What is disease? This question involves a great many speculative ideas. Some suppose that disease is independent of man; some that it is a punishment from God for the wrongs of our first parents and others think that it comes from disobeying the laws of God. Now let us analyze the above and see if there is any truth in these statements. If there was not a living creature on earth, then there could be any disease, or disease must have an existence before man was created. If so, then God created it for some purpose and if man’s opinion is of any account he reasons that disease is his enemy and if God created an enemy to destroy him then God is not man’s friend as is supposed. So you see that the idea that God had anything to do with disease is superstition; then the question comes up again where does it come from? I answer, it does not come, it is created, not by God but by man.
We have not a true idea of God. God is not a man any more than man is a principle. When we speak of God we are taught to believe in a person, so we attach our ideas to a person called God and then talk about his laws, and teach man how to obey them and the disobeying them is our trouble. How often we hear these words, if man would obey all the laws of God he would never be sick. Now the acknowledgment of this error is the cause of nine-tenths of our sickness, for all laws are arbitrary and binding, and when a law is so severe that man is liable to be cast into prison for committing an act or even thinking a thought that is not in accordance with the law, no wonder the people grumble and complain. The Christian's God is a tyrant of the worst kind.
God is the name of a man's belief and our senses are attached to our opinions about our belief or God. The savages' God is their belief, the Mohammedan’s is theirs and so on to the Christian's God. You see that the Christian’s God, like his follower’s, is like a house divided against itself. The God of the North and the God of the South are as much at war as the Christian worshippers; each prays to their God for help and each condemns the other. Thus it is plain that God is a mere farce, and all our worship is from superstition and fear of a tyrant whose name we dare not take in vain.
The time will come when the true God will be worshipped in spirit and in truth, for God is a spirit and not a man. When I say spirit, I mean that invisible something that like the earth is ready to receive the seed of wisdom or error. Wisdom is the sower and man the vineyard, and as man is made in the image of God his mind is spirit and receives the seed of wisdom or error.
Wisdom has no laws, it is the true wisdom or light. The law of man is the invention of evil thoughts and wisdom is not in it, for as wisdom is in us the law is dead. So to be wise is to be dead to the law, for the law is man's belief and wisdom is of God which is science. Now if we could understand the true idea of causes and effects, we could learn where the cause of disease originates.
Man has invented a God according to his belief so that God is the embodiment of man's belief. As man's belief changes, so his God changes, but the true God never changes. So the wisdom of man condensed into a being called God is set up for the ignorant to worship, and as all men have been made to acknowledge what they have no proof of, the idea of a personal God is believed in, so that no one questions the identity of such a being. This God was made up of the wisdom of the heathen world and we have reverenced and worshipped it not from love but from fear. Its only opponent is science, so as science enters, this God gives way but not without a struggle. The true God is not acknowledged by this, man's God, but it is in the hearts of the people, working like yeast till it affects the whole lump. It is called by the children of this world of opinions Infidel and Deist, etc. To be an infidel is to question that God of man's opinion; for if a man questions a certain class of opinions, he is an infidel. Jesus saw through all this hypocrisy, that the God of the heathens was not the God of peace but of war, and this same God is worshipped now as then. He is called on now more than he has been since the Revolution. He is one of the most convenient Gods I know of. He listens to the North and the South and leads their men on to battle, and from the prayers of his followers, He is as much interested in the victory as the winning party. All this kind of cant is kept up with a certain solemnity and form as though there were real truth in it. But the time will come when all this must give way to a higher worship, for it is a vain worship that shows itself in every church in Christendom. They worship they know not what. This false idea is the foundation on which the world stands, and the evils that flow from this fountain are corrupt, for when the fountain is corrupt the stream is also. When the angel of truth disturbs the waters, they throw forth every kind of corruption. This poisons the minds of the multitudes and makes them sick. The true wisdom, like science, explains away this earthly God and brings man into a more happy state where opinion gives way to facts.
Aug. 1, 1861