Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete, and is
in its best state. On the contrary, it is full of defects and
shortcomings. We must not be puffed up with modern civilization,
however great victory it has scored for its side. Beyond all doubt
man is still in his cradle. He often stretches forth his hands to
get at his higher ideal, yet is still satisfied with worthless
playthings. It is too glaring a fact to be overlooked by us that
faith in religion is dying out in the educated circles of society,
that insincerity, cowardice, and double-tongue are found holding high
positions in almost ever community, that Lucrese and Ezzeling are
looking down upon the starving multitude from their luxurious palace,
that Mammon and Bacchus are sometimes preying on their living
victims, that even religion often sides with Contention and piety
takes part in Cruelty, that Anarchy is ever ready to spring on the
crowned beings, that philosophy is disposed to turn the deaf ear to
the petition of peace, while science provides fuel for the fire of
Was the golden age of man, then, over in the remote past? Is the
doomsday coming instead? Do you bear the trumpet call? Do you feel
the earth tremble? No, absolutely no, the golden age is not passed.
It is yet to come. There are not a few who think that the world is
in completion, and the Creator has finished His work. We witness,
however, that He is still working and working, for actually we hear
His hammer-strokes resounding through heaven above and earth beneath.
Does He not show us new materials for His building? Does He not
give new forms to His design? Does He not surprise us with
novelties, extraordinaries, and mysteries? In a word, the world is
in progress, not in retrogression.
A stream does not run in a straight line. It now turns to the right,
now to the left, now leaps down a precipice, now waters rich fields,
now runs back towards its source; but it is destined to find its
outlet in the ocean. So it is with the stream of life. It now leaps
down the precipice of revolution. Now it enriches the fertile field
of civilization. Now it expands itself into a glassy lake of peace.
Now it forms the dangerous whirlpool of strife. But its course is
always toward the ocean of Enlightenment, in which the gems of
equality and freedom, jewels of truth and beauty, and treasures of
wisdom and bliss can be had.