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Hints on Studies, Moral Conduct, Religious Duties,
and Success in Life.
The following hints treat of STUDIES, MORAL CONDUCT, AND RELIGIOUS DUTIES, about one-third of the space being allotted to each. Some readers may be disappointed that the first does not occupy more of the volume. It was felt, however, that this is the part which least calls for remarks. As a rule, it is the one thing which absorbs the attention of students, while other matters, equally essential to true success in life, are apt to be neglected.
In colleges the position of students is mainly determined by the number of marks they get for their exercises. Hence undue importance is often attached to more intellectual attainments. In the business of life, moral excellencies are of still more importance. Without them the greatest talents will only cause a man to be the more shunned and disliked.
The chapters on Religious Duties are of special value to students in Government Colleges. Considering the great religious differences in India, the British Government has adopted, in its educational system, the principle of neutrality. The conclusion should not be drawn that religion is unimportant, since it is not taught in Government Schools and Colleges. On the contrary, nothing more affects a man's welfare, both in this world and the next. The course has been adopted, because religious teaching can best be given by other agencies. The Government student should avail himself of lectures on religion, and read books on the subject, especi. ally the Bible. A few of the principal doctrines of Christianity are briefly explained in the following pages, and some prayers are added, as without Divine aid no progress in religion can be expected.
When a boy is learning to write, the teacher points out his defects. Though less pleasant, this is far more profitable than mere praise. It is the same with nations. Russia has made great advances in modern times; but, as Macaulay says, this was not brought about by“ flattering national prejudices.”.
In the following remarks it should be borne in mind that some does not mean all. When objectionable conduct is attributed to
educated Hindus, it is not to be inferred that all, or even the majority, are condemned.
It may be objected that only the faults of Hindus are noticed- not those of Europeans. This is because the work is written expressly for Indian students. Had it been addressed to Europeans, exactly the opposite course would have been pursued.
A pseudo-patriotism is springing up among some in India, which defends everything national through thick and thin, and when anything wrong is pointed out, simply attacks those who make the complaint. Sensible men, however, act differently. The Hindoo Patriot says, “ It is quite immaterial whether the critics themselves have defects-if the defects laid at our doors be true, we ought to correct them.”
Hindus and Europeans have their respective virtues and vices. There is a homely proverb, "Two blacks make no white.” The vices of the one are no excuse for the vices of the other.
The greatest artists attained their excellence, not by being satisfied if their paintings were no worse than the ordinary run, but by setting before themselves a lofty ideal. So should it be in morals. The standard at which we ought to aim is not the conduct of our neighbours, nor even that of the best men on earth. The great Teacher says, perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. The chief object of the compiler is to urge attention to this pattern.
XXI. IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION
XXII. THE SEARCH AFTER RELIGIOUS TRUTH
XXIII. EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD