“All my earthly friends thought I was mistaken in this action; some of them deemed me mad. I confess that it was one of the most perplexing steps of my life. When I took it every avenue seemed closed against me. There was one thing I could do, however, and that was to trust in God, and wait for His Salvation.”
The difficulty of the Church was really insurmountable at that time. Since those days most of the Protestant Churches have learnt that evangelistic work is just as essential as the ordinary pastoral ministrations.
The fact is, that neither the Booths nor the Church were then aware that God, behind all their perplexities, was working out a plan of His own. Who laments that separation to-day? As the evangelists of any Church they could not possibly have become to so large an extent the evangelists of all.
Not many days passed after William Booth’s retirement from the ministry of the Methodist New Connexion before his faith was rewarded by a warm invitation to a small place at the other end of the country. One of his former Converts was a minister in the little seaport Hayle, in Cornwall, and he sent the call, “Come over and help us.”
The Church had got into the stagnant condition which is so commonly experienced wherever contentment with routine long holds sway. Mr. and Mrs. Booth were not only welcomed, but given a free hand to take any course they pleased to fill the building with hearers, and to secure their Salvation.
Fighting now together, as they had learnt to do at Gateshead, they saw results more rapid and striking than they had ever known before, although they found themselves face to face with a population more disinclined for novelty, and especially for the novelties they introduced, than any they had before had to deal with. The General thus described at the time for the Connexional Magazine some of his first battles in Cornwall:—
“When in London, you requested me to send now and then a report of the Lord’s working in connexion with my ministry, and thinking that the following account of the Revival now in progress here will be interesting to you, I forward it. We arrived here on the 10th inst., and commenced labour on the following Sabbath. The chapel was crowded. Gracious influences accompanied the word. Many appeared to be deeply convicted of sin, but no decided cases of conversion