will not quarrel with
religion (or opinions) -
but only see if his religion (or wisdom) is of this world of opinions -
or of the wisdom of God (or Science).
~ Phineas P. Quimby
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
What is the Relation of God to Man?August 1861
What proof is there of a God, according to the popular opinion of the day? Is there one single quality of wisdom in the God that man worships? Is not all the worship confined to an intellect far inferior to the natural man? And is not the true wisdom of justice, sympathy, love, good order and intelligence set aside or looked upon as a secondary thing? Are we not told that religion is something independent of man?
It is true there is a wisdom higher than the natural man. For the natural man is superstitious, bigoted, overbearing, proud, vain, full of cunning deceit and all the passions of the beast. He is very religious under some circumstances - fear of death for instance; bold when there is no danger, and only kept in check by fear. This is the religious man, but this is not the religion (or wisdom) of the wise.
All religion is of man, and the trouble lies - not in the religion (or belief), but in the separation of opinions from the truth. I will not quarrel with any man's religion (or opinions), but only see if his religion (or wisdom) is of this world of opinions or of the wisdom of God (or science).
I will try to separate these two religions, and to do this, it is necessary to show to the religious man the absurdity of his religion. This cannot be done, except by a knowledge of the religion that these vain men worship. They, being ignorant of the true wisdom, set up a standard of worship and bow down and worship an unknown God (or wisdom). Now this unknown God (or wisdom) is not in their worship at all. He is not in houses made with hands; nor in temples made of stone; nor is he in the field of battle, directing the opinions of man. He requires no offering of silver (or prayers), and has no laws outside of wisdom. In fact, he is no man's God - but the God of all who admit him.
I will now try to explain to the natural (or superstitious) man the living and true God, whom he ignorantly worships. All admit this God is not a part of themselves, nor is his kingdom of this world of opinions. But it is in the skies (or clouds) of their ignorance. They admit that his coming must be in the clouds; so of course he is not with them, but is to come. The God of wisdom says you need not look for him in the clouds of your ignorance, nor in the foundations of your temples; for he is near you, even in your own hearts. But you know him not and crucify him every day by your vain worship. Therefore I say, repent of your vain worship and worship the true and living God that is not made in the image of man's identity of matter - but in wisdom that can be shown by his acts.
I will give you the true God that I worship - and thousands of others who know him not and yet are a God to themselves; who do not know that they worship any God, when they are the very children and heirs of God. But being strangers in the world of opinions, they are wandering alone in the world, like sheep without a shepherd, subject to this world of opinion.
Let man become aware of these two principles of truth - one based on mathematical fact and the other, based on an opinion. Then he is ready to test the Gods, to see whether they are from man's opinions or wisdom. Each has its God and its world, but the natural man, not knowing how to account for the phenomena that often occur, makes to himself a God like himself.
As the wisdom of truth progresses, it has no identity independent of science. As it contains no superstition, it contains no religion; for it has no identity of God or man. It is either admitted as a science or one of the laws of this God of opinions. This, the scientific man will not admit. So a warfare is kept up by the opinions of man, trying to convince the scientific man that all his wisdom is from their God of opinions. This he will not believe, so he is an infidel to the man of opinions. For he disbelieves in his God and knows it is the invention of heathen superstition and has no wisdom above the natural man.
To which of these classes did Jesus belong? Let us examine the writings of the New Testament, and see if they will give any light on the subject. Jesus called these two characters law and gospel. The law is the natural man (or opinions). The true science (or wisdom) is the gospel. There was where he differed from the world. The new birth was to search into that science that would destroy opinions; so he called upon all men everywhere to repent of their sins (or belief) and prove all things by science. For their false science (or beliefs) had deceived the people and bound burdens on them, that their mode of reasoning could not remove. So it was said, that which the law (or their opinions) had failed to explain - this truth, in the form of a science, took upon itself; that the errors might be explained.
Opinions knew not this science, so it was a stranger, and they said, “Crucify it.” So they spit upon it, stoned it and finally made it so unpopular that it ran out. Then the men of opinions stole the body (or truth), parted it among themselves and reported it was all a humbug. To this day it is looked upon as a humbug by the Jews.
So Christ's wisdom lost its identity at the crucifixion of Jesus and has never been acknowledged by man's opinion since. False Christs have sprung up and deceived many, and at this day all mankind are worshiping these false gods, who can never take away the sins of their ignorance. But the true Christ (or science) will come in the clouds of their ignorance. Every eye shall see him. He shall sit on the throne of wisdom and judge the world of opinions; then he will reward everyone according to his truth.
There are some standing in the high places who shall not see nor even believe till it comes. Then they will hide themselves in the rocks of their opinions and creep into their beliefs (or dens) to hide themselves from the great truth of scientific progression. Then science will take a God to itself, and man shall worship it day and night. There will be no darkness. For the light of wisdom will light up the dark dens of superstition. The evil (or ignorance) will be cast out, and the truth will prevail. Then the truth will bind this old serpent - the opinions (or devil), and chain him to the earth (or superstition); so that he shall not deceive the child of wisdom by his smooth tongue and false doctrines.