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glaring inequalities on questions of principle. The


fact is, General Booth committed the mistake at the
beginning of the Christian Mission of making this
principle a condition of evangelistic service, and
seeing certain financial advantages in it, he has clung
tenaciously to it. But perhaps the worst feature in
connection with its application is the arguments that
are used to buttress up the custom. The following is
the defence of an Assistant Field Secretary :

" The non-guarantee of salary acts as a sifter. We
find out by it whether men are in the Salvation Army
for a living or for love of souls. It supplies a spur to
field officers, many of whom had no idea of responsi-
bility or the management of business when they
entered the Salvation Army. It is necessary if the
Army is to pay its way. It is true that it works hardly
upon married officers with families, but they have the
luxury of sacrificing something for the good of the


This defence of one of the grossest tyrannies glori-
fied in the name of sacrifice will be clear to anyone who
thinks twice of the Army as an autocratic democracy,
and I only dwell upon the illustration in order to ex-
pose the illogical assumption of the General's infalli-
bility, and the injustice and unrighteousness of the
system which has been created and established by
him and labelled as essentially Divine.

But the claim of infallibility is extended to the
righteousness of the very administration of the Army.

The General goes on :

" And as with our rules and regulations, so it has
been with our administration of them. / know of no


official action during the whole of the Army's existence,
that has had the countenance of International Head-
quarters, which has been contrary to the principles of
strict truth and justice."

No wrong has been done at the International Head-
quarters, so far as the decision of its Executive is con-
cerned, during the last forty years ! Forty years of
moral infallibility ! Truth, and strict truth, has
marked all its declarations in the official organs of the
Army ! No official sanction has ever been given to an
unjust financial arrangement ! Justice has been
meted out without partiality or respect of man or
station ! In that shrine of lofty disdain for the rights
i of the individual when they collide with the interest of
the organisation, scores of officers have expressed their
condemnation of executive rule and left its precincts
rather than submit to the same. Courts-martial and
courts of enquiry have been held into the conduct
and service of officers. But all through, and withoukan
exception, no countenance has ever been given to anj^-
thing contrary to the principles of truth and justice !

The only answer to such an unprecedented declara-
tion is, that it is not true, and that no one except
those whose eyes are blinded by the heresy that the
^ Army can do no wrong will accept it in any other
light than that this claim reveals the operation of a
delusion that began to assert itself from the day that
, it dawned upon the General that the Army would
become a huge success.

Success has been deified and idolised and canonised.
Consequently we have such Papal-like statements as


the following, delivered to his staff in that memor-
able year :

" The Staff Officer is the responsible governor under
the Salvation Army system. It is to me, your General,
as we have seen, and as you all knew before my men-
tioning it again, that God has delegated, by His grace,
and in the order of His providence, certain responsi-
bilities, authorities, and powers"

But this is not all. The General bases the doctrine
of a despotic hierarchy upon a mixture of rank ma-
terialism and spirituality. He pools the gains of the
one and the other and calls them all Divine, and then
demands, on the strength of the position thus secured,
that the staff officer shall proceed to govern the con-
sciences of those who subscribe to the Army's tenets.
The contention is so emphatically elaborated that
I quote fully from the General again :

" Where are we to-day in this matter ? Three or
four things stand out boldly as we look round.

" 1. We have seen that the Army is a great fact.

" 2. The Army has attained a position of prominence
in the world, and exercises a great influence over what
is good in it, and an influence nearly as great over what
is bad.

"3. The Army has come into possession of certain
wealth money, property, estates, businesses and has
at command various other sources of power.

" 4. A very large number of persons have united
themselves under the Flag, and have more or less in-
telligently undertaken to contend for its principles, to
advance its interests, and proclaim its truths. And
we stand related to these persons as trustees for the


preservation of the principles to which they have given

" 5. A smaller, and yet comparatively speaking a
very large number of persons have given their whole
lives to the Army. They have no object to serve on
earth but the advancement of the great work they
believe God had entrusted to the Army. They wait
upon us for direction. They are willing to order their
lives according to our judgment. Their whole future
is placed under our control. The highest ambition
entertained by many of them respecting their children
is that, under our guidance, they may live and suffer
and die to carry out our plans."

Such a combination of the spiritual and secular arm
of authority, created by the genius of man, and held
to be a nation, so to speak, in the comity of God's
empires, is, to say the least, the most remarkable as-
sumption put forth by any man who discards the law
of Apostolic Succession.

And to this theory of Divine sanction and appoint-
ment General Booth enjoins a high standard of obedi-
ence. He states :

" The Staff Officer who realises my ideal will faith-
fully and persistently insist upon the observance of our
laws. To this end he will seek to understand those
laws himself. We have already explained the meaning
of law. Laws are rules, made and issued by authority,
for the guidance of conduct, and have behind them
the sanction and support of penalty, and the power to
execute it. He should know the principal laws of the
Army, and especially those relating to his own depart-
ment and its work."


But why all this elaboration of circumstances, which
General Booth interprets as forming the foundation
of an organisation in which he stands in the relation of
a Pope to his people, and for whom is claimed the right
to frame laws for the " guidance of the conduct " of
so many thousands of the human race ? In defining
the great object of it all General Booth is fortunately
explicit. His object in amassing wealth, procuring
estates, establishing trades and businesses and other
sources of power, is thus set forth :

" My object is to carry out the wish of Jesus Christ
in the creation, organisation, and universal extension
of a Kingdom."

That there may be no mistake as to the secular
character of this kingdom, we are informed that " the
Kingdom " is not merely one for " starting a revival,
and a great work that would last for a season, but the
building up of a kingdom in which God shall reign as
long as the world endures."

Here, then, we learn that the destiny of the Army is
intended to comprehend the rule of men according to
the domination of a system which, for pretension and
despotism, outrivals anything of which the world has
had any experience in modern or ancient times.

General Booth is engaged upon forming a kingdom

of which he is king, and his successors will be kings

appointed in an arbitrary manner : a kingdom without

representative councils, parliament, or similar legisla-

x tive institutions. The Constitution of the Army is so

x dogmatic and binding for all time, that if at any period


in its progress a number of its leaders were to petition
for the right to elect the General by ballot, or to ap-
point delegates to represent the various interests of
the organisation, the General for the time being would
have no power to grant such a petition. He must act
within the terms of the Trust Deed, and that Deed
requires the maintenance of the Constitution as it
will be bequeathed to posterity by the first General.
A padlock is placed upon the future of the Army. A
thousand years hence, if the Army is then in existence,
it will be the same, organically, as it is to-day. No
provision is made for the alteration of its foundation
in harmony with the discoveries of science or the ex-
perience of its own leaders. It is a stereotyped and
unalterable instrument ; for good or evil, there it

Does the Salvationist realise that it is this for which
he is sacrificing his life ? Do the supporters of the
movement take in the fact that the philanthropy of
the Army is only a means to the attainment of this
end ? General Booth is quite right when he contends
that he is not creating a new sect or denomination.
Nothing so narrow and parochial ever entered his mind.
We must give him full credit for the colossal design,
which for the first time is disclosed to the public in the
above extracts, of forming a great rival to the Roman
Catholic Church. He went to Rome for his ideal. He
says, in effect :

" I find that the strongest religious power on the face
of the earth is centred in the See of Rome. I will
mould this organisation on the same model, only adding


to the legal and ecclesiastical and disciplinary power
of the General as its Pope. The Pope of Rome claims
the right to use the) temporal power as the viceregent
of God, but he has lost that arm. The world has de-
prived him of it. I will attain to it by using the very
arm that has wrought such mischief to the Roman
Church. I will frame a trust deed, have it enrolled
in Chancery, and by the power that that deed vests in
me and whomsoever I shall appoint to succeed me, I
will amass wealth, buy estates, and acquire a Kingdom
and a world-wide Empire."

And General Booth is doing it. He is more than a
Pope : he is an Emperor, and can say to his Com-
missioners what no Czar or Kaiser dare. He can
command them to go where he bids them, and frame
laws for the guidance of their lives, right down
to what they shall eat and drink and wear. The
German Emperor pleaded with his staff in one of his
addresses to abstain from the too-frequent use of
alcohol. General Booth forbids the man that beats
the big drum to touch the accursed thing. He is an
autocrat of autocrats.

General Booth is inciting the enthusiasm of the
present generation of Army converts with the secular
doctrines of his office and the material aims of the
organisation. He has placed in the hands of his
sergeants a Catechism or Directory for their guid-
ance in instructing the children who attend the
Sunday-schools of the Army. They are told how
to pray morning and night. Here is the evening
prayer :


" Oh Lord, I thank Thee for Thy mercies to me this
day, and for the good things Thou hast given me.
Bless all the poor little children who have no home
and no friends, and keep our Army, and help it to tell
all the world of Thy love. Bless my dear father and
mother, and brothers and sisters, and help us all to
love and serve Thee. Keep me in the night, for Jesus
Christ's sake. Amen."

A beautiful child-prayer, marred by the omission
of any recognition of other folds beside the one to
which the child belongs. The omission is intentional.
The aim of the Directory is to inculcate the Empire
idea of the Army's religion. It is to train the young
mind into the synonymous meaning of God and the
Army. God is, as we have read, to reign in the King-
dom which the Army is bringing together, though in
reality it is the General for the time being. And this
doctrine is carefully taught to boys and girls from five
years up. Here are a few extracts from the Children's
Directory :


1. Does God wish you to go into the Army ?

God wishes me to go to the Salvation Army
Meetings as often as I can.

2. Has God sent the Army to show you how to get
saved and be good ?

God has sent the Army to teach me how to be
saved and to serve Him.

3. Must I obey my sergeants in the Army ?

I must obey my sergeants or teachers in the


4. Must I love or pray for them ?

I must love and pray every day for my ser-
geants or my teachers in the Army, and try to
help other children to do the same.

5. Will God be angry with me if I do not carry out
what I am told to do for the Army ?

Yes, God will be very angry, with me if I dis-
obey my officers who seek my salvation.

We have here the embodiment of the Army's
doctrine of infallibility applied to the teachers of little
children. The Army has been sent by God to show
them how to get saved. There is no acknowledg-
ment of other means, in this question at least, not
even the Bible itself. Sergeants as a rule ignorant
men and women, the majority belonging to the do-
mestic-servant class are held up to the imagination
of children of tender years as God's infallible priests,
who have to be obeyed without qualification. God is
represented as being angry if the mites do not do what
they are told by the Army. The Army is thus raised
to the platform of the Decalogue, and to disobey IT
amounts, I repeat, for all practical purposes, to dis-
obedience to the Almighty God.

The same recognition of the Army's standing is
more carefully and powerfully enforced in the " Articles
of War," a document which I offer no apology for re-
producing in extenso :


Articles of War. These articles must be signed by
all recruits who wish to be enrolled as soldiers.


Having received with all my heart the Salvation
offered to me by the tender mercy of Jehovah, I do here
and now publicly acknowledge God to be my Father
and King, Jesus Christ to be my Saviour, and the
Holy Spirit to be my Guide, Comforter, and Strength ;
and that I will, by His help, love, serve, worship, and
obey this glorious God through time and through

Believing solemnly that The Salvation Army has
been raised up by God, and is sustained and directed
by Him, I do here declare my full determination, by
God's help, to be a true Soldier of The Army till I

I am thoroughly convinced of the truth of The
Army's teaching.

I believe that repentance towards God, faith in
our Lord Jesus Christ, and conversion by the Holy
Spirit are necessary to Salvation, and that all men
may be saved.

I believe that we are saved by grace, through faith
in our Lord Jesus Christ, and he that believeth hath
the witness of it in himself. I have got it. Thank

I believe that the Scriptures were given by in-
spiration of God, and that they teach that not only
does continuance in the favour of God depend upon
continued faith in, and obedience to Christ, but that
it is possible for those who have been truly converted
to fall away and be eternally lost.

I believe that it is the privilege of all God's people
to be wholly sanctified, and that " their whole spirit
and soul and body " may be " preserved blameless
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." That
is to say, I believe that after conversion there re-
main in the heart of the believer inclinations to evil,


or roots of bitterness, which, unless overpowered by
Divine grace, produce actual sin ; but these evil
tendencies can be entirely taken away by the Spirit
of God, and the whole heart, thus cleansed
from anything contrary to the will of God, or
entirely sanctified, will then produce the fruit
of the Spirit only. And I believe that persons
thus entirely sanctified may, by the power of
God, be kept unblamable and unreprovable before

I believe in the immortality of the soul ; in the
resurrection of the body ; in the general judgment
at the end of the world ; in the eternal happiness of
the righteous and in the everlasting punishment of
the wicked.

Therefore, I do here and now, and for ever, re-
nounce the world with all its sinful pleasures, com-
panionships, treasures, and objects, and declare my
full determination boldly to show myself a Soldier of
Jesus Christ in all places and companies, no matter
what I may have to suffer, do, or lose, by so

I do here and now declare that I will abstain from
the use of all intoxicating liquors, and from the habitual
use of opium, laudanum, morphia, and all other bane-
ful drugs, except when in illness such drugs shall be
ordered for me by a doctor.

I do here and now declare that I will abstain from
the use of all low or profane language ; from the taking
of the name of God in vain ; and from all impurity,
or from taking part in any unclean conversation, or
the reading of any obscene book or paper at any time,
in any company, or in any place.

I do here declare that I will not allow myself in any
falsehood, deceit, misrepresentation, or dishonesty ;


neither will I practise any fraudulent conduct in my
business, my home, nor in any other relation in which
I may stand to my fellow-men ; but that I will deal
truthfully, fairly, honourably, and kindly with all
those who may employ me, or whom I may myself

I do here declare that I will never treat any woman,
child, or other person, whose life, comfort, or happi-
ness may be placed within my power, in an oppressive,
cruel, or cowardly manner, but that I will protect such
from evil and danger so far as I can, and promote to
the utmost of my ability their present welfare and
eternal Salvation.

I do here declare that I will spend all the time,
strength, money, and influence I can in supporting and
carrying on this War, and that I will endeavour to lead
my family, friends, neighbours, and all others whom
I can influence, to do the same, believing that the sure
and only way to remedy all the evils in the world is
by bringing men to submit themselves to the Govern-
ment of the Lord Jesus Christ.

/ do here declare that I will always obey the lawful
orders of my Officers and that I will carry out to the ut-
most of my power all the Orders and Regulations of The
Army ; and further, that I will be an example of
faithfulness to its principles, advance to the utmost
of my ability its operations, and never allow, where I
can prevent it, any injury to its interests, or hindrance
to its success.

And I do here and now call upon all present to
witness that I enter into this undertaking, and sign
these Articles of War of my own free will, feeling that
the love of Christ, Who died to save me, requires from
me this devotion of my life to His Service for the
Salvation of the whole world, and therefore wish


now to be enrolled as a Soldier of The Salvation





All Converts have to subscribe to this profound and
controversial document before they can be enrolled as
soldiers of the Army. The parts I have placed in
italics clearly lay down as the conditions of a good
soldier in this Army the following :

" That they must abandon their lives for ever to the

" That they must give all they have got to it.

" That they will carry out its orders and regulations.

" That they believe the Army to be directed by God,
whether it takes to selling tea, or investing money in
Japanese jour and a half, or in dragging the submerged
out of the gutter"

It must not be imagined, however, that side by side
with this sacerdotal teaching as to the sacredness of
the Army, the infallibility of its rules and regulations,
and the divinity of the appointment of its leaders,
there is no enforcement of virtue and good works. The
Children's Directory is mainly occupied with the in-
culcation of the blessings of truth, purity, and love.
The " Articles of War " point the signatories to a
high standard of conduct. The one contention is that
the liberty in which these virtues can best shine has
been divorced from their teaching and practice, and a


system has been organised which is made synonymous
with God Himself. Hence the Salvation Army is a
poor and profane imitation of the faith and
authority of the Church of Rome, with an avowed
aim, of which the public is ignorant.


General Booth's Parish Before the Japanese Emperor in Salvation
Uniform Kissing Jerusalem Lepers" Bread and Milk, please "
Life on Board Ship" General" Moses "A Son of Humanity "

ANTHONY TKOLLOPE describes Csesar as doing " all
from policy," and there is a Caesar-like range of mind
in the leadership of the Salvation Army. It is stamped
upon the projects and imprinted on the nomenclature
of the Salvation Army. The missionary magazine of
the organisation is named "All the World." The twin-
motto of every officer commissioned to evangelise
mankind is " Go for souls, and go for the worst," and
" The world for Christ." These express the spirit and
spiritualised imperialism of the movement. It has
a great policy of conquest. Some monarchs preach
the Divine Right of Kings. General Booth preaches
the Divine Majesty of the Salvation Army :

" In the fitness of time came the Messiah and the
Christian Dispensation, under which we live, and out
of that there came forth you might say was born
in Whitechapel, in the city of London, in the year of
grace, a Saviour-child, which is known among men to-
day as The Salvation Army. It has had a wonderful
history, and in nothing has that history been more
wonderful than in the marks it bears of Divine guar-



dianship and blessing. ... I can discern in all its
trials, in all its changes, in all its triumphs, the finger-
marks of God."

The leader of this body of admittedly ignorant and
yet consecrated men and women asks the world to believe
that the Army as such not merely its principles, but
IT, is divinely led in all its changes. When one knows
that a minute issued by Headquarters to-day may
contradict one which has been in operation for months,
and that some of the changes have been attended
with a waste of money and others have caused dis-
satisfaction among officers, the assumption requires,
to say the least, a large draft of confidence from the
ordinary reader of ecclesiastical history.

Let me cite one "change." When the late Colonel
Bremner was appointed to the direction of the Army's
Trade Department he was encouraged by General
Booth's special encomiums. This officer opened grocery
stores, pork factories, medicine shops, and a host of
other secular industries and places of business. For
many months the official literature of the Salvation
Army was saturated with flaming headlines, intended
to justify this amalgamation of the agony of Calvary
with the sensational advertisement about " Every
penny profit helps to save the world."

As a matter of fact, this Quixotic attempt to put in
the foundation of a communistic interest based on
monetary gains from secular callings ignominiously
failed. But it must not be forgotten that General
Booth not only authorised this development of Salva-


tion Army trading, but gloried in it, and that he still
runs a department for the wholesale and retail sale of
Tea. In every issue of The War Cry the biggest line
in the advertisement pages will be " Drink Triumph

To some these facts will savour of blasphemy. But
it is only fair to the General to state that, like Caesar,
he has a world-wide policy for the Army, and that he
holds that there is nothing secular in the Kingdom
of God. Everything in that kingdom is sacred, and
his motives determine the character of his acts.

If a pork butcher happens to be a sidesman of the
Church of England, no one will imply that he is any
less religious when he is putting an end to the life of
an animal to meet the taste of man, than when he is
acting as a steward in the Lord's House by passing
around the offertory boxes to the worshippers. (I am
stating the General's theory.) Then General Booth
aims at being independent of appeals to the world for
funds to carry on his propaganda. He hopes that his
successors will amass such property as will enable the
organisation to employ its earnings so as to make it
absolutely free from the thraldom of the collecting-box.
His ideal is a self -created Endowment Fund.

And when one remembers that this man, with his

Online LibraryA M NicolGeneral Booth and the Salvation Army → online text (page 9 of 25)