Page:Report of the cattle show at Trearne, 10th Sept. 1836.pdf/5

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ESSAY, &c.

The progress of men who live by their daily industry, through this world, may be likened to the march of an army through an enemy's country. He who, from fatigue, from disease, from inebriety, from severe wounds, or whatever cause, falls out of the line of march, and lays him down by the way side, is sure, as a matter of eourse, to be destroyed by the peasantry; once let the eolumn he belongs to pass on a little way ahead, and death is his sure portion. It is a dangerous thing to fall behind the ever-onward march of the world.

Whatever individuals may profess, it is by neeessity that the mass of mankind are eompelled to toil for their subsistanee—this fecling predominates through all the ramifieations of eivilised soeiety. In proportion as the neeessitics of men push them on to seek new means of subsistanee, so do these new means open upon their view. On casting a retrospeetive glanee upon those steps whieh soeiety has traeed from its infaney to manhood—from a state of barbarick rudness to a condition of luxury and splendour—we invariably find that all improvements have originated in the wants of the people; and that in proportion as they increased in number so did their invention contrive additional means of support. It is from this eause that Scotland, for instance, had no greater overplus of food when it had only a million of inhabitants than it has now, when it supports nearly three times the number. Nay, it had mueh less food in proportion when it had only a million of people; and hcncc it is proved that mankind, by their inventions and improvements, greatly increase the means of support beyond the point at which they formerly stood. Thc power of inventing new means of subsistanee, just as the old oncs are pereeived to be inadequate, has been aetively at work since the beginning of time, and will operate for the benefit of our raee as long as sun and moon endure. It is in the exereise of this transeendant faeulty of the human mind that we see the benefieenee of the Creator in