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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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What Is Happiness?

What is happiness? It is what follows any act of the law of science, but it is not always understood. Sin and misery are the effects of our belief put in practice, governed by a law of sin and death. Man is the medium of these two laws; the one, chance or ignorance, which is of this world; the other, God or Science, which is of a higher. The wisdom of one is called the law; the knowledge of the other is the gospel or science. These two laws enter into all our acts. Mathematics contains the two laws. The solving of a problem does not establish the science, although it may be right, but it develops a phenomenon for a more wise and excellent law called science so that the world may be benefited by it. So by establishing the law of science we destroy the law of ignorance. This holds good of all the laws of science; the introduction of the one is the destruction of the other, to all who understand. To such there is no offering up of sin or sacrifices but a fearful looking for judgment or acting wrong that will get us into trouble. This keeps us on our guard. Now, it has not entered into man's heart to conceive a more excellent law whereby man may be saved from his sins or errors that bind him down by the laws of sin and death. To introduce a science that can explain the errors that keep us in trouble is what prophets foretold and wise men have looked for ever since the world began. This knowledge has been called by various names. It was called the New Jerusalem that came down from heaven and it was called the kingdom of heaven. This is the law that was written in the hearts; it is the knowledge of ourselves that can see the evils of our own misery.

It may be asked, how can we distinguish between the two, for everyone has a right to his own opinion. That is true, but science does not leave it answered in that way, but proves it so that there can be no mistake. Now as disease is an error, so the mind, as in any error, must be corrected by a power independent of itself, and this power must be governed by a science in all cases; though it may not be necessarily understood by the person applying the power. As science, like God, never acts except like a balance which judges correctly, it contains no thought or reason but judges everyone according to his worth. As error is a chemical action and contains all of the above, it is like two rogues at war with itself. There is an old saying, and a very good one, that when two rogues fall out, an honest man gets his due; so when error is at war, it develops some truth or science. As the degrees from total darkness or ignorance are progressive, they embrace all kinds of talents, like teachers from the lowest classes of this world to the highest of the spiritual world. All science to the natural world is looked upon as a mystery, witchcraft, sorcery, etc., because it cannot see anything beyond itself. But there is a mind that can teach it and another that can learn it and so on until it reaches a science. Then comes the end of the world of error and the introduction of a more excellent law of God or science. As a person's happiness is the effect of his knowledge, to be good is the first of science. All religion that embraces creeds is of this world and is governed by laws and contains rewards and punishments; therefore holding out inducements to be good with one hand and retribution with the other is not the religion of Christ. He is in us, and a part of us, and to know ourselves is to know Christ and to preach Christ is to help each other out of our troubles, destroying the enemy that has possession of us.

Thus to lay down your life for your friends is not so easy a matter as some might think. It is easier to talk about religion than to talk it. To talk it is to put it into practice, and to put it into practice is to give it to those who ask, for to give them a stone when they ask for bread is what anyone can do, as then you part with nothing. To give to everyone that asks of you some spiritual food or knowledge that will cool their feverish tongue or soothe their excited brain, and lead them like the good shepherd to their home of health where they can rejoice with their friends is not so easy as to sit down and thank the Lord that you are not like other men. To be a follower of Christ is not an easy thing but to be a representative of the kingdom of heaven is not very hard; it only requires one to become as ignorant as a child. The majority of men have not much to sacrifice to become a representative of the kingdom of heaven, but to become a follower of Christ is not so easy a task.

To call yourself a follower of Jesus is to call yourself a pattern of goodness and that was more than Jesus said of himself, for he never sounded the trumpet of his own praise. We are called upon to become followers of Christ or science so that the world may be benefited by His truth. This is our happiness and the happiness of others, for we are all workers of the same truth. Therefore forsake error and embrace the true science or truth and fight the enemy of health, like a soldier of science.

February 1860

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