Against a background of bewilderingly varied activities which projects from the earliest years of the sixteenth well into the twentieth century and reveals itself as a moving panorama of explorers, pioneers, adventurers, traders, and missionaries, there stands out a line of remarkable personalities whose latter-day leadership has largely initiated as well as dominated the conditions of their time and the bequest of century to century. Among these were men, lofty of soul and tenacious of high purpose, who saw the potential Empire in a vast and infinitely varied region which seemed compact of unrelated resources. They were kindled by the growing achievements of the constructive genius that had already projected the wonderful steel highways carrying civilisation into the trackless wilderness. This constructive genius bridged the mighty rivers; created extensive waterways by means of canals connecting lakes and flowing streams; in still later years this genius commanded the cataracts and rapids to transform their ceaseless motion into motor power for traction, and lighting, and other service of industrial and economic value. Each successive civilisation of the world, indeed, has shown an unbroken line of exceptional personalities in whom has been focussed the power of their epoch. They are the centres through which this power becomes manifest in applied purposes and special achievements. Civilisation itself is but the evolutionary representation of successive conditions of increasing enlightenment. With each succeeding age does man recognise more and more clearly his relation to the moral order of the universe. The guidance of unseen destiny leads him on, and in the records of no country is this working out of the invisible design more unmistakably shown than in those of the Dominion of Canada. This golden thread discloses itself to retrospective scrutiny through a period of three centuries of time. "Man imagines and arranges his plans," says Leblond de Brumath in his biography of Bishop Laval; "but above these arrangements hovers Providence whose foreseeing sets all in order for the accomplishment of His impenetrable design.... Nor must man banish God from history, for then would everything become incomprehensible and inexplicable." The creative forces of an Empire include various and varying agencies. If to the courage and heroism of the original discoverers of the land too great recognition can hardly be given, yet to those who have made these discoveries of value by bringing the resources of a continent into useful relations with humanity recognition is not less due. John and Sebastian Cabot, Jacques Cartier, Champlain, Mackenzie, Fraser, and La Salle, were great pathfinders. But the very greatness of their achievements required such men as James McGill, Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal), Sir George Etienne Cartier, the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald, Sir Charles Tupper, and others, to stamp the early life of the pioneer with the seal of statesmanship and education. Here were vast areas of land; enchanting rivers, noble lakes, majestic mountains; untold wealth in minerals and in the boundless potentialities of agriculture; a marvellous country that is not only a land of promise, but a veritable Promised Land. Yet are its possibilities like those of the ether of space, until it is rendered accessible to restless, struggling humanity by the indomitable power of great spirits, of wise and forcible leaders of progress who are perhaps the pioneers of the physical world in a degree similar to that of lofty beings in the realms unseen. It is such as they who create the conditions which render all these immeasurable resources of practical value to humanity.
Editore Library Of Alexandria
Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM
EAN-13 9781465647634 9781465647634