The Progress And Hope Of Life

How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life first

made appearance on earth none can tell; how many thousands of summers

and winters it has taken to develop itself into higher animals, no

scientist can calculate exactly. Slowly but steadily it has taken

its swerving course, and ascending stop by step the series of

evolution, has reached at length the plane of the rational animal.

We cannot tell how many billions of years it takes to develop

ourselves and become beings higher than man himself, yet we firmly

believe that it is possible for us to take the same unerring course

as the organic germs took in the past. Existing humanity is not the

same as primitive one. It is quite another race. Our desires and

hopes are entirely different from those of primitive man. What was

gold for them is now iron for us. Our thoughts and beliefs are what

they never dreamed of. Of our knowledge they had almost none. That

which they kept in veneration we trample under our feet. Things they

worshipped as deities now serve us as our slaves. Things that

troubled and tortured them we now turn into utilities. To say

nothing of the customs and manners and mode of living which underwent

extraordinary change, we are of a race in body and mind other than

the primitive forefathers of good old days.

In addition to this we have every reason to believe in the betterment

of life. Let us cast a glance to the existing state of the world.

While the Turco-Italian war was raising its ferocious outcry, the

Chinese revolution lifted its head before the trembling throne. Who

can tell whether another sanguinary affair will not break out before

the Bulgarian bloodshed comes to an end? Still we believe that, as

fire drives out fire, to borrow Shakespeare's phrase, so war is

driving out war. As an ocean, which separated two nations in the

past, serves to unite them now, so a war, which separated two people

in the past, brings them to unity now. It goes without saying, that

every nation groans under the burden of cannons and warships, and

heartily desires peace. No nation can willingly wage war against any

other nation. It is against the national conscience. It is no

exaggeration to say the world is wholly the ear to hear the news from

the goddess of peace. A time will surely come, if our purpose be

steady and our resolution firm, when universal peace will be

restored, and Shakya Muni's precept, 'not to kill,' will be realized

by all mankind.

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