"In Darkest England and The Way Out"
General William Booth
Part 6 out of 7
measures and motives adapted to their circumstances, compels them to
accept its benefits.
Our Plan contemplates nothing short of revolutionising the character of
those whose faults are the reason for their destitution. We have seen
that with fully fifty per cent. of these their own evil conduct is the
cause of their wretchedness. To stop short with them of anything less
than a real change of heart will be to invite and ensure failure.
But this we are confident of effecting--anyway, in the great majority
of cases, by reasonings and persuasions, concerning both earthly and
heavenly advantages, by the power of man, and by the power of God.
By this Scheme any man, no matter how deeply he may have fallen in
self-respect and the esteem of all about him, may re-enter life afresh,
with the prospect of re-establishing his character when lost,
or perhaps of establishing a character for the first time, and so
obtaining an introduction to decent employment, and a claim for
admission into Society as a good citizen. While many of this crowd are
absolutely without a decent friend, others will have, on that higher
level of respectability they once occupied, some relative, or friend,
or employer, who occasionally thinks of them, and who, if only
satisfied that a real change has taken place in the prodigal, will not
only be willing, but delighted, to help them once more.
By this Scheme, we believe we shall be able to teach habits of economy,
household management, thrift, and the like. There are numbers of men
who, although suffering the direst pangs of poverty, know little or
nothing about the value of money, or the prudent use of it; and there
are hundreds of poor women who do not know what a decently-managed home
is, and who could not make one if they had the most ample means and
tried ever so hard to accomplish it, having never seen anything but
dirt, disorder, and misery in their domestic history. They could not
cook a dinner or prepare a meal decently if their lives were dependent
on it, never having had a chance of learning how to do it. But by this
Scheme hope to teach these things.
By this Plan, habits of cleanliness will be created, and some
knowledge of sanitary questions in general will be imparted.
This Scheme changes the circumstances of those whose poverty is caused
by their misfortune. To begin with, it finds work for the unemployed.
This is the chief need. The great problem that has for ages been
puzzling the brains of the political economist and philanthropist has
been "How can we find these people work?" No matter what other helps
are discovered, without work there is no real ground for hope.
Charity and all the other ten thousand devices are only temporary
expedients, altogether insufficient to meet the necessity. Work, apart
from the fact that it is God's method of supplying the wants of man's
composite nature, is an essential to his well-being in every way--
and on this Plan there is work, honourable work--none of your
demoralising stone-breaking, or oakum-picking business, which
tantalises and insults poverty, Every worker will feel that he is not
only occupied for his own benefit, but that any advantage reaped over
and above that which he gains himself will serve to lift some other
poor wretch out of the gutter.
There would be work within the capacity of all. Every gift could be
employed. For instance, take five persons on the Farm--a baker,
a tailor, a shoemaker, a cook, and an agriculturist. The baker would
make bread for all, the tailor garments for all, the shoemaker shoes
for all, the cook would cook for all, and the agriculturist dig for all.
Those who know anything which would be useful to the inhabitants of
the Colony will be set to do it, and those who are ignorant of any
trade or profession will be taught one.
This Scheme removes the vicious and criminal classes out of the sphere
of those temptations before which they have invariably fallen in the
past. Our experience goes to show that when you have, by Divine grace,
or by any consideration of the advantages of a good life, or the
disadvantages of a bad one, produced in a man circumstanced as those
whom we have been describing, the resolution to turn over a new leaf,
the temptations and difficulties he has to encounter will ordinarily
master him, and undo all that has been done, if he still continues to
be surrounded by old companions and allurements to sin.
Now, look at the force of the temptations this class has to fight
against. What is it that leads people to do wrong--people of all
classes, rich as well as poor? Not the desire to sin. They do not want
to sin; many of them do not know what sin is, but they have certain
appetites or natural likings, the indulgence of which is pleasant to
them, and when the desire for their unlawful gratification is aroused,
regardless of the claims of God, their own highest interests, or the
well-being of their fellows, they are carried away by them; and thus
all the good resolutions they have made in the past come to grief.
For instance, take the temptation which comes through the natural
appetite, hunger. Here is a man who has been at a religious meeting,
or received some good advice, or, perhaps, just come out of prison,
with the memories of the hardships he has suffered fresh upon him, or
the advice of the chaplain ringing in his ears. He has made up his
mind to steal no more, but he has no means of earning a livelihood.
He becomes hungry. What is he to do? A loaf of bread tempts him, or,
more likely, a gold chain which he can turn into bread. An inward
struggle commences, he tries to stick to his bargain, but the hunger
goes on gnawing within, and it may be there is a wife and children
hungry as well as himself; so he yields to the temptation, takes the
chain, and in turn the policeman takes him.
Now this man does not want to do wrong, and still less does he want to
go to prison. In a sincere, dreamy way he desires to be good,
and if the path were easier for him he would probably walk in it.
Again, there is the appetite for drink. That man has no thought of
sinning when he takes his first glass. Much less does he want to get
drunk. He may have still a vivid recollection of the unpleasant
consequences that followed his last spree, but the craving is on him;
the public-house is there handy; his companions press him; he yields,
and falls, and, perhaps, falls to rise no more.
We might amplify, but our Scheme proposes to take the poor slave right
away from the public-houses, the drink, and the companions that allure
him to it, and therefore we think the chances of reformation in him are
Then think of the great boon this Scheme will be to the children,
bringing them out of the slums, wretched hovels, and filthy surroundings
in which they are being reared for lives of abomination of every
description, into the fields, amongst the green trees and cottage homes,
where they can grow up with a chance of saving both body and soul.
Think again of the change this Scheme will make for these poor
creatures from the depressing, demoralising surroundings, of the
unsightly, filthy quarters in which they are huddled together, to the
pure air and sights and sounds of the country. There is much talk
about the beneficial influence of pictures, music and literature upon
the multitudes. Money, like water, is being poured forth to supply
such attractions in Museums, People's Palaces, and the like, for the
edification and amelioration of the social condition of the masses.
But "God made the country, man made the town," and if we take the
people to the pictures of divine manufacture, that must be the superior
Again, the Scheme is capable of illimitable application. The plaister
can be made as large as the wound. The wound is certainly a very
extensive one, and it seems at first sight almost ridiculous for any
private enterprise to attempt dealing with it. Three millions of
people, living in little short of perpetual misery have to be reached
and rescued out of this terrible condition. But it can be done, and
this Scheme will do it, if it is allowed a fair chance. Not all at
once? True! It will take time, but it will begin to tell on the
restering mass straight away. Within a measurable distance we ought
to be able to take out of this black sea at least a hundred individuals
a week, and there is no reason why this number should not go on
An appreciable impression on this gulf of misery would be immediately
made, not only for those who are rescued from its dark waters,
but for those who are left behind, seeing that for every hundred
individuals removed, there is just the additional work which they
performed for those who remain. It might not be much, but still it
would soon count up. Supposing three carpenters are starving on
employment which covered one-third of their time, if you take two away,
the one left will have full employment. But it will be for the public
to fix, by their contributions, the extent of our operations.
The benefits bestowed by this Scheme will be permanent in duration.
It will be seen that this is no temporary expedient, such as, alas!
nearly every effort hitherto made on behalf of these classes has been.
Relief Works, Soup Kitchens, Enquiries into Character, Emigration
Schemes, of which none will avail themselves, Charity in its hundred
forms, Casual Wards, the Union, and a hundred other Nostrums may serve
for the hour, but they are only at the best palliations. But this
Scheme, I am bold to say, offers a substantial and permanent remedy.
In relieving one section of the community, our plan involves no
interference with the well-being of any other.
(See Chapter VII. Section 4, "Objections.")
This Scheme removes the all but insuperable barrier to an industrious
and godly life. It means not only the leading of these lost multitudes
out of the "City of Destruction" into the Canaan of plenty, but the
lifting of them up to the same level of advantage with the more
favoured of mankind for securing the salvation of their souls.
Look at the circumstances of hundreds and thousands of the classes of
whom we are speaking. From the cradle to the grave, might not their
influence in the direction of Religious Belief be summarised in one
sentence, "Atheism made easy." Let my readers imagine theirs to have
been a similar lot. Is it not possible that, under such circumstances,
they might have entertained some serious doubts as to the existence of
a benevolent God who would thus allow His creatures to starve, or that
they would have been so preoccupied with their temporal miseries as to
have no heart for any concern about the next life?
Take a man, hungry and cold, who does not know where his next meal is
coming from; nay, who thinks it problematical whether it will come at
all. We know his thoughts will be taken up entirely with the bread he
needs for his body. What he wants is a dinner. The interests of his
soul must wait.
Take a woman with a starving family, who knows that as soon as Monday
comes round the rent must be paid, or else she and her children must
go into the street, and her little belongings be impounded.
At the present moment she is without it. Are not her thoughts likely
to wander in that direction if she slips into a Church or Mission Hall,
or Salvation Army Barracks?
I have had some experience on this subject, and have been making
observations with respect to it ever since the day I made my first
attempt to reach these starving, hungry, crowds--just over forty-five
years ago--and I am quite satisfied that these multitudes will not be
saved in their present circumstances. All the Clergymen.
Home Missionaries, Tract Distributors, Sick Visitors, and everyone else
who care about the Salvation of the poor, may make up their minds as to
that. If these people are to believe in Jesus Christ, become the
Servants of God, and escape the miseries of the wrath to come, they
must be helped out of their present social miseries. They must be put
into a position in which they can work and eat, and have a decent room
to live and sleep in, and see something before them besides a long,
weary, monotonous, grinding round of toil, and anxious care to keep
themselves and those they love barely alive, with nothing at the
further end but the Hospital, the Union, or the Madhouse. If Christian
Workers and Philanthropists will join hands to effect this change it
will be accomplished, and the people will rise up and bless them, and
be saved; if they will not, the people will curse them and perish.
SECTION 4.--SOME OBJECTIONS MET.
Objections must be expected. They are a necessity with regard to any
Scheme that has not yet been reduced to practice, and simply signify
foreseen difficulties in the working of it. We freely admit that there
are abundance of difficulties in the way of working out the plan
smoothly and successfully that has been laid down. But many of these
we imagine will vanish when we come to close quarters, and the
remainder will be surmounted by courage and patience. Should, however,
this plan prove the success we predict, it must eventually
revolutionise the condition of the starving sections of Society,
not only in this great metropolis, but throughout the whole range of
civilisation. It must therefore be worthy not only of a careful
consideration but of persevering trial.
Some of these difficulties at first sight appear rather serious.
Let us look at them.
Objection I.--It is suggested that the class of people for whose
benefit the Scheme is designed would not avail themselves of it.
When the feast was prepared and the invitation had gone forth,
it is said that the starving multitudes would not come; that though
labour was offered them in the City, or prepared for them on the Farm,
they would prefer to rot in their present miseries rather than avail
themselves of the benefit provided.
In order to gather the opinions of those most concerned, we consulted
one evening, by a Census in our London Shelters, two hundred and fifty
men out of work, and all suffering severely in consequence.
We furnished a set of questions, and obtained answers from the whole.
Now, it must be borne in mind that these men were under no obligation
whatever to make any reply to our enquiries, much less to answer them
favourably to our plan, of which they knew next to nothing.
These two hundred and fifty men were mostly in the prime of life,
the greater portion of them being skilled workmen; an examination of
the return papers showing that out of the entire number two hundred and
seven were able to work at their trades had they the opportunity.
The number of trades naturally varied. There were some of all kinds:
Engineers, Custom House Officers, Schoolmasters, Watch and Clockmakers,
Sailors, and men of the different branches of the Building trade;
also a number of men who have been in business on their own account.
The average amount of wages earned by the skilled mechanics when
regularly employed was 33s. per week; the money earned by the
unskilled averaged 22s. per week.
They could not be accounted lazy, as most of them; when not employed
at their own trade or occupation, had proved their willingness to work
by getting jobs at anything that turned up. On looking over the list
we saw that one who had been a Custom House Officer had recently acted
as Carpenter's Labourer; a Type-founder had been glad to work at
Chimney Sweeping; the Schoolmaster, able to speak five languages, who
in his prosperous days had owned a farm, was glad to do odd jobs as a
Bricklayer's Labourer; a Gentleman's Valet, who once earned #5 a week,
had come so low down in the world that he was glad to act as Sandwich
man for the magnificent sum of fourteenpence a day, and that, only as
an occasional affair.
In the list was a dyer and cleaner, married, with a wife and nine
children, who had been able to earn 40s. a week, but had done no
regular work for three years out of the last ten.
We put the following question to the entire number: -- "If you were put
on a farm, and set to work at anything you could do, and supplied with
food, lodging, and clothing, with a view to getting you on to your
feet, would you be willing to do all you could?"
In response, the whole 250 replied in the affirmative, with one
exception, and on enquiry we elicited that, being a sailor, the man was
afraid he would not know how to do the work.
On being interrogated as to their willingness to grapple with the hard
labour on the land, they said: "Why should we not? Look at us.
Can any plight be more miserable than ours?" Why not, indeed?
A glance at them would certainly make it impossible for any thoughtful
person to assign a rational reason for their refusal--in rags,
swarming with vermin, hungry, many of them living on scraps of food,
begged or earned in the most haphazard fashion, without sufficient
clothing to cover their poor gaunt limbs, most of them without a shirt.
They had to start out the next morning, uncertain which way to turn to
earn a crust for dinner, or the fourpence necessary to supply them
again with the humble shelter they had enjoyed that night. The idea of
their refusing employment which would supply abundantly the necessaries
of life, and give the prospect of becoming, in process of time,
the owner of a home, with its comforts and companionships, is beyond
conception. There is not much question that this class will not only
accept the Scheme we want to set before them, but gratefully do all in
their power to make it a success.
II.--Too many would come. This would be very probable.
There would certainly be too many apply. But we should be under no
obligation to take more than was convenient. The larger the number of
applications the wider the field for selection, and the greater the
necessity for the enlargement of our operations.
III.--They would run away. It is further objected that if they did
come, the monotony of the life, the strangeness of the work, together
with the absence of the excitements and amusements with which they had
been entertained in the cities and towns, would render their existence
unbearable. Even when left to the streets, there is an amount of life
and action in the city which is very attractive. Doubtless some would
run away, but I don't think this would be a large proportion.
The change would be so great, and so palpably advantageous, that I
think they would find in it ample compensation for the deprivation of
any little pleasureable excitement they had left behind them in the
city. For instance, there would be--
A Sufficiency of Food.
The friendliness and sympathy of their new associates. There would
be abundance of companions of similar tastes and circumstances--
not all pious. It would be quite another matter to going
single-handed on to a farm, or into a melancholy family.
Then there would be the prospect of doing well for themselves in
the future, together with all the religious life, meetings, music,
and freedom of the Salvation Army.
But what says our experience?
If there be one class which is the despair of the social reformer,
it is that which is variously described, but which we may term the lost
women of our streets. From the point of view of the industrial
organiser, they suffer from almost every fault that human material can
possess. They are, with some exceptions, untrained to labour,
demoralised by a life of debauchery, accustomed to the wildest license,
emancipated from all discipline but that of starvation, given to drink,
and, for the most part, impaired in health. If, therefore,
any considerable number of this class can be shown to be ready to
submit themselves voluntarily to discipline, to endure deprivation of
drink, and to apply themselves steadily to industry, then example will
go a long way towards proving that even the worst description of
humanity, when intelligently, thoroughly handled, is amenable to
discipline and willing to work. In our British Rescue Homes we receive
considerably over a thousand unfortunates every year; while all over
the world, our annual average is two thousand. The work has been in
progress for three years--long enough to enable us to test very fully
the capacity of the class in question to reform.
With us there is no compulsion. If any girl wishes to remain, she
remains. If she wishes to go, she goes. No one is detained a day or
an hour longer than they choose to stay. Yet our experience shows
that, as a rule, they do not run away. Much more restless and
thoughtless and given to change, as a class, than men, the girls do
not, in any considerable numbers, desert. The average of our London
Homes, for the last three years, gives only 14 per cent. as leaving on
their own account, while for the year 1889 only 5 per cent. And the
entire number, who have either left or been dismissed during that year,
amounts only to 13 per cent. on the whole.
IV.--They would not work.
Of course, to such as had for years been leading idle lives, anything
like work and exhaustive labour would be very trying and wearisome,
and a little patience and coaxing might be required to get them into
the way of it. Perhaps some would be hopelessly beyond salvation in
this respect, and, until the time comes, if it ever does arrive,
when the Government will make it a crime for an abled-bodied man to beg
when there is an opportunity for him to engage in remunerative work,
this class will wander abroad preying upon a generous public. It will,
however, only need to be known that any man can obtain work if he wants
it, for those who have by their liberality maintained men and women in
idleness to cease doing so. And when it comes to this pass, that a man
cannot eat without working, of the two evils he will choose the latter,
preferring labour, however unpleasant it may be to his tastes, to
It must be borne in mind that the penalty of certain expulsion, which
all would be given to understand would be strictly enforced would have
a good influence in inducing the idlest to give work a fair trial,
and once at it should not despair of conquering the aversion
altogether, and eventually being able to transform and pass these once
lazy loafers as real industrious members of Society.
Again, any who have fears on this point may be encouraged by
contrasting the varied and ever-changing methods of labour we should
pursue, with the monotonous and uninteresting grind of many of the
ordinary employments of the poor, and the circumstances by which they
Here, again, we fall back upon our actual experience in reclamation
work. In our Homes for Saving the Lost Women we have no difficulty of
getting them to work. The idleness of this section of the social
strata has been before referred to; it is not for a moment denied,
and there can be no question, as to its being the cause of much of
their poverty and distress. But from early morn until the lights are
out at night, all is a round of busy, and, to a great extent, very
uninteresting labour; while the girls have, as a human inducement,
only domestic service to look forward to--of which they are in no way
particularly enamoured--and yet here is no mutiny, no objection,
no unwillingness to work; in fact they appear well pleased to be kept
continually at it. Here is a report that teaches the same lesson.
A small Bookbinding Factory is worked in connection with the Rescue
Homes in London. The folders and stitchers are girls saved from the
streets, but who, for various reasons, were found unsuitable for
domestic service. The Factory has solved the problem of employment for
some of the most difficult cases. Two of the girls at present employed
there are crippled, while one is supporting herself and two young
While learning the work they live in the Rescue Homes, and the few
shillings they are able to earn are paid into the Home funds.
As soon as they are able to earn 12s. a week, a lodging is found for
them (with Salvationists, if possible), and they are placed entirely
upon their own resources. The majority of girls working at this trade
in London are living in the family, and 6s., 7s., and 8s. a week make
an acceptable addition to the Home income; but our girls who are
entirely dependent upon their own earnings must make an average wage of
12s. a week at least. In order that they may do this we are obliged to
pay higher wages than other employers. For instance, we give from
2 1/2d. to 3d. a thousand more than the trade for binding small
pamphlets; nevertheless, after the Manager, a married man, is paid, and
a man for the superintendence of the machines, a profit of about #500
has been made, and the work is improving. They are all paid piecework.
Eighteen women are supporting themselves in this way at present, and
conducting themselves most admirably. One of their number acts as
forewoman, and conducts the Prayer Meeting at 12.30, the Two-minutes'
Prayer after meals, etc. Their continuance in the factory is subject
to their good behaviour--both at home as well as at work.
In one instance only have we had any trouble at all, and in this
solitary case the girl was so penitent she was forgiven, and has done
well ever since. I think that, without exception, they are Salvation
Soldiers, and will be found at nearly every meeting on the Sabbath,
etc. The binding of Salvation Army publications-- "The Deliverer,"
"All the World," the Penny Song Books, etc., almost keep us going.
A little outside work for the end of the months is taken, but we are
not able to make any profit generally, it is so badly paid.
It will be seen that this is a miniature factory, but still it is a
factory, and worked on principles that will admit of illimitable
extension, and may, I think, be justly regarded as an encouragement and
an exemplification of what may be accomplished in endless variations.
V.--Again, it is objected that the class whose benefit we
contemplate would not have physical ability to work on a farm, or in
the open air.
How, it is asked, would tailors, clerks, weavers, seamstresses,
and the destitute people, born and reared in the slums and
poverty-hovels of the towns and cities, do farm or any other work that
has to do with the land? The employment in the open air, with exposure
to every kind of weather which accompanies it, would, it is said, kill
them off right away.
We reply, that the division of labour before described would render it
as unnecessary as it would be undesirable and uneconomical, to put many
of these people to dig or to plant. Neither is it any part of our plan
to do so. On our Scheme we have shown how each one would be appointed
to that kind of work for which his previous knowledge and experience
and strength best adapted him. Moreover, there can be no possible
comparison between the conditions of health enjoyed by men and women
wandering about homeless, sleeping in the streets or in the
fever-haunted lodging-houses, or living huddled up in a single room,
and toiling twelve and fourteen hours in a sweater's den, and living in
comparative comfort in well-warmed and ventilated houses, situated in
the open country, with abundance of good, healthy food.
Take a man or a woman out into the fresh air, give them proper
exercise, and substantial food. Supply them with a comfortable home,
cheerful companions, and a fair prospect of reaching a position of
independence in this or some other land, and a complete renewal of
health and careful increase of vigour will, we expect, be one of the
first great benefits that will ensue.
VI.--It is objected that we should be left with a considerable
residuum of half-witted, helpless people.
Doubtless this would be a real difficulty, and we should have to
prepare for it. We certainly, at the outset, should have to guard
against too many of this class being left upon our hands, although we
should not be compelled to keep anyone. It would, how ever, be painful
to have to send them back to the dreadful life from which we had
rescued them. Still, however, this would not be so ruinous a risk,
looked at financially, as some would imagine. We could, we think,
maintain them for 4s. per week, and they would be very weak indeed in
body, and very wanting in mental, strength if they were not able to
earn that amount in some one of the many forms of employment which the
Colony would open up.
VII.--Again, it will be objected that some efforts of a similar
character have failed. For instance, co-operative enterprises in
farming have not succeeded.
True, but so far as I can ascertain, nothing of the character I am
describing has ever been attempted. A large number of Socialistic
communities have been established and come to grief in the United
States, in Germany, and elsewhere, but they have all, both in principle
and practice, strikingly differed from what we are proposing here:
Take one particular alone, the great bulk of these societies have not
only been fashioned without any regard to the principles of
Christianity, but, in the vast majority of instances, have been in
direct opposition to them; and the only communities based on
co-operative principles that have survived the first few months of
their existence have been based upon Christian truth. If not absolute
successes, there have been some very remarkable results obtained by
efforts partaking somewhat of the nature of the one I am setting forth.
(See that of Ralahine, described in Appendix.)
VIII.--It is further objected that it would be impossible to maintain
order and enforce good discipline amongst this class of people.
We are of just the opposite opinion. We think that it would --nay,
we are certain of it, and we speak as those who have had considerable
experience in dealing with the lower classes of Society.
We have already dealt with this difficulty. We may say further--
That we do not propose to commence with a thousand people in a wild,
untamed state, either at home or abroad. To the Colony Over-Sea we
should send none but those who have had a long period of training in
this country. The bulk of those sent to the Provincial Farm would have
had some sort of trial in the different City Establishments. We should
only draft them on to the Estate in small numbers, as we were prepared
to deal with them, and I am quite satisfied that without the legal
methods of maintaining order that are acted upon so freely in
workhouses and other similar institutions, we should have as perfect
obedience to Law, as great respect for authority, and as strong a
spirit of kindness pervading all ranks throughout the whole of the
community as could be found in any other institution in the land.
It will be borne in mind that our Army system of government largely
prepares us, if it does not qualify us, for this task. Anyway, it
gives us a good start. All our people are trained in habits of
obedience, and all our Officers are educated in the exercise of
authority. The Officers throughout the Colony would be almost
exclusively recruited from the ranks of the Army, and everyone of them
would go to the work, both theoretically and practically, familiar with
those principles which are the essence of good discipline.
Then we can argue, and that very forcibly, from the actual experience
we have already had in dealing with this class. Take our experience in
the Army itself. Look at the order of our Soldiers. Here are men and
women, who have no temporal interest whatever at stake, receiving no
remuneration, often sacrificing their earthly interests by their union
with us, and yet see how they fall into line, and obey orders in the
promptest manner, even when such orders go right in the teeth of their
"Yes," it will be replied by some, "this is all very excellent so far
as it relates to those who are altogether of your own way of thinking.
You can command them as you please, and they will obey, but what proof
have you given of your ability to control and discipline those who are
not of your way of thinking?
"You can do that with your Salvationists because they are saved, as you
call it. When men are born again you can do anything with them.
But unless you convert all the denizens of Darkest England, what chance
is there that they will be docile to your discipline? If they were
soundly saved no doubt something might be done. But they are not
saved, soundly or otherwise; they are lost. What reason have you for
believing that they will be amenable to discipline?"
I admit the force of this objection; but I have an answer, and an
answer which seems to me complete. Discipline, and that of the most
merciless description, is enforced upon multitudes of these people even
now. Nothing that the most authoritative organisation of industry
could devise in the excess of absolute power, could for a moment
compare with the slavery enforced to-day in the dens of the sweater.
It is not a choice between liberty and discipline that confronts these
unfortunates, but between discipline mercilessly enforced by starvation
and inspired by futile greed, and discipline accompanied with regular
rations and administered solely for their own benefit. What liberty is
there for the tailors who have to sew for sixteen to twenty hours a
day, in a pest-hole, in order to earn ten shillings a week?
There is no discipline so brutal as that of the sweater; there is no
slavery so relentless as that from which we seek to deliver the
victims. Compared with their normal condition of existence, the most
rigorous discipline which would be needed to secure the complete
success of any new individual organisation would be an escape from
slavery into freedom.
You may reply, "that it might be so, if people understood their own
interest. But as a matter of fact they do not understand it, and that
they will never have sufficient far-sightedness to appreciate the
advantages that are offered them."
To this I answer, that here also I do not speak from theory.
I lay before you the ascertained results of years of experience.
More than two years ago, moved by the misery and despair of the
unemployed, I opened the Food and Shelter Depots in London already
described. Here are a large number of men every night, many of them of
the lowest type of casuals who crawl about the streets, a certain
proportion criminals, and about as difficult a class to manage as I
should think could be got together, and while there will be 200 of them
in a single building night after night, from the first opening of the
doors in the evening until the last man has departed in the morning,
there shall scarcely be a word of dissatisfaction; anyway, nothing in
the shape of angry temper or bad language. No policemen are required;
indeed two or three nights' experience will be sufficient to turn the
regular frequenters of the place of their own free will into Officers
of Order, glad not only to keep the regulations of the place, but to
enforce its discipline upon others.
Again, every Colonist, whether in the City or elsewhere, would know
that those who took the interests of the Colony to heart, were loyal to
its authority and principles, and laboured industriously in promoting
its interests, would be rewarded accordingly by promotion to positions
of influence and authority, which would also carry with them temporal
advantages, present and prospective.
But one of our main hopes would be in the apprehension by the Colonists
of the fact that all our efforts were put forth on their behalf.
Every man and woman on the place would know that this enterprise was
begun and carried on solely for their benefit, and that of the other
members of their class, and that only their own good behaviour and
co-operation would ensure their reaping a personal share in such
benefit. Still our expectations would be largely based on the creation
of a spirit of unselfish interest in the community.
IX. Again, it is objected that the Scheme is too vast to be attempted
by voluntary enterprise; it ought to be taken up and carried out by the
Perhaps so, but there is no very near probability of Government
undertaking it, and we are not quite sure whether such an attempt would
prove a success if it were made. But seeing that neither Governments,
nor Society, nor individuals have stood forward to undertake what God
has made appear to us to be so vitally important a work, and as He has
given us the willingness, and in many important senses the ability,
we are prepared, if the financial help is furnished, to make a
determined effort, not only to undertake but to carry it forward to a
X.--It is objected that the classes we seek to benefit are too
ignorant and depraved for Christian effort, or for effort of any kind,
to reach and reform.--
Look at the tramps, the drunkards, the harlots, the criminals.
How confirmed they are in their idle and vicious habits. It will be
said, indeed has been already said by those with whom I have conversed,
that I don't know them; which statement cannot, I think, be maintained,
for if I don't know them, who does?
I admit, however, that thousands of this class are very far gone from
every sentiment, principle and practice of right conduct. But I argue
that these poor people cannot be much more unfavourable subjects for
the work of regeneration than are many of the savages and heathen
tribes, in the conversion of whom Christians universally believe;
for whom they beg large sums of money, and to whom they send their best
and bravest people.
These poor people are certainly embraced in the Divine plan of mercy.
To their class, the Saviour especially gave His attention when he was
on the earth, and for them He most certainly died on the Cross.
Some of the best examples of Christian faith and practice, and some of
the most successful workers for the benefit of mankind, have sprung
from this class, of which we have instances recorded in the Bible,
and any number in the history of the Church and of the Salvation Army.
It may be objected that while this Scheme would undoubtedly assist one
class of the community by making steady, industrious workmen, it must
thereby injure another class by introducing so many new hands into the
labour market, already so seriously overstocked.
To this we reply that there is certainly an appearance of force in this
objection; but it has, I think, been already answered in the foregoing
pages. Further, if the increase of workers, which this Scheme will
certainly bring about, was the beginning and the end of it, it would
certainly present a somewhat serious aspect. But, even on that
supposition, I don't see how the skilled worker could leave his
brothers to rot in their present wretchedness, though their rescue
should involve the sharing of a portion of his wages.
(1) But there is no such danger, seeing that the number of extra
hands thrown on the British Labour Market must be necessarily
(2) The increased production of food in our Farm and Colonial
operations must indirectly benefit the working man.
(3) The taking out of the labour market of a large number of
individuals who at present have only partial work, while benefiting
them, must of necessity afford increased labour to those left
(4) While every poor workless individual made into a wage earner will
of necessity have increased requirements in proportion.
For instance, the drunkard who has had to manage with a few bricks,
a soap box, and a bundle of rags, will want a chair, a table,
a bed, and at least the other necessary adjuncts to a furnished home,
however sparely fitted up it may be.
There is no question but that when our Colonisation Scheme is fairly
afloat it will drain off, not only many of those who are in the morass,
but a large number who are on the verge of it. Nay, even artisans,
earning what are considered good wages, will be drawn by the desire to
improve their circumstances, or to raise their children under more
favourable surroundings, or from still nobler motives, to leave the old
country. Then it is expected that the agricultural labourer and the
village artisan, who are ever migrating to the great towns and cities,
will give the preference to the Colony Over-Sea, and so prevent that
accumulation of cheap labour which is considered to interfere so
materially with the maintenance of a high wages standard.
SECTION 5. RECAPITULATION.
I have now passed in review the leading features of the Scheme, which I
put forward as one that is calculated to considerably contribute to the
amelioration of the condition of the lowest stratum of our Society.
It in no way professes to be complete in all its details.
Anyone may at any point lay his finger on this, that, or the other
feature of the Scheme, and show some void that must be filled in if it
is to work with effect. There is one thing, however, that can be
safely said in excuse for the short comings of the Scheme, and that is
that if you wait until you get an ideally perfect plan you will have to
wait until the Millennium, and then you will not need it.
My suggestions, crude though they may be, have, nevertheless, one
element that will in time supply all deficiencies. There is life in
them, with life there is the promise and power of adaptation to all the
innumerable and varying circumstances of the class with which we have
to deal. Where there is life there is infinite power of adjustment.
This is no cast-iron Scheme, forged in a single brain and then set up
as a standard to which all must conform. It is a sturdy plant,
which has its roots deep down in the nature and circumstances of men.
Nay, I believe in the very heart of God Himself. It has already grown
much, and will, if duly nurtured and tended, grow still further, until
from it, as from the grain of mustard-seed in the parable, there shall
spring up a great tree whose branches shall overshadow all the earth.
Once more let me say, I claim no patent rights in any part of this
Scheme. Indeed, I do not know what in it is original and what is not.
Since formulating some of the plans, which I had thought were new under
the sun, I have discovered that they have been already tried in
different parts of the world, and that with great promise. It may be
so with others, and in this I rejoice. I plead for no exclusiveness.
The question is much too serious for such fooling as that. Here are
millions of our fellow-creatures perishing amidst the breakers of the
sea of life, dashed to pieces on sharp rocks, sucked under by eddying
whirlpools, suffocated even when they think they have reached land by
treacherous quicksands; to save them from this imminent destruction I
suggest that these things should be done. If you have any better plan
than mine for effecting this purpose, in God's name bring it to the
light and get it carried out quickly. If you have not, then lend me a
hand with mine, as I would be only too glad to lend you a hand with
yours if it had in it greater promise of successful action than mine.
In a Scheme for the working out of social salvation the great,
the only, test that is worth anything is the success with which they
attain the object for which they are devised. An ugly old tub of a
boat that will land a shipwrecked sailor safe on the beach is worth
more to him than the finest yacht that ever left a slip-way incapable
of effecting the same object. The superfine votaries of culture may
recoil in disgust from the rough-and-ready suggestions which I have
made for dealing with the Sunken Tenth, but mere recoiling is no
solution. If the cultured and the respectable and the orthodox and the
established dignitaries and conventionalities of Society pass by on the
other side we cannot follow their example.
We may not be priests and Levites, but we can at least play the part of
the Good Samaritan. The man who went down to Jericho and fell among
thieves was probably a very improvident, reckless individual, who ought
to have known better than to go roaming alone through defiles haunted
by banditti, whom he even led into temptation by the careless way in
which he exposed himself and his goods to their avaricious gaze.
It was, no doubt, largely his own fault that he lay there bruised and
senseless, and ready to perish, just as it is largely the fault of
those whom we seek to help that they lie in the helpless plight in
which we find them. But for all that, let us bind up their wounds with
such balm as we can procure, and, setting them on our ass, let us take
them to our Colony, where they may have time to recover, and once more
set forth on the journey of life.
And now, having said this much by way of reply to some of my critics,
I will recapitulate the salient features of the Scheme. I laid down at
the beginning certain points to be kept in view as embodying those
invariable laws or principles of political economy, without due regard
to which no Scheme can hope for even a chance of success.
Subject to these conditions, I think my Scheme will pass muster.
It is large enough to cope with the evils that will confront us;
it is practicable, for it is already in course of application, and it
is capable of indefinite expansion. But it would be better to pass the
whole Scheme in its more salient features in review once more.
The Scheme will seek to convey benefit to the destitute classes in
various ways altogether apart from their entering the Colonies.
Men and women maybe very poor and in very great sorrow, nay, on the
verge of actual starvation, and yet be so circumstanced as to be unable
to enrol themselves in the Colonial ranks. To these our cheap Food
Depots, our Advice Bureau, Labour Shops, and other agencies will prove
an unspeakable boon, and will be likely by such temporary assistance to
help them out of the deep gulf in which they are struggling.
Those who need permanent assistance will be passed on to the City
Colony, and taken directly under our control. Here they will be
employed as before described. Many will be sent off to friends;
work will be found for others in the City or elsewhere, while the great
bulk, after reasonable testing as to their sincerity and willingness to
assist in their own salvation, will be sent on to the Farm Colonies,
where the same process of reformation and training will be continued,
and unless employment is otherwise obtained they will then be passed on
to the Over-Sea Colony.
All in circumstances of destitution, vice, or criminality will receive
casual assistance or be taken into the Colony, on the sole conditions
of their being anxious for deliverance, and willing to work for it,
and to conform to discipline, altogether irrespective of character,
ability, religious opinions, or anything else.
No benefit will be conferred upon any individual except under
extraordinary circumstances, without some return being made in labour.
Even where relatives and friends supply money to the Colonists,
the latter must take their share of work with their comrades.
We shall not have room for a single idler throughout all our borders.
The labour allotted to each individual will be chosen in view of his
past employment or ability. Those who have any knowledge of
agriculture will naturally be put to work on the land; the shoemaker
will make shoes, the weaver cloth, and so on. And when there is no
knowledge of any handicraft, the aptitude of the individual and the
necessities of the hour will suggest the sort of work it would be most
profitable for such an one to learn.
Work of all descriptions will be executed as far as possible by hand
labour. The present rage for machinery has tended to produce much
destitution by supplanting hand labour so exclusively that the rush has
been from the human to the machine. We want, as far as is practicable,
to travel back from the machine to the human.
Each member of the Colony would receive food, clothing, lodging,
medicine, and all necessary care in case of sickness.
No wages would be paid, except a trifle by way of encouragement for
good behaviour and industry, or to those occupying positions of trust,
part of which will be saved in view of exigencies in our Colonial Bank,
and the remainder used for pocket money.
The whole Scheme of the three Colonies will for all practical purposes
be regarded as one; hence the training will have in view the
qualification of the Colonists for ultimately earning their livelihood
in the world altogether independently of our assistance, or, failing
this, fit them for taking some permanent work within our borders either
at home or abroad.
Another result of this unity of the Town and Country Colonies will be
the removal of one of the difficulties ever connected with the disposal
of the products of unemployed labour. The food from the Farm would be
consumed by the City, while many of the things manufactured in the City
would be consumed on the Farm.
The continued effort of all concerned in the reformation of these
people will be to inspire and cultivate those habits, the want of which
has been so largely the cause of the destitution and vice of the past.
Strict discipline, involving careful and continuous oversight, would be
necessary to the maintenance of order amongst so large a number of
people, many of whom had hitherto lived a wild and licentious life.
Our chief reliance in this respect would be upon the spirit of mutual
interest that would prevail.
The entire Colony would probably be divided into sections, each under
the supervision of a sergeant--one of themselves--working side by
side with them, yet responsible for the behaviour of all.
The chief Officers of the Colony would be individuals who had given
themselves to the work, not for a livelihood, but from a desire to be
useful to the suffering poor. They would be selected at the outset
from the Army, and that on the ground of their possessing certain
capabilities for the position, such as knowledge of the particular kind
of work they had to superintend, or their being good disciplinarians
and having the faculty for controlling men and being themselves
influenced by a spirit of love. Ultimately the Officers, we have no
doubt, would be, as is the case in all our other operations, men and
women raised up from the Colonists themselves, and who will
consequently, possess some special qualifications for dealing with
those they have to superintend. The Colonists will be divided into two
classes: the 1st, the class which receives no wages will consist of: --
(a) The new arrivals, whose ability, character, and habits are as yet
(b) The less capable in strength, mental calibre, or other capacity.
(c) The indolent, and those whose conduct and character appeared
doubtful. These would remain in this class, until sufficiently
improved for advancement, or are pronounced so hopeless as to
The 2nd class would have a small extra allowance, a part of which would
be given to the workers for private use, and a part reserved for future
contingencies, the payment of travelling expenses, etc.
From this class we should obtain our petty officers, send out hired
labourers, emigrants, etc., etc.
Such is the Scheme as I have conceived it. Intelligently applied, and
resolutely persevered in, I cannot doubt that it will produce a great
and salutary change in the condition of many of the most hopeless of
our fellow countrymen. Nor is it only our fellow countrymen to whom it
is capable of application. In its salient features, with such
alterations as are necessary, owing to differences of climate and of
race, it is capable of adoption in every city in the world, for it is
an attempt to restore to the masses of humanity that are crowded
together in cities, the human and natural elements of life which they
possessed when they lived in the smaller unit of the village or the
market town. Of the extent of the need there can be no question.
It is, perhaps, greatest in London, where the masses of population are
denser than those of any other city; but it exists equally in the chief
centres of population in the new Englands that have sprung up beyond
the sea, as well as in the larger cities of Europe. It is a remarkable
fact that up to the present moment the most eager welcome that has been
extended to this Scheme reaches us from Melbourne, where our officers
have been compelled to begin operations by the pressure of public
opinion and in compliance with the urgent entreaties of the Government
on one side and the leaders of the working classes on the other before
the plan had been elaborated, or instructions could be sent out for
It is rather strange to hear of distress reaching starvation point in a
city like Melbourne, the capital of a great new country which teems
with natural wealth of every kind. But Melbourne, too, has its
unemployed, and in no city in the Empire have we been more successful
in dealing with the social problem than in the capital of Victoria.
The Australian papers for some weeks back have been filled with reports
of the dealings of the Salvation Army with the unemployed of Melbourne.
This was before the great Strike. The Government of Victoria
practically threw upon our officers the task of dealing with the
unemployed. The subject was debated in the House of Assembly,
and at the close of the debate a subscription was taken up by one of
those who had been our most strenuous opponents, and a sum of #400
was handed over to our officers to dispense in keeping the starving
from perishing. Our people have found situations for no fewer than
1,776 persons, and are dispensing meals at the rate of 700 a day.
The Government of Victoria has long been taking the lead in recognising
the secular uses of the Salvation Army. The following letter addressed
by the Minister of the Interior to the Officer charged with the
oversight of this part of our operations, indicates the estimation in
which we are held: --
Government of Victoria, Chief Secretary's Office,
July 4th, 1889.
Superintendent Salvation Army Rescue Work.
Sir,--in compliance with your request for a letter of introduction
which may be of use to you in England, I have much pleasure in stating
from reports furnished by Officers of my Department, I am convinced
that the work you have been engaged on during the past six years has
been of material advantage to the community. You have rescued from
crime some who, but for the counsel and assistance rendered them, might
have been a permanent tax upon the State, and you have restrained from
further criminal courses others who had already suffered legal
punishment for their misdeeds. It has given me pleasure to obtain from
the Executive Council authority for you to apprehend children found in
Brothels, and to take charge of such children after formal committal.
Of the great value of this branch of your work there can be no
question. It is evident that the attendance of yourself and your
Officers at the police-courts and lock-ups has been attended with
beneficial results, and your invitation to our largest jails has been
highly approved by the head of the Department. Generally speaking,
I may say that your policy and procedure have been commended by the
Chief Officers of the Government of this Colony, who have observed your
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,
(Signed) ALFRED DEAKIN.
The Victorian Parliament has voted an annual grant to our funds,
not as a religious endowment, but in recognition of the service which
we render in the reclamation of criminals, and what may be called,
if I may use a word which has been so depraved by Continental abuse,
the moral police of the city. Our Officer in Melbourne has an official
position which opens to him almost every State institution and all the
haunts of vice where it may be necessary for him to make his way in the
search for girls that have been decoyed from home or who have fallen
into evil courses.
It is in Victoria also that a system prevails of handing over first
offenders to the care of the Salvation Army Officers, placing them in
recognizance to come up when called for. An Officer of the Army
attends at every Police Court, and the Prison Brigade is always on
guard at the gaol doors when the prisoners are discharged.
Our Officers also have free access to the prisons, where they can
conduct services and labour with the inmates for their Salvation.
As Victoria is probably the most democratic of our colonies, and the
one in which the working-class has supreme control, the extent to which
it has by its government recognised the value of our operations is
sufficient to indicate that we have nothing to fear from the opposition
of the democracy. In the neighbouring colony of New South Wales a lady
has already given us a farm of three hundred acres fully stocked,
on which to begin operations with a Farm Colony, and there seems some
prospect that the Scheme will get itself into active shape at the other
end of the world before it is set agoing in London. The eager welcome
which has thus forced the initiative upon our Officers in Melbourne
tends to encourage the expectation that the Scheme will be regarded as
no quack application, but will be generally taken up and quickly set in
operation all round the world.
CHAPTER 8. A PRACTICAL CONCLUSION.
Throughout this book I have more constantly used the first personal
pronoun than ever before in anything I have written. I have done this
deliberately, not from egotism, but in order to make it more clearly
manifest that here is a definite proposal made by an individual who is
prepared, if the means are furnished him, to carry it out. At the same
time I want it to be clearly understood that it is not in my own
strength, nor at my own charge, that I purpose to embark upon this
great undertaking. Unless God wills that I should work out the idea of
which I believe He has given me the conception, nothing can come of any
attempt at its execution but confusion, disaster, and disappointment.
But if it be His will--and whether it is or not, visible and manifest
tokens will soon be forthcoming--who is there that can stand against it?
Trusting in Him for guidance, encouragement, and support, I propose at
once to enter upon this formidable campaign.
I do not run without being called. I do not press forward to fill this
breach without being urgently pushed from behind. Whether or not,
I am called of God, as well as by the agonising cries of suffering men
and women and children, He will make plain to me, and to us all;
for as Gideon looked for a sign before he, at the bidding of the
heavenly messenger, undertook the leading of the chosen people against
the hosts of Midian, even so do I look for a sign. Gideon's sign was
arbitrary. He selected it. He dictated his own terms; and out of
compassion for his halting faith, a sign was given to him, and that
twice over. First, his fleece was dry when all the country round was
drenched with dew; and, secondly, his fleece was drenched with dew when
all the country round was dry.
The sign for which I ask to embolden me to go forwards is single,
not double. It is necessary and not arbitrary, and it is one which the
veriest sceptic or the most cynical materialist will recognise as
sufficient. If I am to work out the Scheme I have outlined in this
book, I must have ample means for doing so. How much would be required
to establish this Plan of Campaign in all its fulness, overshadowing
all the land with its branches laden with all manner of pleasant fruit,
I cannot even venture to form a conception. But I have a definite idea
as to how much would be required to set it fairly in operation.
Why do I talk about commencing? We have already begun, and that with
considerable effect. Our hand has been forced by circumstances.
The mere rumour of our undertaking reaching the Antipodes, as before
described, called forth such a demonstration of approval that my
Officers there were compelled to begin action without waiting orders
from home. In this country we have been working on the verge of the
deadly morass for some years gone by, and not without marvellous
effect. We have our Shelters, our Labour Bureau, our Factory,
our Inquiry Officers, our Rescue Homes, our Slum Sisters, and other
kindred agencies, all in good going order. The sphere of these
operations may be a limited one; still, what we have done already is
ample proof that when I propose to do much more I am not speaking
without my book; and though the sign I ask for may not be given,
I shall go struggling forward on the same lines; still, to seriously
take in hand the work which I have sketched out--to establish this
triple Colony, with all its affiliated agencies, I must have, at least,
a hundred thousand pounds.
A hundred thousand pounds! That is the dew on my fleece. It is not
much considering the money that is raised by my poor people for the
work of the Salvation Army. The proceeds of the Self-denial Week alone
last year brought us in #20,000. This year it will not fall short of
#25,000. If our poor people can do so much out of their poverty,
I do not think I am making an extravagant demand when I ask that out of
the millions of the wealth of the world I raise, as a first instalment,
a hundred thousand pounds, and say that I cannot consider myself
effectually called to undertake this work unless it is forthcoming.
It is in no spirit of dictation or arrogance that I ask the sign.
It is a necessity. Even Moses could not have taken the Children of
Israel dry-shod through the Red Sea unless the waves had divided.
That was the sign which marked out his duty, aided his faith,
and determined his action. The sign which I seek is somewhat similar.
Money is not everything. It is not by any means the main thing.
Midas, with all his millions, could no more do the work than he could
win the battle of Waterloo, or hold the Pass of Thermopylae.
But the millions of Midas are capable of accomplishing great and mighty
things, if they be sent about doing good under the direction of Divine
wisdom and Christ-like love.
How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven! It is easier to make a hundred poor men sacrifice their lives
than it is to induce one rich man to sacrifice his fortune, or even a
portion of it, to a cause in which, in his half-hearted fashion,
he seems to believe. When I look over the roll of men and women who
have given up friends, parents, home prospects, and everything they
possess in order to walk bare-footed beneath a burning sun in distant
India, to live on a handful of rice, and die in the midst of the dark
heathen for God and the Salvation Army, I sometimes marvel how it is
that they should be so eager to give up all, even life itself, in a
cause which has not power enough in it to induce any reasonable number
of wealthy men to give to it the mere superfluities and luxuries of
their existence. From those to whom much is given much is expected;
but, alas, alas, how little is realised! It is still the widow who
casts her all into the Lord's treasury--the wealthy deem it a
preposterous suggestion when we allude to the Lord's tithe, and count
it boredom when we ask only for the crumbs that fall from their tables.
Those who have followed me thus far will decide for themselves to what
extent they ought to help me to carry out this Project, or whether they
ought to help me at all. I do not think that any sectarian differences
or religious feelings whatever ought to be imported into this question.
Supposing you do not like my Salvationism, surely it is better for
these miserable, wretched crowds to have food to eat, clothes to wear,
and a home in which to lay their weary bones after their day's toil is
done, even though the change is accompanied by some peculiar religious
notions and practices, than it would be for them to be hungry,
and naked, and homeless, and possess no religion at all. It must be
infinitely preferable that they should speak the truth, and be
virtuous, industrious, and contented, even if they do pray to God,
sing Psalms, and go about with red jerseys, fanatically, as you call
it, "seeking for the millennium"--than that they should remain
thieves or harlots, with no belief in God at all, a burden to the
Municipality, a curse to Society, and a danger to the State.
That you do not like the Salvation Army, I venture to say, is no
justification for withholding your sympathy and practical co-operation
in carrying out a Scheme which promises so much blessedness to your
fellow-men. You may not like our government, our methods, our faith.
Your feeling towards us might perhaps be duly described by an
observation that slipped unwittingly from the tongue of a somewhat
celebrated leader in the evangelistic world sometime ago, who,
when asked what he thought of the Salvation Army, replied that
"He did not like it at all, but he believed that God Almighty did."
Perhaps, as an agency, we may not be exactly of your way of thinking,
but that is hardly the question. Look at that dark ocean, full of
human wrecks, writhing in anguish and despair. How to rescue those
unfortunates is the question. The particular character of the methods
employed, the peculiar uniforms worn by the lifeboat crew, the noises
made by the rocket apparatus, and the mingled shoutings of the rescued
and the rescuers, may all be contrary to your taste and traditions.
But all these objections and antipathies, I submit, are as nothing
compared with the delivering of the people out of that dark sea.
If among my readers there be any who have the least conception that
this scheme is put forward by me from any interested motives by all
means let them refuse to contribute even by a single penny to what
would be, at least, one of the most shameless of shams. There may be
those who are able to imagine that men who have been literally martyred
in this cause have faced their death for the sake of the paltry coppers
they collected to keep body and soul together. Such may possibly find
no difficulty in persuading themselves that this is but another attempt
to raise money to augment that mythical fortune which I, who never yet
drew a penny beyond mere out-of-pocket expenses from the Salvation Army
funds, am supposed to be accumulating. From all such I ask only the
tribute of their abuse, assured that the worst they say of me is too
mild to describe the infamy of my conduct if they are correct in this
interpretation of my motives.
There appears to me to be only two reasons that will justify any man,
with a heart in his bosom, in refusing to co-operate with me in this
1. That he should have an honest and intelligent conviction that it
cannot be carried out with any reasonable measure of success; or,
2. That he (the objector) is prepared with some other plan which will
as effectually accomplish the end it contemplates.
Let me consider the second reason first. If it be that you have some
plan that promises more directly to accomplish the deliverance of these
multitudes than mine, I implore you at once to bring it out.
Let it see the light of day. Let us not only hear your theory,
but see the evidences which prove its practical character and assure
its success. If your plan will bear investigation, I shall then
consider you to be relieved from the obligation to assist me--nay,
if after full consideration of your plan I find it better than mine,
I will give up mine, turn to, and help you with all my might.
But if you have nothing to offer, I demand your help in the name of
those whose cause I plead.
Now, then, for your first objection, which I suppose can be expressed
in one word--"impossible." This, if well founded, is equally fatal to
my proposals. But, in reply, I may say--How do you know?
Have you inquired? I will assume that you have read the book, and duly
considered it. Surely you would not dismiss so important a theme
without some thought. And though my arguments may not have sufficient
weight to carry conviction, you must admit them to be of sufficient
importance to warrant investigation. Will you therefore come and see
for yourself what has been done already, or, rather, what we are doing
to-day. Failing this, will you send someone capable of judging on your
behalf. I do not care very much whom you send. It is true the things
of the Spirit are spiritually discerned, but the things of humanity any
man can judge, whether saint or sinner, if he only possess average
intelligence and ordinary bowels of compassion.
I should, however, if I had a choice, prefer an investigator who has
some practical knowledge of social economics, and much more should I be
pleased if he had spent some of his own time and a little of his own
money in trying to do the work himself. After such investigation I am
confident there could be only one result.
There is one more plea I have to offer to those who might seek to
excuse themselves from rendering any financial assistance to the
Scheme. Is it not worthy at least of being tried as an experiment?
Tens of thousands of pounds are yearly spent in "trying" for minerals,
boring for coals, sinking for water, and I believe there are those who
think it worth while, at an expenditure of hundreds of thousands of
pounds, to experiment in order to test the possibility of making a
tunnel under the sea between this country and France. Should these
adventurers fail in their varied operations, they have, at least, the
satisfaction of knowing, though hundreds of thousands of pounds have
been expended, that they have not been wasted, and they will not
complain; because they have at least attempted the accomplishment of
that which they felt ought to be done; and it must be better to attempt
a duty, though we fail, than never to attempt it at all. In this book
we do think we have presented a sufficient reason to justify the
expenditure of the money and effort involved in the making of this
experiment. And though the effort should not terminate in the grand
success which I so confidently predict, and which we all must so
ardently desire, still there is bound to be, not only the satisfaction
of having attempted some sort of deliverance for these wretched people,
but certain results which will amply repay every farthing expended in
I am now sixty-one years of age. The last eighteen months, during
which the continual partner of all my activities for now nearly forty
years has laid in the arms of unspeakable suffering, has added more
than many many former ones, to the exhaustion of my term of service.
I feel already something of the pressure which led the dying Emperor of
Germany to say, "I have no time to be weary." If I am to see the
accomplishment in any considerable degree of these life-long hopes,
I must be enabled to embark up on the enterprise without delay, and
with the world-wide burden constantly upon me in connection with the
universal mission of our Army I cannot be expected to struggle in this
But I trust that the upper and middle classes are at last being
awakened out of their long slumber with regard to the permanent
improvement of the lot of those who have hitherto been regarded as
being for ever abandoned and hopeless. Shame indeed upon England if,
with the example presented to us nowadays by the Emperor and Government
of Germany, we simply shrug our shoulders, and pass on again to our
business or our pleasure leaving these wretched multitudes in the
gutters where they have lain so long. No, no, no; time is short.
Let us arise in the name of God and humanity, and wipe away the sad
stigma from the British banner that our horses are better treated than
It will be seen that this Scheme contains many branches.
It is probable that some of my readers may not be able to endorse the
plan as a whole, while heartily approving of some of its features and
to the support of what they do not heartily approve they may not be
willing to subscribe. Where this is so, we shall be glad for them to
assist us in carrying out those portions of the undertaking which more
especially command their sympathy and commend themselves to their
judgment. For instance, one man may believe in the Over-Sea Colony,
but feel no interest in the Inebriates' Home; another, who may not care
for emigration, may desire to furnish a Factory or Rescue Home; a third
may wish to give us an estate, assist in the Food and Shelter work, or
the extension of the Slum Brigade. Now, although I regard the Scheme
as one and indivisible--from which you cannot take away any portion
without impairing the prospect of the whole--it is quite practicable
to administer the money subscribed so that the wishes of each donor may
be carried out. Subscriptions may, therefore, be sent in for the
general fund of the Social Scheme, or they can be devoted to any of the
following distinct funds: --
1. The City Colony.
2. The Farm Colony.
3. The Colony Over-sea.
4. The Household Salvage Brigade.
5. The Rescue Homes for Fallen Women.
6. Deliverance for the Drunkard.
7. The Prison Gate Brigade.
8. The Poor Man's Bank.
9. The Poor Man's Lawyer.
Or any other department suggested by the foregoing. In making this
appeal I have, so far, addressed myself chiefly to those who have
money; but money, indispensable as it is, has never been the thing most
needful. Money is the sinews of war; and, as society is at present
constituted, neither carnal nor spiritual wars can be carried on
without money. But there is something more necessary still.
War cannot be waged without soldiers. A Wellington can do far more in
a campaign than a Rothschild. More than money--a long, long way--
I want men; and when I say men, I mean women also--men of experience,
men of brains, men of heart, and men of God.
In this great expedition, though I am starting for territory which is
familiar enough, I am, in a certain sense, entering an unknown land.
My people will be new at it. We have trained our soldiers to the
saving of souls, we have taught them Knee-drill, we have instructed
them in the art and mystery of dealing with the consciences and hearts
of men; and that will ever continue the main business of their lives.
To save the soul, to regenerate the life, and to inspire the spirit
with the undying love of Christ is the work to which all other duties
must ever be strictly subordinate in the Soldiers of the Salvation
Army. But the new sphere on which we are entering will call for
faculties other than those which have hitherto been cultivated,
and for knowledge of a different character; and those who have these
gifts, and who are possessed of this practical information, will be
Already our world-wide Salvation work engrosses the energies of every
Officer whom we command. With its extension we have the greatest
difficulty to keep pace; and, when this Scheme has to be practically
grappled with, we shall be in greater straits than ever. True, it will
find employment for a multitude of energies and talents which are now
lying dormant, but, nevertheless, this extension will tax our resources
to the very utmost. In view of this, reinforcements will be
indispensable. We shall need the best brains, the largest experience,
and the most undaunted energy of the community.
I want Recruits, but I cannot soften the conditions in order to attract
men to the Colours. I want no comrades on these terms, but those who
know our rules and are prepared to submit to our discipline: who are
one with us on the great principles which determine our action,
and whose hearts are in this great work for the amelioration of the
hard lot of the lapsed and lost. These I will welcome to the service.
It may be that you cannot deliver an open-air address, or conduct an
indoor meeting. Public labour for souls has hitherto been outside your
practice. In the Lord's vineyard, however, are many labourers,
and all are not needed to do the same thing. If you have a practical
acquaintance with any of the varied operations of which I have spoken
in this book; if you are familiar with agriculture, understand the
building trade, or have a practical knowledge of almost any form of
manufacture, there is a place for you.
We cannot offer you great pay, social position, or any glitter and
tinsel of man's glory; in fact, we can promise little more than
rations, plenty of hard work, and probably no little of worldly scorn;
but if on the whole you believe you can in no other way help your Lord
so well and bless humanity so much, you will brave the opposition of
friends, abandon earthly prospects, trample pride under foot, and come
out and follow Him in this New Crusade.
To you who believe in the remedy here proposed, and the soundness of
these plans, and have the ability to assist me, I now confidently
appeal for practical evidence of the faith that is in you.
The responsibility is no longer mine alone. It is yours as much as
mine. It is yours even more than mine if you withhold the means by
which I may carry out the Scheme. I give what I have.
If you give what you have the work will be done. If it is not done,
and the dark river of wretchedness rolls on, as wide and deep as ever,
the consequences will lie at the door of him who holds back.
I am only one man among my fellows, the same as you. The obligation to
care for these lost and perishing multitudes does not rest on me any
more than it does on you. To me has been given the idea, but to you
the means by which it may be realised. The Plan has now been published
to the world; it is for you to say whether it is to remain barren,
or whether it is to bear fruit in unnumbered blessings to all the
children of men.
1. The Salvation Army--A Sketch--The Position of the Forces,
2. Circular, Registration Forms, and Notices now issued by the
3. Count Rumford's Bavarian Experience.
4. The Co-operative Experiment at Ralahine.
5. Mr Carlyle on the Regimenation of the Out-of-Works.
6. "Christianity and Civilization," by the Rev. Dr. Barry.
THE SALVATION ARMY
The position of our forces. October, 1890.
Corps or Outposts Officers or persons
Societies wholly engaged in
The United Kingdom ... 1375 --- 4506
France ... ... ) 106 72 352
Switzerland ... )
Sweden ... ... ... 103 41 328
United States ... ... 363 57 1066
Canada ... ... ... 317 78 1021
Victoria ... ...)
South Australia )
New South Wales ) 270 465 903
Tasmania ... ...)
New Zeland ... ... 65 99 186
India ... ... ...) 80 51 419
Ceylon ... ...)
Holland ... ... 40 8 131
Denmark ... ... 33 -- 87
Norway ... ... 45 7 132
Germany ... ... 16 6 75
Belgium ... ... 4 -- 21
Finland ... ... 3 -- 12
The Argentine Republic 2 -- 15
South Africa & St Helena 52 12 162
---- ---- ----
Total abroad 1499 896 4910
---- ---- ----
Grand total 2874 896 9416
THE SUPPLY ("TRADE") DEPARTMENT At Home. Abroad
Buildings occupied ... ... ... 8 22
Officers ... ... ... ... ... 53 15
Employes ... ... ... ... ... 207 55
Total 260 70
THE PROPERTY DEPARTMENT.
Property now Vested in the Army;--
The United Kingdom ... ... ... #377,500
France and Switzerland ... ... 10,000
Sweden ... ... ... ... ... 13,598
Norway ... ... ... ... ... 11,676
The United States ... ... ... 6,601
Canada ... ... ... ... ... 98,728
Australia ... ... ... ... ... 86,251
New Zealand ... ... ... ... 14,798
India ... ... ... ... ... 5,537
Holland ... ... ... ... ... 7,188
Denmark ... ... ... ... ... 2,340
South Africa ... ... ... ... 10,401
Value of trade effects, stock, machinery, and goods on hand,
SOCIAL WORK OF THE ARMY.
Rescue homes (fallen women) ... ... 33
Slum Posts ... ... ... ... ... 33
Prison Gate Brigades ... ... ... 10
Food Depots ... ... ... ... ... 4
Shelters for the Destitute ... ... 5
Inebriates Home ... ... ... ... 1
Factory for the "out of work" ... 1
Labour Bureaux ... ... ... ... 2
Officers and others managing those branches 384
SALVATION AND SOCIAL REFORM LITERATURE
At home. Abroad Circulation
Weekly Newspapers ... 3 24 31,000,000
Monthly Magazines ... 3 12 2,400,000
-- --- -----------
Total 6 36 33,400,000
-- --- -----------
Total annual circulation of the above 33,400,000
Total annual circulation of other publications 4,000,000
Total annual circulation of Army literature 37,400,000
The United Kingdom--
"The War Cry" 300,000 weekly
"The Young Soldier" 126,750 weekly
"All the World" 50,000 monthly
"The Deliverer" 48,000 monthly
GENERAL STATEMENTS AND STATISTICS.
Accommodation Annual cost.
Training Garrisons for Officers
(United Kingdom) 28 #11,500
(Abroad) 38 760
Large Vans for Evangelising the Villages
(known as Cavalry Forts)
Homes of Rest for Officers 24 240 10,000
Indoor Meetings, held weekly 28,351
Open-air Meetings held weekly
(chiefly in England and Colonies) 21,467
Total Meetings held weekly 49,818
Number of Houses visited weekly
(Great Britain only) 54,000
Number of Countries and Colonies occupied
Number of Languages in which Literature is issued 15
Number of Languages in which Salvation is preached
by the Officers 29
Number of Local (Non-Commissioned Officers)
and Bandsman 23,069
Number of Scribes and Office Employes 471
Average weekly reception of telegrams, 600
and letters, 5,400 at the London Headquarters
Sum raised annually from all sources by the Army #750,000
Balance Sheets, duly audited by chartered accountants, are issued
annually in connection with the International Headquarters.
See the Annual Report of 1889--"Apostolic Warfare."
Balance Sheets are also produced quarterly at every Corps in the world,
audited and signed by the Local Officers. Divisional Balance Sheets
issued monthly and audited by a Special Department at Headquarters.
Duly and independently audited Balance Sheets are also issued annually
from every Territorial Headquarters.
THE AUXILIARY LEAGUE.
1.--Of persons who, without necessarily endorsing or approving of
every single method used by thee Salvation Army, are sufficiently in
sympathy with its great work of reclaiming drunkards, rescuing the
fallen--in a word, saving the lost--as to give it their PRAYERS,
INFLUENCE, AND MONEY.
2.--Of persons who, although seeing eye to eye with the Army, yet are
unable to join it, owing to being actively engaged in the work of their
own denominations, or by reason of bad health or other infirmities,
which forbid their taking any active part in Christian work.
Persons are enrolled either as Subscribing or Collecting Auxiliaries.
The League comprises persons of influence and position, members of
nearly all denominations, and many ministers.
PAMPHLETS.--Auxiliaries will always be supplied gratis with copies of
our Annual Report and Balance Sheet and other pamphlets for
distribution on application to Headquarters. Some of our Auxiliaries
have materially helped us in this way by distributing our literature at
the seaside and elsewhere, and by making arrangements for the regular
supply of waiting rooms, hydropathics, and hotels, thus helping to
dispel the prejudice under which many persons unacquainted with the
Army are found to labour.
"All The World" posted free regularly each month to Auxiliaries.
For further information, and for full particulars of the work of The
Salvation Army, apply personally or by letter to GENERAL BOOTH,.
or to the Financial Secretary at International Headquarters,
101, Queen Victoria St., London, E.C., to whom also contributions
should be sent.
Cheques and Postal Orders crossed "City Bank."
THE SALVATION ARMY: A SKETCH.
BY AN OFFICER OF SEVENTEEN YEARS' STANDING. What is the Salvation Army?
It is an Organisation existing to effect a radical revolution in the
spiritual condition of the enormous majority of the people of all
lands. Its aim is to produce a change not only in the opinions,
feelings, and principles of these vast populations, but to alter the
whole course of their lives, so that instead of spending their time in
frivolity and pleasure-seeking, if not in the grossest forms of vice,
they shall spend it in the service of their generation and in the
worship of God. So far it has mainly operated in professedly Christian
countries, where the overwhelming majority of the people have ceased,
publicly, at any rate, to worship Jesus Christ, or to submit themselves
in any way to His authority. To what extent has the Army succeeded?
Its flag is now flying in 34 countries or colonies, where under the
leadership of nearly 10,000 men and women, whose lives are entirely
given up to the work, it is holding some 49,800 religious meetings
every week, attended by millions of persons, who ten years ago would
have laughed at the idea of praying.
And these operations are but the means for further extension,
as will be seen, especially when it is remembered that the Army has
its 27 weekly newspapers, of which no less than 31,000,000 copies are
sold in the streets, public houses, and popular resorts of the
godless majority. From its, ranks it is therefore certain that an
ever-increasing multitude of men and women must eventually be won.
That all this has not amounted to the creation of a mere passing gust
of feeling, may best be demonstrated perhaps from the fact that the
Army has accumulated no less than #775,000 worth of property,
pays rentals amounting to #220,000 per annum for its meeting places,
and has a total income from all sources of three-quarters of a million
per annum. Now consider from whence all this has sprung.
It is only twenty-five years since the author of this volume stood
absolutely alone in the East of London, to endeavour to Christianise
its irreligious multitudes, without the remotest conception in his own
mind of the possibility of any such Organisation being created.
Consider, moreover, through what opposition the Salvation Army has ever
had to make its way.
In each country it has to face universal prejudice, distrust,
and contempt, and often stronger antipathy still. This opposition has
generally found expression in systematic, Governmental, and Police
restriction, followed in too many cases by imprisonment, and by the
condemnatory outpourings of Bishops, Clergy, Pressmen and others,
naturally followed in too many instances by the oaths and curses,
the blows and insults of the populace. Through all this, in country
after country, the Army makes its way to the position of universal
respect, that respect, at any rate, which is shown to those who have
conquered. And of what material has this conquering host been made?
Wherever the Army goes it gathers into its meetings, in the first
instance, a crowd of the most debased, brutal, blasphemous elements
that can be found who, if permitted, interrupt the services,
and if they see the slightest sign of police tolerance for their
misconduct, frequently fall upon the Army officers or their property
with violence. Yet a couple of Officers face such an audience with the
absolute certainty of recruiting out of it an Army Corps.
Many thousands of those who are now most prominent in the ranks of the
Army never knew what it was to pray before they attended its services;
and large numbers of them had settled into a profound conviction that
everything connected with religion was utterly false. It is out of such
material that God has constructed what is admitted to be one of the
most fervid bodies of believers ever seen on the face of the earth.
Many persons in looking at the progress of the Army have shown a
strange want of discernment in talking and writing as though all this
had been done in a most haphazard fashion, or as though an individual
could by the mere effort of his will produce such changes in the lives
of others as he chose. The slightest reflection will be sufficient we
are sure to convince any impartial individual that the gigantic results
attained by the Salvation Army could only be reached by steady
unaltering processes adapted to this end. And what are the processes by
which this great Army has been made?
1. The foundation of all the Army's success, looked at apart from its
divine source of strength, is its continued direct attack upon those
whom it seeks to bring under the influence of the Gospel.
The Salvation Army Officer, instead of standing upon some dignified
pedestal, to describe the fallen condition of his fellow men, in the
hope that though far from him, they may thus, by some mysterious
process, come to a better life, goes down into the street, and from
door to door, and from room to room, lays his hands on those who are
spiritually sick, and leads them to the Almighty Healer. In its forms of
speech and writing the Army constantly exhibits this same characteristic.
Instead of propounding religious theories or pretending to teach a
system of theology, it speaks much after the fashion of the old Prophet
or Apostle, to each individual, about his or her sin and duty, thus
bringing to bear upon each heart and conscience the light and power
from heaven, by which alone the world can be transformed.
2. And step by step, along with this human contact goes unmistakably
something that is not human.
The puzzlement and self-contradiction of most critics of the Army
springs undoubtedly from the fact that they are bound to account for
its success without admitting that any superhuman power attends its
ministry, yet day after day, and night after night, the wonderful facts
go on multiplying. The man who last night was drunk in a London slum,
is to-night standing up for Christ on an Army platform. The clever
sceptic, who a few weeks ago was interrupting the speakers in Berlin,
and pouring contempt upon their claims to a personal knowledge of the
unseen Saviour, is to-day as thorough a believer as any of them.
The poor girl, lost to shame and hope, who a month ago was an outcast
of Paris, is to-day a modest devoted follower of Christ, working in a
humble situation. To those who admit we are right in saying
"this is the Lord's doing," all is simple enough, and our certainty
that the dregs of Society can become its ornaments requires no further
3. All these modern miracles would, however, have been comparatively
useless but for the Army's system of utilising the gifts and energy of
our converts to the uttermost. Suppose that without any claim to Divine
power the Army had succeeded in raising up tens of thousands of
persons, formerly unknown and unseen in the community, and made them
into Singers, Speakers, Musicians, and Orderlies, that would surely in
itself have been a remarkable fact. But not only have these engaged in
various labours for the benefit of the community. They have been filled
with a burning ambition to attain the highest possible degree of
usefulness. No one can wonder that we expect to see the same process
carried on successfully amongst our new friends of the Casual Ward and
the Slum. And if the Army has been able to accomplish all this
utilisation of human talents for the highest purposes, in spite of an
almost universally prevailing contrary practice amongst the Churches,
what may not its Social Wing be expected to do, with the example of the
Army before it?
4. The maintenance of all this system has, of course, been largely due
to the unqualified acceptance of military government and discipline.
But for this we cannot be blind to the fact that even in our own ranks
difficulties would every day arise as to the exaltation to front seats
of those who were formerly persecutors and injurious. The old feeling
which would have kept Paul suspected, in the background, after his
conversion is, unfortunately, a part of the conservative groundwork of
human nature that continues to exist everywhere, and which has to be
overcome by rigid discipline in order to secure that everywhere and
always, the new convert should be made the most of for Christ.
But our Army system is a great indisputable fact, so much so that our
enemies sometimes reproach us with it. That it should be possible to
create an Army Organisation, and to secure faithful execution of duty
daily is indeed a wonder, but a wonder accomplished, just as completely
amongst the Republicans of America and France, as amongst the
militarily trained Germans, or the subjects of the British monarchy.
It is notorious that we can send an officer from London, possessed of
no extraordinary ability, to take command of any corps in the world,
with a certainty that he will find soldiers eager to do his bidding,
and without a thought of disputing his commands, so long as he
continues faithful to the orders and regulations under which his men
5. But those show a curious ignorance who set down our successes to
this discipline, as though it were something of the prison order,
although enforced without any of the power lying either behind the
prison warder or the Catholic priest. On the contrary, wherever the
discipline of the Army has been endangered, and its regular success for
a time interrupted, it has been through an attempt to enforce it
without enough of that joyous, cheerful spirit of love which is its
main spring. Nobody can become acquainted with our soldiers in any
land, without being almost immediately struck with their extraordinary
gladness, and this joy is in itself one of the most infectious and
influential elements of the Army's success. But if this be so, amid the
comparatively well to do, judge of what its results are likely to be
amongst the poorest and most wretched! To those who have never known
bright days, the mere sight of a happy face is as it were a revelation
and inspiration in one.
6. But the Army's success does not come with magical rapidity;
it depends, like that of all real work, upon infinite perseverance.
To say nothing of the perseverance of the Officer who has made the
saving of men his life work, and who, occupied and absorbed with this
great pursuit, may naturally enough be expected to remain faithful,
there are multitudes of our Soldiers who, after a hard day's toil for
their daily bread, have but a few hours of leisure, but devote it
ungrudgingly to the service of the War. Again and again, when the
remains of some Soldier are laid to rest, amid the almost universal
respect of a town, which once knew him only as an evil-doer, we hear it
said that this man, since the date of his conversion, from five to ten
years ago, has seldom been absent from his post, and never without good
reason for it. His duty may have been comparatively insignificant,
"only a door-keeper," "only a War Cry seller," yet Sunday after Sunday,
evening after evening, he would be present, no matter who the
commanding officer might be, to do his part, bearing with the unruly,
breathing hope into the distressed, and showing unwavering faithfulness
to all. The continuance of these processes of mercy depends largely
upon leadership, and the creation and maintenance of this leadership
has been one of the marvels of the Movement. We have men to-day looked
up to and reverenced over wide areas of country, arousing multitudes to
the most devoted service, who a few years ago were champions of
iniquity, notorious in nearly every form of vice, and some of them
ringleaders in violent opposition to the Army. We have a right to
believe that on the same lines God is going to raise up just such
leaders without measure and without end.
Beneath, behind, and pervading all the successes of the Salvation Army
is a force against which the world may sneer, but without which the
world's miseries cannot be removed, the force of that Divine love which
breathed on Calvary, and which God is able to communicate by His spirit
to human hearts to-day.
It is pitiful to see intelligent men attempting to account, without the
admission of this great fact, for the self-sacrifice and success of
Salvation Officers and Soldiers. If those who wish to understand the
Army would only take the trouble to spend as much as twenty-four hours
with its people, how different in almost every instance would be the
conclusions arrived at. Half-an-hour spent in the rooms inhabited by
many of our officers would be sufficient to convince, even a well-to-do
working man, that life could not be lived happily in such circumstances
without some superhuman power, which alike sustains and gladdens the
soul, altogether independently of earthly surroundings.
The Scheme that has been propounded in this volume would, we are quite
satisfied, have no chance of success were it not for the fact that we
have such a vast supply of men and women who, through the love of
Christ ruling in their hearts, are prepared to look upon a life of
self-sacrificing effort for the benefit of the vilest and roughest as
the highest of privileges. With such a force at command, we dare to say
that the accomplishment of this stupendous undertaking is a foregone
conclusion, if the material assistance which the Army does not possess
THE SALVATION ARMY SOCIAL REFORM WING.
Temporary Headquarters 36, UPPER THAMES STREET, LONDON, E.C.
OBJECTS.--The bringing together of employers and workers for their
mutual advantage. Making known the wants of each to each by providing a
ready method of communication.
PLAN OF OPERATION.--The Opening of a Central Registry Office,
which for the present will be located at the above address,
and where registers will be kept free of charge wherein the wants of
both employers and workers will be recorded, the registers being open
for consultation by all interested.
Public Waiting Rooms (for male and female), to which the unemployed may
come for the purpose of scanning the newspapers, the insertion of
advertisements for employment in all newspapers at lowest rates.
Writing tables, &c., provided for their use to enable them to write
applications for situations on work. The receiving of letters
(replies to applications for employment) for unemployed workers.
The Waiting Rooms will also act as Houses-of-Call, where employers
can meet and enter into engagements with Workers of all kinds,
by appointment or otherwise, thus doing away with the snare
that awaits many of the unemployed, who have no place to wait other
than the Public House, which at present is almost the only
"house-of-call" for Out-of-Work men.
By making known to the public generally the wants of the unemployed
by means of advertisements, by circulars, and direct application to
employers, the issue of labour statistics with information as to the
number of unemployed who are anxious for work, the various trades and
occupations they represent, &c., &c.
The opening of branches of the Labour Bureau as fast as funds and
opportunities permit, in all the large towns and centres of industry
throughout Great Britain.
In connection with the Labour Bureau, we propose to deal with both
skilled and unskilled workers, amongst the latter forming such agencies
as "Sandwich" Board Men's Society, Shoe Black, Carpet Beating,
White-washing, Window Cleaning, Wood Chopping, and other Brigades,
all of which will, with many others, be put into operation as far as
the assistance of the public (in the shape of applying for workers of
all kinds) will afford us the opportunity.
A Domestic Servants' Agency will also be a branch of the Bureau,
and a Home For Domestic Servants out of situation is also in
contemplation. In this and other matters funds alone are required to
commence operations. All communications, donations, etc., should be
addressed as above, marked "Labour Bureau," etc.
CENTRAL LABOUR BUREAU. LOCAL AGENTS AND CORRESPONDENTS' DEPARTMENT.
Dear Comrade,--The enclosed letter, which has been sent to our
Officers throughout the Field, will explain the object we have in view.
Your name has been suggested to us as one whose heart is thoroughly in
sympathy with any effort on behalf of poor suffering humanity.
We are anxious to have in connection with each of our Corps,
and in every locality throughout the Kingdom, some sympathetic,
level-headed comrade, acting as our Agent or local Correspondent,
to whom we could refer at all times for reliable information,
and who would take it as work of love to regularly communicate useful
information respecting the social condition of things generally in
Kindly reply, giving us your views and feelings on the subject as soon
as possible, as we are anxious to organise at once. The first business
on hand is for us to get information of those out of work and employers
requiring workers, so that we can place them upon our registers,
and make known the wants both of employers and employes.
We shall be glad of a communication from you, giving us some facts as
to the condition of things in your locality, or any ideas or
suggestions you would like to give, calculated to help us in connection
with this good work.
I may say that the Social Wing not only comprehends the labour
question, but also prison rescue and other branches of Salvation work,
dealing with broken-down humanity generally, so that you can see what a
great blessing you may be to the work of God by co-operating with us.
Believe me to be, Yours affectionately for the Suffering and Lost, etc.
LOCAL AGENTS AND CORRESPONDENTS DEPARTMENT.
Proposition for local agent, correspondent, etc.
If a Soldier, what Corps?..............................................
If not a Soldier, what Denomination?...................................
If spoken to on the subject, what reply they have made?................
Date............................ 189 .
Kindly return this as soon as possible, and we will then place
ourselves in communication with the Comrade you propose for this
TO EMPLOYERS OF LABOUR.
We beg to bring to your notice the fact that the Salvation Army has
opened at the above address (in connection with the Social Reform Wing),
a Labour Bureau for the Registration of the wants of all classes
of Labour, for both employer and employe in London and throughout the
Kingdom, our object being to place in communication with each other,
for mutual advantage, those who want workers and those who want work.
Arrangements have been made at the above address for waiting rooms,
where employers can see unemployed men and women, and where the latter
may have accommodation to write letters, see the advertisements in the
papers, &c., &c.
If you are in want of workers of any kind, will you kindly fill up the
enclosed form and return it to us? We will then have the particulars
entered up, and endeavour to have your wants supplied.
All applications, I need hardly assure you, will have our best attention,
whether they refer to work of a permanent or temporary character.
We shall also be glad, through the information office of Labour
Department, to give you any further information as to our plans, &c.,
or an Officer will wait upon you to receive instructions for the supply
of workers, if requested.
As no charge will be made for registration of either the wants of
employers or the wants of the unemployed, it will be obvious that a
considerable outlay will be necessary to sustain these operations in
active usefulness, and that therefore financial help will be greatly
We shall gratefully receive donations, from the smallest coin up,
to help to cover the cost of working this department. We think it right
to say that only in special cases shall we feel at liberty to give
personal recommendations. This however, will no doubt be understood,
seeing that we shall have to deal with very large numbers who are
total strangers to us. Please address all communications or donations
as above, marked "Central Labour Bureau," etc.
WE PROPOSE TO ENTER UPON A CRUSADE AGAINST "SWEATING." WILL YOU HELP US?
Dear Sir,--in connection with the Social Reform Wing a Central Labour
Bureau has been opened, one department of which will deal especially
with that class of labour termed "unskilled," from amongst whom are
drawn BOARDMEN, MESSENGERS, BILL DISTRIBUTORS, CIRCULAR ADDRESSERS,
WINDOW CLEANERS, WHITE-WASHERS, CARPET BEATERS, &C., &C.
It is very important that work given to these workers and others not
enumerated, should be taxed as little as possible by the Contractor,
or those who act between the employer and the worker.
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