On Public Opinion


September 1862


by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Are we as individuals governed by any one belief? My answer is, we are not; yet I once thought otherwise and my practice proved the folly of such a belief. Man is the embodiment of public opinion and science is the embodiment of God's wisdom. Each embodiment comes to the world or man's senses through a medium and the medium being man, we give to him the praise. Here is a great mistake, for we are liable to get into trouble by this error.

The wisdom of the world is like an ocean surrounded by inlets, harbors and false lights to decoy the traveller into the land of the priests who come and give an account of their pretended country, and men believe their story. The question is, is it his own eloquence that affects us, or does the effect come from some other source? I say it comes from some other source and he is the medium of evil to destroy man's happiness and when we listen, we listen to public opinion in regard to the truth of what he says. So it is with science. The man who talks the science or truth is one thing and the truth is another, and if the man was out of existence, the truth would be the same, but the science would not be known. It is so with every belief.

Now what I say to the sick is not mine as a man's, but as a man, I speak the truth that I have received, not from man's opinion but from those who have been deceived by man's opinion and carried away captive into slavery or bondage, unable to escape. Their groans, sighs and trouble are their language and their misery is the penalty of their belief. Being misled by false theories they believe a lie thinking it true. This belief makes one hemisphere and science the other. So man is only an agent or servant to one or the other, and his pay is what he can get from the masses.

There have always been men, like missionaries, trying to get the people to go to each place. The idea body is the medium or earth upon which they work. So belief or opinion is one man, wisdom and science is the other. The body or idea called man is the medium of both. The man of belief puts his knowledge in the earth or body; the man of science puts his belief in God or wisdom and as he reduces his wisdom to practice it is called science. So that neither of the two is seen, only in their works. The man of opinion is seen through mediums pretending to be wise; the man of wisdom is seen correcting the errors of the man of opinion. One's labor is to make mischief and trouble; the other's is to establish God's kingdom or truth in the earth or natural man, thus driving out the old man of opinion and introducing the new man of science. This was the mission of Jesus and all those that make war with opinions by the introduction of science. This is my whole aim and what I am laboring for. So I speak not as a man of opinions but from what I know.

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