Page:Homes of the London Poor.djvu/70

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HOMES OF THE LONDON POOR.

Let each of us not attempt too much, but take some one little bit of work, and, doing it simply, thoroughly, and lovingly, wait patiently for the gradual spread of good, and leave to professional workers to deal for the present with the great mass of evil around.

To recapitulate, then, let me say that I think the operations of the Charity Organization Society have been wholly beneficial so far, but that it will have to secure more extended personal influence between rich and poor if it is to be permanently successful. As a society it is doing its work; it is contending for justice and order; it has urged us not to corrupt our fellow-citizens; it has instituted inquiries in support of truth; it has responsible officers; it is an upholder of method, and it will help us to be swift, just, and sure in our gifts. But it can never be a more living educational body than the law is. The society can never be a vital, loving, living force; it can never wake up enthusiasm, nor gently lead wanderers, nor stir by unexpected mercy, nor strengthen by repeated words of guidance. The ground once cleared by it, the work remains for individuals to carry on.

Octavia Hill.