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want most of all to be fed. They want, precisely as the prosperous want, that life which is more than meat, — the sense of capacity, of joy, of hope; and of all the sources of their degradation the most perilous is the loss of their courage and faith. “The highest ambition of the beneficent,” said Mr. Spencer, unconscious perhaps that he was reiterating the teaching of Jesus, "will be to have a share-even though an utterly unappreciable and unknown share — in the making of man."1
How is it then, one may finally ask, that this quality of power is communicated ? It is communicated, answers the teaching of Jesus, not chiefly by legislation or by organization, but by contagion. It is not a mechanical, but a vital, force. The power of Jesus and his disciples to be obeyed when they say, “Rise, stand upright, walk,” proceeds from the contagious quality of the good life. And why is our poor-relief, even when conscientious and scientific, so often without this communicative power? It is because we are not, as a rule, good enough to do much good. A stream cannot satisfy thirst if its springs are dry. The best intention to lift the poor must fail if there is no lifting power to apply. The poor can not be pushed up, they must be drawn up. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth," said the Master, “will draw all men unto myself.”2 The lifting force of social life is not compulsion, but, like that of the planetary world, attraction. “If I bestow
1“ Principles of Ethics,” II, 433. 2 John xii. 32.
all my goods,” says the apostle, “ to feed the poor, ... but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Indeed, the goods thus bestowed are likely to be so foolishly bestowed as to profit the poor also nothing. In short, the problem of being good and that of doing good are not two problems, but one; and many a disheartening experiment in well-intentioned charity forces a community or an individual to a reëxamination of their own hearts.
What, then, is Christian charity? It is certainly not that haphazard and ostentatious giving which is seen of men and has its own reward of praise and self-esteem; nor is it a prodigal giving for distant needs, atoning for neglect in one's own immediate cares; nor is it emotional compassion posing as more pious than intelligent method. Christian charity is, first of all, rational, prudent and wise. It surveys its problem from above, with detachment, perspective and horizon. It begins with its nearest duties of business and of home. It satisfies itself, not by offering temporary relief, but by the permanent elevation of the level of desires. It is educative, disciplinary, comprehensive, just. Christian charity, therefore, deals primarily with the individual. It may employ large methods, but it is not lost in them. It seeks the one sheep that is lost. Its aim is not the perfecting of a system, but the saving of a soul. It looks behind conditions for the person
11 Cor. xiii. 3.
who is ensnared in them. It expects, not to make the world soft, but to make characters strong enough to live in a hard world. It judges all undertakings of poor-relief by their contribution to virility, initiative, and self-help. Its care is devoted, not to providing crutches for the weak, but to providing ways in which the weak shall be able to obey the command, “Rise up, stand upon thy feet, walk.” Finally, Christian charity finds its instrument for this educative and permanent relief in the communicative power of Christian personality. “Only he who has," said Emerson, “can give, he on whom the Soul descends alone can speak.” The complex mechanism of modern charity is but a medium through which works with security and effectiveness the power of a good life. The mechanism of charity is economic; its motive power is spiritual. The science of charity is a work of organization, the sentiment of charity is a work of contagion. The first step toward doing good is in being good. The elevation of the poor is retarded by many faults of social mechanism, but it is much more retarded by ignorance, impatience, self-regard and injustice, in those who help the poor and one of the keenest joys of human life is felt by those who, dismissing great schemes of social improvement, give themselves to the patient service of a few discouraged lives, and discover that power may be communicated to those lives and may lift them into self-respect and hope.// To these
self-effacing servants of the common good Jesus spoke his most unmeasured praise: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world : Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.” 1
1 Matt. xxv. 34, 40.
THE TEACHING OF JESUS CONCERNING THE INDUS.
The Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister.
In all that has been thus far said of various social questions there has been a sense of incom. pleteness and fragmentariness, as though in each case we were dealing with one aspect of a more inclusive problem. The problem of the family expanded as it was considered, until it was seen to involve further issues of economic and social life; the problems of wealth and of poverty opened into larger questions of ownership and occupation, of work and idleness, of the distribution of products and the utilization of leisure. Wealth, we observed, should contribute, first of all, to economic justice; charity must provide, first of all, for economic self-help. Round these inner circles of social relationship which hold the family and the community sweeps the larger circle of the industrial order. If we extend the radius of the family circle, we enter the sphere where men meet as employers and employed. If we follow the circumstances of wealth and poverty out to their margin, we pass into consideration of the use, or the misuse, or the incapacity to make