“Others may criticise him. And no man ever lived, I suppose, easier for every little creature crawling about the earth in self-satisfied futility to criticise and ridicule. For myself, I can do nothing but admire, revere, honour, and love this extraordinary old realist, who saved so many thousands of human beings from utmost misery; who aroused all the Churches of the Christian religion throughout the world; who communicated indirectly to politics a spirit of reality which every year grows more potent for social good; who was so tender and affectionate and cordial, and who felt for suffering and sorrow and unhappiness wherever he found it with a heart entirely selfless and absolutely pure.
“Even if The Salvation Army disappeared from every land where it is now at work—and, though it will not disappear, I anticipate during the next ten years many changes in its organisation—to the end of time the spirit of William Booth will be part of our religious progress. We cannot unthink ourselves out of his realism, out of his boundless pity, out of his consuming earnestness. He has taught us all to know that the very bad man can be changed into the very good man, and he has brought us back, albeit by a violent method, to the first simple and absolute principles of the only faith which purifies and exalts humanity.
“When the dust has blown away, we shall see him as perhaps the greatest of our time.”
“What he aimed at, for the solution of the Social question and the uplifting of the lowest classes of people by their own works, assures for him the respect of the entire civilised world.”
“In the person of General Booth was embodied one part of the Social question, and, if any man succeeded in bringing any part of it even nearer to a solution one must say it was William Booth.
“His plainness as a man, his genial gift as an organiser, his burning zeal, his self-sacrificing devotion to his aim, prepared and levelled the road for him, and no man, friend or foe, will withhold from him their tribute of high respect as he lies on his bed of death.”
“General Booth, the ancient blind man, always kept his glad heart. He was able to point his opponents, who brought up their theoretical maxims against him (and who latterly became ever fewer) to his practical work.”