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CHRISTO ET ECCLESIAE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Search in the past for a source for the motto used on the Harvard seal has been without avail. But according to a paper recently read before the Colonial Society in Boston there are two incidents which might have inspired Harvard men to adopt the phrase "Christo et Ecclesiae." The first possible influence came from a Dutch academy, the University of Franeker established in 1585. Here, during the first half century of its existence, the words "Christo et Ecclesia" were used at its dedication, in its first law of government, as its coat-of-arms, in an indictment of one of its professors and in the inaugural address of one of its most famous authorities. This address was made by William Ames, a noted teacher, and who may be considered as the second influential factor on the minds of Harvard men and the connecting link between the European university and Harvard. Although Ames never heard of Harvard, his son and many of his descendants graduated here. It is possible, therefore that a phrase so frequently used in the Netherlands should, have come to the notice of Harvard because of the close religious connections which existed between that country, and New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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