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Cape Town the black servants were regularly kept away
from a family altar of devout Christians with whom the
General stayed, on the ground that they might be
tempted to steal while they knelt at their devotions !

" Bring them in," said the General. "My secretary
will do the watching while I do the praying."

While waiting to be received by one of the Governors
of Australia, he asked the aide-de-camp about his soul.

" Are you saved ? " he asked. Fortunately the
young ^Englishman replied in the affirmative, but
whether diplomatically or sincerely I cannot say.

At the close of a long interview with New York press-
men, the General asked if he might pray with them ;
and a wag at once replied :

" Sure, General, if you think it will do any good."
And the boys assented to the request and the senti-
ment of their colleague.

" Oh, Lord," prayed the General, " bless these boys
here. They have been useful to Thy servant. Save
some of them. Thou knowest we are in need of some
smart, consecrated, up-to-date men with pens dipped
in the love of God. Perhaps there is one here. Bless
the editors of the papers that they represent. May
they be fair and daring directors of the right. Save them
and help us to live for the good of others."


The wag responded with a hearty " Amen ! " and
sidled up to the General with this observation : "I

belong to the staff of the , and I think my editor

will be sure to seek your acquaintance."

" Why ? " asked the General.

" Because he told us yesterday that the editors of
New York were past praying for."

" Ah ! " replied the General. " That is a sure sign
of grace. Tell him that on Sunday night I am having
a meeting for the biggest sinners in New York." The
editor was present ! ,

But what is the outcome of it all ? As I have
remarked elsewhere, if the Salvation Army is not re-
ligious, it is nothing. It is worse than nothing. It is
the most colossal hypocrisy that the world has

Well, something has indeed come out of -it all.
Something that the world scarcely realises. Much
good and some evil have emanated from it. The
passion of the General for the salvation of men has
been expressed in the Salvation Army. That is the
answer, the supreme answer, to the question. But
what is the Salvation Army ? The stock reply to that
interrogation is that "it is an organisation formed
and controlled after the fashion of an army to press
upon the world the salvation of God and to promote
the holiness and happiness of men." But that answer
is not enough.

We read of the General moving about the country
in a motor-car, preaching at wayside places, being
received by Town Councils, calling upon Cabinet


Ministers, taking luncheon with Royalty, flying off
to the ends of the earth on some campaign, repeat-
ing stale anecdotes and making the usual promise
of a new enterprise for dealing with paupers or

But that is not the Salvation Army. In all that we
have simply the propagandist at work, spreading the
knowledge of its history and the part that he has
played in making it.

Then we see it represented at street corners by an
old " blood and fire " flag, a big drum, a shrieking testi-
mony by a converted boozer or kitchen-maid, and the
inevitable collecting-box. But the impression that one
may gather as to the character and ramifications of the
movement from that small brigade would be unfair.

We read a good deal about it from time to time in the
newspapers. As a rule these reports are parochial and
snippety. The real Salvation Army has scarcely been
discovered by any of its investigators, while its leaders
have been too preoccupied seeking funds to meet their
current necessities, and so self-centred in their faith as
religionists, that they have not had the time to sit
down and ask themselves the question, " What are we
doing not what are we making ? What thoughts are
we instilling into the minds of the people who accept
our leadership, as the Jews of old accepted Moses and
David and Solomon ? Our agencies and activities
multiply j^ear by year, butjvyhat manner of men are
we presenting to the Commonwealth, and what will be
1 the moral and political power that we shall exercise in
/ course of time ? "



As to the magnitude of the organisation, the follow-
ing remarkable list of separate and distinct depart-
ments will come to some readers in the nature of a
revelation, to others as a shock :


Drunkards' Brigades.

Visitation Leagues.

Young People's Leagues.

Anti-Smoking League.

Women's Leagues.

Ambulance Brigades.

Good Samaritan Leagues.

Literature Heralds.


Singing Brigades.

Home Leagues.

Property Associations.

Investment Boards.

Reliance Bank, Ltd.

Assurance Society.

Wholesale and Retail Tea

Instrument Makers.

Bicycle Agents and Re-

Printing and Lithography.

Periodical and Book Pub-

News Agents.

Shipping Agents.

Booking Offices.

Emigration Associations

Medical Corps.

Police Court Missions.

Convict Missions.

Bands of Love.


Corps Cadets.

Training Colleges.

Staff College.

Physical Drill Classes.

Bible Leagues.

Factories of many kinds

Wood-chopping shops.

Old Clothes shops.

Paper-sorting Mills and
Paper Exporters.


Poor Men's Metropoles.

Embankment and Winter

Farthing Breakfast

Free Breakfast Depart-

Consolation and Counsel

Lifeboat Brigade.

Emigration Welcome



Loan Agency.

Anti-Suicide Bureaux.

Hand-loom Manufacturers.

Boot and Shoe Makers.


Intelligence or Detective

Distress Relieving Depart-

Lost Relatives Department.

Sick and Wounded Depart-

Homes of Rest.

Tourists Agency.

Prison Gate Brigades.

Parole Officers.

Sisters of Mercy.

Receiving and Rescue

Maternity Homes.



Boys' and Girls' Reforma-

Land and Industrial

Brick Works.

Poultry and Piggery De-

Market Gardening.

House Proprietors and

Small Holdings Association.

Missions to the Heathen.

Missions to Lepers.

Missions to Thieves.

Medical Missions (For-

Finance Brigade.

Grace before Meat Box

Candidates' Department.

Spiritual Specials.

Travelling Commis-

Kindergarten Leagues.

Slum Creche.

Education Department.

Accountants' Depart-

Examination Depart-

Travelling Inspectors.

Travelling Bands.

Red Hot Crusaders.

Buttonhole Sergeants.



Tailors, Carpenters,
Joiners, French
Polishers, etc.


Drapery Stores.


Commission Agents.

Etc. etc. etc.


The following is the disposition of Forces at the close
of 1910 :-

Staff and Field Officers . . . 16,000
Officers engaged in social work . 1,800
Local or Unpaid Officers, including
bandsmen, treasurers, secre-
taries, and various orders of ser-
geants 58,000

Corps and Outposts . . . 7,500

Social Agencies .... 1,900

Magazines and Periodicals . . 60

All the outcome of a mind possessed and obsessed by
one idea ! All within forty-five years, for it was not
till 1865 that the General looked upon the moral and
social wilderness of East London and came to that
momentous resolution to solve the problems that then
presented themselves to him as his life's work.

Empty churches and crowded gin-palaces met him
everywhere he went. Imprisoned in bastilles of
squalor and vice were thousands and tens of thousands
of men, women, and children, for whom religion had
no attraction whatever, and among whom morality was
next to impossible. That was the vision that he be-
held. That was the state of affairs that held him bound
to the slums and the hovels of the vicious. He re-
solved, as the world knows, to labour there till he dis-
covered a way by which he could at least arrest their
attention to the Gospel he took to them.

One summer evening, in the year 1865, he felt the
burden of the task before him. It was night when he
finally decided to bide no longer for what he had been


accustomed to define as a " call." He rushed home
and told his wife :

" Darling, I have found my destiny ! "

That faithful partner listened to his description of
the vision, and " together," he says the act has often
been told " we humbled ourselves before God, and
dedicated our lives to the task that it seemed we had
been praying for for twenty-five years. Her heart came
over to my heart. We resolved that this poor, sub-
merged, giddy, careless people should henceforth be-
come our people and our God their God as far as we
could induce them to accept Him, and for this end we
would face poverty, persecution, or whatever Provi-
dence might permit in our consecration to what we
believed to be the way God had mapped out for us."

Remarkable man ! Noble woman !

In that hour was the Salvation Army born.

Next day the Rev. William Booth ceased to be a
Methodist and travelling evangelist. He walked down
to Mile End Waste, and selecting a convenient spot
outside "The Blind Beggar Tavern" a tablet now
denotes the place he cried with a loud voice to the
passers-by, " There is a heaven in East London for
everyone who will stop and think and look to Christ
as a personal Saviour ! "

The people paid little heed to the tall, dark stranger.
His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness. But
William Booth's will was made of invincible metal.
" I will make you listen to me," he said to himself after
his first defeat. And he did.

He " ploughed the sands " of East London for more


than ten years, and then he saw the light which led
him, step by step, up the ladder of fame, till he became
the friend of princes and statesmen, without losing
his head, or dissolving the vow that he made by the side
of his partner, to live for the moral and spiritual emanci-
pation of the people, especially the worst. General
Booth's ruling passion is a love of men.

He thus aims at the improvement in the temporal
affairs of man through and by means of a spiritual
state in which the will of God is supreme. The soul
is the man, the body but a machine, the value and
end of which are in proportion as it is regulated by a
spiritual mainspring.


Points in common with Saint Catherine Mrs. Booth's first Sermon
A stormy Recitation Excommunicated from Methodism-
Mrs. Booth's Love Match A classic Love Letter Her Views
on Sex Her Government of Home Martyrdom The Loss to
the Army A Husband's Tribute

WILLIAM BOOTH, with all his passion for souls, could not
have reached the point at which he conceived the idea
of making an Army but for his partner in life
Catherine Mumford, destined to be the Mother of the
Salvation Army who showed as a girl the possession
of a sympathetic nature and an innovating will.

One day, while walking along the main thoroughfare
of Ashbourne, her birthplace, she was attracted by a
rush of people toward an ordinary " drunk " case :
a policeman was dragging a man in a state of intoxica-
tion to the police station, A cynical look marked the
gaze of the onlookers. Boys and even girls were
giggling at the sight ; but Catherine Mumford's frame
shook with pity. She had not long joined a Junior
Temperance Society, one of whose rules was that
members should never pass jokes at the doings of the
drunkard, but rather do all they could to induce the
victim to sign the pledge.

She was thus confronted with an opportunity of



fulfilling the spirit of her pledge, and, quick as light-
ning, she ran to the side of the man and persisted in
being permitted to accompany him all the way to the
police station ! Perhaps he had a little girl at home
who would do the same, had she been present. Perhaps,
if she only walked with him, the Spirit of the Lord
would answer her prayer that the man would repent
and seek the grace of God to change his heart. Perhaps
grown-up people would think of doing more than they
did for the salvation of the drunkard.

These were the thoughts that passed through her
mind as, with hoop and stick in hand, young Katie
Mumford walked to the police station, and whispered
into the ears of the stranger a word of pity and hope.
In that impulse of compassion we see the first awaken-
ing of a humanitarianism that was to arrest the thought
and concern of the Christian world to the needs of the
modern slaves of alcohol. In the years that followed
Catherine Mumford stood by the side of hundreds of
inebriates and guided them into havens of hope.

In some respects she accomplished in the nineteenth
century what Catherine of Siena did in Europe in the
fourteenth, and for the peace and prosperity of her

The two Catherines had much in common. Both
were born of devout parents and in provincial towns
of their particular fatherlands. Both were endowed
with distinct natural powers of persuasion, tact, and
literary and oratorical ability. They had the same
gaiety of spirits, were passionate lovers of birds and
animals and flowers. Both were gifted withlrare


insight into human character and the predilection
of the statesman ; and both succeeded in changing,
to some extent, the religious trend of their times.

Catherine of Siena persuaded the Bishop of her
diocese to permit her to wear the habit of the Order of
St. Dominic when presented to the^Court of Gregory VI
at Avignon, at Genoa, and on her memorable visits to
Rome. She stood before the Princes of the Church
and reasoned with the Pope upon the sins of the
Fathers and the need of simplicity and faith in God.

Catherine Booth raised the respect for the blue serge
dress and the coal-scuttle-shaped bonnet of the
women members of the Salvation Army. By the logic
of her addresses throughout England, her attacks
upon the Laodiceanism of the Church, she, like
Catherine of Italy, aroused a storm of religious passion,
but, like her also, she overcame the prejudices and
bigotry of her times, and brought from that gracious
lady Queen Victoria an acknowledgment o i the
good that the Army was doing and a prayer for its

She did not live to see her son, Mr. Bramwell Booth,
numbered among the guests at the Coronation Service
of King Edward, in his uniform as the Chief of the
Staff of the Salvation Army. She was deprived of the
honour of accompanying her husband to Buckingham
Palace, where the General unfolded to King Edward
and Queen Alexandra the story of how he and his wife
submitted themselves to what they believed to be the
call of Heaven to abandon their Church, and take to
the poorest and the vilest of society the Gospel of the


Son of Man. Unlike the saint of Siena, Mrs. Booth
did not stand before the crowned heads of Europe,
but she paved the way for the uniform of the " Blood
and Fire " to be accepted and respected at these

Both had the gift of fiery and indignant speech.
" They will not listen to me," said Catherine of Siena
on one occasion, " but they shall listen to God."
And she lived to see the mistresses of vile men ac-
knowledge that she spoke with the unction of the Holy
Spirit. " Her speech was like an impetuous torrent,"
and the same may be accurately applied to the Mother
of the Salvation Army.

Mrs. Booth was a fighter. She compelled attack
and was merciless in defence. When her husband
was asked by the Conference of the Methodist New
Connexion if he would comply with the vote of the
Conference, which required that he return to ministerial
work and give up his evangelistic practices, for which he
was clearly best adapted, his wife, who had been an
attentive listener to the debate, cried, " Never ! "
and at the close of the sitting husband and wife left the
Church of their hearts, not knowing where they should
go or who would lend them a helping hand to carry out
the conviction that they were destined to do some-
thing drastic for the uplifting of their fellow-men.

St. Catherine of Siena was persecuted and her life
was threatened. I am not sure whether Mrs. Booth
was privileged to encounter the ruffian thirsting for
her blood, but I do know that she faced the tumult and
ferocity of mobs again and again because of her


denunciations of brewers and publicans, whom she
compared to pirates and Iscariots ! She was no
better received in reality by the Established Church
of her times. She exposed what she called the
hollowness of their pretensions as shepherds of the
flock and railed at and denounced the worldliness of the
Church. Bazaars and sales of work were abominations
in her eyes. Sporting parsons, debating preachers,
and lackadaisical guides of the souls of men stirred
within her a fountain of fury, which led her to use
language that would not be tolerated in the Army
to-day, for no organisation is more addicted to some of
these evils if evils they be than is the Army itself.
Mrs. Booth was, like the other Catherine, a searching,
careful, eloquent, and yet exasperating speaker.
She had the analytical quality of Mrs. Annie Besant
and the womanly grace of the late Frances Willard, of
America. She studiously prepared all her addresses,
and drew enormous audiences from all classes of
society. Some of her triumphs as an orator were
remarkable. I knew of one man who came to hear her
speak with the object of delivering an attack upon the
doctrines of the Army in the public press next day.
At the close of her oration he apologised to the lady and
handed her a cheque for 1000 ! She silenced more
enemies of the Army in one day than her husband
and his forces did in twelve months.

And yet, like St. Catherine of Siena, her first attempts
at public work were marked by the most nervous and
hesitating experiences. The story of her first effort
to speak in a public gathering is told by herself. It


occurred at the close of one of her husband's Sunday -
evening meetings in the Bethesda Chapel, Gateshead,
in the year 1860.

" I was, as usual, in the minister's pew, with my
eldest boy, then four years old. I felt much depressed
in mind, and was not expecting anything in particular,
but as the testimonies proceeded I felt the Holy Spirit
come upon me. That experience cannot be described.
I felt it to the extremity of my hands and feet. It
seemed as if a Voice said to me, ' Now if you were to
go and testify, you know I would bless it to my own
soul as well as to the people.' I gasped again, and
said in my heart, ' Yes, Lord, I believe Thou wouldst,
but I cannot do it.' I had forgotten my vow. It did
not occur to me at all.

" A moment afterwards there flashed across my
mind the memory of the bedroom visitation, when I
had promised the Lord that I would obey Him at all
costs. Ah ! then the Voice seemed to ask me if this
was consistent with that promise. I almost jumped
up and said, c No, Lord, it is the old thing over again.
But I cannot do it.' I felt as though I would sooner
die than speak. And then the Devil said, ' Besides,
you are not prepared. You will look like a fool and
have nothing to say.' He made a mistake. He over-
reached himself for once. It was this word that settled
it. ' Ah,' I said, ' this is just the point. I have never
yet been willing to be made a fool of for Christ. Now I
will be one.'

" Without stopping another moment I rose up from
my seat and walked down the aisle. My dear husband
was just going to conclude. He thought something
had happened to me, and so did the people. We had
been there two years, and they knew my timid,


bashful nature. He stepped down and asked me,
' What is the matter, my dear ? ' I replied, ' I want
to say a word.' He was so taken by surprise that he
could only say, ' My dear wife wishes to speak,' and
sat down. For years he had been trying to persuade
me to do it. Only that very week he had wanted
me to go and address a little cottage meeting of some
twenty working people, but I had refused.

" I stood God only knows how and if any mortal
did hang upon the arms of Omnipotence, I did. I felt
as if I were clinging to some human arm, but it was a
Divine one which held me up. I just stood and told the
people how it came about. I confessed, as I think
everybody should who has been in the wrong and has
misrepresented the religion of Jesus Christ. I said, ' I
dare say many of you have been looking upon me as a
very devoted woman, and one who has been living
faithfully to God. But I have come to realise that I
have been disobeying Him, and thus have brought
darkness and leanness into my soul. I have promised
the Lord to do so no longer, and have come to tell
you that henceforth I will be obedient to the Holy
Vision.' "

What a striking likeness between the two Catherines
is here presented! Both heard Voices, both saw
Visions. One was called to be a healer of bodies and
souls in the dark ages of Christianity and to take to
the highest spiritual Courts of Europe stirring messages
of peace and unity. The other was called from the
pew of a Methodist church to become the harbinger
of a great crusade in the nineteenth century, one that
was to loosen the tongues of ten thousand women, to
proclaim a gospel of emancipation for their sex,


and to be, as her religious compatriots have claimed
for her, the Mother of many nations !

The memory of this woman is held in loving com-
memoration by Salvationists throughout the world.
And well it may be. The bare record of her work
reads like a volume from the lives of the world's
greatest reformers.

She was born at Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, on the
17th of January, 1829. Her parents were Methodists.
Educated at home, she formed opinions adverse to
boarding-schools, and on many subjects adopted a
narrow and bigoted view. Her mother had strong
Puritanic ideas, and implanted in her daughter an
unnatural horror of making statements that were not
literally and strictly correct. Before she was twelve
years of age she had read the Bible through from
cover to cover no less than twelve times ! Her father
being a strong Radical, and her sympathies running
in the direction of a somewhat bigoted interpretation
of political liberty, she was opposed to the Catholic
Emancipation Bill. As a work of literature she
admired the Pilgrim's Progress, but resented the
strain of Calvinism that runs through that work. She
was passionately fond of reading historical books, and
there was not a standard work on Methodism that she
had not thoroughly mastered before she was eighteen
years of age. She was converted at the age of sixteen,
and it is from this epoch that she becomes interesting.

After her conversion she became an enthusiastic
Methodist, lover of the Class Meeting and the Bible


There were two great foes, in her judgment, to the
welfare of mankind that had to be dethroned if the
world was to make any real progress, and much of her
diary is taken up with references to them. One was
Calvinism and the other the conservatism of Wesleyan
Methodism. Election and predestination were synony-
mous with rank spiritual degeneracy. Wherever she
went she felt a Divine call to denounce these heresies.

The other obstacle to the happiness of mankind
was the inquisitorial attitude of the Methodist Con-
ference to the Reform agitators, that culminated in
one of the biggest secessions that have characterised the
evolution of Methodism. She was on the side of the
Reformers, though not so much on political grounds as
spiritual. She considered that if the laity were given
a keener interest in the affairs of the Church, and
Methodism were purged of some of the drags on progress,
Methodism would shake England. She espoused the
cause with zeal, for which she had to suffer the penalty
of not receiving a renewal of what Methodists call the
" Quarterly Ticket " ; in other words, she was excom-

In a few sentences of a letter to her mother we can
understand the vigour with which she played her part
as an agitator :

" I am indignant at the Conference for their base
treatment of Mr. Burnett. But I quite expected it
when he gave a conscientious affidavit in Mr. Hardy's
case. Well, it will all come down on their own pates.
The Lord will reward them according to their doings, if

Online LibraryA M NicolGeneral Booth and the Salvation Army → online text (page 3 of 25)