Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/367

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University of Madras.

to flow from your faithfully pursuing wisdom and knowledge in whatever department of human thought. He that gives himself to this pursuit is raised above the power of some at least of the allurements with which the world is crowded. He that aims at an object thus beyond himself, grows in some degree insensible to the voice of selfishness—the most subtle and most persistent of tempters into whatever is dishonourable and base. Endeavour, therefore, to grow in knowledge for this additional reason—because thus you may gain no inconsiderable aid in living a life of unspotted integrity, so that you shall be missed and mourned for when you walk no more in the ways of men:—so that of you it may be said, to quote language that recent study must have made a household word to some of you,—

"He had kept The whiteness of his life, and thus men o'er him wept."

But what in the next place of the duties towards others that spring from your possession of that germ of knowledge which is destined as we trust to grow wide and great? This briefly above all—that you use this knowledge, and all the power that in greater or less degree it is certain to bring with it, for the benefit of men, not for the attainment of any personal ends. That you should employ your knowledge thus is the design with which it has been given you. It is the design in so far as regards this University and her subordinate colleges which have been the instruments of your education. It is the design in a still higher sense: namely, in so far as concerns the government of the world itself. On the one hand, you cannot imagine even for a moment that all the expenditure of wealth and time and strength on the part of those who have contributed directly or indirectly to your training, will have attained its end if you arrive at distinction or at power:—you so few, and when considered merely by yourselves, so utterly insignificant compared with the teeming millions around you. No; you have been enlightened in order that through you those millions may be blessed. On the other hand, very little consideration is needed to convince you that if you live and labour only for yourselves, you will run counter to the plan on which the whole world is beneficently ruled.

Time was when men supposed that the luminaries of heaven moved ceaselessly round this earth, while it in rest and ease was content to receive their ministrations. Now We know that according to the plan of this universe, our planet could receive in no such way as this the light and heat that it requires. It can obtain them