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.
worthless.  He persuaded those of his colleagues who had unbounded belief in him, and whose sole concern was the progress of the Mission, to accept the military organisation with himself as Commander-in-Chief, and with his driving power and the inspiration of his heroic example, those Officers went to every part of Great Britain and to something like fifty different countries and ‘did exploits.’  That system may work with a selfless Christian hero who is a born Caesar or Napoleon.  The Salvation Army’s severe testing time has now come, when it will be seen whether, after all, the more cautious Wellingtonian methods of Wesley laid firmer foundations.

“The secret of General Booth’s personal force and commanding power was an open one.  To him there were no realities so demonstrable as the realities of the spiritual world—­most of all, the reality of Christ’s real personal presence and saving power to-day.  He found that unquestioning faith in Christ’s saving power worked everywhere and under all conditions.  We differed from him on theological details, but we gladly recognise that scores of thousands of ‘moral miracles,’ in the shape of lives remade that were apparently shattered beyond repair and trodden in the mud of dissipation and bold habitual sinning, verified the faith.  The burglar who had been forty years in prison and penal servitude, the most shameless of Magdalens, the drinker and gambler brought down to the Embankment at midnight, greedy for a meal of soup and bread, the man or woman determined to end a state of despair and disgust with the world by suicide, these, under the influence of The Salvation Army, became ‘new creations.’  But the same conviction, and the evidences of its miraculous Operation, captured a large number of men and women of the cultured and refined classes, who were either the victims of moral weakness, or who felt the challenge to service and sacrifice for the sake of others.  Kings, Queens, and Royal Princes and Princesses were glad to see General Booth, and gave their encouragement to his work, and it was fitting that, when King Edward died, a Salvation Army band should comfort the widowed lady by playing in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace her husband’s favourite hymns.

“The Social Work was an inevitable outcome of the evangelistic work.  It had its dangers, and The Salvation Army has not escaped all of them without scathe.  But it was found that the difficulty with thousands of the Converts was that of giving them a chance to redeem their past, and to nurse them physically and morally till they were able to stand alone, in a position to take their places again in the ranks of decent and self-respecting citizenship.  Then there was the ’Submerged Tenth’—­the human wreckage tossed hither and thither by the swirling currents of the social sea.  To safeguard the one class, and to save the other from themselves and their circumstances, the Social scheme was launched, and those who estimate its success by moral valuation rather than in terms of finance, will say that it has justified itself, though it never accomplished what The General fondly hoped.

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