Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Letter To Miss Longfellow



PORTLAND, Dec. 7th, 1861.

Miss L. [Longfellow]:

Your letter was safely received, but my engagements have been such. that I have not had time to give my attention to your case until now. Although we have lived side by side ever since we were children, we were ignorant of that power or Science that is necessary to smooth our ruffled path as we travel along the road to Wisdom, whence no child of Science returns to his former home of ignorance and superstition, You and I have a power called the inner man by the ignorant, but its true name is Wisdom or progression. This is the child of God, and although at first almost without an identity this little wisdom implanted in this earthly man or idea is held in ignorance till some higher wisdom frees it from its prison.

You remember when your little pupils would stand by your side looking up to you for wisdom to satisfy their desires. You with your power like Moses went before them leading them through the sea of ignorance, they following your light as a pillar of fire, and in the clouds of darkness your light sprang up. As you traveled along, they murmuring and complaining, you like Moses fed them with the bread of Science and eternal life. You smote the rock of wisdom that followed them and they drank of the waters that came out of your teaching and this rock or Wisdom was Christ. You have a Teacher as well as I that goes before us teaching us Science. We become the child of the one we obey. You, like Moses, held up the serpent of ignorance before your little pupils and all who looked upon your explanation and understood were healed of their disease or ignorance; but the murmuring of your pupils would make you nervous and although you, like Moses on Mount Pisgah, could see the promised land, your heart failed you and you sank down in despair. In your discontented state of mind you call, as Job did, but no answer returns from your comforters, your doctors or spiritual advisers, who being blind guides find you . . . and fall upon you and rob you of all your wisdom. So here you are a stranger among thieves, cast into prison by the very ones you have always taken for your leaders on the road to health; you are bound with bands, sick and with no hope of ever being set at liberty.

Now your belief is like a barque and your wisdom attached to it, on the water of this world, for water is an emblem of error, so that the medical wisdom or ocean is where your barque seems to be moored. Here you are tossed to and fro, sometimes expecting to be lost, while the winds of spiritualism are whistling in your ear till they shake the barque to which your wisdom is attached. So the heavens are dark and the light of wisdom is extinguished in the opinions or waves of medical science.

As you are lying tossing to and fro you see me coming. When I say "me" I mean Science in P. P. Q., not the P. P. Q. that you used to see, but Wisdom in a body, not of flesh and blood, but a body such as Wisdom gives it; for Wisdom gives to everyone a body as it pleases and to every science its own body. Your body or barque is of this world and your wisdom is in it, and I have come through your wisdom to get you clear of your enemies. So you may look out of the window of your barque while reading this and you will see me coming on the water of your life saying to spiritualism and the waves of the medical faculty. "Be still, and I will come on board of your barque, [quiet] your fears and return you once more to your own house whence you have been decoyed by these blind guides."

As disease is in accordance with the laws of man, a penalty is attached to every act so that everyone found guilty must be punished by the law. As you are accused of a great many transgressions your punishment is greater than you can bear. So you sink under your trouble. I appear in your behalf to have you tried by the laws of your own country, not by the laws of these barbarians. So I will read over the indictment that stands against you. Here it is: You are accused of dyspepsia, liver complaint, nervousness, sleepless nights, weak stomach, palpitation, neuralgia, rheumatism, pains through your back and hips, lameness and soreness, want of action in the stomach. What say you to this indictment: are you guilty or not guilty? You say "guilty." But as I appear in your behalf I deny that you are guilty of the evils which cause this punishment. I want you to have a fair trial before the judge of truth, and if you have disobeyed any law of God or Science you must answer to Science, not to man. I will call on the hypocrite or doctor who goes around devouring widows' houses, and for a few dollars has got the people into trouble from which they cannot get out. He says you have all the above diseases.

On cross-examination when asked how he knows, his answer is [that] you told him. This is all the proof that he or any other doctor can bring. So by their false testimony you have been condemned for believing a lie, that you might be sick. Now as your case is one of a thousand I have, I have only to say a few words to your wisdom as judge. All disease is only the effect of our belief. The belief is of man and as Science sees through man's belief it destroys the belief and sets the soul or wisdom free.

I will now sum up the evidence. You have listened to the opinions of the doctors, who are blind guides crying peace, peace, till you have embraced all their wisdom. This has produced a stagnation in your system and what their ignorance has not done the spiritualists have tried to do. So between them both you are a prisoner, and in the same state as the people were in the days of Jesus when he said to them, "Beware of the doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees; for they say and do not, they bind burdens on you that they cannot explain."

This keeps you nervous. So awake from your lethargy and come to the light of Wisdom, that will teach you that man's happiness is in himself, that his life is eternal, this life is Wisdom and as Wisdom is progression, its enemy is ignorance. So seek Wisdom and believe no man's opinion, for these opinions make you nervous. This causes a heat to go to your head making your head feel heavy and producing a dullness over your eyes. In fact [this opinion] causes all your bad feelings.

So if I can lift your wisdom above the error or mind then you will be free. But now this nervous heat is all through you and comes to the surface. When the cold strikes you it chills you. This you take for a low state of the blood. But it is a stagnation of your own self, not able to explain the phenomena that you are affected by. As you read this it will excite you to understand it. This is like a little leaven that is put into your bread or belief. It will work till it affects the lump and causes you to feel as though you had a very bad cold. Then it will work upon your system and affect your bowels.

Then you may know that your cure is at hand. So do not despair, only remember the signs of the times and pray that your flight may not be in the night nor on the Sabbath day when you are at meeting. So keep on the lookout and I think you will be better. If so let me know. When you read this letter I will be with you and you will not think it strange, for it will produce some strange sensations, sometimes joy and sometimes grief. But it is all for the best. So keep up good courage and I will lead you through the dark valley of the shadow of death and land you safe in that world of Science where disease never comes.

I will stop at this time. But remember as long as you read this and drink in these words. For this is my [wisdom] and to drink it is to understand. Do this in remembrance of me, not P. P. Q., but Science, till your health comes. I will leave you now and come again and lead you till you can go alone. If you will see fit to show this to Julia H., when you read it we shall all be together. You know what this Truth says: that when two or three are gathered together in Science, Wisdom will be there and bless and explain to them.

P. P. Q.


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