Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/168

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156
EFFECTUAL CHARITY.

plicants for relief. Donors cannot decide what help it is wise to give until they know all about an applicant; the Society can learn such facts in a far more complete way than donors possibly can. Clearly then, to my mind, donors or distributors of gifts ought to accept this proffered help.

But the Society offers a second advantage; it will give an opinion on the case of an applicant. When the facts respecting his condition and character are ascertained, the problem is simply this. How can he be so helped that the help may soon be needed no longer; how placed speedily out of the reach of want, in an honourable useful place where he can help himself? Or if his need be necessarily chronic, how can he be provided for adequately and regularly—so regularly that he shall be tempted neither to begging nor extravagance? It is very difficult to set a man up again in the world; and the main hope of doing it is to pause deliberately over his case, to bring to