James Waddel Alexander on the Christian's Duty to the Poor

James Waddel Alexander, the son of Archibald Alexander, was fond of telling stories to make theological and pastoral points. Much like the Lord Jesus, Alexander sought to drive home his point in compelling ways - particularly to young people in his churches. His 1844 book Good - Better - Best is a wonderful example of this practice. It is even more wonderful in its subject matter: how may Christians do good to those in need around us?

In the preface, the purpose of Alexander's work is explained: "In a world, burdened as ours is, with manifold sufferings, one of the first questions suggested to a renewed soul is, How may these sufferings be lessened or removed? To do good and to communicate, is the grand aim of every sincere believer in that blessed Redeemer, who left us his example, in regard to body as well as soul. It is to answer this inquiry, that the following pages are made public." And this was in 1844! How much more do we need to think about this question in 2017. 

I won't spoil the mystery of the title for you: to what does "Good - Better - Best" refer? You'll have to read to find out.