The Wellington "Press" reports that Mr W- W. Collins addressed a large audience m Wellington on "Two thousand years' struggle for liberty." This struggle, the speaker affirmed, naturally divided itself into three parts, comprising the struggle for political liberty, and the struggle for social liberty. Two thousand years ago the ancestors of the Englishspeaking races were rudo, uncivilised barbarians, and the only authority amongst them was that of brute force. Even m the then civilised portions of the wxirld the ruling power was a military despptim. Gradually military power became allied with ecclesiastical authority, and the result was the almost entire suppression of human thought, culminating m thg intellectual darkness, of the middle ages. In- thos,e days ecclesiasticism was at its qupremest; height and the masses of mankind, wwe m the deepest de-
gradation. Feelingly the lecturer referred to those heroes and matyrs who had sacrificed their lives on behalf of religious liberty, and had earned for themselves an immortality which should ever live on m the breasts of every lover of humanity. Allied to and more or less interwoven with this struggle was the battle for human rights, the" struggle for political liberty. Mankind having claimed and earned the right to think, next demanded the right to exercise that thought m its own behalf, and it is not surprising thai; this right being gained, steps were at once taken to limit the authority of that power which had for so long rendered thought almost impossible. Magna Charta marked a distinct epoch m the struggle, and since that time human rights and liberties had extended m every direction. To-day the battle is for social liberty, and the history of past struggles, if worth anything at all, should at least serve to inspire that determination which had won so much m the past and would, if maintained, win istill wider liberties m the future.
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Looking Backward., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2515, 11 September 1890
Looking Backward. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2515, 11 September 1890
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