Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/365

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72
University of Madras.

indeed, by their so-called study have bettered the material prospects of their lives, but as children of the light and seekers in profession after truth, they have but degraded themselves to a lower level than that from which they started at the first. But we hope for better things from all of you. Ideals, it is true, are attained but seldom, and with you as with us all, mental training is far from perfect, and zeal for knowledge far from pure. Yet we trust that in no inconsiderable measure you have a sense of the dignity of wisdom a sense of your own need of it, and a power at the same time of gathering it henceforward for yourselves. Thus you are complete with the completeness of a seed. As the seed is cast into the bosom of nature in order that its energies may be called forth and its destinies accomplished, so do you cast yourselves into active life, determined in it to exercise, and by exercise to increase those mental powers that the training of the past has given you—determined that by continual accessions to your knowledge, the stream of thought shall be kept flowing constantly within you and bearing health, activity and growth into the very recesses of your being.

And here I am reminded that, in the case of some, the necessity is very clamant that they should thus maintain and increase their knowledge.

Graduates in Law, in Medicine and Engineering, the sciences to which you have devoted yourselves obviously demand the labour of a lifetime. In the case of law, the field is so wide and the possible application of its principles so varied, as to make it very plain that no one should enter on its study who is not content to be ever learning, and ever to confess himself but a learner still. And Medicine and Engineering are sciences that in this age are eminently progressive. The thinking of our time is of such a kind as to be largely auxiliary to each of them. Every addition that is made to our knowledge of the plan of nature—and how numerous and startling are such additions now-a-days—is capable of being pressed into the service of one or other, or of both. You, who have chosen it as your noble function to study, to preserve, and, when need be, to cure the dwelling with which man's spirit is endued:— you who are to have it as your high vocation to subdue the stubborn forces round us to our common use, and to render this earth an increasingly commodious residence for mankind,—you must be ever watchful of what is new and ever labouring to extend the limits of your knowledge, if you would even arrive at or maintain proficiency in your special callings.