Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure, until one day they found illumination from the little commentary by Farabi, which he bought at a bookstall for the small sum of three dirhems. So great was his joy at the discovery, thus made by help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed an alms upon the poor.
It faded away in the great Church, and probably Celsus was describing Montanist circles (though Origen assumed that they were ordinary believers) when he wrote 3 of the many Christians of no repute who at the least provocation, whether within or without their temples, threw themselves about like inspired persons; while others did the same in cities or among armies in order to collect alms, roaming about cities or camps.
The determining episode of his life followed soon after his return to Assisi; as he was riding he met a leper who begged an alms; Francis had always had a special horror of lepers, and turning his face he rode on; but immediately an heroic act of self-conquest was wrought in him; returning he alighted, gave the leper all the money he had about him, and kissed his hand.
Then, if the tenure were found free alms, the plea was to be heard in the court Christian.
By the ancient canons all monasteries were to spend at least a tenth part of their income in alms to the poor, and all bishops were required to keep almoners.
He had also, by virtue of an ancient custom, the power of giving the first dish from the king's table to whatever poor person he pleased, or, instead of it, alms in money, which custom is kept up by the lord high almoner distributing as many silver pennies as the sovereign has years of age to poor men and women on Maundy Thursday.
The one form, which probably arose from the conception of Yahweh as in an especial sense the protector of the poor, was that gifts to God may properly be bestowed on the needy, and that consequently alms have the virtue of a sacrifice.
Biblical instances of this idea are - "He who doeth alms is offering a sacrifice of praise" (Ecclus.
In the summer of 1530 he went to London, where he received alms more abundantly than elsewhere.
He gives various methods of prayer; methods of making an election; his series of rules for the discernment of spirits; rules for the distribution of alms and the treatment of scruples; tests of orthodoxy.
They were privileged to ask alms throughout Scotland.
On the pewter badge which they wore were their name and the words "pass and repass," which authorized them to ask alms. In 1833 the appointment of bedesmen was stopped.
The mendicants of this creed, however, never actually solicit alms; and, indeed, "the quakerlike spirit of the sect, their abhorrence of all violence, their regard for truth and the inobtrusiveness of their opinions render them very inoffensive members of the state" (H.
Offertoire, a place to which offerings were brought), the alms of a congregation collected in church, or at any religious service.
It forms in both that part of the Communion service appointed to be said or sung, during the collection of alms, before the elements are consecrated.
With the growth of the episcopate, however, the deacons became the immediate ministers of the bishop. Their duties included the supervision of Church property, the management of Church finances, the visitation of the sick, the distribution of alms and the care of widows and orphans.
Where now firm open fields stretch from the village to the woods, it then ran through a maple swamp on a foundation of logs, the remnants of which, doubtless, still underlie the present dusty highway, from the Stratton, now the Alms-House Farm, to Brister's Hill.
The Grand Master proposed that the last duty should be performed, and the distinguished dignitary who bore the title of "Collector of Alms" went round to all the brothers.
A week later, Pierre, having taken leave of his new friends, the Masons, and leaving large sums of money with them for alms, went away to his estates.
Often after collecting alms, and reckoning up twenty to thirty rubles received for the most part in promises from a dozen members, of whom half were as well able to pay as himself, Pierre remembered the masonic vow in which each Brother promised to devote all his belongings to his neighbor, and doubts on which he tried not to dwell arose in his soul.