Grand are the achievements of mankind, and noble are the deeds of mental heroism : that adorn our race. Looking back upon what are called the triumphs of genius, we find them to be almost innumerable, and as great in the past as they are to-day ; yet they go on still increasing in number as in usefulness, in magnitude as in permanent good. An all-wise Providence has so constituted man's mental faculties that they know no rest, but are ever watchful and at work. The same great cause has also made man's wants— his necessities increase, so that the governing principle of both demand and supply is progression. This is illustrated in the newspapers of to-day. We have just made a glorious conquest over natural difficulties; the rising Orient has by human ingenuity been made to kiss the setting Occident, and the name of Cyrus W. Field is more elevated than was ever that of Cyrus the conqueror, Persia's king. The world gives him laudation, and mankind regards the success of the Atlantic cable with mingled reverence and heart-joy ; but in the midst of all this due praise and earnest thankfulness, there comes from the daily newspapers a small suggestion, which we may briefly state as follows: One cable will not be enough—we shall shortly want another The daily press is the actual reflex of the national mind, and this, even in its moments of natural exultation, cannot forget the God-inspired principle of progression. The throbbing genius of human nature cannot be idle, but must let its pulse beat OH some material substance, and it continues to improve, and shall continue to invent, until there is perfection—but there is no perfection yet. Many years ago, when Fitch's first steamboat steamed through the waters of the Delaware, or Fulton's Claremont passed between the beauteous .shores of the Hudson, everybody was surprised, astonished! and some thought that they were indeed perfect; but we know their deficiencies, and there are now thousands of mechanics who could make a better steam engine than had then been seen. Let but the same period of time elapse, and the thousands of fire-breathing machines—locomotive, stationary, and marine—that we think so perfect and complete, shall appear clumsy, unoouth and imperfect; or, (who knows?) steam itself may be superseded, and some more economical motive power be used. The weekly records of the Patent OiBce also illustrate this progressive principle—improvement on improvement crowding on us, and yet their is room enough for all. We see one improvement crowding another in such rapid succession, that if to-day we exclaim, " how perfect," to-morrow wesee an advance towards Utill greater perfection, so that in reference to the very best that is, we must also add, " but it is not the best that can be." Many persons ask, almost in tones of fear, " to what is this impulsive and progressive spirit carrying us, and where are we going ?" Our answer is the axiom—If the principle be good, then must its results be also! That which is honestly conceived, and truly carried out, must bring forth general, universal good; and he who puts into practice or forms original ideas is, in short, an inventor, whether of ideas or machinery—is a contributor to man's comfort, convenience, and elevation, and leaving the lower walks of life, he becomes raised to the dignity of a philanthropist. Let us then carry out this idea—progression, exercising a judicious check that we do not run to extravagance ; and as a community or nation, let us make use of each improvement as we originate it, and ever have for our Jmotto—" Excelsior."
This article was originally published with the title "Progression"