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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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The Art of Healing.

Of all subjects affecting the happiness of mankind, health stands foremost in importance, for without it little can be enjoyed and nothing effected. Why in the design of an overruling Providence so many are innocently condemned to be miserable invalids, to annihilate their existence as useful beings and yield up their life to disease, are questions continually recurring to the sick, rendering life more a mystery to them, even than to the well. Notwithstanding the advancement that has been in the science which is intended to lessen suffering and prolong life, still the signs of the times would indicate that the wave of disease will swell with the increasing tide of new generations. Every person’s experience teaches them the value of health, so that its consideration occupies a large share of individual attention and each person has a standard of his own by which he endeavors to preserve it. Theories, rules and opinions are just as good as their effects show.—If we can keep our health good by applying our own rules, well and good; if not; we need help.—Every theory admitting evil as an element cannot annihilate it. If disease is ever driven out of existence, it must be by a theory and practice entirely at variance with what we now put our trust in. There are those who indulge in the belief that humanity contains the principles of self—perfection and that there is in every person a power superior to reason or education by which sciences are discovered and miracles effected. This principle is not recognized as a natural capacity in man, but its appearance is generally considered as an exclusive gift and its possessors are geniuses and sorcerers. Both are judged by their works to have a power not allotted to the masses, and their explanation places them in one of the above classes. In every age there have appeared individuals possessing the power of healing the sick and foretelling events. Their theory or explanation veils this power in superstition and ignorance, so that the world is not enlightened in regard to where it comes from or how its operates. We only know the effects. Spiritualists, mesmerists and clairvoyants, making due allowance for imposition, in later times have proved this power is still in existence. Like this in the vague impression of its character, but infinitely beyond any demonstrations of the same in intelligence and skill, is the practice of a physician who has been among us a year and to whose treatment some hopeless invalids owe their recovered health. I refer to D. P. P. Quimby. With no reputation, except for honesty, which he carries in his face and faint rumor of his cures, he has established himself in our city and by his success merits public attention. Regarded by many as a harmless humbug, by others as belonging to the genus mystery, he stands among his patients as a reformer, originating an entirely new theory in regard to disease and practicing it with a skill and ease which only comes from knowledge and experience. His success in reaching all kinds of diseases, from chronic cases of years standing, to acute disease, shows that he must practice upon a principle different from what has ever before been taught. His position as an irregular practioner has confined him principally to the patronage of the ignorant, the credulous and the desperate, and the most of his cases have been those which have not yielded to ordinary treatment.—Those who have been fortunate enough to have received benefit from him, only, can have any appreciation of the interest which the originality of his ideas excite and of the benefit, when understood, which they will be to society. To attempt to describe his mode of treatment to the well would be like offering money to an already wealthy man, while a sick person who is like one cast into prison for an unjust debt, can feel the force of his system. With a sympathy which the sick alone call forth and a knowledge which he proves alone to them, he leads an invalid along the path to health. His power over disease arises from his subtle knowledge of mind and its relation to the natural world, to which subject his attention was turn some twenty years ago by mesmerism.—His investigations in this region, hitherto unsatisfactorily explored has developed in him a clairvoyant faculty which he exercises with his reasons and natural senses and has yielded to him facts which he explains upon a principle admitted but little understood, educing therefrom a theory of universal application by which he cures diseases.

H.

[“Portland Feb. 1860”, and “E. G. Ware” are handwritten at the bottom and side of this article.—Ron Hughes]

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