The Marquis of Queensberry offers his services.
GLENLEE, NEW GALLOWAY, N.B.,
My Dear General Booth—I have read your book “In Darkest England” with the greatest interest, also with thrills of horror that things should be as bad as they are.
I send you a cheque for L100, and shall feel compelled if your scheme is carried out to give you a yearly subscription. You say you want recruits. When I come to town I should very much like to see you to talk this matter over, for I see no cause which a man could more put his heart and soul into than this one of endeavouring to alleviate this fearful misery of our fellow-creatures. I see you quote Carlyle in your book, but is it possible for any one like myself, who is even more bitterly opposed than he was against what to me is the Christian falsehood, to work with you! We have two things to do as things are at present—first to endeavour to alleviate the present awful suffering that exists to the best of our abilities, and surely this ought to be a state affair; and secondly to get at the roots of the evils and by changing public opinion gradually develop a different state of things for future generations, when this help will not be so necessary. I do not wish to get into a religious controversy with you on how this is to be brought about, but I tell you I am no Christian and am bitterly opposed to it. A tree, I believe, is to be judged by its fruits. Christianity has been with us many hundreds of years.
What can we think of it when its results are as they are at present with the poor whom Christ, I believe, you say informed us we should always have with us. I know nothing about other worlds, beyond that I see thousand around me whom I presume look after their own affairs. It appears to me our common and plainest duty to help and to try and change the lot of our suffering fellow creatures here on this earth. You can publish this if you please, but without suppressing any of it. If not and any notice is given of subscriptions as I see you are doing, I beg it may be notified that I send this mite as a reverent agnostic to our common cause of humanity.
Lord Scarborough is amongst its supporters.
“Lord Scarborough, writing from Lumley Castle Chester-le-street, has subscribed L50.”
Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone lend to it the weight of their influence.
“Mr. Gladstone has already expressed has interest in the scheme and now Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone with a like kindly expression forward L50 towards it.”
Mr. Pickersgill, M.P., looks upon it with increasing favour.
At the New Debating Society, Haverstook Hill, Mr. Pickersgill, M.P., said when he first began to read the book he did not approach it with any particularly favourable feelings towards the Salvation Army. He thought that the scheme was the most plausible ever devised. There was in it a happy blending of the ideal with the practical, and a nice balancing of its various parts in the attempt to solve the problem involved in the question “Can we get back to the ordinary conditions of life as they exist in a small healthy community.”