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Christian precedent. How far kindly Romans visited the sick of their day we do not know. Alms and the annona were now, it would seem, administered concurrently; and there was a system of poor relief independently of the churches and their alms (unless these, organized, as in Scottish towns, on the ancient ecclesiastical lines, were paid wholly or in part to a central diaconate fund). Much had changed, but in much Roman thought still prevailed. On this model (see below) the organization of poor relief in the Middle Ages was framed. On the one hand the officers of the Church (Charlemagne’s Capit.llS)—bishops, abbots, and abbesses—were expected to give according to their means a definite sum for the relief of the poor, or to maintain a certain number of families during the winter; and, on the other hand, the citizens of the cathedral city and its neighbouring parishes were to support their own poor. The change in sentiment and method could hardly be more strongly marked than by a comparison of “the Teaching" with St Ambrose’s (334-397) “Duties of the Clergy” {De Officiis Ministrorum). For the old instinctive obedience to a command there is now an endeavour to find a reasoned basis for charitable action. Pauperism is recognized. “Never wTas the greed of beggars greater than it is now. . . . They want to empty the purses of the poor, to deprive them of the means of support. Not content wdth a little, they ask for more. . . . With lies about their lives they ask for further sums of money.” “A method in giving is necessary.” But in the suggestions made there is little consistency. Liberality is urged as a means of gaining the love of the people ; a new and a false issue is thus raised. The relief is neither to be “too freely given to those who are unsuitable, nor too sparingly bestowed upon the needy.” Everywhere there is a doctrine of the mean reflected through Cicero’s De Officiis, the doctrine falsely stated, as though it were a mean of quantity, and not that rightly tempered mean which is the harmony of opposing moods. The poor are not to be sent away empty. Those rejected by the Church are not to be left to the “outer darkness” of an earlier Christianity. They must be supplied if they are in want. The methodic giver is “hard towards none, but is free towards all.” Consequently none are refused, and no account is taken of the regeneration that may spring up in a man from the effort towards self-help which refusal may originate. Thus after all it appears that method means no more than this—to give sometimes more, sometimes less, to all needy people. In the small congregational church of early Christianity, each member of which was admitted on the conditions of strictest discipline, the common alms of the faithful could hardly have done much harm within the body, even though outside they created and kept alive a horde of vagrant alms-seekers and pretenders. Now in this department at least the Church had become the state, and discipline and a close knowledge of one’s fellow-Christians no longer safeguarded the alms. From Cicero is borrowed the thought of “ active help, ” which “is often grander and more noble,” but the thought is not worked out. From the social side the problem is not understood or even stated, and hence no principle of charity or of charitable administration is brought to light in the investigation. Still there are rudiments of the economics of charity in the praise of Joseph, who made the people buy the corn, for otherwise “they would have given up cultivating the soil; for he who has the use of what is another’s often neglects his own.” Perhaps, as St Augustine inspired the theology of the Middle Ages, we may say that St Ambrose, in the mingled motives, indefiniteness, and kindliness of this book, stands for the charity of the Middle Ages, except in so far as the movement which culminated in the brotherhood of St Francis awakened the intelligence of the world to wider issues. In Constantinople the pauperism seems to have been extreme. The corn supplies of Africa were diverted there in great part when it became the capital of the empire. This must have left to Rome a larger scope for the development of the civic-religious administration of relief. St Chrysostom’s sermons give no impression of the rise of any new administrative force, alike sagacious and dominant. The appeal to give alms is constant, but the positive counsel on charitable work is nil. The people had the annona civica, and imperial gifts, corn, allowances (solaria) from the treasury granted for the poor and needy, and an annual gift of 50 gold pounds (rather more than £1400) for funerals. Besides these there were many institutions, and the begging and the



almsgiving at the church doors. “The land could not support the lazy and valiant beggars.” There were public works provided for them ; if they refused to work on them they were to be driven away. The sick might visit the capital, but must be registered and sent back (a.d. 382); the sturdy beggar was condemned to slavery. So little did alms effect. And in the East monasticism seems to have produced no firmness of purpose such as led to the organization of the Church and of charitable relief under St Gregory. Another movement of the Byzantine period was the establishment of the endowed charity. The Jewish synagogue long served as a place for the reception of strangers—a religious xenodocheion. Probably the strangers referred to in “ the Teaching ” were so entertained. The table of the bishbp and a room in his house served as the guest chamber, for which afterwards a separate building was instituted. In the East the Jewish charitable inn first appears, and there took place the earliest extension of institutions. There was probably a demand for an elaboration of institutions as social changes made themselves felt in the churches. We have seen this in the case of the agape. Similar changes would affect other branches of charitable work. The hospital (hospitalium, xenodocheion) is defined as a “house of God in which strangers who lack hospitality are received ” (Suicer : Thesauri), a home separated from the church; and round the church, from the primitive xenodocheion of early Christian times and the entertainment of strangers at the houses of members of the community, would grow up other similar charities. In a.d. 321 license was given by Constantine to leave property to the Church. The churches were thus placed in the same position as pagan temples, and though subsequently Yalentinian (a.d. 379) withdrew the permission on account of the shameless legacy-hunting of the clergy, in that period much must have been done to endow Church and charitable institutions. In the same period grew to its height the passion for monasticism. This affected the parish and the endowed charity alike. Under its influence the deacon as an almoner tends to disappear, except where, as in Rome, there is an elaborate system of relief. Nor does it seem that deaconesses, widows, and virgins continued to occupy their old position as church workers and alms-receivers. Naturally when marriage was considered “ in itself an evil, perhaps to be tolerated, but still degrading to human nature,” and (a.d. 385) the marriage of the clergy was prohibited, men, except those in charge of parishes, and women would join regular monastic bodies; the deacon, as almoner, would disappear, and the “widows” and virgins would become nuns. Thus there would grow up a large body of men and women living segregated in institutions, and forming a leisured class able to superintend institutional charities. And now two new officers appear, the eleemosynarius or almoner and the oeconomus or steward (already an assistant treasurer to the bishop), who superintend and distribute the alms and manage the property of the institution. (In the first six books of the Apost. Constit. a.d. 300 these officers are not mentioned.) In these circumstances the hospitium or hospital (xenon, hatagogion) assumes a new character. It becomes in St Basil’s hands (a.d. 330-379) a resort not only for those who “visit it from time to time as they pass by, but also for those who need some treatment in illness.” And round St Basil at Caesarea there springs up a colony of institutions. Four kinds principally are mentioned in the Theodosian code : (1) the guest houses (xenodocheia) ; (2) the poor-houses (ptocheia), where the poor (mendici) were housed and maintained (the ptocheion was a general term also applied to all houses for the poor, the aged, orphans, and sick); (3) there were orphanages (orphanotropheia) for