Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/516

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
494
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

have been so differentiated that we may rightly separate and classify them. The man who is convinced that all organic life came from a single form is yet justified in practical—e. g., gastronomical—affairs in making a distinction between meats and vegetables, or even between beefsteak and mutton. So, there is a practical if not a philosophical difference between the motives that guide men in stock speculations and those that guide them in the founding of hospitals. To reach charity by the way of self-interest is following too roundabout a road for the average man or the average thinker, and many there be that have failed most sadly in the attempt.

It is therefore exceedingly fortunate that the philanthropists seem likely to work out their own salvation from mischief-making by studying with scientific care the lessons that their own experience teaches. Such a course not only gives valuable facilities for checking the conclusions of those who have thought and worked along other lines, but it secures the acceptance by those charitably inclined of correct ideas much more readily than could any amount of outside pressure. The dictates of wisdom are formulated in language to which they are accustomed, and the motives to which appeal is made are those to which they have taught themselves obedience. Not that acceptance of the new ideas is easy under any circumstances for those trained in the older methods. It can only be said that it is a trifle less difficult to rout this variety of old fogyism by attacking from within rather than from without.

But there is, happily, an increasing number of those who appreciate the fact that the introduction of scientific methods into charitable work will not hamper charity but aid it; that the resulting restrictions that may be placed upon us will merely guide our sympathies, and not thwart them. The restraints that will be put upon benevolence will be merely to prevent its waste and insure its usefulness—"restriction for the purpose of expansion." Scientific methods carefully used for such purposes will not make the charity of the future cold-blooded and calculating, but will prevent it from being foiled, defeated, and turned back from its high purposes by its own gratuitous blunders; they will render that charity helpful, constructive, progressive, and make it possible that love of neighbor may "shape with growing sway the growing life of man."

 


 
The Rev. Dr. Dallingor, who is also an eminent student of microscopic life, remarked in a recent lecture at Birmingham, England, that since the human mind had given itself fearlessly and without bias to the study of the phenomena, evolution had become no longer a bugbear, and might be looked upon, even by the most timid theologian, as the actual method of creation.