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Perhaps it all started when the Vagabond read a candidate's campaign promise that he "would live up to the ideals of 'Veritas'." And all at once the Vagabond felt a blind fury sweep over him as he realized that it had come to this, that the ideal for which men had crossed the ocean, faced hunger, pestilence, and every sort of privation and danger, had now become a cheap symbol to be handed about at election rallies.
Veritas. The Vagabond thought of it again. It was perhaps the only word that he held sacred, a sort of twentieth century Grail, yet it was more than that. It was the key to all understanding. It was something ageless, terribly elusive, retreating, perhaps. So many men, almost every man, had sought it. Had any one of them found it? Were we any nearer it than we had ever been? Were we going in the right direction? And the Vagabond found himself murmuring the words of Montaigne, "Que scais-je?"
Montaigne had been a Christian, one of the Millions of men who over a span of two millenniums had flocked to the banner of "the stranger of Galilee." And never was the word "stranger" better used than in describing Jesus, whose followers could not decide if He was God or man or prophet or fanatic, whose teachings had inspired mystics and had been endorsed by cold logicians. Perhaps His words pointed the way to Veritas. The rich verses of the King James version flowed through the Vagabond's mind:
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known . . ." "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . . ." "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may be also. . ."
Yes, perhaps Jesus pointed the way to Veritas and perhaps only death would disclose its mysteries. The Vagabond decided to hear Dean Matthews of St. Paul's Cathedral speak at 8 o'clock tonight in the Memorial Church on "Christ as Leader and Lord."
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