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January 18, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVI(3):115-117. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430550017002g

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There are two distinct ideas pictured by the word charity, and the notions which these ideas convey have little intrinsically in common. In one sense charity stands for fellowship, fraternity, good will, love, human sympathy and justice. In this sense charity is good and will always be of unexceptional application. It is in this sense that Paul and Portia used it in those well-known and much-abused paragraphs.

In its second sense, charity embraces all those ideas represented by alms, almsgiving and all those institutions, organizations and systems employed in giving gratuitous relief to the poor. It is in this latter sense alone that charity is used by me in this discussion.

In this sense there can be but a limited application of the terms scientific charity. Scientific charity is really no charity at all, because science and reason direct all the energies of society not to the alleviation of the

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