"Blessed is he that cometh in the Science of Wisdom." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
November 12, 2017
by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
The question may be asked, How I look on prayer? I answer as I do on all other errors that have been invented to govern mankind and keep the people in ignorance of themselves and God or Science. You may ask if I would destroy prayer. No more than I would the law for murder or theft; but I would put into man a higher law that would teach him to worship God as a God of science and knowledge and this law would put the law of man or ignorance to death. For prayer is the law of man, not of God, and makes God nothing but a mere sorcerer or magician to frighten the ignorant and superstitious. It puts Christ on a level with all the jugglers of His day. The construction upon the parables shows the state of intelligence of the church. It makes Christ’s mission here of little consequence to the world of science but puts Christ on a level with the sorcerers of His day.
Take for instance the parable of the wedding. The turning of water into wine is quoted as some great thing, as though God took this way to convince men of His power. But if there could not be a better explanation of this parable than the church gives them, Christ is merely a magician. The church’s explanation has been the means of making more sickness and death than all the evils flesh is heir to.
Why should the explanation of Christ’s mission, which was to “heal the sick, destroy death and bring life and immortality to light,” be left to a set of persons who have no sympathy with the sick, but who by their interpretation of Christ keep man in sickness and ignorance of himself? Of what advantage has Christ been to the sick according to the common opinions of mankind? Do the priests relieve them of any burdens? If not, where is the benefit of the church prayer? It is right in contradiction to Christ’s own teaching. What was Christ’s idea of prayer? He called it hypocrisy and a blind guide to lead the blind. He warned the people against those who prayed in the streets, told them to obey all the laws, but not to believe in the doctrines, for they laid burdens upon the people grievous to be borne. Now, if these burdens were their belief, Jesus must have explained them away in order to relieve them, and His explanation was their cure. Therefore He said to them, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus’ explanation was His religion, but their belief was their religion and that religion was founded upon the old superstitions which contained all the superstitions of Egyptian darkness, prayers, sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Jesus did not condemn any of the above, but he had a knowledge of the errors that man is subject to and His mission was to bring life and understanding to light or science, in regard to our ignorance or darkness and to put man into a state where he might, by relieving the sufferings of his fellow men, be of some advantage to himself and to the world. His religion was not of this world, and the world knows Him not. Christ is God or Science, and to know God is to know science and put it in practice so that the world can be benefited by it.
This tells the rules of action. They are not left to the natural man, but they must prove themselves on some subject that is in need of it. The same subject is in the world now that was at the time Jesus put His theory into practice. He gave His disciples knowledge to put the same into practice for the benefit of mankind.
Who art thou, oh man, that shall say to the poor and sick, lame and blind, that the person who can help you is a humbug or acting under the direction of the devil? If the devil will take your aches and pains and relieve you, cling to him, and at the end of your disease you will see that the devil is the same one who was crucified eighteen hundred years ago, by just such enemies to the sick as they have now. I, for one, am willing to be called a humbug by all such people. I have the same class to uphold me that Jesus had, which is the sick. The well opposed Him and the well oppose me. I do not set myself up as an equal to Jesus, or any other man, but I do profess to believe in that principle that Jesus taught, which I call Christ. That I believe in and try to put into practice as far as I understand it, and the sick are my judges, not the well; for as the well need no physician, they cannot judge me. Neither am I willing to be judged by the church creeds till they can show me that their power or belief is above their natural power. I shall not take their opinions of what they know nothing about. I will draw a line between the professor of Christ and myself and leave the sick to pass judgment. As I have the Bible I have the same means of judging as anyone, for we all have the same Bible and everyone has a right to his opinion concerning it. Yet his opinion is nothing but an opinion and only valuable in indicating the source from which it comes. There is no truth in it unless it can be put into practice as Christ put His into practice. Then it becomes a fact.
[To be concluded next week.]
Wisdom is the son of God and error is the son of the lower life of animals. These two characters are as easily distinguished from each other as light from darkness. If the animal life is predominant, then man is arbitrary and superstitious. If wisdom is predominant, it can be shown. The earth, like man, is analyzed and geologists can trace life up to human beings. The earth is examined, phenomena are discovered and philosophers have reasoned and traced the mineral into the vegetable and the vegetable into the animal kingdom. But their causes are not attributed to a wisdom outside and apart from all that is seen.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Article: The First Symptoms of Disease—Part I
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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.
Wood, along with Horatio W. Dresser, was one of two New Thought authors specifically singled out for praise by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Here is what James had to say about New Thought, known at the time as “mind cure”:
The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)
On the same page, James, after describing “a good deal of the mind-cure literature” as “so moonstruck with optimism and so vaguely expressed that an academically trained intellect finds it almost impossible to read it at all”, states in a footnote that he considers Horatio W. Dresser and Henry Wood “far and away the ablest of the group” of mind-cure authors.
The present volume is based on a long series of weekly columns commenting on Wood’s thought over the course of ten books. It includes the Suggestions and Meditations from Wood’s flagship work, Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, and the Suggestive Lessons from The New Thought Simplified.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016942723
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We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?
Today’s featured article Prayer II begins on page 448 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond. This composition is rather lengthy, so I have broken it into two installments. The conclusion will appear in next week’s newsletter.
In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
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