One fact, however, is sufficiently evident, that we are in a state of transition: that old things are passing away and giving place to new; and that society is in the very act, an act ever attended with convulsive throes and conflicting fears and hopes, of assuming a new form, - brighter and happier may it be than all the past! Whichever way we look we behold symptoms of change. The billows are tossing and tumbling, heaving, rolling and breaking, at every point of the compass. The public mind has outgrown public institutions, which must soon be shattered unless possessed of flexibility to admit of a proportionate expansion. Our forms, laws, establishments, whether for the purpose of education, commerce, politics, or religion, are become so insufficient to represent the intelligence, harmonize with the condition, satisfy the wants, and realize the desires of the community that they must evidently undergo extensive changes, - gradual and peaceful changes it is to be hoped…. The work has commenced, we are in the process of renovation; in some departments its rate may be more rapid than in others, but it extends to all. The conflict for reform in the Legislature is but the type and index of a wider, deeper, and mightier conflict between principles which began their struggle for mastery over man in the Garden of Eden, and shall continue till the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our God and of his Christ. That struggle is like the elemental strife of the material world. It is like the storm that clears the heavens. It is the process by which Providence conducts mankind to higher and yet higher degrees of knowledge and happiness.
According to the law of progress, both individual and social, by which God governs the world, the transition is made from one gradation of order, harmony, and beauty to a higher gradation, by the intervention of a state of apparent confusion and conflict….
The question of reform in the representation of the people could never have arisen into its present interest and importance but in connexion with a strong and general conviction of the necessity of a
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Publication information: Book title: Victorian Poetry:Poetry, Poetics, and Politics. Contributors: Isobel Armstrong - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 25.
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