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profit overcomes the repugnance to 'voluntary exile' in the wealthy capitalist, will not a double wage do as much for the labouring class? Their condition in the mother country may be good; and yet to induce them to remove to the colony, it may be sufficient that they have a prospect of its there being better-perhaps twice -perhaps ten times as good.
But, may we not turn the tables upon those who would substitute for the natural, ancient, and easy resource of emigration in the case of a state which is, or threatens to be, crowded, an unnatural, and we believe, impracticable, restraint upon marriage? When they urge that it must be no light evil' from which the emigrant makes his escape, may we not retort, that it is no inconsiderable sacrifice to forego the domus et placens uxor-the sweets of domestic happiness-the pleasures of marital and paternal affection? While they accuse the advocate for emigration of urging the poor to break the natural ties of home and kindred, they are themselves striving to prevent the formation of those ties which are of all the strongest, the most virtuous, and the most joy-dispensing-those of the father and the husband. If the emigrant quits his parental roof, the wound soon heals, for it is in the course of nature that he should do so, and he exchanges for it a roof-tree and a family of his own, of which the Malthusians would deprive him. In fact, their scheme is merely to substitute one privation for another, a greater for a less, with the additional disadvantage of a general narrowing of the numbers of mankind, and the aggregate happiness, through the selfish desire of a few to monopolize the bounties provided by nature for the whole race, and a sordid and short-sighted doubt of their sufficiency. The conduct recommended by these writers as the acme of human virtue, and the great end of Christian instruction, is, in fact, precisely that of the man in the parable who wrapped his talent in a napkin, instead of putting it out where it might multiply.
The last expedient of which Dr. Chalmers professes to demonstrate the inefficacy, is a legal provision for the poor. Our readers are already aware of the deeply-rooted hostility he has always manifested to such an institution-an hostility which, like all his other economical errors, springs directly from the unhappy and unreasonable persuasion of the want of room for man upon the earth. We have lately said so much upon this subject that we shall abstain from further comment on his mistaken preference of what he calls the ministrations of spontaneous and individual benevolence, the fortuitous and free gratuities of the philanthropist, that is, in plain words, a system of mendicity and vagrancy, over one of regulated and legalized relief: but, passing this, and other propositions, which he reiterates as if they had not been
VOL. XLVIII. NO. XCV.
over and over again exposed and refuted-such as the bold assertions, in the face of the contrast presented on all these points by Ireland and England,-the one with, the other without a poor law-that an institution of that nature necessarily impoverishes a country!-deepens the wretchedness of the peasantry!-deadens charity-and destroys the security of property!-we will merely notice one fatal mistake which alone would render Dr. Chalmers incompetent to reason on the subject: we speak of his imagining a poor law to be merely legalized or compulsory charity.'
The virtue of humanity ought never to have been legalized, but left to the spontaneous workings of man's own willing and compassionate nature. Justice, with its precise boundary and well-defined rights, is the fit subject for the enactments of the statute-book; but nothing can be more hurtful than thus to bring the terms or the ministrations of benevolence under the bidding of authority.'-p. 415.
The truth, however, on the contrary is, that the poor have a decided claim, in justice, to a support from off the land on which Providence has placed them, if that land is capable of affording it to their exertions. Such a provision, therefore, instead of being a matter of charity and benevolence, a thing of love, not law,' is but the legal concession of a right antecedent even to that of the owners of the soil-a divine right-a right based on the eternal and immutable principles of intuitive justice. And its necessity may be equally proved on less high grounds. The only mode of preserving the peace of society, is to afford to every one suffering the extremity of want, some resource short of plunder and violence. The expediency of a poor law, as a mere measure of preventive police, may be easily demonstrated. It is in truth called for as imperatively by policy as by humanity, and by justice still more clearly than by either.
Dr. Chalmers, however, is only consistent in his opposition to it. Under the assumption on which he reasons, of its being impossible to keep subsistence level with population, he is quite right. Only he should not have stopped short of the conclusion to which his premises will necessarily conduct him-the propriety of passing a law to put out of their misery, at once, those for whom there is no room on the earth;' seeing that they must perish by inches, and during this process inflict much evil on the rest of society by encroaching on the bare sufficiency it possesses for its own wants. Private charity is quite as injurious and as nugatory in this light, as a poor law. It can only relieve one individual at the expense of another; and we refer the doctor to Mr. Malthus himself, who declares expressly, what indeed is a necessary consequence of his principle, that a poor man cannot by charity be enabled to live better than before, without proportionately de-.
pressing others of the same class. We submit, therefore, that the
• God cannot love, says Blunt, with tearless eyes,
Admits and leaves them Providence's care.'
Having thus gone through the whole list of political expedients for securing the well-being of the community, and 'demonstrated their futility' in succession, by help of the postulate which declared it from the first,-our author brings us in triumph to the 'argal' at which he has been all along straining, viz. that since nothing can make food keep pace with population, all our efforts should be turned to make population keep pace with food; and the only specific for this is prudential restraint upon marriage,' self-imposed by each individual, and inculcated by a Christian education.
Now we will not yield even to Dr. Chalmers, in a fervent zeal for the spread of moral and Christian education.' We need scarcely say, that we agree wholly with him in the vast benefits derivable from national endowments for this purpose. But we cannot agree in the opinion, that it is any part of the duty of a moral and Christian pastor, to interfere with the dictates of nature, as to the proper period for marriage. We do not, in short, recognise any necessary connexion between religion and celibacyvirtue and abstinence from wedlock. We desire general education as a means, not of proportioning the numbers of mankind to their food, but of providing them with that intellectual aliment, which, at the same time that it enlightens them on their true physical interests, adds to their mental and social gratifications; and while affording them the prospect of eternal happiness in another world, equally assists them to secure their welfare in the present. None shall go beyond us in anxiety to inculcate universally the
principles of prudence and foresight.' We only differ from our author as to the true application of those principles, which we should prefer directing towards the means of procuring a sufficiency for the maintenance of a family in respectability and comfort, rather than towards the avoidance of the burthen of a family, lest their maintenance should not be procurable. We know where it is said, 'He feedeth the ravens who call upon him.' And, though blaming as much as any an indolent and careless reliance on Providence, though assenting, in its moral sense, to the truth of 'Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera,'-the 'prudence' that we recommend, is an active, not a negative one-a judicious struggle against threatening evils, not a cowardly and Fabian retreat before thema determination to push back by all imaginable means the apparent barrier to our onward progress, not a timid shrinking within ourselves, lest we haply receive a rub or two against it. And since we are quite confident that the barrier is in truth imaginary, or rather conventional, the offspring of our voluntary arrangements, and to be kept at any distance we please-that
spatium Natura beatis
Omnibus esse dedit, si quis cognoverit uti'—
that the foresight of the members of a civilized community, judiciously directed, and uninterfered with by mistaken laws or officious advice, will enable them to procure a plentiful subsistence for all their possible numbers, either from within or without the geographical limits of the district they at present inhabit--we do think it no part of the duty of a Christian minister, to endeavour to give a different direction to the prudence and foresight' of his fellowcitizens, and we are quite sure, that by so doing, he will only be fighting against nature, and must do far more harm than good. By discouraging matrimony, he will probably but encourage illicit indulgence
Naturam expellas furcâ tamen usque recurret ;'
at the very best, he enforces a needless amount of privation, and checks the production of a large increase of human happiness.
The moral tendency, indeed, of this doctrine, we consider indescribably pernicious. By holding out to all, that improvements of any kind are useless, and even mischievous, for that every enlargement of our resources only tends to land us in a larger, it is true, but a more straitened population,' it directly discourages all attempts at the amelioration of our condition, whether public or private; and fosters in all classes a selfish and apathetic indolence, a mean distrust of our own powers, instead of that confident resolution to employ them to the utmost, which, under fair play, is almost certain of overcoming every obstacle. We need
no stronger illustration of the proof of this than the book we are reviewing. Here are half-a-dozen resources canvassed for raising the condition of the body of the population-each of them is admitted to be more or less efficacious towards that end, but because it is assumed that there is an ultimate limit to the efficacy of each, they are all dismissed as unprofitable, deceptive, and even hurtful, and we are gravely told to cease our efforts for enlarging our resources, and direct them wholly to limiting our wants!
Again by this doctrine the wealthy and the powerful are completely absolved from the duty of contributing to relieve the distresses of their poorer neighbours, either by direct charity, or a just and wise attention to the economical means for improving their condition; since all such attempts are declared to be not only fruitless but mischievous. It absolutely frees a government from all responsibility for the sufferings of the mass of the community, by throwing the blame entirely on Nature and the improvidence of the poor themselves, and declaring the evil to admit of no remedy from any possible exertions of the legislature. We cannot imagine any theory more destructive than this would be, were it generally received, whether among the higher and more powerful, or the lower classes themselves; and we must consider those who labour to propagate it, though including, we are well aware, many of the most ardent and benevolent philanthropists of the age, to be, unconsciously, the enemies of their kind.
We hope Dr. Chalmers, in particular, will pardon the freedom of our remarks. We cannot sit by in silence and see the weight of his authority and the force of his eloquence exerted on the side of what we consider a most portentous and abominable doctrine. We implore him to re-consider his opinions. The welfare of existing millions-the existence of future myriads, depends on the destruction of the miserable sophism, which lies at the bottom of his whole economical system.
ART. III.-1. Francki Callinus, sive Quæstionis de Origine Carminis Elegiaci tractatio critica. Altonæ et Lipsiæ. 1829. 2. Poetarum Græcorum Sylloge, curante lo. Fr. Boissonade. Tom. III. Parisiis. 1830.
IN a work lately noticed in this journal it is remarked, with reference to the peculiar character of the Iliad and the Odyssey,that they may be looked upon as the embodied spirit of heroic poetry in the abstract, rather than as the poems of any particular poet. In them we can discover no peculiarities of thinking or feeling, no system, no caprice. All is wide, diffused, universal, like the primal