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.

     “Money or no money, we must and will have Salvation.  If the rich
     won’t help Lazarus through us, then their money must perish.  We
     must do the best we can.

     “Join the Light Brigade, and give a halfpenny per week!  We shall
     get through.  Is your soul prospering?  Cast yourself this morning on
     your Lord for a supply of all your need.”

This “Light Brigade” is another invention of the General’s, partly founded upon the Indian habit of taking a handful out of every new supply of food, and laying it aside for the priests.

The “Light Brigade” consists of Soldiers and friends who place on their table a little box, into which all who like can drop a little coin by way of thanksgiving to God and care for the poor before they eat.  These are called “Grace-before-Meat” Boxes, and in England alone they produced last year L8,284. 17_s._ 2_d._ for the support of our Social Work.

Altogether I venture to say it will be found that for every shilling he ever got anywhere he prompted the giving of at least a thousand shillings to other benevolent enterprises, and that mankind is indebted to him for the stirring up to benevolent action of countless millions who never even heard his name.

At the same time it will be found that by his financial plans he has made The Army so largely dependent upon public opinion that, were its beneficent work to cease, its means of survival would at the same time become extinct, so that it could not continue to exist when it had ceased to be a Salvation Army.

Chapter XXIII

In Germany in Old Age

Though we have had occasion to mention Germany repeatedly, there has been no opportunity to call attention to the great importance which The General attached to our Work in that country.  It seemed almost as though we had been premature in our attack upon the country, so little were either Governments or people prepared for our violent urgency, when we began in Stuttgart, in 1886.  But The General lived to see his annual visits to Berlin looked forward to by the Press and public as a natural provision for the spiritual wants of those who had practically ceased to be of any religion.

In the following description of him, taken from German papers during one of his last visits to that country, we get not only some idea of his appearance to the people when he was eighty-one years of age, but his sense of the importance of that people in the future of The Army.  And it is a remarkable fact that German cities should have been subsidising The Army’s work before any English one did so.

We have happily got complete enough accounts of The General’s tour in Germany, when eighty-one, to supply not merely a most artistic representation of his own appearance and action at that age, but at the same time to give an almost perfect view of the impressions and teachings his Army has been giving out there for nearly thirty years.

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The Authoritative Life of General William Booth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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