Here are excerpts from our historic book – The Legacy of 25 Scripture Verses on Parliament Hill – which exposes the 25 Scripture Verses etched in and on The Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings.
You can find these Scriptures in the concrete arches externally on the Peace Tower, in the brass on the Altar of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber and etched in the beautiful Stained Glass Windows on the East, South and West of the Memorial Chamber.
There are three Scripture verses on the concrete arch of the Peace Tower.
Over the South Window facing Wellington Street is Psalm 72:1
Give the king Thy judgements O God and Thy righteousness to the king’s son.
Over the East Window is Canada’s Motto, taken from Psalm 72:8
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.
Over the West Window is the verse from Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision the people perish.
There are four Scripture verses in the East Window
East Window #1
In the first panel at the top is a woman, holding a crown. She represents Victory. Over her head is the Scripture:
Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).
East Window #2
Between the word ‘VICTORY’ which is printed under the woman, and the figures in the bottom panel (who represent the ‘people of Canada’ holding spears and shields), is the Scripture:
Faithful Unto Death (Revelation 2:10).
The government’s website says ‘Faith’ unto death, and the location of this Scripture is not cited.
East Window #3
Under the feet of the ‘people of Canada’ is the Scripture:
Quit ye like men. Be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
(Act like men. Be strong [ESV]).
East Window #4
The figure representing ‘Labour’ is seen in the second panel of the East Window. He stands under symbols such as a shovel and an astrolabe, and the phrase ‘Fortitudo, Industria Et Pax’ (Strength, Industry and Peace).
Under the feet of the people, at the bottom of the panel you see the Scripture:
Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle (Psalm 18:39; 2 Samuel 22:40).
There are two Scripture verses, the figure of Christ on the cross, and a quote from Pericles in the South Window.
What is most notable though, is the plethora of Biblical imagery in the South window. For example, in one panel is a figure representing Michael the Archangel, in the next is a representation of St. George killing the dragon and in the next is a figure representing Justice who holds a sword. On the blade is the figure of the crucified Christ. The last panel represents Joan of Arc.
South Window 'Justice'
In the third upper panel of the south window, we see the figure of Justice holding a long, double edged sword, on the crossguard of which is hung a set of scales. The blade is engraved with the figure of Christ on the cross, and the banner above the head of Justice bears the word ‘Retributionem’, Latin for ‘Retribution’ or punishment for sin. Christians understand that this refers to the the sacrifice of Christ as a substitute for our sin.
The fact that this sword is borne by the figure of Justice serves as a beautiful reminder that Christ’s blood has satisfied the Justice of God, and we bear our guilt no longer.
South Window #1
In the first upper panel of the South window we see the winged figure representing Archangel Michael bearing a trumpet, signifying a call to battle in the cause of righteousness.
Under the feet of the image of the Archangel Michael is the Scripture:
The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble (Nahum 1:7).
South Window #2
In the third panel, the figure representing Justice wields her/his great sword. His sword balances the scales of justice, and displays the crucified Christ on its blade. The meaning of the crucifixion for Christians is that Christ’s death paid the utimate penalty for God’s justice against sin.
The government’s website makes no mention of the Scripture, and it provides a false interpretation of the crucifixion as ‘symbolizing the sufferings borne both by the victors and the vanquished’.
Under Justice’s feet is the Scripture:
He shall execute judgement and justice in the earth (Jeremiah 23:5).
South Window Quote - Pericles
In the third panel under the figure of Justice is a quote from Pericles:
“Freedom is the sure possession of these alone who have the courage to defend it.“
There are six Scripture verses in the West Window
West Window #1 & 2
The figure in row 1 of the second panel in the West window represents Prosperity. There are two Scripture verses over the figure.
Just above the blue shield you can see a ribbon with the words ‘Prosper thou’, and the word ‘Build’, just under the shield. This is taken from the Scripture:
…and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee (1 Chronicles 22:11).
Immediately around the head and shoulders of that same figure representing Prosperity, are the words ‘shalt make thy way prosperous’. This is from the Scripture:
…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8).
West Window #3
In the second panel, just under the word ‘PROSPERITY’, is the Scripture:
The fields are white to harvest (John 4:35).
West Window #4
Just under the Scripture, ‘The fields are white to harvest’, are two figures who represent Agriculture. Immediately below these figures’ feet, you can read the Scripture:
He maketh wars to cease (Psalm 46:9).
This substantial Christian message, embedded in John A. Pearson’s vision of peace, is nowhere referenced in the government website’s description of the windows.
West Window #5
At the top of the third panel in the West window is a figure who represents Progress.
Under the silver shield are the words ‘Victor Ropte Progrediore’, which we think is translated ‘conqueror go forth’. Around his shoulders is the Scripture:
Wise in heart and mighty in strength (Job 9:4).
West Window #6
In row 2 of the third panel, is the figure representing ‘Honour’. Under his feet is the Scripture:
Judgement shall return unto righteousness (Psalm 94:15).
All told, there are 12 Scripture verses in the Stained Glass Windows
The Altar of Remembrance
There are 5 Scripture verses represented around the Altar of Remembrance
Sitting in the middle of the The Memorial Chamber is the Altar of Remembrance. Around the lip of the altar one can find the Scripture verse:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:13).
What is even more interesting is the representation of the six parts of the armour strategically set in shields around the altar. These represent four more verses:
Ephesians 6:14-17 – the Belt of Truth (Veritas), the Breastplate of Righteousness (Justitia), the Sandal of Peace (Pax), the shield of faith (Fides), the Helmet of Salvation (Salus) and the Sword of the Spirit (Spiritus).
The Back Wall of The Memorial Chamber
Three more verses can be found on the back wall of the Memorial Chamber. These are taken from Psalm 139:8-10
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
There is One Scripture verse written on Bell #53 in the carillon:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to all men (Luke 2:14).
The last verse is not easily seen, and may no longer be there once Centre Block is renovated. It is over one of the entrances to the boardroom of the Official Opposition (was Room 4115/4155 in Centre Block). It comes from 1 Peter 2:17 – Fear God, Honour the king.
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