“In the last stage of his address he was the coloniser, the statesman, the social wizard who would recast character and rearrange humanity. He gave an epic sense to the story of emigration and colonisation. But he was invariably clear and lucid in his detail, so that the immediate and practical meaning of it all was never lost on the mayors, and corporation and council worthies, who heard him. Then miles and miles away at the second important stopping-place in the early afternoon, after incidental wayside speeches and idylls, he went over the same ground in a further address of an hour or more. Somehow in the afternoon he appeared to speak with added individuality and passion, as if the wants and woes of the world had been growing upon him since the morning.
“A needed rest, perhaps a little sleep, then away once more by the waysides and through the welcoming hamlets. The third and last great stopping-stage was reached, as a rule, about eight o’clock. He typified serene old age as he stood up in the white car, passing the long lines of cheering humanity. Here in the evening light it was not easy to regard him as a propagandist. He might be a study for Father Christmas, or a philosopher who dealt much in abstractions and knew little of men. The General who, twenty minutes later, proclaimed his spiritual truths and his social ideals to a new audience, seemed, once more, an absolutely different personality. Often at these evening meetings he spoke for the better part of two hours.”
Our Financial System
The continued strain to raise the money needed for the work was, undoubtedly, to William Booth the greatest part of his burden all the way through life. And it is to this day the puzzle which makes it most difficult to write as to The Army’s finances. On the one hand, we have to praise God for having helped him so cheerily to shoulder his cross that he did not seem many times to feel the burden that was almost crushing him to the ground, and hindering all sorts of projects he would gladly have carried out. Yet, on the other hand, we must guard against saying anything that could lead to the impression that The Army has now got to the top of its hill of difficulty, and needs no more of the help, in small sums as well as in big ones, that has been so generously sent to it.
It would be hopeless to attempt to estimate the numbers of appeals The General sent out in any one year, for he not only tried at fixed periods to get for his various funds truly interested subscribers, but was always seeking to link the hearty giver with the deserving receivers.