Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/76

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64
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

is just now questioning itself as to whether investigation, organisation, deliberate and experienced decision, which it feels to be essential if wise relief is to be secured, are, or are not, compatible with gentle and kindly relief; whether charity can be fully of the heart, if it is also of the head. If so, how are you to get the full strength of head and heart. If this is impossible, what in the world you are to do, for you cannot give up either. You ask practically, I fancy, when you invite me here, what I think on these points.

I answer, then, emphatically and decidedly, that my experience confirms me entirely in the belief that charity loses nothing of its lovingness by being entirely wise. Now it cannot be wise without full knowledge of the circumstances of those to be dealt with—hence the necessity of investigation; it cannot come to satisfactory conclusions on those facts unless it employs the help of experienced men hence the need of a committee for decision; it will