Jesus laid down no social programme for the suppression of poverty and distress, if by programme we mean a set of definitely prescribed regulations. With economical conditions and contemporary circumstances he did not interfere. Had he become entangled in them; had he given laws which were ever so salutary for Palestine, what would have been gained by it. They would have served the needs of a day, and to-morrow would have been antiquated; to the Gospel they would have been a burden and a source of confusion. We must be careful not to exceed the limits set to such injunctions as “Give to him that asketh thee” and others of a similar kind. They must be understood in connexion with the time and the situation. They refer to the immediate wants of the applicant, which were satisfied with a piece of bread, a drink of water, an article of clothing to cover his nakedness. We must remember that in the Gospel we are in the East, and in circumstances which from an economical point of view are somewhat undeveloped. Jesus was no social reformer. He could say on occasion, “The poor ye have always with you,” and thereby, it seems, indicate that the conditions would undergo no essential change. He refused to be a judge between contending heirs, and a thousand problems of economics and social life he would have just as resolutely put aside as the unreasonable demand that he would settle a question of inheritance. Yet again and again people have ventured to deduce some concrete social programme from the Gospel. Even evangelical theologians have made the attempt, and are still making it—an endeavour hopeless in itself and full of danger, but absolutely bewildering and intolerable when people try to “fill up the gaps”—and they are many—to be found in the Gospel with regulations and programmes drawn from the Old Testament.