578 History of Wake Forest College
a member of the lower house of Congress in 1848, as a Democrat. He
discussed the two questions, How shall I secure success in coming
years? and, How shall I attain distinction amongst my fellow men?
with much richness of thought and suggestiveness and in admirable
style. There are many short pithy sentences, such as: "High aims
indicate a noble nature-an elevated mind. He who has no high
aspirations confesses to inferiority-nothing can elevate him. He was
never made to soar-to crawl is his destiny." "Honorable success and
high usefulness in life are not its common issue but the exception."
"The business of life demands all life's time." "Of all the calamities
which befall an age the reign of mediocrity is the most deplorable."
The last sentence forms the basis for two fine paragraphs of
exposition. Like Saunders who spoke a year before, Venable would
have the young men use their talents and education for the
development of their native State, agriculturally, mechanically,
commercially. He urges them to devote themselves to the extension of
scientific discoveries and their utilitarian application which have for
their purpose improving and blessing mankind, and closes with these
words:
In this progress I urge you to be active. Let instruction, mechanics, agriculture,
commerce, practical engineering, and geological research engage your minds and
employ your energies. Whilst you desire the blessings of heaven upon North
Carolina, work diligently that the blessings may come. Cease not to enlist all of
talent and of energy which you can influence, until with resources developed, and
fields smiling under the direction of the skillful tiller of the soil, together with the
supply from our own genius and resources of the wants of our citizens-our State
blessed with climate, soil, health and all the bounties of Nature, shall stand forth as
she did in the memorable era of her declaration of independence-first amongst the
foremost. This glory North Carolina demands at the hands of her sons.
1854-T. G. JONES
The address at the Commencement of 1854 was by Tiberius
Gracchus Jones, at that time pastor of the Freemason Street Church at
Norfolk. Of good parentage he had the training of
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