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who, looking only at his arguments and instances, taking these for granted, and not searching beyond them with an enlarged and impartial investigation for themselves, too hastily admitted his principles to be true. They endeavoured, with high and laudable purposes, to show that they were even wise in their design and beneficial in their operation ;* others, taking a different view of their effects, espoused them with a very contrary spirit; and their general effect has been unfavourable to our philanthropic sympathies for the larger mass, of which every community consists.

The prospects to society presented by these tenets were little else than increasing and unrelievable wretchedness and depravation to every future generation; unless mankind desisted from subsequent reproduction, or unless a portion only were allowed by the great majority of the rest to be the sole parents of every community-a portion which the geometrical law would be every year requiring to be made smaller. Policy and benevolence might ponder in vain for any other remedy.

The author unhesitatingly assured us that this overwhelming tendency of population to outrun its producible food in this formidable disproportion could be counteracted only by adequate checks, preventive or positive. These checks were acknowledged to be those of vice and misery, unless mankind would impose upon themselves, perseveringly, the moral restraint of abstaining from the connubial association.+ But even this abstinence, if submitted to, Mr. Malthus allowed would also produce vice, while it would be murmured at as an evil by those who were compelled to practice it.‡ Mel

* Summer's "Records of the Creation," part. ii., ch. 5 and 6.

†"On examining these obstacles to the increase of population, which I have classed under the heads of preventive and positive checks, it will appear that they are ALL resolvable into moral restraint, vice, and misery." Malth., p. 19.

"The checks which repress the superior power of population, and keep its effects on a level with the means of subsistence, are all resolvable into moral restraint, vice, and misery."-lb., p. 29 and p. 579.

"If he attends to this natural suggestion, the restriction too frequently produces vice. If he hear it not, the human race will be constantly endeavouring to increase beyond the means of subsistence.

"This difficulty (of acquiring food) must fall somewhere, and must necessarily be severely felt in some or other of the various forms of misery, or the fear of misery, by a large portion of mankind.”—Ib., vol. i., p. 4.

ancholy dilemma! What a sad alternative, if the system had been a verified hypothesis !

On such views, marriage, although the appointed source of the continuation of the human race on earth, and their most universal and improving cause of happiness, becomes the means of accelerating general misery and depravity, and involves every one who enters into the state in the personal criminality of assisting to produce such evils; for nature and its Author give no right to any one to marry more than another, nor have authorized any to say, "You shall live single that I may wed." There is no charter or law from Heaven for wealth or property to produce the new generations that are still ordained to succeed, and no command for poverty to remain in unoffending celibacy; all have the same natural right and liberty to unite or not in wedlock, as they may prefer. Hence, if this system were the true one, the man of property sins as much by marrying as the man of none; for as it is the progeny which is the evil, whoever has the offspring, whether rich or poor, becomes the criminal producer of the mischief, by the addition he makes to the human race. In these new instruments of multiplication, who will in their turn follow his example, he contributes to ensure to society an accompanying succession of vice and misery. Mr. Malthus declares explicitly that the principle which keeps his overwhelming law of geometrical multiplication on a level with subsistence is "the grinding law of necessity, misery, and the fear of misery."* He charges the very system of nature and man with the imputation of being thus constituted.+

The theory of Mr. Malthus was contested by several, but

Malth., vol. ii., p. 24. He repeats this sentiment as his own deliberate view of his system. "It is a perfectly just observation of Mr. Godwin, that there is a principle in human society by which population is perpetually kept down to the level of the means of subsistence. The sole question is, what is this principle? Is it some obscure cause? Is it some mysterious interference of Heaven? Or is it a cause which has constantly been observed to operate, though with varied force, in every state in which man has been placed? IS IT NOT MISERY, and the fear of misery, THE NECESSARY AND INEVITABLE RESULTS OF THE LAWS OF NATURE, which human institutions have tended considerably to mitigate, though they can never remove?"-Malth., vol. ii., p. 35.

The truth is, that, though human institutions appear to be, and indeed often are, the obvious and obtrusive causes of much mischief to mankind, they are, in reality, light and superficial in comparison with those deeper-seated causes of evil which result from the laws of nature and the passions of mankind.”-Ib., p. 24.

most powerfully by his ablest and latest antagonist, Mr. Sad ler, who rightly attacked the assumed principle itself. This gentleman denied the natural law to be as it had been stated.* He insisted on the erroneousness of the supposed facts and deductions relative to the States of America, on which the geometric theory was founded,† and entered into much detail on the emigrations to North America, which had so much contributed to enlarge its population,‡ and which Mr. Malthus had not adequately considered, but had greatly underrated. Mr. Sadler then stated at length his own views of the actual law of population, and copiously discussed several important topics and circumstances by which it was illustrated. His work was too digressive and diffuse, and wanted selection and concentration, with some corrections. It was rather a series of effusions, without due order and connexion, than a welldigested treatise; but it was written with right, though warm feelings, and on just principles. It shook with great force the mistaken system it opposed, suggested many valuable ideas, and led the inquirer to more enlarged views and to sounder reasoning on a subject which is becoming every day more important in every country to be accurately understood.

It would be unjust to depreciate the intentions or the ability of Mr. Malthus. He brought forward his theory expressly to counteract some pernicious extravagances of Mr. Godwin, whose "Political Justice" made for a time nearly as great

* "Human increase, under the most favourable circumstances for its development, does not proceed in a geometrical ratio, but is constantly regulated on a totally different principle."-Sadler's "Law of Popul." vol. 1, p. 61. Ib., vol. i., p. 427, 579,

11. p. 401.

"What I presume to call the law of population may be thus briefly enumerated. The prolificness of human beings, otherwise similarly cir cumstanced, varies inversely as their number," vol, ii., p. 352, "Human beings increase in a different proportion, and one which is constantly regulated by their coexisting numbers," vol. i., p. 103. He then makes and states various tables from the population of several countries to prove his law, and reasons largely on many topics which he considers s concurring to establish it.-16., p. 472-612. His second volume is directed to show that the periods of duplication assigned by the antipopulationists "as those in which mankind would increase, if unre stricted, are in every instance, and under the most favourable circumstances, impossibilities," vol. ii., p. 45.

He truly said, "the whole system of population is under the un ceasing direction of the Deity, either through the operation of those see ondary causes resulting from his eternal prescience, or from his perpetually superintending Providence," vol. ii., p. 321.

an impression as the publication of Mr. Malthus, and who meant to subvert some of the most established truths in both religion and morality. Dr. Parr and Sir James Mackintosh vigorously attacked him ;* and to overthrow one of his dogmas, the natural, and self-producible, and advancing perfectibility of the human being, Mr. Malthus produced the contrary hypothesis, that this perfection was impossible, because society had, in this ever-acting law of its population, a continual principle of degradation, misery, and vice. Eager to vanquish his adversary, he did not at first perceive the consequences that would be deduced from the doctrine which he used as his victorious weapon; and when these began to appear he had become too fond of it, and he found it too much applauded by others to believe it to be defective or injurious. It must also be stated, that the advocates for his new-started theory have comprised men that have been eminent both for knowledge and philanthrophy. It has still many patrons, who think that, by upholding and applying it, they are rendering much service to mankind. I respect their motives and their characters; and have only the same desire of truth which actuates them, when I express in these letters the thoughts and circumstances which have led me to the conclusion, that the Malthusian hypothesis is unfounded in fact, and therefore a fallacious misconception.t

It was in his celebrated lectures that Sir James attacked Mr. Godwin's doctrines. "He now came forward to defend the very foundations of society against the fury of a wild enthusiasm which usurped the name of reason."-Memoirs of his Life, vel. i., p. 110. On these exertions Mr. Hazlitt says, "The modern philosophy, counterscarp, outworks, citadel and all, fell without a blow, by the whiff and wind of his fell doctrine, as if it had been a pack of cards."-Ib. Sir James afterward acknowledged, with a kind candour, that he had been too strong in his language on this occasion "I condemn myself for contributing to any clamour against philosophical speculations."-Ib., p. 134.

The ability with which Mr. Malthus urged his opinions for a little while impressed me in his favour; but its manifest incompatibility with the wisdom and beauty of the natural creation, and with what I could discern of the economy of human life in other respects, gradually inclined me to the belief that it was a fallacy. Further thought increased this feeling, but I had not leisure to make the investigations which were necessary for a fair judgment. In this state of mind, Mr. Sadler's book roused me to examine the question as fully as I could, for my own information, by independent researches, additional to his, but I was benefited by his reasonings and statements. What was thus begun for my own satisfaction my present work made it a duty to continue, in order to ascertain what was the exact truth on the subject: my inquiry ended in the results which I will proceed to specify.


No visible or necessary Connexion in Nature between Population and Vegetation. Their relation is Intellectual and Artificial, arising from the Plan and Mind of the Creator.-America no support to the Mal thusan Ratio-Countries resorted to by Immigrants, or enlarged by Conquest, no Authority for the Laws of Natural Population.-Instances of this in Canada and Russia.


The questions of population and subsistence have been generally intermingled in the discussions about either; but to understand them accurately, as natural results proceeding from the natural laws which have been appointed to produce them, it will be better to consider them separately. They originate from very distinct processes in nature, and under very different laws, although both are meant to have a perpetual relation and alliance with each other. But they are not visibly connected together, more than the metal with the grain, or the bird with the cattle. Their association is a mental conception of the Creator, and likewise in us and in his animal creation. No tangible links unite us with our food or pull us to it. This is made and intended for our sustenance; but we, like all that use it, have to learn its use; to search and to find out what we are to eat, and, from the experience of the necessity and benefit, to establish a continual relation with it.

Independent of the original relation formed in our Creator's mind in his plan of our creation, and independent of the subsequent connexion which mankind, as they gradually discovered the use, have established between themselves and all the means of subsistence which they have found to be provided for them, there is no positive connexion in nature between animal life and the materials of its sustenance.

The corn and grass grow, whether men, sheep, or cattle are or are not in their vicinity; and animals multiply from their own bodies, under laws and circumstances quite dissimdar to those of vegetable reproduction.

This fact is another indication of an intellectual creation;

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