Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/54

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42
DISTRICT VISITING.

very little to improvement of the lives and spirits of men. This is not because I do not care for those lives and spirits. They are reached, we must remember, in many different ways. A great deal of life is necessarily spent in getting its surroundings into order, and in London here, this machinery of ours, all the tangible things round us, need a great deal done to them; it tests us better than any words can do. It is very difficult—impossible, I believe—to make the things of this world fair and orderly, to arrange them justly, to govern them rightly, without living very nobly. The right use of money, the laws affecting houses and lands, involve principles which test the sincerity of a man or a nation; they test it, I say, as words cannot test it. I think our poor see this very clearly, and that, strange as it may seem, the messages about God's nature, and about His relation to them, come in a subtle way through our acts. More perhaps than through our words. This is