Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/720

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CHARACTER.

Dr. Gurudas Banarji, the president of the memorial meeting held at the Metropolitan Institution, in his presidential speech, said;—'He (Vidyasagar) was second to none except one—the great Ram Mohan Ray.' In fact, Vidyasagar followed the footsteps of his predecessor; he pursued the course dictated by the Age. Had he been born a century before or after his epoch, it is very doubtful whether he would have been able to win such universal respect and reputation. A man wins honour and celebrity in society, when he pursues the course indicated by the Age. Vidyasagar did it, and his reputation soon rose to its highest eminence. Or else, why should he, being born in an orthodox Hindu family, surrounded from his early years by devout followers of the religion of the Rishis, himself vastly erudite in the different branches of the Sanskrit Literature, thus lose his regard for the religious usages and practices of his forefathers, and be deprived of the power of casting an insight into the true import of the sacred Sastras of his ancestors? It was God's dispensation. The merciful Father, with a view to the prevalence of the influence of the Age, implanted in his heart the germs of broad sympathy and kindness so deeply and strongly, that his knowledge of the Sastras and the religion of his fathers disappeared wholly; no vestige of it remained to guide him in the right direction. His naturally tender heart was moved at the apparent

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