Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/138

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1880.-Sir Richard Temple.

neither forget, nor expect you to forget, that it is impossible to teach human duty, comprising the relations between man and man, without also teaching something at least of man's duty towards God. No doubt, one of the effects of really good teaching in arts, say in the branches of history or literature, must be to inculcate always incidentally, and often directly, much of the general duty of man. Good teaching of physical science also must, as I believe, enlarge the ideas, and elevate the sentiments, of man in respect of God, and must impress upon him at least some part of his duty towards his Creator. But such teaching cannot furnish him with instruction in his duty towards his fellows, an instruction needed by all students alike, whether they belong to the department of arts or of science. Again, there are, as we believe, abstract principles and moral truths wholly independent of, and immeasurably above, the material universe in which we live. No doubt, these are incidentally inculcated by the teaching in arts-But the inculcation of moral truth by teaching in physical science is not possible. Nevertheless ethical instruction is specially requisite for the student of science, in order to prevent his imagining that there is nothing beyond the conceptions with which he is familiar, however lofty and wide these may be. Moral philosophy, then, comprises a knowledge which is necessary to all students in all departments of education, which they must bring with them to all their studies, and which they ought to retain in their inmost hearts and minds throughout their lives. Therefore, it ought not, in my judgment, to be left to incidental or indirect teaching, but ought to be taught systematically in all our institutions from the highest to the humblest. Nevertheless, in Western India it is taught indirectly rather than directly; it is not systematically and specifically prescribed; as one subject among many, it is made optional rather than obligatory. If this be a great defect, as I believe it is, then the remedy can be applied only by this University. If the existence of the defect be satisfactorily shown to the Senate, then I am sure that the members of that governing body will feel the responsibility which devolves on them. Indeed, the University did in former times indicate moral philosophy as an optional subject for students after their entrance into the University, and therein commanded the cordial assent and the loyal adherence of the students. From various causes this honoured practice has, during recent years, been intermitted. If the Senate shall see fit not only to resuscitate, but also to enlarge and enforce it,—that is, to render it obligatory rather than optional,—their action will approve itself to the conscience of the Natives. For the action of the University determines the