Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Only Foundation of Sound Knowledge and Learning

"Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him."

- Rule of Harvard College 1646
Quoted from Mind Your Faith: A Student's Guide to Thinking and Living Well


Neil Shenvi said...

There's another fascinating story having to do with Harvard's Christian heritage. If you look up the Harvard logo, it is a crimson shield with three books all turned face-up bearing the inscription "Veritas", "truth" in Latin. However, that was not the original logo.

Originally, the Harvard shield was surrounded by the words "Christo et ecclesia" so that the inscription read "Truth for Christ and the Church." Not only that, but originally, the three books were not all identical. Two books were placed face-up and the third was placed face-down, indicating the limits of human knowledge. Apparently, the reference was to Deut. 29:29: "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." The two books represented the Old and New Testaments. But the third book represented "the secret things [which] belong to the Lord." In the early 20th century, the logo was changed by turning all books face-up, making the implicit claim that all knowledge was accessible to human intellect.
You can see the original seal here:

8violets said...

Thanks for sharing that!

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