True Charity

Critics of Christian Science have sometimes assailed it as "a rich man's religion," because they have noticed that the attendants at the Sunday and Wednesday services held in the Christian Science churches are, as a rule, well dressed and even prosperous in appearance. These critics also delight in calling attention to the fact that, notwithstanding this seeming prosperity of its adherents, the Christian Science church does not maintain institutional charities similar to those maintained by many other religious bodies. The object of these criticisms is, of course, to create the impression that Christian Scientists are selfish, unfeeling, and lacking in that virtue of which Paul said, "The greatest of these is charity."

That the followers of Mrs. Eddy, who in this as in all other good deeds led the way, are not without this great virtue, has been amply proved by their prompt, well-organized, and generous response to every call that has been made for the relief of those in all lands who have suffered by fire, flood, famine, or war, and all this has been done in addition to the private charities of practically every individual Christian Scientist. What these latter amount to will never be known, but suffice it to say that they are in proportion to the means of those who bestow and the needs of those who receive. The fact that institutional charity is not lessening poverty is so well known, that Christian Scientists may well be pardoned for dispensing their charity in "a more excellent way," for besides giving money, food, and clothing to those in need, Christian Scientists are doing the greater work which will, in the end, abolish poverty.

Several years ago, the well-known social worker of Chicago, Miss Jane Addams, wrote that scientific investigation of poverty and its causes had proved "that intemperance ranks only third in the causes of poverty. ... Sickness and accidents both have had greater effects on the working man and on mankind in general in reducing him to lower straits financially. Sickness has played a surprisingly large part, and outdistances intemperance, while accidents also take precedence over intemperance." This may be a surprising statement to many, but those who have passed through long years of invalidism will not doubt its truth, nor should those who have remarked the generally prosperous appearance of Christian Scientists be surprised to learn that in curing these people of disease Christian Science has at the same time rescued many of them from poverty.

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"Patient waiting"
April 24, 1915

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