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almost as great nonsense as Mr. Sadler is in the habit of putting into his books at sixty.
Mr. Sadler complains that we have devoted whole pages to mere abuse of him. We deny the charge. We have, indeed, characterised, in terms of just reprehension, that spirit which shows itself in every part of his prolix work. Those terms of reprehension we are by no means inclined to retract; and we conceive that we might have used much stronger expressions, without the least offence either to truth or to decorum. There is a limit prescribed to us by our sense of what is due to ourselves. But we think that no indulgence is due to Mr. Sadler. A writer who distinctly announces that he has not conformed to the candour of the age who makes it his boast that he expresses himself throughout with the greatest plainness and freedom-and whose constant practice proves that by plainness and freedom he means coarseness and rancour no right to expect that others shall remember courtesies which he has forgotten, or shall respect one who has ceased to respect himself.
Mr. Sadler declares that he has never vilified Mr. Malthus personally, and has confined himself to attacking the doctrines which that gentleman maintains. We should wish to leave that point to the decision of all who have read Mr. Sadler's book, or any twenty pages of it. To quote particular instances of a temper which penetrates and inspires the whole work, is to weaken our charge. Yet, that we may not be suspected of flinching, we will give two specimens, the two first which occur to our recollection. "Whose minister is it that speaks thus?" says Mr. Sadler, after misrepresenting in a most extraordinary manner, though, we are willing to believe, unintentionally, one of the posi
tions of Mr. Malthus. "Whose minister is it that speaks thus? That of the lover and avenger of little children?" Again, Mr. Malthus recommends, erroneously perhaps, but assuredly from humane motives, that alms, when given, should be given very sparingly. Mr. Sadler quotes the recommendation, and adds the following courteous comment: "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." We cannot think that a writer who indulges in these indecent and unjust attacks on professional and personal character has any right to complain of our sarcasms on his metaphors and rhymes.
We will now proceed to examine the reply which Mr. Sadler has thought fit to make to our arguments. He begins by attacking our remarks on the origin of evil. They are, says he, too profound for common apprehension; and he hopes that they are too profound for our own. That they seem profound to him we can well believe. Profundity, in its secondary as in its primary sense, is a relative term. When Grildrig was nearly drowned in the Brobdignagian cream-jug he doubtless thought it very deep. But to common apprehension our reasoning would, we are persuaded, appear perfectly simple.
The theory of Mr. Malthus, says Mr. Sadler, cannot be true, because it asserts the existence of a great and terrible evil, and is therefore inconsistent with the goodness of God. We answer thus. We know that there are in the world great and terrible evils. In spite of these evils, we believe in the goodness of God. Why may we not then continue to believe in his goodness, though another evil should be added to the list?
How does Mr. Sadler answer this? Merely by tell
ing us that we are too wicked to be reasoned with. He completely shrinks from the question; a question, be it remembered, not raised by us a question which we should have felt strong objections to raising unnecessarily -a question put forward by himself, as intimately connected with the subject of his two ponderous volumes. He attempts to carp at detached parts of our reasoning on the subject. With what success he carries on this guerilla war after declining a general action with the main body of our argument our readers shall see.
"The reviewer sends me to Paley, who is, I confess, rather more intelligible on the subject, and who, fortunately, has decided the very point in dispute. I will first give the words of the reviewer, who, when speaking of my general argument regarding the magnitude of the evils, moral and physical, implied in the theory I oppose, sums up his ideas thus:-'Mr. Sadler says, that it is not a ligh, or transient evil, but a great and permanent evil. What then? The question of the origin of evil is a question of ay or no, not a question of MORE or LESS.' But what says Paley? His express rule is this, that when we cannot resolve all appearances into benevolence of design, we make the FEW give place to the MANY, the LITTLE to the GREAT; that we take our judgment from a large and decided preponderancy. Now in weighing these two authorities, directly at issue on this point, I think there will be little trouble in determining which we shall make to give place;' or, if we look to a large and decided preponderancy' of either talent, learning, or benevolence, from whom we shall take our judgment.' The effrontery, or, to speak more charitably, the ignorance of a reference to Paley on this subject, and in this instance is really marvellous."
Now, does not Mr. Sadler see that the very words which he quotes from Paley contain in themselves a refutation of his whole argument? Paley says, indeed, as every man in his senses would say, that in a certain case, which he has specified, the more and the less
come into question. But in what case? cannot resolve all appearances into the benevolence of design." It is better that there should be a little evil than a great deal of evil. This is self-evident. But it is also self-evident that no evil is better than a little evil. Why, then, is there any evil? It is a mystery which we cannot solve. It is a mystery which Paley, by the very words which Mr. Sadler has quoted, acknowledges himself unable to solve; and it is because he cannot solve that mystery that he proceeds to take into consideration the more and the less. Believing in the divine goodness, we must necessarily believe that the evils which exist are necessary to avert greater evils. But what those greater evils are we do not know. How the happiness of any part of the sentient creation would be in any respect diminished if, for example, children cut their teeth without pain, we cannot understand. The case is exactly the same with the principle of Mr. Malthus. If superfecundity exists, it exists, no doubt, because it is a less evil than some. other evil which otherwise would exist. Can Mr. Sadler prove that this is an impossibility?
One single expression which Mr. Sadler employs on this subject is sufficient to show how utterly incompetent he is to discuss it. “On the Christian hypothesis," says he, "no doubt exists as to the origin of evil." He does not, we think, understand what is meant by the origin of evil. The Christian Scriptures profess to give no solution of that mystery. They relate facts; but they leave the metaphysical question undetermined. They tell us that man fell; but why he was not so constituted as to be incapable of falling, or why the Supreme Being has not mitigated the consequences of the Fall more than they actually have been mitigated, the
Scriptures did not tell us, and, it may without presumption be said, could not tell us, unless we had been creatures different from what we are. There is something, either in the nature of our faculties or in the nature of the machinery employed by us for the purpose of reasoning, which condemns us, on this and similar subjects, to hopeless ignorance. Man can understand these high matters only by ceasing to be man, just as a fly can understand a lemma of Newton only by ceasing to be a fly. To make it an objection to the Christian system that it gives us no solution of these difficulties, is to make it an objection to the Christian system that it is a system formed for human beings. Of the puzzles of the Academy, there is not one which does not apply as strongly to Deism as to Christianity, and to Atheism as to Deism. There are difficulties in everything. Yet we are sure that something must be
If revelation speaks on the subject of the origin of evil it speaks only to discourage dogmatism and temerity. In the most ancient, the most beautiful, and the most profound of all works on the subject, the Book of Job, both the sufferer who complains of the divine government, and the injudicious advisers who attempt to defend it on wrong principles, are silenced by the voice of supreme wisdom, and reminded that the question is beyond the reach of the human intellect. St. Paul silences the supposed objector, who strives to force him into controversy, in the same manner. The church has been, ever since the apostolic times, agitated by this question, and by a question which is inseparable from it, the question of fate and free-will. The greatest theologians and philosophers have acknowledged that these things were too high for them, and have con