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written receipt on its delivery, and a prompt after account of its administration and use, will yet toss a dollar to a stranger, whose very appearance stamps him as a fraud, without a question or perhaps even a thought.

The motive is doubtless mixed. Some do it to save time; some, from pride, fearing a refusal will cause others to doubt their generosity. A few do it from a genuine desire to help; but the larger number, I fear, do it that their own hearts may fill with gratitude to themselves as unselfish philanthropists. The public, however, considers them mere peacock philanthropists, ornamental, but useless.

There is no charity in a gift which is not accompanied by the genuine and continuous interest of the benefactor in the beneficiary, and an intelligent desire to permanently improve his lot. "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing," said Paul. Charity and alms were not then synonymous. Alms minister to the needs of the body, charity to the soul. The former you can send, the latter you must take. will make you the victim, and the other the friend of the poor.





The personal responsibility for the effect of acts of intended charity is rarely considered. A young man calls at your door, asking for alms. It is his first appeal. He knows he is doing wrong. .He feels guilty and ashamed. But you are an easy mark. give him "relief,"— perhaps only a meal of cold victuals. have boasted that you never let any one leave your door hungry. He is emboldened by his easy success. He reflects how much easier it was to beg that meal than to earn it. At the next place his story is smoother, his lie more plausible. This time he wants money to take his poor old mother to the hospital for an operation necessary to save her life, or some other equally touching appeal. He gets it, of course. His inherited moral restraints are giving way under the pressure of the temptation carelessly afforded him by your money. He takes to drink, and everything else bad follows. As his appetites increase, his demand for money with which to gratify them becomes more imperative. He steals. Slyly at first,

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only a sneak thief. But on he goes, encouraged at every step by society in the name of charity. He is now desperate. He realizes himself a criminal, suspected, watched, hunted. Society he considers his enemy, his prey. Appetite is now complete master. He meets a prominent citizen in the shadows at night. Weapon in hand, he demands his money. He has no desire to injure him. is only money that he wants. But in the struggle which follows he shoots, and kills; and he is a fugitive and a murderer! This is a social evolution, the pure boy, the incipient pauper, the tramp, the criminal. At the threshold of his downward career, if you had told him that he was making a mistake, and given him a chance to earn what you gave him, or perhaps if you had only had the courage to say "No" to his appeal, it might have turned him into a life of self-support, independence, and usefulness.

The law holds us morally and legally responsible for the natural and even remote consequences of our every act. As the report follows the discharge of a gun, just so surely will bad results of greater or less degree follow indiscriminate and careless alms. Awful, then, is our responsibility, when we trifle with human life and human happiness to practise "charity."

Instead of finding employment for the poor woman who begs for temporary help, you give her alms. It is easier, and perhaps cheaper. But you have poisoned her soul. Her children are now taught lies by their mother, and sent out under fictitious names to forage on the public. You have converted that once happy though poor home into a nest of paupers, breeding like vipers, and multiplying their accursed species. You set in motion the original cause. which produced this ultimate and inevitable effect. But you plead that the applicant was a cripple, was blind, or had but one leg or one arm. This does not alter the case or change the responsibility. No human being should be allowed to deliberately and publicly use his festering sores or maimed condition as capital stock to excite human sympathy and extort alms as dividends. If in such a physical condition as to be helpless, a public or private institution should always be open to him, and afford a better home than the public


Recently at Grand Rapids, Mich., our Charity Organization Society found a young man begging for money to buy an artificial leg. The society raised the money, and bought it for him; but he left the


leg at his lodging-house, and kept right on begging for money for the same purpose. Now that young man did not want an artificial leg; but he did want, and will always want, the money with which to buy In fact, I am persuaded that, with his present knowledge of the value of but one leg for permanent income purposes, if he were to have the misfortune of possessing two sound legs, he would resort to amputation, and thus insure to himself permanent exemption from work, and a life annuity from the sentimental charitable public.


To the mal-administration of public, private, and personal charity can be traced the origin of very many of the vast army of tramps now devastating this continent, like a swarm of locusts, consuming the benevolence of the people and spreading the dread infection of pauperism and crime. Wrong environment has created more tramps. than heredity; but both are prolific incubators, damning humanity with their products. This environment is frequently created by the good intentions of misguided charity; but it is no less injurious for that reason.

The almost universal policy of making footballs of tramps, continually driving them from town to town merely as a matter of fiscal economy, has become an expedient alike expensive, cruel, and dangerous. There is no other spring of crime equal to this in volume. Its extended contiuance will be a menace to property, to life, and to the very existence of our social institutions, breeding first discontent, then revolution, then anarchy.

The desire for alms is a contagious disease, dangerously epidemic. Let a delivery wagon of some public or private charity stop at a house on a street inhabited by the very poor, and instantaneously the entire neighborhood is tainted with pauperism; and the cry, "I am just as poor as they are," goes up from every adjacent habitation. A teacher in charge of a room with a hundred children in a school in one of the poorest wards of Grand Rapids, one morning, during the very hard times, discovered that a child had come to school without his breakfast, there being nothing at home to eat. She publicly and bountifully fed the child. The next morning she asked any children who had come to school without breakfast to rise. Nearly half the children got up, and fairly overwhelmed her with their importunities.

Begging from strangers is prima facie evidence of unworthiness. There are few exceptions to the rule that no alms should be given without investigation to strangers applying at the door. Such people should be fed, but only in return for work. Work is both a test of worthiness and a tonic which will stimulate the ambition and pride of poverty and misfortune, and set them on the highway to recovery.

Indiscriminate and foolish alms can only be stopped by the provision of central agencies, to which all applicants can be referred for investigation and relief through work.

We would not dam up with an ice gorge the flow of the holy charitable impulse. We would rather turn it into the channel of loving kindness, and keep it within its banks with dikes of wisdom and good judgment, that it may not overflow and lay waste those whom it sincerely desires to benefit.


Organization of charity, in its broad sense, includes the creation of conditions which obviate the need of charity. We must seek out and attack evils at their source. Underpaid labor is a cause equally vast and difficult of solution. The problem of industry is a basic one, affecting humanity at its most sensitive and vulnerable points. The decline of wages and of demand for labor can only be offset by shortening the hours of labor, that all may be allotted a share of the world's labor.

Our search-light is too dim to reveal the ultimate solution of this problem. We have an abiding faith that in the great plan, what ought to be ultimately will be, and that the moment invention completes a scheme for the abolition of the demand for all human labor it will also provide means by which we can live happily without eating.

In this day of small wages the poor must practise every economy, yet they do not know how. The waste in buying and in cooking is very great. Instruction of the people along these lines would have a direct effect upon poverty and pauperism, reducing both.

Sickness is frequently the passage-way from independence to poverty. Disease is usually the result of ignorance of nature's laws. It is a startling fact that nearly one-fourth of all the children born

alive die within the first year. It is a slaughter of the innocents, and ignorance is the executioner. Young parents know nothing of the proper care of children. They sacrifice their first-born to get the experience to care for the next, and its blood cries out to curse society for not removing this ignorance before placing the stamp of legal right upon the death-resulting union.

These direful results are most prevalent among the poor, who cannot afford a doctor every time baby complains. They wait until the symptoms are alarming, when it is usually too late. Public authority should prepare and circulate free to every home, and in every necessary language, a clear, plain treatise, showing just how to preserve and to recover health. It should explain in detail all ordinary symptoms and the best known remedies. This humanitarian action would soon cause a marked reduction in the death-rate, especially among children. If we can thus rescue human lives and prevent human suffering and degradation, what justification can we plead for its neglect?

Misfit marriages are another serious menace to the social wellbeing. Candidates for matrimony usually consider the condition of the heart only, or of the pocket-book. A person who could not successfully pass an examination for a life insurance policy has no right to marry, and society should not let him. Obviously, consumptives should not marry and multiply. There is no obstacle but their own good sense, which is always lacking. Should not applicants for the marriage license be required to make oath that their blood contains no pestilence which heredity will transmit?

Ignorance has many blighted children other than sickness. Parents seldom know how to properly govern their children. Sometimes they do not care; more often they are careless and thoughtless. A child habitually allowed to disobey the law of the household will be more likely to some time break the law of the land. Many children are not "brought up": they just "come up." They run at large on the streets. They fall in with evil companions, who easily nullify the weak home influences; and the saloon, the gambling house, the brothel, and the prison are the next rapid successive steps. Popular education is in itself inadequate to resist these evils. Is it not as important that the child be taught morality as trigonometry, syntax, or Greek?

The public schools must teach the children to be true men and

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