**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


How To Make Friends With Mammon
by [?]

So great was his monomania for benevolence that it could not at all confine itself to the streets of Boston, the circle of his relatives, or even the United States of America. Mr. H. was fully posted up in the affairs of India, Burmah, China, and all those odd, out-of-the-way places, which no sensible man ever thinks of with any interest, unless he can make some money there; and money, it is to be confessed, Mr. H. didn’t make there, though he spent an abundance. For getting up printing presses in Ceylon for Chinese type, for boxes of clothing and what not to be sent to the Sandwich Islands, for school books for the Greeks, and all other nonsense of that sort, Mr. H. was without a parallel. No wonder his rich brother merchants sometimes thought him something of a bore, since, his heart being full of all these matters, he was rather apt to talk about them, and sometimes to endeavor to draw them into fellowship, to an extent that was not to be thought of.

So it came to pass often, that though Mr. H. was a thriving business man, with some ten thousand a year, he often wore a pretty threadbare coat, the seams whereof would be trimmed with lines of white; and he would sometimes need several pretty plain hints on the subject of a new hat before he would think he could afford one. Now, it is to be confessed the world is not always grateful to those who thus devote themselves to its interests; and Mr. H. had as much occasion to know this as any other man. People got so used to his giving, that his bounty became as common and as necessary as that of a higher Benefactor, “who maketh his sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and the unjust;” and so it came to pass that people took them, as they do the sunshine and the rain, quite as matters of course, not thinking much about them when they came, but particularly apt to scold when they did not come.

But Mr. H. never cared for that. He did not give for gratitude; he did not give for thanks, nor to have his name published in the papers as one of six who had given fifty thousand to do so and so; but he gave because it was in him to give, and we all know that it is an old rule in medicine, as well as morals, that what is in a man must be brought out. Then, again, he had heard it reported that there had been One of distinguished authority who had expressed the opinion that it was ” more blessed to give than to receive,” and he very much believed it–believed it because the One who said it must have known, since for man’s sake he once gave away ALL.

And so, when some thriftless, distant relation, whose debts he had paid a dozen times over, gave him an overhauling on the subject of liberality, and seemed inclined to take him by the throat for further charity, he calmed himself down by a chapter or two from the New Testament and half a dozen hymns, and then sent him a good, brotherly letter of admonition and counsel, with a bank note to enforce it; and when some querulous old woman, who had had a tenement of him rent free for three or four years, sent him word that if he didn’t send and mend the water pipes she would move right out, he sent and mended them. People said that he was foolish, and that it didn’t do any good to do for ungrateful people; but Mr. H. knew that it did him good. He loved to do it, and he thought also on some words that ran to this effect: “Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again.” He literally hoped for nothing again in the way of reward, either in this world or in heaven, beyond the present pleasure of the deed; for he had abundant occasion to see how favors are forgotten in this world; and as for another, he had in his own soul a standard of benevolence so high, so pure, so ethereal, that but One of mortal birth ever reached it. He felt that, do what he might, he fell ever so far below the life of that spotless One –that his crown in heaven must come to him at last, not as a reward, but as a free, eternal gift.