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care which must be maintained, in the treatment of such a mind. That which is offered as a substitute for alms, and which is to be appropriated to the uses to which alms are appropriated, however it may be disguised, if accepted, may lead to dependence upon alms. In the application of this, as of every other principle, precise directions cannot be given. No two characters, or cases, are precisely alike. Much must necessarily be left to the judgment of the almoner. But he is not fitted to be an almoner, who does not understand and feel, that sincere respect, sympathy and interest, will do more to improve the whole condition of the poor, than any alms which we can give them. These sentiments, and a correspondent deportment towards the poor, will save from pauperism, where the want of them will lead to, and inevitably do much to occasion, pauperism. There is no doubt that, a very great extent of the existing pauperism of the world is to be ascribed to the fact, that respect and sympathy are given, to so great an extent, to condition rather than to character. Multitudes, therefore, who feel that they cannot hope essentially to rise in condition, become reckless in regard to character. Let us do what we can for the correction of this evil. And above all, let us take heed that our alms shall not be means of undermining one right principle in the mind, or of enfeebling one of its well-directed energies.
It is most grateful to a benevolent heart to recognise virtue, - the triumph of principle, in any of the struggles of suffering humanity, and to honor the principles and efforts of virtue wherever we may see them. And we ought to honor them in the poor and the poorest, equally as in the rich and the richest. But how are we to honor them ? How are we to honor the single-minded, unobtrusive, but determined spirit of a poor man or woman, or of a poor family, who reject the proffer of alms, resolving at the cost of great labor, and of great self-denials, to look only to God and their own efforts for support? Would you honor this virtue by rewarding it with money ? Let us ever take care how we expose the energies of this spirit even to the enfeebling influence of praise. The poor may be, and often are, injured by flattery, not less than the rich. The virtue which demands praise, — we mean not approbation, but commendation, — for its support, either in the rich or the poor, has but little root, and but a feeble hold upon the soul ; and no strong appliances will be required to level it with the dust. There is a respect, an honor to be paid by men one to another, and by the rich to the poor, which is of infinitely higher worth than either praise, or money. Would that we knew how to give a strong impression to this greatly important truth! We refer to the respect, the honor, which recognises in virtue, in fidelity to the sense of right and duty, not the means of obtaining good and happiness, but actually the greatest good and happiness to be obtained by man ; the richest treasure of the human soul; the good compared with which all outward treasures and honors are as nothing. He that is willing to take a reward for having done right, - for having done his simple duty, shows by that very fact that he is poor in virtue. Place him in a palace, surround him all that is sumptuous, and give him the control of all the gold which is upon, or within the earth, and he would still, in the highest sense of the terms, be a poor man. And if you shall persuade one, who, under a strong sense of duty is struggling for personal independence, or for independence of alms, to receive a reward for his denials and struggles, we shall have bribed him to unfaithfulness to his own soul. And having taken one bribe, he will take another, till the
whole remaining stock of his virtue may be bought for a mess of pottage.
Another principle, not less essential than either of which we have spoken is, that where there are relatives of the poor who are able to provide for them, there should be no interference of alms with the duties of such relatives. If the alms are evil, - worse than thrown away, — which operate as substitutes for industry and economy, in a still higher sense are they evil, because conducing to greater sin, where they interfere with, and supersede the demand for, the affections and duties which belong to the near relations in which God places us in this world. It is God's will that, as far as they can, parents shall provide for their children. It is equally his will, if parents fall into a condition of dependence, and there are children who are able, even at the cost of much labor and self-denial, to take charge of them, that parents in these cases shall be supported by their children. Law and right, indeed, require this support from more distant relatives of the impotent poor. Law, however, independent of a higher principle, can do little in this cause. The duty is one of high moral character, and as such is to be early, and universally inculcated. So it has been inculcated in Scotland ; and the consequence is, that, where there are no Poor Laws, and no parish assessments in that country, the care of the poor for their own poor relatives goes far to supersede the necessity of any other provision for them. And not only do legal, and other artificial provisions for the poor, greatly check and restrain the natural sympathies of relatives with each other's necessities. They also paralyze public sentiment upon the subject of duty in the case; and induce a tacit approval of turning over poor relatives upon public charity, even where it ought to cover the individuals who are guilty
of it with shame and disgrace. We are living under the influence of these artificial provisions, and are suffering from their injurious effects. Let us do as little as we may to produce, or to perpetuate such effects. Let us do all that we may to obviate them ; to call up and strengthen the affections by which relatives should be bound to each other, and to show our respect for those who are faithful to the offices of kindred and of neighborhood. Here, as in cases to which we have before adverted, a judicious respect, and a kindly word of encouragement, are a far better tribute than would be the most abundant alms.
And, once more, – as not only a large part of the dependence upon alms among us, even among the virtuous poor, but nearly all our pauperism, or abject poverty, is either immediately, or remotely to be ascribed to intemperance, the question arises, - and it is often one of the most difficult which we have to meet, -"what ought we to do?” or," what shall we do in the cases, in which, but for intemperance, there would be no call for alms ?”' This question is easily answered by those who have never been visiters of the poor. And as a general rule or principle, we readily admit, that alms should as far as possible be withheld from the intemperate. We go further. We say they should not be given to the drunkard. But the wife and children of the drunkard, or of the intemperate man who is not recognised as a drunkard, may be without food, without fuel, without comfortable clothing, and wholly innocent in respect to the causes of their destitution. How far, in these cases, should we extend, or withhold our alms? Or, it may be, the wife is as intemper. ate as her husband. Yet here are children to be sheltered, and clothed, and warmed, and fed. Is it said that our very alms will be appropriated to the rearing of these children in intemperance ? To some extent they probably will be. Yet there may be actual and pressing want of the absolute necessaries of life. Let him who thinks it easy always to act wisely in reference to these classes of applications become a visiter of the poor, and give us the light of his counsel and example. Most of us, we believe, have often been much perplexed upon the question of duty in these circumstances. We would repeat, however, that to the intemperate, whether man or woman, money should never be given. Nay, more. Even relief in kind should never be given to the families of the intemperate, beyond the demands of unquestionable necessity. We would inflict upon them no suffering. We would most gratefully be instruments of their rescue from all suffering. But any alms we can bestow will but carry them on in their misery. Nay, through our own very alms may an intemperate husband and father feel himself relieved from the necessity, and perhaps from the obligation, of providing for his wife and children. These are cases in which law might do far more than it has ever done for the suppression of pauperism. But while it licenses the dram-shop, and interferes not with the drunkard, to whatever extent of wretchedness he may bring his family, while yet he commits no outrage against the public peace, we must do what we can that our alms may not minister to the drunkard's recklessness. Let us seek by all the means of which we can avail ourselves, to recover him from his ruin. Above all, let us never lose our interest in his children. Let us do all that we may for their salvation.
We cannot close our Report, without a distinct expression of the strong interest with which we regard the accession to our Association of the delegations from our Infant School Societies, and from the Societies for the Employment of the Female Poor. The objects of these Societies are, to an important extent, precisely those of