Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (June 1, 1878)
TlIK rilOlll.KM OK CIVILIZATION.
is evident Unit the progress of civiliza
tion will bo dangerously retarded unless
the great barriers in its way be removed.
And, too, it cannot attain its highest des
tiny until it is cleansed of some of the el
ements that are growing up within it.
While most of the superstitions delu
sions, and savage customs of the past
have lied before the light of modern in
telligence, still nations persist in main
taining their authority by fire and sword.
Thus in every age and clime, homes arc
desolated, nourishing cities laid in ruins,
and millions of lives sacrificed in settling
a II airs that could far better be peacefully
adjusted without this fearful cost! And
even in times of peace, nearly all nations
keep standing armies that accomplish
but little more than to consume the hard
earnings of toil, and foster the direful
spirit of war. There is no reason that an
intelligent world in this nineteenth cen
tury, the golden age of wisdom, should
waste more than twelve hundred millions
annually to carry on a work of destruc
tion, or to maintain institutions that are
sapping the verj foundations ol industry!
Furthermore, as we view with admira
tion the unbounded triumphs of mind
over matter in producing implements to
facilitate the labor of man, how appall
ing it is to observe the amount of intel
lect and capital that is also devoted to the
invention of implements of destruction.
Had the soldiers at the famous battle of
Gettysburg been equipped with the im
proved arms of to-day, that irreparable
loss in slain might have been even leu
times greater! And yet will nations con
tinue to encourage such enterprises?
This hostile tendency that keeps the
elements of the human race arrayed in
mortal combat, must give way to some
thing higher and nobler before civil pros,
perity can become perpetual
Illiteracy is another obstruction whose
alarming effects are soon in all countries.
For most of the internal feuds, domestic
outbreaks and political dissensions have
their origin in this cause.
A people in bondage cannot progress,
but freedom and ignorance cannot exist
together. While America has practically
demonstrated the grand truth that man is
capable of self-government, her experience
has also proven that self-government can
only be maintained through the universal
education of the people. Hence to Insure
the permanency of a higher civilization
the means of intellectual and moral culture
should be extended to every land an.l
ever' home throughout the earth.
Also as the times advance, there is an
increasing necessity for the more perfect
freedom of thought, tongue and pen. To
be free to think as well as to act is an in
estimable privilege. The human mind
has suffered long enough from the rigid
exactions of conformity. Persecution
has sacrificed its share of martyrs. No
superstitious creed should be tolerated
that cannot stand in the unerring light of
Judging, then, from these data all that
is necessary, to render the future se
cure, is that the infinite potency of
genius be directed in the right channel,
not blindly forging its own shackles, not
devising means of havoc and destruction,
but advancing the cause of universal
liberty, development and progress.
When the world recognizes this princi
ple, nations will become reconciled to
each other. Yes, though speaking diller.
cut languages and inhabiting remote
lauds all would be but one people striving
for the same lofty object, the welfare of
Then, should this be the issue, gazing
farther into the regions of sublime possi
bility, how dazzling would be the visions
of mans future career ! For the boundless
stores of nature are rich in treasures for
his aggrandizement, and the mightiest
achievements of the present are only
leading the way to undiscovered oceans
of truth beyond.
Already mankind is rousing from the
slumber of submission; and tyranny flies
in fear. The power of oppression on
Powered by Open ONI