The march of civilization is attended by strange influences. Providence which directs the advancement of mankind, moves in such mysterious ways that none can sense its design or reason out its import. Frequently the forces of evil are turned to account in defeating their own objects. Great tragedies, cruel wars, cataclysms of woe, have acted as enlightening and refining agents. Out of the famines of the past came experiences which inculcated the thrift and fore-handedness of today.
Out of man's sufferings have come knowledge and fortitude. Out of pain and tribulation, the attribute of sympathy—the first spiritual manifestation instrumental in elevating the human above the beast. Things worth while are never obtained without payment of some kind.
Individual shocks stir the individual heart and conscience. Great world shocks are necessary to stir the world conscience and heart; to start those movements to right the wrongs in the world. So long as peace reigned commerce was uninterrupted, and the acquisition of wealth was not obstructed, men cared little for the intrigues and ambitions of royalty. If they sensed them at all, they lulled themselves into a feeling of security through the belief that progress had attained too far, civilization had secured too strong a hold, and democracy was too firmly rooted for any ordinary menace to be considered.
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