The Authoritative Life of General William Booth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 443 pages of information about The Authoritative Life of General William Booth.

In times of special emergency, The General’s Officers always find an opportunity to distinguish themselves.  Thus, in the last earthquake of Jamaica our Officers in Kingston were said to have been the calmest and readiest to undertake all that needed to be done.  In those terrible days, again, of earthquake and fire in San Francisco the Salvationists provided food and shelter for the Chinese, and others of the most despised; and in South Italy such was the impression produced by the way in which our Officers laboured, when Calabria was desolated by earthquake, that our Officer there, Commissioner Cosandey, had the honour of a Knighthood conferred upon him in recognition of the manner in which he had superintended the distribution of blankets and other articles provided out of the Lord Mayor of London’s fund, the skill he manifested gaining the approval of both the Italian Government and the British Ambassador there.

We seek neither honours nor rewards, however; but only the opportunity to carry out our first General’s plans for the good of all men everywhere.

Chapter XIX

Conquering Death

Only those who have had some experience of a perfect life-partnership—­such as existed for thirty-five years between The General and his wife—­can form any conception of the sufferings he had to pass through, in connexion with her prolonged illness and death.

She had always been more or less delicate in health, yet had, through nearly all those years, triumphed so completely over weakness and suffering as to be at once one of the happiest of wives and mothers, and the most daring of comrades in the great War.

During much of 1887 she had suffered more than usually, and yet had taken part with him in many great demonstrations; but in February, 1888, new symptoms made their appearance, and she decided upon consulting one of the ablest of London physicians, because she had always dreaded that her end would come, like that of her mother, through cancer, and wished to use every possible care to prolong, as much as might be possible, her days of helpfulness.

When in February, 1888, Sir James Paget told her that she had, undoubtedly, got this disease, and would, probably, not be alive for more than eighteen months or two years, she received the announcement with the greatest calm and fortitude.  The General says:—­

“After hearing the verdict of the doctors, she drove home alone.  That journey can better be imagined than described.  She told me how, as she looked upon the various scenes through the cab windows, it seemed to her as if sentence of death had been passed upon everything; how she had knelt upon the cab floor and wrestled in prayer; and how the realisation of our grief swept over her.
“I shall never forget, in this world or the next, that meeting.  I had been watching for the cab, and had run out to meet and help
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The Authoritative Life of General William Booth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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