The results of our actions alone can never prove us deserving of blame. For men are often so placed that, owing to lack of intellect or means, it is impossible for them to decide correctly. To use all the means of knowledge within our reach, to seek Divine guidance by prayer, and then to judge with a candid and conscientious spirit, is all that God requires; and when we have done this, and the event seems to come out so as to seem unfortunate, we should never wish that we had decided otherwise; for this would be the same as wishing that we had not followed the dictates of judgment and conscience. As this is a world designed for dis-cipline and trial, what seem untoward events are never to be construed as indications of the obliquity of our past decisions.

In making an examination on this subject, it is sometimes the case that a woman will count among the necessaries of life all the various modes of adorning the person or house practiced in the circle in which she moves; and after enumerating the many duties which demand attention, counting these as a part, she will come to the conclusion that she has no time, and but little money, to devote to personal improvement or to benevolent enterprises. This surely is not in agreement with the requirements of the Saviour, who calls on us to seek for others as well as ourselves, first of all, "the kingdom of God and his righteousness."

In order to act in accordance with the rule here presented, it is true that many would be obliged to give up the idea of conforming to the notions and customs of those with whom they associate, and compelled to adopt the maxim, "Be not conformed to this world." In many cases it would involve an entire change in the style of living. And the writer has the happiness of knowing more cases than one where persons who have come to similar views on this subject have given up large and expensive establishments, that they might keep a pure conscience, and regulate their charities more according to the requirements of Christianity.

In deciding what particular objects shall receive our benefactions, there are also general principles to guide us. The first is that presented by our Saviour, when, after urging the great law of benevolence, he was asked, "And who is my neighbor?" His reply, in the parable of "the Good Samaritan," teaches us that any human being whose wants are brought to our knowledge is our neighbor. The wounded man in that parable was not only a stranger, but he belonged to a foreign nation, peculiarly hated; and he had no claim, except that his wants were brought to the knowledge of the wayfaring man. From this we learn that the destitute of all nations become our neighbors as soon as their wants are brought to our knowledge.

Another general principle is this: that those who are most in need must be relieved in preference to those who are less destitute. On this principle it is that we think the followers of Christ should give more to supply those who are suffering for want of the bread of eternal life, than for those who are deprived of physical enjoyments. And another reason for this preference is the fact that many who give in charity have made such imperfect advances in civilization and Christianity, that the intellectual and moral wants of our race make but a feeble impression on the mind. Relate a pitiful tale of a family reduced to live for weeks on potatoes only, and many a mind would awake to deep sympathy, and stretch forth the hand of charity. But describe cases where the immortal mind is pining in stupidity and ignorance, or racked with the fever of baleful passions, and how small the number so elevated in sentiment and so enlarged in their views as to appreciate and sympathize in these far greater misfortunes! The intellectual and moral wants of our fellow-men, therefore, should claim the first place in Christian attention, both because they are most important, and because they are most neglected; while it should not be forgotten, in giving personal attention to the wants of the poor, that the relief of immediate physical distress is often the easiest way of touching the moral sensibilities of the destitute.

Another consideration to be borne in mind is, that in this country there is much less real need of charity in supplying physical necessities than is generally supposed by those who have not learned the more excellent way. This land is so abundant in supplies, and labor is in such demand, that every healthy person can earn a comfortable support; and if all the poor were instantly made virtuous, it is probable that there would be few physical wants which could not readily be supplied by the immediate friends of each sufferer. The sick, the aged, and the orphan would be the only objects of charity. In this view of the case, the primary effort in relieving the poor should be to furnish them the means of earning their own support, and to supply them with those moral influences which are most effectual in securing virtue and industry.

Another point to be attended to is the importance of maintaining a system of associated charities. There is no point in which the economy of charity has more improved, than in the present mode of combining many small contributions for sustaining enlarged and systematic plans of charity. If all the half-dollars which are now contributed to aid in organized systems of charity were returned to the donors, to be applied by the agency and discretion of each, thousands and thousands of the treasures now employed to promote the moral and intellectual wants of mankind would become entirely useless. In a democracy like ours, where few are very rich and the majority are in comfortable circumstances, this collecting and dispensing of drops and rills is the mode by which, in imitation of nature, the dews and showers are to distill on parched and desert lands. And every person, while earning a pittance to unite with many more, may be cheered with the consciousness of sustaining a grand, system of operations which must have the most decided influence in raising all mankind to that perfect state of society which Christianity is designed to accomplish.