Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/398

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
 

system of the universe with all the delicate adjustments that astronomy reveals, and all the splendid mechanism of the heavens; contemplate our atmosphere with all its mechanical, chemical, and physical properties — the distant sun darting its light and heat and power on the globe, and fostering all the varied and beautiful animal and vegetable life, giving rise to winds and showers and fruitful seasons, and beauties of form and richness of colour, filling our hearts with food and gladness ; who can know something of the inexorable sequences, see some- thing of the felicitous combination of the varied forces of nature that are employed, — and not feel awed and impressed by the view,

"To see in part,
That all as in some piece of art
Is toil, co-operant to an end,"

is to see that which he who sees it not is as incapable of estimating as the deaf man is of judging of music, or the blind of enjoying the glories of a sunset."

Do not be discouraged at difiiculties. The value of the dis- covery will, in most cases, be commensurate with the difficulty of the search, and the difficulty itself, the healthful exercise of your mental powers, will form not a small portion of the pleasure.

Hitherto your course has been shaped and your education directed by others ; 'now you must think and act for yourselves, and realize the rules and principles you have been taught. You are able to appreciate in some degree the merits and defects of the culture you have received. Your knowledge of the laws of matter, force and mind, rudimentary though it may be at present, is yet sufficient to place you on the ladder of intellectual progress, and your own efforts well directed, will enable you to ascend. Try to find out more of the mode of operation of these laws and to bring your whole life into harmony with them. This is the aim and end of all real education, and cannot be gained by desultory or intermittent efforts. Habits must be formed.

"For use almost can change the stamp of nature."

Let action ever be your watchword. The man of energy and decision takes at the flood the tide which leads on to

fortune. He seizes every opportunity to 

gain the end he may have in view, and not unfrequently is able to bend to his purpose the very accidents of life apparently most calculated to defeat it.