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Never give up, industrious student,
Though destiny on thee a burden imposes,
Let me exhort you:1. To "consider it as an object of great importance
to acquire just notions of religious duty. 2. From a regard to your happiness as well as to
your duty, that you determine, with the blessing of God, to make it your first and chief concern, to fear, to love and to obey Him. Would that we could produce in the mind of any one this determination, so as to fix it there as a steady principle of conduct; for then everything would be done that our best
wishes for you dictate. 3. A frequent, indeed I would say daily, reflection
on your couduct. Self-knowledge can only be acquired by self-examination and inspection : and, ta discharge this important duty well, it
must be done frequently. 4. That you exercise great caution in the choice of
your companions, (especially of your intimate companions); and that you most carefully avoid all such conversation, and such books, as have a tendency to corrupt the mind, to introduce corrupt thoughts and desires, to make you
think less highly of religious duty, to lessen your reverence for virtue, and your abhorrence
of vice. 5. Carefully to avoid the common error, of forming
your notions of duty upon the conduct and
expressions of those around you. 6. Te cultivate and strengthen in your hearts, by
habitual exercise, the firmness and decision of character, that holy fortitude and resolution of soul, which will arm you against the influence of false shame, and against the temptations which worldly interest or pleasure may present. I have no wish that you should dospise the good opinion of those around you. If they are wise and good, their approbation is a treasure; if they have too little regard to wisdom and duty, still their good will has its value; and, where you can have it, without any sacrifice of principle, by kindness and courtesy, gain and enjoy it. But I beseech you to consider that human praise is dearly bought, if purchased by the neglect or breach of duty, by the loss of our peace of mind, or of the approbation of God: and that it is infinitely better to bear the temporary pains of ridicule, and worldly censure and disgrace, than to incur the reproaches of conscience,
and the displeasure of Almighty God. 7. That, with a view to fulfil your duty from the
principles of religious obedience, to check every sinful desire and disposition, to preserve you in the hour of trial, to urge you on in the way that leadeth to life everlasting, and to obtain the favour of Almighty God, you
cherish in your hearts an impressive habitual sense of His constant presence and of your accountableness to Him, by steady attention to the means of religion, and, in a particular manner, by private prayer.
REV. DR. CARPENTER,
What nobler employment or more advantageous to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation ?
There is nothing which spreads more contagiously from teacher to papil than elevation of sentiment; often and often have students caught from the living influence of a professor, a contempt for mean and selfish objects, and a noble ambition to leave the world better than they found it, which they have carried with them throughout life. In these respects, teachers of every kind have
, natural and peculiar means of doing with effect, what every one who mixes with his fellow-beings or addresses himself to them in any character, should feel bound to do to the extent of his capacities and opportunities.
-JOHN STUART MILL.
THE PLACE OF RELIGION IN THE
LIFE OF A STUDENT.
A boy's life at school and college is so mapped out into necessary tasks and necessary play, that the question sometimes arises in his mind : “what time is there in my
life for Religion ; had I not better leave it alone until I am older ?"
Let us ask what is meant by the word Religion
Religion is the expression of the seeking of God by man, of the One Self by the apparently separated self. This is its essence. This expression has three divisions; one intellectual, doctrines, dealing with God and man and their relations; one emotional, worship, which has many diverse forms and rites and ceremonies ; one practical, living the life of love. Looking at religion under these three heads, it will be easier to see its place in the student's life, than if we take it more vaguely and generally.
Doctrines of Religion : the broad outlines of these resemble each other in all religions, and a boy should be taught them according to the faith of his parents. There is no knowledge more necessary for a boy than the knowledge of the fandamental doctrines of his religion. This knowledge should therefore be imparted to him in a simple elementary form in school, and in fuller detail in college. No controversial points should be raised, no philosophical disquisitions should be imposed ; clear definite statement of the main doctrines is all that is needed. Half an hour a day throughout school-life would be time sufficient to equip the lad with this knowledge, and to enable him to answer intelligently any questions addressed to him about his religion.
Worship: every boy should worship, recognising with gratitude the source of life and strength and joy. The Hindu boy should daily perform his Sandhyâ after bathing, according to the custom of his caste and family; and if he does this, with concentrated attention and devotional feeling, he has fulfilled the duty of worship suitable to his state. He may also, if he likes, read and think over a Shloka of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ. The duty of meditation belongs to later life, and he will gain such training of the mind in steadiness as is fitted for his youth, by the careful and attentive performance of his Sandhyâ.
The Life of Love : this is the religious duty which the boy must discharge all day long and it is this which makes a life a truly religious life, whatever may be its occupations. Let us see how a boy should lead the life of love in school and college, the Dharma of the student.
He must show his love to his parents and his teachers by diligent study and by prompt obedience. Youth is the time for study, and a youth wasted in idleness cannot later be made good. A man's usefulness to others depends largely on his education; the ignorant man cannot be a good and wise husband, father, or citizen. A diligent industrious boy is showing a religious spirit by his diligence and industry ; if he practises these qualities from love, and from a sense of duty, he is performing the Dharma of his state. And he must be obedient, with the obedience of love, which is as complete out of sight as under the eyes of authority, which is prompt, cheerful and ungrudging, not slothful, carping and unwilling.
He must show his love to those around him by helping them in every way he can; if he is clever, he should help the dull boys with their lessons; if he is strong, he should protect the little lads, and never tyrannise over them. He should be brave, gentle, truthful, courteous ; these qualities are all fruits of the fair tree of love. He must be chaste and must always be clean in his own speech and actions ; and he must strongly protest against any coarseness of speech or actions in his fellow students, and should especially be careful to protect the younger boys from bad talk and bad ways.
A boy who lives in this way during his school and college life will, when he goes out into the wider world of men, practise there the virtues that in his school and college days he learned as part of his Religion. For
. there is no division between true Religion and noble