The Sick and Needy (For Hospital Sunday
Psalm 41:1-13
Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.…

1. It is urged that free hospitals for the sick poor are not an unmixed good. The same may be said of every existing human institution. Were we to wait for perfection before we would give our support to any philanthropic scheme, philanthropy would die out entirely from the hearts of men from lack of worthy objects. While occasional and substantial help is a great blessing, and one which neither the receiver nor the giver can well spare without loss of pure emotion and without poverty of soul, too much help, or help too readily obtainable, is a great injury, inasmuch as it undermines manliness and self-reliance, destroys that vigour of independence which all toilers in every rank ought to cultivate, and often creates the poverty and misery it is intended to cure. The change cannot be wrought in a day or a year, or in hardly less than a score of years. It must be gradual. Many of the present generation are incurable, their inveterate pauperism cannot be shaken off. It is to the next generation that we must look for a better state of things. The sick and needy will still be at our doors, for many a year to come; men, women and children will still be helpless and perish if we withhold our pity and relief. While poverty lasts we must keep our manhood, our brotherly sympathy, our tender compassion, and by the agency of our splendid hospitals earn the cheap honour of helping to provide for the sick and needy.

2. The second objection is that the money raised is not distributed as equitably as it should be. Still, assuming this, I ask on what reasonable, just, or humane, grounds will you withhold your help from the fund because some of it is misappropriated? Is it reasonable to cripple the healing resources of ten persons who need your help, simply because one person has received help which he did not so much need? Is it just to punish the deserving hospitals for the undeserving?

3. The third objection is that persons avail themselves of hospital relief who have no right to the benefit. Of this deplorable fact there can be no doubt. The out-patients' room at the hospital is crowded by persons who can well afford to pay for medical and surgical attendance. Is this abuse of the hospitals a valid objection to our giving them all our support? I venture to say it is not. To destroy a precious and useful thing because some one puts it to a wrong use, or because it has fallen into illegitimate hands, is a manifest folly. If the liberal subscribers to the Hospital Fund were to hand in along with their subscriptions a vigorous protest against the indiscriminate reception of applicants for relief, the abuse would soon be abated, and in time altogether disappear. But not to give is to forfeit your right to be heard; not to support the hospitals is to put yourself out of court and disqualify you from giving evidence.

(C. Voysey.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

WEB: Blessed is he who considers the poor. Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil.

The Right and Wrong Treatment of the Afflicted
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