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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Progressive Development

Progressive Development.

Geology proves the development of the forms of life in a grand ascending scale, from the lowest monad to man; it is a glorious science' and reveals the wonder-working mind of the Creator. But the highest branch of science—in short, the science of all other sciences—the master-key that unlocks the mighty casket—is the science of humanity, its innate laws and its social development ought to constitute our chief study. If this be neglected, whatever other attainments we may possess, we are yet uncivilised, and in the bonds of barbarism.

Everything of which we cannot trace the cause is to us a mystery; but when our intelligence has obtained a thorough knowledge of the cause or causes, the mystery disappears. Mystery will therefore always find a place in the world until knowledge of all causes and their effects are mastered by the intelligence of man; but to what height will that intelligence lead him as he rises in the scale of being, passing from sphere to sphere higher and yet higher, ascending towards the fountain of true knowledge, and capable of comprehending all beneath him. We are utterly unable to prognosticate man's full capabilities in the future; to the Great Father of Life alone is man's ultimate truly known.

There can be no true use of wealth unless you share it with your neighbours nor true spiritual development of yourself unless you seek the spiritual development of others, think not to raise yourself in the scale of being by reading good books and adopting true principles, only let the care of your actions engross your greatest thought and attention, for by deeds alone we rise, and the truest and purest principles are valueless unless we practice them.

All nature moves forward in the grand procession of the ages—humanity follows the same law of progress, the aggregate of the worlds page 17 mind never retrogrades—were a band of barbarians to overrun the civilized world they might kill and slay, and plunder the material wealth in their path but the contest would end in the destruction of barbarism, which must eventually be swallowed up of civilization—the apparent check would last no longer than is necessary to overcome the barbarous element by assimulation with the more advanced civilization—humanity in her progress never retires ignominiously from the contest.