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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Religion Analyzed: Part 3—Comparison between Christians Eighteen Hundred Years Ago and Now: Science and Ignorance Illustrated

Here is the difference between the followers of Jesus, who was crucified eighteen-hundred years ago, and the disciples of Calvin at this day. One believer disbelieves in everything that cannot be substantiated by cures and the other believes in nothing but forms and ceremonies which Jesus denounced. One's works are their religion, the other their belief. This difference was the same in Paul's day and he says, Show me your religion without works and I will show you mine by my works. To be a disciple of Jesus is to put his wisdom into practice, not to be calling yourself a Christian, but by your acts, to separate yourself from opinions and beliefs that can never make a man happy or wise and to enter into that world of Science where opinions never come. The world's religion is a belief, that of Jesus is his acts.

A belief is merely a belief in some idol or man. Paul says of idols, We know that an idol or belief is nothing in the world and that there is no other truth but one, that is Science or God. I will here relate an incident. A lady came to see me who was troubled with what she called neuralgia in the head and neck, running into the shoulders. She was a person with what would be called an expansive mind. She reasoned from cause to effect and was quick to understand, but. she was very religious. She had imbibed this error in her youth and never tested it as she had tested other things. Now a person is known by the company he keeps and public opinion is the judge by which we are judged. So man's opinions and ideas of science and superstition are tested by the wisdom of science and science respects science, but it has no dealings with opinions; therefore, a religious man and one purely scientific have no more dealings than the Jews and the Samaritans. The Jews represent the religious man of opinions and belief, the Samaritans, the scientific or infidel. Jesus was a scientific man and the woman at the well was also a Samaritan. But she mistook him for a Jew or a man of opinions, for when he asked for water, her answer showed this.

Now if Jesus had not shown himself superior to an opinion, there would have been no explanation, for one opinion is as good as another. But was that the case? No, for he said, If you knew of whom you ask water, I would be a well, etc. Here were some dealings whereby she was to receive something and you see she did, for she went away into the city and told all he had said and then inquired if he was the true Christ—not a Jew. Jesus knew her thoughts which was her character and the good he appreciated, while the bad he despised. All men are made up of good and bad and carry the two characters with them in every capacity in life. When you are talking with a person of opinions and scientific subjects are not named, the world that sits listening is as wise as it was before. They may have some new ideas but they are like sounding brass; they contain no wisdom that the world is put in possession of. Ask for proofs you get an opinion or ask for bread and you get a stone. A politician will talk all day and night, yet he will never say one word that cannot be found in someone's speech; still he talks of his wisdom. Listen to the priest. He repeats some old story that never had any science or wisdom above opinion and you leave as hungry as you entered. True you may be amused by his talk, so you might in a barroom. The only difference is made by the public opinion; neither advances the science of wisdom.

These two characters appear in the sick; so when they come to me, Satan comes also. Now Satan is error or opinions and his honesty and religion are all hypocrisy, and science knows it. I always address myself to the scientific man. This rouses the dignity of Satan, for he expects to be respected and when he finds he is discovered by me, he assumes a sort of dignity and appears very religious, etc. This is returned by me with a sort of scorn. This contempt often rouses the disease. Then it leaves and I am the persecuted one. For it will rail and call me everything bad, but if it is kept in check by reason, it is modest in its denunciations of me. When I say me, I mean this truth. The world knows no other character than one, so if they speak a truth, it is all the same. Here is the mystery; man as we see him is not the man but the shadow. No one sees the creator of the thing created. You see a man walking, but the man that moves the form that walks, called man, cannot see the man that makes him walk. We see the automaton, but the wisdom cannot be seen for it has no matter. The two men are not seen at all, yet they have an identity and the body is the instrument of both. Everybody contains the two: the father and son. The father is science, the son is matter and opinions; when the father speaks, he speaks through the son. Now when the science is the son, that is the offspring of the father, through the matter or son.

When the child science is born, it is nursed by the son or matter till it comes of age or understanding; then it speaks for itself. But its father being wisdom and its mother being matter, it takes its mother's name. So Adam was the son, wisdom the father, and the science or rib taken from Adam was another offspring, for God saw that it was not good that matter should be alone. Science then came forth and matter called it woman. Here is the generation of man. Adam means earth in Hebrew. As God or wisdom spoke man into existence in this form, he called it Adam or earth. That form of Adam is man, not science. So as God saw that earth was not fit to be alone, he takes from it a higher element, science—the rib and shows it to the earth and the earth calls it woman or science.

I will give another illustration. Every idea that man has is either the offspring of science or error. Each is a character of itself, but as science cannot be seen by error, error does not admit it except as a principle or mystery. Each has its senses and each its life; error has its death, but science never dies. So life is to be wise and happiness is the result of true wisdom. I will try once more to make the above plain. The natural man speaks of man, woman and child; this is the trinity: father, wife and son. But when I speak of the generation of the scientific man, I have nothing to do with error or the natural man; the latter is at enmity with the scientific man. This scientific man is not subject to the man of error nor never can be. Every man is in fact four persons; wisdom is the father and mother of all. When he created Adam or earth, it was without form; but when he formed man out of the earth and breathed into him science, then man became a living soul. So man being of Adam was of the earth, earthy. Now the life of the earth or Adam must come forth. So wisdom caused a sleep in Adam, took the rib or science and explained it to him and he called it woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore, science is the woman; ignorance, the Adam or man.

Here are two characters: science and man and woman, separate from wisdom. Adam says science or woman is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Therefore, shall man or ignorance leave his father or Adam and cleave to science or woman that they may be one flesh or life? The wedding of science and ignorance brings forth a son called error or Cain, which means a possession in Hebrew. Abel was the brother or spiritual son of Science, for Abel in Hebrew means vanity or vapor or breath. Here you have the spiritual and natural son of Adam and Eve: Cain the natural man, Abel the spiritual man or woman. When the two sons brought unto wisdom the fruit of their labors, the wisdom had respect for Abel or science, but for Cain or error, he had no respect. So Cain or error was wroth as all error is with science. Then wisdom says to error, Whom are you wroth with? If you do well, you will be accepted, but if you do evil, sin liveth at your door. While Cain or error and Abel or Science were reasoning together, error rose up as it always does and fells science down or slays it. So when wisdom asks error where science is, it answers, Am I my brother's keeper? Then wisdom says for this act you are cursed or separated from the earth or ignorance which might receive you. So when you investigate or till the ground or matter, it shall bring forth not science but error and thou shalt be a fugitive and vagabond on the earth. This is the character and science would slay it, and wisdom would not have it slain but let it kill itself, so error undisturbed will destroy itself. The death of Abel or science means the smothering or cramping of the truth, as they did with Jesus. And as science cannot be killed, its place is in the hearts of man. It has never risen from the dead or error, but the time will come that it will rise from the dead and there are persons standing here that shall not die or denounce it till they see it coming in the clouds of their minds. Then every scientific eye shall see it and opinions shall flee. Science will then take her place in the world of opinions and opinions will worship it like all other sciences.

Nov. 15, 1861

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