January 7, 2018

Defense Against an Accusation of Making Myself Equal to Christ

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

I am often accused of making myself equal to Christ when attempting to explain the theory of my cures. Now why should I be accused of what I do not intend to convey? It is because the people are deceived of themselves.

Christ is the embodiment of that wisdom that sympathizes with the earthly man and reveals to him the truth that will correct his errors, forgive his sins and heal his diseases. I make a difference between what I say as a man and what I feel as a physician. As a man I cannot see or feel a person’s feelings, for such is the natural state of man. But as a physician, I give myself in perfect faith to the guidance of a higher wisdom than that of man which feels and sympathizes with the sick. Everyone who becomes aware of this wisdom gives it the praise and calls it by some name. Jesus called it his Father and the Son of God. Herod, when told of the marvelous words of Jesus, called it the spirit of John the Baptist. Peter called it Christ. Therefore people generally believed in some spiritual power acting on man as they do now. Many persons tell me my power comes from some spirit and give me more than I ask, but very few are willing to admit that I know more about my cures than they do. Jesus never said that he, the man, was God; but he strove to teach the people of the existence of a living principle of wisdom to which matter was subject, and this truth being fully revealed to his mind, he called it the son of God, admitting it in every act and never teaching that the flesh and blood of the natural man was God. The dispute between him and the people was not whether he, the man Jesus, was God or Christ or John the Baptist, but whether the man Jesus had any claim to wisdom superior to that of any wise man or prophet. He contended that he had and, in his words, he showed a wisdom superior to their own; but they, not understanding how such works as his could be done intelligently, were deaf to his words of wisdom and ascribed to him a mysterious power. Therefore they accepted his works as miracles but failed to receive him as a teacher of truth. So he was a stumbling block to the Jews and to the Greeks foolishness.

When I undertake to say that I know how I cure, I am accused by those as wise as Greeks or Jews of being a fool and making myself equal with Christ. So far as Jesus is concerned, I do not put myself on a level with Him any more than I do with Daniel Webster; but had Daniel Webster, with all his learning, been a chemist, provided I could produce a chemical experiment according to the science of chemistry, my works as far as they go are equal to his for both are under the same law. So with Jesus. Jesus as a good or bad man I have nothing to say about. But his wisdom which I consider from a higher source than man’s opinion was a truth the understanding and application of which, for the benefit of the sick, is a science open to all and contains wisdom the world knows not of. I have no doubt that He wished to communicate that the natural man was error and the Son of God should arise from matter and that the resurrection from the dead was to come into this light or wisdom. The Jews believed themselves to be the chosen people of God and possessed of all truth and they could not admit anyone wiser than themselves; so they could not believe that Jesus knew any more about his miracles than the sorcerers and magicians who claimed their power from departed spirits. When asked by certain men how he did these things, he answered, The baptism of John, was it of Heaven or of man? They dared not answer, for if they had said it was Heaven, he would say, Why did ye not believe? So after communing they answered, We cannot tell. It is easy to see that if they said that his power came from God or Heaven they would have killed him. Accordingly, he answered, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. At another time the Sadducees put to him the question Whose wife should the woman who had seven husbands be in the resurrection? Jesus taught a resurrection. But according to the belief of the Pharisees who were the only class that taught the doctrine, but thinking that Jesus held the same ideas that the Pharisees believed, they stated a case to see if He could answer it. But he answered, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels of Heaven. He taught that man should rise from an error into a truth or from a blind belief into actual knowledge. Immediately after this a Pharisee lawyer, hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees asked him a question tempting him, saying, Master, which is the greatest commandment in the Law, supposing that Jesus being uneducated could not answer. But Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets. Jesus then asked the Pharisees, What think ye of Christ, whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He said, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord—if David then calls him Lord how is he the son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth to ask him any more questions. Now it cannot be thought that they believed that the man Jesus was David’s son, therefore they must have referred to the power that Jesus called Christ and he, Jesus, asked them their ideas concerning it. He asked his disciples, Whom do men say I, the son of man, am? They answered, Some say John the Baptist, some Elias, etc. He sayeth unto them, Whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven. Then he told how he should be persecuted by all men because of the truth, but that the truth should rise from superstition and take to itself a body to show that man should not die, as was believed. He wished to communicate this one fact that his wisdom was outside the man Jesus and that Jesus was only matter used as a medium in the hands of Wisdom. Then Jesus would be to Christ what gold is to the chemist, a medium through which he can communicate his wisdom concerning it. He could dissolve the matter so that the form should decay and disappear, and still he could construct from matter which it was his wisdom to control, the Christ, or assume a body which those whom he taught could see. Then death was swallowed up in science.

November 1862


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, January 7, 2018

Since I commenced writing, you have come up before me, so that I now recall you perfectly well and I will give my attention to you. I have often seen you and used my arguments to convince you of this great truth. When I say this truth, I mean this light that lighteth everyone that understands it. When I first sat by you, my desire to see you lights up my mind like a lamp; and as the light expands, my senses being attached to the light, each particle of light contains all the element of the whole. So when the light is strong enough to see your light in your darkness or doubts, then I come in harmony with your light and dissipate your error and bring your light out of your darkness. Then I try to associate you with matter as a substance that is separate and apart from your light or senses. Man of himself is in matter. Science is out of matter. Disease is matter, health is out of matter so that you, i.e., science, cannot receive matter into your science, but your science can separate itself from matter.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Article: Letter To Mrs. H. Merrill

Printed Page: 98; Kindle Location: 3257

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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.

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Editor’s Corner

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 Defense Against an Accusation of Making Myself Equal to Christ, begins on page 193 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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