Yea and Nay

In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount we find the following very positive statement: "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Because men have desired to be delivered from evil practices, they have considered these words of Jesus from many a standpoint. Certain sectarians, perhaps forgetting that Jesus did not speak in the English tongue, even repudiated the use of "Yes" and "No" in all their speech, substituting the "Yea" and "Nay" of Bible vernacular. They no doubt believed that thereby they were obeying at least the letter of Jesus' demand. Most men have, however, realized that Jesus' command must have been something much larger and deeper than could be compassed by merely adhering to two small words; and mankind therefore as a whole still continues to ask, How are we to confine our communications to "Yea, yea; Nay, nay," and so conform to Jesus' requirements?

Christian Science, throwing the light of Truth on this as on all other questions, shows us that the "Yea" of Jesus may be said to refer to the affirmations of Truth, while the "Nay" correspondingly indicates the denials of error. Now these are as manifestly simple in phrase as were Jesus' own words. And yet their very simplicity sometimes appears to render them obscure to the human sense of things. For instance, we often hear persons asking what Christian Scientists mean when they talk of affirming truth and denying error. To such, possibly as adequate an answer as can well be given is to turn them to the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, telling them that in these books is to be found the truth itself, whereby men may learn to divide between the true and the false. After learning such distinction, to affirm the one and deny the other should become as simple as to insist that two plus two are four and are not three or five. And still the plaint goes on, What do you mean?

On Trusting God, Good
May 28, 1927

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