is the embodiment of that wisdom that sympathizes with the earthly
and reveals to him the truth that will correct his errors,
forgive his sins and heal his diseases.
~ Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Defense Against an Accusation
of Making Myself Equal to Christ
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. 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.
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. 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 works 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.”
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.