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times and countries, but in all producing diversified misery. What human hecatombs have bled in sacrifice to the mad ambition of princes ! It is computed that Julius Cæsar caused the loss of between two and three millions of lives. But why select individuals ? When has not power made this globe of earth its football, and crushed its inhabitants like insects? What stream of note has not the blood of our own countrymen swelled and stained, or what soil have not their bodies fertilized ? How does the imperfection of society, such imperfection as Christianity must remedy, appear in the record of its greatest benefactors, to whom posthumous veneration has but too often been a poor atonement for persecution through life, and, in many cases, ignominious death! We might easily adduce a sickening list of martyrs to their own benevolence and the general good. How wretched, in most states, is the condition of the lowest classes ! And what can be expected from them but vice? The Inquisition yet blots out by penalties the light of intellect; and many a state-religion is the frowning barrier to protect a moral wilderness, which pure Christianity would soon cause to “ rejoice and blossom as the rose,” in all the loveliness of knowledge, peace, and virtue.

And what claim has all this to eternity ? Or what is here that has not sometimes yielded to a feebler engine than Christianity? Patriotism

has destroyed abused paper, and made authority but the minister of God for good ; why should not Christianity? Time and knowledge and commerce have worn out feudal rights and vassalage, and mitigated the evils of disparity of station ; and why should they defy Christianity? The laws of Lycurgus for ages destroyed the insufferable mischiefs entailed by enormous inequalities of property; have the precepts of Jesus less energy? Policy and passion have levelled institutions with the dust, and trampled on antiquity and prejudice; a corrupted gospel silenced the oracles of the heathen deities, and changed their temples into churches; and what establishments shall resist reviving truth? (*) **

The direct operation of pure Christianity on societies is yet untried. As it became general, in the Roman empire, it also became corrupted, and had no longer the same heavenly controul over individuals. But we do know that every fiercest and strongest passion has bowed before it; and every corrupt desire and natural weakness vanished. Scarcely can mightier antagonists be found than those already vanquished. And improvement is essentially progressive. Its course is accelerated. “ Such has it hitherto been, and such the nature of things assure us it must continue to be. Like a river, into which, as it flows, new currents are continually discharging themselves, it must increase, till it becomes a wide

spreading stream, fertilizing and enriching all countries.”

The great difficulty which modern speculation opposes, as insuperable, to this prospect, is derived from the principle of population. We have seen the fallacy of this as an apology for wars : por is it really more formidable as levelled against human improvement. Wallace (who first advanced the argument since adopted by Malthus to combạt the theories of the author of Political Justice) supposes that the establishment of an universal, perfect government, would be succeeded by such an increase of the human species above the supply of food, as to revive vice, misery, and contention, for their destruction. This danger is very remote, and equally unreal. For the supposition is of a state of society full of wisdom and benevolence while the danger implies a total want of prudent foresight and virtuous resolution, which, by timely exercise, would be amply sufficient to bar its arrival. The real mischief is, as Malthus states, not in the future, but the present, ' What he calls the evil of a redundant population is felt, in most countries--and why? Not because the earth is fully cultivated; not because almost every country might not maintain five times the number of its present inhabitants; but because arbitrary institutions interpose between man and the soil. They prevent the increase of subsistence, in order to preserve luxury, de

pendence, and a thousand other evils. Let these give way, as they must, and the apprehended disorder of redundant population is postponed to an immeasurable distance, and vanishes into thin air. (3)

The fact is, that, if unshackled by arbitrary restrictions, population will always command and produce subsistence, until the productiveness of the earth be exhausted. So far from belonging to the most formidable sources of evil, history shews that increase of numbers belongs to the principles of improvement, and has generally been found in those times and places where the most rapid and brilliant advances have been made in science and the arts, and general knowledge. Of this the Grecian republics, the Italian states of the middle ages, the Protestant countries of Europe since the Reformation, and America, are instances. That temporary evil may attend its operation, especially in an early stage, is a circumstance common to all the progressive principles. “Nations," observés a philosophical writer on the progress of society, as they advance in numbers and wealth, are commonly found to become more dissolute and immoral. Now, generally speaking, in consequence of principles deeply implanted in human nature, an increase in these particulars is continually taking place, For some time, therefore, there is, as it were, a continual progress downwards, a perpetual multiplication of vices' and disorders. And this effect would be still more evident, were it not for the influence of certain restraints, which are seasonably brought into action. After a certain period, however, new principles operate. From amid this chaos, order begins to arise; a gradual refinement takes place; arts, sciences, and philosophy, rear their head; which, though in their imperfect and crescent state they may tend rather to increase the disorder, yet when improved and perfected, seem destined to raise the human race to a condition much superior to that rude simplicity from which they had emerged. This improvement springs up, as it were, in the bosom of the preceding corruption, and for a long time co-exists along with it. At first almost insensible, it prevails more and more, till there seems reason to hope that it may at last attain a very considerable ascendancy.” (*2)

This process is analogous to what has happened, under the direction of Providence, with the mightiest cause of human improvement, revealed religion. It has been justly observed, that in every state of it, Patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian, there has been, first of all, the institution, then the corruptions, and, lastly, the reformation; and that, “ in each thorough reformation of religion, there is something raised above the primitive standard in the minds of its recipients; that men are generally prepared to

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