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will no doubt prove to us afresh, in figures, what we know already from feeling and from experience—how dependent the different nations are upon each other for their progress, for their moral and material prosperity, and that the essential condition of their mutual happiness is the maintenance of peace and good-will amongst each other. Let them still be rivals, but rivals in the noble race of social improvement, in which, although it may be the lot of one to arrive first at the goal, yet all will equally share the prize, all feeling their own powers and strength increase in the healthy competition.
I should detain you longer than I feel justified in doing, and should perhaps trench upon the domain and duties of Presidents of Sections, if I were to allude to the points which will there be specially recommended to your attention and consideration; but I trust that it will not be thought presumptuous in me if I exhort you generally not to lose yourselves in points of minute detail, however tempting and attractive they may be from their intrinsic interest and importance, but to direct your undivided energies to the establishment of those broad principles upon which the common action of different nations can be based, which common action
must be effected, if we are to make real progress. I know that this Congress can only suggest and recommend, and that it must ultimately rest with the different Governments to carry out those suggestions. Many previous recommendations, it is true, have been carried out, but many have been left unattended to; and I will not except our own country from blame in this respect. Happy and proud indeed should I feel if this noble gathering should be enabled to lay the solid foundation of an edifice, necessarily slow of construction, and requiring, for generations to come, laborious and persevering exertion, intended as it is for the promotion of human happiness, by leading to the discovery of those eternal laws upon which that universal happiness is dependent !
May He, who has implanted in our hearts a craving after the discovery of truth, and given us our reasoning faculties to the end that we should use them for this discovery, sanctify our efforts and bless them in their results !
LONDON : PRINTED BY W. CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET,
AND CHARING CROSS.