PORTLAND, Feb. 9th, 1861.
To Mr. S.
Your wife's letter was received, and I was glad to learn you were all so much better. But your wife says you still cough: this is necessary for your cure, for you have no other way to get rid of that heat in the head called catarrh. Now, this heat seems to be a mystery to every one: everybody acknowledges it and tries to account for it. Some call it nervous, but when asked to explain that they fly to some other error.
You know I told you that mind was spiritual matter. In order to illustrate my meaning so you will understand it, I will make use of an illustration that Jesus used. He said, when the skies are red, you know it will be fair weather. Now thought is something and this acts in space. For instance, the body is nothing but a dense shadow, condensed into what is called matter, or ignorance of God or Wisdom. God or Wisdom is all light. Your identity [consciousness] acts in these two elements, light and darkness, so that all impressions are [subconsciously] made in this darkness or ignorance, and as the light springs up the darkness disappears. One of these elements is governed by Wisdom, the other by error, and as all belief is in this world of darkness, the truth comes in and explains the error. This rarifies the darkness and the light takes its place. Now as this darkness is all the time varying, like the clouds, it is necessary that man should be posted about it as he would about the weather. For our happiness in this world depends a great deal on the weather. For the wisdom of man has got so far from the truth that even the weather is our enemy, so that we step out as though we were liable to be caught by a cold, and if we are then comes the penalty. All this error arises from ignorance. So to keep clear of error is to know who he is, how he gets hold of us, and how we shall know when he is coming.
To make you understand I must come to you in some way in the form of a belief. So I will tell you a story of someone who died of bronchitis. You listen or eat this belief or wisdom as you would eat your meals. It sets rather hard upon your stomach; this disturbs the error or your body, and a cloud appears in the sky. You cannot see the storm but you can see it looks dark. In this cloud or belief you prophesy rain or a storm. So in your belief you foresee evils. The elements of the body of your belief are shaken, the earth is lit up by the fire of your error, the heat rises, the heaven or mind grows dark; the heat moves like the roaring of thunder, the lightning of hot flashes shoot to all parts of the solar system of your belief. At last the winds or chills strike the earth or surface of the body, a cold clammy sensation passes over you. This changes the heat into a sort of watery substance, which works its way to the channels, and pours to the head and stomach.
Now listen and you will hear a voice in the clouds of error saying, The truth bath prevailed to open the pores and let nature rid itself of the evil I loaded you down with in a belief. This is the way God or Wisdom takes to get rid of a false belief: the belief is made in the heavens or your mind, it then becomes more and more condensed till it takes the form of matter. Then Wisdom dissolves it and it passes through the pores, and the effort of coughing is one of Truth's servants, not error's: error would try to make you look upon it as an enemy. Remember it is for your good till the storm is over or the error is destroyed. So hoping that you may soon rid yourself of all worldly opinions and stand firm in the Truth that will set you free, I remain your friend and protector till the storm is over and the waters of your belief are still.
P. P. Q.