|These came down from the North which weighs all things in Her mind. Having struck the balance, they gave all and for ever.|
A stranger, speaking with due deference, might be forgiven for thinking that, though the liberality of your citizens made and adorned your University, none the less, the driving force behind this three-hundred-year-old dominion of the Scot derives in essence from the strict and unbreakable spirit of that great educationist John Knox, who, whatever he may have said about the monstrous regiment of women, neither flattered nor feared any flesh. It was John Knox who, at lifelong hazard, laid down and maintained the canon that it should be lawful for men so to use themselves in matters of religion and conscience as they should answer to their Maker. Is it too much to say that, after all these years, on these triple foundations of freedom, authority, and responsibility, the moral fabric of your University was reared? Nor did it fail when the bitter and grinding dispensation of the Great War overtook us.
Here, as elsewhere, the sins of the fathers were visited upon the children. The sons of your University were constrained, like their forbears, so to use themselves in matters of conscience as they should answer to their Maker. All earth has witnessed that they answered as befitted their ancestry; that they endured as the strong influences about their youth had taught them to endure. They willingly and wittingly left the purpose of their lives unachieved in order that all life should not be wrenched from its purpose; and without fear they turned from these gates of learning to those of the grave. This is their glory and also that of their severe but beloved Mother who, while she gave them learning, dowered them also with that Wisdom lacking which all Learning is folly.