National missions; a series of lectures

9781150275593: National missions; a series of lectures
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1855 Excerpt: ... 317 LECTURE FIFTEENTH. AMERICA AND PROGRESS. The chief cause why, in these days, the world does not make more progress is, that it is always canting about progress. When the cant ceases the progress will begin, but not till then. However, it is better we should understand at once what progress means, lest we should befool ourselves, as is so common, by words without meaning. Progress, honestly and wholesomely interpreted, signifies the normal growth, the normal action of the world. If progress is viewed as identical with illimitable perfectibility, then I, for one, am no believer in progress. It may be delightful to have the faith that men once had tails like monkeys, and that they will ultimately have wings. Till among the vestiges of creation I find the fossilised tails, my scepticism as to the wings is irresistible. I can regard nature only as an outpouring of forces impregnated with life and harmonised into forms. Man cannot destroy that life, but he may mar this harmony. So far as his power to mar is victoriously exerted, is he an unprogressive being. And in this respect our own age, instead of the most progressive, is really the most unprogressive of ages, for no age has shown such signal skill in thwarting the harmonious march of things. True culture and true progress are the same, but the culture must be considered as the test of the progress, not the progress as the test of the culture. You must guard against the delusion of supposing that anything can have substantial progress at the expense of another. The universe is grandly, divinely co-operative; and that 'which is mighty does not demand the sacrifice of that which is minute. It seeks its aid while offering aid in return. Wherever you see this sublime law of cooperation violated, there you may...

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