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CONDITION OF SOCIAL PROGRESS.
A LECTURE DELIVERED AT THE PHILOSOPHICAL INSTITUTION,
BRISTOL, APRIL 11, 1853,
BY SAMUEL LUCAS, M.A.,
HISTORY AS A CONDITION OF
It is easy to recognise a social progress, but it is not so easy to determine its conditions. Though the fact of a social progress may have existed from the beginning of time, the knowledge of it is recent, and even its primary conditions are imperfectly apprehended. In effect they are the subjects of a science in its infancy, for it was not till the last two or three centuries that men were aware there was a progress to investigate.
In the East, where we distinguish its first faint vestiges, and where man was overpowered by the aspect of nature in comparison with which he was feeble and subordinate, where he idealized the elements he could not resolve, and worshipped the powers he was unable to subdue, the notion of fatalism became paramount in his philosophy; and he could not entertain the idea of progress for the want of the idea of liberty, its starting point.
In the East, progress itself was incalculably slow. In Egypt, where its stages were more accelerated and apparently more defined, ages elapsed between the