Salvation Army, The
Salvation Army, The This new religious organization is, in some of its agencies and operations, suggestive of the reformation under Luther, and of the religious awakening under the Wesleys. Each of these great movements was so startling in its character that it commanded wide-spread attention, and excited opposition and envy on every hand. Their enemies declared that the work would soon come to naught, and that such inflammable material would soon burn itself out. But these disparaging predictions have not been fulfilled with regard to the former two efforts, nor are they likely to be realized in the case of the Salvation Army. Not designed for any merely human aggrandizement, not antagonistic to any other religious organization, it began with a burning desire in the heart of one Christian minister to "rescue the perishing "'in London. It was the privilege of the writer to hear William Booth, the general and founder of the Salvation Army, preach the gospel in a prison when he was only twenty years old, and to be an intimate personal acquaintance of his from that time to the present.
I. Origin of the Movements. —
1. William Booth was born in the town of Nottingham in the year 1829. His parents belonged to the Church of England, but at the age of fourteen he began to attend the services of the Wesleyan Methodists, then and now a large and influential body in the town. Their services had in them more life and energy than he found in the Established Church, and, having experienced a change of heart in these exercises, his affections were naturally centred where he had derived so much good; hence, though young in years, he began to attend mission and open-air services and cottage-meetings among the poor in the neglected parts of the town. He soon became all exhorter, and related at the meetings his own happy experience, persuading others to seek salvation. During the daytime he was employed at the miscellaneous store of a pawnbroker, and, there he became practically acquainted with the wants, privations, and sufferings of the poor. His natural quickness of observation and his retentive memory were used by him to advantage. In the evenings and on Sundays, while a mere youth, he began to preach short, earnest sermons, in the open air, in all weathers, inviting sinners to Christ. In 1846 when only seventeen, he was accepted as a local preacher, became zealous and useful, and his labors were much owned of God. He was then a mere stripling, tall, with long, flowing black hair, a piercing eye, and a tongue of fire. Before he was twenty he was urged to enter the Methodist ministry, but in addition to his want of theological training, the doctors told him that one year of the earnest ministerial work, to which he was occasionally called, would probably exhaust the little strength he had; and as he was not physically strong, he waited for a time to see if his health improved. In the meanwhile he was wholly engaged, partly in London and partly in Lincolnshire, as an evangelist, a work in which he took special delight.
At the age of twenty-four he was accepted as a minister on trial in the Methodist New Connection, and placed for a time under the care of the Reverend William Cooke, D.D., for theological training. Shortly afterwards, in 1854, their society at Giernsey invited him to raise their cause, then in a low condition, and at the same time improve his own health in their mild and genial atmosphere. At the first Sunday service he held there thirty persons were converted, and within a month three hundred were added to the church membership. He had to return to London, but the news of his success quickly spread through the. Connection, and he soon afterwards had invitations to ten circuits, to hold special services for a week or two in each. The conference that year sent him out as an evangelist, the results of which may be judged by the returns from a few places: at Hanley, Staffordshire, 400 conversions; at Newcastle, in one week, 290; at Sheffield, in four weeks, over 400; at Chester, several hundred. Fifteen of these converts are known to have become ordained ministers of the gospel.
2. Jealousy among a few senior preachers, who could not command such success, obliged him to settle down in a circuit, and he spent three years (1857-59) at Gateshead-on-Tyne, where, by his labors, the membership was trebled. He was next sent to Newcastle, with the same result, having in the meantime married Catharine Mumford, daughter of Mr. J. Mumford, a good London Methodist; and his young wife worked earnestly and lovingly with him. Her piety, zeal, discretion, and ability entitle her to take rank with the late Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, of New York, as one of the specially called and gifted of God to do a great work for him in the world and in the church. Seeing how God was working by Mr. Booth among a class of people seldom reached by the ordinary minister, and feeling the burden of souls pressing upon him, he made a most earnest appeal to the Liverpool Conference of 1861 to again appoint him as an evangelist; and his appeal. worthy of Dr. Coke or George Whitefield, was supported for a while by an equally earnest appeal made by Mrs. Booth from the gallery of the chapel.
Some of the older preachers were shocked by a woman addressing the conference, and she was silenced. The conference made a great mistake in not accepting Mr. Booth's services as an evangelist: had they done so, their membership might have been doubled in ten years; instead of which, after the lapse of a quarter of a century, their membership is less today than it was then, and does not number thirty thousand after the lapse of nearly ninety years. Mr. Booth resigned his connection with the body, and resolved to await the openings of Providence; without employment, home, or income, he and his devoted wife looked alone to God for guidance, and it soon came.
Visiting Cornwall, he found many earnest Methodists in hearty sympathy with the yearnings of his heart. Mrs. Booth now fully shared his labors, herself preaching and holding revival services both on the Sabbath and on week days. In this way they spent two years as missionaries, in various localities, for three or four weeks each. Fishermen and tin miners came to their services by thousands, whole neighborhoods were stirred all round, the claims of religion became paramount, and men by scores left their work to seek divine mercy. The knowledge of these gracious outpourings of the Holy Spirit spread throughout the country. One chapel was kept open from daylight in the morning till midnight for a whole week. The result of such manifestations awakened general interest in the work, and invitations for the services of Mr. and Mrs. Booth reached them from all parts of England and Wales. These occupied them both for two years more, and in June 1865, they came to London.
Providentially they were directed to the East End, a locality where, within the limits of half a mile, eighteen thousand persons, men and women, were counted entering drinking-saloons on one Sunday. There, on a heap of refuse, Mr. Booth commenced the work which has developed into the great Christian army known the world over. A small pocket Bible and hymn-book were his only weapons. In 1883 Mrs. Booth, in writing of herself and Mr. Booth in 1865, remarks: "He left a happy and prosperous, ministerial career, gave up all that is commonly regarded as valuable in life, came but without any human encouragement or guarantees, and devoted himself to labor among the neglected masses, with no thought beyond that of a local work in the east of London. We surrendered home, income, every friend we had in the world, save my parents [whom they nourished in old age], with four little children under five years old, to trust only in God. During the ten years following, we were groping our way out of the conventionalism in which we had been trained, and often reluctantly following the pillar of cloud by which God was leading us. We tried committees, conferences, and all sorts of governments, showing how far we were wrong till the grand military idea was revealed to us." Not much consideration was required to convince Mr. Booth that in East London there was labor for a man's life, however earnest and long-lived he might be and having his sympathies strongly drawn towards the dense mass of godless people in the streets day and night, he gave up invitations to labor in the provinces to devote himself fully to the teeming population of Whitechapel and its surroundings. In ten or fifteen minutes he would gather a congregation of a thousand people, to whom he preached daily the plain gospel in the old-fashioned manner. He was a Methodist to the backbone, and in all his addresses he taught and enforced the necessity of repentance, faith, and holiness. God wonderfully owned the word preached; its effects had been witnessed in Cornwall and other parts, and it was soon found that conversions followed the preaching in London. As there was no place in which to gather the people, Mr. John Eason, an old Methodist, lent Mr. Booth a preaching tent which he had long used on London Fields. Crowds gathered there, many were saved, and these soon began to be useful in their own localities, each one asking himself, after he had found Jesus, "What shall I do to make it known What Thou for all mankind hast done?" Mr. Booth prepared a cheap hymn-book, which was sold freely at all the meetings, and thousands were bought and read by the new converts. These. one after another, began to speak of the blessings they had received, and their testimony deepened and intensified the general interest in the services; so that the companions of these poor men, now made rich by faith, began to think there was something in the preaching which had completely changed very bad persons, and made them lovers of home, of God, and of their fellow-creatures. The storms of autumn scattered the tent in which they found shelter, but the work went on in the open air. As winter approached, shelter was required, and one of the lowest of the many drinking-saloons, a very den of infamy, was secured, and converted into a mission hall and book-store, for the sale of hymns, tracts, and such literature as would be suitable to young converts brought up in utter ignorance of religion. Next a large dancing-saloon was taken and used in the same way. Both these places were soon filled by eager listeners, services being held on the ground-floor and the first-floor simultaneously, the stairs and passages crowded at nearly, every service by the neglected poor, who saw in these agencies and ministrations the means of rescuing themselves-from sin, misery, and poverty. Believing in the advantages of labor, and in the truth of Mr. Wesley's adage, "All at work and always at work," Mr. Booth found employment for many of the converts in extending the mission, and it was soon manifest that they were gradually rising in the moral and social scale. Converts increased, people by thousands attended the exercises, and in less than a year Mr. Booth hired a large theatre for services on Sunday, which proved attractive to the outcast. Crowds gathered there, young and old, most of whom had lived like heathen, with no knowledge of God or regard for his laws. Drunlkards became sober, swearers began to pray, those who had lived by stealing stole no more, scores of old and forgotten debts were paid, multitudes of women ere rescued from ruin, and appeals now came to Mr. Booth to open new missions at Bethnal Green, Limehouse, Poplar, Canning Town, Croydon, Norwood, and other places; in these localities the applicants were directed to procure a room, and speakers were sent to hold services. It is amusing to survey, at this time, the variety of spots used for the new efforts, many of which the writer personally visited at the time — a club- room, a cellar, a shed, a railway arch, behind a pigeon-shop, an old factory, a schoolroom, a cottage — so eager were the poor people to get the gospel preached to them. They had not been accustomed to churches or chapels; they knew little about the Bible, and parsons they thought their greatest enemies. They belonged to the refuse of mankind — navvies, sailors, gypsies, infidels, scoffers, drunkards, thieves, dog-fanciers, pigeonkeepers; men, women, and children, the roughest, wildest, most ignorant and degraded met together, and on them the full power of the gospel was manifested in their conversion and after-life. Persons from all these classes stood forth and openly declared what the grace of God had done for them, then appealing to their old companions in sin as to the truth of their testimony.
While Mr. Booth was thus evangelizing the masses, his wife was engaged in holding meetings in many of the largest halls and most aristocratic centres in the kingdom. At Hastings, Margate, Brighton, and many other places, crowds of the middle and upper classes attended her services, and numbers, whose interest and sympathy were enlisted, became friends and helpers in the establishment of missions for the working classes on the plans already described. The motto of Mrs. Booth's life seemed to be, "I must be about my Father's business." While thus occupied in public work, her family was not neglected; for she tells us that every hour which was not spent in public work was sacredly devoted to her children, who were mainly educated at home, and trained on the principles laid down in a book entitled The Training of Children, recently written by her husband. How completely this task was accomplished is manifest from the fact that all their children were converted early in life and all who are old enough are doing useful and important labor in the Salvation Army. The work spread faster than Mr. Booth's family could keep pace with it, and their converts carried the holy fire with them into their homes; and thus began fresh missions at Old Ford, Stoke Newington, Shoreditch, Tottenham, Mill Wall, and other parts in and around London, progress being reported monthly in a new periodical which bore the title of Christian Mission Magazine.
3. In 1870 a great impulse was given to the movement, when Mr. Booth purchased a pile of rough, strong buildings in Whitechapel, London, which had been used as "a people's market," but having been a commercial failure, was now obtained at a reasonable cost, and fitted up as a hall to hold two thousand people, with numerous separate rooms, soon occupied as offices, class-rooms, a book-room, and a kitchen. All these were put too active use, and there the new converts found a hearty welcome at the daily services, always fresh and cheery; and in that building many have been saved from every kind of misery, and even from self-destruction, as despair seized upon them. The daily services were well attended, and on Sunday three or four services were regularly held, at which both Mr. and Mrs. Booth labored continuously and earnestly. At length his health gave way, and a long rest was needed; but God raised up ready helpers, much prayer was offered up, and, on his recovery, a fresh campaign was started, in 1873, large additions being made to the membership, and officers sent into new localities to rescue the perishing. In 1874 a new mission was opened at Hammersmith, and others were begun in towns far away from London; operating with the same results as those in the metropolis. In the provinces some remarkable conversions took place of persons who had been notorious sinners, and they soon became as noted in spreading the news of salvation.
These converts were chiefly uneducated people, but were easily led by those who had been helpful to them, and it became necessary to issue suggestions for their guidance. The following five points were accordingly distributed:
1. To hold meetings out of doors, and to march singing through the streets in harmony with law and order;
2. To visit public-houses, gin-palaces, prisons, private houses, and to pray with any who can be got at;
3. To hold meetings in theatres, music halls, saloons, and other common resorts of those who prefer pleasure to God, and services in any place where hearers can be gathered, especially such as would not enter ordinary places of worship;
4. To use the most popular song-tunes, and the language of every-day life, to convey a knowledge of God to every one in novel and striking forms;
5. To make every convert a witness for Christ, both in public and private. The Whitechapel headquarters soon became a center of great influence, which reached far beyond London, and the deaths of two of the officers there proved to be a blessing to many, as they verified the truth of the well-known words of the Reverend Charles Wesley, "God buries his workmen, but carries on his work." In six months nine valiant officers came forth to supply the places of those who had died. Quietly, but like a deep and mighty river, the work was spreading through the provinces, and a new departure became necessary, with more efficient organization.
4. After mature consideration, in the spring of 1878, the entire mission was remodelled as a military organization, with the title "The Salvation Army," and the writer was present, by invitation of Mr. Booth, at the first meeting held under the new designation, when the originator was called "General Booth." The reason given by him for the change was that his adherents' were really an army of salvation. "The name," said he, "is preferable, because the only reason for which the organization exists being war against sin, commonsense requires that it shall be framed after that pattern which mankind, in all ages, has found to be the most. effective, and the only one possible for an army." The novelty of the new designation at once attracted the notice of the press, some to approve, others to oppose; but the object was gained. The mission at once rose from comparative obscurity and Weekness to one of strength, and in a few months thirty new stations were opened, most of which have had prosperity. By the end of a year the new openings were increased to eighty, and the number of officers (evangelists) increased from thirty to one hundred and twenty-seven. Thus the leisure- loving Christians saw a spectacle which takes its rank among the marvels of the age, an army "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might." When the army was formed, in 1878, it numbered 29 corps and 31 officers, or evangelists; in 1882 they had increased to 331 corps and 760 officers; in 1885, 1001 corps and 2560 officers, with a total registered membership in June 1885, of 90,000 in Great Britain and Ireland.
II. Organization, Characteristics etc. —
1. As the plan adopted in London is the one in use in all the places where the army has a field of operation, it will be best described by the words of general Booth himself, who says, "Our organization makes every soldier in some degree an officer, charged with the responsibility of so many of his townsfolk, and expected to carry on the war against the locality where he resides. Every corps is mapped to a portion of the country, and every village is placed under the care of a sergeant until a corps be established in it under commissioned officers. England is divided into thirteen districts, each under the command of a major, whose duty it is to direct and inspect the operations of every corps therein; he has to see to the extension of the war, and the calling out of new officers, and to the removal of others unfit for their position. Each corps is under the command of a captain, assisted by one or two lieutenants, who are entirely employed in and supported by the army, their duty being to conduct services out-doors and in-doors, to visit those enlisted, and to plan and work for the salvation of the whole population around. Captains and lieutenants are removed about every six months, to avoid settling into old ruts, and to prevent their forming too strong attachments to either persons or places. We have tens of thousands of soldiers who are ready at a word to leave all and go out to rescue the souls of others, and who glory in submitting to the leadership of either men or women placed over them, for Christ's sake. Experience has taught us that real soldiers care little who leads or how they march, so that there is victory. We have never enjoyed such unbroken peace and harmony as we have had since it was thoroughly understood that the corps is under its captain, the division under its major, and the whole army under its general, with no hope of successful agitation against superior authority. It is a great object with us to avoid using our system of government so as to limit spiritual liberty, or hamper any officer with awkward restrictions, who is seeking the accomplishment of his great mission." In 1883 the army had 509 centres of operation in England, 35 in Scotland, 17 in Ireland, and, at the last account, one each in France, Switzerland, Sweden, United States, Canada, India, South Africa, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and New Zealand — a remarkable development as the result of five years' work.
2. Shortly before the army was organized, it was found that property, valued at many thousand pounds, was owned by Mr. Booth's mission, and in order to leave no doubt of its security for the objects for which it had been acquired or built, a deed was drawn up, and enrolled in chancery, August 7, 1875, which declares that the property belongs, first, to William Booth, second, to his son, William Bramwell Booth, and at the death of both these persons the whole is to be vested in trustees for the use of the army so long as it may exist; and the solicitors to the army hold in their possession the deeds, and a complete schedule of all property standing in the name of William Booth, which is increasing rapidly every year.
The finances of the army are derived from various sources. From the first, all who attended the services were taught the duty and privilege of giving in support of the work, and the majority of the corps have long been self- supporting. In 1884 the members of the army contributed among themselves more than $500,000 to carry on the work, and this in addition to subscriptions and donations from the general public, and the sales of their various newspapers and publications. The total revenue for 1884 was $1,350,000, made up as follows: Central, or office funds, $373,325; local funds, $675,00; foreign funds, $315,000. Persons of all religious denominations contribute to this result, and the accounts are under the supervision and yearly audit of regular chartered accountants in London. The net profits on the sale of books, newspapers, medals, and other insignia were, in 1883, $25,000, and in 1884 over $40,000. Out of these results the salaries of the officers were paid, including also general Booth and his family. During the time (about twelve years) previous to the formation of the army, and for several years afterwards, a benevolent Christian gentleman, member of parliament for Nottingham (Mr. Booth's birthplace), afterwards for Bristol, generously provided for the wants of Mr. Booth and his family, and this was continued until the book profits were sufficient for the purpose, without trenching on the general funds. These profits are Mr. Booth's legitimate creation, and as general editor he might claim them, but, instead, he maintains the official staff from that source of revenue.
3. Having to organize mostly by means of uneducated persons, the work has been slow and up-hill. The officers are drawn from the ranks; those who prove the best soldiers are recommended by their captains to headquarters, inspected and reported on by the major, and if then able to answer (to the satisfaction of the general himself) a lengthy series of questions, they are placed in the training-barracks at Clapton. There a few weeks of East-end London work test their qualities and qualifications severely; meanwhile they are trained in conducting every branch of the service, carefully drilled, and taught the simplest way of conveying the truths of the Bible to the people. Some have to be taught the elements of knowledge, reading, writing, and arithmetic; but the training is not so much scholastic as spiritual, the great necessity pressed upon every one being that of holiness of heart and life. Those who prove unfit for officers are sent back to the ranks: the care in selecting cadets is such that this necessity does not often arise. Few persons are received as officers who do not give up homes or positions more comfortable, from a worldly point of view, than the one they come to, so that self-seeking persons are seldom found in the army. The training lasts from six to twelve weeks; then the catlet is sent as a lieutenant to some captain in the field. Neither captain nor lieutenant has often many shillings in pocket when commencing the work in a new place, whether city or village. Constant dependence on God for the supply of all needs is a lesson often learned amidst hard surroundings. So rapid and complete is success generally that their lot is not often one of much privation. For a few years mob violence was their chief hardship, but as the army becomes better known and understood by the authorities, and their non-resistant disposition discovered by all classes, the officers are able to give their whole strength to the service. Each officer is expected to conduct from twenty to twenty-five meetings weekly, extending over thirty to thirty-five hours; to spend eighteen hours in visiting from house to house, and to spare no possible effort in seeking the good of souls. The amount of salary to be drawn by a single man-captain is twenty-one shillings weekly, by a woman-captain fifteen shillings, and by a married captain twenty-seven shillings, with one shilling per week per child, so that drones are seldom found in the Salvation Army. A negligent or unsuccessful officer, after sufficient trial, is usually left without an appointment. The frequent removals check all selfish sentiment, amid thus the officers by experience, become examples of self-sacrifice for the salvation of the world.
The uniform worn by the army consists of a plain simple dark-blue dress, trimmed with a neat red braid, and marked with the letter S on the collar: the S on the general's garments is marked in gold. It is found to be useful, attracts attention, gives opportunity for conversation, gathers people at the open-air demonstrations, excites respect in the rougher class of the people, indicates a person's position in the army, and is a safeguard against the fashions of the age. The military form of government, affirms Mr. Booth, in his Book of Instructions, contradicts no form of government laid down or practised in the New Test., and is in perfect harmony with the only system described in the Old Test., and cannot therefore be said to be unscriptural.
4. The doctrines taught, in the army are Arminian, such as Mr. Booth learned to love and preach when he was a Methodist minister. In describing this matter, he says, "We have not a particle of sympathy with those who desire to let down or adapt the gospel of Christ to the fancy of the 19th century. The gospel which tells a man that he is thoroughly bad, and under the power of the devil; which drags out the hidden things of iniquity to the light of the judgment throne; which denounces sin without mercy, and warns men of eternal wrath to come unless they repent and believe in the only Saviour; the gospel of a crucified Saviour, who shed real blood to save men from real guilt, real danger, a real hell, and who lives again to give a real pardon to the really penitent — a real deliverance from the guilt, power, pollution, and fact of sin to all who really give up to him a whole heart, and trust him with a perfect faith — such is the gospel of the Salvation Army. We heartily believe the three creeds of the Church, we believe every word of the commination service, and we denounce the wrath of God against sinners as those who believe that all these things are true. We teach men to expect salvation from the guilt of sin the moment they turn from sin to God, and trust him to receive and pardon them. We teach that God is able and willing perfectly to purge the heart from all its evil tendencies a id desires, the moment the soul trusts him for it all: we urge the people not to rest until God has thus cleansed the thoughts of their hearts by his Holy Spirit; and we assure them that God will preserve them blameless, and cause them everywhere to triumph, so long as they fully trust and obey him. We teach that sin is sin, whoever commits it, and that there cannot be sin without the divine displeasure that there is a real, constant, and perfect deliverance from sin provided by Jesus Christ, which all men are responsible either for accepting or rejecting. We teach that all saved men and women ought to lay down their lives for the salvation of others, if required; that being followers of Christ means sacrificing all our own interests, enjoyments, and possessions to save a rebel world, and that whosoever does not so bear the cross has no right to expect the crown."
5. Printing has been a great factor in the progress and success of the army. From the commencement of the mission in East London Mr. Booth has had strong faith in the power of the press. A cheap and good hymn-book was one of his first requisites, and his first collection, sold at one penny, was often enlarged and added to, until it has become one of the best penny hymn-books in use, and hundreds of thousands have been sold of it. He then began a penny monthly magazine, called The East London Evangelist, which was followed by another, with the title Christian Mission Magazine. Both these were too slow in their operation to satisfy the general of an army. During a few weeks of enforced confinement to his room through an injured foot, Mr. Booth conceived the idea of a weekly newspaper, of four large pages, to sell at one cent; in three days his plans were completed, and within a month appeared No. 1 of The War-cry, a startling title for timid people, but it exactly met the wants of the army, and in a few days 7000 of that issue were sold, and of No. 2 fully 20,000 were wanted. In a few months it had a weekly circulation of 100,000, then it became necessary to issue it twice in the week, and it was filled with stirring news of the doings of the army everywhere, illustrated by engravings which strongly appealed to the emotional sensibilities, every column in each issue being filled with intelligence, short, sharp, and fresh. The sales soon ran up to 250,000, and in each issue was printed an account of the number of copies of the paper sold by each corps throughout the country, as a spur to ambition. The War-cry is now a valuable property to Mr. Booth, and since January 1886, it has been enlarged, and issued once a week, at one penny. There are now twenty different papers with that title, four English and sixteen foreign, issued in as many localities, to report the work of the army in those places, anti all after the English original. For the children in the army another paper is issued, called The Little Soldier in which are reported the sayings and doings of the juvenile members of the army. People outside the army have frequently complained of articles which have appeared in both papers, but the reply of the officials is, that the soldiers in the army are satisfied, and they are the chief patrons of both papers. Every soldier is expected to take part in selling these papers weekly, and they are sold as freely on Sunday as on any other day, as are also other publications of theirs. Quite a number of books are issued now from the book-room, for which a large publishing- house has been opened in London. One of these is entitled The Salvation Soldier's Guide, which contains a Bible chapter for every morning and evening throughout the year, to help the unlearned to a daily increased knowledge of God's word. The army has now a considerable catalogue of its own publications. About twenty tons' weight of printed books is sent out every week from the publishing, home.
6. It has been found that strong prejudice exists among the poor against churches and chapels; to avoid arousing those prejudices in the minds of the outcast class and the ignorant, the terms "Salvation Army," and "barracks," and "stores," and "headquarters" have been adopted as less objectionable than such names as "Christ Church" or "Jesus College." The carrying of colors, using bands of music, processions, and other sensational methods are justified because other methods have failed to influence the masses. Striking handbills are used as the only means likely to influence drunkards, gamblers, thieves, and neglecters of salvation generally. The terms "Blood and Fire," used ion the banners and in their literature, refer to the blood of the Atonement by which men are saved, and fire means the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies, energizes, and comforts all true soldiers of God.
All new converts are taught and encouraged to speak immediately after their conversion, just to tell what the Lord has done for them; it commits them to a life of usefulness in his service before all their old companions, kindred, and friends God blesses them in so doing, it makes them happy and useful, and has been the means of saving scores from becoming backsliders, by returning to their old ways.
The employment, of women to speak and preach has been objected to by some, but it is justified by various passages in the New Test. Beyond these, the fact that they have the gift to preach — and this both Mrs. and Miss Booth have in a very high degree — and preach most effectively, is evidence that the gift should be exercised. Philip the Evangelist had four daughters who were preachers. For ten years and more Mrs. and Miss Booth, and scores of other females in the army, have preached continually to all classes of people, without any evil consequences following; on the contrary, hundreds of people, rich and poor, have been saved under their ministrations. The army does not recruit its ranks by drawing members from any churches, it openly avows its objection to accept members belonging to any existing Church; but churches of most denominations have voluntarily contributed to its funds, especially the Church of England and the Methodists, who best understand its operations and designs. Many of the army converts go to join other churches, and it is known that more than four hundred persons, converted and trained in its ranks, were, in 1885, employed by different religions organizations as ministers, evangelists, missionaries, colporteurs, Bible women, and in other like agencies. Great care is taken of the health of the soldiers in the army, and when unable to attend to the duties of their station they are sent to a House of Rest, which was many years the home of general Booth and his family, and there they remain till recovered strength justifies their return to duty.
III. Statistics. — The success of the army, especially in Great Britain and the colonies, has commanded the attention and consideration of persons in all classes of society. On June 30, 1882, queen Victoria intimated her personal disposition towards the army in a letter to Mrs. Booth, from which the following is an extract: "Madam, I am commanded by the queen to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th inst., and to assure you that her majesty learns with much satisfaction that you have, with other members of your society, been successful in your efforts in winning many thousands to the ways of temperance, virtue, and religion." About the same time the bishops in convocation spoke most favorably of the army, and they unanimously passed a resolution "for a committee of their lordships to inquire into the workings of the army, to see what advice they could give to their presbyters in dealing with them." The archbishop of York and the bishop of Bedford, among others, have gathered large companies of the army and administered the Lord's Supper to them in their churches.*
* In 1883 the Salvation Army was prohibited by the authorities of the cantons of Geneva, Berne, and Neufchatel, in Switzerland, on an old law, as disturbers of the public peace, and there have been occasional interferences with their Sunday processions in some towns in America by the municipal authorities on similar grounds — ED.
The great Congress Hall in London is the school for the army. There about one hundred and fifty soldiers are constantly under training in various departments some have to learn the mere elements of knowledge, and the elements of theology are not forgotten. To many of the cadets the interior of a church or chapel was a place of mystery before their conversion. The army is now so thoroughly before the public, and has met with almost universal endorsement in the minds-of unprejudiced persons, that it has become a most important factor in raising fallen and degraded humanity in nearly all lands. As described by general Booth himself, "The end and design of the Salvation Army is to spread throughout the entire world, and to last as long as God has enemies to be fought with and overcome!"
STATE OF THE SALVATION ARMY, DECEMBER, 1885
Corps Officers 1884 1885 1884 1885 United Kingdom 637 802 1476 1780 France and Switzerland 15 29 55 108 Sweden 4 8 17 36 United States 50 143 120 301 California 5 6 8 12 Canada 71 141 226 418 India and Ceylon 14 16 55 55 Victoria 21 41 35 95 South Australia 35 42 65 71 New South Wales 21 35 33 67 Tasmania 3 6 7 14 Queensland 3 9 New Zealand 23 33 53 75 South Africa 11 17 14 35 Holland in preparation 910 1322 2164 3076
NUMBER OF SERVICES HELD
Weekly Rate per Year During 1884 17,470 877,500 During 1885 25,496 1,362,792 Increase 8026 485,292