Veritas vos Liberabit
The Truth Will Make You Free
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Here is a Latin motto, which though its origins are obscure is generally agreed to have originated from the Scripture. A university in Canada has adopted the motto as their own, as has Johns Hopkins in the United States. The motto and the Scripture caused me considerable reverie as I mused upon its import. To quote William Styron, the American novelist, "I felt caught up in a reverie of years long past" as I considered the land of my birth.
In the year 2011, the 400th anniversary of a person with my family name being present in this land will occur. He was there 165 years before there was a Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776. It pleases me to think the motivation that brought him to the New World under harsh indenture was the same one that inspired the spirit of settlement and finally the formation of a new country with an under girding philosophy based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior of man and Lord of mankind.
Not, at any time, have all the inhabitants of the land been Christian. But this does not mean that the dominating influence was not. And this brings me to the crux of the matter. The spirit that made the land and people great for a time is not the spirit that predominates in the land today.
The most important and basic truth important to all the world is the fact the Lord Jesus Christ is truth personified. I have traveled over a great deal of the world in my lifetime and observed something about the issue of truth. Much of the world is kept in ignorance of this truth by the circumstance of the land of their birth and the dominant religion of those about them, but in the U.S.A. ignorance of this truth has resulted from first a willful turning away from it as the foundational truth permeating and establishing the society. Someone once said “Where the rulers are just the people rejoice, but where they are unjust the people groan.” The thing every nation needs are rulers who do not give lip service to Christian faith but truly know the One who is truth.
The Johns Hopkins Ode: Veritas Vos Liberabit
1. Truth guide our university,
And from all error keep her free,
Let wisdom yield her choicest treasure,
And freedom reach her fullest measure;
O, let her watchword ever be:
The truth of God will make you free,
Will make you free!
2. Let knowledge grow from more to more,
And scholars versed in deepest lore
Their souls for light forever burning,
Send forth their fire, unlock their learning;
And let their faithful teaching be:
The truth alone can make us free,
Can make us free!
3. The truth shall crown her sons with fame,
Their lives inspire with nobler aim,
Their names make known thruout her borders,
As learning's guide and wisdom's warders;
Then let their watchword ever be:
The truth for aye shall keep us free,
Shall keep us free!
By Elizabeth E. Starr. Words by William Levering Devries, graduate in the classes of 1888 and 1892. From The Hopkins Song Book, published by the Beta Circle of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society, 1931. Arranged by David Fetter, associate dean for performance activities and placement at the Peabody Conservatory.
Semper Vigilo, Paratus, et Fidelis
Always Vigilant, Prepeared and Faithful
The highest ideals of men are but a poor reflection of the principles of the Creator still at work in the affairs of men by the influence of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible we are twice told to be vigilant; ninety-nine times told to be prepared; seventy-eight times told to be faithful. What can we learn from that?
Vigilance is required of God’s pastors or bishops, those who have charge of God’s people because the adversary of man, Satan, is always busy seeking whom he may devour. (1Timothy 3:2; 1Peter 5:8) Since God gives human government the power to look over the affairs of men in certain areas it follows that the shepherds or leaders in government have a primary responsibility of being vigilant against a nation’s enemies. But God’s pastors and prophets are condemned if they are not vigilant against sin whether it occurs in the hovel or on the throne of power.
Being prepared is a theme that runs throughout the Bible. The first reference to being prepared occurs in Genesis 24:31 and the last reference is in Revelation 21:2. The first reference is in reference to the receiving of the servant of Abraham, the servant of the master, as one blessed of the LORD. The last reference is to the holy city prepared as a bride where God tabernacles with man. Both are connected to the subject of marriage. It would be possible to study the subject of being prepared as a doctrine. Should we do so, we would discover that preparation is the responsibility of all men in all areas of life.
Being faithful is to emulate God. The first reference in the Scripture concerns a rebellion against God’s man by Aaron and Miriam in Numbers 12. God is faithful and desire faithful people who will serve Him according to His will:
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2Timothy 2:1-2
“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:6-7
The subject of vigilance, faithfulness, and preparation could fill many volumes. It could even be the subject of many a thesis as men strive for masteries in education. But in practice, the thesis of a person’s true belief, our actions we say what he believe and intend to prove through the way we live. The application of vigilance, faithfulness, and preparation is the exercise of a lifetime in a person of integrity whose dedication is to God.
Semper Vigilo is "Always Vigilant" Civil Air Patrol (U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. Also motto of the Scottish Police Forces.
Semper Fortis is "Always Strong"
Semper Paratus is "Always Ready" (US Coast Guard)
Semper Fidelis is "Always Faithful" (US Marines)
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." --Thomas Paine
Double, no triple, our troubles and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. It is time that we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause...Ronald Reagan
We are never defeated unless we give up on God...Ronald Reagan
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. Leviticus 25:10
Born on the 4th of July
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13
It is my hope the reader will permit me some isogesis with the text to make a point, one which I believe is nevertheless biblical. I am not the first to believe that it is God who causes the rising up and falling down of nations. Included in that number are Bible prophets and many great men of old. As one person wrote: “America, the only nation in the history of the world founded on the premise that our rights and privileges have been "endowed by our Creator", (has) flourished for over 200 years under the Divine protection of God.”
From the discovery of the New World until thirteen little colonies had the temerity to break away from one of the then superpowers of the world there had existed a belief that God had a particular purpose that would be fulfilled in the New World. It is a little known fact Christopher Columbus believed his efforts would be important to the building of a Third Temple in Jerusalem.
The majority of the men who led the colonists to break away from England including those today characterized as deists believed God to be moving in the actions they were about. The men who gathered to ultimately come up with the Declaration of Independence were involved in prayer both public and private throughout.
Nations of the world usually have people with kindred ties of blood yet they are usually joined after much striving among the kindred peoples. One has but to look at the ancient history of Europe to see that. Some nations are formed by the will of man. One had but to look at the nations formed by agreement between the allies after WWII, like the nation of Libya, to see that. But in America we have the gathering of diverse peoples who in spite of all odds formed a nation. The end conclusion is that it was formed not by blood, though blood was shed; not by will of the flesh; though many strived for it, nor by the will of man; for the nations were in division concerning its birth. Against all odds it began, acknowledging the right to form a new nation came from God’s own will.
Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum
If you seek peace, prepare for war
“And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war.” Deuteronomy 3:18
When one of my forebears came home to see his wife in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, he rode into his farm on a different horse than the one he had departed on. The probable cause of his change of mounts was suggested by the discovery of over twenty bullet holes in his greatcoat. None of the rounds fired at him had struck though one musket ball had come so close it had actually bruised his ribs.
History does not record that his wife reproved him saying the enemy was too great or that the war was lost, though at the time things certainly did look dim. Neither does history record she pointed out some of her neighbors disapproved of the war, being Tories, British loyalists, one of which had tried to rape her. History does record she repaired his coat; that he made dark utterances against the would be rapist who had fled, and that they enjoyed time together, that the Lord had given in the midst of struggle. Then he returned to the war and his duty.
“He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Psalm 18:24
Later he suffered a wound, which penetrated his shoulder through. He cleansed the wound by pushing a silk scarf through with the use of a rod. This wound would bother him the rest of his life. Being shot is not as it is depicted in the movies. Of other difficulties both he and his family endured in the struggle for freedom I do not propose to write here. I only wish to note when the war ended he returned to kith and kin and took up a farming life again. The would be rapist was found murdered some distance away and though my ancestor was accused he denied it saying that he would admit it willingly had he done the job. (Such is the common end of people of law moral character.) My ancestor raised his children strong and God fearing knowing the next war against evil haters of freedom would be theirs.
To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Si vis pacem, para bellum is a Latin quotation meaning, "If you seek peace, prepare for war". It was spoken by Roman military writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus more than 400 years after the death of Julius Caesar. The saying is one of many from his work, Epitoma rei militaris, believed to have been written around the year 390 AD. Variations of the saying are "If you want peace. Prepare for war:" “If you wish for peace, prepare for war;” "To secure peace/ is to prepare for war." Publius Flavius statement is the source of the term Parabellum as applied to firearms and ammunition.
Veritatis et acquitatis tenax
Perservering in truth and justice
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2Timothy 2:5
When an ancestor from my mother’s side of the family came to America she had nothing but a washpot filled with pickled eggs to sustain her children on the long voyage by sailing ship from Scotland. You might well imagine pickled eggs would not be the most digestible fare when rough seas were encountered in the month long voyage. But shipmasters were under no obligation to feed their common passengers in those days. And, there were probably a great many who left Scotland and Ireland at that time with poorer sustenance. However if the children of Israel could grow tired of looking at manna with its fragrant smell and appealing taste I would not be surprised if the widow Gladney’s five sons might have had an urge to complain at least once.
Upon arrival in the United States she found no federal official waiting to offer he government subsistence or make loans to establish her in business. What she did find was she had an equal opportunity by the labor of her hands to make the money for bread to feed herself and her children. She considered it far better to be a washerwoman in America than one in Scotland. Her sons did what they could as they grew up. But there was not a doubt in any person’s mind, in that family, the trip to this land had to be undertaken because the government and society they left behind had failed them. Under the widow’s Christian tutelage five strong boys grew into men who each excelled all that they may have hoped for in the land of their birth.
Today a headstone marks her grave and the old washpot sets in an honored place in a museum. There her story so common of many with experiences like her is told. It is a symbol of many who came for a new beginning asking only for a chance to live a better life. Her legacy is not in the worn out washpot but in the contribution her sons and their sons and daughters after them made and are still making to this land. The principles of Christian honor she taught still are the breath of many of her descendants.
Bless God for making such a land for God has blessed America
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113