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each charity worker on one further principle, which gives to all such service its inspiration and strength. It is the faith that the up-draught thus quickened is a natural process, moving in the direction of the law of God. It is the faith, that is to say, in the improvability of man and the natural tendency of human life, as of a flame, to rise. There is quite enough in every age that tempts. people to despair of the movements of things in their community, their country, their time. There is quite enough in human nature to have encouraged the theological dogma of the inherent depravity and downward pull of the heart of man. Yet no man or woman can do wise social service who is dominated by a creed of distrust. One must, first of all, be sure that the lift of life is not against nature, but that, in every opening of the way up, one is simply a laborer together with the purposes of God. One must approach the unfortunate or degraded, not in order to redeem them against their will, but in order to reach that half-unconscious will which lies within their stifling circumstances, and to wake it to its vitality and power. How mightily this faith in the latent good wrought its miracles once in Palestine ! He who knew what was in man passed through the throng about him, and discerned in people a capacity for the higher life, of which they themselves had never dreamed. He looks straight through the armor of the Roman captain, and says, "I have not found so much faith, no, not in Israel"; and the soldier, who had never suspected he was a man of faith, responds to the call which he had never meant to hear. Jesus looks, again, through the sin of the fallen woman, and says, “Thy faith_hath saved thee"; and the woman, who believed herself to be on the way down, feels from that hour the up-draught of the Spirit. The very disciples of Jesus look on the man who believes himself hopelessly crippled and weak, and say to him, "Rise up, and walk”; and the will of the lame man answers to the faith of Peter, and he leaps up, and enters with them by the Beautiful Gate. That is the faith which still saves the world, saving both those who work for others and those for whom they work,— the personal faith in the latent good, the assurance that a better world is intended by a living God, and that each least contribution to that better world is in line with the order of the universe. 'Man," said the despondent Job, "is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward." Let us find in the flame a nobler teaching. Man is born to aspire
and mount and hope, as the sparks fly upward. Each slightest flame contributes to the up-draught of life. Each spark of service lights the larger fire, until at last, when many a spark flies upward, as sparks were meant to fly, the disheartened word of Job is supplanted by the greater word of the Christian apostle: "He maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire.”
PRACTICAL CHARITY AND JEWISH METHODS.
ABSTRACT OF PAPER BY LOUIS SELLING,
DIRECTOR HEBREW RELIEF SOCIETY, DETROIT, MICH.
The subject which I wish to discuss is twofold:
First, how to prevent the need of charity; and, second, how to diminish the causes which augment the number of those who ask it. My experience has been that two causes are paramount in bringing about poverty. If we can wipe out these two causes, it will diminish poverty. To give a proof for the above statement, let us compare the Jewish people in this country, those born in countries where the government does not foster liberal education, and those born in countries where education is universal and compulsory by law. The former countries furnish 85 per cent. of the unfortunates upon our lists, while the latter furnish but 15 per cent. The statistics of every Jewish, as well as Christian, relief society will show a like condition.
In order to diminish the number in the future of those seeking charity, we compel, under our rules, every child of school age to attend the public schools before we allow their families any assistance from our charity funds; and experience has taught us that this element is growing up to be a better class of men and citizens.
Were these despotic countries to-day to stop sending in their paupers and ignorant people, we could dissolve our charity organizations inside of ten years. Our aim should not be so much how to administer charity as to make charity more and more unnecessary. In Detroit, when application for relief is made, a committee of two
is appointed to immediately visit the family in distress and, in case it deems necessary, to at once furnish money or groceries to a limited amount, and then report the case at the next regular meeting for disposition. This committee is also empowered to see that those in want are not imposed upon by cruel and heartless landlords. Usually, the committee manages to have exorbitant rents reduced; and, in consideration of the owners' putting the rooms and habitation in a clean and healthy condition, the organization promises to pay the rent monthly. As a rule, there is a reduction of at least 25 per cent. in the rent charged these poor tenants.
We also discourage sending our poor to some other community ; and, at the same time, we object to other cities sending their poor to
Some charity organizations think they perform a shrewd action by sending their poor to other cities. "Let each city take care of its own poor,” is our maxim; and we can then distinguish the worthy from the unworthy, we shall not so easily be imposed upon, and charity will be dispensed where charity does the most good.
The second cause which aggravates and promotes poverty is intemperance. While the Jew is not, as a rule, subject to that deplorable vice, nevertheless we suffer through its curse likewise. decrease drunkenness, there is one avenue still open. A great many methods have been tried and tested, but one in particular I wish to recommend; and that is to inculcate the principle in operation in Germany,—to stop the treating system. This liberal system of treating one another produces in the young man the thirst for intoxicants,-- a habit which in later years he cannot easily shake off. In Germany, where it is not customary for a man to propose to pay for a drink for another, one will see a small number of drunkards. If we, in our country, should adopt this same rule, and then enforce it by law, drunkenness would gradually diminish, and at the same rate misery, poverty, and want would disappear.
The Massachusetts statistics of labor show that, of 3,230 cases of poverty or pauperism investigated, nearly one-half of them are traceable to the use, or rather the abuse, of liquor. We must therefore conclude that, if we root out intemperance, pauperism will decrease. True, there are other causes for poverty, such as evil society and unhappy surroundings; but remove the first two causes, ignorance and intemperance, and you will greatly diminish the number of paupers.
THE CHURCH'S DUTY TO THE POOR.
EXTRACTS FROM PAPER BY H. B. SMALL, OF THE TORONTO
The gulf between rich and poor, which modern society unfortunately seems to widen, can be bridged only by the personal sacrifice of individuals in performing personal service to fellow-creatures. this connection I would say, with all due respect for the clergy, that a lay visitor can more readily gain the confidence of the poor than a clerical visitor. I look upon the lay visitor as the church's right hand in cases of distress, and such a medium can thus perhaps best suggest to the church itself how relief can properly be afforded.
The first thing to be guarded against is not to pauperize the poor. If once the recipient gets the idea that he is an object of charity, and as such has to be supported by alms, he loses his selfrespect, his self-dependence, and becomes in every sense a pauper; and, when such self-respect is once lost, it rarely is recovered. The main object to be impressed is that aid is simply offered as a means of temporary relief, just as one friend would help another in daily life, when so required, and that the church fund for relief is mainly with that object in view.
Fortunately, in Canada, with, I think, the exception of Halifax, we have no poorhouse system, neither have we, as our American neighbors have, poor-masters. On the other hand, this country has not yet the class representing what is known in England as the squire of the parish, whose household feeds many hungry mouths; but we have many well-disposed, benevolent citizens, ready to relieve urgent cases of distress which can be vouched for by a responsible party. Relief of this nature, however, is outside the pale of the church; but, when the church is cognizant of it, the fact partially relieves the church funds.
Granted that the church's duty to the poor is to relieve distress, the question comes how this can best be done. An employment bureau might be formed in connection with every church which has any poor attached to it, and it would not fail to work well in the long run for the object in view.
In medieval times, when the religious orders represented only
one church, charity was an easy matter to dispense; but, when that church became split into the various factions and the numberless divisions of to-day, its power in this respect ceased, and the work then fell into municipal channels. The city has become the executor of the church for three-fourths of the work which the church was instituted to accomplish, and what was heretofore regarded as distinctly Christian work is often handed over to men who have not the slightest trace of Christian principle. The moral influence of the church is withdrawn; and the care of the poor, together with finding employment for them, a duty formerly discharged by the church,—is handed over to bodies over which it has no influence. For the partial employment of women who can sew, I would venture to suggest, though I shall probably by so doing draw down on myself the wrath of the ladies, that in the sewing circles of the various churches the church women who from time to time meet for the making up of garments should not themselves do the work, but should engage the services of poor and unemployed seamstresses under their own personal observation. Neither should any of the sewing circles,' as I understand has been done, take in for the purpose of swelling their funds work which properly belongs to seamstresses depending on the needle for a living, the funds in the cases not infrequently being given to church purposes other than the poor fund. Let the church women take as many orders as they can get, but give the work itself to those in need of it, and so assist the employment movement.