Who is there that does not desire to be rich—rich enough to bestow of his superabundance upon the needy? And there is nothing wrong in such a desire, the only trouble is that any should believe himself too poor to enrich others in a very vital way. The great Teacher, at his last supper, gave his disciples a wonderful lesson as to what constitutes a benefactor. They had been contending as to which of them "should be accounted the greatest," and Jesus at once turned thought to the high dignity of service, by saying, "I am among you as he that serveth;" and he added, "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations." He then asked, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing."

Under the Master's instructions the disciples had gone out among their stricken fellow-men as "benefactors," dispensing heaven's gifts of health and harmony to those who were impoverished because they did not know God. Spirit, as the Soul and source of all being. The disciples had to know this truth for themselves before they could bring its blessings to the needy, but their Master had said, "Freely ye have received." So freely had they received of the truth that they lacked nothing,—neither health nor strength, shoes nor purse! He reminded them that it was their privilege to sit at his table, partaking freely of the divine bounty and dispensing it to others.

At the present period humanity is crying out against the long-prevailing opinion that poverty is a necessity, and that almsgiving is its remedy. Men are saying, "Give us our own;" and he who can indeed help his brothers to secure their own is truly a benefactor. To do this, however, he must himself know what is man's heritage and what it means to be rich,—"rich toward God," as Jesus expressed it. He must know in a vital and practical way the power of intelligence, of right, of Truth, and the consequent powerlessness of evil in any of its negative phases—and they are all negative to Truth.

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September 26, 1908

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