Darkest India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about Darkest India.




General Booth prefaces his scheme for the deliverance of the submerged by laying down briefly the essentials to success.  I cannot do better than quote from his own words.

(1) “You must change the man, when it is his character and conduct which constitute the reasons for his failure in the battle of life.  No change in circumstances, no revolution in social conditions, can possibly transform the nature of man.  Some of the worst men and women in the world, whose names are chronicled by history with a shudder of horror, were whose who had all the advantages that wealth, education and station could confer, or ambition could obtain.

“The supreme test of any scheme for benefiting humanity lies in the answer to the question; what does it make of the individual?  Does it quicken his conscience, does it soften his heart, does it enlighten his mind?  Does it, in short, make a true man of him?  Because only by such influences can he be enabled to lead a human life.  You may clothe the drunkard, fill his purse with gold, establish him in a well furnished house, and in three, six, or twelve months, he will once more be on the “Embankment,” haunted by delirium tremens, dirty, squalid and ragged.

(2) “The remedy, to be effectual, must change the circumstances, when they are the cause of his wretched condition, and lie beyond his control.

(3) “Any remedy worthy of consideration must be on a scale commensurate with the evil, which it proposes to deal with.  It is no use trying to bale out the ocean with a pint pot.  There must be no more philanthropic tinkering, as if this vast sea of human misery were contained in the limits of a garden pond.

(4) “Not only must the scheme be large enough, but it must be permanent. That is to say, it must not be merely spasmodic coping with the misery of to-day, but must go on dealing with the misery of to-morrow and the day after, so long as there is misery left in the world with which to grapple.

(5) “But while it must be permanent, it must also be immediately practicable, and capable of being brought into instant operation with beneficial results.

(6) “The indirect features of the scheme must not be such as to produce injury to the persons whom we seek to benefit.  Mere charity for instance, while relieving the pinch of hunger, demoralises the recipient.  It is no use conferring sixpenny worth of benefit on a man, if at the same time we do him a shillings worth of harm.

(7) “While assisting one class of the community, it must not seriously interfere with the interest of another.

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Darkest India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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