Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/375

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University of Madras.

And now, gentlemen, I turn to a nobler aspect of your promise. You are thie very van-guard of the great intellectual army which is destined to drive ignorance out of the land, and your responsibilities are co-ordinate with your privileges. It will therefore be your duty, and I am sure it will be your pleasure, to help all those who are struggling towards the light. Dispersed through the country, and surrounded by those less instructed than yourselves, it will be your high privilege to excite in them a thirst for knowledge, to lead them to take an interest in literature and science, to dispel error, and to inculcate truth. There are, as you know, hundreds of Missionaries in this country, — gentle- men, with whose objects you do not sympathize, but whose characters you are bound to respect. And shall these strangers in the land surpass you in their desire to benefit your own race? Or shall the disinterested benevolence of the Great Company which founded this University be rendered fruitless through your apathy? No! a thousand times no! You will go forth as pioneers and apostles of the truth, and will earn the respect and the gratitude of your country- And, when your ranks are counted by thousands instead of hundreds, as they surely will be before this generation has passed away, your knowledge and influence will penetrate to the remotest corners of the land, and you will inaugurate a glorious day, the light of which almost dazzles the imagination. My words are indeed feeble to urge this noble duty, but listen to those of a great modern writer, and let them rouse your enthusiasm : " Add to the power of dis- covering truth the desire of using it for the promotion of human happiness, and you have the great end and object of existence. This is the immaculate model of excellence that every human being should fix in the chambers of his heart ; which he should place before his mind^s eye from the rising to the setting of the sun — to strengthen his understanding that he may direct his benevolence, and to exhibit to the world that most beautiful spectacle the world can behold, of consummate virtue guided by consummate talents. G-entlemen, when I read this fine passage I was reminded of an honored friend, who pours such floods of light on every subject he discusses as continually to astonish and delight his hearers : and who, notwithstanding the arduous duties which devolve on him in virtue of his high oflice, daily adds to the vast store of his learning. To his great erudi- tion it is too much to hope that any of you will ever attain ; but in his accessibility to all earnest students, whether European or Native, and in his desire that every one should cultivate to the highest possible degree the faculties he possesses, he sets you an admirable example worthy of all imitation. Grentlemen, I