Instead, then, of the stagnation, both of industry and of benevolence, which would follow the universal and equable distribution of property, some men, by superior advantages of birth, or intellect, or patronage, come into possession of a great amount of capital. With these means they are enabled, by study, reading, and travel, to secure expansion of mind, and just views of the relative advantages of moral, intellectual, and physical enjoyments. At the same time, Christianity imposes obligations corresponding with the increase of advantages and means. The rich are not at liberty to spend their treasures chiefly for themselves. Their wealth is given by God, to be employed for the best good of mankind; and their intellectual advantages are designed, primarily, to enable them to judge correctly in employing their means most wisely for the general good.

Now suppose a man of wealth inherits ten thousand acres of real estate; it is not his duty to divide it among his poor neighbors and tenants. If he took this course, it is probable that most of them would spend all in thriftless waste and indolence, or in mere physical enjoyments. Instead, then, of thus putting his capital out of his hands, he is bound to retain and so to employ it as to raise his family and his neighbors to such a state of virtue and intelligence that they can secure far more, by their own efforts and industry, than he, by dividing his capital, could bestow upon them.

In this view of the subject, it is manifest that the unequal distribution of property is no evil. The great difficulty is, that so large a portion of those who hold much capital, instead of using their various advantages for the greatest good of those around them, employ them chiefly for selfish indulgences - thus inflicting as much mischief on themselves as results to others from their culpable neglect. A great portion of the rich seem to be acting on the principle that the more God bestows on them the less are they under obligation to practice any self-denial in fulfilling his benevolent plan of raising our race to intelligence and virtue, and thus to eternal happiness after death.

But there are cheering examples of the contrary spirit and prejudice, some of which will be here recorded, to influence and encourage others.

A lady of great wealth, high position, and elegant culture, in one of our large cities, hired and furnished a house adjacent to her own, and, securing the aid of another benevolent and cultivated woman, took twelve orphan girls of different ages, and educated them under their joint care. Not only time and money were given, but love and labor, just as if these were their own children; and as fast as one was provided for, another was taken.

In another city, a young lady, with property of her own, hired a house, and made it a home for homeless and unprotected women, who paid board when they could earn it, and found a refuge when out of employment.

In another city, the wife of one of its richest merchants took two young girls from the certain road to ruin among the vicious poor. She boarded them with a respectable farmer, and sent them to school; and every week went out, not only to supervise them, but to aid in training them to habits of neatness, industry, and obedience, just as if they were her own children.

Next she hired a large house near the most degraded part of the city, furnished it neatly, and with all suitable conveniences to work, and then rented to those among the most degraded whom she could bring to conform to a few simple rules of decency, industry, and benevolence - one of these rules being that they should pay her the rent every Saturday night. To this motley gathering she became chief counselor and friend, quieted their brawls, taught them to aid each other in trouble or sickness, and strove to introduce among them that law of patient love and kindness illustrated by her own example. The young girls in this tenement she assembled every Saturday at her own house, taught them to sing, heard them recite their Sunday-school lessons, to be sure these were properly learned; taught them to make and mend their own clothing, trimmed their bonnets, and took charge of their Sunday dress, that it might always be in order.

Of course, such benevolence drew a stream of ignorance and misery to her door; and so successful was her labor that she hired a second house, and managed it on the same plan. One hot day in August a friend found her combing the head of a poor, ungainly, foreign girl. She had persuaded a friend to take her from compassion, and she was returned because her head was in such a state. Finding no one else to do it, the lady herself bravely met the difficulty, and persevered in this daily ministry till the evil was remedied, and the poor girl thus secured a comfortable home and wages.

A young lady of wealth and position, with great musical culture and taste, found among the poor two young girls with fine voices and great musical talent. Gaining her parents' consent, the young lady took one of them home, trained her in music, and saw that her school education was secured; so that, when expensive masters and instruments were needed, the girl herself earned the money required, as a governess in a family of wealthy friends. Then she aided the sister; and, as the result, one of them is married happily to a man of great wealth, and the other is receiving a large income as a popular musical artist.

Another young girl, educated as a fine musician by her wealthy parents, at the age of sixteen was afflicted with weak eyes and a heart complaint. She strove to solace herself by benevolent ministries. By teaching music to children of wealthy friends, she earned the means to relieve and instruct the suffering, ignorant, and poor.

These examples may suffice to show that, even among the most wealthy, abundant modes of self-denying benevolence may be found where there is a heart to seek them.