The Angel Adjutant of "Twice Born Men"
Minnie L. Carpenter
Part 1 out of 4
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THE ANGEL ADJUTANT
"Twice Born Men"
MINNIE L. CARPENTER
GENERAL BRAMWELL BOOTH
COMMANDER EVANGELINE BOOTH
There is surely little need for me to commend this so intimate and living
picture of Staff-Captain Kate Lee. It speaks for itself in speaking of
one whose fine character and ceaseless labour were of singular charm and
The Salvation Army has been happy in its Women Officers. The lessons of
experience undoubtedly teach us that they are fully qualified for all the
work of the ministry of Christ.
Long denied the right of public testimony as well as the opportunity to
proclaim the truth of the Saviour's mission, women have in the history of
our Movement fully proved that they may be as effective, as acceptable,
and as successful as their brethren, both as teachers and rulers in the
Kingdom of Christ on earth. The extraordinary theory that the gifts of
the Holy Spirit are confined to those who have taken part in a certain
ecclesiastical ceremonial, narrow and mistaken as it may be, is surely a
mild and simple form of error, compared with the appalling notion that
those gifts are confined to men, and are to be for ever withheld from the
other half of the human family. The Churches of the world seem at length
prepared to debate within themselves whether they should venture to
follow our example, and give to woman a place worthy of her gifts in
their various plans of campaign. Perhaps the brief story of this life may
help some of them a step forward.
Kate Lee was an unfaltering believer in the power of God to save from the
power of sin. This was really her secret. That faith dominated her own
frail and often sick body with its nights of sleeplessness--its days of
pain. It conquered the worst in the worst of men whom she encountered in
her work of mercy. It won a multitude of souls to believe in her and in
her message, and then to believe in her Saviour. It was ever greater than
her circumstances. It was greater than herself. It makes her life, and
this story of it, wonderful for us who remain.
And Kate Lee was a Salvationist; that is, she was seized with what we
sometimes call the spirit of The Army--that union of holy love and fiery
zeal and practical common sense which, by the power of Christ, produces
wherever it is found the fruits of Salvation in the bodies and souls of
those who are without. And I feel no sort of doubt that to any woman,
having the opportunity to do so, and to whom she could speak to-day, she
would say--'Do as I have done.' I do not mean by that that every sincere
woman is bound to become a Salvation Army Officer, or is called forthwith
to go to the ends of the earth as a member of our Missionary Forces. But
I do mean that Christian women everywhere have a part to play in the
great Ministry of Conversion--in the glorious Mission of the Apostles of
every age, for the evangelization of the world.
It behooves them to see that they play their part.
The story of "The Angel Adjutant" is sure to continue its very
exceptional and wonderfully inspirational work wherever and by whomsoever
read, and consequently I am specially glad to know that an American
edition is about to be published.
Seldom has a living spirit pulsated through biographical pages as it does
throughout the simple account here given. Yet it is not merely the spirit
of Kate Lee, who surely lives again in these folios--the simple,
unsophisticated, devoted daughter of the Salvation Army, but this book
throbs with that life which is begotten and sustained and empowered by
the Holy Spirit. He was graciously and solely responsible for the
constant stream of helpfulness that all who knew her witness as having
resulted from a consecration made by a girl in her teens.
And how beautifully enshrined in this life was the soul of the Movement
of which she was such a worthy unit. The description, while being a
faithful portrayal of a very real person, can still be regarded as
typical of a great host of blessed women whose supreme joy in life is
found in having associated themselves in holy bonds of service such as
their loved, and now glorified comrade, the subject of these memoirs,
rendered mankind. While such as Kate Lee lives, the Salvation Army's
position as a saving force is secure.
_New York, 1922._
I. THE VALUE OF THE ONE
II. CHOOSING HER COURSE
III. WOMAN'S POSITION IN THE ARMY
IV. EARLY BATTLES
V. A CORPS COMMANDER
VI. SPECIAL EFFORTS
VII. THE MOTHERING HEART
VIII. A BREAK TO CANADA
IX. IN THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE
X. 'THE ANGEL ADJUTANT'
XI. COMRADES AND FRIENDS
XII. TROPHIES OF GRACE
XIII. KATE LEE'S SECRET
XIV. OFF DUTY
XV. AT HER DESK
XVI. UNEXPECTED ORDERS
THE VALUE OF THE ONE
Lucy Lee laid her head on her pillow and, looking through the silence and
darkness, smiled up to God. She had won her first soul for Him, and now
made her offering. The capture was not a drunkard, nor an outcast--many
of whom, in years to come, she was to wrestle over and deliver--but her
own sister, whose golden hair lay over the pillow beside her, and whose
regular breathing told that she was fast asleep. Nothing did Lucy imagine
of the blessing to thousands of souls that was to flow from that night's
work. She was happy in the consciousness that she had been faithful to
the heavenly vision, and that now she and her sister were one in the
experience of Salvation.
How Lucy loved her! Her mind ran back over the thirteen years since a
baby sister came into her life. She remembered the rapture she felt, when
sitting upon her mother's bed, the nurse placed the baby in her arms. She
was five years old then, and soon her small arms ached and her legs were
cramped, but again and again she pleaded to hold her treasure just a
little longer. She had been allowed to name the baby, and had called her
Kate. What a frail, sweet little child she had grown!
When Kate was six years old their father died. Lucy recalled moving from
their nice house in Hornsey Rise--a suburb of nearer London--to a
smaller home; her start at business; and then, the great event that
changed the course of life for both the girls.
One Sunday evening, after her mother and Kate had gone to chapel, Lucy
had been keeping her brother company in the front room, when a burst of
song in the street drew her to the window, and she saw a small procession
of about twenty people go singing down the road, the leader waving an
umbrella. Not staying to consider, she put on her hat and followed the
march. It turned into a hall, which was already full of people, but Lucy
slipped in at the back and stood. The meeting began with 'There is a
Fountain filled with Blood.' The girl was fascinated with the message
given in song and testimony, until, suddenly remembering that her mother
would have returned home and be anxious at her absence, she hurried away.
During the following week her mind was full of the strange street-
singers. She made inquiries about them, and heard that they were
Salvationists; 'good people, but very queer.' In her heart, the words--
I do believe, I will believe
That Jesus died for me;
That on the cross He shed His Blood,
From sin to set me free!
sang themselves over and over and over again.
The following Sunday evening she heard the singing in another street, and
straightway started for the Salvationists' hall, arriving in time to get
a front seat. The message proclaimed the Sunday before rang out again:
'All have sinned; for all Jesus died, and through Him there is salvation
for every one who repents of sin and believes on Him.' To Lucy Lee it
seemed that she was the only one to whom the message was directed; and,
hearing the invitation for any who wished to find salvation to come
forward and kneel at the penitent-form, she at once responded. Very soon
her eager, seeking heart found the Saviour, and she hastened home to tell
her mother the good news. Mrs. Lee had suffered many sorrows, and Lucy,
although only in her teens, was a comfort who had never failed her. She
was not pleased that her daughter was inclined to follow such extremists
as the Salvationists evidently were; but when the girl said, 'Mother,
they are thoroughly good, sincere people, you need have no fear of my
going amongst them,' Mrs. Lee became reassured that all was well, and
unwilling to raise needless contentions, held her peace.
After a while Lucy begged permission of her mother that Kate might
accompany her to a Sunday night meeting. Gaining her wish, the occasion
proved to be something of an undertaking. The work was prospering,
converts were increasing in numbers at the corps, and the roughs were
moved to boisterous opposition. Kate was bewildered by the enthusiasm of
the Salvationists, and the wild ways of the roughs, whilst Lucy was
terrified for the white ribbon on her sister's hat. This must be screened
at all costs, for if the little mother had received any hint of mud-
throwing and pushing, Kate would have paid her last visit to The Army,
and Lucy was praying for her salvation. So, like a mother hen with wings
outstretched, Lucy screened Kate's hat with her arms and took her home in
good order, though a little frightened and not over anxious to go to The
Salvation Army again.
Lucy soon became a valiant soldier. Her religion was real. She not only
believed; she felt deeply, and longed to witness for God. When called to
the front to sing, she generally chose the song,
I have given up all for Jesus,
This vain world is naught to me,
All its pleasures are forgotten
In remembering Calvary.
Though my friends despise, forsake me,
And on me the world looks cold,
I've a Friend who will stand by me
When the Pearly Gates unfold.
Life's morn will soon be waning,
And the evening bells will toll;
But my heart will know no sadness
When the Pearly Gates unfold.
Over and over again she sang this song, with the tears running down her
face. It always carried a message to souls. As she became braver she
spoke to the girls who came forward to the penitent-form.
Lucy longed to know that her own little sister was saved; but somehow,
when she left the hall, courage to speak of spiritual matters forsook
her. Six months passed away, and she had not spoken to Kate about her
soul. At home, she endeavoured to live for Jesus; she sang Army songs
whenever she was in the house; but to speak to her dear ones about their
souls seemed impossible. She had 'lock-jaw' at the very thought. The
Saviour's face had seemed every day to shine upon Lucy; but now a cloud
was coming between, and she knew the reason.
One evening, Mrs. Lee having some business which took her from home, the
sisters were left alone. 'Lord, this is my chance; help me to make the
most of it,' Lucy prayed. The gas was lit, the fire cosy, and Lucy went
to the piano and began to play and sing. She chose all the solemn,
convicting songs she could think of, such as--
You'll see the Great White Throne,
And stand before it all alone.
Kate had betaken herself to her favourite place, the hearthrug. She was
silent until Lucy had reached the middle verse of 'Almost persuaded,'
which she sang with due impressiveness. Then a sorrowful little voice
'I'm so lonely. I thought we were going to have _such_ a nice time.'
Lucy at once got up. 'Are you, dearie? Would you like some supper?'
'No, I don't want anything; I'm lonely and miserable,' quavered Kate.
'Well, then, we'll go up to bed.'
Once in their room Lucy continued: 'I don't think we want a light, do
we?' And sitting on the bed, her heart beating until her voice was
uncertain, she put her arm round Kate's waist, and began, 'Katie, dear,
I've been wanting to have a special talk with you for a long time. You
know I was saved six months ago, and I have been praying for you to be
saved, too, but I've found it hard to talk to you about it. I'm so glad
we're alone to-night.'
'Didn't you _know_ I wanted you to talk to me? Haven't you heard me
crying every night in bed? I _do_ want to be saved,' and Kate burst
'Darling, I _didn't_ know. I've been stupid and shy; but I'm sorry.
You can be saved _just now_. We'll kneel down right here,' said
Lucy. The sisters knelt beside their bed, and Lucy led Kate step by step
into the Kingdom of God. She knew she was a sinner? 'Oh, _yes_,'
sobbed Kate. She was sorry for her sins? 'Yes.' She would give them up?
_every one?_ and would live henceforth only for God? 'Yes!' Then
Jesus was saying, 'Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.' Did Kate
believe it? 'Yes!' Then we'll sing together the words I sang the night I
was saved, 'I do believe, I will believe that Jesus died for me.'
Together the sisters sang the chorus, just as if they were in a meeting;
then they both prayed, and kissed one another, and got into bed.
Lucy went over it all, and praised the Lord for giving her the joys of
salvation, first to herself, and now to the one she loved best in all the
world, and so fell asleep.
Surely the angels looked down that night and smiled upon the sisters, the
elder destined to be a patient, plodding, burden-bearer in the heavenly
warfare, and the younger a great warrior in the Kingdom of Heaven, one of
the saints and most successful field officers of the great Salvation
CHOOSING HER COURSE
From babyhood Kate Lee had been a delicate little mortal; she was so
timid that even the visits of relatives to her home were a kind of
torture to her, and she would hide in any corner rather than come forward
and entertain or be entertained.
Her delicacy inclined her to selfishness, and her timidity to reserve and
aloofness. She bid fair to grow up an insular, somewhat unlovable woman;
but child though she was, conversion meant a radical change in character
and purpose. She realized at once that as a follower of Jesus she might
not live to please herself. She became interested in other people, their
well-being and sorrows and needs. Then the joy of the Lord became her
strength. It was so glorious to know that her soul was saved from sin;
that she was at peace with God; that He had promised to be with her, and
guide her, and help her through life, and give her Heaven at last. And
this promise was for all the world; but people were still sinful and sad.
Surely they did not know about Salvation. She must tell them!
Straightway she wanted to wear an Army bonnet, so as to silently witness
for Jesus as she walked the streets. But opposition against Salvationists
was strong in those days, and Mrs. Lee was fearful lest Kate should be
roughly handled going to and from the meetings. In the matter of uniform,
she had to content herself with a badge of Army ribbon. This she wore on
her dress to school, and drew upon herself the ire of uncouth lads who
noticed it; some even pelted her with mud. She used to remain behind
after school hours to talk to her schoolmates about Salvation; some she
won, but others resented her message. Invited to the birthday party of a
school friend, she went, wearing as usual her Army badge. During the
evening this was torn from her breast.
Kate's eyes began to be opened concerning the attitude of the world
towards Christ. She found that most people did not want to know of His
will, much less do it, and that if she intended to devote her life to
seek and to save souls she must be prepared to suffer with her Lord. Far
from repelling her, the challenge called up the reserves of love and
courage that until now had lain dormant in her spirit, and once and for
all she took sides with Christ.
The shy little recruit, with eyes as blue as the sky, golden curls
reaching to her waist, and a complexion like pink rose petals, sang her
testimony in the meetings until she gained courage to speak. She was ever
planning ways by which she could direct people's thoughts toward God, and
to arouse them to a sense of their spiritual state. An ingenious method
she hit upon was to write carefully-worded little letters to the postmen
and drop them into various pillar-boxes.
The family removed to Hornsey, and soon afterwards Lucy heard the 'call'
to officership in The Salvation Army. This was the first real trial Mrs.
Lee had felt in connexion with her daughters' association with The Army.
Though herself anything but a woman of war, she had not interfered with
their choice of religion, for they were 'such good girls.' But to break
her home circle was not in her reckoning. It was a pain that went deeper
than the parting which caused tears to sting Lucy's face as, on a snowy
New Year's day, she said good-bye to mother and sister and left home for
the Training Garrison; but in her heart rang the words, 'If any man love
father or mother more than Me, he is not worthy of Me.' She must put
God's call first, and trust Him to bring all right.
Kate's health remained frail, but her spirit grew stronger and stronger.
Whenever able, she hied off to The Army hall, carrying her tambourine in
a little green baize bag, and, as often as not, a bundle of 'War Crys'
under her arm. In the Army papers she saw a powerful means of spreading
Salvation, and she became a fearless Herald. [Footnote: One of a
voluntary brigade of regular sellers.]
There are comrades at Wood Green who recall how on Wednesday nights Kate
would go to the hall, fold a large bundle of 'War Crys,' and sally forth
to the streets to sell them. The first time she ventured out on this
service she saw a great, drunken navvy lounging against the door of a
public-house. Mustering all her courage, the girl advanced and offered
the paper to the drunkard. She felt she had scored quite a victory when
the navvy bought a copy. By degrees she became braver, and would even go
into the saloons to sell the periodicals. Then, noticing how the newsboys
boarded buses with their papers, she thought that in the Lord's service
she should be as eager and enterprising as they, and she became quite
agile, running up and down the iron steps as she joined the buses and
offered her papers for sale to the passengers.
Veteran soldiers also recall Kate's spiritual, earnest face, as she sat
in side seats--known as 'the boxes'--at the Wood Green hall, whence she
could study the congregation. As she recognized how people fell under
conviction of sin during the progress of the meetings, she felt that she
might help girls of her own age, who 'didn't look saved,' if she sat
beside them in the hall, and spoke to them when the prayer meeting was
She was still shy, still nervous, but she suffered no excuse for herself
when the heavenly vision made clear a path of duty. In later years, a
corps cadet asked her if, in those days, she never said 'I can't.' 'Yes,'
she replied, _'I often said "I can't, but I MUST,"'_ and so she
To wear full Army uniform was still the desire of Kate's heart. When she
needed a new dress, she prevailed upon her mother to let it be a blue
one, and by dint of great perseverance she made a uniform herself. Now,
if she might but have the bonnet!
Lucy had passed through the Training Garrison, and was now an officer in
the Field. A great Salvation demonstration was held at that time at the
Alexandra Palace, and Lucy, with her captain, came to London for the
important event. The mother and sisters met in the ground of the Palace.
Lucy's eyes were sparkling with quite extraordinary delight, and, needing
a wash and brush up, she asked her mother to excuse Kate, and the girls
'Guess what I've got for you, little dear,' Lucy exclaimed when they were
alone. Kate laughed, but shook her head. Then, from a box, the elder
sister drew a small Army bonnet. 'Oh!' gasped Kate, 'where did you get
'I've been saving and saving for it, and at last here it is; and you're
going to wear it right off.' Kate's hat was transferred to the box and
the bonnet tried on. 'Darling, you look lovely; now come to mother,'
cried Lucy. Kate's face was pink with pleasure, and her eyes shining with
anticipation when the girls returned to Mrs. Lee. She looked a moment in
surprise, then her eyes filled with tears. There was a beauty not of this
earth about the child. She would not mar it. Kate might wear the bonnet.
And thus it was that the mother, herself unreached with revelation, and
untouched by inspiration, followed slowly but surely in her daughters'
Whilst Lucy was stationed at Folkestone it was a great joy to the sisters
when it was arranged for Kate to visit her. To work amongst the people
all day long, get them to the meetings at night, and 'land' them at the
mercy-seat, seemed to Kate service that the angels might envy. One day
she begged to be allowed to 'visit' [Footnote: Visiting the people in
their homes--usually from house to house.] as her sister and the captain
did. The captain consented somewhat reluctantly, but afterwards doubted
the wisdom of allowing this child of fifteen to go alone into all manner
of houses. Seeing Kate enter the home of a drunken sweep, she stepped
along to the door and listened. Kate was dealing with the man as
earnestly and directly, if not as skilfully, as she herself could have
done. She smiled and turned away. When Kate had visited her street of
houses, she returned to the quarters radiant. The sweep had promised to
come to the meetings, and, 'Just look what he gave me for tea,' she
announced triumphantly, and produced a currant loaf, a luxury in those
A kind-hearted woman soldier, touched by Kate's delicate appearance, felt
that the child needed the air of the hills, and abundant nourishment, and
begged Lucy to allow her to take Kate to her home. Lucy, ever alive to
Kate's welfare, joyfully sent her off, and the child spent several
health-giving months in the country. To help her happily to occupy her
time, the good friend bought Kate a cheap concertina. By the hour she
would sit in the sunshine, mastering the keyboard, and soon she could
play simple Army tunes. How richly our Heavenly Father blesses the gifts
of love! All unconsciously, the good soldier was preparing the Angel
Adjutant of the future to win the hopeless and despairing of many great
cities for God.
Kate had an extraordinary love for music. Her ambition had once been to
make music her profession; but after her conversion she realized that
there were higher things to live for than a successful career, and lest
music should be a snare to her, she gave it up. This determination to
allow nothing to interfere with her entire devotion to the will and
service of God was a sure foundation for her spiritual life, but as she
grew in the knowledge of God she realized that every gift may be
consecrated to God's service. She worked at the piano again; now she
wrestled with the concertina, then tackled the banjo. Later they all
became useful aids to her in her work amongst the people.
Soon after Kate's return home from the country she wrote to Lucy telling
her privately that for the upkeep of the home it was necessary that she
should seek employment. This prospect caused Lucy much anxiety. Her own
experience of earning her living in so seemingly irreproachable a
business as photography returned to her with horror. The manager of the
firm for which she had worked had been a dissolute man. Much of his
conversation in the presence of the girl employees was incomprehensible
to Lucy, who did her work faithfully, was pleasant and obliging, but
lived her life largely apart from the others. Her later experience in
moving amongst the people had enlarged her knowledge of life, and now she
realized that, as a certain white flower with smooth petals remains
unspotted at the mouth of coal pits, so by the innocency of her mind and
the purity of her spirit, she had been preserved from dangers worse than
death. The thought of Kate in such company was intolerable. With her
usual motherliness towards her sister, she replied, 'On no account must
you take a situation without my approval. Surely, there must be some
godly place in London for you. I am going to pray hard that the Lord,
will direct you to it, and you must wait till the right thing turns up.'
While Lucy was praying 'hard,' a representative of The Army Outfit
Department visited her corps. He carried uniforms and books, set up a
stall, and sold his goods before and after the meetings. Lucy knew little
about the Outfit Department, but she was inspired with an idea. People
must be needed to make the uniforms, she mused, and to sell the books,
keep the accounts, and write letters. Why should not Kate be employed by
The Army? She made inquiries of the salesman and was encouraged to write
to Headquarters. God had heard Lucy's prayer, and in a little while her
sister found herself installed as a clerk at the Outfit Department at
Kate realized that a knowledge of shorthand would be to her advantage,
and, obtaining the necessary books, she began to study, rising in the
bright summer mornings at four o'clock and plodding her way along in
spare minutes until she attained a speed of the coveted 'hundred.'
So reliable was she found to be, that before long she received the title
of lieutenant. She was very happy. All her time was now occupied in work
for the Kingdom of Heaven; indirectly by day on correspondence and
accounts, at night at the corps, she sought for souls, and she was ever a
comfort to her mother.
So matters might have continued until to-day; indeed, one comrade of
those years, a godly woman, 'content to fill a little space if God be
glorified,' still continues in the hidden but important duty of getting
out uniform for the Salvationists. But deep in the silence of her soul
Kate heard the call of God to leave this quiet post and seek the lost.
Humanly speaking, there seemed to be every reason why she should not
embark upon the life of a field officer.
When Kate mentioned her call to her mother, the little woman was overcome
with sorrow and apprehension. She had become reconciled to Lucy's
absence, and even took pleasure in her work, but to part with her 'ewe
lamb,' to allow her to leave the shelter of her love and care and pour
out her life in Army field service, was more than her faith could accept.
She consulted the family doctor; he shook his head and declared that six
months of such a life would kill her daughter.
Not one single voice was raised to encourage Kate Lee in obeying the
Divine call. Even Lucy thought she was going 'before the time.' The
soldiers of the corps expected her health would fail. Colonel Laurie,
under whom she worked in the Outfit Department, says, 'She was a
thoroughly good girl, conscientious and faithful in her work, but quiet
and very frail. When she told me of her call, I would not discourage her
faith, but I hoped she was not mistaken. The thought that she would ever
become a spiritual leader in The Army never once occurred to me.' Mrs.
Lieut.-Colonel Moore, then Sister Stitt, Kate's friend in the home corps,
with many misgivings watched her go away. 'The home arrangements seemed
so sensible; this fresh undertaking and her breaking away, so foolish!
She was so good, always loving holiness, always sweet and unselfish, but
terribly shy; and the idea of her roughing it, or becoming anything more
than a behind-the-scenes officer, seemed impossible,' said Mrs. Moore in
passing on some reminiscences of her friend.
The day of farewell arrived, and with aching heart, conscious only of
obeying the heavenly vision, Kate exchanged her title of lieutenant for
that of cadet, took leave of her mother, and crossed London to the
Training Garrison at Clapton.
General Bramwell Booth writes of this step, 'Her beginning was a great
act of faith. She put her hand in her Master's hand, and went out on the
great adventure of Salvation Army life--stepping on to the waters with
much tremulousness and many questions--but her faith carried her
In those days the cadets were trained in small groups placed at certain
corps, and to the Chalk Farm Garrison, under Ensign, now Brigadier,
Elizabeth Thomas, Kate was appointed.
The brigadier, who has now retired from active service, delights to look
back upon those days of rough fighting which tested the mettle of cadets,
some thirty years ago. She says:--
When Kate came to me she was a sweet, fragile girl of about twenty.
There was a look of indescribable tenderness about her, and a faraway
look in her eyes. She might have been a sentimentalist, but there was
no room for dreaming in that fight. From the first Kate showed an
appreciation of her calling and a spirit that was determined to go
through to the end. I have seen her lips quiver before we set out
upon some bombardment, but her eyes were steadfast. She never refused
a duty, nor failed in a charge. Every ounce of her was devoted to the
work of the moment and to her own improvement for the future. She
gave herself to every duty as it arose--boot-blacking, scrubbing, or
scullery work--as readily as to her field training.
At one and the same time I had two cadets of exceptional promise--
Kathleen Harrington and Kate Lee. Kathleen Barrington was a beautiful
Irish girl, well educated, and from a home of wealth. She was full of
enthusiasm, dash, and courage, and possessed a deep spiritual
experience. Kate was not brilliant, and had merely an elementary
education, but she was gentle and calm and refined by the grace of
God, which seemed to permeate her whole nature. These two girls were
kindred spirits. They were one in purpose, in outlook, and
consecration. They delighted in each other's company; and yet, so
that there should be nothing that savoured of a clique in the
Garrison, they devoted themselves to the other cadets, particularly
linking up with those who were dull or timid and indulging their
friendship only on occasions when the sign of preference for each
other's company would excite no jealousy.
Kathleen Harrington, after a brief service as a single officer and
then as an officer's wife, her life beginning to fulfil its brimming
promise, radiant with happiness and victory, was promoted to Higher
Service, while Kate Lee was left to wage warfare on earth.
Brigadier Thomas continues:--
There were about twenty-four girls at the Garrison. By 9:30, the work
of the house was finished. From then till dinner hour, we had school,
studying the Bible, the F.O., [Footnote: Orders and Regulations for
Field Officers.] D.D., [Footnote: Doctrine of The Army.] and 'Why and
Wherefore'. [Footnote: A book explanatory of Salvation Army terms and
works.] After dinner the cadets set out for field training. These
exercises included house-to-house visitation, open-air meetings, and
'War Cry' selling in the streets and the saloons. In our open-air
meetings we were continually moved on by the police, but we aimed to
deliver some definite message at each stand, and so to make our
moving-on an occasion to reach more listeners.
Those were rough days. We had all our band instruments smashed and the
windows of our Garrison as well, and one man, madly infuriated against
us, heated a poker red hot and threw it into the hall amongst the
congregation. We lived in danger to limb and life, but had the
overshadowing presence of God with us.
Not every cadet who entered training had the grit to go through with
it. Once, during her afternoon home, Kate sprained her ankle, but
persuaded her mother to get a cab for her so that she might return to
the Garrison the same night. 'Why did you not remain at home to-night?'
an officer asked her, as Kate hopped into the Garrison. 'I was afraid
you would think I had run away,' she laughed, 'and I did not wish you
to have that worry.'
Brigadier Thomas tells us:--
In house-to-house visitation I would take the cadets in turn, speak
with the people on their door-steps, and, if possible, get into their
houses and point them to God. Kate gloried in this. She was a most
Saloon 'raiding' was, perhaps, our most difficult work. We used 'The
War Cry' as a means of entrance and introduction. Going into the bar
we offered the paper for sale and suggested singing one of the songs
it contained. Conversation with the men and women followed, and before
leaving we would pray. Often we were thrown out of the bars, and
often, as we prayed, beer was dashed into our faces or over us, and on
reaching the Garrison we would need to wash our clothes to remove the
bar-room filth. 'Trench mud' we might have called it, had the war been
on in those days. But the trial hardest of all to endure was the
horrible talk of those dens of sin. Before leaving the Garrison we
used to kneel and ask the Lord to sanctify our ears, and surely that
was not the least of the prayers that He answered for us. Our souls
were entirely delivered from that paralysing horror that the hearing
of such profanity at first produced upon our minds, and we were kept
in purity and simplicity as though such vileness had never been heard.
The only duty which Kate Lee really shrank from was to take up a
collection for the maintenance of the Garrison. This was called the
'Bread and Butter Box'; and the Cadets took turns to stand at the hall
door after each meeting, hold the box and shake it. Kate heartily
disliked this, but it was part of her duty, and she did it with a
smile that brought success. In after years she became a wonderful
woman, but in those early days she held the secret that made her
wonderful. She walked with God. When the cadets had leisure time,
the majority would engage in innocent chat of one kind and another;
but you would find Kate a little withdrawn from the others, with her
Bible. Yet there was nothing censorious about her. She was quick
with a smile and an answer to any remark from the other cadets; but
there she was, already her life was hid with 'Christ in God.'
Captain Lucy rejoiced over her sister with trembling. She understood
Kate's willing, eager spirit, and the more she thought about her, the
less did she believe her to be strong enough to take the position of an
officer on field duty. So Lucy began to pray, and soon she felt inspired
to act. Writing to Miss Evangeline Booth, then the Field Commissioner in
London, she explained her fears for Kate, and asked if, for a year or
two, her sister might be stationed with her.
The Commander was quick to see the wisdom of the suggestion, and after a
few weeks Captain Lucy received orders for Penarth, in Wales, with Kate
as her lieutenant. Her way lay through London, and she knocked at the
home door one night. A quick, light step flew to answer it. 'My captain!'
cried Kate. 'My lieutenant!' cried Lucy, as they clasped one another.
Happy tears glistened in their eyes as they held each other at arms'
length to get a good view of each other in the full glory of their
respective uniforms, and in the eyes of the little mother, who, learning
to walk by faith, was finding the joy as well as the pain of sacrificing
her treasures upon the altar of Christ.
WOMAN'S POSITION IN THE ARMY
We write in a matter-of-fact way that Captain Lucy and Lieutenant Kate
Lee received an appointment to this or that corps, and the statement is
received as it was written--without surprise or reflection. But, in
truth, behind such a sentence lies one of the most notable achievements
of The Salvation Army as a world force--the right to public service for
Looking over the fifty-five years of the life of The Army, and further
back still, we can trace clearly the guiding hand of God in the formation
and direction of this instrument of His choosing.
When, in the order of Divine providence, William Booth was chosen to be
Founder of the Salvation Army, by strange, devious, suffering ways, God
led him, chastened him, disciplined him in preparation for his great
work. At the same time, Catherine Mumford, by the hand of God, was being
fitted to be the Mother of The Salvation Army.
She was a delicate, retiring, but highly intelligent young woman of
twenty-four years of age, when she heard her minister, in the course of a
sermon, give expression to the view that women were mentally and morally
inferior to men. At this suggestion Catherine Mumford felt a strong
native resentment rise within her. Until that hour she had held the view
that God had made men and women equal in gifts of mind and heart; now she
made a thorough study of the subject in the light of the Word of God and
of history, and as a result she formed a reasoned opinion from which she
never swerved. In a letter, remarkable for its logic and its command of
vigorous English, she set forth her views to her pastor. She admitted
that prejudice and custom had relegated woman to positions inferior to
those occupied by men; but argued that, given similar advantages of
education and opportunity, woman is man's equal, fitted to be his
partner, and able, with great advantage to enter with him into all
serious and practical counsels for the benefit of the race.
In championing the cause of her sex, Catherine Mumford found she had to
take the field almost alone. Even William Booth, to whom she was then
engaged, did not share her views. Mr. Booth believed that while woman
carried the palm in point of affection, man was her superior in regard to
intellect. Miss Mumford would not admit this for a moment; and by
degrees, chiefly by the charming power of her own personality and also by
argument, she wholly carried her beloved to her view-point.
In the 'Life of Catherine Booth,' by Commissioner Booth-Tucker, we find
records of the young husband, soon after their marriage, urging his wife
to lecture on various subjects.
The next move along the track which all unconsciously Mrs. Booth was
blazing for a host of women to tread, publishing the Salvation of God,
was in defence of Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, a consecrated American evangelist
who, in company with her husband, was conducting powerful mission
services in England. Mrs. Palmer's ministry, notwithstanding the fact
that it was more honoured of God in the conversion of souls than that of
her husband, excited a vigorous attack from a clergyman of a large church
in Sunderland. In Catherine Booth's breast again flamed that powerful
resentment she had felt on the occasion previously mentioned. She wrote
her mother saying that for the first time in her life she felt like
taking the platform in order to answer the false views propounded
concerning female ministry. Instead, she wrote a well-reasoned and
convincing paper on woman's right to preach--a pamphlet of some thirty-
two pages. By this time her husband was so entirely with her in this
matter that he encouraged her to make her defence. And we find Mr. Booth
copying the pamphlet from his wife's manuscript and preparing it for the
But while Mrs. Booth was the most powerful advocate in England of woman's
right to preach, she herself had never attempted to speak in public.
At last there came a day when she realized that her silence was not
consistent with her profession and at great personal sacrifice she broke
the bonds of timidity and publicly witnessed for her Lord. The following
is an account from Mrs. Booth's own lips of her experience given in a
public meeting twenty years after she began to speak:
Perhaps some of you would hardly credit that I was one of the most timid
and bashful disciples the Lord Jesus ever saved. But for four or five
months before I commenced speaking the controversy had been signally
roused in my soul, and I passed through some severe heart-searchings.
During a season of sickness, it seemed one day as if the Lord revealed it
all to me by His Spirit. I had no vision, but a revelation to my mind. He
seemed to take me back to the time when I was fifteen or sixteen, when I
first fully gave my heart to Him. He showed me that all the bitter way
this one thing had been the fly in the pot of ointment, preventing me
from realizing what I otherwise should have done. And then I remember
prostrating myself upon my face before the Lord, and promising Him there
in the sick room, 'Lord, if Thou wilt return unto me as in the days of
old, and revisit me with those urgings of the Spirit, which I used to
have, I will obey, if I die in the attempt.' However, the Lord did not
revisit me immediately. But He permitted me to recover, and to resume my
About three months afterward I went to the chapel of which my husband was
a minister, and he had an extraordinary service there. Even then he was
always trying something new to get at the outside people. For this Sunday
he had arranged with the leaders that the chapel should be closed, and a
great out-door Service held at a place called Windmill Hills. It so
happened, however, that the weather was too tempestous for carrying out
this design, and hence the doors were thrown open and the meeting was
held in the chapel. In spite of the stormy weather about 1,000 persons
were present, including a number of preachers and outside friends.
I was, as usual, in the minister's pew with my eldest boy, then four
years old. I felt much depressed in mind, and was not expecting anything
particular; but as the testimonies proceeded I felt the Holy Spirit come
upon me. You alone who have experienced it can tell what it means. It
cannot be described. I felt it to the extremity of my hands and feet. It
seemed as if a Voice said to me, 'Now if you were to go and testify, you
know I would bless it to your own soul, as well as to the people!' I
gasped again, and said in my heart, 'Yes, Lord, I believe Thou wouldst,
but I cannot do it!' I had forgotten my vow. It did not occur to me at
A moment afterward there flashed across my mind the memory of the bedroom
visitation, when I had promised the Lord that I would obey Him at all
costs. And then the Voice seemed to ask me if this was consistent with
that promise. I almost jumped up, and said, 'No, Lord, it is the old
thing over again. But I cannot do it!' I felt as though I would sooner
die than speak. And then the devil said, 'Besides, you are not prepared.
You will look like a fool, and will have nothing to say.' He made a
mistake. He over-reached himself for once. It was this word that settled
it. 'Ah!' I said, 'this is just the point. I have never yet been willing
to be a fool for Christ. Now I will be one.'
Without stopping another moment I rose up from my seat and walked down
the aisle. My dear husband was just going to conclude. He thought
something had happened to me, and so did the people. We had been there
two years, and they knew my timid, bashful nature. He stepped down and
asked me, 'What is the matter, my dear?' I replied, 'I want to say a
word.' He was so taken by surprise that he could only say, 'My dear wife
wishes to speak,' and sat down. For years he had been trying to persuade
me to do it. Only that very week he had wanted me to go and address a
little Cottage Meeting of some twenty working people, but I had refused.
I stood--God only knows how--and if any mortal did ever hang on the arm
of Omnipotence, I did. I felt as if I were clinging to some human arm;
but it was a Divine one which held me up. I just stood, and told the
people how it had come about. I confessed, as I think everybody should
who has been in the wrong, and has misrepresented the religion of Jesus
Christ. I said, 'I dare say many of you have been looking upon me as a
very devoted woman, and one who has been living faithfully to God. But I
have come to realize that I have been disobeying Him, and thus have
brought darkness and leanness into my soul. I have promised the Lord to
do so no longer, and have come to tell you that henceforth I will be
obedient to the holy vision.'
There was more weeping, they said, in the chapel that day than on any
previous occasion. Many dated a renewal in righteousness from that very
moment, and began a life of devotion and consecration to God.
Now I might have 'talked good' to them till now. That honest confession
did what twenty years of preaching could not have accomplished.
But, oh, how little did I realize how much was then involved! I never
imagined the life of publicity and trial that it would lead me to, for I
was never allowed to have another quiet Sabbath when I was well enough to
stand and speak. All I did was to take the first step. I could not see in
advance. But the Lord, as He always does when His people are honest with
Him and obedient, opened the windows of Heaven, and poured out such a
blessing that there was not room to receive it.
From that morning Mrs. Booth continued to respond to the call to proclaim
Salvation, until she came to be regarded as one of the most powerful
preachers of her day. Her service was not unattended with sorrow. For
many years this shrinking woman had to face fires of criticism and
blizzards of scorn; but she persevered.
Not only within the ranks of The Salvation Army has Mrs. Booth's brave
example borne a harvest of blessing, but in all walks of public life
women now stand in the gates as co-workers with men in every righteous
cause; sometimes they raise their voice for truth and equity where no
other voice is heard.
When the Christian Mission began to take form, William Booth had no
particular intentions as to the kind of helpers he was to have--either
male or female. Female ministry evolved as a part of its service, as
indeed the whole Salvation Army evolved, without premeditation or plan,
indeed, as it is said of the Kingdom of God, 'without observation.' To
Mr. Booth's early meetings in the East End of London came a godly man and
his wife to assist him with their sympathy. The woman was so shy as to be
unable to pray aloud. She was in deep sorrow over the death of her two
children. Later, when attending a holiness meeting, conducted in an old
wood shed in Bethnal Green, this woman, Mrs. Collingridge, yielded
herself entirely to God for His service. She knelt, a timid, broken
woman, making the sincere offering of herself to God, and rose from her
knees delivered from all fear and inspired with a message to the people.
From that day, with the arresting power of a prophetess, she proclaimed
the Saviour's love and power. She could command a crowd of the wildest
roughs in the open-air, or hold breathless a great theatre audience. She
specially excelled in visiting the converts and others; so blessed was
she in this work that Mr. Booth asked her to become the first paid woman
member of the Mission.
Commissioner Railton tells of Mrs. Collingridge in his 'Twenty-one Years
Salvation Army.' He writes, 'It was no longing for publicity or notoriety
that attracted her, for one hears not so much of her public work, blessed
and glorious as that was, as the victories she won from garret to garret,
from door to door, as she pressed on, resolved never, to the last hour,
to give up a victim of sin.' Worn out with loving and seeking souls,
this--after The Army Mother--the first woman officer of The Salvation
Army was promoted to glory, triumphing in God to her last breath. Mrs.
Collingridge was the forerunner of such spirits as Kate Lee. She raised
up and trained a band of brave women fighters; these women were used with
remarkable success in the growing Mission. William Booth was hard put to
find sufficient evangelists for the rapidly increasing stations about
London and in the Provinces. God had signally blessed the Women's Band as
visitors and exhorters, and William Booth saw in them qualities that
caused him to believe that, given opportuity, woman would excel as a
Necessity urged the experiment. The first woman chosen for this purpose
was Annie Davis, who later, as Mrs. Commissioner Ridsdel, after most
distinguished service as a soul-winner, was promoted to glory. A quiet
girl from a village, she had been converted in the old hall used by the
Mission under the Railway Arch at Bethnal Green. From the first it was
evident that the power of God rested upon her.
Annie Davis was placed in charge of the small Christian Mission Society
in Barking. At the end of her term of office she left a flourishing work.
She had managed her committee, successfully led her people, paid her way,
and left a balance in hand.
The fact had been demonstrated that a woman was as capable of filling the
position of an evangelist as a man. Kate Watts (now Mrs. Colonel Josiah
Taylor) was then sent in charge of the Mission Work at Merthyr, in Wales,
where she was used by God in the salvation of hundreds of souls--and Mrs.
Reynolds 'opened fire' at Coventry. To Captain Reynolds was presented, on
behalf of the Coventry Corps, the first Flag of The Salvation Army.
The Hallelujah Lass became an indispensable part of The Salvation Army.
No effort was made to set these women in one common mould and turn them
out replicas of the first. Indeed their naturalness, the very differences
in disposition and method added to their usefulness.
In great contrast to the women already mentioned, was the type of whom
'Happy Eliza' was a specimen. Rough and ready and entirely fearless, she
knew how to capture the most indifferent crowds. At one corps where
ordinary methods had failed to secure the people, she marched through the
streets with streamers floating from her hair, and on her back a placard
bearing the words 'I'm Happy Eliza.' The denizens of public-houses and
the slums flocked to the hall to hear a preacher who evidently understood
them. At another place where a theatre was to be opened as a Salvation
Army hall, she advertised the meetings by hiring a cab. On the box a man
beat a drum, inside two or three others played brass instruments, while
Happy Eliza took up her position on the luggage on the top, and drove
through the streets alternately playing a fiddle and distributing
handbills announcing the coming meetings.
Another indomitable was Chinee Smith. Trampled on by a Lancashire mob,
her bonnet torn from her head, her shoes from her feet, she marched in
her stockings through the streets to the hall, her hair streaming down
her back. Taking her place on the platform she led the meeting as though
nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The hall was packed and souls
The Army's Founder began to recognize that almost limitless possibilities
lay in these women. Since they could attract and win sinners to Christ,
could command the people of their corps with acceptance, why should they
not be placed in charge of Divisions? He saw no reason. Captain Reynolds
was promoted to the rank of major, and placed in charge of The Salvation
Army work in Ireland, and the decision was fully justified by the blessed
results which followed.
Thus, in a perfectly natural way, without design, woman's position in The
Salvation Army was established. To-day, there is no rank or position in
its ranks which a woman may not occupy, including even that of General.
As may be supposed, the greater number of women officers marry officers,
and therefore, as a rule, merge their activities into their husband's
work. This being the case, not so many women occupy leading positions as
men. Nevertheless, women are to be found holding the highest rank and
occupying leading positions in every phase of Army warfare. As
Territorial Commander, Mrs. General Booth was for several years
responsible for The Army's work in Great Britain and Ireland; Commander
Evangeline Booth for that of the United States; Commissioner Lucy Booth-
Hellberg for Norway; Commissioner Adelaide Cox has direction of the
Women's Social Work in Great Britain. Commissioner Mildred Duff is editor
of The Salvation Army literature for Young People. Commissioner Hannah
Ouchterlony pioneered our work in her native land, Sweden, and now in a
cloudless eventide looks with joy upon a glorious work, the foundations
of which she laid in the face of fierce opposition. Lieut.-Commissioner
Clara Case represents The Salvation Army woman missionary, having just
retired from active service after twenty-seven years in India, during the
greater part of which time she commanded the work in Southern India.
Lieut-Colonel Catherine Booth, as International Secretary at
Headquarters, is the General's representative for Salvation Army work in
There are women Divisional Commanders, financiers, training officers,
editors, teachers, and social, medical and nursing officers; and, by no
means least, a host of efficient and devoted Corps Commanders of which
Kate Lee was so worthy a representative.
Upon the woman officer of The Army rests no less responsibility than that
carried by a man occupying a similar position, and she is expected to
'deliver the goods' as her male comrade in like circumstances would be
required to do. And she does it.
The Salvation Army affords an unrivalled field of usefulness to young
women who wish to devote their lives to the service of God. No
organization offers a wider, if so wide a door. As one of its songs has
it, 'There's a place in The Army for all': for the educated and cultured,
whose hearts are free from selfishness and fired with holy passion to
seek and save the lost, and equally for the young woman of moderate gifts
and elementary education, whose heart is also pure and whose soul is
illuminated by Divine love.
The Army is by no means 'a happy hunting ground' for faddists or
sentimentalists who think religious service consists in 'sailing round'
singing songs, and whispering sweet nothings or shouting declarations. It
is an Army out to fight another army; to wrestle; to conquer; to take
prisoners, and to establish and govern territories. The Salvation fight
demands the best a man and woman can give of heart and mind, of sacrifice
and service. But, as one exuberant Salvationist has expressed, 'There's
stacks of fun in The Army!' There are excitement, adventure, tragedy, and
comedy, joy and sorrow, the like of which is found in few, if any other
callings. Men and women who have gone out of its ranks or its commands,
weary of the endless sacrifice and strain its service entails, and who
are to-day well placed and full of the good things of this life, still
sigh at the remembrance of the days of their warfare, and declare that
the joy of a Salvation Army officer's life is without compare in
The spirit of comradeship which exists between superior and junior
officers is a real and beautiful thing. While Kate Lee as a girl captain
was wrestling with the problems of her first corps in the villages of
England, the writer of her memoir, then also a girl captain, was leading
a village corps in her native Australian mountains. Since Kate cannot
tell of the kindness of her Divisional Commanders, I may, for the sake of
illustration, be permitted to mention my own experience in this relation,
incidentally also showing The Army spirit in operation at the other end
of the world from The Army hub.
At that time I was stationed at a mining township eighty miles from a
railway. The distances between towns in that part of Australia being so
great, my Divisional Commander, Major Jonah Evans, now retired, was able
to visit my corps only once during my term of nine months there, but he
kept in constant touch with his young officers by correspondence. Next to
my mother's weekly letter, I looked forward to one from my Divisional
Commander. In my weekly dispatch I gave him a full account of everything
that concerned my corps, which he was patient enough to read and to reply
to carefully, giving such advice as he thought would help me in my work.
Also, occasionally, a letter would arrive from his late sweet wife, who,
as Captain Helen Morrell, had seen remarkable revivals amongst the Welsh
miners. Passing on to city corps, where conditions were entirely
different and responsibilities pressed heavily, Major William Hunter, now
in Heaven, was my true friend as well as an able leader. The help and
direction which such experienced officers are able to give to young men
and women who are full of earnestness and desire to reach and bless the
souls of the people, minimize the weight of responsibility sometimes
thrown upon young shoulders.
Thirty years ago, when Kate Lee began her career as a field officer, The
Army had not reached that place in public esteem which it enjoys to-day.
The worst days of rioting and persecution had passed, and right of public
speech in the streets had been gained in many countries after a long
struggle. But The Army was still regarded as something of a nuisance by
the majority of educated people, a good thing for the very worst by a
few, with indifference or hostility by the mass. To wear the uniform was
to bring upon one contumely, often persecution. Salvation Army officers
were sometimes perhaps ill fed and poorly clad; nevertheless, because of
the opportunity their position afforded to seek and find the lost, Kate
Lee counted herself blessed above millions when she sewed the insignia of
a lieutenant upon her collar.
Six months of joyous service amongst the Welsh miners was cut short by a
telegram announcing to the sisters the serious illness of Mrs. Lee.
Taking the news to their Divisional Commander, they were instructed to
Headquarters. It was found that the illness was due to shock. The income
from investments of the little estate left by Mr. Lee had dwindled; it
now had disappeared altogether.
Captain Lucy faced the matter with her usual practical decision. 'Mother,
darling, there are two ways out. Either I must come home and work and
care for you, or you must come with us. If Headquarters would agree to
you accompanying us from corps to corps, would you be willing to break up
the home and come?' By this time Mrs. Lee had become possessed by what is
known amongst Salvationists as 'The Army Spirit.' She loved this
wonderful Army which cared for, and sought and found the lost. She would
not have her girls come out of the fight. 'I cannot preach, Lucy, but
maybe there is some niche I could fill. I would like to come,' she said.
So it was arranged, and shortly the little household, was transferred to
Norwich. How happy they were! Captain and Lieutenant Lee, busy from morn
till night, week in and week out, seeking the souls of the people. The
mother in the little quarters, sitting with her work-basket beside the
window, giving a smile to passers-by, and welcoming her daughters as they
came to meals, always bringing with them some new tale of joy, of sorrow,
of fighting, of victory or defeat. The little mother truly found her
niche. Soldiers and adherents came to reckon upon her gentle patient
influence, and her "never-mind-me" spirit was a constant sermon. She
could sympathize and she could pray, and she sewed unceasingly for the
annual sales of work, making useful articles out of the smallest and
oddest remnants. She found supreme happiness in her Army warfare.
While Captain Lucy shielded Lieutenant Kate, she also gave her a
At Norwich they saw a great work amongst the worst characters of the
city; many drunkards were transformed by the grace of God. One of the
number, a soldier of the corps to-day, sends his grateful tribute to
Lieutenant Kate's persistence in holding up his tottering steps until
they grew steady upon the heavenly way. The sisters had the joy of
erecting a citadel in the Bull's Close.
At King's Lynn, visitation of the homes of the people was a specialty of
It is to be regretted that neither Lucy nor Kate Lee kept a journal. They
were too busy seeking the lost, and after finding them and rejoicing over
them were too weary to record their experiences, interesting and
profitable as they would have been for us to read about. Their official
diaries furnish little more than entries of meetings conducted and other
duties performed. The only preserved reminiscence of their work is found
in an 'All the World' of 1895. Commissioner Duff, then editor of that
journal, beguiled Captain Lucy into chatting about her work at King's
Lynn covering three days, and used the conversation as an unconscious
answer to the oft-repeated taunt thrown at our officers in those days 'Go
and work.' The following are extracts:--
_Friday_. Back from London at five. So pleased to find lieutenant
waiting for me on the platform, with a smile. Tea ready at home.
While telling her about my London trip, the man brought my box.
Paying him, he said, 'I always listen to your Open-Air on a
Sunday; but I have one thing against you, you are so down on the
drink.' My chance! So I let him have it straight for ten minutes,
when he gave me a penny for the collection, shook hands, and went
On the way to 7 o'clock converts' meeting, took Mrs. ---- to see
doctor. She was nervous at going alone. New converts turned up
well. Brother ---- very bright. Soon after he got saved he painted
his door to help to make his home nice, and the old women of the
street came and smeared their dirty hands over it, to hear him
swear. But the Lord kept him, and all the street believes in him
to-day. And old Dad who cries when he talks, he feels so grateful
to God for saving him.
When on our knees with our eyes shut, singing, Brother ----, two
months saved, came over to me and said softly 'I'm afraid I'm
slipping back, Captain.' Poor lad, his home is nearly unendurable.
His mother said she would sooner see him dead than a Salvationist.
We all prayed, sang, and I believed for him, and he got beautifully
right. Read and explained Isaiah liv., 'No weapon that is formed
against thee shall prosper!' We all marched into the holiness
meeting at 8 o'clock. Some glorious testimonies. Closed with
united consecration at 9:15, and met bandsmen to appoint new
bandmaster. I was not quite sure as to how they would take the
appointment; but went in and got them all on their knees, took up
the holiness meeting chorus, 'I'll be, Lord, I'll be what You want
me to be,' and prayed. When on our feet again, I started off at
once and got through without any hitch or word of dissent,
finishing up most successfully. Praise God for this! Ran home to
join the lieutenant and the treasurer and the secretary who were
finishing the cartridges, [Footnote: Small envelopes in which
Salvationists make their weekly gift for the maintenance of the
work.] and we started on the books. Money well up this week; over
thirty shillings to meet the gas bill. Hallelujah!
_Saturday_. Breakfast as usual, at eight, and prayers. Then we
started our weekly clean-up. I take upstairs; lieutenant down.
People have got to know that Saturday is our day home, and come
to see us. Had good spell of work. Then a poor woman and her
daughter in great distress called; advised that they should go to
law, and make the child's father support it. They are doing this.
When I went with them to see the solicitor, he seemed to think
they would succeed. Talked matter over with them, then had to
leave lieutenant to finish with them, as Bandsman ---- came.
Misunderstanding with comrade. Hot-tempered; feels he has
disgraced himself; better give in instrument. Long talk with him.
Showed him his duty was to admit his wrong, and ask forgiveness.
At last willing to do so; prayed the Lord's help and grace; took
back instrument and went off happy. Dinner ready, then off to
funeral, fixed for 2:30. Dear little Nellie! Glad I was able to
be with her the last night. Had run in for a minute from open-air.
Stayed till 5:30 in the morning. She was all night dying. Mother
too overcome to be able to be with her. It was Nellie's wish I
should bury her. Band turned up; nice meeting at house, then
marched to the cemetery; hundreds there. All assembled in chapel;
I in pulpit. A child's funeral seems a marvellous opportunity.
Many in tears. Lord, make the impression lasting! Thankful I got
quiet time in the train yesterday to prepare for Sunday. I've
had no time since.
Before open-air went to see Mrs. ----. Saturday is a specially
trying day. Husband drinks heavily. So cruel to her. Found her
very depressed. Tries to keep her home nice, but he makes it very
hard. 'Been wondering to-day if God does hear my prayer. My
husband only seems to get worse; the devil has been tempting me
all day to give up.' Read to her promise in Isaiah li., 'I am He
that comforteth you.' Seemed too depressed to grasp it. 'It is
_for you_' I said, and took her hand. Got down on my knees and
prayed. She began to cry. 'I've been doubting and despairing all
day,' she said; 'but if He'll forgive me, I will trust my
Saviour.' Bless her. Hurried on; just in time for open-air. Very
good meeting inside. All going on well, except ----. What _can_
we do for him? Cost us more tears, and time, and prayers than all
the rest put together. He seemed so satisfactory, then he backslid
and came into the meeting drunk. Lieutenant could not let him go
back. Brought him from the saloon, and now there he is in the back
seat, all rags and misery. Too drunk to do anything but cry. He
has lost the place we got him. Pawned his things. People laugh at
us for our attempts; but we can't give him up. That lost sheep,
'until He findeth it,' is my watchword for him.
_Sunday_. Nice number at knee-drill. On march from open-air,
great excitement. The cry was raised in one of the narrow streets,
'Runaway horse!' I was terrified for the children, but the lads
made a line across the street, and the color-sergeant put the
pole of the flag crosswise, barring the way; so we stopped the
horse, and no one was hurt. A helpful time, I think, in the
holiness meeting. Read from Exodus xxxv., showing how the people
listened and obeyed God's word. After the meeting, saw the
soldiers, who were on outpost duty, going off in the best of
spirits. Stopped to speak to Sister ---- who is anxious about her
son. Got home at one o'clock. Before dinner was finished some one
came to fetch us, from the next street, to see a man who was
dying, and who, in his delirium, was screaming for the captain.
Found him in a dreadful state. At first I tried to soothe him.
Soon I saw that he must speak. He had sat for years in the
meetings, knowing what he ought to do, and never doing it. 'You've
pleaded with me so often, and others have too,' he began, 'and
I've always put off deciding. I have asked God to forgive me.
Will you forgive me, too?' Prayed with him, and left him quieter.
Went on to the hall in time for the Junior meeting. Most touching
time. The children knew and loved little Nellie. When after the
Company Lesson, [Footnote: Sunday School Bible Lesson.] I spoke
to them of her beautiful life, they all cried, and we had a little
dedication meeting, giving ourselves to God to live like Nellie,
and claiming His power for help. Afternoon free-and-easy. Hall
just on full, but could not keep the meeting on as we had the
A funeral march is a sermon in itself. The indoor meeting was
very solemn. Lieutenant read. She is coming on well. What a
comfort she is to me. I don't know how I should have got on
here if we had not been so united. She is devotion itself.
The Lord gave us four souls. Two of them, unsaved relations of
Nellie's. It seemed the seal of Heaven upon her beautiful life.
Oh! there is nothing like seeing souls saved! Said to lieutenant,
as we crept home--and we feel we may have the luxury of being
tired out on a Sunday night--that next to being an angel, there
is no position in the world like being a field captain.
After King's Lynn, Captain and Lieutenant Lee were appointed to Great
Yarmouth. Here, an illness broke up the little household. During an
epidemic of influenza, Kate was laid low, and before she had recovered,
Lucy became ill. But the Chief of the Staff [Footnote: Now General
Bramwell Booth.] was coming to Yarmouth; that was to be a great event.
Lucy had taken the Drill Hall for the occasion, and would not rest until
she had completed the arrangements for the campaign. The Chief had
stirring meetings, with great crowds and many converts, but the captain
lay at the quarters struggling with pneumonia. To this day Lucy cherishes
the memory of The General's visit to her bedside, where he commended her
valiant service and prayed that she would be spared to the War. After her
mother had nursed her through the illness she remained delicate, and in
order to relieve her from open-air duties and assist in re-establishing
her health, Headquarters appointed the captain to office work. The small
family did not reunite, Mrs. Lee remaining with Lucy, until years later
she was promoted to glory.
This break was the Lord's way of thrusting Kate forth to take
responsibilities of her own. Her health was now fairly robust, and her
experience of life much broader. Promoted to the rank of captain, she
went to take charge of her first corps, and we have fortunately her own
account of her reception. Some years before her promotion to glory,
during a rather long period of sick furlough, the General wished Kate to
prepare reminiscences of her field experience. To speak of herself or her
work, was ever the most difficult of orders for Kate to obey, but she
meant to try. Amongst her papers was found a single sheet on which she
had written headings for a series of reminiscences. A further hunt
discovered two sketches which she had intended for publication
anonymously. One of these is here given in full:
THE WRONG CLOTHES.
The captain was going to take charge of her first corps, and as the
train sped along her heart beat faster as each stop brought her
nearer her destination. Would anyone be there to meet her? What was
the town like? And the people? Above everything else, what about
the lieutenant? These were the thoughts that came racing through her
brain as the train dashed along.
The train slowed down. A porter's voice announced the station, and
she looked but of the window for a Salvation welcome, but no
friendly face was there. Leaving her baggage, except for her
handbag, at the station, she trudged off to find the quarters. There
was no welcome there. After securing the key from a neighbour she
entered the dwelling. Fortunately, there was sufficient tea in the
caddy to make the longed-for cup, and with the lunch that had been
forgotten on the exciting journey, she refreshed herself. There was
no letter; no news of the lieutenant, and the indifferent neighbour
could only say that she had been asked to hold the key until the
new captain arrived.
The time for the meeting drew near, but no Salvationist called, and
a feeling of strangeness and loneliness came upon the captain.
Falling on her knees, she called upon God to help her. The
realization of His Presence, the prospect of having a little corps
of her very own, enabled her to smile at her fears, and to sally
forth to seek The Army hall. At last it was discovered. Such a tiny
place! A small burying ground surrounded it, giving it a dismal
appearance. The door was closed, so the captain went and inquired
for the key, and was informed that the hall would be opened in time
for the meeting. After waiting for some time, a girl appeared, and,
in a sullen way, opened the door. 'If only the lieutenant were
here,' the captain thought. By 8:30 two lads and a few children had
mustered. Her first meeting in her own corps was one of the most
difficult she had conducted. There was a strange something, a
mysterious atmosphere which she could not understand.
The last train did not bring the lieutenant, and the captain,
committing herself to God, decided she must make the best of the
circumstances. She had no desire for supper and went to bed.
Awakened next morning by a stream of beautiful sunshine, she
realized where she was, and the dreariness and coldness of the
past night's experiences returned. 'If only the lieutenant were
here,' again she sighed. 'If--but this will not do,' she cried
aloud, 'I must not let the first little struggle discourage me.
Perhaps I was cold and tired last night, and perhaps the people
did not really expect me--or perhaps--! Anyway, I am going to do
my very best for God and souls here.' Looking up to her Heavenly
Father, she sought strength for the day. She made a scanty
breakfast, then set about, righting the quarters. Her box had
arrived, and from it she took her knick-knacks; a few cheery
texts for the wall, and her beloved books, helped to make the
place look homelike. Then she scanned the visitation book, making
a plan for the afternoon.
That first visitation was a trying experience. 'How strange and
cold these people seem to be!' There was no answer to her knock
from two or three houses. Everybody appeared to be out. At the
next house she was sure she heard a sound that indicated that
some one was at home, so she knocked with a determination that
secured an answer. An upstairs window was thrown open. 'What do
you want?' snarled an angry voice. 'Does Mrs. S---- live here?'
'Yes, what do you want with her?' 'I'm the new captain, and I've
come to see her, is she at home?' 'I'm Mrs. S----, but I'm too
busy to come down. Good-day!' The captain turned away, sick at
heart, but determined to have another fry. Still, that afternoon
was a very disappointing one, and she brought it to a finish with
another visit to the station to inquire if there was a likely
train that might bring the lieutenant. At night she went alone
again to the hall, opened the door, but waited in vain for even
the sullen girl and the little children.
On returning to the quarters, she found a letter awaiting her from
the Divisional Commander regretting that the lieutenant was ill,
and could not join her for at least a month. 'A month alone in
this cold atmosphere!' It seemed an endless age to anticipate, but
now she faced the worst, and was determined to fight through to
Saturday night found her at the open-air stand, waiting and hoping
that some one would turn up, when to her relief, she espied a
brass instrument glistening in the distance, and she rejoiced to
greet her first bandsman. He approached in an indifferent way, but
she was becoming more used to the 'cold climate.' When other
bandsmen appeared she felt that, in spite of the stiffness, she
loved her corps already. She would have been quite happy had the
lieutenant been there, but to walk in front of that band without
the satisfaction of knowing there was one sister in the rear,
_was_ a trial.
She put her best into the meetings; gave the address that had been
prepared with tears and care, but her words seemed to fall flat.
The prayer-meeting was hard and no souls came to the mercy-seat. At
the end of that first week-end, she exclaimed to a local officer
her surprise that no sisters attended the open-air meetings, and
that everybody seemed strange. 'Oh, so you don't understand?' he
said. 'You have got on the wrong clothes!' 'What do you mean?' the
captain inquired. 'Well, we are all disappointed. We wanted men
officers. You have got on the wrong clothes.' The captain did not
reply, but determined that she would make those soldiers want her
before she concluded her stay amongst them. She had a difficult
task, the people were clannish, and their prejudice was not easily
Her first move was to arrange a social cup of tea. She prepared a
dainty little spread, although the funds were low, for she did
the baking herself. Every soldier was invited personally, and she
felt rewarded when twenty-five out of her fifty soldiers responded.
The little venture seemed to break the ice, and this first sign of
success was followed by a tea for sisters only, and the
disappointed sisters became quite reconciled to their girl captain.
The long month at last came to an end. With great happiness the
captain welcomed her lieutenant. A bright fire was in the grate,
the kettle singing on the hob, as over their first cup of tea they
rejoiced that love had conquered. In the lieutenant's welcome
meeting, the break came, when a number of soldiers reconsecrated
themselves to God. On the following Sunday night, the address was
cut short by a woman rushing to the penitent-form, followed by
several others. The soldiers were stirred, and the fires of love
and enthusiasm burnt up the smallness and prejudice. Their cup ran
over when they saw a poor drunkard of their town changed by the
power of God.
Prejudice is a difficult thing to overcome. It starves the soul
and withholds the blessing of God; but the fire of love can
overcome it and enable one to triumph even over the ban of 'wrong
After commanding three corps, giving to the people of each town her best
service, a sharp attack of pneumonia carried Captain Lee away from corps
work, and for a time it seemed that a constitutional bronchial weakness,
now aggravated, would bring her regular public work to an early
A term in the Naval and Military Department at Headquarters in London
introduced Kate to a new sphere of Army service. Hitherto, her vision of
the Salvation battlefield had been limited to the particular corps at
which she soldiered or commanded, but contact with men who went to the
ends of the earth and found The Army at almost every port, blessing them
in soul and body, lifted her horizon until it became world-wide. Kate Lee
began to realize the greatness of the organization to which she belonged.
A breakdown in the Naval and Military Home at Chatham placed Captain Kate
in charge of that institution, with full responsibility for the catering,
house-keeping, and meetings, and the visitation of ships in the harbour.
A sister Salvationist writes:--
When first I saw her at the Naval and Military Home, I was impressed
by her innocence, youth, and fragile appearance. For such a girl to
bear the responsibility of so large an institution, was a marvel in
my eyes. With one or two other comrades I used to accompany her to
the ships in the Medway, to sing to the men. When a good crowd had
gathered on the deck, Captain Kate would speak to them and invite
them to come to The Army Home when they were ashore. The Home was
packed out. She conducted bright meetings, and many soldiers and
sailors were converted. Despite her youth, the men looked to her as
an elder sister; gave into her keeping their bank-books and money,
and sought her advice in their difficulties. So greatly did the Home
succeed during the captain's stay, that she had the pleasure of
seeking for a site on which now stands the Home which does such
excellent service in Chatham to-day.
With health fully restored, the call of the field was insistent, and
Captain Lee begged to be allowed to take a corps again. She was appointed
to Whitstable, Kent, and for the next fourteen years she poured out her
life as a ceaseless offering for the souls of the people in town and
city, in various parts of the United Kingdom.
A CORPS COMMANDER
A casual view of the work of a Salvation Army field officer might suggest
that for such a position few qualities other than enthusiasm and some
ability for public speaking are necessary. Such an idea is as wide of the
mark as may be.
A field officer of The Army has the honour to be chosen for service
similar to that William Booth undertook when he first turned to the
unchurched masses of the East End of London. To him is committed the
spiritual responsibility for the town or part of the town in which he is
stationed. He is there to preach in the streets to the people who will
not go to places of worship, and by every lawful means to compel them to
his hall for help at closer range. He is there to visit the sick, to seek
out the drunkard, to visit the police court, to encourage, and lift, and
lift again the weak and stumbling. He is there to answer letters from
anxious parents, to hunt up straying sons and daughters, to rebuke sin;
in outbreaks of infectious disease and catastrophies to administer
comfort and help to the sorrowing and bereaved; to instruct the children;
to shepherd and inspire the band of Salvationists already attached to his
corps; to raise money for the furtherance of The Army work. Indeed,
nothing which affects the well-being of the populace lies outside the
sphere of the officer of The Salvation Army.
All corps are not the same. There is the city corps, with its hundreds of
soldiers; an efficient brass band and songster brigade, home league,
young people's work, and various other departments. The business man
finds that the hustle, the high rent, floating population and the keen
competition of the city necessitates extraordinary care and daring to
ensure success. The same applies to our officers in charge of city corps.
There is the sea-side corps, with its thousands of visitors and
'trippers' whom The Army officer seeks to reach and bless. There is the
suburban corps, with its settled residential population. There are corps
in industrial centres with features peculiar to them; and the village
corps, where long distances are covered by the officers in their efforts
to reach the scattered population. Each corps presents to the field
officer special problems as well as special opportunities.
To be a field officer as near perfection as possible, was the ambition of
Kate Lee's life. In this calling she believed she could best serve God
and win souls from sin to righteousness. She began as a lieutenant,
receiving twelve shillings per week and her furnished quarters, and when
an adjutant at the height of her success, not only as a soul-winner, but
as an organizer and manager of unusual ability, who in commercial or
civil life could have commanded a large salary, she received a guinea
(about $5.00 at normal exchange) a week and her quarters. [Footnote:
These figures relate to the pre-war scale of allowances.] Kate Lee laid
up her treasure in heaven.
As a Corps-Commander, she saw service in every kind of corps. Beginning
amongst the villages, with tiny hall and a handful of people to care for,
by sheer merit, she rose to command the most important corps in the
She laid good foundation for a successful career. For the direction of
field officers, The Army Founder wrote a book of Orders and Regulations
known in The Army as "The F.O." It is a volume of some six hundred pages
packed from cover to cover with matter as interesting as it is logical
and practical. Every phase of the officer's life and service is therein
dealt with. An officer might be located on Easter Island, separated from
all oversight, and if he consulted his 'F.O.,' and commanded his corps
according to its advice and directions, he would surely build The
Salvation Army in miniature.
So entirely had Kate Lee assimilated William Booth's spirit and adopted
his methods in relation to her work, that she might well have been his
own daughter. She lived the 'F.O.' in relation to her own soul, her
lieutenant, her soldiers, every section of her corps; to the backsliders,
to the great masses of the ungodly, to the civic authorities, to the
churches, to her comrades and superior officers. And she succeeded
Adjutant Lee set to work in a methodical, practical way. On taking charge
of a corps, she first consulted "The Soldiers' Roll" in order to
ascertain the size and condition of her charge as a fighting force; next
she examined the cashbooks in order to find out her financial
responsibilities. Lastly she took steps to gain an accurate idea of the
condition of the town, morally and spiritually.
Says the treasurer of one of her corps:--
Soon after she arrived here she gave me a list of questions,
including, 'How many saloons in the town? How many houses of
ill fame? How many places of worship? What proportion of people
go to church? When she compared these figures with the population
she was able to estimate the grip of evil on the town, and the
efforts made by the people of God to combat it. She reckoned all
the godless people of the town were her concern, and laid her plans
accordingly. She called upon the police, the civic authorities, and
the ministers, intimating that she was there for the good of the city,
and asked to be allowed to co-operate with them. It was not long
before the governing people realized that an uncommon force for
righteousness had come among them.
Says another of her local officers, 'Our city had never been so conscious
of the presence of The Salvation Army as a regenerating force in its
midst, as during her stay.'
Her ministering spirit played like a flame upon every section of the
corps until the whole organization pulsated with life. Every evening of
the week the citadel was ablaze with light and humming with activity, the
soldiers unwilling to stay away one night for fear of missing a good
In order to promote a spirit of prayer in a corps, the Adjutant's plan
was to form a prayer league. She chose the most spiritual amongst her
soldiers and adherents, and pledged them to spend a portion of each day
in prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the corps and town.
These comrades became a great strength in the battles for souls which
developed. At some of her corps a few of these comrades remained in a
room praying during the whole of the service on Sunday night; and when
the prayer meeting began, they quietly made their way to either side of
the penitent-form; their earnest pleading for the unsaved having much to
do with the victories gained. Others were formed into a "Fishing
Brigade." [Footnote: Salvationists selected to speak personally with
those likely to be brought to decision for Christ.] These were posted
about the hall, and, at a given signal in the prayer meeting, moved
amongst the unsaved and urged them to decision.
Soldier-making was Adjutant Lee's object. A full penitent-form meant
little to her unless the kneeling penitents became fighters for God. To
this end she visited, and 'nursed' and trained and commanded--and with
good results. But while she had a keen eye for the new recruit, she
mourned and battled for the deserters. She had taken to her heart the Old
General's counsel on this score, part of which reads:--
The Field Officer must watch against heart backsliding. When soldiers
drop off from knee-drill; when they are not found in the ranks in bad
weather; when they no longer remain to the prayer meetings; when they
come only now and then to the week-night services; and when they
cease to testify as frequently, heartily, and definitely as in former
days, the F.O. should conclude there is something wrong; decay has
commenced. He should deal with such at once, and give them no rest.
No officer should refuse to seek the restoration of a backslider
because of the disgrace he has brought upon the corps by his falling
into old ways; old habits of drunkenness or uncleanness, fighting or
thieving, or any other vulgar form of sin. The F.O. should consider
the shame of the man himself, if he is permanently left to rot in
the ditch of corruption, and the sorrows that burden the heart of
His Master, for one for whom He has given His precious Blood.
Heart backsliders or open backsliders were all the same to her--deserters
to be followed down and brought back to loyal service. One tells that he
had been away from the fight for six years. She heard of him by a casual
remark one comrade made to another, got his address and surprised his
home by a visit.
'After that,' says this comrade, 'she slipped into our house for a few
minutes every day until she won us back to God and The Army. Sometimes
she might not even sit down; just kneel a moment and pray with us. At
other times she merely put her head round the door and smiled; said, "God
bless you," and was gone. Her loving interest broke us down, and we
hungered to get back into the fight.'
Another comrade had fought so successful a fight that the devil thought
it worth while to centre his heavy guns upon him; he was so smashed
spiritually that he seemed past mending. But not to Kate Lee's faith. She
prayed over him, believed for him, refused to give up his soul as lost
until at length he again began to hope in God for deliverance. He was
fully restored and became a devoted bandmaster.
Some backsliders who withstood her pleadings in life were brought home by
her death. 'The last time I saw her,' said an old man with broken voice,
'she held an open-air service in our street, came into my house, wept
over me and prayed for me. I used to serve under her. When she died----.'
He is fighting the good fight now as in his best days.
The bandsmen of The Army are a remarkable body of men. They are all
converted, many from lives of desperate sin. Others have grown up in The
Army; almost all have learned what they know of music in the ranks.
Twenty years ago, the latter remark might have been received with a
smile. Not so to-day, for while the object of Salvation Army music is the
same as when it was first admitted as an auxiliary in our efforts to
attract the unsaved, it has passed from the crudeness of its beginnings
to a high standard of excellence. The bands of The Salvation Army now
rank amongst the best in the world, and are an appreciated institution in
most towns and villages. The bandsmen, who find their own uniforms and
receive neither fee nor reward for their services, devote much of their
leisure to Salvation Army service. They carry the message of salvation by
music and song into city streets and slums, into the lanes of the
country; to hospitals and asylums, and, besides, lead the singing in The
As might be expected amongst a body of clean-living, energetic men, there
are occasions when matters of contention arise which require careful
handling. More than once Kate Lee 'scented' trouble in her bands and
resorted to a night of prayer, as a preparation for dealing with the
problem. She would come from her little sanctuary, clothed with such
meekness, tact, and strength that never once did she fail to stem the
difficulty and to hold the men to the highest ideals of Salvationism.
If a whole band were affected, she saw the men one by one before she met
them together. At one corps where the inclination to worldly amusement
threatened serious loss, the Adjutant held a meeting which lasted until
midnight. Lovingly, faithfully, firmly, she reminded the men of the high
purposes of The Salvation Army, the condition of the world in relation to
God, the spiritual danger of mixing with the ungodly in their amusement.
Quietly, the men viewed the matter in the light of eternity and made
their choice. It was according to the Adjutant's standards. Not, as she
was careful to explain, because they were hers as the commanding officer,
but because they were standards of The Army, based upon the changeless
principles of the Kingdom that is not of this world. She found, as many
another servant of God has found, that, 'Strongly-formed purposes can be
changed and men's hearts influenced by prayer alone, and that surrenders
made and principles accepted at such a time make for the permanent change
The wives of Salvation Army bandsmen make their sacrifices. Sunday is
seldom a rest-day for Salvationists. Bandsmen are required to be present
at six engagements, three out-door and three in. Their wives see to the
children and the meals and send their husbands to their God-given
labours. They were not forgotten by the Adjutant. She took a delight in
preparing a pretty tea for them at her quarters, and inviting them to a
little party all of their own. Serving them herself, she spent an evening
of music and song amongst them, speaking words in appreciation and
gratitude of their unselfish service, and making them feel that their
part in the War was well worth while.
There are few rich people in The Salvation Army. Soldiers and adherents
are trained to give according to their ability towards the upkeep of
their respective corps; but when the best that may be is done in this
direction, there is, in most cases, a considerable deficit remaining
which must be met by public contribution.
As an example of the financial responsibilities which Kate Lee
successfully discharged, the Brighton Congress Hall might be taken. Here
the expenses for the year ran into some four thousand dollars. The
Adjutant desired to give all her time to 'pulling sinners out of the
fire.' But there was the rent; the upkeep of a great hall and her
quarters, fire and lighting, printing, advertising, in addition to the
modest allowance for herself and her two lieutenants. To cope with such
problems, Kate Lee brought the qualities of prayer and plan. 'A model of
method,' is how her treasurer here describes her. 'She ascertained the
full extent of her liabilities, and probable income, and laid plans to
meet the obligations with the least possible hindrance to spiritual
She never allowed lack of money to hinder her in a forward movement.
Going to the charge of another large corps, she had decided upon an
immediate campaign for souls. But awaiting her was a debt of five hundred
dollars! However, in her Welcome meeting, she committed herself to the
spiritual campaign, and enlisted the soldiers' interest. The following
morning she received a letter of welcome from her Divisional Commander,
who incidentally informed her that the Division was financially in rather
difficult circumstances, and that he was looking to her to assist him by
reducing the debt on the corps as soon as possible. She was seized with
the temptation, for a moment, to attack and dispose of the debt at once,
but convinced that her first decision to be of God, she committed the
money matter to Him, and began to organize the corps for a revival.
The month's effort was to include house-to-house visitation, the
'bombardment' of saloons, and a Sunday Salvation campaign in a theatre.
Her faith was tried; money was difficult to raise, and as she went
forward with her plans for soul-winning her liabilities increased. 'The
theatre will be a fizzle, and you will have a big deficit there,'
discouraged the Tempter. But Kate would not be moved from her purpose.
The special Sunday proved to be a day of victory. At night, two notorious
characters knelt at the penitent-form in addition to a number of
promising young people. The expenses were met, and the soldiers enthused.
The following morning, as the Adjutant was seeing a visitor off at the
railway station, a gentleman accosted her cheerfully, 'Adjutant, I have
some encouraging news for you,' he said. 'A friend of mine was present at
the theatre last night, and he was so impressed with what he saw and
heard that he intends to give you two hundred and fifty dollars!' 'Oh,
praise the Lord!' responded the Adjutant. When she met her soldiers with
the news, and showed them how God was honouring faith and obedience, they
united forthwith to wipe out the debt. In came promises of different
amounts. Ten days later the debt had vanished and a glorious work of
soul-saving went forward.
Kate Lee's lieutenants have lively memories of her methods and enthusiasm
in conducting the annual Self-Denial Appeals. Says one:--
The first "S.-D." I was with her, she said to me one morning, 'Now,
dear, I must get this all planned out and see my target on paper
before I meet the corps. I'm going upstairs, and I don't want to see
anyone or be disturbed for anything.' Dinner time came, and I
wondered what to do, and thought I had better take her dinner to
her. When I appeared at her door with the tray, she laughed heartily
with and at me, carried the tray down and we had dinner together.
After the scheme was launched she kept in touch with the whole corps,
encouraging and holding each up to his or her share in the effort,
until it finished successfully.
She had settled ideas about personal self-denial. Another of her
lieutenants tells that, during one Self-Denial week, a friend, thinking
that the officers might be depriving themselves of nourishing food, left
a basket packed with fresh goodies on the doorstep. The Adjutant smiled,
sold the goods and the basket, and put the money to the fund.
The soldiers who fought under Kate Lee revere her memory. Volumes of
tributes to their love and appreciation of her spirit, her ability and
service, could be given.
'What I thought she was when she came to us, I was sure she was when she
left.' A testimony from a village comrade all unconscious probably of its
'Like a specialist she was; always a queue of people waiting to see her
after the meetings,' says one of her city hall-keepers. 'What did they
want? Spiritual help, guidance, advice, about all manner of things; they
knew her heart was big enough to take in all the troubles they could
bring, and they never thought that her body might crack up.'
Another recalls her love for the Colours, and her loyalty to the
standards of her General.
'My, but she loved the Flag! Once the colour-sergeant was away, and it
was suggested we should go to the open-air meeting without the Flag. "Oh,
no! The General wouldn't like to see the march without the Flag," she
said; so a sister carried it.'
The following sidelights are contributed by a sister soldier of keen
observation and sweet spirit. 'When the Adjutant died, I felt I had lost
a dear and close relative, though as a matter of fact I had never caught
much more than glimpses of her. My husband was one of her local officers
and she frequently came to our home, but she did her business and went,
never remaining even for a cup of tea unless it were poured out and she
could take it without waiting. The most time I spent with her was once
when she returned to conduct some special services here, and was
billetted with us.
'She was too full of her mission to make friends for herself, but
although so busy she did not rush. She never had too many irons in the
fire to listen to a sorrow; and the few moments she could spare you knew
were all your own.' This characteristic is laid away in scores of hearts
like a sweet perfume which gives out fragrance every time it is stirred.
"She took time, she always took time to listen," whispered one of her
converts looking into my face with an adoring love in her eyes that was
almost anguish. The story of her wonderful deliverance, more full of
romance and tragedy than any novel, may not appear here for obvious
Continuing this soldier says, 'She seemed to put the work of two lives
into one. Such a brisk walk she had! People pulled themselves to
attention and things began to move faster whenever she came on the scene.
"This is quite a feminine little bit"--I never saw her look into a shop
window! She had not time for even the innnocent interests of most good
'She lived in the spirit of the command, "Be pitiful, be courteous." The
graciousness of her spirit always reminded me of Christ. She did not seem
to understand the meaning of sarcasm.
'Her health was very frail. Whilst stationed here, she was often fighting
bronchitis, but she never spoke of herself. Never even said she was
tired. There was not a trace of self-pity or self-love about her.'
From many sources one hears of this continual fight with and triumph over
physical weakness. A woman hall-keeper tells, 'One evening I caught her
creeping like an old woman, through the dimly lighted hall, bent almost
double with bronchitis. "Oh, Adjutant," I cried, "you're ill. You should
go home to bed." When she knew I had seen her, she steadied herself to
take breath, smiled sternly, then waved me off, and presently walked
briskly into her converts' meeting.' A lieutenant tells, 'Sometimes in
the morning she looked so ill and old, and I would beg of her to let me
take her breakfast to bed. But she would laugh and say, "What's the good
of giving way to feelings? I'll be all right when I warm up to work."
Though ever a spartan to herself she was always tender in her treatment
The following extracts from an article by the late Mrs. Colonel Ewens
appeared in 'The Officer' under the title of 'My Ideal Field Officer.' It
indicates the high esteem in which Adjutant Lee's Divisional Commanders
For some years now, a woman Officer who is still in the field, has
been the living embodiment of my 'Ideal Field Officer.'
I was conducting a Junior meeting at her corps when the bandmaster
stepped into a side room for his instrument. I prepared to accompany
him to the open-air meeting and casually remarked that the officers
had gone on. 'You may trust our captain; I have never known her
late,' was the rejoinder.
Continuing he said:--
I have been in The Army for twenty years, but have never had such
an eye-opener in all my experience. I tell you if ever I have felt
ashamed of myself and my performances, it has been since this
officer came. She's the right woman in the right place, there's no
doubt about it. She can 'sit on' a fellow without crushing the life
out of him. The whole band is changed. She's just got our chaps,
the thirty of them; and she's as true and straight as a die. The
beauty of her life and example beats all we have ever had. Makes you
feel you must be good whether you will or not.' This was intensely
interesting to me, coming as it did so spontaneously from a man not
at all in the habit of praising his Officers. After our conversation,
I began to study the character and work of that unobtrusive woman.
I consider her success mainly attributable to her strict adherence
to the godly principles which rule her life, and to the careful
cultivation of certain useful qualifications which are within the
reach of all. Three words sum them up, consecration, concentration,
conservation. Every power of her being, every treasure of her heart,
every hour of her time is at the service of God and humanity. My
'Ideal F.O.' is a God-possessed woman absorbed with a passion for
soul-saving which nothing can quench.
She has so schooled herself that she now possesses the ability to
focus every power of mind, body, and soul on the object of the
moment, whether it is saving a drunkard, clearing a debt, settling
a dispute, or leading a meeting.
There is complete abandonment but very little wreckage in her work.
She conserves her energies in fitness, her soul in tenderness, her
people in love, and the interests of The Army in loyalty.
Consequently, her work wears well.
The feature which impressed me most in my F.O. was her faith, her
indomitable faith in God, faith for the very worst, faith in the
midst of darkness, tireless, persistent, fruitful, wondrous in its
effect upon others. She literally accepts no defeat. Her convictions
are strong, her brain fertile, and when failure appears imminent,
her tactics are changed and seeming defeat turned into victory.
The shepherd spirit is characteristic of her. Watching and caring
for souls seems part of her being. Hence visitation is a joy to her.
The bright cheeriness of her manner, and her loving compassionate
heart, ensure a welcome everywhere; and whilst she weeps over the
wanderer, and spares no pains to win him back, she is inexorable
where wrong is concerned. Sin must be confessed and forsaken.
Wrong-doing must be righted, reparation must be made.
More time and prayer are spent by this particular officer on
personal dealing than on any other aspect of her work. No wrong
thing is ever winked at, be it in the wealthiest or the poorest;
in the heart, the habit, or the home. The fierce light of the
Judgment is brought to bear so powerfully upon evil that the
wrongdoer must either give in to God or give up his profession.
Her soldiers and people regard their Officer with deep respect and
affection. She is as accessible to the youngest child as to the
eldest soldier, yet is over familiar with none.
For her platform she studies much, often alas! far into the night,
when she has sent her lieutenants to rest. She is not what is
termed a brilliant speaker, but her matter is arresting,
To her lieutenants she is a charming companion, a wise leader. In
her home she is a model of cleanliness and good management.
The business side of a woman's work is often, I have heard, the
weak point; but as a Commanding Officer my Ideal possesses a large
capacity for business and relish for it, to which, as a lieutenant,
she was a stranger. She shoulders financial burdens with a loyal
courage, and carries them through successfully. Her writing table
is the index to her brain, and bears the stamp of order upon it.
You cannot surprise her with an outstanding liability. She has her
hand on everything in a corps in a remarkably short time. The
yearly expenditure is calculated, the ordinary resources
discovered, special efforts estimated, the deficit boldly faced;
then prayer, faith, and extraordinary effort are brought to bear
upon meeting it. She runs all her financial efforts on the budget
On corps organization and oversight, she is equally systematic and
comprehensive. You will find the individuality of my Ideal
wherever you touch the corps; converts, backsliders, seniors,
juniors, young people, home league, boys' band, swimming club,
corps cadet, company guards, 'War Crys,' songsters. In fact, there
is no activity in the corps over which she does not exert a
personal influence and directorship, though far from desiring to
do everything herself.
Her lieutenants share her confidence, and work to the full. She
never acts without the co-operation of her locals, where it is at
all possible to secure it. She values their judgment, and fully
appreciates their toil.
She has a duty ready for the youngest soldier and convert, and an
encouraging word of approval for all.
Alert to avail herself of every possible means to improve her corps,
amenable to reason, correct in her judgment, strong in discipline,
humble as a child.
In the estimation of her two Generals, Kate Lee won a chief place. It was
an honour that she held dearer than any badge, that once when chosen to
represent the Field Officers to The Founder, the aged white-haired Leader
stooped and kissed her as a daughter before her comrades.
Writes General Bramwell Booth:--
It was as a Corps Officer that she shone, excelled, and won her great
victories. She showed us afresh, if we only have eyes to see, how
great that position may be.
Christ took hold of her whole being and transformed her. He was
united in His Spirit with her strong, loving, dutiful soul. The
meekness of Jesus was found in her, side by side with a Divine
passion for the lost.
She was at first one of the most unlikely people to take the place
she ultimately took. Timid, retiring, having little confidence in
herself, and quite unconscious of possessing any special gifts, she
rose up, and did more actual work than is sometimes done by half a
dozen of her sister-officers put together. The lost and the ruined
and the broken-hearted, the vicious and desperate, and those who are
ready to go down to the pit were her special delight. From town to
town she went, consorting with them, hunting them up, weeping over
them, praying for them, stretching out her hands to them; yes, and
sometimes literally pulling them out of the fire.
It is extraordinary how officers of this type are remembered in
different towns by different aspects of their work and character.
In one town it is one thing, in another town it is another. It was
so with Kate Lee. In one place she is spoken of as the great
befriender of the broken and outcast. In another as 'the one who
helped us when we were starving.' In another as one of the few
decent people who were ever seen during the midnight hours in the
dark places. In another as making the open-air marches radiate
light and music and Salvation. In another as being like a spiritual
dredger, dragging the very gutters for lost souls.
And yet in all she would never speak of what she had done if she
could help it. She was one of those who could say with Paul, '_I
laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of
God which was with me_.'
Certain enterprising business firms find it worth while to pay large
salaries to servants whose sole duty it is to think out fresh ideas, the
working of which will bring success to their house. Kate Lee's mind was
consecrated to get out of it every idea possible for the success of her
campaigns. She had no leisure to devote exclusively to planning, but
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