dogmatism," and its critic declares that he "can not resist the feeling that our professor has a great contempt for the poor."
Professor Sumner is charged with contravening alike the dictates of Christianity and the impulses of humanity in the views he presents, but such a charge is clearly groundless. For, if anything is established by the widest experience, it is that Christian philanthropy and benevolent impulse require a good deal better guidance than they have hitherto had. Instinctive sympathy is not enough, and it is simply notorious that indiscriminate charity does more harm than good. The more the subject is looked into, the greater is the accumulation of proof that benevolence and generosity, if not exercised with intelligent caution, work widespread mischievous effects. What we need, therefore, is a clearer understanding of the principles of the subject; and he who helps us to these may claim to be the most truly Christian and humane, because he shows us how to secure the most permanently beneficent ends. In spite of the literary cant about "Gradgrind," and the "dismal science," what we want most urgently are facts and their rational interpretations. Professor Sumner has been accused of an unfeeling indifference to the trials of the helpless and unfortunate, and of recommending the hard and selfish policy of looking out for one's self and neglecting those who need assistance. But this is a wholly unjust imputation. What he demands is simply that aid shall be given with a good deal more discrimination than is customary, and only where the giver is certain that he will not make matters worse by his charity. He never says that men in society owe nothing to each other, but he is very decided in the conviction that no class owes to another class that which will injure it. What they owe to each other are mutual guarantees of the opportunity to earn, possess, and enjoy, and do the best for themselves without interference or impediment. He says:
"The only help which is generally expedient, even within the limits of the private and personal relations of two persons to each other, is that which consists in helping a man to help himself. This always consists in opening the chances. A man of assured position can, by an effort which is of no appreciable importance to him, give aid which is of incalculable value to a man who is all ready to make his own career, if he can only get a chance." But "the aid which helps a man to help himself is not in the least akin to the aid which is given in charity."
But it is best to let Professor Sumner speak more fully for himself, and we accordingly give some extracts from his book in another part of the "Monthly." We have to apologize to the author for the fragmentary representation of his thoughts, but the reader can repair that by getting the book.
First Annual Report of the Board of Control of the New York State Experiment Station. For 1882. Pp. 156.
The grounds of the station are situated near Geneva, and embrace one hundred and twenty-five acres. The object of the institution is understood to be to ascertain, verify, and group facts the knowledge of which shall assist the farmer in carrying on his business. Its duties also comprise the dissemination of information; and for this purpose the director has published weekly bulletins of the progress of the experiments which were sent to newspapers, to the directors of other stations, and to men identified with agricultural progress. Special effort has been made to instruct visitors, and every intelligent visitor has brought information of value to the station. The investigations have had a practical rather than a theoretically-scientific bearing. As represented in the report, they have had a wide scope, and involve an immense number of details.
Fifth Annual Report of the State Board of Health of the State of Connecticut. Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company. Pp. 128.
The report is for the fiscal year ending November 30, 1882. It includes several valuable papers on subjects of theoretical and practical sanitation. Among the most interesting topics discussed is that of the progress of epidemic and intermittent fever in Connecticut and other parts of New England, concerning which Dr. G. H. Wilson contributes a very suggestive paper, and the secretary's report embodies many valuable facts.