The Quimby Manuscripts

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Author: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

To many it seems strange indeed that the publication of the Quimby manuscripts has been so long delayed. As far back as 1882, Mr. Julius Dresser began to make it publicly known in Boston that the writings existed, and that when published they would disclose the real history of the discovery of spiritual healing. Naturally, there was a strong desire to have them published. In his pamphlet, “The True History of Mental Science,” issued in 1887, Mr. Dresser expressed the opinion that “no such depth of understanding has yet seen the light in print as those manuscripts contain,” that is, on the subject of spiritual healing. It was not Mr. Dresser’s privilege at that time to publish more than one of the articles, and the best he could do was to give a good reason why Dr. Quimby had no opportunity to revise the writings before publication prior to his death. “I think I see a wisdom in nearly everything,” said Mr. Dresser. “If those writings had been published, as Dr. Quimby intended, or even at any time since, previous to now, they would have found a public unprepared for them. Therefore they are in the hands of a person whose sympathies are not stirred by a work in the truth, as some of ours are, to issue them before their time. But those manuscripts will be published at a future day.” We had a copy of the manuscripts in the household until 1893, when by arrangement with Mr. George Quimby, the owner, this copy was sent to Belfast to be kept with the other copies. The household copy was used in connection with instruction in classes, and from time to time portions of the articles were read in the classes on spiritual healing. But we were not permitted to give the writings further publicity. We frequently urged their owner to publish them, but Mr. Quimby did not believe the right time had come. When we compiled “The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby,” in 1895, we were still unable to secure the right to print more than brief excerpts from two of the manuscript volumes, since Mr. Quimby did not wish any essay printed in full till all the chief writings should be published. Many efforts were made as the years passed to secure further privileges. Mr. Quimby was frequently besought by interested people, clergymen, writers, healers and editors, some of whom traveled to Belfast to argue the point. Mr. Quimby answered all letters courteously, sometimes giving his reasons at length, and explaining his father’s ideas; but he stoutly refused to publish the writings.