The Angel Adjutant of "Twice Born Men"
Minnie L. Carpenter
Part 2 out of 4
morn, noon, and night, while about her other work, walking here,
pedalling her bicycle there, her eyes were wide open and her mind alert
as she devised methods by which she might attract the ungodly to listen
to her message, which, if obeyed by all, would turn this earth into a
Nothing vexed her more than for the Lord's people to be content to make
shift with poor tools and conditions in His service, while the devil's
agents aim at getting the best to be had. Her patience was sorely tried
when Salvationists thought their well-equipped hall too good for
drunkards' raids, and none the less when soldiers considered any poor
shop good enough for the Army hall.
When she took charge of Hythe, the corps fought its battles in a
miserable little barn known as 'The Tar-Tub,' located in a back lane. How
could she hope to get crowds of people into that place? She simply would
not suffer the indignity. There was land to be had, money in the place,
and sympathy. A proper hall there must be! She secured the ground, and
the season being summer, she hired a large tent and erected it on the
vacant spot. Then she organized a campaign with features to attract not
only the townspeople but summer visitors. Night after night the tent was
crowded. Meanwhile, she stirred the town in raising funds for the
erection of the hall, and before long the necessary proportion of money
was in hand. The tent was replaced by building materials and Hythe turned
out for the block-laying, an event which by this time had become of
Farewell orders came before the citadel was opened, but Kate Lee was
always ready to cheerfully drop a work she had set going and take up the
At Ashford she was ashamed of the miscellaneous collection of band
instruments. A special effort enabled her to leave there a band with a
set of plated instruments. At Sunderland, hard by the hall, a tavern
boasted a brilliant front light. The devil should not lure men to
destruction with a brighter light than that by which she showed the way
to Heaven! Soon, therefore, a competing light blazed before the citadel.
The entrance to 'Norland Castle, The Army's hall at Shepherd's Bush,
London, was a miserable affair. Two sets of narrow steps led to two
doors. It was a considerable scheme to clear the whole front, erect a
flight of solid concrete steps and replace the brick wall by an iron
railing, but she saw it through.
At this corps she installed a new lighting apparatus, at that laid
linoleum in the aisles, at another curtains to reduce the size of the
hall for week-night meetings. Always some improvement. She loved to build
a new penitent-form, which ran the whole width of the platform--with
suitable carpet in front of it from end to end--and above it, in gold
letters, some such message as, 'At the Cross there's room.' She greatly
rejoiced on the night that one such mercy-seat was thrown open, for a
great sinner bedewed it with tears as he confessed his sins to God, and
rose up, a new creature, to fight a good fight in that corps. But what
was the good of a decent hall, clean, well lighted and warm, if the
people remained outside? Get the people she must, and having got them
once, she would make them want to come again. Go where you will, at the
mention of her 'special efforts' there is a visible stirring amongst her
erstwhile soldiers. It is amusing to watch different types of people as
they prepare to describe her demonstrations. A villager shakes his head,
looks solemn, clears his throat, and begins, 'Never seed the like of her
and her ways!' The eyes of keen business men contract and smile; then
they remark, half apologetically for their enthusiasm, 'Really, they were
wonderful affairs. The Adjutant was quite a marvel in the conception of a
big thing and the ability to carry it out.' As for the general rank and
file, they bubble and burst with joyful acclamation at the recollection
of red letter days in Salvation festivity.
The Adjutant turned to account every holy day and holiday. She laid
herself out to make Christmas a joy-day for the lonely and poor. At
Norland Castle, for instance, she provided dinner for some two hundred
old people of the district. The afternoon was devoted to a children's
party, the old people being allowed to remain as delighted spectators of
the children's games and fun. For the night meeting the platform was
decorated, the lights lowered, and a living representation showed the
shepherds feeding their flocks at Bethlehem, and the angel choir
proclaiming 'Peace on earth and goodwill to men.' By song, music,
recitation, and appeal, the Adjutant made the Christmas message ring
clear, and she closed the day pointing souls made tender by human loving-
kindness, to the Prince of Peace.
Harvest Festival was, perhaps, her chief demonstration of the year. She
used this occasion to impress The Army upon the whole town. The largest
hall available was taken--such as at Coventry, the Drill Hall holding
five thousand people. A long report from the local paper describes the
appearance of this building converted into a rural scene. There was a
farmhouse large enough for habitation, a windmill in motion, and a
realistic farmyard containing sheep, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and fowls. A
sower sowed the seed; there was standing corn. This was reaped, and the
grain thrashed, ground, and baked on the spot. All manner of farm
implements were on view, and great collections of fruit, vegetables, and
Spectacular processions considerably helped these demonstrations. One
night, the corps turned out representing a great harvest home with a
wagon of hay, and the soldiers attired as farm labourers, carrying forks,
rakes, and sickles, Chinese lanterns on sticks, and transparent signs.
Another night the Adjutant had as many as seven lorries carrying
representations of different phases of Army work.
Wherever these harvest festivals were held, the town was stirred; and
thousands of people attended the meetings. They were convinced of the
possibility of joy in religion, and also, they were brought face to face
with eternal truths. They saw the way of Salvation in object lesson; the
Bread of Life contrasted with the husks of the world; listened to an
interpretation of the Parable of the Sower; were reminded that
'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap'; in the story of Ruth
recognized the wisdom of choosing Christ rather than the world, and also
the beauty of unselfish service. Many were brought to consider the work
of the reaper, Death, and to seek Salvation.
Such a demonstration entailed, as might be expected, an enormous amount
of work, but the Adjutant's skill in enlisting co-workers and enthusing
them with her own desire, succeeded in making them toil till midnight
with delight. A master carpenter recalls, 'Before the festival she had me
there, working every night for a week'; a master baker, that he carted
flour and utensils to the hall, where his staff, in full bake-house
regalia, made bread and baked it on the spot.
The Adjutant delighted to bring The Army's missionary work before the
people. At several corps she converted her hall into an Indian village,
the soldiers into Oriental villagers and invited missionary officers to
explain our work amongst the peoples of the East. One of her city
treasurers recalls the cleverness by which she engineered her plans, and
got all that was needed for such a demonstration.
'Passing the shop of a taxidermist, the Adjutant noticed a fine stuffed
tiger in the window. Turning into the shop, she asked to see the owner,
and told him what was in her mind. Could he advise her? He was
interested, very. He had several Indian jungle animals, which he would
gladly lend. And he knew people who had fine Indian sceneries; he would
speak to them and to others who had Indian costumes.
'The plan materialized surprisingly. She had the village, with the
inevitable well; the women, with their water-pots, and the children
playing about. The jungle adjoining was eerie with wild animals. There
were tea-gardens with palms, an exhibition of Indian wares, and the
soldiers of the corps moved about as Indian villagers.
'It was a most extraordinary affair. The campaign was well announced, and
for three days the hall was packed. The missionary officers spoke, and
our work in the East became a wonderful thing not only in the eyes of our
own people, young and old, but of the outsiders as well. Fresh people
heard the message of Salvation, and the heavy corps debt was cleared.'
For Bank Holidays the Adjutant provided counter attractions for her
lively young people and converts, that they might feel no temptation
towards the pleasures of the world, arranging a pleasant corps gathering
in the afternoon and a tea at night.
Sharing the old General's belief that it is right to consecrate the gifts
of sinners to the service of Christ's Kingdom, she roped in strange
helpers. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing she did in this way was
connected with the erection of a band rotunda for a Bank Holiday 'go.'
Inspired with the idea that barrels would serve the purpose, she hied her
to the brewery and interviewed the manager. A few days later, there was
the unusual sight of a brewer's dray drawing into the yard of the
Salvation Army citadel and discharging a load of hogsheads. These were
rolled into position, covered with red cloth, and on them, the bandsmen--
many of them delivered from the curse of the beer--mounted and played
music for the deliverance of others. But Kate Lee never bowed to the
world in order to receive its favours. The brewer knew full well that
this gentle woman was an avowed enemy of his trade; but she was not his
enemy, for she cared for his soul as for those of all sinners.
Adjutant Lee never allowed efforts that might be called secular to
interfere with the spiritual work of her corps. To her they were as
spiritual as any other effort. We are told of her calling her chief local
officers together on one occasion to discuss some special corps
liability. 'She told us of her intention to run an Indian Exhibition,
laid the plans before us, and then prayed. That census meeting was turned
into one of the most powerful prayer meetings I can remember. The
lieutenant told me afterwards that the Adjutant had spent the previous
night in prayer about this effort.'
At another corps she borrowed several firemen's helmets to be used in the
Sunday's meetings, presumably to draw attention to sin as a fire, a
destroyer. She impressed upon the brothers who were to wear the helmets,
that unless the effort were made earnestly, it would be a farce. The men
so entered into her spirit that they remained at the hall after the
afternoon meeting in fasting and prayer, so that the message might go
forth at night with power.
At Coventry she was faced with an unusual difficulty. The hall was
altogether too small to receive the crowds that swept down with the band
from the Sunday night open-air service. For people to wish to attend an
Army meeting and to be turned away was unthinkable to Kate Lee. She must
secure a larger hall. But how? In Coventry every theatre and picture-
palace was in full swing Sundays as well as week-days. The only hall
available for the winter months was the Public Baths, and this was
required for many purposes.
'The committee can't let you have it,' she was told. 'Well, God can, and
I will pray,' she replied. The treasurer remembers how she spent the time
in prayer while the committee met to discuss The Army's request. To the
surprise of many, the Baths were leased to The Army for Sunday evenings
during the winter. The experiment proved a success as far as reaching the
people went, but the expenses were heavy. All but two days of the last
three months had expired, and the Adjutant had not got the money in hand
to meet the rent bill. She had often lifted her heart to God about the
matter, but as the days for settling the account drew near, she gave
herself up to definite prayer. The lieutenant tells us that while
actually on her knees, praying, a letter containing a note for ten pounds
(fifty dollars) was pushed through the letter-box.
At many a corps the Adjutant conducted midnight raids for drunkards with
great success. Amongst her papers was found the description, which she
had prepared at The General's request, of one of these raids, but wished
it to be published anonymously.
'I am afraid it is a mistake to have a midnight raid here,' nervously
suggested a soldier of a popular corps of ----, a sunny seaside resort,
that was patronized by a good class of visitor, and a 'better class'
congregation attended The Army hall.
The Adjutant believed in the doctrine of her beloved Founder, and had
said to her soldiers, 'We must go for souls, and go for the worst;' but
the idea of filling the beautiful hall with drunken scallywags horrified
not a few of the respectable Salvationists. Nevertheless, the need was
pleaded, the interest of the band enlisted; a notorious character, saved
from a life of sin, was coming from another corps to give his story; a
startling bill inviting all to come, drunk or sober; a livener provided
free, was well distributed by a band of scouts who had caught the spirit
of the effort. Drunkards were visited and invited to the meeting. The
band was ready to start, and the Captain prayed God's help as they went
out to seek the lost.
Even in that fashionable resort were to be found haunts of sin and
misery. Slumdom was stirred that midnight as the cheery music peeled
forth; the boozer laid down his glass and rushed to the door of the
saloon to see what could be happening at such an hour. As he rolled out
on to the sidewalk, he found his arms entwined in that of one of the
scouts who followed the march and mingled with the crowd. The soldiers
forgot their fear, their souls stirred in the glory of a desperate attack
upon sin, and even the bandsmen as they played their instruments, were
observed arming sundry drunks along to the hall. What a motley crew was
gathered in! One to thrill the heart of every true Salvationist; just the
people that The Army exists to save. Five or six hundred men and women
drawn from the saloon, brought under the influence of the Gospel, even
for one hour, is an achievement not to be despised.
What could one do with such a crowd in all stages of intoxication? some
might query. Picture the scene. A livener, a cup of coffee and cake, is
supplied. Music and song peal forth to drown drunken brawls. Presently
there is a lull, the men are becoming sobered and are called to
attention. A sister sings sweetly of mother and God. The name of an ex-
drunkard is mentioned, and the crowd cheers as he stands forth to
testify. He tells how drink cursed his life, and how God has changed him.
A hush steals over the meeting as the Adjutant rises with God's Word in
hand, and calls for reverence if only for seven minutes! A great giant of
a man, standing up, waves his heavy first and declares, 'I'll fling out
the first man that speaks; listen to the Captain!' How they listened! Now
there is a move, a man is pushing his way through his mates; he throws
himself at the penitent-form and crys, 'O God, make me like Bill!' He had
looked upon his old mate; listened to his testimony, and realized the
wonderful change, a living miracle! He did not understand; the meaning of
conversion was as foreign to him as to a heathen, but he wanted that
something to happen to him that had happened to his mate Bill.
Not all of those twelve or fifteen drunkards who knelt at the penitent-
form were really converted. Some found Christ. They were changed on the
spot; they knelt down dazed with drink, and got up sober, praising God.
The others merely took a step in the right direction. Some one has said
that we are born with our backs to God, and our faces towards sin. Coming
to the penitent-form, to some of those men, meant a turning of the back
on the old life of sin and drink. They were too dazed with drink to
understand more than, a longing after something better; but that longing
was cherished; the man was followed to his home, watched over when the
old craving came upon him, and taught how to seek and find God.
In a little room at the hall, a crowd of converts met week by week. The A
B C of Salvation was explained to them; again and again the weak and
ignorant were taught to pray and seek until the light of God dawned upon
the darkened mind.
'How we loved our Muvver's meetings,' exclaimed an ex-criminal to a
listener, who smiled at the new kind of Mother's meetings. He valued the
words of his spiritual mother, and this converts' meeting was to him the
meeting of the week.
Eagerly the soldiers looked forward to the next midnight raid. How
rewarded they felt as they looked upon some of the converts won during
the first raid, donned in cap or bonnet, leading their mates to God.
'Adjutant Lee must have worked you very hard,' I remarked to the old
keeper of the Congress Hall, Brighton. 'The hall must have been very
dirty after a drunkards' raid, and when it did not finish till one
o'clock, how did you get ready for Sunday's meetings?' The sweet spirited
old man smiled and replied, 'The hall did get dirty, and it did take some
time to sweep up the sawdust and make things fresh for knee-drill, but I
just went on till it was finished. Yes, I got tired. But no, I never
grudged the work, thank God. I was _glad_ to help the Adjutant,
bless her! in my little way. To keep the hall in order, and to go on the
door humouring the rowdy ones, not keeping anyone out, that was my work
for the Adjutant, and I rejoiced to do it. And she was very thoughtful.
When, after big demonstrations, the hall wanted extra cleaning, she would
organize a scrubbing brigade of about twenty brothers and sisters, who
would bring their own buckets and brushes, and she led them herself.'
Not content with directing extraordinary campaigns, there were special
personal efforts which Kate Lee made to get in touch with the people. One
of these was Saturday night visitation of the saloons. After the meeting
--with her lieutenant or, at corps where there were suitable helpers,
having sent the lieutenant home to get to bed early in preparation for
the heavy strain of Sunday--until closing hours, she sought the souls of
A white-haired veteran soldier, himself a liberated drink-slave, tells of
the Adjutant's saloon visitation:--
I knew the run of these places from sad experience, and asked her,
the first time we set out, 'Where shall we go, Adjutant: to the
respectable, or the rough?' 'The rough,' she replied. She would sing
to the men, then kneel on those dirty floors and pray for the poor
drunkards, and she would put in a word too, for the owner and his
wife, asking the Lord to help them to find a better job. She could
get in almost anywhere the first time round; after that she generally
had to keep to the bar. The owners recognized in her a power against
the trade. Sometimes men would be rude to her, but she smiled on as
though she had not heard a rough remark.
We would go from place to place till half-past twelve. When the
houses were emptying the men were quarrelsome, and we encountered
many a fight. She had no fear at all; would go right into a fight
and stop it. After that midnight work, she would be at knee-drill
next morning and often passed me a little note giving the name and
address of some drunkard she had got in conversation with and wanted
me to follow up.
The old man's eyes smiled, and he looked far away with an expression of
wonder and reverence which I have noticed in many a faithful armour-
bearer of Kate Lee, as they recalled her fight.
Colonel Stanley Ewens, at one time Kate Lee's Divisional Commander, felt
that this Saturday night work was too taxing for her frail body, and
suggested that she entrust it to others. The Colonel says:--
I found that I had touched a vital spot. The Adjutant replied, 'You
must please allow me to continue this work; some of my best trophies
have been won for God as a result of my Saturday night visitations.
It gives me an opportunity of getting to know the very worst sinners
and following them up in their homes.' This was better understood
when the following incident was told me concerning a convert in this
very town. A desperate character was met by the Adjutant every
Saturday night in the same bar. She offered 'The War Cry' as a means
to get into conversation with him, and finding out where he lived,
asked permission to visit him. One morning at 5:30, whilst washing
himself in preparation for his work, he heard some one knocking at
the door. It was the Adjutant and her lieutenant who had called to
see him and his wife. 'Come in, sisters,' the man said as he opened
the door. It was a wretched home. The officers sat on boxes. The
drunkard's wife asked in a friendly way if they would have a cup of
tea, and replying in the affirmative, were served with strong tea,
in galley-pots. It was only a short visit, but it left its mark for
eternity. This man and his wife were induced to attend the meetings
and led to the Saviour.
One means to attract crowds to her halls, which she had used with success
at many corps, was to dress in rags, and march at the head of the band.
Amongst her people this recollection is spoken of with a kind of awe.
'To think that that lovely, pure woman should soil her face, pull
her hair about, put on dirty torn clothes, broken boots, and make
herself appear a sister of shame!
She asked me to keep her company; and, really, I did not like to
walk down the street with her,' says a sister local officer of one
Arriving at the hall the Adjutant would lead the meeting, still in
her ignominious garb, and preach about sin; how it blighted and
defiled the lives of millions of men and women; how it made life
here wretched, and would land the soul in hell hereafter; then she
would tell of the remedy, the glorious Salvation of Jesus.
An officer writes that she was a little girl of eleven when the Adjutant
dressed in rags at her corps. The effect upon her mind was to make her
hate sin with such a horror, that right then and there she determined to
give her life to seek sinners.
But some of the Adjutant's soldiers could not see past the shame of their
beautiful officer, thus making a spectacle of herself. 'It made me cry to
look at her,' said one sergeant-major.
'It fair upset me; I told her never to do that again; I could not abear
to see it,' confessed another.
The Adjutant carried out her part with apparently unconscious calm, and
it never occurred to these worthies that their officer thus made herself
of 'no reputation' at great personal cost.
The Brighton Congress Hall holds three thousand people. How to break in
upon that city, catch the eye of the crowds, and fill her great building,
caused the Adjutant much concern. She tried many means with only partial
'I feel I should dress in rags again, and I simply cannot do it,' she
confided to her lieutenant. For several days she seemed absorbed and
oppressed; then she betook herself to the little attic and shut herself
away with God. On the evening of the second day she came down calm and
triumphant, and the announcement was made that on the following Sunday
she would dress in rags.
Sunday evening arrived and as she passed down the street to the open-air
stand, people stared and gave her a wide berth. But the crowds were
captured, and a full penitent-form was the result; no one but her
lieutenant had any idea of the abnegation her service had cost.
Did Kate Lee never wish to escape from this endless strain upon body and
soul? This constant spinning from out of her own heart and mind a web of
love in which to capture wandering souls? I cannot find one person to
whom she ever gave such an indication. She cast her burden upon the Lord;
she drew her strength from hidden streams; she gloried in having a life
to offer to the Holy War. We are indebted to Ensign Cutts, her last
lieutenant, for a glimpse of Kate when the doctor ordered her off the
battlefield to an operating theatre:--
A telegram announced her immediate return to her corps to say
farewell. I met her at the station; such a pained, disappointed face
greeted me, "O Leff, I feel this is the end of my Field days," she
'But she threw off her sorrow, took farewell of her people, like the
leader she was, and together we went to London. That night she spent
in prayer, and in the morning she was calm and her face bright. "I
have really got the victory," she told me. "His will be done. If He
allows me to return to the fight, that will be glorious. If not, His
will is best."
THE MOTHERING HEART
One of the joys of Kate Lee's later years was to have with her, from time
to time, her little namesake niece. Sometimes in the midst of a great
campaign the hunger of heart to have a child in the house overcame her,
and she would prevail upon her brother and his wife to allow Katie to
come to her. The fair, timid child had much of her own appearance and
disposition, and the Adjutant yearned to train her to take her place in
the War. Here and there we get glimpses of her mothering love for the
little one. A comrade officer tells that once boarding a boat travelling
north, she found Adjutant Lee and her little niece were passengers by the
same boat; but Kate, having arrived late, had no berth. All berths had
been taken but one, which meant that the child had a bed, but her aunt
had not. Immediately the officer placed her berth at the Adjutant's
disposal, saying she preferred to sleep on deck. Kate was distressed, she
would not accept favours for herself, but for the sake of the timid
little one to whom a sea journey was a new experience, she was grateful
for her comrade's thoughtfulness.
'I am sure,' says her comrade,' that I slept better than she did.
She came up at midnight to see if I were comfortable, and at dawn I
was awakened by a gentle face bending over me and the words, "Have
you taken _no_ hurt by sleeping here? I am so distressed to have
taken your bed." The Adjutant's appreciation of any service rendered
her was so sincere that it more than compensated for any
inconvenience incurred in serving her. We were only a few hours on
the boat, but the Adjutant's gracious spirit and pure, refined face
made many of the passengers inquire, "Who is that beautiful woman?"'
A little maid, whom the Adjutant engaged to help her in the house at one
corps, tells how she trained her to care for little Katie. She was
intensely anxious concerning the little one's health, and careful that
the maid should speak gently and correctly, that she might be safely
For the sake of the lost, Kate Lee voluntarily laid aside her own hopes
of marriage and motherhood. Detached and in a sense lofty in her walk
amongst her comrades, still there were those who had coveted her as a
continual comrade in the war, and had made their plea. Once she almost
yielded, but pity for the unsaved prevailed over the most human
inclinations of a woman's heart. She was not sure that she would be as
free to seek and win souls if she married. Her lover waited in hope for
years, but Kate Lee became increasingly certain that it was God's will
for her to remain as she was. This matter once settled, she felt in a
very sacred way,
Chosen for His holy pleasure,
Sealed to be His special treasure.
It was indeed a rash individual who trespassed upon the privacy of that
consecration, and dared to rally the Adjutant on the subject of marriage.
Upon such a one she turned eyes in which there was neither anger nor
amusement, but which regarded the trespasser in silence until he felt
like a clumsy boy, who, unaware, had stumbled into the presence of a
queen. Then, to relieve his embarrassment, in perfect sweetness the
Adjutant changed the subject.
The fountain of love and tenderness that might have blessed husband and
children, was not sealed, else it had turned bitter. It flowed without
restraint and increased as it flowed, until it became a river, carrying
life and refreshment to thousands.
'Aye, she was more to me than my own mother.' said a North-Country woman,
who, in the rush of industrial life, had missed a certain tender touch
until she met Adjutant Lee.
'Never nobody mothered me like her,' declared a grey-headed man saved
from great depths, whose tottering steps she taught to walk the way to
It is the lower type of mother-love that limits itself in affection and
care for her own offspring alone; true mother-love takes to its heart all
young and weak and wayward creatures. In this Kate Lee showed the true
spirit of motherhood. Her own converts she nursed tenderly and guarded
with unremitting care; but none the less the converts, the weak souls,
and the young people she found at any corps upon taking charge.
A prominent local officer tells with gratitude how she helped him in the
days of his spiritual infancy. His conversation illustrates,
incidentally, the wonderful influence of the Holy Spirit upon the human
heart, independent of any human agency except prayer.
William Bailey, unutterably wretched in mind, dark and sinful in soul,
stood on the curb of a London street, and longed for some power that
would change him and make him decent and happy. At the same moment The
Army march swept past and the thought stole into his mind, 'If a man
joins The Salvation Army, he becomes clean in mind, and talk, and
action.' He went to his bachelor rooms, knelt down, and prayed to be made
like a Salvationist. He felt changed on the spot. The craving for strong
drink and desire to gamble or swear was clean swept out of him.
The following night he went to The Army Hall. Adjutant Lee was being
welcomed as commanding officer. During the prayer meeting she went down
amongst the congregation and spoke to this man. 'Are you saved, my
friend?' she asked. 'I believe I am, but I want to join The Army,' he
replied. He was totally ignorant regarding religion, and this gentle
woman adopted this newborn soul, and from that night nursed him to
Bailey was a reservist--and a few weeks after his conversion his pay was
due. Pay-day had always meant a spree, and Bailey was afraid. 'What shall
I do, Adjutant?' he asked. 'Go to the office in an Army cap and jersey,'
she replied. Obediently he went to headquarters on Saturday and brought
home these articles of uniform. He put them on, and many a strong man
will understand the cold shivers that Bailey felt when he got into the
street. He wanted to go to the "open-air" by back ways, but that would
not please the Adjutant. Manfully he started down the main street, and
presently came face to face with an old service comrade, hilariously the
worse for drink. The sight of Bill Bailey in the uniform of another Army
was too much for the merry 'drunk.' He made straight for his old mate,
embraced him, exchanged hats, and arm in arm they marched to the open-air
meeting. Taking in the situation at a glance, the Adjutant beamingly
greeted the queer couple. 'Here's my friend, Bill Bailey. He will give
his testimony in his new jersey,' she announced; and Bailey was committed
to his first open-air witness for Christ. On Monday, with his uniform as
his safeguard, he drew his pay, and not one of his mates suggested a
The Adjutant next suggested that Bailey did not wear _proper_
uniform. Tan boots and light trousers didn't _really_ go with the
red shirt. Of course not. Bailey would be a real soldier; he ordered a
regulation Army suit. The convert went steadily forward. He married an
Army sister, and has a happy home. He has filled the position of young
people's worker, bandsman, assistant sergeant-major, and is now assistant
'It's through her I am what I am. Ignorant, rough man I was, with the
merest flicker of spiritual life; but she cared for my soul, and was so
patiently loving that she led me to know God.' Bailey was afflicted with
a stammer when he was converted. Of this, he says, 'She talked to me so
calm and quiet. "Go slow, now," she'd say, "Count." She would insist upon
my giving my testimony, and if she saw I was going to be fairly stuck,
she'd shout. "Glory! Hallelujah!" and beam on me with that lovely smile
of hers; and by that time I'd got my next word.'
The first baby words were not sweeter to mother ears than the first
testimony of Adjutant Lee's converts to her. One drunkard, so great a
terror to his town that even the magistrate confessed that he used to
cross the street rather than meet him, had been wonderfully delivered
from sin. When called upon to give his first testimony, he said, 'I fank
God He's kept me this day wifout drink. I fank God He's kept me this day
wifout smoking. I fank God He's kept me this day wifout swearing
overmuch.' Marvellous change! The Adjutant beamed upon him, rejoiced over
him, and the following night had further cause for gladness, when he
declared, 'I fank God He's kept me from swearing altogever.'
A woman soldier's face quivers with emotion yet smiles as she tells:--
I was rather a problem when Adjutant Lee came to our corps. Mother
died when I was fourteen, and I was left to bring up four brothers.
You may be sure I had to hold my own with them, and I became
obstinate and had a flippant manner which covered many a better
feeling. I was a great trial to the lieutenant, who had no patience
with my nonsense, but the Adjutant was never cross with me. One
night, after a meeting, she took my arm and led me off for a walk.
We walked miles. She talked to me about my flippant ways and sharp
tongue. Said I did things that were not worthy of me; told me that
I should be my real self, and not put on foolish airs. I stood that,
though feeling bad; but then she cried, and said I would break her
heart if I did not change.
Here was the mother-touch the starved, warped spirit was needing. After
that, the graces of gentleness and sweetness began to appear.
There was nothing that concerned her people's well-being that Kate Lee
regarded as outside of her province. A certain sergeant-major, who had
reached middle life and was still single, was reported to have become
engaged to be married, and not to a Salvationist. This man was a
wonderful trophy of grace. One of a family of fourteen, all drinking
people, after he was converted it was six years before he was able to go
to his home in his uniform. Often to escape the godless ways and
contentions indoors, he had gone into the stable where he could pray in
peace, and slept with his horses. But things were not so difficult now,
and all the town respected the Army sergeant-major. The Adjutant knew
that many a soul who has climbed with safety a rough up-hill path has
slipped on a smooth dead level, and that many a man has fallen from grace
through choosing a wrong wife. Somewhat anxiously she interviewed her
local officer. 'You needn't be afeared for me, Adjutant. I prayed and
waited until the right person came my way,' declared the sergeant-major.
Then the Adjutant sought the bride-elect. Gentle probing discovered a
true Christian, and after a heart-to-heart talk, the Adjutant left her
with an enlarged vision of her responsibility regarding the soul of the
husband-to-be. Mrs. Sergeant-Major of to-day, a wise little woman, with a
heart of gold, tells how she summed everything up and felt it to be her
duty, as now it is her joy, to share to the fullest extent her husband's
Over young people of strong impulses and unformed judgments Kate Lee
exerted a remarkable influence. A bandmaster tells of her patience and
tact with his obstinate ways in days long gone by. She felt there was
good under the headstrong nature, and never met his 'pig-headedness' with
harsh dealing, but taxed herself to make a reasoned appeal to the best
that was in him. It was the mother hand upon the lad, and its influence
is with the man to-day.
At one corps a gang of factory lads endeavoured to annoy the officers by
hammering at the quarters' door and running away. The Adjutant sought
them out, and one by one they were converted. They became energetic
soldiers. At Brighton corps there were at that time about fifty young
women in the Young People's Legion. They were an undisciplined, rather
unlovely lot. In her work for them, the Adjutant had the co-operation of
a godly comrade who was entirely of her leader's spirit. Her home became
an unofficial receiving and training home for these girls when they fell
on difficult ways. 'Could you possibly manage to do with her, poor child?
No mother, no encouragement nor help! How can we expect her to do well
till we get her fairly on her feet?' the Adjutant would plead. And the
good woman would open her home again and again.
Many a girl, having received such help is saved to-day, doing well in a
situation, or happily married. Should one be having an unhappy time at
home, the Adjutant visited her people. Sometimes she discovered hardness
of heart and cruelty wrecking the young life; sometimes fault on both
sides. Then she acted as mediator and healer of the breach. She taught
the girls to make and mend their clothes; when ill, she got them to a
hospital. Always she made them feel she loved them and believed for them
to be good. Her work amongst these girls would not have been unworthy of
a sole responsibility, but it was one of her least noticed efforts at
Says a soldier saved from terrible sin:--
She was just like a mother. I would go and ask her advice when I had
done anything wrong. She never scolded me, but would look serious
and say, 'Well, you know you ought not to have done that.' And
somehow, in a minute, I could see what I ought to have done, and
would promise to try to do better. How could you help getting on
when all the while she was smiling on you, giving you some work to
do, and believing you to be good.
Her mothering love for souls sharpened her really wonderful faculty for
remembering faces. Years after she had left a corps, if she met a comrade
or friend, her face would light with recognition, and she would greet the
person by name. The pleasure this afforded is mentioned all over the
Motherlike, she could not bear to feel that at night the door was shut
upon any wandering child, and her sergeant-majors tell, 'No poor fellow
who came to the penitent-form went without a bed. She kept bed tickets
for emergencies. She might give away a good number to people who did not
deserve help, but she would rather do that than fail one who did.'
'It's because of all she taught me, and the nice way she taught me, that
I have been able to take such good places,' says a little maid, with
quivering lips and shining eyes.
One motherless girl followed her from corps to corps for years, taking a
situation in the town where she was stationed so that she might catch her
smile now and again, and hear a few words of mother love. Married
women's eyes fill with tears as they recall her tenderness in sorrow and
her wisdom in difficulties. How she took a poor little widow, distracted
by sudden bereavement, and nursed and soothed her. How 'she stayed up
all night with me when my sister died.' How 'she buried my mother and was
so kind I can never forget her.' How 'she helped me to nurse sonny, when
no one else dared come near.'
Women old enough to be her mother felt the pleasure of childhood when the
Adjutant, revisiting an old corps and finding them doing the same
faithful work as during her term, would beam upon them and remark,' Still
at it, you dears!'
'She got me the job I've been in this fourteen years,' says an ex-
drunkard. 'I had worked my way along after I was saved; then I heard of a
goob job becoming vacant, and I asked her if she would mind saying a word
for me. She was up and away before breakfast next morning, interviewed
the manager, and got me the job. Like a mother she said, with her nice
smile, "Now, don't you let me down!" And I haven't.'
Kate Lee oozed motherliness-that love that is capable, wise, patient,
tender-the love that never fails!
One of the sweetest fruits in her spiritual children is that after she
had left them they continued to perform the services she loved. One man,
saved from nameless sins, slow to speech, and clouded in intellect, would
spend his money on Testaments, and 'War Crys,' and walk miles to visit
gipsy camps to read and pray with these wanderers, and other isolated
people. He knew that 'mother,' as this middle-aged man always called the
Adjutant, would be pleased.
When Kate Lee received farewell orders from a corps, she suffered as a
mother does in leaving her family. Her eyes hungered as they rested upon
the men and women whom, with great travail of spirit, she had brought
into the Kingdom of Grace. She had striven to teach them the ways of
life, but they were not strong, and temptations were many. Laying hold of
godly comrades of the corps, she would plead with them to continue to
care for these children in the Lord, after she had left them.
And her heart often wandered back. She knew that no voice sounded to them
just as hers did. There were, perhaps, thirty or forty trophies of grace,
who now and again received a letter of encouragement in her swift,
legible handwriting. Just a few words fresh as the dew, bright as the
sunshine, with her voice ringing in them, pointing these souls, uplifted
from the depths, to God, and holding them up to the standards she had
When, during the war, the men of England were scattered over the world's
battlefields, no mother suffered more anxiety for her sons than did Kate
Lee for her sons in the Gospel. Separated, as many of them were, from
Army meetings and helpful influences, and surrounded by sin and
temptation, her letters came like angel messages. No one knows how many
she kept in touch with, but from unlikely sources up and down the
country, one hears, 'she was the only one who wrote to me.'
For the 'Twice Born Men' she felt a special solicitude. To the 'Criminal'
at the front in France, she wrote every week, sending him 'The War Cry,'
and occasionally a parcel. An early one contained an Army jersey. 'Wear
it, Joe, and always live up to it,' she had written. He wore it till it
dropped to pieces, and then cut out the crest and brought it home. One
can understand how her thoughtful love helped that trophy of grace, when,
coming half-frozen out of the trenches, he refused the hot tea he craved
for, because it contained rum.
For the 'Copper Basher,' away at the Dardanelles, separated from every
Salvation Army comrade, she prayed especially. She wrote him regularly.
Once, motherlike, she inquired if there were anything he would like her
to send him. Tommy is a contented soul; the only thing he could think of
was a luminous watch. Kate Lee managed to send him one, and as in the
darkness of night the shining figures spoke to Tommy, so Kate Lee's faith
and love made the Saviour's face to shine for him in the darkest hour.
She rejoiced exceedingly that not only did Tommy refuse to sin, but that
he let his light shine before his buddies. In the evenings when they
would be drinking, swearing, and singing wild songs, Tommy would bring
out his Bible to read his portion before 'turning in.' Sometimes, small
men jeered at the man, who, before conversion, they might well have
feared; another time they would say, 'Old Tommy'll read to us to-night.'
He would read aloud and pray, then 'turning in' would say, 'Good-night,
chaps. Now Tommy'll go to sleep.' And he was left in peace.
The Memorial Service of Kate Lee was being conducted at one of the great
corps the Adjutant had commanded, and one of her trophies was called upon
to give his testimony. The man stood upon the platform, from whence he
had heard his spiritual mother invite him to Jesus. It all came back, his
sinfulness and misery; her winsomeness; her wonderful faith; her
patience; her rejoicing through all the years since his conversion. He
could not speak. The man stood and wept; his tears the greatest tribute
he could pay to the woman who had mothered his soul to God.
When days are no more, and the things of this life are judged, one thinks
to see a radiant spirit before the Throne of God, surrounded by a band of
Blood-washed ones, and to hear Kate Lee say, with joy, to her Lord, 'The
children whom Thou gavest me.'
In nothing did her motherliness show itself more beautifully than in the
patient love that refused to abandon the most hopeless objects of her
efforts, even though they shamed her and caused her sore distress. The
love of many a parent for a prodigal child is quenched when son or
daughter brings shame upon the family. But Kate Lee's love was deeper and
stronger than shame. One comrade tells of her, that finding one of her
converts backslidden, and drinking in a public-house, she sat beside him
while he drank of the cup of his destruction, then took him home.
A lieutenant speaks of a criminal whose soul Kate Lee wrestled for; after
giving good promise, he broke into sin again and got into jail. She went
to meet him at the gates upon his discharge, and brought him home to
breakfast. He gave her his prison loaf; and she kept that loaf of bread--
that slight evidence of gratitude--for quite a long time.
But--for our encouragement be it recorded--she did not always succeed in
delivering the prey from the terrible. One notorious sinner, the terror
of a certain city, she tried hard to win, but without success. Meeting
him one day in the principal street, she took him into a restaurant and
ordered dinner for two. The landlord called her aside, and inquired
anxiously if she knew the character of her companion. 'Oh, yes,' she
replied; 'one of my friends whom I am hoping to help.' Another time she
met this man in the street, mad drunk. A sister-soldier was with her;
Kate took the man's arms, piloted him to the sister's home; had a great
pot of tea prepared, and made him drink cup after cup in quick
succession. He wanted to fight, to smash the furniture; but she soothed
him, and saved him from the lock-up. This man steadied considerably, but
would not entirely renounce his sin. He still drinks; but when he meets
Kate Lee's old friends, he speaks about that 'heavenly woman,' and
declares he'll meet her in Heaven.
Only one instance can I discover when the Adjutant gave expression to the
least discouragement concerning weak, wobbling converts. This was when
she remarked to a beloved comrade who helped her to wrestle for the most
hopeless, 'Shall we ever get to an end of it? Oh, that the Lord would
take them Home!'
A BREAK TO CANADA
Army Officers verily believe in the aphorism that change of work is as
good as a rest. When heavy campaigning at one corps had over-wearied
Adjutant Lee, and it was suggested that she might conduct a party of
emigrants to Canada, she hailed the opportunity with the joy of a child.
To cross the ocean; to see something of the great Dominion; passing over
thousands of miles of prairie, mountain, and river, and coming in touch
with the throbbing cities of that great country, and all the while to be
about her Master's business, was pure delight in prospect.
Captain Winifred Leal, who was at that time engaged in the Emigration
Department, and had to do with the party which was committed to Adjutant
Lee's charge, furnishes some reminiscences of the impression which she
made upon herself, and also upon the officers of the boat upon which the
party sailed. She writes:--
At that time these parties were crossing the Atlantic weekly, and
sometimes three times a week. In advance of each sailing, full
particulars were mailed to The Salvation Army officers who were
responsible for meeting the boat at the port of landing, and also to The
Salvation Army officers at the various centres throughout the Dominion,
at which individual settlers were to arrive for distribution in outlying
districts. Thus, no responsibility with regard to placing the newcomers
upon arrival rested with the conductor, whose work it was to be spiritual
adviser and friend to each member and unifier of the party as a whole,
during the voyage. Whilst crossing the bridge that spans the distance
between the known and unknown, hearts are tender. The mind, too, takes
stock of the failures, mistakes, and successes of the past; fresh
resolutions are made. It is a time propitious for the re-birth of souls.
The Angel Adjutant said she felt it to be so.
Her party was an interesting one: wives and children joining husbands and
fathers, who had set sail, with The Army's help, some months previously;
single women and widows going to domestic service; parents whose married
children in the Dominion offered them a home with them; and not the least
interesting, a party of Scotch boys, aged from fourteen to seventeen.
(These boys were orphans. In Edinburgh and Glasgow they had started to
earn their living in the streets. Under The Army's wing they were now to
be placed on Canadian farms.)
It fell to me to introduce Adjutant Lee to the members of her party, and
her sympathy went out to each one of them. The Adjutant was undoubtedly
nervous of her powers, when embarking upon an enterprise so new as this,
and she asked if I could not accompany the sailing from Glasgow to
Liverpool. A period of about twenty-four hours, as near as I can
remember, was involved in the interval of embarking at Glasgow and
setting sail from Liverpool. This was arranged, and three vivid
impressions of this remarkable woman, whom I had not met previously,
remain with me.
The first sitting of third-class passengers were seated around the table
in the dining-room for their substantial meal, special tables having been
allocated to the hundred or more members of the party under Salvation
Army guidance. Adjutant Lee, who was standing by the tables, managed in a
natural manner, and without any preliminary fuss to get the entire party
on to their feet, singing,
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
But more because of Jesus' blood;
Let manna to our souls be given,
The Bread of Life sent down from Heaven.
Few, if any, of the party were Salvationists, but the singing was hearty,
stewards and stewardesses looking on approvingly.
During the evening the Adjutant appeared in her bonnet, with her
concertina, on the third-class upper deck. She began to play an appealing
Salvation Army song. Several hundred passengers gathered round and
settled into a singsong. Before long this drifted most naturally--or
rather, was ably piloted--into a pulsing meeting with the accompaniment
of testimony, a solo from a young man, and an earnest, direct appeal to
seek Salvation from the leader of ceremonies, who now seemed not so much
completely at home as entirely oblivious of herself. Her eyes travelled
searchingly from face to face, and all listened eagerly.
Third and second-class accommodation being fully booked up, the steamship
company found it most convenient to give the Adjutant a berth in the
first class. When the bugle sounded at seven o'clock for dinner, we were
in the midst of an argument. The Adjutant declared that she must go to
dinner in her bonnet; she must at once show who and what she was. I
replied that if she so chose, she could have breakfast, lunch, and tea,
in her bonnet, but that it would be much better to appear at dinner
inconspicuously bareheaded. My argument prevailed, though she declared
she would be much more comfortable in the beloved bonnet. At the close of
dinner the passengers at our table presented the Adjutant with their
choice buttonholes, so that she was able at once to take a bouquet of
roses and carnations to her third-class passengers. I left the ship next
morning at Liverpool, feeling that it would have been interesting to have
accompanied the Adjutant throughout the journey.
About a year later I happened to cross on the _Hesperian_ in charge
of a party. Many Salvation Army conductors had crossed and re-crossed in
that vessel since the journey of Adjutant Lee, but from the ship's
officials, chief stewards and stewardesses, one name was mentioned
persistently to me. There were many inquiries as to when Adjutant Lee was
likely to cross again.
The effect of her influence upon the party actually under her care must
have been very blessed. I was not privileged to see anything further of
that. But amongst those who dwelt in the deep on that ship, it was
apparent that her coming had left a streak of Salvation love and light.
Landing at Quebec, the Adjutant proceeded to Winnipeg with her party. A
private tourist car was provided, and the train journey occupied four
days and nights, and carried the party through wonderful scenery.
Delivering her charges, her work completed, the Adjutant gave herself up
to a week or two of pure enjoyment. She was entertained at The Army Lodge
for young women immigrants in Winnipeg, and from this base, visited all
The Army institutions in the city. She was specially interested in the
juvenile court attached to the detention home for young offenders, a
government institution officered by The Salvation Army.
The splendid Grace Maternity Hospital was another centre of Army work
which delighted the English visitor. Over the border into the United
States went Kate Lee, and in Chicago saw The Army at work in the self-
same way as elsewhere.
A Sunday evening visit to the prison court cells was a memorable
experience. Standing where she and her companions could command several
cells, they were able to speak to the prisoners who awaited trial next
day. Some of the listeners were white, others coloured. Several of them
in the private conversations which followed, expressed a desire for
Salvation. One woman, whose curse had been drink, knelt with tears, and
sought deliverance, as the Adjutant pointed her to God.
Back in Canada, the Adjutant plunged into a programme of meetings and the
visitation of Army institutions and the prisons. Her fame as a specialist
in dealing with criminals gave her an entrance and a welcome to Canadian
jails. She visited the Dovercourt Prison, and conducted a meeting with
two hundred long-sentence prisoners. She told of men she had known to be
delivered from desperate sin, when in penitence they cried to God; and at
the conclusion twenty men raised their hands as an evidence of their
desire, then and there to seek Salvation. The Governor of the short-
sentence prisoners sent the Adjutant an invitation, and she held two
meetings at the prison with the women and with the men the day she was
leaving the city. Kate Lee was struck with the Canadian prison system,
and the evident aim of the whole treatment to uplift those under
detention, and give them a chance of better things. She longed that the
free opportunity for Army officers to help the prisoners might be
extended to her own country.
A visit to Niagara was included in 'the time of her life,' as she
described her overseas trip to her sister. Niagara, that mighty
manifestation of natural force with its limitless possibilities in the
service of man, when captured and controlled, impressed her deeply, for
in her jottings book are found some vigorous notes on the harnessing of
Niagara. Still, it was on the souls saved in the prisons that she dwelt
as her special delight.
IN THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE
Kate Lee's local officers speak of her in relation to that particular
section of the corps to which they were attached during her stay amongst
them, and laugh as they recall how hard she worked them. The treasurers
and secretaries tell of her cleverness in financial affairs. The
sergeant-majors chuckle and still marvel over her capacity for work and
getting others to work; the bandsmen are enthusiastic over her ability to
manage them; the ward sergeants of her working of the ward system; the
recruiting sergeants over her care for the converts; the publication
sergeants over her interest in the papers and magazines; the young
people's workers remember with gratitude her love for the coming Army.
But there is one work which all local officers and also the soldiers
unite in recalling with wonder and warm appreciation--her visitation. To
get amongst the people in their homes, to share in their joys and
sorrows, to understand something of their sins! This, Kate Lee believed
was the key to their souls. Like the Apostles she visited 'from house to
To make this possible, with the many other claims of her commands, her
life was subjected to stern discipline and governed by method. She rose
at seven, breakfasted at eight; an hour was devoted to prayer and study,
an hour to business, and by ten o'clock, she and her lieutenant left the
house to visit. It would have been a mutual pleasure for the officers to
have gone together, but as one lieuteant tells us, 'The Adjutant said,
"We must sacrifice our feelings, dear, in order to cover more ground."'
So both went separate ways, the lieutenant returning to the quarters at
twelve o'clock to have dinner ready by one. After dinner, they set out
again, visiting until six o'clock, and even then, visiting was not
entirely ruled out. Whenever a call came or a need arose, Kate Lee
responded and when wrestling for a soul she took no account of time.
Lieut.-Colonel Thomas says:--
Some years ago I visited Adjutant Lee's corps to conduct a campaign.
We had just finished the Saturday night's meeting when a little
woman pushing a perambulator with two children in it, ran into the
hall, asking for the Adjutant. Her husband was at home in delirium
tremens, threatening terrible things. The Adjutant went back with
her, soothed the poor madman, got him to bed, and sat with him
until the early morning. Soon afterwards that man was soundly
converted, and is to-day an Army bandsman, while the elder child
who was wheeled in the perambulator, is a corps cadet.
Stories abound of her early morning visits to pray with converts before
they faced the world. To catch the factory hands at Reading she would be
at their home by six o'clock. To earlier workers she has called as early
as half-past five.
A ship-owner in Sunderland had read of the Angel Adjutant, and afterwards
attended her meetings. He was not impressed by her conversational powers
nor her platform gifts, and often questioned in his mind where the secret
of her influence upon desperate characters could be. One Monday morning,
he had cause to go to his office early, and tells how he met Adjutant Lee
in the street. 'Out so early, and on a Monday morning, Adjutant?' he
remarked pleasantly. 'I would have thought you needed rest after your
heavy Sunday.' The Adjutant smiled, and hesitated. The gentleman
continued, 'May I ask why are you out so early?' She replied, 'Well, last
night we had two remarkable cases seeking Salvation, and when ungodly men
are broken up and come to the penitent-form, that is only the
commencement of the work. I have been down to these men's homes to pray
with them and see them safely into the works.' Says this friend, 'Then I
understood the secret of her power. It was the same love that took Christ
to the Cross to save sinners, working in this woman to the same end. I no
longer wondered at her success.'
Brigadier Southall, of Canada, relates an incident connected with a
Sunday's meetings, which he conducted at one of the Adjutant's corps,
which illustrates her midnight visitation.
Having heard something of her work, I looked forward to the day with
anticipation. We had good crowds, and there were a few seekers at
night, but no thrilling incident occurred during the day. However,
after Sunday night's meeting a young man who had come to the penitent-
form, hesitated about leaving the hall. When Adjutant Lee spoke to
him, he told her he was afraid to go to his home, from which he had
been absent some time. He confessed to having robbed his parents on
two previous occasions, and his father had told him never to come
back again. The Adjutant determined to accompany him home. Arriving
there she knocked, and in reply a voice from an upstairs window
inquired her business. She explained that she had come upon an
important matter, to which the reply came that as the family had
retired, would she not indicate her business without bringing them
downstairs? She replied that she must speak with them quietly. She
kept the young fellow out of sight when the door was opened a few
By tactful moves, Kate Lee got into the hall, and told of the son's
confession and his desire to live a new life. This produced a storm
of protest. They could not trust him any more. The Adjutant pressed
upon the mother the precious quality of forgiveness, and the
necessity of exercising it if we would desire the love of God
extended to us. She gained her way. At about two o'clock in the
morning, the whole family professed to accept the mercy of God, and
the erring boy was received again into the home.
One of the Adjutant's special visitations was to the police station on
Saturday night. Her friends the police were glad to see her, and
willingly allowed her to interview the detained prisoners, with whom she
prayed and left a copy of 'The War Cry,' for Sunday's reading. At least
one soul was led to God by this means.
'When she got her sleep, I do not know,' says a faithful armour-bearer at
From her various corps come stories of her sick visiting. Here, a child
at the gates of death; there a bedridden old man, whose room she tidied
and breakfast she prepared. Again, a drunken woman, whose body she nursed
to health, while she brought her soul to the Great Physician. An outside
friend tells that once entering a barber's shop he found the topic of
conversation to be The Salvation Army, which was coming in for a
drubbing. 'Wait a minute,' broke in a rough workman; 'You don't say a
word against The Salvation Army while I'm about. This Adjutant Lee is a
dear soul. We were in an awful hole at our place. Missis and the
youngsters all ill at the same time, and this Adjutant heard about us;
didn't know a thing of us except we were in need, and she came in and
nursed them all well.'
For her soldiers who were in health, spiritually and physically, the
Adjutant had little time to spare; none for tea-drinking and social
calls. She expected her soldiers to practise self-denial as she did. One
soldier, feeling rather deprived on this account said, 'Must I go on the
booze to get a little of your attention?' Searching her face carefully,
the Adjutant replied, 'You are all right, my dear; you must spare me for
those who need me.'
She expected to be guided to souls who needed help, and was, as the
following incident shows.
Two local officers moved, with their family, from a distant corps to
London where they had undertaken heavy business responsibilities. The
wife was tired and anxious, and felt that now they had slipped out of a
corps where they had seemed indispensable, it would be better for them to
remain undiscovered. She had, in fact, decided to withdraw from the
fight. When visiting, the Adjutant stumbled upon them, muddled and tired,
as they sat amongst their packing cases. Her radiant face and gracious
spirit soon drew out of the little woman the confession she had meant to
hide. 'When I came in,' says the husband, 'there was the Adjutant sitting
on one of the boxes chatting so happily, she had mother feeling she was
needed as much as ever, and simply _must_ be in the fight. She came
just at the right moment, and we have never looked back again; that is
more than ten years ago.'
The Adjutant, in order to get about quickly, used a bicycle. One of her
local officers says, 'She almost lived on her wheel, and when she heard
of the motor attachment she wrote and asked me to inquire about one for
her so that she might go faster.'
A comrade tells that when Kate Lee was stationed in the country, she went
one day to see her, unexpectedly. 'I met her carrying a large basket, and
on inquiry found that it contained the proverbial loaves and fishes,
which she was taking to one of her converts who was out of work. She made
sure that the family had their dinner, then started the husband off to
sell the fish.'
Amongst the sinners in those terrible places, where respectable people
and officers of the law are unsafe, the Adjutant's figure and face were
most familiar. When after her death, Kate Lee's photo appeared in 'The
War Cry,' the call came from many of these haunts, 'Get me that Angel's
picture, we want it down here.' She won some of her gems in those
quarters. From one locality she persuaded three women to go to one of our
Homes and none returned to their evil ways.
Her visitation was often discouraging. A lieutenant tells that the
Adjutant spent much time and effort upon a man and his wife who were very
wicked and in wretched circumstances. They lived in apartments. The
Adjutant visited them persistently, but they seemed to become more and
more hardened in sin, and she did not have the joy of seeing them
converted. She grieved much and was tempted to wonder whether the time
spent had been wasted. One day she was asked to visit a man in the room
next to that occupied by this couple. He told the Adjutant that he had
looked forward to her visits next door, and always placed his ear near to
the wall so as to hear her pray. Through her prayers he had sought and
Dr. Carse, of Sunderland, says:--
I met Kate Lee in all kinds of houses, and at all hours of the day
and of the night, and she was always on the one mission--seeking
souls. One morning, at half-past two, I was coming out of one of
the worst slums in Sunderland, and met the Adjutant and her
lieutenant. They were radiant. The Adjutant had gone to settle a
family brawl; had reconciled husband and wife, got them converted,
and broken their whisky bottles in the gutter. I met her also in
the houses of the rich, and they would have kept her there, but
she never stayed after she had finished her Master's business.
But Kate did not attempt to encompass the fruitful work of visitation
merely with her lieutenant's assistance; she organized a band of visitors
at her corps, generally godly, married women, who were timid of public
service. They met at the hall one or two afternoons each week, and went
two and two to certain districts. The Adjutant and her lieutenant
initiated these comrades into the way of getting into the homes of the
people. At an appointed hour they returned to the hall and reported any
special case of sickness or sorrow to the officers, who followed it up.
This method was a great feeder to the corps meetings, and provided an
outlet for the awakened spiritual energies of some Salvationists who
hitherto had been soldiers in name only.
She hungered for souls, she sought them everywhere. One morning, scanning
the daily paper to see if there were some call for help in its pages, she
noticed the case of a man awaiting trial for a serious offence. She
remarked to her lieutenant, 'I must try to help that man.' Straightway
she prayed, then wrote the governor of the jail asking permission to
visit the prisoner. This was granted, but the Adjutant was not allowed to
see him alone. She was conducted to a triple cage; a warder occupied one
compartment; the prisoner another; Kate Lee the third. As she gazed at
the man through the bars, to introduce herself to him, and so to
establish friendly contact and to reach his soul, seemed impossible. She
spoke to him for a considerable time and prayed, but the face before her
was like a sphinx, and he did not answer a word. Kate Lee came away from
the prison with a sad heart, feeling that she had accomplished nothing.
At the trial, the man was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years'
imprisonment. The Adjutant continued to pray for the convict, and at
last, to her great joy, she received a letter from him. The prisoner told
her that on returning to his cell, he had thought over all she had said
to him; not only had conviction of sin come to his soul, but hope. He had
asked God to forgive the past and to give him a new heart. God had
answered his prayer. Good conduct shortened the criminal's sentence, and
Kate Lee saw him discharged, placed him in the care of The Army, and
after a term at the Land Colony at Hadleigh, in Essex, he was restored to
his friends. Until the end of her life, this man corresponded with the
Adjutant, whom he always addressed as 'Dear Mother.'
If staying for a night at a house, the Adjutant endeavoured to leave some
blessing behind her, and the Spirit of God, resting upon quite
commonplace words and actions, made them beautiful and blessed to the
receivers. One woman writes, 'She billeted with me when my husband and
son were soldiering. It was such a cheer to have her presence in the
home. She wrote in a book for me her name, and "Be true to the Flag." I
treasure this very much.'
In another and different kind of home where she was the guest for a
night, the daughter of the house, a bright, talented girl, given up to
worldliness, accompanied the Adjutant to her room to make sure that all
her needs were supplied. They fell into conversation about spiritual
matters and talked on till the small morning hours, then knelt in prayer,
and the girl gave herself to God. 'She used to call to see us, but try as
we would we could never persuade her to rest for even one hour in our
home,' writes a girl from another home of comfort.
With her voice trembling with love and emotion, a woman soldier told me
the following incident:--
When the Adjutant was stationed here, I was living away from home at
service, but coming back for a holiday, I found my father ill, and
stayed to nurse him. One evening I had a feeling I should bring the
Adjutant to him. He was a man who went to no place of worship and
made no profession of religion. I went to the officers' quarters,
and the lieutenant said that the Adjutant had gone out of town for
a meeting; she did not know what time she would return. The feeling
that I must get her that night grew on me, and I walked about the
streets until I saw her coming home. It was nearly midnight, and I
caught sight of her face in the light of a street lamp. She looked
like a ghost, so tired and white, and I shouldn't have had the
heart to ask her to start out again, but for the strong feeling
that had come to me. 'Certainly I will come,' she said brightly.
Well, she came and talked to father, told him the way of Salvation,
prayed with him, and he prayed, and she left him at peace with God,
and happy. An hour after she had gone, he became unconscious and
never regained his senses. He died that morning. Just caught his
soul in the nick of time, she did. That's the big thing about
Adjutant Lee that stands out for mother and me, but I couldn't
begin to tell you all the little things she did. _Aye, but she
bothered about us, she did_. I never knew the like.
The year that Kate Lee was born, the artist Dietrich gave to the world a
picture, which, if not destined to become one of the immortals of
religious art, has about it an irresistible charm for the ordinary eye.
The Saviour stands with outstretched arms saying, 'Come unto Me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden.' About Him are gathered people
representing almost every condition of need and woe. The charm lies not
so much in the central figure as in the adoring love of the sorrowing and
the sick for the One who loves them; little children cuddle about His
robe in utter contentment; a weary mother with babe at her breast, has
brought her sick daughter; husband has carried a crippled wife; a woman
'that was lost' bends at the Saviour's feet in an agony of repentance; an
aged, blind man is led by his daughter; a maniac, whose tortured soul
looks out of haggard eyes, frames a prayer with clasped hands.
When in a remote city, I first saw a print of this picture, a line from
James Russell Lowell--'His Throne is with the outcast and the weak'--
seemed its best title. But as I look at it to-day, all the sorrowful,
needy people who have spoken to me of Kate Lee, seem to gather around
that picture and I seem to hear the words, 'Aye, but He bothered about
us,' and there comes to my heart a realization of the triumph of Jesus in
this servant of His, who grew to be so like her Master. Surely the world
is heart-sick for such souls great in compassion, self-forgetful, and
triumphant in faith as was Kate Lee.
'THE ANGEL ADJUTANT'
Kate Lee had been a Salvation Army Field Officer for fifteen years, when
suddenly she became famous. In gathering material for the writing of
'Twice Born Men,' Harold Begbie had been no less impressed by the
sweetness and wisdom of the woman who had won from sin to righteousness
several of the notable characters with whom the book deals, than he was
with the miracle of their conversion. Throughout the book we catch
glimpses of Kate Lee-her loveliness of character, her guileless wisdom,
and her strength of purpose-as Mr. Begbie saw her. Vividly describing
Shepherd's Bush, the locality in which the Norland Castle corps operates,
Mr. Begbie pictures the incessant, roaring traffic of the main roads, the
ceaseless procession of humanity on the pavements, the exhibition of
wealth and extravagance in the shops-almost frightening to those who know
of the terrible destitution which exists only a stone's throw distant--
the crowded street markets of the poor, the shabby residential streets,
One turns out of the respectable streets where the children are
playing cricket, cherry-bobs, hopscotch, hoops, and cards, and
suddenly finds himself in streets miserable and evil beyond
These are streets of once decent two-storied villas, now lodging-
houses. The very atmosphere is different. One is conscious first of
dejection, then of some hideous and abysmal degradation. It is not
only the people who make this impression on one's mind, but the
houses themselves. Dear God, the very houses seem accursed! The
bricks are crusted, and in a dull fashion shiny with grime; the
doors, window-frames, and railings are dark with dirt only disturbed
by fresh accretions; the flights of steps leading up to the front
doors, under their foul porches, are worn, broken, and greasy; the
doors and windows in the reeking basements have been smashed up in
nearly every case for firewood. Here and there a rod is missing from
the iron railings--it has been twisted out and used as a weapon.
In these streets on a summer evening you find the flight of steps
occupied by the lodgers, and the pavements and road-ways swarming
with their children. The men are thieves, begging-letter writers,
pickpockets, bookmakers' touts, totters (rag and bone men), and
trouncers (men paid by costermongers to shout their wares), and
bullies. The women add to their common degradation--which may be
imagined--the art of the pickpocket, the beggar, the shoplifter,
and the bully....
If you could see these bareheaded women, with their hanging hair,
their ferocious eyes, their brutal mouths; if you could see them
there, half dressed, and that in a draggle-tailed slovenliness
incomparably horrible; and if you could hear their appalling
language loading their hoarse voices, and from their phrases
receive into your mind some impression of their modes of thought,
you would say that human nature in the earliest and most barbarous
of its evolutionary changes had never, could never, have been like
Concerning the men, one thing only need be said.... There was
cunning in their faces, there was every expression of ... underhand
craft, but they looked and lowered their eyes.... They seemed to me
'consciously wrong, inferior, and unhappy.'
But more than by anything concerning the men and women of this
neighbourhood, one is impressed by the swarm of dreggy children
playing their poor little pavement games in the shadow of these
lodging-houses. Some--can it be believed?--are decently clothed
and look as if they are sometimes washed.... The mass of these
children, above five or six years of age, are terribly neglected.
I have never seen children more dirty, more foully clothed, more
dejected looking.... I saw many children with sores and boils; I
saw some children whose eyes looked out at me from a face that was
nothing but a scab.
A mortuary chapel has had to be built for this neighbourhood. The
rooms of the houses are so crowded that directly a person dies the
body must be moved.
Mr. Begbie now introduces Kate Lee:--
Into these streets come day after day, and every Sunday, the little,
vigorous corps of The Salvation Army, stationed in this quarter of
London. The Adjutant of the corps some years ago was a beautiful and
delicate girl. She prayed at the bedside of dying men and women in
these lodging-houses. She taught children to pray. She went into
public-houses and persuaded the violent blackguards of the town to
come away; she pleaded with the most desperate women at street
corners; she preached in the open streets on Sundays; she stood
guard over the doors of men, mad for drink, and refused to let them
On one occasion this little woman was walking home through evil
streets after midnight, when a drunken man asked her if he might
travel by her side. After going some way the man said, 'No, you
aren't afraid,' and then he mumbled to himself, 'Never insults the
likes of you, because you cares for the likes of us.'
It is to the work of this wonderful woman--so gracious, so modest,
and so sweet--that one may trace the miracles whose histories are
contained in the following pages. The energy, resolution, and
splendid cheerfulness of the present corps, some of them her own
converts, may likewise be traced through her influence. She has
left in these foul streets the fragrance of her personality, a
fragrance of the lilies of a pure soul. 'Ah,' exclaims an old jail-
bird, showing me the photograph of this woman, 'If anybody goes to
Heaven, it will be that there little Angel of God.' They call her
the 'Angel Adjutant.'
We see the Angel Adjutant again in the book, visiting the 'Puncher' at
his work; braving the abominations of 'O.B.D.'s' den, as she made friends
with that sodden drink slave and his wife, piloting him to the hall and
mothering the first signs of grace in his stupefied soul. We see her
mothering the 'Criminal,' weeping over the fall of 'Rags and Bones,'
endeavouring to hold the 'Failure' to his moral and spiritual
obligations, and, despite his falls, refusing to give him up.
'That man, Mr. Begbie, is wonderful. He's got those men's very images on
paper,' says one of Kate Lee's converts, referring to the 'Twice Born
Men' characters. None the less truly did he get Kate Lee's photograph on
paper, and sent it round the world for all to see, and for thinking
people to admire, to wonder over, to praise and give thanks for.
'Twice Born Men' was a great success. Its first edition was immediately
absorbed, while its present edition is the twenty-seventh, and its
English circulation has reached over a quarter of a million copies. It
has had, likewise, an enormous sale in the United States and Canada. It
has been translated into French, German, and Swedish.
Few books of its time appealed to so widely differing minds and classes.
The professor of psychology, the theologian, the prize-fighter, Christian
mother, the school-boy, in common interest bent their heads over its
pages. The Press discussed it from many aspects in a chorus of favour.
'The Angel Adjutant' became an entity whom people all over the world
desired to know. After she had been thus discovered to the world,
wherever she went she was received with honour. Churches besieged her
with invitations to occupy their pulpits. Civic authorities paid
deference to this spiritual and moral specialist.
How did the glare of the limelight affect Kate Lee? A comrade who knew
more of her inner life than almost any other, lets in a sidelight upon
her association with 'Twice Born Men.' Her experiences in connexion with
the book were not entirely sweet. She felt the sting of jealousy, that
hurtful thing which, while uncleansed human nature is what it is, will
continue to inflict wounds upon those chosen for honour, but Kate Lee
bore it with meekness and in silence. 'It is not easy to bear success,'
she said on this subject. 'When I have been lifted up, it has meant a
cross rather than a throne for me.'
It is not easy for a noble soul to bear a representative honour, unless
it is patent to all that it _is_ representative and not personal. No
one realized more fully than Kate Lee that other women officers had
worked and are working amongst the masses just as she worked, actuated by
the same spirit as moved her, and achieving the same results as those in
which she rejoiced. She would rather that another than herself had been
thrown upon the world's screen to illustrate the work. A few weeks before
she died, she spoke of this to her old friend, Brigadier Elizabeth
Thomas, adding, 'Whenever "Twice Born Men" is mentioned, I want to run
and hide my head.' But while she felt all this, her keen sense of true
values withheld her from putting a trumpet to her lips and declaring it.
Rather, with that Christlike modesty and dignity that characterized all
her public service, she entered every door that publicity opened to her
and gave her message. She occupied many important pulpits, filling great
churches with interested and sympathetic congregations.
As ever she was about her Father's business. Far from attracting
attention to herself, she brushed aside preliminaries, and got directly
to her subject. For the title of her lecture, she did not always choose
'The Terrible Ten' or 'Modern Miracles' or 'Twice Born Men'; sometimes
she gave a plain Salvation address, or a simple call to professing
Christians to live the life of Christ. One lady who heard her, tells how
on one occasion she held a great congregation in the hollow of her hand.
Tears had flowed; heads were shaking in depreciation or nodding
approvingly, as she pictured the sorrows and the sins of the poor, and
God's power to save them to the uttermost. Then she 'turned her guns'
upon her hearers. How did _they_ stand before God in relation to
sin? 'Society is often a cloak for sin that is terribly present in the
heart. The law deals with sin that is _found out_: God deals with it
as it is in the soul. You and I are each going to the bar of God to be
judged _as we are_. How is it with your soul?'
A strange silence came upon that select audience, as the people pondered
straighter and more personal questions than they were accustomed to hear
addressed to them.
A lieutenant tells of a railroad incident, which reveals how truly Kate
Lee loved to be unknown, and how she would screen herself from praise,
when to accept it could serve no definite end. She says:--
We were returning from some Councils, and a clergyman got into our
compartment. He was very friendly, and in conversation we found him
enthusiastic over 'Twice Born Men.' He said how he would count it an
honour to meet the 'Angel Adjutant,' and express to her his thanks
for the help he had received by her example. I felt so proud of her,
and wanted to tell the clergyman that the 'Angel Adjutant' was my
Captain; but catching a warning glance from her, I had to keep quiet.
A few hours after he heard of Kate Lee's death, Harold Begbie penned the
following tribute to her memory:--
There seems to me something in the death of Kate Lee at this moment
which has a mystical significance.
The world has just received 'The Life of William Booth,' and is
making up its mind what to think of him. His son, Bramwell, with a
courage which is part of his religion, allowed the biographer of
William Booth to write freely what he believed to be the truth, and
the whole truth, of the great Founder of The Salvation Army. There
in that book for all men to behold, in the very habit of his daily
life, stands William Booth, revivalist, social reformer, colonizer,
organizer, husband, father, and man.
And now there ascends into the glory of God one of the most radiant
spirits that ever blessed the darkest places of the earth with a
light truly from Heaven, little Kate Lee, the Angel Adjutant of
Notting Dale; the saint of the worst men that ever lived, the
adored angel of souls once as foul and brutal and besotted with
iniquity as ever corrupted human life, and but for William Booth
she herself might have perished.
I am one of those who cannot think of William Booth as a saint. His
wonder for me, and his greatness, lies in the fact that he made
saints; this turbulent and tremendous power, this unresting energy,
he made saints; that is to say, he made the most beautiful and
gentle thing that can exist in human life, the spirit that loves the
worst; that descends with joy into the pit of pollution; that is
happier there than in the abodes of the sanctified; that is wholly
content to be unknown and unheard of; that can save the worst and
transfigure the most hideous, and itself remain utterly unspotted
by the world.
I was far away in the dales of Yorkshire when I heard of Kate Lee's
death. My first feeling was one of gladness, for I loved to know she
was beyond the touch of pain. Then I fell into a fit of sorrow. _Why
had I not made this miracle of William Booth more real in the
biography?_ Is there anything in life so important, or anything at
this moment of the world's history that calls so urgently for
proclamation, as the miracle of conversion?
Kate Lee seemed to be at my side. I saw the harassed statesmen of
the nations attempting to piece together the broken pieces of this
war-shattered world, and they seemed to me no greater figures than
children playing with the parts of a world which they themselves
had taken apart. And Kate Lee seemed to say, 'There is no hope for
the world, no hope at all, but the changed heart. Until men love
God, they will never love each other. And until they love each
other there will be poverty and crime, revolutions and wars.'
Her life goes on in the lives of others. She is immortal here upon
earth. For ever and ever some men and women will be better because
in her lifetime she made other people good who were bad, happy who
were unhappy. But I would that her spirit could penetrate into the
whole life of humanity.
How modest she was, how unassuming, and how tranquil! She had seen
the most evil depth of the human heart, and yet she believed, with
a smile of unclouded gladness, that the human heart is of God. She
loved the worst people in the world. She was tender and patient
with the most stupid and dull. She never despaired of any soul that
looked at her with eyes of hunger. The Pharisee might turn away
with disgust, the judge might condemn, science might pronounce the
case hopeless; she smiled and waited, waited at the prison door,
waited in the pit of abomination, waited at the hard heart. And
while she waited she prayed, quietly, and calmly; and while she
prayed so great was the love of God in her heart, she smiled. There
is no hope for the world until the love that was in Kate Lee is in
us. Let every Salvationist assure himself with every day of life
that his work lies only with the unhappy, the foul, the horrible,
the repulsive. To this end came William Booth preaching in the slums
and alleys of great cities, and on this mission of his went Kate Lee
with a song in her heart and a smile on her lips.
I never looked into human face so full of the love of God, so
shining with love of humanity, as the face of this 'Angel Adjutant.'
During the week of the announcement of Kate Lee's death, her name was
upon the lips of millions of people. Newspapers throughout the country
published her photograph and told of how she sought the lost. In the
saloons around London the topic of conversation was the loveliness of the
'Angel Adjutant.' Almost wherever Salvationists appeared, people
sympathized with them in the loss of so brave an officer as Kate Lee.
Beyond the seas, illustrated journals carried the picture of her pure
face and the story of her love and devotion to her Saviour and the
sinful, and mothers gave thanks for her life and prayed that their
daughters might have her spirit.
Her casket was borne through streets lined with thousands of silent,
reverent spectators and carried to the grave by men once deep-dyed in
sin, now cleansed and ennobled by the Salvation she had proclaimed.
To queens has less honour been shown than to this girl who was born in
crowded Hornsey, who lived a life of toil and struggle, and died
penniless. Why? Because the human heart, despite its crookedness and
failings, recognizes that love is the greatest thing in the world, and
pays tribute accordingly.
COMRADES AND FRIENDS
Perhaps no class of people voluntarily work harder or longer hours than
Salvationists. When the ordinary worker quits toil for recreation, the
Salvationist drops his tools to work at his religion, and for no reward
in this life. But for all that, the Salvationist has his compensations.
The most precious thing about The Army, he will tell you, is its
The uniform of the military means something of fellowship on service,
nothing on leave; but the Salvationist is always on service, and the sign
of cap, bonnet, or even the small Salvation Army brooch or tri-coloured
ribbon, serves as an introduction, which includes a welcome, when
Salvationists meet in any clime or country.
The uniform stands for the acceptance of certain convictions, principles,
and consecration to one purpose in life, which knows no barrier of
nation, colour, nor class. Salvationists are comrades of a single
purpose, the bringing of all men to knowledge of God. Mr. Harold Begbie
describes this bond of comradeship which he found illustrated in a prayer
meeting which he attended amongst Salvationists in India. He writes:--
Those Officers represented many nations. Among them were a Brahmin,
a Singalese, Malayali, a Tamil, a German, a Norwegian, a Swede, an
Australian, an Englishman, and a Scot. All were praying. The voices
of those various nationalities rose into the air as a cry inspired by
love for a sinful world, with a compassion and a longing, uttered for
the need of a common humanity, and all those separate voices and
different words rose in a perfect unity like the prayer of a single
family under a father's roof.
Constitutionally Kate Lee was not dependent; she did not know what it was
to hunger for society; to pine for a 'yarn'; to ache with desire to
discuss with a chum small talk of The Army. The passion of her life swept
her beyond such things and the springs of her refreshment ran deep. Her
business was to seek and to save that which was lost--to shepherd the
sheep--and these she sought with a love that never wavered. Nevertheless,
fellowship with her comrades was one of her chief joys. She delighted in
Officers' Councils where all were bent upon seeking guidance for the
furtherance of the Salvation War. Whenever she was thrown into the
company of her comrades her heart was at once at leisure from itself, and
she sought and found pleasant and profitable point for contact.
She felt herself to be a poor conversationalist, and her success in
fellowship lay in drawing out the interests of others. She was a good
listener, rather than an entertainer. Humility was one of her greatest
charms and she had no hesitation in confessing her limitations. 'I enjoy
the fun, but I can't make it; do help me,' she said to a comrade, when
once she found herself responsible for guiding the conversation of a
party of officers.
Tributes come from comrades of all ranks, from the shy lieutenant, to the
veteran commissioner, telling of the sweetness of her communion in
But so great was the pressure upon her life, that during any period of
respite from her work, she longed, not for change or entertainment, but
One cannot talk with Kate Lee's people without discovering that they
regarded her as a person apart from all others. She would drink tea in a
hovel with outcasts, or lead a volunteer brigade in scrubbing her halls;
handle hammer and nails as a man; collect produce for the harvest
festival with a donkey-cart, and perform a hundred and one other
'unladylike' offices. But about her was an atmosphere of intrinsic
superiority, that the most untaught felt and appreciated. Amongst the
most rough and ready people she is never mentioned with familiarity; but
one constantly hears references to 'that heavenly woman,' 'an angel if
ever there was one,' and 'that lovely lady'; also mention of 'her private
Incidentally, a pathetic interest attaches to the illusion of 'her
private means,' for, except for her small Army allowance, Kate Lee had no
private funds. Reserve and independence are characteristics of the Lee
family, and are, despite warm affection, observed within their tiny
family circle. When the mother joined her Officer daughters in their
home, Lucy and Kate realized that if she were aware of the smallness of
their allowance, she would feel that a third person could not share it
without causing strain, and such knowledge would be a continual sorrow to
her. So they never enlightened her, and during the years spent together,
they endeavoured, by touching little self-denials, to keep their table
and wardrobe as in the home days. So the little mother lived in peace,
and died, and never guessed the truth. It was a good training for Kate,
and later in life few women could get more value out of money than she.
Her uniforms were turned, mended, and worn to the last. Her single
indulgence was books, and these were few and well chosen. By dint of the
habit of constant watchfulness over her purse, and the blessing of God,
her little store became like the widow's cruse of oil, and she gave her
tenth and more to the Lord's work. But it was the graciousness with which
she gave that made her gifts appear large in the estimation of those who
While Kate was received and made much of by high and low alike, she made
no pretence of being well born or well educated; nor did she assume airs.
She was a perfectly natural woman, who, realizing that she was a daughter
of the Heavenly King, sought to rightly represent Him. Nothing rough,
mean, nor trivial would become a member of the heavenly household; but
joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness--the graces of the Spirit
should be seen in her. And they were. The consciousness of her heavenly
relationship also gave her a dignity that held itself graciously in any
company, and with gentle, unafraid eyes, she met the gaze of all. Kate
believed that if we 'walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have
fellowship one with the other,' and from a heart free from selfishness
and guile, she looked out upon her neighbours, asking for nothing but to
understand and bless them, and be blessed. The hearts of all but those
who hate and reject the good, rose to salute her, and called her friend.
Of those who loved her and whom she loved there is no count; but here and
there upon the fields where she fought, there are some to whom her soul
clave in a particular way.
In and out of the homes of the rich she went, bearing sunshine and
gathering gold wherewith to push her campaign; but she had no time to
make friendships there. A certain leisureliness is inseparable from the
life of the well-to-do; time to talk; to be interested in a variety of
subjects; to be amused; time even to eat and rest in correct form. With
Kate, life was terribly real. On every side her eyes saw men, women, and
little children weighed down with sin and sorrow, and her soul joined in
the consecration of the great soul who wrote:--
My every sacred moment spend.
In publishing the sinner's Friend.
Thus, while many rich friends opened their beautiful homes to her, placed
their cars at her disposal, and begged for her company, she passed on her
way with a smile that was wholly free from censoriousness. And there may
have been another reason. In her nature was a deep love for the
beautiful, the harmonious. Maybe she recognized in the good things of
life a temptation which she needed to hold at arm's-length, if all her
spikenard were to be poured out for her Lord.
In any case, it was to Bethany-like households, where, as a rule, the
occupants did their own serving, but were rich in love and in full
sympathy with her spirit and purpose, that she tarried to gain strength
One of these friends, Mrs. Taylorson, is a bedridden saint, a remarkable
woman in her ninetieth year, of charming countenance, keen, vigorous
intellect, great heart and spiritual vision. In the school of affliction
and discipline she had sought and found the blessing of Full Salvation,
and though a prisoner in her home, her interests are wide, and her
influence, by the ministry of prayer, great.
Hearing of Adjutant Lee's arrival in the town, she sent for her, and from
their first meeting this aged saint rightly estimated the beauty and
greatness of the Adjutant's soul, and felt there was a part she could
play in her campaign. Mrs. Taylorson says:--
I realized that my ministry to her was to look after her bodily
welfare. I took to my bed whilst she was stationed here: and
living quite near to me, she would often slip in for a few
moments. Her sweet face would come round the door like a ray of
sunshine. She would give me a warm kiss, tell me the latest news
--this case or that problem to pray over--then she was off again.
But I saw to it that my maid always had something nourishing on
hand to help that dear, worn body. How my maid loved her! The
Adjutant's influence so led her into touch with Christ, that life
became changed for her.
Oh, how Kate Lee worked! Far beyond her strength. Often, after her
quest for souls, she would pass this house at two o'clock in the
morning. When I would remonstrate with her, she would reply, 'Oh,
but I had such a _case_ last night.' Then she would relate to
me the story. Once, kneeling by my bed, she said, 'Granny, last
night I was afraid for the first time. Oh, this place, this place!
The sin, the sin is terrible!' And she described to me the horrors
of iniquity she had seen in our town.
The transparent hands were tensely clasped; the strong alert features
relaxed into contemplation, and my eyes lifted from the face of the aged
saint to the wall beside her bed where hung a motto, 'Prayer brings
victory.' It was easy to realize how Kate Lee had gathered strength for
the fight in that little sanctuary of faith and hope, and love, with the
practical addition of a strengthening cup, 'always ready, that the
Adjutant might not be hindered.'
Kate met her beloved old friend only once after her term of three years
at Sunderland. When leaving London to spend a week there, she received a
wire from her old lieutenant, then on duty amongst the troops in France,
'Coming on leave; want to spend week-end with you,' to which she replied,
'Going to Granny's. Come.' It was a happy party that gathered in that old
home. The joys of reunion were still fresh, when in the doorway another
figure appeared--Lucy Lee, also home on leave from France. Heaven seemed
to come down to earth for those four women. Three from the rush of the
battle, bubbling over with stories of the Holy War, the fourth--her
faculties fresh as those of the youngest--delighting to linger on the
brink of eternity, that she might hold up the hands of these, her adopted
daughters in battles for God and souls.
Perched on the crest of a hill overlooking a seashore town, is a tiny
cottage--two rooms up and two down. There are flowers in the windows and
garden, and within, simplicity and sweet homeliness. The dwellers there
are an old pensioner and his daughter. The daughter, a semi-invalid,
keeps house. Her face is calm as a lake resting in the sunshine; her eyes
blue as the sky on a spring day, and her voice musical and soothing as
rippling water. Almost twenty years ago, Kate Lee conducted a battle for
souls in the little town nestling below the hill. The suffering woman
listened to her call to arms, at first from a distance. By degrees the
full meaning of the officer's life dawned upon her; she knew she could
never be a leader; but she could, perhaps, be an armour-bearer; so she
came nearer, and nearer, till she took a place at Captain Kate's side,
ready to perform any service possible.
A sufferer who triumphed had a peculiar charm for Kate Lee. This woman,
caught in the furnace of affliction, had yielded herself to the fire, and
found the Son of God keep company with her there, and she grew like Him.
When nerves were tingling, and body and soul were weary with sins and
sorrows of the world, to no place did Kate turn her steps more readily
than to the tiny house on the hill.
'Why can you love to come here? I have so little to offer you. Rich
people would love to have you, and give you what I cannot,' said her
'And you can and do give me what no money in the world could buy:
understanding, and love, and rest.'
On a sunny day, Kate would take a rug and a cushion, a book or some
sewing, and her friend would accompany her to a little knoll, a stone's
throw from the house, which commanded a sea view for many miles. And
there, mostly in silence, she would sit, and sun and rest for a day or
two, and then hie back to the fight.
A mother with a child in an invalid chair, followed The Army march many a
Sunday night during one summer. The band charmed the child, the sweet
face of the officer soothed and strengthened the mother. One night,
mother and child ventured into the meeting. At the conclusion of the
first service, Adjutant Lee was shaking hands with the people as they
left the hall, and urging them to return, and she beamed on the mother
and child, and later, visited their home. A typical home of millions of
working people, but true love reigned there, and made it a more pleasant
place than many a mansion. The mother had spinal disease and her child
seemed to have been born only to die. Doctor and friends had striven in
vain to unlock the bands of mother love, and let the little suffering
life escape, but the mother refused. If love and ceaseless care could
make a child live, he should live. Mother and child nestled under the
protection of a great, loving husband and father. The coming of the
Adjutant to that home was like the visit of an angel; but she gathered as
she gave, for the soothing atmosphere of those tiny rooms fell upon her
spirit like dew. As well as love there was music. The father sat at the
organ, and as he played and sang, his strong, tender spirit seemed to
ring through the hymns. 'Just one verse!' the Adjutant would say, as she
dropped in to give five minutes' cheer.
The Adjutant lay ill in her quarters. Bronchitis had, as usual, laid her
low during a foggy week. She had sent her lieutenant out on a round of
work, and, feverish and weak, gave herself up to rest. There was a
movement on the stairs and a face appeared at the bedroom door. It was
little invalid mother. 'How _did_ you get here?' the Adjutant asked.
'Through a window, and you'll not talk. Just eat this bit of steamed
fish.' Every day, until the Adjutant was able to be about her Master's
business again, the little woman ministered to her with tender, joyful
'Would you mind letting me look at your back?' she asked the little
mother, when she had come to be regarded as the dearest friend of the
small family. She looked, and her eyes filled with tears. For a woman
with such a back, to work, as this mother worked, to watch and wait and
refuse to give up hope for love of her child, this was love indeed. Kate
Lee would love sin-sick souls in this way. 'Thank you,' she said simply,
'you have inspired me.' During her stay the little boy, then six years of
age, definitely yielded his heart and life to the Saviour. When he was
fourteen he begged to be allowed to join The Army Young People's Band.
'Impossible,' said the doctor. 'But, doctor, you know how he has lived in
spite of many contrary opinions, and we wish him to devote his life to
The Army,' pleaded the mother. A tall lad with purposeful face, playing
in an Army band, is a joy to his Salvationist parents who carry in their
hearts the faith of Kate Lee, that one day their son shall be an Army
Such were a very few of the friends of Kate Lee. Many, because of their
great love for her, and conscious of her love for them, will, perhaps,
feel a touch of disappointment that they are not included in the number,
but the pages of our book will not stretch. As I think of them all, as I
have seen them in their homes, and know of the many I have not been able
to meet--I am reminded of strangely similiar company, fishermen, clerks,
and a company of humble, holy women who ministered to Kate Lee's Lord and
Master in the days of His flesh.
TROPHIES OF GRACE
Many volumes would be needed to contain the story of all the souls who
found deliverance from sin, sorrow and terror by the message of Kate Lee,
but her memoir would be sadly incomplete without, at least, a few
sketches which illustrate the courage, the faith, and the love with which
she sought and won and held souls who, unless such love, and faith, and
courage had been expended upon them, would have died in their sin.
The following stories are true, but they do not profess to be vivid.
Few of us would care for a passport-photograph of ourselves to be given
to the world as a true likeness, and when giving word-pictures of souls
who are still fighting their way to Heaven 'midst many enemies and
dangers, there is surely need of a kindly 're-touching!' Scars which sin
has made are wisely unnoticed; sins of the past best forgotten; there are
conditions of strange and fierce trial in the lives of some which, if
told, would magnify the triumph of grace, but should, for obvious
reasons, remain unmentioned.
It was a great change for Kate Lee when, after her command of Norland
Castle, she was appointed to Reading, a prosperous county town in
charming surroundings. In its best business part stands a fine Army hall.
It was faultlessly kept, and attended by a most respectable congregation.
After her heavy term in the slums of London, it might reasonably be
expected that she would take things quietly in a provincial corps and
recuperate her spent strength. But Kate Lee could no more settle down to
enjoy a pleasant time amongst pleasant people than could her old General
during his field days.
She by no means despised her 'nice' people, but she hungered for those
without the camp. 'Are there none of our sort in Reading?' she inquired
of the local officers. To be sure there were Silver and Coley Streets;
_they_ were bad enough for anything. Too true. Kate Lee found in
that small area drunkenness, cruelty, misery, hideous sin--a match for
anything in Shepherd's Bush.
She began with the children. Poor, ragged, neglected little souls they
were; not because of want, but because of the sin of their parents. The
Adjutant rented a small hall in Coley Street, and to it invited the
children; they came in swarms. She made music for them with her
concertina and banjo; sang to them; chatted with them; laughed with them;
patted them. One of the first songs she taught them was, 'Let the blessed
Straightway they took her to their hearts and called her 'The Sunshine
Lady.' She worked week after week amongst them. As well as telling them
about the Saviour who wanted to make their lives good and happy, she
drilled them, and after a while, announced a surprise to the parent
corps. She would show them what her Coley Street children could do. She
marched them up to the citadel, where they gave a programme of songs,
drills, and recitations. What parents are not pleased when some one
charmingly loves and makes a fuss of their children? Certainly, Silver
and Coley Street parents were gratified.
One little group of youngsters begged the Adjutant to come and see their
grandfather who was dying. She found a dear old Christian, living with
his daughter and son-in-law, the latter a terrible drunkard. The Adjutant
visited the old man until he died, comforted him, and promised by the
help of God, to win his son-in-law. It seemed like attempting the
impossible, but with God on her side nothing was impossible with Kate
Shepherd's mother died when he was six weeks old; later his father died a
drunkard. At five years of age wee boy Shepherd was carried home drunk,
for men had stood him on a bench in the tap room and 'filled him up with
beer.' He drank for forty years. During a brief, steady bout, he had
married a decent girl, who, not knowing his character, was carried away
by the smart appearance of a handsome soldier in the glory of red coat
and gleaming buttons. Once married, habit reasserted itself as the years
stole on. Shepherd broke up his home, beat his wife, and terrified his
children. His good wages went to the saloon-keeper's till while his
family starved and went in rags.
He had not been in a place of worship since the day of his marriage
until, in an effort towards decency, in acknowledgment of Adjutant Lee's
kindness, he attended the memorial service of his father-in-law.
Kate Lee threw her net, but never was fish more wary, more determined not
to be caught, than Shepherd. For months she followed him.
'Where's father?' she would ask the children. 'In the "Blue Lion,"' they
would reply, and into the 'Blue Lion' the Adjutant would go and visit him
there. She waylaid him on his way home from work. She took the corps into
the plot of garden in front of his house on Sunday afternoons and held
'She fair terrified me,' says Shepherd, now. He was furious with her and
determined to insult her, but when he met those blue eyes that knew no
fear, brimming with love for his soul, and heard her ringing inquiry,
'And how's Brother Shepherd to-day?' angry words died on his lips, and he
sought refuge in escape.
At last, word went round the Coley district that the 'Sunshine Lady' was
leaving Reading. Shepherd would soon be free from this bothering,
interfering woman. But strangely enough, he did not feel relieved. Upon
his heart had settled a load heavier than lead. He felt unutterably
oppressed and miserable. He _must_ see that Adjutant once more. He
went to her farewell meeting. As she shook his hand, and looked into his
soul to make her last appeal, his heart broke. He had loved sin greedily,
but now it appeared hateful to him. If only he could be free from it!
Down at the penitent-form he cast himself asking God to make him a new
creature. He rose, feeling strangely, wonderfully light and free, sweet
and clean in spirit. He was delivered from all desire to sin. Arriving at
home, for the first time in his life he wanted to kneel at his bedside
and 'say his prayers.'
Kate Lee had won him to God. Now she must leave him. Years later, when
visiting Reading, she met Shepherd, a bandsman in full uniform, beating
the drum in Silver Street. Tears of joy ran down her face at the sight.
Shepherd has proved to his own happiness and to the satisfaction of the
town that 'the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and addeth no sorrow.' By
the grace of God he has never slipped. At the time of his conversion he
had no clothes but those he stood in. When he left Coley Street, all his
furniture went on a push-cart. Recently he moved house, and needed two
vans. He is foreman at his place of employment. His wife sought salvation
two weeks after he was saved, and of his family, five out of the seven
children are Salvationists. His home is a joyous place. He loves to
entertain, to take people home on a Sunday afternoon, and have a happy
time with singing, reading God's Word, and prayer. Then off to the open-
air meeting, where he delights to witness to God's wonder-working power!
Saturday night, when his workmates gather round The Army ring, and in
Coley Street, are his favourite open-air meetings.
Shepherd is a happy man. His healthy face beams with goodwill to men and
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