Alms and Homage

In my Acton Commentary today, “The Great Exchange of the Magi,” I reflect on the fact that, due to the material poverty of the holy family, the gifts of the magi can be considered alms in addition to homage: The magi set forth an example of the heart that all of us need to have when it comes to stewardship of our material blessings. Continue Reading...

Baxter, How to Do Good to Many, Part 1

Readings in Social Ethics: Richard Baxter, How to Do Good to Many (London, 1682; repr. 1830), part 1 of 3. References below are to page numbers. On Good Works: A condemnation of selfishness: “It is a sign he is a branch cut off and withered who careth little for any but himself” (292). Continue Reading...

Bucer, “Care for the Needy”

Readings in Social Ethics: Martin Bucer, De Regno Christi (selections), in Melanchthon and Bucer, Book I, Chapter XIV, “Care for the Needy,” pp. 256-59. References below are to page number. Continue Reading...

Cyprian of Carthage, On Works and Alms

Readings in Social Ethics: Cyprian of Carthage, On Works and Alms. Perseverance a work of divine providence: “But, moreover, what is that providence, and how great the clemency, that by a plan of salvation it is provided for us, that more abundant care should be taken for preserving man after he is already redeemed! Continue Reading...

The Greatest Mercy

Words of prudential wisdom from Richard Baxter: ‘In doing good prefer the souls of men before the body, ‘cæteris paribus.’ To convert a sinner from the error of his way is to save a soul from death, and to cover a multitude of sins [James v. Continue Reading...