"SIGNS FOLLOWING"

"To be spiritually minded is life." Martha, concerned over the material welfare of her guests, neglected her spiritual opportunities. Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, was obedient to the voice of God.

As Christian Scientists we are beginning to search the depths of mortal sense, to uncover selfish materialism, and it is clear that our efforts to apply this Science to the sense of human need must not have material comfort or satisfaction for their object. We argue, and rightly, that prosperity and success are the heritage of God's children, but do we always realize that true prosperity is the gaining of heavenly riches? As we grow in grace we do actually begin to give up the precious things of human sense because we begin to apprehend the spiritual realities, and only by thus ceasing to love the things of the world can we inherit the promise that those who forsake friends and houses and lands for the sake of the gospel shall have these things in greater abundance. The root of the word prosper is hope. To prosper is to attain the "things hoped for," and "not seen" by material sense. The word success includes rather more than prosperity, and success is perhaps the watchword of present-day life. Money is not so much the object of pursuit as success, to do the thing one sets out to do. We strive not so much because the achievement is in itself desirable or brings us rewards, as for the sake of victory, the proof of our powers. Webster says the better spelling of the word succeed is succede, as it is derived from the Latin cedo, which appears in English as "cede." The original meaning of the Latin succedo is to go under, to submit. Its original use in English indicated one following another, and finally "succeeding" him in place and power. To-day the sense suggested by the word is conquest, not submission, though too often success implies taking a rival's place. The Latin is significant, however, in view of the fact that to succeed in any given endeavor is to submit one's self wholly to it, to follow that calling with a single heart. "His servants ye are to whom ye obey," said Paul, and Jesus said. "Take my yoke upon you." Successful people in worldly callings are often so wholly given over to their affairs that they have no time to enjoy the fruit of their labor, indeed no desire to do so. They find no content outside the yoke of that servitude. What seemed success in the beginning looks like comparative failure to him who has reached his goal, and large in the distance looms another mile-stone, toward which he strives only to find it dwindled to nothingness when he reaches it. We have all in some degree experienced this disillusionment and recognized the illusive nature of worldly prizes. Spiritual good, on the contrary, seems vague and dim when we first begin to seek it, but every blessing gained is a thousand fold more wonderful than we had hoped. Spiritual good is not achieved by reaching outside one's self for what one has not, the possession of which may diminish another's supply. It is not attained by crowding out some one else. It is gained by opening our eyes to the fact that all good is ever present, and is the free gift of God to all His children.

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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND THE SALESMAN
October 12, 1907
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