THE LANCET

1890 The Lancet  
s address at the Mansion House (which we propose to publish this week in a second edition) in support of the Hospital Sunday Collection, is well calculated to stimulate the sympathies of his hearers and will not fail, we confidently hope, to produce a distinct effect upon offertories of to-morrow. The duty of supporting this movement is one which is especially incumbent upon all whose special knowledge of the facts gives them the means of appreciating how large and how pressing is the task
more » ... ng is the task which has to be undertaken by the hospitals of London. The public mind is but very inadequately informed, and its apprehension both of the necessities to be provided for and of the provision actually made is very imperfect. The institution of Hospital Sunday has done something to dispel ignorance on this subject, and since their attention has in this way been specifically called to the matter, the ministers of religion of all denominations have proved themselves most able and valuable supporters of the Council in the allimportant work of making the claims of the institution generally known. That better acquaintance with the facts is all that is required to induce Londoners to respond in a fitting manner to the demands of the metropolitan hospitals is what few will doubt, and any doubt that may exist may easily be set at rest by a reference to the history of the movement. We reproduced last week an excellent sketch, which has been prepared and circulated by the Council of the Fund, showing, amongst other things, that in a period of seventeen years the amount collected has increased by upwards of fifty per cent" having risen from £27,700 in 1873 to £41, 745 last year. With slight fluctuations from time to time the growth has been continuous, manifesting a growing hold upon the consciences and sympathies of the congregations of the metropolis. We confidently look forward to a still further development in this direction. There still are places of worship which are not to be found in the list of contributing societies, and it is easy to believe that among those which do contribute are some to which a strong appeal for more liberal aid might fittingly be addressed. It is little by little that people get educated up to their duties, and the present is no exception to the rule. One congregation alone which from the very first has warmly supported this movement contributed last year the magnificent sum of fl208 15s. 10d. On the first occasion the collection taken amounted to but little more than £200. So much are the sympathies of even the best disposed of men quickened by increased knowledge of the facts and growing familiarity with the duty and luxury of giving. There is one feature of the Hospital Sunday collection, too little insisted upon perhaps, which ought to commend it strongly to all Christian people as being a pre-eminent opportunity of "doing good by stealth," and "letting not the left hand know what the right hand doeth." The absolute anonymity of the gift saves munificence from the reproach of ostentation, while at the same time it encourages the poorest to do what in him lies, how small soever his ability may be. Moreover, the painstaking and systematic care bestowed by the Council on the administration of the Fund secures to every contributor the comfortable confidence that his gift has been turned not only to good account but to something like what is practically the best account, being apportioned with due regard to the merits and other claims which the several institutions are able to establish. Such opportunities of exercising singleminded and enlightened beneiicence are all too few. This history of this Fund, at which we have already glanced, shows that the religious world does not undervalue an opportunity of this kind when it arises, and we feel satisfied that to secure its meeting with a fully adequate response nothing more is necessary than that it should be generally understood that the hospitals of London are actually crippled for want of funds, and that the good work of the Hospital Sunday Fund Council is capable of a large and most important extension, as soon as the necessary augmentation of its resources is secured.
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)05883-x fatcat:jetikchebbc4xh46x5spxyshru