« PreviousContinue »
THE NEW PHILANTHROPY.
“Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up; and he arose.” — St. MARK ix. 27.
THERE he lay upon the ground, the victim of the devil. What could be done with him 2 All remedies had failed. The physicians had prescribed for him; the apostles had prayed for him, - but to no purpose. Then came the Master, holding out his friendly hand; and he arOSe.
It is a parable touching our own problems. What to do with the man who is down — who can tell us? We stand about, as they stood that morning at the foot of the Transfiguration Hill, curious, sympathetic, desirous to help : some with theories, some with medicines, some with prayers. In the midst is the possessed of the devil. And the devil continues to possess him. What shall we do? We must give him our fraternal hand.
The new philanthropy is older than the
church. It began with the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. All that is new about it is the application of his teaching and example to our present needs. It is not easy to practise, but the preaching of it is simple enough. One does not need to be deeply versed in political economy to be able to understand it. Friendship is the heart of it. The symbol is the extended hand. One characteristic of the new philanthropy is the definition which it gives to the word “betterment.” For a long time the concern of the church in the progress of mankind was thought to be only with the soul. It was of great interest to the church that men should be helped spiritually. They must be converted ; they must be led to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to confess that faith openly before men; they must be drawn into the allegiance of the church ; they must be taught to pray; their feet must be set in the road that leads to heaven. It was forgotten that man is not all soul. The consequence was that a false distinction was set up between the sacred and the secular. The church set much more emphasis upon the behavior of men on Sunday than upon their