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The expansions or contractions of our various populations have been always governed on these principles. The agencies are invisible, but their effects appear in the results which are successively educed. At present an augmenting influence has been given to them; but even this is acting with a moderation in its impulses which implies a directing regulator. Our own numbers seem to increase most largely; and when we advert to the fact that we are now the most colonizing nation in the world, we see an intellectual connexion of design and execution between this political tendency and our national multiplication.

The English, Scotch, and Irish populations are at present led to be the greatest settlers of the distant and less cultivated regions; and they carry Christianity, morals, arts, literature, science, manufactures, commerce, taste, industry, good feeling, and good sense wherever they enter and inhabit.

Their increased multiplication bears a coeval date with these increasing colonizations; and I cannot but infer that there is a mutual relation between them. The coincidence corresponds with the supposition, and indicates the purpose from which it originates. So, in ancient times, the multiplying nations were the founders of new states, and were But when these urged by their increasing numbers to be so. great objects were accomplished, we hear no more of their exuberant populations which had occasioned their movements. The augmentation was imparted to induce and enable them to perform what they were appointed to effectuate; and then the more stationary laws came upon them, because the existing ones had ceased to be necessary, and would, by their continuance, have been pernicious.

Let us, then, regard the populations of the world as actors and instruments in a great providential drama, moving, with all the scenes that surround them, to accomplish in due order and succession what the Divine Author and Inventor of the universe has conceived as to our earth, and is, in their transactions and revolutions, proceeding to occasion and complete. His plans are always moral and intellectual, and are devised and put in execution to produce moral and intellectual results. He is a moral and intellectual being in the most absolute perfection; and he has created us with a nature, and endowed us with a capacity, to which the same epithets are applicable;

but which must be trained to acquire the qualities and excellences which appertain to such a being. From these considerations we may infer that one of the chief purposes of such a Creator as to us has been, and continues to be, to moralize and intellectualize our improveable spirit into all the improveabilities of which it is susceptible. The process he has been pursuing to this end has already worked out results which have enriched our nature with wonderful acquisitions. Man is now what man never was before. Nations, like some of those which now are flourishing, never did or could appear on earth in ancient times or in preceding ages. His plans and agencies are still in full operation, to extend, and refine, and multiply the astonishing produce which is everywhere emanating from human talent and industry.

What he has already done for us all, and inspired and assisted all to attain and accomplish, demonstrates that mankind are a highly-favoured portion of his intelligent creation; and it will be our own fault if his benefactions to us, even in this world, are not greater and more universal to our various classes than those we have already experienced. The bounty of Omnipotence has no limit to the possibility of its diffusion; but it requires a fitness to receive before its munificence can be enlarged. The more we increase our capacity to be blessed, the more benedictions he will be desirous to grant to us. Such a parent will never confine his progressive blessings to those whom he has already so distinguished, if they will be as grateful for the gift as he is willing to give. His kindnesses will never lessen, if we be as attached and as obedient to him as he desires to be benign, and generous, and affectionate to us. Revelation is eloquent on this principle of his Divine nature.

The conclusion from these views of population will be, that as the laws and system of it have been so carefully planned and adjusted by our Creator, and are so fitly and deliberately superintended and regulated by him, its augmentations should be considered always as his will, permitting or producing, and therefore as never detrimental to the welfare of human society. We cannot too often remember that the principle of his government, in all things, is to do good and to cause good. In this spirit and on this principle he created our earth and all that it contains; on this he examined and judged of what he had made. He found them to be good, and he ordained their perpetuation because they were so. VOL. III.-N

On

this principle he has continued them, and on this he rules and disposes of all things that he directs or controls. On this principle all his interferences take place and all his influences are imparted. Benevolence is his perpetual feeling; beneficence his unceasing purpose; benefaction the universal gift and product of his administration and operations. Both his creation and his revelations display and authenticate to us these features of his Divine character; and on these we may reason on all that he does without fear of mistake. Guided by the conviction that he conducts the course of human life as a truly wise and Omniscient Parent, ever provident and gracious, we may infer that he acts as such as much in multiplying his human race as he did in creating it.

Indeed, all multiplication is creation; but it is creation by intermediate instrumentalities, instead of being produced by an omnific fiat. All things arose to being at his word, but they so arose with provided mechanisms in those which contained living principles, through which his forming power was intended by him to operate in all their subsequent reproductions. By these mediums he now creates, and every new generation is thus as much his formation as their first made ancestors.

We may therefore believe that the continuance and increase of population in every country is a blessing and a benefit, both individual and social. Existence is his greatest benefaction to us, because it is that to which all others are and must be attached; and it is a benefit not meant to be confined in any merely to themselves. In our own race we are all designed to be benefits to each other. We have been largely so in every age and nation; and it will be our personal fault if we be not always mutually serviceable. The poorest benefit the richest, and they their inferiors. Mankind cannot exist in any peaceable nation without this ever reciprocating advantage to each other. The benign effect would be in-creased if it were more intentionally prosecuted.

Let us next consider some of the advantages which may be discerned to accrue from enlarging population.

LETTER XVII.

Increasing Population may require some new Civil Regulations Statement of the Natural Advantages from it.-It cannot arise if there be not Food for it.

MY DEAR SYDNEY,

That an enlarged and enlarging population is a national good, which every statesman should promote, and which patriotism in all countries should desire, had become, from the experience of the benefit, a sort of maxim in politics before the Malthusian theory infused an unnatural dread of it, from the alleged effects of the supposed alliance between multiplication and starvation. The suspicion of such a link, which the public assertion of this doctrme excited, has occasioned some to regard those poorer multitudes, of whom all nations mostly and necessarily consist, as endangering and oppressive encumbrances, which causes and perpetuate the largest portion of the misery and crime with which society is afflicted. These ideas have put philanthropy into a state of civil warfare within itself, and have arrayed some of her best friends into an undesirable hostility against each other.

The examination of the contested points has made me much regret the differences of those who are all really zealous for the public good, and I believe as much so on the one side as on the other. I have at least been acquainted with very honourable and valuable men who have espoused opposite Views on this important theme; but the meditations upon it have ended in my conviction that population never will endanger any civilized society. On the contrary, that, as it multiplies, it will be the strength, and support, and benefactor of the community, wherever it prevails. It will indeed occasion some new laws and measures to be necessary to adapt the civil state, and some of its provisions and institutions, to the new circumstances which arise from it and will accompany it; but this is no more than what the increase of our commerce and manufactures, and of every other element of political wealth and greatness, also requires. New events,

new positions, and new relations always exact new measures of administration and much additional legislation. Enlarging population will place us under a similar necessity, but will also bring with it the augmenting knowledge and intelligence which will not be slow in discerning the adjusting regulations, that will make the national increase a national aggrandizement, and a general comfort and blessing. Our statute-books show that in every reign we have had new regulations established by our legislature on many subjects of national interest, in order to meet and arrange the new emergencies which arose, beneficially for the parties interested and for the community at large. The same application of fresh devisings and adjustments must be, from time to time, repeated in every age; for mankind are always moving to new positions and circumstances, and into new personal states and characters. We are not what our ancestors were: we are new men, with new minds, and with novelties increasing instead of lessening all around us; therefore, although the late Mr. Wyndham complained of the applications to parliament as treating it like the parish pump which every one was working; and though it is a querulous objection to our laws and law-books that they are trains of volumes instead of brazen tablets or pamphlets; yet, until society becomes paralyzed and stationary-until both our moral and intellectual activities decline into ignorance and torpor, we must, in every generation, perceive and put in action the additional means and measures which the safety, as well as comfort of society, in its new state and difficulties, will require. The more wisely this is done, the more the public welfare, and the individual ease and satisfaction, will be reconciled and promoted; but it must at no time be omitted, unless we sink into Mussulman apathy or Spanish debility. Nor will there now be any want of either men or minds capable and willing to effectuate what will be thus needed. Benevolence never influenced more generally a nation than it is now actuating the British dominions, and also, in wish and spirit, if not in efficacy, every other European state. We may have most power, freedom, and opportunity of practically obeying and realizing its suggestions, but others are desiring what they cannot yet execute. This feeling

is manifestly now becoming, more than ever, a public principle of conduct; and even statesmen are, in most cabinets, exchanging very much their old Machiavelian craftiness for the nobler

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