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which he has arrived at his conclusion upon his own data, we have the most cordial pleasure in giving our full assent to it as the natural consequence of those we have ventured to propose.
• If, then, the wisdom is to be estimated by the fitness of the design to its purpose, and the habitual exercise of the energies of mankind is allowed to be that purpose, enough has been said to confirm the orginal proposition. The Deity has provided, that, by the operation of an instinctive principle in our nature, the human race should be uniformly brought into a state in which they are forced to exert and improve their powers: the lowest rank, to obtain support; the one next in order, to escape from the difficulties immediately beneath it; and alt the classes upward, either to keep their level, while they are pressed on each side by rival industry, or to raise themselves above the standard of their birth by useful esertions of their activity, or by successful cultivation of their natural powers. If, indeed, it were possible that the stimulus arising from this principle should be suddenly removed, it is not easy to determine what life would be except a dreary blank, or the world except an uncultivated waste. Every exertion to which civilization can be traced, proceeds directly or indirectly from its effects; either from the actual desire of having a family, or the pressing obligation of providing for one, or from the necessity of rivalling the efforts produced by the operation of these motives in others.
'I cannot suppose it will be disputed, that the law, ordaining the multiplication, of which the effects are thus extensive, is a law of design. Among brute animals, we find the quality of fecundity subjected to intelligible regulations, and proportioned to the utility or peculiar circumstances of the species: since it is denied to strength and rapacity, and bestowed as a compensation for a short term of existence. Of the latter case, the hare and rabbit, and the insect tribes, afford familiar examples: whereas the kite lays but two eggs, the eagle but one, and the elephant produces only a single calf. In another department of nature, it is observed that cod-fish lays many million eggs, whilst a wbale brings usually one cub, and never more than two. It would have been incomprehensible if the multiplication of animals bad not fallen under the regulation of Providence, and had been subject to assigned Jaws: and these, with a thousand other instances that might be as readily adduced, manifestly prove that it has been directed by design. And as it would be contrary to all just analogy to believe, that brute animals received an attention denied to the human race, it is impossible to suppose, that the ratio of increase among men, and its consequences, were not present to the contemplation of the Creator. point of fact, we know that even the casualties to which one sex is more exposed than the other, are provided for by the excess of male over female births, a foresight which can only be attributed to the original mandate of Providence.'
As all fact in political arithmetic are of value, we wish to observe on a passage in the foregoing extract, that although male births exceed the female in a small ratio, yet there is good reason
to think that the premature deaths among male infants exceed those among females in a similar proportion ; so that the sexes are reduced to an equality of number at a very early age.
The second Chapter, 'On the Collateral Effects of the Principle of Population,' is employed chiefly in following up the results of the first by a more minute detail of the manner in which the pressure of necessity establishes universal industry,and secures the quick and wide diffusion of the beneficial effects of that industry. After what has been already advanced, we do not perceive that it is necessary for us to enter at large into those details. The same references are frequently made to the incontrovertible fact of the geometrical and arithmetical progress of population and subsistence respectively ;-and the same weakness and difficulties appear to us to be thereby introduced into the argument. We should have been glad also to perceive moral amelioration made a little more prominent, as a necessary ingredient in the successful career of temporal prosperity, especially as we cannot ourselves contrive to separate it from our idea of any sound theory respecting the principle of population. Reading the Chapter with a view of fundamental principles so different from that in which the author wrote it, it is not to be expected that we should often admit the justness of the reasoning by which the argument is maintained. But we are anxious to declare our opinion, that there are to be found in it many just views of human nature, and numerous passages of considerable eloquence, descriptive of the blessings derived to mankind from the progress of civilization, the facilities of social and commercial intercourse, and the effects of colonization upon the spread of morals and religion over the face of the earth.
Having ventured to express so wide a difference from Mr. Sumner upon this interesting and difficult question, we think ourselves the more strictly bound in conclusion to give, in his own words, the result at which his active and intelligent mind has arrived from the contemplation of it. Our readers will find no difficulty in at once perceiving the modifications under which we should be disposed lo admit the truth of the concluding observations.
• Such is the view of the Omniscience and comprehensive Wisdom of the Creator, deducible from the facts respecting population, and its tendency to a quicker increase than the supply of food can keep pace with, wbich have been first explained to the present generation, and added to the stock of physical truths unfolded by modern inquiry. The particular effects of the multiplication of the species, which the object Mr. Malthus had in view obliged him to illustrate and enlarge upon, are so unprepossessing, that many persons have forcibly sbut their eyes against the completeness of the induction, and the extent of the evidence by which the force of the principle is indisputably proved. Others, unable to withstand conviction, have been inclined to class this
among the “boisterous doubts and sturdy objections, wherewith in philosophy, as well as in divinity, the unhappiness of our knowledge too nearly acquaints us. ?** They have considered it as an anomaly in ihe system of divine administration : a provision for entailing ipin mankind much laborious poverty, and some painful indigence. The antidote, however, is commonly found to grow within reach of the poison. The instinctive principle by which every country in the world is replenished with inhabitants as fast as its fertility allows, when more generally understood, and more fully reflected upon, will be appealed to as a proof that, as our knowledge and researches extend, they discover to us, in the moral as well as in the natural world, new proofs of most comprehensive wisdom in the Creator. It is, in fact, the mighty engine which, operating constantly and uniformly, keeps our world in that state which is most agreeable to the design of the creation, and renders mankind the spontaneous instruments of their Maker, in filling and civilizing the habitable globe. We may not, perhaps, be able to discover all the bearings, or follow all the consequences, of a principle which is undoubtedly the primary, though secret agent, in producing all the boundless varieties of the human condition. It ought, however, to satisfy us, if, as our inquiries penetrate farther into the general Jaws of the animate and inanimate creation, we clearly discover a wonderful subserviency of appointed means to the accomplishment of some uniform design ; affording, even where the design is but partially understood, such testimony of wisdom in the means, as obliges us to rely in humble acquiescence upon the Supreme Disposer of both.'-vol. ii. pp. 173-175.
The title of the Third Part of the Essay is . On the Goodness of the Creator ;'-a subject essentially involved in most of the discussions contained in the preceding parts. It is obvious that the permission of moral evil in a world from which it might have been excluded, can only be reconciled with the goodness of God upon the supposition that it was intended as a place of moral trial for its inhabitants, where, by struggling against evil, and exercising their faculties in discovering the means whereby they may rise superior to it, they may be fitted for a state of happiness in another and a better world. This approaches so nearly to some of the arguments in the preceding chapters, that we cannot be surprised at meeting with a few instances of repetition. In this part of the work, however, the author, in conformity with the terms of his contract, proceeds to fortify his moral reasoning with the authority of Scripture, and we have an observation or two to make upon the nature and terms of the argument uscd respecting the trials to which the holy men of the Old Testament were ex
Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici. More of these,' continues the excellent author, no man has known ihan myself; which I confess I conquered: not in martial posture, but on my knees.'
posed. The faith of Abraham, for example, was tried in various ways. His first call,' says Mr. Sumner,' was attended with a command" to leave his country, and his kindred, and his father's house." This call he immediately obeyed; and it is remarked, as a proof of his merit, that when he was summoned into a country which he should afterwards receive as his inheritance, he went out not knowing whither.' Now we are aware that we are here treading n delicate ground; but we apprehend that it would be to desert evey principle of right faith, to suppose that Abraham, or any other man, could by an act proceeding from his faith or belief, which is the gift of God, establish any merit in the sight of God. He was pleased to ordain, for purposes not very difficult to be understood, ihat Abraham and every sound believer should give evidence of the reality of his faith by action : but that this should have any meritorious value in His sight, is certainly inconsistent with Scripture, and, as we believe, with the settled opinions of Mr. Sumner himself. Nor can we bring ourselves to ihink that Mr. Sumner intends to convey to his readers that God favoured Abraham because he displayed the outward act of preparing to sacrifice his son, but rather because his heart was in such a state as to prevent him from hesitating an instant to give a simple and implicit obedience to the commands of God against his natural reason and inclinations.
We have ventured upon these observations in the hope that Mr. Sumner may be induced, in a subsequent edition, to omit entirely, or very much to qualify, these and a few other expressions of similar import, which might give rise to misconceptions such as we have reason to think him the last man who would wish to encou. rage. For the rest, we think it has been sufficiently proved in the former parts of the Essay that this world is constituted as a place of moral discipline for the hearts and conduct of men :-and that all the natural evils, and those of civil life which man is heir to, the loss of friends, the sufferings of pain, &c. are, when converted to their proper uses, so many benevolent provisions for withdrawing the heart and affections from the world, and for fixing them upon the Creator—which is the first effectual step in the way to heaven.
of the assistance afforded to us by the revelation of the Lord Jesus' in the pursuit of this exalted object, and of the Goodness of God displayed in the Christian Dispensation, we are almost glad to perceive that we have not space to treat upon the present occasion. "Mr. Sumner's observations upon them are confined to about twenty pages ; and the statement appears to us to be neither 50 full, so distinct, nor so satisfactory as we are persuaded he would be disposed to make it in a subsequent edition. We abstain,
therefore, the more readily from any remarks upon this chapter of the work, as we feel it absolutely necessary still to trespass upon our readers' patience by a brief investigation of the two which follow, upon the Evils and Advantages of Civilized and Uncivilized Life.
There is no one point which the advocate for the Wisdom and Goodness of the Creator is bound more clearly to make out, than that the progress of society brings no necessary addition of vice and misery to any rank of the community :—and truly there is no circumstance under which we contemplate the advocates for Mr. Malthus's principles with more pity, than when they undertake to make out this proposition with respect to the lower orders of society. It is not very difficult to show under almost any system, that a principle of fair compensation pervades all the changes that are wrought in the habits, manners, and arrangements of the higher and middle classes ;-that the freedom from restraint, the rude plenty, the early marriages incident to the earlier stages, for example, are fully compensated to those classes by the regular industry, the growing comfort and accommodation, and the increased facilities of improving their condition, which commerce, manufactures, and civilization bring in their train. But we have always observed a sad perplexity about those who are bound to deprecate the early marriages of the labouring classes, and the exercise of all those charities towards them which have a tendency directly or indirectly to prolong or enlarge the stream of human life,' already, it is said, in danger of overflowing ;-we have always, we say, observed these reasoners sadly perplexed when they have thought themselves bound to make out, consistently with this theory and its consequences, that Providence brings no necessary increase of moraland political evil upon the lower classes as society advances. We firmly believe, indeed, that such is the fact ; but as we cannot altogether agree that a few free schools constitute a sufficient compensation, moral or political, to the mass of the people for the privation of the social endearments and moral security arising out of the marriage contract, and for the relief flowing from active and extensive charity,we should certainly be disposed to conclude à priori, if we were not already satisfied by inquiry into the principle itself, that Providence has so adapted the progress of population to that of society, as still to leave to the lower orders nearly the same option of early marriage, which they possessed in the less advanced stages of society; and that any little difference which may be found in this respect may fairly be said to be compensated by the liberal exercise of those increased means ofcharity which civilization and commerce place in the hands of the higher ranks. In arguing these points, Mr. Sumner does not appear to have been able to preserve