The Principle of Charity: Annual Report for 1876

The principle is, that it is good for the poor that they should meet all the ordinary contingensies of life, relying not upon public or private charity, but upon their own industry and thrift, and upon the powers of self-help that are to be developed by individual and collective effort. Ample room will still be left for the exercise of an abundant charity in dealing with exceptional misfortune, and also in connection with large scheme for the benefit of the working classes which may require, in the first instance at all events, the fostering of wealth and leisure. But it is a hurtful misuse of money to spend it in assisting the labouring classes to meet emergencies which they should themselves have anticipated and provided for.

M 26-27;[Condiions of Charity]

Appendix IV in the Annual Report, 1976, 24-5.

The working man does not require to be told that temporary sickness is likely now and then to visit his household; that time of slackness will occasionally come; that if he married early and has a large family, his resources will be taxed to the uttermost; that if he lives long enough, old age will render him more or less incapable of toil---all these are the ordinary contingencies of a labourer's life, and if he is taught as they arise they will be met by State relief or private charity, he will arruredly make no effort to meet them himself. A spirit of dependence, fatal to all progress, will be encouraged in him, he will not concern himself with the causes of his distress, or consider at all how the condition of his class may be improved; the road to idleness and drunkenness will be made easy to him, and it involves no prophesying to say that the last state of a population influenced after such a fashion will certainly be worse than the first. One thing there is which true charity does require the working man to be told, and it is the aim of this Society to tell him, not in words merely, but in acts that cannot be confuted. We desire to tell him that those who are born to easier ciecumstances simpathise with the severe toil and self-denial which his lot imposes upon him; that many are standing beside him ready and even eager to help if proper occasion should arise; and that if he, or wife, or child should be stricken with protracted sickness, or with some special infirmity, such as we all hope to escape, there are those at hand whi will gladly minister to his necessities, and do their best at least to mitigate the suffering which it may be beyond their power to remove.

M 42-43.