Are We Speaking Truth to the Neighbor?

Zechariah , one of the minor prophets who after the Jews' return from Babylonian captivity lifted high the standard of righteous thinking and living, has left for posterity in the book which bears his name a code of ethics as immortal as truth itself. For example, consider this inspirational direction in the eighth chapter (verses 16 and 17): "These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord."

One of the first things discovered by those who turn to the study of Christian Science is the fact that the average mortal falls far short of understanding and much less of obeying these injunctions of the prophet. They see that, uninstructed in spiritual sense, mortals do not speak truth either to themselves or to their neighbor. And why? Because from the standpoint of the material senses Pilate's perennial question. "What is truth?" has never been answered. So the unenlightened human consciousness stumbles blindly on, mistaking error for truth, fable for realism, human opinions for law and suffers from its ignorance.

In the eighth chapter of John's Gospel we find a New Testament correlative of Zechariah's preachment on the subject of truth. The discourse, given by the great Teacher of Nazareth, who modestly called himself "a man that hath told you the truth" (verse 40), begins with a marvelous object lesson. It is as if a master of music, about to give a lesson, first exemplified the correct handling of a theme. In this instance. Jesus practically illustrates the method of the Christ. Truth, in meeting and healing sin. Note the opening Scriptural statement about the problem to be dealt with (verse 8): "a woman taken in adultery."

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January 25, 1947

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