Page:Our New Zealand Cousins.djvu/249

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233
Our New Zealand Cousins.

receive deputations, or answer questions in Parliament. He merits much the sort of promotion Haman got.

At length we started for Invercargill. The wind howled dismally across the sandy dunes and flax-covered mounds. It screamed and whistled across the broad shallow bay, and dashed the blurring, blinding rain in at every crevice of the rattle-trap carriages. Far away over a dim, misty, flat expanse, we got one last peep of the distant snowy sierras. Then down again came the intensified veil of misty clearlessness and hissing sleet.

The ride to Invercargill was cheerless in the extreme. Here and there we pass a train track into the once plentiful bush, now getting sadly thinned. There are several saw-mills on the railway-line, and sidings, piled high with planks and square timber. Every year sees the country denuded of its best timbers, and yet such is the Bœotian stupidity of the average Anglo-Saxon colonist that no organized scientific effort is made to fill the gaps, and ensure a continuity of the supply. Verily, the progress of humanity is a slow process.

How often do we hear the poor bewildered doubter ask, in an agony of vain regret, "If there be a God, why doth He yet permit this evil, or that abuse?" And yet the same doubter will wax eloquent as he expounds what he is pleased to call the Gospel of Humanity. He exalts the human intellect, and indulges in glowing anticipations of the unerring fate, which is working toward the time when "men shall be as gods, knowing good