MRS. EDDY'S LETTERS
[The following letters were temporarily in the hands of the editor in connection with the publication of an article in The Arena, May, 1899. I was not then permitted to publish them entire, and the cxcerpts printed were those best adapted to the article in question. They were prefaced by a summary of facts, as follows: "My father, Julius A. Dresser, was a patient and follower of Dr. Quimby, in Portland, Me., from June 1860, and was in Portland when Mrs Eddy, then Mrs. Patterson, came from Hill, N. H. to receive treatment. . . . The first mention of Mrs Eddy in my father's journal is Oct. 17, 1862, and my mother, Annetta G. Dresser, who was cured by Dr. Quimby after six years of hopeless invalidism, was present when Mrs. Eddy was assisted up the steps to Dr. Quimby's office."]
RUMNEY, N. H., Oct. 14, 1861.
Dear Sir: I have heard that you intended to come to Concord, N. H. this fall to stop a while for the benefit of the suffering portion of our race: do you so intend, and if so, how soon? My wife has been an invalid for a number of years; is not able to sit up but a little, and we wish to have the benefit of your wonderful power in her case. If you are soon coming to Concord I shall carry her up to you, and if you are not coming there we may try to carry her to Portland if you remain there.
Please write me at your earliest convenience and oblige,
Dr. D. Patterson, RUMNEY, N. H.
76 Union St., Lynn, Mass. Apr. 24th, 1865.
Dr P. P. Quimby.
Dear Sir: My wife arrived safely Sat. eve., and is greatly improved in her health, but says she did not settle with you. If you will send your bill by mail, I will send the balance due you by the same conveyance.
MARY M. PATTERSON TO DOCTOR QUIMBY
Dear Sir: I address you briefly stating my case. I have been sick 6 years with spinal inflamation, and its train of suffering -- gastric and bilious. Last Autumn my husband addressed you a letter respecting my case, and has always been very anxious for me to see you; I am now unable to go to you.
I was getting well this spring, but my dear husband was taken prisoner of war by the Southerners and the shock overcame me and brought on a relapse; I want to see you above all others. I have entire confidence in your philosophy as read in the circular sent my husband Dr. Patterson. Can you, will you visit me at once? I must die unless you can save me. My disease is chronic and I have been unable to turn myself or be moved by any but my husband for one year at a time. I am just on the verge of such sufferings again. Do come and save me. Do you remember A. N. Tilton and Geo. S. Baker of Sanbornton Bridge? I am the youngest sister of the latter. -- Mrs. Tilton is anxious you should see me. Please pardon all errors. I write in bcd and without ceremony.
Mary M. Patterson.
HILL, Aug. 1862.
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
Dear Sir: I am constrained to write you, feeling as I do the great mistake I made in not trying to reach you when I had more strength. I have been at this Water Cure between 2 and 3 months, and when I came could walk half a mile, now I can sit up but a few minutes at one time. Suppose I have faith sufficient to start for you, do you think I can reach you without sinking from the effects of the journey? I am so excitable I think I could keep alive till I reached you but then would there be foundation sufficient for you to restore me -- is the question. I should rather die with my friends at S. Bridge, hence 1 shall go to you to live or to them to die very soon. Please answer this yourself.
Mary M. Patterson.
SANBORTON BRIDGE. Jan. 12, '63.
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
Yours of recent date was received with pleasure. My felon finger must account for bad penmanship in anewering it. Yesterday I took care of a woman in fits, and in the spasm she grasped my finger, which has made it somewhat troublesome today. Your angel visit here removed all my stomach pain, the particulars of which were very remarkable and sometime I will narrate them to you.*
*This was written after the first visit to Portland for silent treatmeat. The "angel visit" was absent healing. -- Ed.
I am to all who once knew me a living wonder, and a living monument of your power: five or six of my friends are going to visit you. My sister, Mrs. Tilton, will not find it convenient to leave at present. I am at this time with her, and company from Boston will detain her at present. She wishes me to accompany her son to Portland to see you and probably he will visit you soon.
Esq. Colby's disease was somewhat unlooked for; but I knew the theory too well to ever for a moment doubt. I am sorry to see the levity with which his death is named here. I heard one remark "the Dr. knew better than to save such a rascal" but I always wish to tread softly an the ashes of the dead.
I eat, drink and am merry; have no laws to fetter my spirit now, though I am quite as much of an escaped prisoner as my dear husband was.
Many thanks for your kind wishes for my future. I mean not again to look mournfully into the past, but wisely to improve the present, and go forth to meet the future with a woman's courage. I somewhat expect my husband will take up arms our nation's rights, he yearns to do it, and I shall try to acquiesce.
My explanation of your curative principle surprises people: especially those whose minds are all matter are convinced by the external appearance of errors in their exit; as for instance, the sores that have visited me, and yet I never lost my faith, or cursed Wisdom, but have lived to receive all with usury again.
The Dr. wishes to be kindly remembered,
Mary M. Patterson.
SANBORNTON BRIDGE, Jan. 31, 1863.
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
Dear Sir: I have only time to write a line before the mail goes out. I have been not as well for several days -- have a pain and soreness in the stomach and spine opposite the stomach. My food increases it. When I returned I ate just as the family did, and the three meals of rich food added to the fatigue of my journey revived the old error that such things hurt me. You know that I am less than one year from the 39 of supposed disease, and the habit is yet so strong upon me that I need your occasional aid. Yet if 'twere not for visiting I could manage myself; but not being at home I have no tranquility wherewith to aid myself. Please come to me and remove this pain and tell me your fee. Enclosed please find the pay for my last sitting. My sister and her son will visit you at an early period. She has an abdominal rupture, and I am very anxious for her restoration. She is very useful to her family and community.
Mary M. Patterson.
SANBORNTON BRIDGE, March 10,'63.
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
Dear Sir: One week today since my nephew left your immediate care, and his parents are anxious for your saving power to be renewed in his behalf. But this is the period of excitement in N. Hampshire and the ballot box controls, hence he cannot visit you until next week. His Mother wished me to write you for the purpose of renewing your influence -- to ask you to hold him back from his easy besetting sins. He is beginning to smoke again, and they so fear if he indulges in this that the worst of all his habits, viz. drinking intoxicating liquor, may return. His parents wish you to make these things impossible to him until he returns to you accompanied by his Mother, which we hope will be soon. His parents are truly grateful and somewhat encouraged at the success thus far.
A word about my own self. I am suffering somewhat from old habits, pain in the back and stomach, a cold just now, and billious. Won't you laugh when I tell you since I have been trying to affect Albert, I am suffering from a constant desire to smoke !! Do pray rid me of this feeling. I should think it deplorable to feel long as Albert does. He says he constantly longs to smoke. But we think he has not drank improper beverages since his return; however, won't you include this in your catalogue when you send the subtle fluid of mind, or spirit, to conquer matter.
Love to Mrs. P. As ever,
Mary M. Patterson.
Saco, Sept. 14, '63.
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
Dear Sir: I would like tohave you in your Omnipresence visit me at 8 o'clock this eve if convenient. But consult your own time, only come once a day until I am better. I have had little appetite, and not rested well nights for two weeks. Now my food distresses me, pain between the shoulders, and faintness at my stomach. Did you never sec a pebble thrown in the river widden the circles caused by the first disturbance, till they reach the shore? Now the news of my loss was the first splash of waters, my present feelings are the circles. But I have conquered my first disappointment. I hope you are well, but thought you were not Saturday night.
M. M. Patterson.
WARREN ME. March 31,'64
Dr. P. P. Quimby,
MY DEAR DOCTOR, I am here after a ride of two days; first day to Wiscasset where I stopped over night, next morning at 10 o'clock got into a villainous old vehicle and felt a sensation of being in a hencoop on the top of a churn-dash for about 6 hours! when the symptoms began to subside, and so did the old cart.
Found my friend glad at last that I had got here. She was not a little disappointed on Thursday and Friday, at not seeing me; said her brother kept watch for me until the stage came in at 2.30 Friday morning; every night she had a cry, till Sunday, when she gave me up for lost or never to come. She is in a peculiar condition, last Saturday she had a paroxism of what she called "difficulty of breathing on account of the easterly wind." I sat down by her, took her hands and explained in my poor way what it was, instead of what it was not as she had understood it. In a little, her breath became natural, and to my surprise even, she raised phlegm easily and has scarcely coughed since, till today. So I have laughed at her about the wind veering according to P. P. Quimby. I say to her, "why even the winds and waves obey him."
But last evening we made a mistake. I had a letter from Mrs. Crosby which I read aloud (unwisely), and in which she anticipated the time when I should again be with her. I stopped as by intuition, looked at Mary and she was the picture of despair. This morning she told me her night was sleepless, that she felt I should leave her and all she had tried to live for was to see me. What could I say? I must of course leave her, but I told her not until she was more self-reliant and willing I should go. Still she is weeping and I can't yet get her out of it. When I sit by her she seems frightened and nervous, I can not feel any physical suffering of hers as I did of Hannah. Her nervousness has got into my errors in a lump. I wish you would come to my aid -- help me to sleep and relieve the confined state of the bowels. Dear Doctor, what could I do without you? I feel less physical strength this spring than I did last, my nervous excitement at one time weakened me, I then had a jaw of trouble and still have so I can't eat enough; all this, and more of this, is what's the matter, is it not? I do not want to return to Portland to stop if I can avoid it. If I could have my husband with me and be at home, I would like it there; but! but! but! I like people of common sense, and common justice, or else I like to laugh where the joke comes in. I cannot be deceived in character -- I have seen not a little of life in most conditions, and I cannot stoop to condjtions. I will not bow to wealth for I cannot honor it as I do wisdom, and I despise an individual who does. I respect my "household God" and give it an identity, call it by no name, but always know it when I see it. It never appears in envy, or jealousy, but loves all good attainments in everyone, pleased to acbnowledge them better than riches, and exalting above all else their possessor.
Love to George. Ever with esteem,
M. M. Patterson.*
*Written along the edge of page 1: "Will Geo. please forward all letters or papers." Along the edge of page 3: "Dr., won't you continue to help me by thinking of myself.
WARREN, DOWN EAST, April 5.
P. P. Quimby,
My Dear Doctor: I received your gift of the "comforter" last Thursday, and to my amazement Miss Jarvis grew at once gay even, and has not been very sad a moment since. Your power put me to sleep and I have not felt nervous since, and the relief in other respects was entire, so I am well now for me. I forgot to tell you, on my way hither I met a gentleman in the cars who lectured at the Methodist Church and was former editor of the "Banner of Light." He recognized me and commenced talking, soon the conversation turned upon you, and he heard for once the truth of you. He had heard of you before but from his remarks I learned he thought you a defunct spiritualist; before I quitted him at Berwick he had endorsed your science, and acknowledged himself greatly interested in it; said he would call and see you if he had possible time while at Portland. I feel just as if you had called away Mrs. Crosby's thoughts from me, Is it so? I want you to return them now for Mss Jarvis is doing well, and I shall not stop here longer than is necessary to make her happy. Mrs. Crosby is one of the precious few affinities with whom I meet and I shall visit her after getting through here.
I have changed the thoughts of some ignoramuses here about Hannah's death, and your practice. How queerly people think about what they know nothing of. Surely few there be who have any "part and lot in your matters" and many there are "in the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity," some of whom are not worth being saved. May the peace of wisdom which passeth all understanding be and abide with you. -- Ever the same in gratitude and esteem.
Mary M. Patterson.
P. S. Will George just have remailed once more for me a letter that I expect will be at Portland for me tomorrow, Wed. Please excuse this trouble and I will remand my letters and papers Down East fast as possible. Again, M.M.P.
WARREN, 10 Ap'l. 1864.
Dear Dr. Quimby,
Some how I am "impressed" to write you as the spiritualists call it. Last Wednesday at 12 M. I saw you in this parlor where I am now writing. You wore a hat and dress coat. I said to your Doctorship How do you do? whereupon you answered not again, but left, which I called dodging the question. Well, I sighed "am sorry I spoke," but really he need not have gone so suddenly. I was not intending to ask him to have staid to my lecture! But I did see you and was not thinking of you at that time. The lecture was thinly attended, but the precious few, were those whom a lady present (the manufacturer's wife) said were the uppcrtendam; only think of Yankee castes in all our country villages. I thoroughly wish we were understood as a people, the true American idea. But I felt pleased to know there were men of intellect and comprehension present, such as Mr. Hodgeman, and Mr. Johnson of this place.
I was told Mr. Hodgeman, a man of 60 years old, said 'twas the nearest light of anything he ever heard at Warren.
Mrs. Fuller (the woolen manufacturer's wife) has since sent for me to visit her professionally! She is sick. I returned a note that I was not done with my pupilage yet, and recommened her to visit you.
One first reason of my thinking to lecture here at all, was the general opinion that I was a spiritualist. This came as I were told from one of your patient's reporting here that you were such. Now don't name this to Mrs. Pierce for she will understand it, and I so hate gossiping.
The commencement of my lecture was adapted to this end. I began like this -- Ladies and gentlemcn, ahem! To correct any misconceived ideas on the subjcct we would first say -- that a belief in spiritualism, aa defined by rappings, trances, or any agency in healing the sick, coming from the dead, we wholly disclaim.
I had no poetry at the close, 'twas all truth. Will read it to you if you will like when next I see you. Had a letter from the editor of the Independent to write for his widely circulated journal. But I am not strong enough to step out upon the waves yet. I fear at least wetting my feet. Wrote him I were not able. I long, long to be strong! and then would I not be happy saying just what I wish to, and letting people read it? How these blue-stockings would wince, and the aristoctatic say with all the vehemence of feminality, "Did you ever." My letters to you are for your private eye and ear no ones else. Amen!
P. S. Miss Jarvis has got well. A lame back and some other ailments have all gone. She says she is better than she was upon Mrs. H's death. Shall go to Albion soon.
WARREN, Ap'l 24. 1864.
I am a little bit lonesome, doing and suffering. Am wishing I was around the home-hearth with my child and husband amid the joys of liberty. My dear friend does all in her power to make me enjoy my stay here, but you know her body of belief "is full of wounds and bruises" which in getting her out of I stumble, i.e. I feel the old temptations strengthen in my body when I come into daily contact with hers. I see and think I believe more than ever the truth, but the flesh is weak. When I came here she could not do but a little housework, had not a girl up to that time. In three weeks she did her washing! a thing she told me she had not thought of being able to do ever again, and had not done before for six months. She never knows which way the wind blows now, east or contrawise. When she thinks I will leave her she grows worse, but this I can manage when the time comes. The cup which my Father -- Wisdom hath prepared for me shall I not drink it? To our material sense tis even at times gall; but he that forsaketh not Father and Mother to follow me, is not worthy of me.
Tis a very great thing to subdue, much more to conquer our spiritual foes. I find them worse than thcir identities in individuals. Happiness is not found in any condition but wisdom, and this embraces not envy, avarice, malice, or mad ambition. Jesus taught as man does not; who then is wise, but you? What is your truth if it applies only to the evil discases which sham themselves. What is the theory worth when it is only human as a Westminister -- catechism? Dr., I have a strange feeling of late that I ought to be perfect after the command of science,* in order to know and do the right. So much as I need to attain before that, makes the job look difficult, but I shall try. When men anid above all women, revile me, to forgive and pity. When I am misjudged because misunderstood, to feel: Wisdom forgive them for they know not what they do. When the idle and empty brains of such (as will know more I hope one day) think to advance their own moral or social position by pulling down their neighbors, try another score of times on me, I think they will find me impervious: above the wound even, which strangers can inflict. All things shall work together for good to them who love wisdom; i.e., if they have the courage to feel -- these are not they whom my Father hath chosen. I can love only a good, honorable and brave career; no other can suit me. If I could use my pen as I long to do, and not sink under it: I would work after this model till it should appear a "thing of beauty which is a joy forever."
*That is, according to the "Science of Health" which she had learned from Dr. Quimby.
Posted at the public marts of this city is this notice:
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
This is nearly as I can remember. I have changed my lecture to suit the occasion. This seems to me a spiritual need of this people. I like much the hearts of Warren folks, i.e., better than their heads. They are very respectful and kind to me. Would you have the courage to attend if here? Sometimes wisdom is known by her followers. Hope it will be this time. Please attend to my cnse when you get this; dyspepsia and constipation; two bugbears that Miss Jarvis has just got rid of and saddled on to me.
Ever in hands of Fellowship.
M. M. P.
WARREN, May 24.
I am very ill again. When I start all right, some slight circumstance such as Miss Jarvis, getting frightencd with my cough -- and hanging her weight and my own in the wrong scale pulls me down again. So I am resolved to go to Portland this week.
Will friend George tell Mrs. Wilson I want the room I occupied before leaving for my husband will be with me as soon as he returns to Lynn if I am not able to go to him.
Enclosed please find a "penny for your thoughts" and come to my relief in these respects restless nights and spinal pain and heat.
M. M. P.
WARREN, May 1864.
I have often repeated the first instance of my salvation to wondering hearers, and if when we are converted we should strengthen our bretheren how ought I not to preach.
I have learned more in 2 months than I am capable of practicing, to say the least, but I can preach forever.
A clear and lucid demonstration of the truth you practice has been given in my case. As clear as any experiments I ever saw in clairvoyance. For instance, when I came here I was not troubled essentially with my old diseases; but when I have got heated by nervous excitement I would have inflamed ears eyes or nose. Even the injury of my jaw was powerless to hurt me but has gone on to heal.
But as I took Miss Jarvis' heat I found in it her fears, and those made me frightened but my heat contained the first of my ideas, that was, the old spinal complaint.*
*Mrs. Eddy had learned to take on impressions according to Quimby's method, but she lacked his insight and positiveness. Hence she lapsed at times into old associations.
So my stomach was immensely severe of pain in the back. I wrote you Wed. I believe; at any rate, while I was weakened by my sufferings the terror of this home and people took fast hold of me, and the morning after, I wrote you; before you got my letter. I commenced spitting blood, with the ugliest sounding cough I ever heard; when I would lie on my left side the rattling was down apparently to the depths of the lungs, my breathing was like the wheezing of asthma! After you got my letter I grew nervous, never slept any Thursday night, but yesterday morning (Friday) I dropped to sleep; between the hours of 7, and 8 o'clock, I woke suddenly as if you called my name; opened my eyes and saw you! Called to Emma, asked her what time it was? She replied, 8 o'clock. I felt as if I must get up, rose and dressed me, went out doors, felt the spinal idea vanishing -- and with it the stiffness and soreness also; came in and after much of agitation on the nerves spoke in a loud voice as usual, only a little hoarse; the only time I could speak aloud after spitting blood. I am up and about today, i. e., by the help of the Lord (Quimby). I continue till time; better understanding the wholesome saying, "Be ye not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good."
I thank Wisdom that you were not a hopeless invalid ever: hence your power to resist the Devil. When Miss Jarvis would come to my bed it would invariably set me to coughing. And before I was sick she had lost even a hem, or the least approach to a cough; now she is coughing a little but she can't get back for I have borne her sins and you have saved me. I did feel once Why hast thou forsaken me? i.e., your wisdom; am well right now. Please come occasionally and if you make my nights sleepy and bowels act again I can go on without fear,
Ever with gratitude,
M. M. P.
LYNN, MASS. July 8th, 1864.
My dear Doctor.
I am wishing I could see you today.-- My husband was seized 2 days ago with fever and what is called erysipelis.
Today he is almost frightful to look upon. O! how I wish you were within reach of us, and how easily you could save him. He only laughs at me when I talk the truth to him. His face is a purple red and swelled horribly. I feel alarmed about him for fear it will reach the brain as he knows the M. D.'s opinions. I have watched and waited upon him till I am not a little out of tune, feel tired and it hurts me now to move. Can you not prevent my taking it and send relief to him?
M. M. P.
LYNN, July 29th, 1865.
I have just received a letter that has well nigh separated soul and body and the first thing I thought of doing was to go to you like the Mother of old.
A letter informed me from the house where George my son is stopping that he is but just alive not able to sit up with what they call consumption of the bowels. He reached Enterprise Minnesota on his may home to me and there had to stop too feeble to get farther. If I am with this body next Mond. I shall start for him with it although I am sick today and know nothing of the route to him. O Doctor, tis only in you I have any hope and can't you save him? He is too good too noble and self-sacrificing to be lost to this world even in example.
All I ask all I hope for is that he may be spared to me. Save him, save him if you can. He shall be brought to you if he can possibly bear the journey.
Since the above something tells me not to start that it is now too late. Oh Doctor I know not what I have written.
M. M. PATTERSON.
MARY M. PATTERSON TO GEORGE QUIMBY
LYNN, June, 1864.
Mr. George Quimby,
Sir: On arriving here last evening I missed the keys to my trunks and portfolio. The former were on a ring and if I did not loose them out of my pocket by the way, they were left in my table drawer or on the table; the portfolio key was very small and not on the ring.
Mrs. Pierce will bring me from Warren a little parcel in which you can include the keys if found, and send it all along together. If Mrs. P. delays to come to Portland and you have the keys please send by mail and I will return the costs to you.
M. M. Patterson.
MARY M. PATTERSON TO MRS. WILLIAMS
SANBORNTON BRIDGE, March 8,'63.
Dear Madam: Since having left the Intcrnational in Portland I have regretted that I forgot to ask the favor of a letter, relative to those "unsettled matters" -- from some of the kind friends whom I met there. You I trust will pardon this unsought correspondence when you learn its promptings. Do you not recollect the day you sat on a sofa beside me, of hearing that "man of honor" when cleaning up his character, speak of references from the best friend in Boston which he would send to my nephew on our return home?, one of them, my nephew's father has a commission business with.
Well, yesterday Albert received a letter from Mr. Franklin which his mother (at my request) opened and read. It simply said he was going West and was disappointed about affairs at Boston because the Portland rumours had reached there. Mr. Tilton will make enquiry at one of the firms he referred to when next he is in Boston. Please inform me if my dear chain has been heard from, as also the means employed by the detective? I do not feel the least hope in the case because he knew I suspected him and was somewhat acquainted in Boston. Please remember me on in love to Mrs. D'ty, Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Dr. E. and Mr. Hale. The kindest remembrance to the host and hostess of the International.
Please write soon as convenient. I will try to send my Philosophy* by Mrs. Tilton when she accompanies her son to the International. I have not yet named my loss to her, as my nephew has pleaded so hard for me to keep mum, which you are aware must be difficult for a lady.
With a warm wish for your recovery I am truly,
Mary M. Patterson.
N.B. Love to Dr. Quimby and lady.
*That is, what she believes and has learned through the recovery of her health.
Suggested By Reading the Remarkable Cure of Captain F. W. Dearing*
For the Courier.
TO DR. P. P. QUIMBY.
Mary M. Patterson.
*Printed from the original manuscript preserved by George A. Quimby.
[The following is from Mrs. Eddy's article published in the Portland Evening Courier in 1862. It plainly shows the writer's real attitude toward her restorer.]
When our Shakespeare decided that "there were more things in this world than were dreamed of in your philosophy," I cannot say of a verity that he had a foreknowledge of P. P. Quimby. And when the school Platonic anatomized the soul and divided it into halves, to be reunited by elementary attractions, and heathen philosophers averrcd that old Chaos in sullen silence brooded o'er the earth until her inimitable form was hatched from the egg of night, I would not at present decide whether the fallacy was found in their premises or conclusions, never having dated my existence before the flood. When the startled alchemist discovered, as he supposed, an universal solvent, or the philosopher's stone, and the more daring Archimedes invented a lever where withal to pry up the universe, I cannot say that in either the principle obtained in nature or in art, or that it worked well, having never tried it. But, when by a falling apple an immutable law was discovered, we gave it the crown of science, which is incontrovertible and capable of demonstration: hence that was wisdom and truth. When from the evidence of the senses my reason takes cognizance of truth, although it may appear in quite a miraculous view, I must acknowledge that as science which is truth uninvestigated. Hcnce the following demonstration:--
Three weeks since I quitted my nurse and sick-room en route for Portland. The belief of my recovery had died out of the hearts of those who were most anxious for it. With this mental and physical depression I first visited P. P. Quimby; and in less than one week from that time I ascended by a stairway of one hundred and eighty-two steps to the dome of the City Hall, and am improving ad infinitum. To the most subtle reasoning, such a proof, coupled, too, as it is with numberless similar ones, demonstrates his power to heal. Now for a brief analysis of this power.
Is it spiritualism? Listen to the words of wisdom. "Believe in God, believe also in me; or believe me for the very work's sake." Now, then, his works are but the result of superior wisdom, which can demonstrate a science not understood: hence it were a doubtful proceeding not to believe him for the work's sake. Well, then, he denies that his power to heal the sick is borrowed from the spirits of this or another world; and let us take the Scriptures for proof. "A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand." How, then, can he receive the friendly aid of the discnthralled spirit, while he rejects the faith of the solemn mystic who crosses the threshold of the dark unknown to conjure up from the vasty deep the awe-struck spirit of some invisible squaw?
Again, is it by animal magnetism that he heals the sick? Let us examine. I have employed electro- magnetism and animal magnetism, and for a brief interval have felt relief, from the equilibrium which I fancied was restored to an exhausted system or by a diffusion of concentrated action. But in no instance did I get rid of a return of all my ailments, because I had not been helped out of the error in which opinions involved us. My operator believed in disease independent of the mind; hence, I could not be wiser than my teacher. But now I can see dimly at first, and only as trees walking, the great principle which underlies Dr. Quimby's faith and works; and just in proportion to my light perception of truth is my recovery. This trath which he opposes to the error of giving intelligence to matter and placing pain where it never placed itself, if received understandingly, changes the currents of the system to their normal action; and the mechanism of the body goes on undisturbed. That this is a science capable of demonstration becomes clear to the minds of those patients who reason upon the process of their cure. The truth which he establishes in the patient cures him (although he may be wholly unconscious thereof); and the body, which is full of light, is no longer in disease. At present I am too much in error to elucidate the truth, and can touch only the key-note for the master hand to wake the harmony. May it be in essays instead of notes! say I. After all, this is a very spiritual doctrine; but the eternal years of God are with it, and it must stand firm as the rock of ages. And to many a poor sufferer may it be found, as by me, "thc shadow of a great rock in a weary land."
[The day following the publication of the above article, it was criticized by the Portland Advertiser; and Mrs. Eddy then wrote a second article, replying to the criticism. In it appeared the following paragraph, referring to Quimby and his doctrine:]
P. P. Quimby stands upon the plane of wisdom with his truth. Christ healed the sick, but not by jugglery or with drugs. As the former speaks as never man before spake, and heals as never man healed since Christ, is he not identified with truth, and is not this the Christ which is in him? We know that in wisdom is life, "and the life was the light of man" P. P. Quimby rolls away the stone from the sepulchre of error, and health is the resurrection. But we also know that "light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."
["These excerpts" says J. A. Dresser, "are in plain language, and they speak for themselves. The statements are made with too evident an understanding of their truth to be doubted or questioned, or afterward reversed in any particular. It should be borne in mind that your speaker was there at the time, and was familiar with all the circumstances she relates and the views espressed. The devoted regard the lady formed for her deliverer, Quimby, and for the truth he taught her, which proved her salvation, was continued to be held by her from this time (the autumn of 1862) up to a period at least four years later; for in January, 1866, Quimby's death occurred, and on February 15 she sent to me a copy of a poem she had written to his memory, and accompanied it by a letter as follows:"]
LYNN, Feb. 15, 1866.
Sir, -- I enclose some lines of mine in memory of our much-loved friend, which perhaps you will not think overwrought in meaning: others must, of course. I am constantly wishing that you would step forward into the place he has vacated. I believe you would do a vast amount of good, and are more capable of occupying his place than any other I know of. Two weeks ago I fell on the sidewalk, and struck my back on the ice, and was taken up for dead, came to consciousness amid a storm of vapors from cologne, chloroform, ether, camphor, etc., but to find myself the helpless cripple I was before I saw Dr.Quimby.
The physician attending said I had taken the last step I ever should, but in two days I got out of bed alone and will walk; but yet I confess I am frightened, and out of that nervous heat my friends are forming, spite of me, the terrible spinal affection from which I have suffered so long and hopelessly. . . . Now can't you help me? I believe you can. I write this with this feeling: I think that I could help another in my condition if they had not placed their intelligence in matter. This I have not done, and yet I am slowly failing. Won't you write me if you will undertake for me if I can get to you? . . .*
Mary M. Patterson.
*Mr. Dresser did not respond to this appeal, and Mrs. Eddy hed to depend on her own interpretation of Quimby's method.
* * * * * *
The first of these letters is especially important since it gives the date of the request for Dr. Quimby's treatment. Dr. Quimby's circular deeply interested Mrs. Eddy and as he was unable to leave his practice in Portland to visit Mrs. Eddy in New Hampshire, Mrs. Eddy wrote personal appeals from Rumney, and from a water cure in Hill, N. H., whither she had gone for treatment but without avail. It is plain that Mrs. Eddy had now reached the limit of endurance and the end of her faith in material methods of treatment. No record of Dr. Quimby's answer has been preserved, but doubtless he wrote to her with all the more interest and conviction in view of the fact that she had given up hope in all other directions. For under such conditions he anticipated the best results.
There is no record of the exact date of Mrs. Eddy's arrival in Portland, but one of Dr. Quimby's patients, still living, was present in the office when she came and distinctly remembers seeing the invalid assisted up the steps to his office. In the journal of Mr. Julius A. Dresser, under date of October 17, 1862, mention is made for the first time of this new patient, who manifested special interest in Dr. Quimby's teaching and was eager to converse with the patients who best understood the new theory. Mr. Dresser devoted the larger part of his time at that period to conversations with patients, and it was natural that he should talk at length with Mrs. Eddy. These conversations were highly important because they gave Mrs. Eddy her first connected idea of Quimby's great truth.
First of all, Mr. Dresser could speak with the conviction of one whose life had been saved at the point of death with typhoid pneumonia. Again, he had seen the results in hundreds of cases, since his own cure in June, 1860, and could substantiate whatever he said by describing the conditions and the appearance of patients when they first came for treatment and by telling how great were the changes wrought by Quimby's wisdom. Mrs. Eddy indicated her increasing interest in this "wisdom," and her desire to read a statement of it in Quimby's own words. Accordingly Mr. Dresser loaned her Vol: 1 of the manuscripts, as he possessed a copy in his own handwriting, this copy having been preserved with the others until the present time.
The turning-point with Mrs. Eddy, as with all who came to Dr. Quimby, was of course the silent spiritual treatment which she received at regular intervals during her stay in Portland. Dr. Quimby always depended primarily on this silent work to bring about the fundamental or decisive change, to overcome the adverse influences and start the reaction in favor of health. In Mrs. Eddy's case there were years of invalidism to overcome, together with the beliefs and habits which bound her to another mode of life. Hence a gradual change in consciousness and attitude followed upon the remarkable effects of the silent treatment which lifted her out of her invalidism. To understand what Dr. Quimby accomplished for her we should not only bear in mind that the silent treatment took her past the decisive point, but note that the conversations were in their way no less essential, and that these were made good by the many opportunities to listen to the reading of manuscripts, to hear discussions and to read the manuscripts herself. We have the direct testimony of those who were present during the conversations and readings in the office to the effect that Mrs. Eddy showed unusual eagerness to acquire all she could through these exceptional opportunities. Indeed her zeal seems at times to have exceeded her understanding, for some of her letters indicate that she made ventures beyond her returning strength. She was nervously susceptible in type, easily took on the feelings or mental atmospheres of the sick. Hence the problem in her case was not merely that of the recovery of her health; it was to find a way to temperamental control so that he could apply the new "Science" and yet keep free.
After her return from Portland to Sanbornton Bridge (1863) she was not sure of herself in all respects and found it necessary to send for absent treatment on occasion, but she had begun to care for the sick by Quimby's method. Later, at Warren, Maine, (1864) she acquired the power to detect others' feelings and atmospheres, had become accustomed to the feeling of Quimby's presence during absent treatments and had advanced to knowledge of that presence when there was no apparent reason for his coming.
It was at Warren that Mrs. Eddy gave her first public lectures expounding Quimby's views. She felt impelled to give these lectures because she found herself classified as a spiritualist and a public denial seemed necessary-she disclaimed any connection with phenomena involving rappings, trances; or any agency in healing the sick said to come from the dead, and contrasted Quimby's science of healing with Rochester rappings, spiritualism and deism in general. Her remarks attracted attention and a newspaper editor asked her for a communication on the subject.
Throughout this period, from the time of her acquaintance with Dr. Quimby by reputation and then as her healer in Portland and by means of "angel visits," Mrs. Eddy looked up to Quimby as the great discoverer and healer of the day, the one whose privilege it was to rediscover the truth which Jesus taught. She felt and expressed the profound gratitude and loyalty of one who had been marvellously restored to health. She made no claims for herself. She did not make light of Quimby's teaching or identify it with either mesmerism, magnetism or any other of the isms of the day, as we shall soon see more plainly, in her communication to a Portland paper. In fact, she showed herself more than an ardent disciple; she was eager to come to Quimby's defense, lest he should be misunderstood and classed with the isms and humbugs then current.
In order to depreciate Mrs. Eddy's indebtedness to Dr. Quimby, some critics have tried to make out that she was not cured by him. The recurrence of weakness seems to confirm this. Mrs. Eddy several times wrote for absent healing, and on one occasion felt it necessary to return to Portland for treatment. She frankly confessed that she had temporary recurrences of former troubles. But the critics who make this charge overlook the fact that she was at the point of death when she first went to Portland, and the fact that she was brought out of that condition so that she could walk, as she herself says in her communication to the Courier, unaided after only a week's treatment; and that Dr. Quimby gave her the therapeutic impetus and the wisdom which carried her through to the point where she herself began to understand and to demonstrate.
Suggested by Reading the Remarkable Cure of Captain F. W Deering (1)
For the Courier.
TO DR. P. P. QUIMBY
'Mid light of science sits the sage profound, Awing with classics and his starry lore, Climbing to Venus, chasing Saturn round, Turning his mystic pages o'er and o'er, Till, from empyrean space, his wearied sight Turns to the oasis on which to gaze, More bright than glitters on the brow of night The self-taught man walking in wisdom's ways. Then paused the captive gaze with peace entwined, And sight was satisfied with thee to dwell; But not in classics could the book-worm find That law of excellence whence came the spell Potent o'er all,-the captive to unbind. To heal the sick and faint, the halt and blind.
MARY M. PATTERSON.
(1) Printed from the original manuscript preserved by George A. Quimby. See Appendix.
The confessions of weakness were evidences of the regerative work in process, as she realizes when it comes to her that to see the great new truth and to live by it consciously are two different things. For the mere restoration to physical health was only the beginning. There remained the great problem of a temperament which made her unduly aware of the ills and feelings of others. The problem of one's temperament is not to be solved in a week. Hence to Dr. Quimby she wrote as much of her weaknesses and failures as of her faith in his new Science that, seeing precisely where she stood, he might help her to take the next great step. Dr. Quimby always encouraged this frank statement of a patient's actual needs. Mrs. Eddy responded in full faith. Meanwhile her public lectures and her conversations with interested persons showed how strong was her belief that Quimby possessed the true Science of the Christ. This faith is shown, for example, in the sonnet written at the time of one of Dr. Quimby's great cures, and in her article in a Portland daily paper.
The following is from Mrs. Eddy's article published in the Portland Evening Courier in 1862. It plainly shows the writer's real attitude toward her restorer.
"When our Shakespeare decided that `there were more things in this world than were dreamed of in your philosophy,' I cannot say of a verity that he had a foreknowledge of P. P. Quimby. And when the school Platonic anatomized the soul and divided it into halves, to be reunited by elementary attractions, and heathen philosophers averred that old Chaos in sullen silence blooded o'er the earth until her inimitable form was hatched from the egg of night, I would not at present decide whether the fallacy was found in their premises or conclusions, never having dated my existence be fore the flood. When the startled alchemist discovered, as be supposed, an universal solvent, or the philosopher's stone, and the more daring Archimedes invented a lever wherewithal to pry up the universe, I cannot say that in either the principle obtained in nature or in art, or that it worked well, having never tried it. But, when by a falling apple an immutable law was discovered, we gave it the crown of science, which is incontrovertible and capable of demonstration: hence that was wisdom and truth. When from the evidence of the senses my reason takes cognizance of truth, although it may appear in quite a miraculous view, I must acknowledge that as science which is truth uninvestigated. Hence the following demonstration:-
"Three weeks since I quitted my nurse and sick-room en route for Portland. The belief of my recovery had died out of the hearts of those who were most anxious for it. With this mental and physical depression I first visited P. P. Quimby; and in less than one week from that time I ascended by a stairway of one hundred and eighty-two steps to the dome of the City Hall, and am improving ad infinitum. To the most subtle reasoning, such a proof, coupled, too, as it is with numberless similar ones, demonstrates his power to heal. Now for a brief analysis of this power.
"Is it spiritualism. Listen to the words of wisdom. `Believe in God, believe also in me; or believe me for the very work's sake.' Now, then, his works are but the result of superior wisdom, which can demonstrate a science not understood: hence it were a doubtful proceeding not to believe him for the work's sake. Well, then, he denies that his power to heal the sick is borrowed from the spirits of this or another world; and let us take the Scriptures for proof. `A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.' How, then, can he receive the friendly aid of the disenthralled spirit, while he rejects the faith of the solemn mystic who crosses the threshold of the dark unknown to conjure up from the vasty deep the awe-struck spirit of some invisible squaw?
"Again, is it by animal magnetism that he heals the sick? Let us examine. I have employed electro-magnetism and animal magnetism, and for a brief interval have felt relief, from the equilibrium which I fancied was restored to an exhausted system or by a diffusion of concentrated action. But in no instance did I get rid of a return of all my ailments, because I had not been helped out of the error in which opinions involved us. My operator believed in disease independent of the mind; hence, I could not be wiser than my teacher. But now I can see dimly at first, and only as trees walking, the great principle which underlies Dr. Quimby's faith and works; and just in proportion to my light perception of truth is my recovery. This truth which he opposes to the error of giving intelligence to matter and placing pain where it never placed itself, if received understandingly, changes the currents of the system to their normal action; and the mechanism of the body goes on undisturbed. That this is a science capable of demonstration becomes clear to the minds of those patients who reason upon the process of their cure. The truth which he establishes in the patient cures him (although he may be wholly unconscious thereof) ; and the body, which is full of light, is no longer in disease. At present I am too much in error to elucidate the truth, and can touch only the key-note for the master hand to wake the harmony. May it be in essays instead of notes! say I. After all, this is a very spiritual doctrine; but the eternal years of God are with it, and it must stand firm as the rock of ages. And to many a poor sufferer may it be found, as by me, `the shadow of a great rock in a weary land'."
The day following the publication of the above article, it was criticized by the Portland Advertiser; and Mrs. Eddy then wrote a second article, replying to the criticism. In it appeared the following paragraph, referring to Quimby and his doctrine:
"P. P. Quimby stands upon the plane of wisdom with his truth. Christ healed the sick, but not by jugglery or with drugs. As the former speaks as never man before spake, and heals as never man healed since. Christ, is he not identified with truth, and is not this the Christ which is in him? We know that in wisdom is life, `and the life was the light of man.' P. P. Quimby rolls away the stone from the sepulchre of error, and health is the resurrection. But we also know that `light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."'
"These excerpts" says J. A. Dresser, "are in plain language, and they speak for themselves. The statements are made with too evident an understanding of their truth to be doubted or questioned, or afterward reversed in any particular. It should be borne in mind that your speaker was there at the time, and was familiar with all the circumstances she relates and the views expressed. The devoted regard the lady formed for her deliverer, Quimby, and for the truth he taught her, which proved her salvation, was continued to be held by her from this time (the autumn of 1862) up to a period at least four years later; for in January, 1866, Quimby's death occurred, and on February 15 she sent to me a copy of a poem she had written to his memory, and accompanied it by letter."
This letter, which was published in full in "The True History of Mental Science," 1887, was both an expression of gratitude and a personal appeal. Knowing that Mr. Dresser was Quimby's most enthusiastic follower, Mrs. Eddy expressed the hope that he would take up the work of their much-loved friend. She then goes on to speak of a fall on the sidewalk which left her momentarily unconscious.
When she was brought to, she found herself in a crippled condition like that which Dr. Quimby had cured in 1862. The attending physician declared that she would never walk again. But so firm was her faith in Quimby's principle that she was out of bed in two days, with the declaration that she would walk. Nevertheless she found that the mishap had thrown her back into the old associations for the time being, also that her friends were helping her back into the spinal affection from which she had suffered so long. In this state of suspense between opposing forces she appealed to Mr. Dresser for help, according, to Quimby's method of silent spiritual treatment. If another person were in her condition she believed she could give help in this way, that is, if the other had not attributed intelligence to matter. But despite her strong faith that all intelligence should be identified with Divine power, she found herself weakening. Hence her appeal to one who had followed Dr. Quimby with such ardor and understanding.
The poem, which had been printed in a Lynn newspaper, is as follows:
LINES ON THE DEATH. OF DR. P. P. QUIMBY, WHO HEALED
WITH THE TRUTH THAT CHRIST TAUGHT, IN CONTRA
DISTINCTION TO ALL ISMS.
Did sackcloth clothe the sun, and day grow night, All matter mourn the hour with dewy eyes, When Truth, receding from our mortal sight, Had paid to error her last sacrifice? Can we forget the power that gave us life? Shall we forget the wisdom of its way? Then ask me not, amid this mortal strife, This keenest pang of animated, clay, To mourn him less: to mourn him more were just, If to his memory 'twere a tribute given For every solemn, sacred, earnest trust Delivered to us ere he rose to heaven. Heaven but the happiness of that calm soul, Growing in stature to the throne of God: Rest should reward him who hath made us whole. Seeking, though tremblers, where his footsteps trod.
LYNN, Feb. 22, 1866. MARY M. PATTERSON.
It is interesting to realize how much depend