Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/714

This page needs to be proofread.

AND CHARITIES 213,140 sheep, and 78,690 pigs. Among the mineral In 1899 the wheat crop yielded the value of £1,462,120, and the cattle, produce of the vines exceeded £1,284,000. There is a consider- productions must be noted stone, clay, and sea-salt, the production able distillation of alcohol, amounting to 1,320,000 gallons in of which last, however, amounted in 1898 to only 8500 metric 1898. The live stock in 1899 included 38,090 horses, 155,580 tons.






no one needed it, charity—the charity of life and of deeds— THE word “ charity,” or love, represents the principle of that would remain. the good life. It stands for a mood or habit of mind The history of charity is a history of many social and and an endeavour. From it, as a habit of mind, springs religious theories, influences, and endeavours, that have the social and personal endeavour which in the widest sense we may call charity. The two correspond. Where left their mark alike upon the popular and the cultivated the habit of mind has not been gained, the endeavour thought of the present day. The inconsistencies of charitfluctuates and is relatively purposeless. In so far as it able effort and argument may thus in part be accounted has been gained, the endeavour is founded on an intelligent for. To understand the problem of charity we have therescrutiny, of social conditions and guided by a definite fore (1) to consider the stages of charitable thought—the purpose. In the one case it is realized that some social primitive, pagan, Greek and Roman, Jewish and Christian theory must be found by us, if our action is to be right elements, that make up the modern consciousness in regard and consistent; in the other case no need of such a theory to charity, and also the growth of the habit .of “ charity ” is felt. This article is based on the assumption that there as representing a gradually educated social instinct. (2) are principles in charity or charitable work, and that these We have also to consider in their relation to charity the can be ascertained by a study of the development of social results of recent investigations of the conditions of social conditions and their relation to prevalent social aims and life. (3) At each stage we have to note the. corresponding religious or philosophic conceptions. It is assumed also stage of practical administration in public relief and private that the charity of the religious life, if rightly understood, effort—for the division between public or “poor-law” relief and charity which now prevails in England is, comcannot be inconsistent with that of the social life. Perhaps some closer definition of charity is necessary. The paratively speaking, a novelty, and, generally speaking, the words that signify goodwill towards the community and its work of charity can hardly be appreciated or understood members are primarily words expressive of the affections of family if it be considered without reference to public relief. (4) life in the relations existing between parents, and between parent As to the present day, we have to consider practical and child. As will be seen, the analogies underlying such phrases suggestions in regard to such subjects as charity, and as “God the Father,” “children of God,” “brethren,” have economic thought, charity organization, friendly visiting played a great part in the development of charitable thought in pre-Christian as well as in Christian days. The germ, if we may and almonership, co-operation with the poor-law, charity say so, of the words philia, agape, amor, love ; amicitia, friend- and thrift, parochial management, hospitals and medical ship, is the sexual or the parental relation. With the realization relief, exceptional distress and the “unemployed,” the of the larger life in man the meaning of the word expands. utilization of endowments and their supervision, and their Garitas, or charity, strikes another note—high price, and thus dearness. It is charity, indeed, expressed in mercantile metaphor ; adaptation to new needs and emergencies. . (5) We have and it would seem that it was associated in thought with the also throughout to consider charitable help in relation to word charis, which has also a commercial meaning, but signifies classes of dependants, who appear early in the history of as well favour, gratitude, grace, kindness. Partly thus, perhaps, the question—widows and orphans, the sick and the aged, it assumed and suggested a nobler conception ; and sometimes, as, for instance, in English ecclesiastical documents, it was vagrants and wayfarers. spelt charitas. A.gape, which in the Authorized Version of First in the series come the charities of the family and the Bible is translated charity, was used by St Paul as a of hospitality; then the wider charities of religion, the translation of the Hebrew word chescd, which in , the Old charities of the community, and of individual donors and Testament is in the same version translated “mercy” — as in Hosea vi. 6, “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.” This word of mutual help. These gradually assumed importance, in represents the charity of kindness and goodness, . as dis- communities which consisted originally of self-supporting tinguished from almsgiving. Almsgiving, tzedaka, is trans- classes, within which widows and orphans,, for instance, lated by the word eleemosyna in the Septuagint, and in the would be rather provided for, in accordance with recognized Authorized Version by the word “righteousness.” It represents the deed or the gift which is due—done or made, not spontaneously, class obligations, than relieved. Then come habitual but under a sense of religious obligation. In the earlier Christian almsgiving, the charitable endowment, and the modern period the word almsgiving has this meaning, and was in that charitable institution and association. But throughout the sense applied to a wide range of actions and contracts, from a gift test of progress or decadence appears to be the condition of to a beggar at a church door to a grant and a tenure of land. It also, in the word almoner, represented the fulfilment of the the family. The family is the source, the home, and the religious obligation with the aid of an agent or delegate. hearthstone of charity. It has been created but slowly, The words charity or love {caritas or agape), on the other hand, and there is naturally a constant tendency to break away without losing the tone with which the thought of parental or from its obligations and to ignore and depreciate its utility. family love inspires them, assume a higher meaning. In religious thought they imply an ideal life, as represented by such ex- Yet the family, as we now have it, is itself the outcome of pressions as “ love {agape) of God.” This on the one side ; and infinite thought working through social instinct, and has on the other an ideal social relation, in such words as “love of at each stage of its development indicated a general man.” Thus in the word “charity” religious and social associa- advance. To it, therefore, constant reference must be made. tions meet ; and thus regarded the word means a disciplined and habitual mood in which the mind is considerate of the welfare of Part I.—Primitive Charity. others individually and generally, and devises what is for their real good, and in which the intelligence and the will strive to The study of early communities has brought to light the fulfil the mind’s purpose. Charity thus has no necessary relation history of the development of the family. “ Marriage in to relief or alms. To give a lecture, or to nurse a sick man who is not in want or “poor,” may be equally a deed ot charity; its lowest phases is by no means a matter of affection oi though in fact charity concerns itself largely with the classes companionship ” ; and only very slowly has the position of usually called “the poor,” and with problems of distress and both parents been recognized as implying different but relief. Relief, however, is not an essential _ part of charity or correlative responsibilities towards their child. Only very charitable work. It is one of many means at its disposal. It the slowly, also, has the morality necessary to the making of world were so poor that no one could make a gift, or so wealthy