Page:Garden Cities.djvu/13

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4
GARDEN CITIES

inscrutable, but in recent years a flood of light has been thrown upon the objects of our existence.

Why we are in the world, or indeed why the world exists, we know no more to-day than was known by the Cave and Lake dwellers of pre-historic times; but of what we are in the world for, we now know much that was hidden from the generations immediately preceding us. We know that ' we are here for the purpose of development.

Endowed with an intelligence which makes us the lords of a world in which development is the supreme law, we have hitherto wofully misused our sovereignty. Until recently ignorance afforded some excuse for the shortcomings of mankind, but each addition to our knowledge adds correspondingly to our moral obligation. The virtues of yesterday are the sins of to-day.

Comprehension of the laws of evolution completely reverses the aspect from which man views his world and the universe about him. He was gazing at the past—it turns him to the right about, and sets his face towards the future.

future. The light which he had been taught to regard as the after-glow from a sun that had for ever set upon this world, he now believes to be the first flushes from the rising sun of humanity heralding a glorious dawn. The laws of nature are no longer his tyrants but his tools. The instruments with which mankind is to work out the destiny of his race and of the marvellous world committed to his charge.

Everything combines to indicate that man is in a very early stage of his career. He seems of all earthly organisms the least fitted to his environment, the least effective in the exercise of his powers, the least complete in his functions; and this naturally so, since being the highest he is also the latest form of organism to appear.

Hitherto in the management of his own existence man