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Prosperity and adversity
Originally published in the January 15, 1891 issue of the Christian Science Series (Vol. 2, No. 18)
It has been said that Christian Scientists ignore the Old Testament in their teachings. That this is an erroneous statement, is proven by the following lesson taken exclusively from the Old Testament; a lesson showing that the whole Scripture, as taught by Jesus, is “the guide to Life.” Prosperity and adversity, being words of abundant significance to all, have been chosen as the subject for study; while a few thoughts bearing thereupon, thoughts suggested by both the Bible and our text-book, Science and Health , are offered for consideration.
Obedience is the first requisite for prosperity, as shown by the following illustrations: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; I, II. There might be cited from the Old Testament, many other instances of success obtained through obedience to the law, even at times when there seemed but few faithful ones. The histories of Enoch, of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Caleb, Joshua and other Judges, of many of the Kings and Prophets are all types of fruitfulness through obedience manifested even when wickedness seemed to be in the ascendency. These histories are to be found in the first part of the Bible, especially in those books preceding the Psalms. Mortal mind, however, is prone to doubt that the way of Truth causes man to prosper, until the proof is given. 6. III., Because it is faithless and uncertain itself, it cannot credit the certain fulfilment of Divine promises; but, from our knowledge of the instability of the mortal, we can be sure of the stability of its opposite, the Immortal. IV, V. Yielding to doubt or fear then, is a cause of adversity. This is plainly shown in the history of David in his relations with Saul. 7, 8, 9, 10. VI. This is disobedience to the Spirit, and reaps the reward spoken of by Moses, and also by the prophet. 11, 12, 18. VII. But adversity is not lasting in the case of those who repent and, in self-abnegation and self-forgetfulness, put their trust in Immortal mind. 14, 15; VIII, IX. God has given assurance of help and support to all who trust in Him, as manifested through His prophets, and as evidenced in the following histories: 16, 17, 18, 19 20 21, 22 X, XI, XII, XIII.
In order to achieve success, prayer and work are necessary. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. XIV, XV, XVI, XVII. This prayer and effort, however, must be for that which is pure and true, or its results will not prove lasting. 28, 29, 30, 31. XVIII. XIX, XX. Turning to Love, Life, Truth, for wisdom, is beginning aright; 32, XXI, XXII. for Love guides man prosperously, and is therefore the cause of success. 33, 34. XXIII, XXIV. Love is magnanimous, generous, ever giving freely and abundantly that which is good. 34, 35, XXV.
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