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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 87


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Man advances just in the proportion that he mingles his thoughts with his labour—just in the proportion that he takes advantage of the forces of nature: just in proportion as he loses superstition and gains confidence in himself. Man advances as he ceases to fear the gods and learns to love his fellow-men. It is all, in my judgement, a question of intellectual development. Tell me the religion of any man, and I will tell you the degree he marks on the intellectual thermometer of the world. It is a simple question of brain. Those among us who are the nearest barbarism have a barbarian religion. Those who are nearest civilization have the least superstition. It is, I say, a simple question of brain, and I want, in the first place, to lay the foundation to prove that assertion.

A little while ago I saw models of nearly everything that man has made. I saw models of all the water craft of the world, from the rude dug-out, which floated a naked savage, up to a man-of-war, that carries a hundred guns and miles of canvas; from that dug-out to the steamship that turns its brave prow from the port of New York, with a compass like a conscience, crossing three thousand miles of billows without missing a throb or beat of its mighty iron heart from shore to shore. And I saw at the same time