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ence; and it is also true that this is an ordination of the Creator, distinctly impressed on Nature, and interwoven with the system of his government. It is one of those wise provisions by which man is stimulated to exertion. But if it has given rise to crime and misery, this has never proceeded from any physical necessity, but simply from that defect in the moral character of man, which, in all his operations, is so painfully conspicuous.



"Ir is an idea," says Mr. Malthus, "that will be found consistent, equally with the natural phenomena around us, with the various events of human life, and with the successive revelations of God to man, to suppose that the world is a mighty process for the creation and formation of mind. Many vessels will necessarily come out of this great furnace with wrong shapes. These will be broken or thrown aside as useless, while those vessels, whose forms are full of truth, grace, and loveliness, will be wafted into happier situations, nearer the presence of the mighty Maker."

This is a sentiment of equal truth and beauty; and what the author applies to the final result, may not improperly be used to explain various circumstances and occurrences in the process itself. One striking instance appears in the case we are now considering. It is for the developement of mind, that the various arrangements as to human food have been made. For this purpose, man's existence was made to depend on a constant supply of organized substances convertible into articles of nutrition, and these were only afforded in such proportions as to require constant toil for their acquirement. This necessity became "the mother of invention," and has been rendered the means of calling into action those

mental faculties which would otherwise have remained in a great measure dormant.

But as it was not the intention that any thing in this sublunary state should be perfect, several evils have arisen from the system, though not necessarily inherent in it. One of these is the growth and nourishment of an intense selfishness. In the progress of society, a competition takes place. Every man labors for himself. His schemes, his toils, his hopes, and his fears, are centred in one great object, the acquirement, first, of the necessaries, then of the comforts, and then, again, of the luxuries and honors of life. There is, assuredly, in this employment a tendency to contract the mind and harden the heart. But there are many counteracting tendencies. Man is not an isolated being. He is a member of a family and of society. He is drawn out of himself by a thousand domestic and social ties. First, as a son, and afterwards as a husband and father, his benevolent affections are exercised. He mingles among friends and neighbors, and his social sympathies are awakened; the interests of his tribe or his country are at stake, and a principle of patriotism extends and exalts his views. As his intercourse enlarges, and his mind expands, he finds himself connected in various ways with distant countries, and he learns to feel an interest in all his fellow-creatures. The result of such discipline is that fine sentiment of the Roman poet,-"Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.


In few minds, however, is an effect so salutary actually produced. It is not to be concealed, that the moral disorder of the human mind appears in nothing more strikingly, than in the perverseness with which it rejects what is ennobling in the discipline of Providence, and adopts sentiments and practices which tend to debasement. Oc

* I am a man, and think nothing relating to man foreign to myself. Terence Heaut., Act I. sect. 1, 1. 25. [It is a fine sentiment, no doubt, in itself, but probably uttered in a sarcastic tone in the play, and at any rate uttered by a man who had ordered his wife to kill their daughter in infancy, and afterwards refers to this order with the greatest coolness, as a prudential arrangement; an incident revealing to us the low state of ancient morals.-AM. ED.]

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casionally we may find a Socrates, a Plato, or an Aristotle, a Cicero, a Seneca, or an Epictetus, breaking through the dark cloud in which society is naturally enveloped, soaring into a purer atmosphere, and expatiating in the light of Heaven. But these are rare instances,—exceptions which only confirm the general rule. Nothing can be more true or more important, than the conclusion which was forced on the wisest of these philosophers, that a revelation from heaven was necessary, to remove the ignorance and correct the evils which prevailed in the world.

Such a revelation has been vouchsafed to us; and in its whole spirit and tendency it is remarkable for nothing so much, as the manner in which it is framed for the counteraction of that selfishness, which is the besetting sin of our nature. Its leading principle is love. It represents the Eternal as a God of love, sending his beloved Son to save an apostate world. The character and offices of the Saviour Himself are peculiarly calculated to inculcate the same principle. He not only came with an errand of love, but his own heart was full and overflowing with the same sentiment. His life of voluntary humility and suffering, his death of ignominy and torture, were most heart-affecting indications of love; and these indications were heightened by every possible enhancement. The dignity and purity of His nature, the extreme degradation of ours, the immensity of his generous sacrifice, contrasted with the ingratitude and enmity of those for whom it was made,—all are so inexpressibly transcendent, that the mind is overwhelmed in the contemplation; and while we desire to know "the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of this love, we are forced, with an apostle, to confess, that it "passeth knowledge."

For favors generously conferred, gratitude and affection are the natural return; and the effect of these labors of love, when duly appreciated, is to excite a corresponding feeling in the human heart. Not only, however, are our dispositions perverted, but our perception of Divine things is obtuse, and it is not till our understandings are illu

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minated by the light of Heaven, that the Divine blessings are "spiritually discerned." When that faith, which is "the evidence of things not seen," takes possession of the soul, the whole scheme stands revealed, and the Christian principle is implanted. We then come not merely to understand but to appreciate the dying injunction of Him by whose holy name we are called,—“ A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

With this sentiment in the heart, the whole operations of society acquire a new aspect, and seem regulated on a new principle. It is a remarkable part of the providential arrangement of human life, that every transaction has a bearing on the interests, not only of the individual, but of his fellows. No man can, by his lawful industry, benefit himself, without at the same time benefiting the community in which he dwells. His personal profit or enjoyment adds to the general stock, not merely because all communities are composed of individuals, but, in a still more extended sense, as contributing something to the welfare of others. The agriculturist tills his ground, and raises food not merely for himself, but for those who follow other occupations; he introduces improvements into his plan of operations, and these improvements not only bring a greater quantity of food into the market from his own farm, but are the means of advancing the whole agricultural wealth of the country, by giving rise to imitation and rivalry. A similar observation may be made regarding any other profession. The schoolmaster teaches; the manufacturer converts the raw material into clothing; the mechanic constructs machinery,—all not more for themselves than for others; and every improvement made in these arts advances the general welfare.

There is here a deep foundation laid for the operation of the benevolent principle; and although this principle, in all its fulness, may not be naturally felt, yet when once enlarged by the power of that "wisdom which cometh from above," it discovers a vast and constantly expanding field for its exercise. The labor is the same, but the

motive is purified and exalted. The Christian still, indeed, follows his lawful occupation, because he thus "provides for his own, and specially for those of his own house;" but with the pleasing consciousness dwelling on his mind, that he is at the same time advancing the pros-perity, and contributing to the happiness of the community. He cherishes this benevolent sentiment in his heart. He modifies his operations, so as constantly to keep in view the beautiful arrangement of Providence, and to cause the current of his own business to coincide with the stream of Divine bounty. This motive ennobles his mind, and gives a higher character to all his operations. From being the mere selfish artificer of his own fortunes, he has become a generous benefactor of his species, "a fellow worker together with God."



If the principle of the geometrical multiplication of the human race be not altogether false in theory, it has assuredly never been realized in actual experience. In looking at the actual condition of the world, in relation to food, at different periods of the human history, we do certainly find that the immense power of reproduction has always been an important element in the question; but it is far from having been the sole element. The whole complicated framework of society would require to be taken into consideration, before it could be possible to solve the problem. The habits and manners of the community; their modes of thinking; their moral condition, and intellectual pursuits; their ideas of comfort, and their views of happiness; all tend to modify the tendency to multiply the species, as well as the necessity of possessing the means of subsistence. There can be no doubt, indeed, that, in reference to all these circumstances, this necessity is a powerful, modifying, and constraining princi

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