they are all based on a false idea of wisdom. I take the sick as I find them and treat them according to their several diseases. As their diseases are the result of their education or belief, I have to come in contact with their beliefs. Their religious beliefs are often the cause of their trouble, but the medical theory causes more trouble than all the rest at the present day. In times of old when the priests led the masses, the causes emanated from the priests, but since the right of religious freedom has been granted to all, the truth has destroyed the power of the priest. It has not, however, enlightened the people but has transferred the idea of disease to the medical faculty, so that now the people have these two powers to contend with, the physician and the priest.

I will not call the power of the priest religion but in opposition to it. All the religion I acknowledge is God or Wisdom. I will not take man's belief to guide my barque. I would rather stand at the helm myself, but the priests and medical faculty have assumed the livery of truth and one pretends to look after the body and the other the soul. So between them both, they have nearly destroyed soul and body, for you cannot find one person in ten but complains of some trouble in the form of disease. All disease leads to destruction or death; therefore death is one of the natural results of disease. So to save persons from what may follow, a religious belief is introduced and another world is made which is to receive all mankind, and then they are rewarded according to their acts. This makes up the whole progression of man's life. Now in all this, progression and intelligence and every kind of goodness is not included. It is true we are told that to live a virtuous life is good, but you never hear that to be posted up on all the wisdom of the world and understanding science gave such a person any advantage over the weak and humble believer who swallowed everything the priest told him; but it is rather the reverse effect. To be a good Christian according to their explanation of religion is to be humble and not be wise at all. Now every person partakes of this belief, and in fact they are all made up of belief, for everything you can think of or remember is such, except principles, and these are never admitted or spoken of in any religion.

Now all things must end according to man's belief, and there never has been any theory yet that has ever come in collision with it. Therefore life and death are the natural destiny of man. It is true that the medical faculty try to stave it off, but their efforts are like those of the Rebels—the harder they work the surer they are to destroy the thing they are trying to save. So man's belief is the thing to be either saved or lost and to this end all their skill is directed. This was just the state of the world when Jesus appeared.

1862

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