November 15th, 1861
All ideas are matter, and those that contain danger contain also fear, and are of the same class. I will illustrate the differences of disease and show how they are created. A child creeps towards the fire, the heat affects it, and the sensation on the child is called “fear.” There is no wisdom in the sensation, but there is fear. So it creeps nearer and is more affected, but there is no intelligence in the child. At last a sort of intelligence comes, enough to make the child creep out of the fire.
Now the burn is called “disease.” Here is a disease without any intelligence; it is simply the reaction of the act. Give the child wisdom, and the fear is gone; for there is no danger. This is one class of diseases, or cause and effect without any wisdom; and here is another class.
In order to keep the child from getting burned, you tell him the fire will burn him to death if he goes near, and frighten the child by telling him stories which he will believe. This makes the child see danger, when it exists only in the mind of his parent; which his parent tells him of, to prevent him from running any risk. This danger contains fear; and just as you make danger, the reaction is fear and disease. Here is where disease commences, in the danger of opinion. The other is not a disease, but a phenomenon without intelligence. You may trace nine-tenths of all disease to danger created by parents when children are small.
The religion of this world is the effect of the danger of something of which we know nothing, and to keep clear of it is religion. Religion, like fear, is the result of a belief in some idea that contains danger. I will make an illustration that will explain the two kinds of religion; for works are not a religion, but a belief is. By faith, you are saved and not of works; lest anyone should boast, but if you believe so-and-so, you shall be saved; and if not, you shall be damned. So religion is a belief, and here is the explanation thereof.
Suppose a dozen children were playing and a stone should be seen by one of them coming down directly over their heads, and he should show it to the rest. Now down it comes, and it frightens them. The children are taught that heaven is up in the skies... Don't you suppose that they would think that God sent the stone down to frighten them, if they were in mischief?
While they are pondering, some person tells them that they must be good children and obey their parents. The children believe, and the priests have made this danger, through their ignorance or belief. While they are talking, and the priest is giving them good Christian advice, a clap of thunder comes, and the lightning strikes a tree. Now they are frightened again and apply to the priest to explain. He tells them the Lord is angry and has sent a thunderbolt to show them that they were not good children. This frightens them. The wind blows, and it becomes dark, or perhaps an eclipse of the sun takes place. This is explained in the same way, and so on, till every phenomenon that could happen is explained.
The belief in all the above is admitted as true, and this is religion. To believe that, you will believe all the above, and ten times as much more; and to repent of everything which the priest says is wrong will gain for you a place in heaven when you die – otherwise, you must go to the opposite place. The Christian is one who believes all, and so shapes his course as to keep clear of all, till death, and then he is landed in heaven. All of the above belongs to the priests. They are the teachers of the young, and this nursery is to fit them for another class of hypocrites, worse than themselves, the medical faculty.
One is sent for to see a child made nervous by the false ideas of the priests. He finds the child laboring under nervous excitement. He feels the pulse and inquires what they have been doing. The answer is nothing, except listening to the priests' explanation of the dark day. As the doctor believes just like the priests, he does not make him the author of the trouble, but introduces the same subject, himself. So looking very grave he says, “You have committed a sin against the laws of God or health. For if you expose yourself to the cold, you are liable to take cold, be sick and die of consumption.”
This makes the patient more frightened. The doctor is sent for again. He finds the patient dangerously sick and says that the brain is affected; that there is a collection of water on the brain, and he must die. The minister comes and talks with the child to prepare his mind to die, telling him that he must believe that God will forgive him and receive him to heaven. The minister prays, and the friends all weep violently, all exciting the child; and then he is told that God will receive him. By this time the child is so nervous that it wants to go to heaven; and at last exhausted, he pants and dies.
Here is the beginning and ending of the Christian religion. It was born in ignorance, grew up in error, and died in the same. This is one side of life where I used to be, but now I have turned over the leaf and will present the religion of Jesus.
While all the above was going on, there was a certain set of infidels who said that the priests did not know any more than they did. But they could not account for the darkness, nor thunder, nor water on the brain, and did not believe the doctors could. Some, a little wiser, began to believe that there must be some natural cause for all these things, as well as for others that were known. Some began to talk this way.
At such a time as this, John came out of the wilderness or darkness and told the people that someone would come who could explain the falling of the stone, etc. So the child Jesus, being of a certain combination prepared by the great truth, would have, himself, like all other children, without knowing why he did it, listened to the priests' belief. He could see that it was all inconsistent with wisdom, and that it made the people nervous and sick. So he investigated the phenomena, and he was often found in the temples disputing with the doctors on these subjects.
At the age of thirty, hearing of John, he went to hear him preach and was baptized into his belief; and it became so clear to him that the priests and doctors were the cause of nine-tenths of man's misery, that the heaven or this truth was opened to him, and he saw the true explanation or Holy Ghost; and it came to his mind, and he heard the voice of science saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Then he was led up into the wilderness or into all the priests' and doctors' opinions and saw there was nothing but hypocrisy and priestcraft to humbug the people. After he had fairly investigated the whole subject, so that he could see that all their misery was their religious belief and the doctors were in league with them, he came to the conclusion that he would come out from among them and preach the kind of truth or that science that would explain all their troubles.
His first act was to take some witnesses with him. So he called on Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother, to follow him; and as he went along or talked, others followed him. So Jesus went all about Galilee, teaching and curing all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went out through all the country, and they brought unto him all sick people to be healed.
— November 15, 1861.
P. P. Quimby