James Beverlin Ramsay wrote an article on the diaconate and he spends a good bit of the article in discussion of the poor:
See particularly page 9 for a take-away quote :
1. Among these functions, the care of the poor stands prominent. From the very first the Church of Christ seems to have accepted it as an indispensable obligation resting on her, to take care of her poor. It is an obligation which her Lord has laid upon her. “ The poor ye have always with you,” is not the statement of a mere fact, but of a permanent obligation. It is an obligation inseparable from that love which is the very essence of her life. It is enforced by the Saviour’s example. Even from that common bag, from whence were supplied all the wants of the Apostolic company, scantily as it was supplied, a portion was dispensed to the poor. Christ came to preach the Gospel to the poor; and while he thus poured the brightness of heavenly hope over the dark hearts of these children of want, and opened to them the treasures of the unsearchable riches of His grace, He, by the exertion of His miraculous power, taught that their temporal wants are to be supplied. Still more solemn and striking is the fact, that the discharge of this duty will be made the test of character in the judgment. “ I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me in ; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and ye came unto me,” is the evidence that shall prove the adoption of his people before an assembled world. And the neglect of these duties toward the meanest and weakest of his suffering disciples for His sake, will be evidence enough to justify the fearful sentence, “ Depart, ye cursed !”
Wayne Sparkman, Th.M., C.A.
Director, PCA Historical Center
, St. Louis, MO
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