"In the second edition, he made clear what was only implicit in the first, that prudential restraint should, if humanly possible, be 'moral restraint'—that is, delayed marriage accompanied by strictly moral pre-marital behaviour, although he admitted that moral restraint would not be easy and that there would be occasional failures. Whereas in the first edition he had said that all the checks to population would involve either misery or vice, in the second edition he attempted to lighten this 'melancholy hue'.
In the concluding two chapters of the first edition of the Essay Malthus had argued that the pressure of population on the food supply was providentially ordained by God as a stimulus to human development ('the growth of mind') and was consistent with the notion of divine benevolence. These two chapters, which also contained some radical opinions on other theological questions, were omitted from the second and later editions of the Essay" (ODNB).
See lots 857-858 for later editions of Malthus.
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