The Angel Adjutant of "Twice Born Men"
Minnie L. Carpenter
Part 3 out of 4
gratitude to God. His eyes grow moist, but they still shine, when he
speaks of Kate Lee. 'Aye, bless her heart! I'm going to frame that
picture of her that came out in "The War Cry,"' he exclaims with a deep,
ringing voice. 'I look upon her as my mother--a real mother to my soul
In the streets of Reading almost any day, an old man may be seen pushing
a tinker's barrow. The small carriage is gay with yellow, red, and blue
paint and bright with polished brass, and on a conspicuous place appear
the words, 'Where will you spend Eternity?' The barrow-man has a
pleasant, bearded face, and steady-gazing, merry, eyes, with a cheerful
nod and word for every one; he steps in and out of gardens, mending
kettles, sharpening knives, and doing other handy jobs for housewives.
'Mr. Wellman, of The Salvation Army,' an established resident would
inform an inquirer.
Thirteen years ago, Wellman was one of the most wretched men in Reading.
Drink had brought him, with his wife and family, to a common lodging-
house, and there they herded, sometimes as many as twelve men, women, and
children in one room, eating, drinking, sleeping, cursing.
A son of Christian parents, Wellman was a decent youth, but in his early
married life he began to go down-hill and long before Adjutant Lee took
charge of the corps at Reading, had reached the dead level of misery,
degradation, and hopelessness. He had turned his back upon God; he feared
Him, dreaded Him, longed to escape from His presence, but the Heavenly
Father did not forsake him. His mother had died, he was filled with
sorrow and remorse, when one Sunday evening The Army band halted before
the lodging-house. Wellman was in the yard lounging against the wall when
the drum tapped. He walked through the passage and gazed at The Army.
Kate Lee was leading the meeting. She looked at him and smiled. There was
a world of power in that look; interest, kindness, gentleness, sorrow for
sin. Wellman listened with apparent indifference to the meeting, and the
march moved off.
He had heard the Army drum hundreds of times before in Reading, but while
it called to every one to remember God, its message had never reached
him; but the look on that woman's face did. For the first time he
followed the march, and, arriving at the hall, was invited inside. The
place was already full, but a wise-hearted orderly piloted Wellman to a
He has no remembrance of the message of the meeting; but he saw himself;
his loathsome condition; his sin to God and man; his failure in life. At
the invitation he went forward to the penitent-form and asked God to take
away his sin; he rose from his knees believing that he was saved.
How wonderful is the work of God! Wellman came into the hall dirty,
unkempt in body and soul. For years he had given no thought to his
appearance, cared nothing for the contempt of respectable people. Now he
fled to the lodging-house, ashamed to be seen.
The next morning the Adjutant called to see him. He had broken up eight
homes, and for years had felt no wish for so troublesome a possession,
but now he longed to get out of that hovel and to have a decent place to
which he could invite this 'angel woman.' The Adjutant smiled upon him,
told him he had only to follow God and things would soon improve. She
fostered the desire to make home again with his family and his own bits
of furniture about him, and helped him to get rooms. During Wellman's
years of sinning, whenever he had seen the word God in print, he had
dropped the paper or book as though it were hot; now he opened his
mother's Bible and found it to be a library of delight; and his spare
time, between work and the meetings, was spent in reading it for sheer
The desire for strong drink had been swept out of him by one touch of the
Holy Spirit, but his love of tobacco was even stronger than of beer. No
one spoke to him about giving up smoking, but from the day of his
conversion he felt ashamed of the habit and only smoked in the house. The
heavenly vision growing stronger he determined to have nothing in his
life about which he had any doubt, and he thus reasoned with himself, 'If
God can cure me of the drink, He can cure me of the pipe.' From that day
he had no desire for tobacco.
Wellman's business increased, and the Adjutant was interested in his
barrow which had taken on a gay appearance in The Army colours. Pointing
to a clear space she remarked, 'Wouldn't a message go well there?'
''Twould, Adjutant; what one would do?' She thought, 'I think, "Where
will you spend Eternity?" would be a good one,' she replied. So Wellman
had the words painted on his barrow.
His quiet eyes smile as he says, 'Her text shall preach in Reading while
ever I can push the barrow. It gives me no end of chances to speak to
people. Some ladies on bicycles stopped me one day and said, "What is the
meaning of those words?" "It means that you're going to die, and are you
ready for what comes after?" I told them. Some have said, "What have you
got that rubbish on there for?" Then I tell them what Salvation has done
for my life. But most people know me now, and look for a little word.'
He is now Sergeant Wellman at the corps, in full Army uniform, and does
useful work as doorkeeper and orderly, always on the watch to welcome
poor souls such as he was. He has had his share of trials since he was
converted. Bronchitis and asthma often keep him a prisoner and make work
slack. 'I don't have to look for troubles, they come trooping along, but
grace keeps them company,' he says joyfully. Then a shade of sadness
steals into his voice as he continues, wistfully, 'What was I doing to
miss all those years? Wretched, terrible years, mind always brooding,
never happy, never at rest!'
It is often more difficult to rescue a sinful married woman than a man. A
man as soon as he is converted goes to work, and during the day remains
under some sort of discipline and restraint; whereas the very privileges
of a married woman's position often become hindrances in the way of her
Salvation. No one can compel her to work, and undesirable neighbours may
visit her and tempt her to sin. Adjutant Lee never relaxed hope or effort
because success was difficult of realization. There are bright stars in
her crown of jewels whom she discovered in the depths; but after a woman
has been restored to her family, the past forgiven and laid aside, her
dear ones are naturally unwilling for the past to be recorded, and in
this book we must content ourselves with a very slight sketch of one who
has passed beyond the touch of pain.
A married woman had worn out the patience of a loving family. So ruinous
to the happiness and well-being was her presence in the home, that when
at last she went away her nearest made no effort to bring her back. The
Adjutant found her in the depths of sin, and determined, by the grace of
God, that she should be saved. This was one of the most difficult cases
she ever undertook. The woman had lost hope and will power, and it took
love that would not let go, and faith that would not accept defeat,
before the desire to rise again stole into the poor heart made captive of
the devil. At last the Adjutant persuaded her to attend the meetings and
there she found deliverance. After a few weeks Kate Lee got in touch with
the husband in a distant town, but his family had suffered too much at
their mother's hands for him readily to consent to his wife's return. Yet
he was not a hard-hearted man, and upon the suggestion of a
reconciliation, if, for six months, his wife proved herself to be indeed
a changed woman, he consented. During that trying probation the Adjutant
mothered this soul, who, with tottering steps, had turned her face
homeward, and she won through.
At the end of the allotted time a letter brought the husband to a
meeting-place. He looked apprehensive, but meeting the wistful eyes of a
well-dressed, comely woman, he saw once again the wife he loved and the
mother his children loved. That day he bore her off to the expectant but
anxious home. With beating hearts, the daughters waited the arrival, but
it was not the abandoned drunkard who had spoilt their home, and
horrified and frightened them, who stood on the doorstep with father. It
was just mother. Home was really home once more. Mother at the head of
the table, mother's hand here, there, upon everything. Then she became
ill. Months of agony followed. The doctor ordered stimulants; these were
refused to the end. Slowly the delivered soul slipped down death's river;
then, as it met the sea of eternity, she looked up. 'All's well!' she
said, and crossed the bar.
It was through the house-to-house canvass of a Salvation Army Assurance
Agent that Adjutant Lee came into contact with the Parrot family at
Brighton. They lived in a poor enough street and house; but thinking
people who live close to the working classes know that pounds a week
which should go into the homes frequently find their way to the saloon-
keeper's till. 'The only saving I want to think about is to get my
husband saved from the drink,' Mrs. Parrot had told the agent, and, like
a wise man, he reported the incident to Kate Lee.
It was Sunday morning. There was a tap at the door; a little child
appeared, took one look at the pure, radiant face there, and disappeared
saying aloud to his mother, 'There's a Salvation Army lady at the door,
mother, and I don't think you ought to send her away.' Kate Lee heard the
words, and uninvited, slipped into the passage. Meeting the mother, she
said gently, 'If I have a welcome from the child, I am sure of one from
That morning the strings of Mrs. Parrot's harp of hope were reduced to
one. A brave-hearted girl, she had started married life determined to
fill it with music, despite the prophecies that she was a fool to marry
Parrot. But the strings of her harp broke one by one, and this morning
there was no song in her heart; she could see no star in the heavy sky.
She was a fine type of the working woman; had been servant in a good
family, and had had a godly Sunday School teacher who had taught her the
reality of God and the efficacy of prayer. Through all the wretched,
terrible years of her married life, she had prayed and hoped for
deliverance from the earthly hell in which she and her children lived.
The week before Adjutant Lee's visit she had in desperation gone to a
spiritual leader and implored him to try and reform her husband, and had
received the extraordinary reply, 'Well, you must bear with this little
habit. I may tell you I have the same weakness myself.'
Little habit indeed! It had lost Parrot two businesses. Now he pushed a
barrow, hawking anything he had money to buy; generally the proceeds went
in drink, his family starved and lived in terror of him, and his wife,
the soul of respectability, could not keep the family decent.
A year ago, her patience completely worn out, she had told him not to
come home any more. This was the last straw to Parrot's own wretchedness.
He went to a chemist, purchased some oxalic acid, dropped it into a pint
of beer and drank it; stumbling into the street, overcome by pain and
gasping for breath, he fell to the ground. The police picked him up, took
him to the hospital and his life was saved. When he had sufficiently
recovered to go before the magistrate, he was sent to jail for a week;
while in there, he made desperate resolves that he would do better; but
once released, life went on as before.
Mrs. Parrot lifted her eyes to the Adjutant's face. Was God going to help
her after all? The Adjutant invited her to the meetings. She frankly said
her husband had no clothes to wear. 'Where was he?' 'Upstairs in bed.'
The Adjutant asked if she might go up and see him. Mrs. Parrot thought
she had better go and inquire.
A Salvation Army woman wanted to come up to his bedroom and see him lying
drunk in bed! The impudence! He would show her out of this British
workman's home quicker than she had come in. Lunging into his rough
clothes, and staggering down the stairs, with muttering lips and angry
eyes, came Parrot. He found Kate Lee talking with his children. She
looked up at him with a smile and said, 'They told me I was coming to a
drunkard's home, but these don't look like a drunkard's children. The
Parrot was struck dumb and stood with a strangely-working face and a
peculiar tearing at his throat staring at this fair, fragile woman. 'I
want you to come to our meeting to-night,' continued the Adjutant. 'Mrs.
Parrot tells me you haven't any good clothes; but I'll have a full suit
ready for you in time, and shall expect you there.' She prayed and was
This was the first vision of Divine love that Parrot had ever seen. Born
in a beer shop, fighting and quarrelling from childhood, his life had
been a hideous, hopeless failure. Hell he understood--felt; but such
words as God, Heaven, Love, had meant nothing to him at all. Now they
did. Love seemed to shine all over that woman. Angels' wings never looked
lovelier to human eyes than the Army blue of Adjutant Kate's uniform
looked to Parrot.
By-and-by a parcel arrived. It contained shirt, trousers, coat and vest,
socks and boots, collar, tie, and even a handkerchief. Parrot handled
them with wonder. He had never worn such clothes--the Adjutant had begged
them from a gentleman. He put them on, and walked up and down the back
yard. How good it felt to be well dressed--to look respectable.
Meeting time arrived and, piloted by his wondering wife, Parrot went to
the hall. 'Let's go up out of the draught,' diplomatized Mrs. Parrot, and
edged her man as near to the front as possible. Kate Lee gloried in God
that night. She told of His boundless love, His seeking--seeking to find,
and make good and happy, every soul of man. Parrot and his wife knelt at
Next morning Parrot felt desperately ill, but the craving for strong
drink had gone. He must face life in earnest and see about providing for
the family. He must have something to sell. Mrs. Parrot remembered a
kind-hearted man who had promised, that if ever her husband tried to do
better, that he would help him. Parrot walked several miles to find this
man, who trusted him with a dollar's worth of fish.
The spiritual life in this new convert was very feeble. Parrot felt
comfortable in his mind, and happy to believe that angels still walked
this earth, and that one had come his way. An ambition had come into his
weak, undisciplined will to make a decent home for his wife and children.
He would have been content to have let things rest there. But Kate Lee
bore down upon him, not only with smiles, but commands. He must fight for
God. He must tell all his townspeople of his conversion. Parrot was
terrified, but there was no escape. When the Adjutant arrived with the
band to carry him off, he slipped out of the back door, but there he was
met by the wisest of recruiting sergeants, a man who understood men and
loved them. Trembling in every limb, Parrot was marched off to The Army
Hall, and sat by the Adjutant on the platform. In an open-air meeting in
his own street, an Army cap was placed on his head. There could be no
turning back. He was literally carried up the Delectable Mountains and
shown higher views of life; and, seeing them, he desired them.
To-day, he is proud of his Salvation Army family, and of his good wife,
who is the neighbours' friend, helping them in trouble, comforting them
in bereavement, praying with them in distress. When The General called
for homes for the destitute Austrian children, the Parrot household was
the first in the corps to open their door. Mrs. Parrot has a prosperous
business, as also have two of their sons, and Parrot is in steady work.
He is grateful for temporal mercies, but no words can express the
gratitude of this man and his wife for the miracle of Salvation, the
deliverance from sin, the love for the things of God, which has come to
their home and their hearts by the grace of God, brought to them by the
love that feared no insult, no violence; the faith that would not be
disappointed, of Kate Lee.
KATE LEE'S SECRET
Of Kate Lee General Bramwell Booth writes, 'She was one of those
conquering souls who seldom look like a conqueror. She presented an
extraordinary contrast. She was weak, and yet she was strong. She was
poor, and yet she was one of the richest. She was intensely human, with
many of the most marked limitations which belong to the human, and yet
she was in an extraordinary degree spiritual, yes, even divine.'
These contrasts were clear to all and puzzling to many. Not a few people
both in and outside the ranks of The Army have asked the question,
'Wherein lay the secret of Kate Lee's success?' One person, accustomed
only to surface views, gave answer, 'It is that she always aims to win
Let any one determine to gain distinction for himself by lifting from the
mire of sin souls robbed by the devil of hope and will power, and even
desire for deliverance; let them essay to bring back from the far country
wanderers sunk to the level of the brute; let them attempt to break bands
of habit forged by the devil, or to deliver the prey from the terrible
one. He will discover the impossibility of his enterprise if not his
Desire to win spiritual battles in order to gain personal reputation is
age-old. From the day that Simon the sorcerer offered Peter money in
exchange for miracle-working power, the exercise of which would have
placed him upon a pedestal above his fellows, the rebuke has rung out,
'Thy heart is not right in the sight of God.'
Shortly before Jesus left His little band of disciples, with the charge
to preach the Gospel to every creature, He spoke with them on the subject
of spiritual fruitfulness. He assured them that, 'Herein is My Father
glorified, that ye bear much fruit,' and in one sentence He made clear
the secret of spiritual success. He said, 'He that abideth in Me, and I
in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do
The failure of the Church of Christ to extend His Kingdom upon earth by
great sweeping victories, lies in the imperfect apprehension or the
neglect of this declaration. Tens of thousands of professing Christians
do not abide in Christ; consequently, He cannot satisfy their soul. The
cares and pleasures of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, occupy
them as they do the ungodly; for their pleasures they turn to the world.
A smaller section have faith in Christ, and realize the joys of
Salvation, and comfort of His presence, but they do not yield themselves
to Him for service. A smaller section dedicate themselves to His service,
but rush to work for God without receiving directions from Him, with the
result that much effort is wasted. If every consecrated soul would pay
heed to Christ's direction, how gloriously would His Kingdom extend! Not
that the battle would ever become an easy one. The powers of evil against
which we fight are second only in strength to those of righteousness and
light. In conflict between these powers there will always be the
sacrifices of war to reckon upon, the spade work, the tunnelling, the
weariness; surprises of the enemy, rushed advances, sick and wounded to
care for, and captured territory to be occupied, organized, and governed,
before the final victory.
Kate Lee was one of the company that dwell in God. It is difficult to
write of her secret soul life; for, keeping no journal she made no record
of the dealings between her soul and her Beloved; no fights and victories
over the powers of evil, no story of following the heavenly vision, nor
does her very scrappy correspondence contain out-pourings of spiritual
experience. Her life was a lovely epistle of week-day holiness for all to
read, but it was the outward sign of an inward experience. Locked in a
private box, a "Covenant" was found after her death which is as a key to
the inner sanctuary in which her life was lived with Christ in God. It
reads as follows:--
_Solemnly entered into, January, 1897; Renewed, January, 1918_
TO MY PRECIOUS LORD AND MASTER
In the first moments of this year I present myself to Thee in the
deepest humiliation of soul, sensible of my utter unworthiness. I
desire nothing in the world so much as to be Thine, and with the
utmost solemnity, surrender myself fully unto Thee.
I declare Thee, O Lord, this day, to be my God, and myself to be
Thine own child. Hear, O Thou God of Heaven, and record it in Thy
Book of Remembrance, that I am Thine, only Thine.
From this first day of January do I solemnly renounce all that has
had dominion over me, and every sin, and every lust, and in Thy
name, set myself in eternal opposition to the powers of hell.
The whole frame of my nature, all the faculties of my mind, all the
members of my body would I present to Thee this day, as a living
I consecrate myself to Thee; all my worldly possessions; and I pray
Thee to give me the strength and courage to exert for Thy glory all
the influence I may have over others. Receive and wash me. Forgive
all past failings, clothe me with Thy perfect righteousness, and
sanctify me throughout by the power of Thy Spirit.
Help me that I may never withdraw in any point from this renewal of
my consecration and covenant.
Help me to live in the spirit of real consecration and crucifixion;
and should I fail in carrying out this covenant in all points as I
ought, then, dear Lord, forgive and lead me to perfection.
In Thy strength I promise to be true till death. Until then, keep,
guide, and direct me.
Remember, dear Lord, this covenant when I am about to pass away;
and should I then be incapable of recollecting it, look with pity
on Thy dying child. Put strength and confidence into my departing
spirit, and receive it to the embrace of Thy everlasting love.
For Jesus Christ's sake.
May this petition be granted.
(Signed) KATE LEE.
_Renewed, January 1st, 1920_
Another valuable document traces for us Kate Lee's seeking after
sanctification. After having lived in the enjoyment of this blessing for
nearly thirty years, she was asked by the editor of 'The Officer' to
write her experience. The following article appeared in that magazine
three years ago:--
Soon after I was converted I realized a great need in my heart. I
had turned my back on the old life, and my face was toward God. I
had started to travel the upward way. For the first few weeks I
went with a rush, the joy of the new life within buoyed me up. I
felt as though I was walking on air. I did not feel any strain of
the upward tread. But soon I began to feel the tension of the
daily struggle, the weary march. There were obstacles in that way
that impeded my progress. My circumstances were against me, and
the influences surrounding me had a tendency to draw me from
I began to stumble and fall. The tempter was soon at my side
suggesting, 'You're not converted; it's all a delusion; you
would not feel as you do; you would not fail as you have done,
if you were really a child of God. Give it up, it's no use trying,'
he argued. And, worst of all, I knew sin still existed in my
heart. How often passion had broken my peace. How many times
bitterness and evil had manifested itself in my nature. Was I
mistaken? Had I ever been converted? Was it all a delusion?
Just then God in His love and pity came to my heart; gave me a
revelation. He not only showed me myself and my sin, but showed
me my need. I needed something, and as I sat in a holiness
meeting I realized that need was sanctification. For months the
word sanctification was to me a heavy burden; a torture. I could
not really grasp its meaning. I read and re-read the theory of
sanctification, going from one authority on the subject to
another, only to turn away still more puzzled. I then set myself
to seek publicly and was several times found at the holiness
table, pleading for the blessing that I failed to understand.
Again and again I came to the altar, and, as far as I
understood, laid my all there. But as soon as the test came,
without realizing that I did it, I took from off the altar the
sin I had laid there, or the gifts that I had surrendered to
This is where I failed many times, and during my officership I have
found scores of other souls who have failed on this very point.
They come sincerely to the altar, definitely laying their gift
there, a living sacrifice; but when the knife is felt, the
realization of the dying comes upon them as they feel the hurt and
understand fully what it means, they shrink and draw back. Abram's
experience, related in Genesis xv., has been a great help to me. He
had to wait for the fire. He prayed all day, even until eventide,
and then the birds of prey came down; but he stood by the sacrifice
and drove them off. Then the fire came and consumed the sacrifice.
That was just the point to which I had to get. I had laid my all on
the altar, but then I had to wait for the fire. Meanwhile, the birds
of doubt, fear, and discouragement came flying around. I had to get
up again and again to drive them off, and hold on to God.
Fresh light came; a new path opened up. The laying of self on the
altar meant following God fully and showing my colours everywhere.
Could I do it? It was hard to die to self, and say, 'Yes, Lord.'
But as I said it, I felt I was accepted, and afterwards, when I
carried out that vow, joy flooded my soul and I realized that the
Spirit of the Lord was upon me. The desire to sin was removed, and
my heart yearned to be kept pure and clean.
I have found the need of great watchfulness, and have needed much
prayer to keep my soul in touch with God and on fire for precious
souls. Although I realized, after I was sanctified, that I was over
sin and no longer under the power of sin, and that I was cleansed
from the desire to sin, yet in his subtlety the devil has come again
and again and striven to bring me down.
Sometimes he has come as an angel of light, so that I have been led
to the very verge of sin, tempted to indulge in what seemed at the
moment harmless, perhaps because others, who professed as much as I
did, indulged in it too. Tempted to shrink from the sacrifice that a
separated life must mean; tempted to give way to the flesh, one's
natural desires and inclinations, I have even allowed the devil to
take me to the edge of a great spiritual precipice, but God, in His
mercy, has flashed His wonderful light upon my path in time to show
me where I was, and what would be the outcome if I yielded to the
temptation. Oh, how it caused me to pray and seek strength which
enabled me to overcome!
Prayer has been my source of help, when burdens have pressed so
heavily upon me that they threatened to crush my spirit; when
disappointments, misrepresentations almost overwhelmed me, prayer
has brought strength and comfort, a courage that could face a
world of bitterness and scorn. I have proved that prayer will
enable me to retain the substance of holiness. Prayer enables me
to retain a passion for souls; keep it burning in hours of
disappointment and failure, indifference and hardness, when men
and devils rise in power against me.
One must tread the path of holiness carefully, with a watchful eye
and ear always open to His voice, and a spirit ever ready to obey.
But it is a wonderful way, a way of purity, where the soul can see
God, even in the struggles of life. A way of joy; the deepest of
joys. The realization of His smile enables me to live independent
of all the joys of the world and to rejoice in the hour of sorrow.
A way of power; when the channel is clear He works through it and
accomplishes His will.
A personal experience of Full Salvation was the secret of Kate Lee's
This life was not spasmodic. She did not pass in and out of the holy
place, or step on and off the highway of holiness. She dwelt there. That
does not imply that never during those thirty years was she overcome by
Satan. Once, into a deep sorrow was poured the bitterness of gall through
the wickedness of another. The enemy came in like a flood, threatening to
overwhelm and root up many precious things, but the Spirit of the Lord
was there to lift up a standard against him. 'If ye forgive not your
enemies, neither will your Father forgive you,' was the word that came to
her heart. She closed her lips, hushed her sobs, crept to the feet of her
Lord, where are ever the print of cruel nails, to remind His children of
His sufferings and His forgiveness.
'I was wrong,' she said, 'very wrong. I must forgive, I _do_
forgive'; and to the close of her life she lavished love upon one who had
sore wounded her. 'If we sin we have an Advocate.' She laid her case in
His hands, and left it there.
The officers who served as lieutenants with Kate Lee give us glimpses of
the life she lived in the privacy of her quarters. We may stand at the
door of the sanctuary where she met with God and learn a little. Says one
of her lieutenants, 'It seemed to me that she prayed without ceasing. Her
life was one continual looking to God. She prayed upon rising. We prayed
together after breakfast; later, she went to her room for an hour's
private prayer and study; for special undertakings or emergencies she had
special seasons of waiting upon God.'
How much there was to pray for. Her own soul and that of her lieutenant,
that they might be kept in touch with God. Her corps, every department of
it; the local officers, the band, the songsters, the home league; the
soldiers and converts; the town, with its sin and indifference to the
claims of Christ, the finance. Then, hers was not a small soul. She loved
the whole wonderful Salvation Army of which she was a unit, and her
leaders and comrades in all lands were remembered at the Throne of God.
It was a great strength to her to feel that she lived in the atmosphere
of prayer. When in the midst of a specially heavy battle for souls, she
would write to comrades she knew had power in prayer and beg them
specially to help her to fight through to victory.
Very real were the powers of darkness and evil against which this frail
little woman set herself; sometimes they pressed her sore. She felt
something of the sorrows and travail of soul of her Saviour, of whom it
is written, 'And being in an agony, He prayed.' At times she suffered
from depressions so heavy that they prostrated her. The lieutenant says,
'At these times, all I could do was to let her feel that I was carrying
on, whilst she sought her chief remedy, prayer. By and by, she would come
from her room, strengthened and peaceful, ready again for the fight.'
Writes another of her helpers:--
She was a wonderful officer in public, but I love best to remember
how she conquered in her own private life. When we remember how she
attacked the devil's kingdom, we can well believe that he did not
leave her unmolested. She had her full share of difficulties,
hardnesses, disappointments, and physical weakness; but, whatever
her feelings were, she rose above them, and went on with her work.
In her office, over the fireplace, hung a large picture of Christ
in the Garden of Gethsemane. On her writing table was the same
picture, but small; so, if she lifted her eyes from her writing,
she was reminded of Him whom she loved with her whole heart. As He
conquered by prayer, so did she. One morning, one of the local
officers called to see her. When I went to her room to fetch her,
her eyes were red with weeping. 'Dear, I can't go down like this,'
she said; 'will you see to the business for me?' She had been
pleading--agonizing with God.
She was very sweet to me. I can see her smile now as she first
welcomed me to the quarters. I was very timid and helpless in
public work when I became her lieutenant, but she made me feel
that her responsibility was to make me a worthy officer. She said,
'I could get others to do the house-work; you are to be my comrade
in the fight.' She took me fully into her confidence, consulted me
about corps organization, difficulties, special efforts,
everything! She would tell me all her plans and then ask for mine.
The first time she insisted upon my taking the Sunday night address,
in spite of having laboriously prepared, I was so nervous that I
stopped, fairly played out, in the middle of my talk, but she got
up and encouraged me, and asked the comrades to pray. She helped me
so much that to give a Bible address is not a difficulty now. I
learned to forget myself.
Had she a weakness? Well, it may seem much to say it, but though I
lived with her so long, I cannot think of one; she was an all-round
Writes still another lieutenant:--
How I love her memory! My Bible was her parting gift to me, and in
it she marked the text: 'In all thy way acknowledge Him, and He
shall direct thy paths.' She passed on to me the method that
governed her own life.
In nothing did Kate Lee show her likeness to her Lord more than in her
practical unselfishness. He wanted nothing from the world. He came to
give Himself to save it. It was so with her. A woman so popular could
have drawn to herself the homage and service of the crowd; but here she
stood aloof. She welcomed, indeed she sought, gifts and service for the
work of The Army and the poor, but she wanted nothing for herself. When
she and her lieutenant were so pressed with work that they scarcely had
time to eat their food, her eye would rove over the corps, and she would
select a girl whom she felt had a true appreciation of the Kingdom of
God, and ask her if she would like to come to the quarters to help with
the house-work, so that the officers might be freer for soul-saving. Many
a girl counts it the honour of her life to have shared that saintly
woman's home, sat at her table, joined in the prayers, and done the work
of the house. The Adjutant and lieutenant paid her out of their small
To her soldiers, Kate Lee delighted to preach the doctrine of Full
Salvation from sin, and greatly she rejoiced over those who entered into
this glorious experience of freedom and power.
One comrade, who had been a Salvationist for twenty-seven years, a white-
haired, sweet-spirited man, enjoyed his religion in the corps, but was
little more than a cypher as a soldier. In a holiness meeting, while the
Adjutant spoke from the text, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My
Spirit, saith the Lord,' the old soldier saw in a moment of revelation,
that if he were thoroughly yielded to God and obedient to the heavenly
vision, the Holy Spirit would cleanse him from sin, and, despite his lack
of personality, and very ordinary qualities, would empower him for
service. He went forward to the holiness table, seeking this experience.
Attached to the corps was a young men's Bible class languishing for want
of a leader. A few evenings after his consecration, the Adjutant told
this comrade that she wished him to take over the class. The habit of
years strong upon him, he began to plead his unfitness; but inwardly
reminded of his covenant with God, went away to pray and returned to say
he was ready for service.
He laid hold upon those lads. Many young men, as officers, soldiers, and
bandsmen, bless the day that Brother Fenwick claimed them for God. They
are the fruit of his service.
The Adjutant was as watchful to help souls convicted of the need of a
clean heart as to capture the unsaved. A sister writes:--
I am indebted to Kate Lee for leading me into the blessing of entire
sanctification. Attending a tent campaign she had inaugurated, after
her address setting forth the experience of holiness, she asked
those in the congregation who were living up to that standard to
rise. Condemnation filled my soul. I arose, but only to slip out of
the tent by a far door. The Adjutant noticed the move, and met me as
I was making my escape. Then she laboured until I knelt in full
surrender, yielding my all to God. One of my chief difficulties was
to wear Army uniform, but that was included in my consecration, and
from the putting on of my first Army bonnet, nearly twenty years
ago, I have been proud to witness for Christ in this way.
As a spiritual surgeon with skill in diagnosis, Kate Lee excelled. A
sergeant-major of great devotion and good cheer fell into deep spiritual
depression. No amount of pulling himself together or shaking free of the
dumps, availed anything. He became as miserable as when first convicted
of sin. 'But why?' he asked himself the question over and over. 'I love
God with all my heart; I am fully consecrated to His service; then what
is amiss?' No reply. To a Watch-Night service this man came, under a vow
not to leave his knees until he discovered the reason of this cloud and
During the meeting, he, the chief local officer of the corps, made
confession before his comrades and knelt at the holiness table. The
Adjutant sought to discover his difficulty. 'Sergeant-Major, have you a
grudge against any person? Now, think carefully.' The man was silent,
searching his heart. Presently he replied, 'You have found the spot.'
Years before, a man had deceived him in a matter of business, thereby
bringing much trial into his home. By dogged, hard work, the material
loss had been overtaken, and the affair forgotten. But there it lay in
his heart. The remembrance of the man's name brought with it feelings of
resentment and contempt. 'Lord, forgive me for my hardness of heart
toward that man as I now forgive him,' he cried. 'Cleanse my soul from
every stain of sin and fill me with perfect love.' In an instant the
cloud lifted from his soul, and his heart was filled with singing. That
was a remarkable Watch-Night service. Other battles were fought and won,
and not until two o'clock on New Year's morning did the meeting close,
with a final burst of praise, and with renewed consecration to fight for
souls during the coming year.
Dr. Garfield Carse, of Sunderland, became a soldier of the Sunderland
corps, and entered upon his medical career there, during the Adjutant's
term. He says:--
Adjutant Lee was a great advocate of holiness. She preached the
doctrine and lived the life. That was the key to her success. Her
theme expressed in many ways was, 'Put off the old man, and put
on Jesus Christ. Live so that your life reminds people of His
life.' She was a great spiritual help to me; understanding the
claims of a busy man, she would drop into my surgery and say, 'I
have come to visit you for five minutes.' She would read from
the Bible, a few choice verses that had refreshed her own soul
that day, and then would kneel and pray for me that I might
represent Christ in my particular sphere. She was a great woman!
An old local officer illustrates her meekness, when as a young officer
she was impulsive and arrived at quick conclusions on incomplete
evidence. 'She believed I had done a wrong, and wanted me to ask
forgiveness of people who were themselves in the wrong, but made a fair
showing. I said, 'No,' and kept to it. She did not turn bitter towards
me, nor 'turn me down,' but was kind and sorry. By and by she saw she had
been mistaken in her judgment, and said sweetly, 'Ah, yes, I see I was
wrong that time.'
Says another, 'What I thought she was when she came to us, I was sure
that she was when she went away.'
Kate Lee had a settled conviction that 'the servant of the Lord must not
strive.' A comrade says:--
If misunderstood, she would not justify herself, even in a way
that seemed wise to me. She would not attempt to hold her own.
She would stand up for others or for principle; but for herself,
she trusted the Lord to bring forth her righteousness as the
light, and her judgment as the noonday. She would say, 'It
doesn't pay to contend for self, dear. It ruffles one's spirit
and lessens one's influence. We must stoop to conquer.' I was
impetuous and hot before I knew her, but her life taught me the
meaning of the beatitude, 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall
inherit the earth.'
During the last year of her life, Satan gathered his forces for a last
onslaught upon Kate Lee's soul. She was stationed at the International
Training Garrison in London, and her health continuing to be frail, a
change was thought to be desirable for her. Therefore, she was appointed
to take charge of the Home of Rest for Officers at Ramsgate. Only once
before had she found it difficult to trust God concerning an appointment.
As to her health, she was quite prepared to die at her post, but to leave
the work of training those cadets for the field-work which she understood
so well and loved with such a passion--could it be the will of God?
For some weeks the clear shining of her faith and joy suffered an
eclipse. She maintained a calm exterior, but, in sore spiritual distress,
sent for an old, trusted comrade to come and see her. This officer tells
of a very sacred interview:--
When it was convenient for us to have a quiet time in her room,
she turned upon me a face marked with intense suffering. She
said, 'I cannot feel this is God's will, and so I cannot be
happy. I have never felt like this before in all my experience.'
'But, Katy, what have we always preached? Don't we still believe
that a soul, really committed to God, cannot be moved, cannot be
hurt, except by His permission? He knows you are here. If, to
give up the thing you love best in life, is His test for you,
can't you trust Him and not take it from man, but from Him, and
say, "Thy will be done"?'
Much searching communion passed between the sister-comrades, and at last
in answer to the question, 'Can you not just now take life from God, just
as you have done for thirty years?' Kate replied with decision, 'Why, of
course I can, and _I will_.' Then the comrades rejoiced together,
knelt in prayer, and when they rose, peace had returned to Kate's heart
and shone out of her eyes. 'She looked ten years younger,' says her
comrade. 'I had an appointment to keep and she some shopping to do. She
took a basket on her arm and tripped down the street with me as gaily as
the girl she was when I first knew her.'
Shortly orders came to proceed to Headquarters. She was needed for
training work in another part of the world.
Then, sudden, unexpected illness brought her face to face with eternity.
After the doctor who gave the verdict had departed, the little maid went
to Kate Lee's room to see if she needed anything and found her in tears.
'Leave me a little while,' she said.
Alone with her Lord, Kate Lee realized many things. There was no mistake.
Gently her Heavenly Father had been loosening her hold on the sword here,
in preparation for higher service. This last trial of faith had been
allowed that she might know at the end of her career, as at the
beginnings of her service, that she chose the will of God before her own
way. By-and-by the little maid, with leaden sorrow dragging at her heart,
crept back to the Staff-Captain's door. She started as she met Kate's
gaze. It was full of unutterable peace and joy. She smiled and stretched
out her hands. 'It is all well. God's will is peace,' she said. From that
time until the end, only a few days later, except for the heat of the
furnace of suffering, Satan's fiery darts missed the mark. Kate had faced
and overcome the last attack of the enemy. She won through to the end.
The Regulations of The Salvation Army provide for its officers to have,
under ordinary circumstances, from two to three weeks' furlough yearly.
This respite from strain upon body and soul which the work involves is
brief enough; it is due to their work, and it is expected that officers
should make the most of it. To assist them, the authorities have
instituted Homes of Rest at pleasant seaside resorts; at these
institutions, for a very moderate charge, under good conditions and
healthful surroundings, a thorough rest may be enjoyed. But officers are
perfectly free to make their own arrangements if they so desire.
How did Kate Lee take her holidays? What spirit moved her when the
pressure of responsibility for her particular charge was removed; when
professionalism was, for the moment, dropped? 'Tell me about her
holidays?' I asked of an old lieutenant.
She replied: 'I never knew Adjutant Lee take a holiday in the usual sense
of the word. If she furloughed in London, much of her time was spent in
visiting her converts; if at the seaside, her Bible notes accompanied her
thither, to be revised. A few years ago she and I spent a few days
together in the country. For months the Adjutant had been working at very
high pressure; she was too tired to read or write, but not too tired to
meditate upon God and His goodness. Those five days are a precious memory
to me because of the interchange of thought we enjoyed.'
So that officers may take their brief furlough without attracting
attention to themselves, or receiving unlimited calls for service, they
lay aside their uniform. The only 'private' clothing that Kate allowed
herself were two or three white blouses, a panama hat for summer, and a
blue felt for winter. These she wore, with her uniform blue serge skirt
and 'three-quarter' jacket. When on holiday, she often travelled in her
uniform so as to have more opportunities for blessing the people.
'Tell me about Kate's holidays,' I asked, still curious of Commandant
Lucy Lee. Into her eyes stole a faraway look, and after some hesitation,
came vague answers.
'Well,' she began, 'last year we had our holiday together, preparing the
Home of Rest at Ramsgate; the year before, Kate came to me in France. We
had a lovely time visiting the hospitals and camps together; but, of
course, it was not exactly a rest. And the year before that we spent them
fixing up this little home. We did enjoy that. And the year before
Something else unsatisfactory to my way of thinking. 'But tell about a
nice restful holiday at the seaside, or in the country where, out in the
open, Kate just unwound and was refreshed for her work.'
'Well'--Lucy half closed her eyes and smiled wistfully--'somehow there
always seemed something to prevent plans like that. So long as we could
be together and have a quiet time, we were perfectly happy.'
Until the end of her life, a certain insularity clung to Kate Lee. She
gloried to fight in a crowd, but she could not rest with a crowd. When
set free from duty, all she longed for was some quiet corner with the
protecting love of her sister--that love which perfectly understands and
makes no demands--filling the days with tenderness. As her sister
suggests, something generally turned up that made arrangements for real
rest and change difficult to arrange. On the face of things, we might
judge that in this particular Kate Lee's usual common sense and good
management failed her; but to one who has seen behind the scenes, into
the hidden life of this remarkable woman, it would appear, rather, that
in the matter of rest, as in other affairs touching her temporal
happiness, God shut her up to Himself and taught her, first for her own
joy, and then through her life taught others the possibility of having
nothing, and yet possessing all things.
During one furlough, Kate determined to feel for herself the conditions
of the very poor. To this end she spent a night amongst the women who
frequent our Women's Shelter in the East End of London.
Dressing in rags, she went to the door, paid her pence for a bed, passed
into the long dormitory and, flattering herself that she was so well got
up that she would not attract attention, sat down beside her bunk. But
soon she discovered that she was the centre of discussion.
'Poor thing, she's not used to this,' mumbled an old woman, steadily
surveying her. Presently another, remarking that she would need some
supper, offered her a mug of tea; another, a piece of bread. She accepted
the bread, but said she was not thirsty, only tired, and would go to bed.
She proceeded to lie down with her clothes on. Now the women were sure
she had never been there before. 'Oo ever 'eard tell of agoing to bed wif
close on?' they remarked in loud whispers. But seeing the poor, tired
thing would not be advised, they pitied her, told her the most
comfortable way to lie, and left her alone.
The details of that long night remained clear in the Adjutant's memory.
The miserable seared days of these women were echoed in their sleep.
Groans; curses; snatches of song; angry or weary talk, with heavy
breathing troubled the night. Oh, the sorrows that follow in the wake of
sin; it pressed upon Kate Lee's heart until it felt like breaking.
With the first streak of dawn she rose, and noiselessly stealing out,
escaped into the street. She felt cold and sick. Standing at a corner,
she hailed a bus. The driver gave her a glance and drove on. She hailed
another and another, but none would stop. They did not want to carry such
as she. At last she managed to board a street car, and the passengers
eyed her as she crouched in a corner. She knew, perhaps for the first
time, what it really meant to be poor, and hungry, and despised. From
that morning she believed that the very poor suffer more in spirit than
in body, and she used her experience powerfully to plead their cause.
One of her furloughs was spent in Sunderland. That visit is still the
talk of the corps; it seemed that in those few days she laid a hand of
love upon all. And how full was Kate's heart of grateful joy when she
turned homeward. One of her most wonderful trophies, after fighting a
splendid fight for years, had slipped back into the depths of sin. She
found him desperately ill and wretched; drew him back to the Saviour; saw
him restored and comforted, and held his hands as he waded the river of
death, till his spirit reached the other side. Then she buried his mortal
Her longer furloughs, those occasioned by illness, found her the same
loving, watchful, ministering spirit, as when in health. After the
operation, which followed her farewell from the field, she spent a few
days in hospital. Suffering much, and unable to sleep, still she noticed
that one of the nurses wore a sad expression. Waiting until she came to
attend to her at midnight, she engaged her in conversation, and,
spiritual specialist that she was, got to the root of the nurse's
trouble. She had lost faith and her life was sadly clouded. At midnight.
while others slept, in that palace of pain, Kate led her nurse to the
Later, at the Officers Nursing Home at Highbury, London, she shared a
room with an officer from India, and delighted in this unexpected way to
come in closer touch with our missionary work. As health returned, the
two officers talked India to their hearts' content. The major from the
East confided her fears, that the little girls of the Industrial Home she
had just left would miss their Christmas this year. 'Do not worry about
it, they shall have their dollies,' replied the Adjutant. As soon as she
was able to write, she sent letters to many friends, begging for dressed
dolls in time to reach India by Christmas. Fifty dollies take some
getting, and the number was still incomplete when the Adjutant arrived at
the Bexhill Home of Rest. An officer who was resting in the Home writes:--
She was just a shadow, sweet, mostly silent, with a cheerful,
heartening smile. The officers saw in her the visible proof that
unrestrained service pays; that God gives good recompense for all
that is done for Him. The Adjutant's quiet enthusiasm roped in
ready assistance, and in good time, the dollies, beautifully dressed
and packed, with additional tiny surprises were ready. She could well
have been excused from such spending of time and effort, but it never
dawned on Kate Lee that she needed to be excused. She gave all the
time without effort, without knowing that she gave; to her it was
just life. To those officer-comrades who assisted her, however, she
was all gratitude. It was so splendid, she said, that they, being
weary, should volunteer to do this sewing for the little Indian
girls. She only saw their work, she never glimpsed her own, so
utterly unselfish was her spirit.
The Adjutant had hoped that her retirement from the battle's front might
only be for a short time; but the nasal trouble was deep-seated, and her
general health was atfected. She needed a course of surgical treatment,
and it was arranged for her to rest in London.
Her experience somewhat resembled that of the apostle Philip, when he was
caught up from the joys of a revival and set down in a desert. It was an
experience difficult to understand, for her to retire, sick and wounded,
to the rear, when there was so much to be done at the front of the
battle, so much that she might do. But we have seen how she had fought
the battle out, and she entered 'the desert,' her heart at peace with
God, ready to accept any small opportunities for service that might come
She was too frail to attend meetings, but she took up her pen, and having
leisure for the first time in her Army career, revelled in the
opportunity of writing for our periodicals. Each paper received helpful
contributions. In a brief article which appeared anonymously in 'The
Young Soldier' we catch a glimpse of her happy spirit at this time:--
Sometimes I go to visit men who are in jail, and try to make them
see that Jesus cares for them though they have done wrong. Then
they talk to me. Some have told me about the mice in their cells.
When they feel lonely, the prisoners are glad to have the company
of even a little mouse. I am a prisoner just now, although I am
not made to stay in a cell; but when an Army officer is shut away
from all the poor people she loves and wants to help, it seems
very much like being in a prison; but I have some little friends
who come to cheer me. At least, I think they look upon me as
their friend, for they come to my window and peep in at me so
knowingly. Then I open the window very gently and they wait until
I put some scraps from my plate on the sill, and then they have
such a feast.
One of my little sparrow friends is partly blind. He only seems
able to see out of one eye. I guess he has been in some fight and
got the worst of it. It seems very bad for a bird to fight and
have to suffer; but then he did not know any better, and perhaps
he was fighting an enemy bird who tried to hurt his family. One
day, when I was watching my sparrow friends on the sill, to my
surprise I saw a little mouse pop out of the ivy which hangs
round my window. Very quickly he picked up a piece of fat that I
had put there for the sparrows, and then ran off so fast; and,
what do you think? he brought another little mouse with him. Now
they come along about the same time each evening, just when the
birds are having their supper. I know that mice like to sip
milk, and once I dropped just a little milk on the window-sill
for them. Oh, how they enjoyed it! You would have laughed to
see what they did after that; they sat up, and rubbing their
wet hands together, made what looked like a soapy lather, and
washed their faces.
Some small children make a fuss if only their lips are washed
after a meal; they do not seem to care how sticky they are; but
my mice do, they like to be clean and tidy. God's tiny creatures
teach us many lessons, and if you little ones are wise you will
try, as great King Solomon advised, to learn something from them
The daughter of the house in which Kate Lee had taken rooms, attracted
her. Commandant Lucy Lee lent the girl the two volumes of 'Catherine
Booth: the Life of The Army Mother,' which she read with delight. In the
loving, eager spirit of this school girl, Ina, Kate detected something
which reminded her of her own early longings. All her spiritual mother-
love went out to Ina, and she led her into the Kingdom of God, and then
step by step along the way of the Cross and the highway of holiness.
It was some time before permission was gained for the new convert to
become a Salvationist, but gradually the parents began to recognize the
beauty of a life wholly yielded to God, and became willing for their
daughter to go Kate Lee's way, and all the way. Kate did not make things
easy for this new recruit. When she saw the spiritual light burning
brightly in her soul, and the heavenly vision leading Ina to visit the
saloons, she encouraged her, and frail though she herself was, she
introduced her to the best way of doing this work. An anonymous article
written to 'The Warrior' shows how this corps cadet learned to fight:--
Ina's heart was filled with a great longing. She was tired, yet
not satisfied, at the end of a busy Sunday. Going to and from the
meetings, teaching a company of Juniors, seeking souls in the
prayer meetings, and yet how little she seemed to be doing when
the need was so great.
Then a voice said, 'Go to the saloons, and try and win some poor
drink-slave for Jesus.' How could she obey? She had never
darkened the doors of such places. Brought up in a sheltered
home, she had never seen the sad effects of drink, nor all the
miseries that follow in its train. But the call had come, and
months ago she had promised to follow where Jesus led. Securing
a bundle of 'War Crys,' Ina started off, trembling at the thought
of her venture. As she reached the first drink-shop with its
startling sign, 'The Tiger,' the idea of entering it seemed to
her agitated mind as impossible as to attack such a ferocious
beast. The suggestion of leaving such a task for an older and
more experienced comrade was natural; but no, the call had come;
there must be no retreat. So with a prayer for wisdom and
strength, she stumbled through the darkened entrance, and as the
door swung open, a blaze of light dazzled her eyes. Such a sight
met her fearful gaze! Men drinking, women huddled together
supping the stuff that is cursing the homes and blighting the
lives of little children. The whole atmosphere was repelling.
The tobacco smoke, the sickly smell of beer, and the coarse
jests that fell upon her ears; but her spirit rose to the
attack in the name of the Lord, as the boy David of the Bible
had faced the giant.
There was a sudden hush as the crowd looked at this uniformed
girl in an out-of-the-way district, and the murmur went round,
'Yes,' said the corps cadet, 'and I have come to ask you to
buy a "War Cry."'
'We don't want war, Miss; we've had too much already.'
'Yes,' answered the cadet, 'but the outcome of the Salvation War
means an everlasting peace.'
The word peace seemed to change the atmosphere. 'We know you're
all right,' a voice answered. 'You mean well. Here's a penny,
miss.' And then another, and yet other hands were stretched out
for a paper.
Whilst she was handing round the papers, Ina's heart was going
up to the Lord in prayer that each might be the means of
blessing, and even directing some soul into the way of life.
Then with a kindly smile and a hearty 'God bless you,' she
passed out and into another bar. Here sat a military man
drinking with his wife. 'Will you buy a "War Cry"'? she asked.
'No,' came the rough answer. Then turning to the wife, an appeal
was made. In a nervous, confused way the woman bent her head
low, and sought for a penny for the paper. The husband seemed
touched by his wife's action which may have called to mind their
better days. 'Well, miss, I couldn't buy a "War Cry," as I like
my beer, and I don't want to be a hypocrite.' But the cadet
told him he could read a 'War Cry' even if he did like his
beer, but she prayed in her heart that it might be the means of
making him hate his beer.
The man and woman read interest and love in the young face, and
as she left the place, with a 'Good-night, and God bless you,'
the words echoed after her.
Crossing the road with renewed energy, she was soon within the
doors of 'The Little Bear,' which was known as one of the
roughest houses of that quarter. Sitting in the corner was an
old man whom she asked to buy a 'War Cry.'
'Yes,' he answered warmly, 'after what you did after the air
raid last week, I should think I would.' Sitting huddled in
another corner was a poor, wretched 'drunk,' ragged, dirty,
and woe-begone. Seeing the Salvationist, and before she had
opportunity of offering him a 'War Cry,' he held out a penny
saying, 'Here, give us one; I like you people.' Before she
left he was made to feel that The Army loved such as he--and
who knows the result of that word?
'The Lion' had still to be attacked, but Ina had the value of
her experience in 'The Tiger' and 'The Bear,' and no longer
trembled. It was not all smooth sailing. We are not told if
the lions in Daniel's den lay down perfectly still, or whether
some came close to him, sniffing and snarling; but we are told
that they were powerless to hurt God's child. Even in this
vile place the devil could only go 'so far.' His servants
seemed forced to give respect to God's messenger in spite of
The saloon-keeper's wife appeared on the scene and bought a
'Young Soldier.' Ina was quick to enrol her as a customer, and
now, week by week, 'The Young Soldier' is handed to her little
daughter with the prayer that her father and mother may be led
to God. As Ina enters the saloon bar there is a respectful
hush and the little missionary is able to sow the seed. A
soldier is accosted who is on leave from the trenches. He
tells of his troubles, of that terrible battle when he felt
his need of God. Before she leaves him a tear is seen, as he
promises to seek God. Many such incidents are happening week
by week as she goes on her round. Only eternity will reveal
the outcome of such efforts.
Is there another corps cadet who should take up this work?
Corps Cadet Ina writes of the influence of her spiritual mother upon her
After I had become a Salvationist and longed to work as she
had worked, she accompanied me to teach me the art of
successful 'saloon-raiding.' She made several bar frequenters
special cases. Sometimes she got them to give her their names,
and these went on our special prayer list. We had cases in
the saloons as well as the bar. If she could induce them to
give their addresses, she would take me with her to visit
them in their homes, or would keep in touch with them by
writing. We had several conversions.
As we walked from one place to another, she would impress
upon me the importance of keeping in the spirit. 'It is not
merely selling "The War Cry,"' she would say; 'it is the
grand opportunity of dropping words for God.'
As we see this warrior broken in health, undergoing continual treatment
of a very painful nature, yet week by week accompanying the corps cadet
to saloons in a district outlying the ordinary activities of an Army
corps, we realize the truth of The General's words:--
Her appetite grew by what it fed on. She loved sinners from the
beginning, but she went on until she could not live without
them. She was insatiable. Her soul could not be satisfied in
any other way. She was always working for souls, seeking souls,
knocking at the doors of mercy for souls, loving souls.
The corps cadet continues:--
I thank God for sending her into my life. For years she was The
Salvation Army to me, all I knew of it; and years before I was
permitted to go to a Salvation Army meeting, I had determined
that God and The Army would have all my life.
Her life was wonderful. Even though ill and on rest she had a
plan for every hour of the day. Sometimes she would visit the
people. If they disappointed her she would try the harder to
win them. She was always hunting round to help families in need.
She spent a great deal of time in writing, and when I would
persuade her to leave her desk and come for a walk, she would
give me what she termed, 'Field Drill.' Oh, those talks; how I
treasure the memory of them! On one of the last occasions she
said to me, 'The sins of the world will do one of three things
for you; they will either harden your heart, or break it, or
soften it. _I want you to have a soft, tender heart_.'
Sometimes she would commend me; but, as a true friend, she would
also reprimand me when I needed it, yet always in love, showing
me where I might be better. She taught me how to study the Bible,
and infused into my heart some of her love for it. 'I mean to
make the Bible my one book. It is one of my New Year's
resolutions,' she told me at the beginning of this year, and at
the same time mentioned a new idea which would make study of the
Word of God more easy.
She taught me by example, as well as by what she said, to conquer
When she was not writing articles or revising subject notes, she
wrote letters to those she had been the means of blessing.
Beautiful letters they were; sometimes she delighted me by
dictating them and letting me type them for her.
Although she found her long periods of rest trying because of
her great love for souls, she maintained a bright, beautiful
spirit, and had a smile whenever one saw her. She compared her
last few years to a long dark tunnel, and just before she died,
when anticipating her new appointment, she said, 'I really
believe I'm coming to the end of it at last.'
Surely one of the most beautiful pictures in Kate Lee's life is here.
Ill, in a sense alone and amongst strangers, yet triumphant, filling the
days with any little services that came to her hand, performing them as
faithfully as she had performed her field duties in the glare of the
limelight, and seeking to bring into one young life the spirit that would
give to the world a warrior after her own heart, against the day that her
own feet could no longer be swift and beautiful for God.
AT HER DESK
In John Wesley's house in the City Road, London, is a small room which
was built expressly to be the prayer-chamber of the Founder of Methodism.
When I entered the small sitting-room of one of Kate Lee's field
quarters, I was conscious of feelings of reverence similar to those which
possessed me in Wesley's prayer-room. There she had wrestled and prayed,
planned and studied, written and interviewed callers who sought her help.
It was holy ground.
The sitting-room of the little home which she enjoyed for the last two or
three years of her life, was a reflex of her character in modesty,
simplicity, and usableness. A soft green paper covered the walls, dark
lino the floor, a rug or two here and there; a writing-desk, book-case, a
cottage piano, a couple of easy chairs, and a couch completed the
furniture. On the walls and mantleshelf were Army photos, a print of
Christ at prayer; a few treasures, 'with a meaning' (her sister
explains), picked up here and there as mementoes of her furloughs; a
small French bronze of Jesus carrying His cross; a petrified bird's nest,
which has served as an object lesson in children's meetings, and so on.
This quiet room was the dearest of retreats to Kate Lee. Here, with her
sister, who anticipated her every wish and lavished love upon her, she
shut the door upon the world with its turmoils, and gave herself up to
study and rest. Her books were her greatest treasures. In them she
enjoyed the company of the greatest and best of souls, who believed as
she believed, fought for the things she counted worth while, and
triumphed as she was endeavouring to triumph.
Her bookshelf contained, perhaps, one hundred volumes in all; chosen, as
were all her small possessions, with an eye to the highest values.
A notebook furnishes a list of the books she read during her field
service; they included The Founder's and The Army Mother's works,
Finney's 'Revivals,' many biographies, Meyer's 'Bible Characters,' and
more thoughtful studies such as Butler's 'Analogy.' How she had managed
time for reading during those busy, rushed days, is revealed in a reply
to a young officer who had consulted her on self-improvement. She wrote,
'I trained myself to read one chapter of some good book every day.'
To sit at the desk where Kate Lee had worked, open its drawers and draw
out the contents, was to discover on everything the stamp of the
principles which had governed her life. Everything was in perfect order.
Here is her diary, a memorandum of coming events and engagements
fulfilled; and her accounts. Here a locked box; in it a tiny leather bag,
holding the balance of her 'Lord's money,' with a reference to her diary
for the exact amount due; also the covenant mentioned elsewhere. A much-
worn 'Where Is It?' contains a record, with shorthand remarks, of every
address she had delivered, in alphabetical order of the place where she
had spoken. She commenced these entries at her second corps, nearly
thirty years earlier, and by reference, could ascertain in a few minutes
the addresses or lectures she had given on Holiness, Salvation, Social,
or other subjects, whether in Sunderland, Brighton, Croydon, Thetford, or
elsewhere. For her there was no unpleasant wondering as to whether she
might repeat her subject on a return visit anywhere.
Kate had a peculiar shyness and reserve regarding her subject-notes. They
were sacred to her; she had received them on her knees 'in the mount,'
often in loneliness and tears. Commandant Lucy drew out from her sister's
desk three half-leather, locked volumes. She handled them gently, smiled
and hesitated a moment, 'No one but Kate has ever opened these,' she
said. 'Sometimes I used to tease her, and pretend to take one up, but no,
until the end that was not allowed.'
A key was inserted in one of the books, and it fell open. Treasure trove
indeed! Six hundred pages of most carefully prepared subject-notes and
illustrations on every imaginable topic that might appeal to the soul.
Every page an example of method, care, and good taste.
Under bold, red headings, in her shapely, flowing hand, the various
subjects are classified, and set out. The second volume is similar; the
third is only half filled, and turning to the end it seems as though she
anticipated that this was to be her last book, for there are personal
notes and entries on the chief events of her life. The latter begins,
'Born August 3, 1872; born again September 17, 1885. First bonnet,
Alexandra Palace, 1887; Trade Headquarters, November 20, 1889.
Commissioned Lieutenant, June 20, 1890. Chalk Farm Training Garrison,
June 19, 1892.' Then follow her appointments till the last, which appears
in pencil, when she was 'Awaiting appointment.'
There are mottoes she chose on New Year's Day for many years. Among the
number are 'Keep thy Soul Diligently'; 'Deal Courageously and Deal with
the Ones '; 'Obey, Bear, Seek'; 'Stand by the Flag.'
The first of the subject-notes in the last of the volumes deals with
Barabbas. One sees him in the dungeon, a thief, a terror. There is a
picture of the world in his day. He is called to die. Christ appears.
Christ dies for Barabbas.
The next notes are on 'Life. How to view it. The Servant; the Mistress;
the Workman; the Master; the Soldier; the Sergeant; the Local Officer;
Ezekiel seemed to have gripped the Adjutant's imagination during the last
year of her life; she had prepared several powerful addresses from his
'Paradise Lost' and 'Paradise Regained' provides thought for several
closely-packed pages. Then follow a series of addresses to young people
on Good Behaviour. I. At Home. II. In the Street. III. In The Salvation
Army Citadel. IV. Toward the Opposite Sex. V. On Tobacco. VI. Reading.
There are comprehensive notes on Christianity.
Notes of a Session at the College for Staff Officers.
Twenty closely written pages on the Bible. How written? Why so called?
Written by whom? Notes on each book. Translations, etc.
Madam Guyon on prayer.
Many pages on 'Preaching' being expressions from master preachers,
showing how to capture the souls of men.
To fill over one thousand pages with careful, close writing, took time.
But Kate Lee did no fancy work; she never gossiped; she kept no pets; she
did not even 'garden'; she seldom went for a walk except on a mission.
She cared only for those things that would forward the Kingdom of God,
and while some played with shells and made sand castles that a day's tide
swept away, she delved in the King's mines, finding precious things
wherewith to serve the Holy War.
Kate gathered in order to give out again. Her gift of expression was
small at the beginning, but she so stirred it up and improved it, that,
with increasing ease, she was able by both spoken and written word to
express her thoughts in simple, direct English that reached hearts. The
knowledge grew upon her that she would not always be able for public
work, and she determined to prepare herself to appeal to souls by her
pen. In her last letter to her sister, she wrote:--
There are one or two things I would like you to see to for me. In
the cupboard, under my writing-desk, you will find some articles I
have written. No. 1. 'Temples of Fire.' It is a subject that has
been upon my soul for a long time. I did not offer this series for
publication as I intended to shape it up again. I hardly know if the
articles will be considered worth accepting; but if something could
be done with them, I should be glad.
There is another series I was trying to write on 'The Master's
Locals.' You will also find, 'The Story of Jesus,' and 'Thoughts
about the Cross,' and several other little articles. I am afraid
none of them are up to the mark, but if anything could be done with
them to help souls, I should rejoice.
These manuscripts show how she spared herself no pains to prepare a
message. Over and over again she would draft a sentence, a page, or an
article until she felt the message to be arresting. Then she sent it
forth with much love and prayer. When it appeared in print--often
anonymously--sometimes under her name or initials, she delighted and
wondered that God gave to her the broad platform of The Army
publications. The following articles, both of which appeared in 'The War
Cry,' indicate something of the fresh, crisp heart messages that she gave
to saint and sinner from her platform. When pressed by editors of The
Army publications for an article, she took some hours from her sleep in
order to prepare them for the press. Kate did not speak from notes. She
had in her Bible a few headings on a sheet of paper, but having prepared
her subject with great prayerfulness, after reading the Scriptures she
left the reading desk, and in the simplicity and earnestness of her pure
soul, freely gave out her message.
A GLORIOUS CLEANSING
_'Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean'_
(Matthew viii. 2)
The story of the leper is, to my mind, one of the most wonderful
stories in the Bible, as it so forcibly illustrates how God looks
upon and deals with sin. Leprosy was in the days of Christ an
acknowledged type of sin, and we see in the condition of the leper
a picture of its utter loathsomeness.
I fancy I see the poor fellow outside the city gate--cut off from
his home and friends.
But they do not forget him, and each morning some loved one--a mother,
perhaps--at an early hour comes to the gate and there places a little
basket of provisions sufficient for his needs of the day. Then she
goes away, and from a distance watches the poor creature draw near,
and take the much-needed food. One morning the basket must, I fancy,
have contained, in addition to the food, a message which, as the poor
leper reads, brings a ray of hope into his wretched, weary life.
The note tells of Jesus, the wonderful Christ, who is going about
healing all kinds of incurable diseases, and even raising the dead
'Oh, if only _you_ could _see_ Him! If only you could get
near enough to Jesus, there might be a chance for you, my poor boy!'
his mother may have written.
As he reads, his poor face brightens as he murmurs to himself, 'Yes,
I will try, I will risk all; I will chance the consequences.'
Let us look at him a moment. Here is vileness indeed, a very type of
impurity; and here we see how sin looks in the eyes of God.
His limbs swollen, his hair white, tumours appear on his jaws, his
breath noisome, and his whole person fitted to inspire loathing.
Leprosy is infectious and of slow progress. It begins within the body,
and throws out a moisture which corrupts the outside, and covers it
with a kind of white scale. It is said that the body becomes so hot
that a fresh apple held but an hour in the hand will be withered and
wrinkled. The parts of the body infected become insensible, and in
time fall off.
The leper is conscious that he is vile. He wears the leper's garment,
and day by day from his lips comes the mournful cry, 'Unclean,
Then, the leper is not only conscious of his vileness, and
acknowledges it, but he despairs of cleansing. He knows that unless
some Supreme Power intervenes death will ensue.
It was, perhaps, his desperate condition which led this leper, of whom
we speak, to break, with heroic courage, through the ceremonial law,
and to expose himself to the risk of being stoned to death that he
might cast himself at the Saviour's feet.
See him venturing through the gate into the city to find Jesus. And
when at last he approaches the place where he expected to see Jesus,
he discovers to his great disappointment that the Lord has gone up
the mountain side.
I fancy I see the leper crouching, waiting, and watching for Jesus. At
last, that wonderful Form appears, and comes down the mountain with a
great crowd following.
How can he get to Jesus? is the leper's first thought. With a dash and
the cry,' Unclean!' which causes the crowd to make way and shrink back
in horror, he rushes forward and prostrates himself at the feet of
Jesus. 'Lord, if Thou wilt,' he cries, 'Thou canst make me clean.'
Here we see the vast difference between curiosity and need. The crowd
follow out of curiosity. The leper flings himself in abandon at Jesus'
feet because of his need. _Need_ alone will make a man really
come to Jesus. The soul that feels its need, and realizes its sin,
will make an effort--a dash to get to God.
Listen to the leper's prayer! 'Lord.' He owns Jesus as his Lord. He
makes a complete, unconditional, and unreserved surrender, and feels
his helplessness! Only God can save him! That is the way to come to
His was a model prayer--simple, short, direct. It was grounded in a
glorious faith in the power of Christ to heal; a prayer that did not
limit God; believed, indeed, that with Him nothing was impossible.
It is well to recollect that God has never failed with a case yet.
Those who have wandered the farthest away from Him, those who have
sunk the lowest, He can restore, and will never turn His ear from a
prayer fashioned like that of the leper's.
I fancy I see the breathless crowd shrinking back in horror! I fancy,
too, that I hear those clear, beautiful words ring forth: 'I will; be
thou clean.' But Jesus not only speaks; to the astonishment of the
crowd, He puts forth His hand and _touches_ the leper. That touch
may have been a violation of the letter of the law, but not of the
spirit. Jesus knew His touch would give healing to the leper, and not
pollution to Himself.
At the cry of the leper, Jesus touched him immediately, true figure of
God's readiness to forgive and cleanse sin.
Jesus is the same to-day. He deals with sin and the sinner in the same
way. If you will come in the same spirit as the leper, His hand will
be immediately stretched forth to save.
When Jesus touched the leper I can picture the crowd drawing nearer.
They watch the wonderful change take place. A flush passes over the
leper's pale face, the despairing look gives way to an overwhelming
look of joy. The cringing stoop and feeble gait change to an upright
attitude and a firm tread. See him going to show himself to the
priest. He is commanded to 'tell no one,' but as he goes he meets an
old friend. The temptation is too great; he tells him what has
happened, and then another and another. He cannot keep the truth in,
but blazes it abroad.
Oh! If you would find Christ you must push through the difficulties
and the hindrances that would keep you away from Him. If, in the
spirit of the leper, you come as you are, conscious of your sin,
confessing it with faith in God's power to cleanse you, you will
hear the selfsame words from those gracious lips: 'I will; be thou
clean,' and immediately your leprosy, your sin, will leave you.
I see the new creation rise,
I hear the speaking Blood;
It speaks! Polluted nature dies,
Sinks 'neath the cleansing Flood.
The cleansing Stream I see, I see,
I plunge, and, Oh it cleanseth me!
Oh, praise the Lord, it cleanseth me!
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me!
* * * * *
HARVESTS: JOY AND SORROW
_'The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few'_
(Matthew ix. 37)
As we read these words of the Master we fancy we can see His benign
and majestic Presence as He stops and, turning round, looks not upon
the beautiful harvest fields, with waving corn, but upon the vast
field of the world, with its teeming masses of humanity.
So many are ready to look upon the cornfields of gain, to look for
something to fill their baskets and store, but hearts like the
Master's are wanted that see the great harvest fields of humanity,
all ripe and ready to be gathered in. Hearts are wanted that will
not only go out in sentimental sympathy, but that will give a
helping hand, where it is required, leaving the fields of gain, and
toiling for love amidst human need. There seem to be two thoughts
in the mind of the Master. As He speaks He strikes two notes--one of
joy, and one of sorrow.
A plentiful harvest always brings joy. Another harvest of the earth
is being gathered, and as I write I am looking upon the golden
cornfields, and see the men all busily engaged. Thank God for plenty!
Do we praise God sufficiently for His mercies? Do we always value
them? Sometimes we do not fully appreciate them until they are
It seems to me that if the Master walked our crowded cities, He would
repeat again those words, 'Truly the harvest is plenteous.' Plenty to
reap; only labourers are wanted to go out. The masses are still there;
the need is for some one to go to the masses.
Then the note of sorrow seems to drown and spoil the note of joy. 'The
harvest is plenteous'--rejoice! 'But the labourers are few'--cause for
sorrow. The masses are there--the opportunity--but so few to take hold
of it. Corn to be gathered in, but few reapers.
The harvest was plenteous in the time of Christ, but it is even more
so now. The people are waiting for us, they expect us and look to us,
who are the followers of Christ, to go to their help!
Oh, the open doors! Was the door of the public ear ever more ready to
listen to us than at the present time? Those who once turned a deaf
ear, and did not believe in us, now say, 'Yes, you are right. You have
got the right thing, and are doing the right thing.'
Were people ever more ready to open their doors to us than they are
now? How they appreciate the visit of the Salvationist! The doors,
too, of the workhouses, the prisons, the hospitals are opening more
widely to us.
Yes, the people are ready to open their hearts to us. The poor
drunkard, as he rolls from one side of the road to the other, exclaims
when he sees a Salvationist, 'God--bless--General--Booth!'
The masses may not always rush as excitedly after us as they once did
--there are so many counter-attractions now--but they are there. We
must go to them; they need us.
I have heard the story of a little boy who lost his mother, and was
found lying upon her grave weeping and praying. Some one who had felt
moved to do something for the motherless boy discovered him in this
position. 'Jesus has sent me to you!' said the lady. 'I am going to
love you as my own little boy.' 'Oh,' he said, through his tears as
he looked up as though he had been expecting her, 'so Jesus has sent
you! You have been a long time coming though, haven't you?'
Do the sinners and drunkards feel we are a long time coming, because
the labourers are too few, and you have kept back from becoming one?
Above the note of joy, above the plentiful harvest, rings out so
loudly the note of sorrow--'But the labourers are few!' How few in
comparison to the masses! So few labourers who will put off the coat
of formality, who will pull up the sleeve of ease! Few who will work
by the sweat of their brow and make a sacrifice for souls! Sacrifice
is needed in God's service to-day as much as ever, and never was
there a more urgent call for men and women who, like our precious
General, can say, 'I am never out of it; I sleep in it; I shall die
in it.' Nothing worth anything can be accomplished without sacrifice.
How many are there in God's service who merely look on? More are
wanted who will work. The success of The Army has been because of its
willingness to come down to the level of the people--to strive to
save them. A reckless dying to self is what is needed. Was it not
dying made the harvest? The dying is part of the success. The grain
was dropped into the ground, and died before it could spring forth
and produce living results. There must be the dying to sin, and to
self, and self-interests.
Men and women of heart are wanted--men and women, who in seeking
souls will give themselves up in the spirit of the champion aviator
who said, 'If I had not succeeded I should not have been here. I was
determined to win, or die in the attempt.'
Labourers are wanted who will dig right deep down into the heart of
sorrow, and find those desires and longings after purity and goodness
which even the heart itself scarcely realizes are there.
In the man of the world, though one would hardly believe it as one
sees the cynical look and sneer and hears him say, 'I don't want your
church--your Army!' there is underneath, in spite of his apparent
indifference, a longing after God and a disgust of the world.
Men and women are wanted to grapple with the vast harvest--this great
opportunity--and to gather in God's sheaves. Oh, to leave the world
of vice and folly as naked as the earth is after the harvest! Empty
public-houses! Empty gambling dens! Empty abodes of impurity! Empty
slums! Empty all places where God is not! But thanksgiving in the
home; the House of God filled with rejoicing people, telling out of
hearts of gladness that labourers came into the fields of sin and
gathered them in.
Many letters, folded and handled until almost worn to pieces, but
treasured above gold, lie before me. They are addressed to Kate Lee's
spiritual children, to the sick, the discouraged, or those living far
from an Army hall and rarely able to get to the meetings. These letters
are short, often mere notes of one page, rarely running into more than
two or three folios; and they are not clever. Kate had little imagination
in her make up; she did not see pictures wherever her eyes lit, and never
had time to give to studied composition. The value of these letters to us
is that any ordinary girl, anyone with a heart 'at leisure from itself'
could write such letters. Over and over again in The Army Founder's life
we find him saying, 'It is _heart_ work we want. HEART work.' It is
because Kate Lee's letters came from a heart full of love that they
reached hearts and never failed to bless them.
She had a delightful way of remembering the anniversary of some of her
trophies' conversion. She called them birthdays. Here is a little scrap
to a man battling bravely against ill health and other adversities:--
I am enclosing a Money Order for five shillings so that you can get
some little thing for yourself or your wife. Just a little birthday
gift for _your twelfth birthday_. God bless you! Keep near to
Jesus and do all in your power to lead those around you to Him.
Praise Him that He has kept you all these years. He is a wonderful
Saviour and worthy of our praise.
No work of art was so beautiful in the eyes of Kate Lee as the
photographs of men and women to whom God had given 'beauty for ashes.'
She writes to one:--
The photo is lovely--I am proud of you. It gives me real joy to hear
that you are still wheeling your barrow around and reminding souls of
Eternity. Give my love to your precious wife.
To a man just lifted from a pit of sin, and whose feet still tottered,
I cannot call and see you as I am away until Friday night Then I shall
look for you at the meeting. I have asked a comrade or so to call and
see you. I am praying much for you. Hold on to God, and He will
prosper you and bless you, and soon, if you only serve Him with all
your heart, things will be so different with you and your dear family.
To one in deep bereavement:--
I wish I had been home when the letter came so that I could have sent
you word by the next post. In these trying hours I rejoice that you
are fully the Lord's, and can trust Him. We cannot understand why
sorrow and bereavement should touch us, but God allows it in love.
She regarded the 'funniosities' of people with a large indulgence. One
old comrade who had put on the uniform during her command at his corps,
believed that no one could buy a jersey and cap so well as 'the dear
Adjutant,' so wherever she was, he sent to her when he needed new
Her Christmas remembrances did not take the form of considerable presents
to special friends or comrades who might remember her in return. Rather,
her love overflowed in a flood of loving messages. Calendars, leaflets,
cards costing only a penny or two, with just a word of greeting, flew in
all directions, carrying the remembrance of her smile, her voice, and her
faith and prayer that her comrades and friends would press on through
sacrifice and service to victory.
But it would seem that the letters she most loved to write were to young
officers and those who wished to become officers. She counselled one:
'Seek God with all your heart. If you will pay the price of letting Him
have all His way, He will fill you with a passion for souls.'
To a young captain she wrote a few weeks before her promotion to Glory:--
There is nothing in the world like soul-winning. If you will only give
up yourself wholly to it, and let God fit you for it, He, who is no
respecter of persons, can do for you as much as for any other soul
whom He has called.
I have found one of the greatest helps to soul-winning, next to Bible
study and prayer, is the reading of helpful books. I know that the
officer who does her duty to the people has little free time, but I
used to make myself spend a certain time each day in study, and kept
a note book to make notes of any paragraph that impressed me so that
I would not forget the thoughts which inspired me. Have you read
'Tongues of Fire,' by William Arthur; S. D. Gordon's 'Quiet Talks on
Prayer'? To read such books on your knees, drinking in the wonderful
truths they set forth, would help you towards the realization of all
Kate Lee loved girls in their teens, and they were much drawn to her.
Some officers who excel in helping the rag-tag class of young people, as
Kate Lee did, fight shy of those of refined training and better
education. This may possibly arise from a dread lest these keen young
folk may take their soundings and soon 'touch bottom' in many directions.
Kate feared nothing. Common-sense, an even balance, and true love count
most with the young, and of these qualities she had abundance.
Major Mary Booth says:--
Dear Angel Adjutant! How I loved her! Miriam and I, when we were in
our early teens, did several week-ends for her and I was much
impressed by her love for the poor. Her zeal, and the influence of
it, remains with me to-day. After the meetings were over, Miriam and
I, when taking supper with the Adjutant, often stayed till one
o'clock in the morning, listening to her tales of the poor drunkards.
I remember specially one night, she tried to drag us to bed, but we
finished by getting her to sit down on the stairs and tell us some
more of her thrilling experiences.
The following extracts from letters show her winsome way of helping them
to aim at the best things:--
I have started a series of articles on the 'Five Senses,' and felt
you would like to help me. Will you keep your eyes open for
illustrations bearing on the subject, spiritual or otherwise, and
pass them on to me. I have the subject in my mind and keep finding
fresh material for it; if you will help me, you will have a share in
the outcome by and by, if the idea develops satisfactorily.
From another letter:--
I am sending you 'The Life of The General.' It is only a cheap copy,
but I saw it on the bookstall last night, and thought you would like
to have it. It is so wonderful to see how God raised him up and used
him as His instrument. It shows what wonderful things God can do when
one is fully yielded to Him, and what responsibility rests upon us
each. If William Booth had held back, we see what he would have
missed, and his great work would have been left undone.
I am feeling concerned about you. You must not let yourself get down.
Nerves can be conquered, and you know where to get strength to rise
above them. I am praying for you and believe God will do great things
for you. Do not be surprised that training is necessary and that the
training comes in the way we should prefer not.
Then she turns the girl's thoughts away from herself and concludes with,
'Pray for me.'
Kate Lee's last five years were as the life of a bird with a broken
wing. She struggled hard to do as she had ever done, but again and again
had to admit that her strength had failed. Following the operation which
closed her work on the field, she spent a year under drastic and painful
surgical treatment. When sufficient strength was recovered to enable her
to undertake an appointment under the eye of her doctor, she was promoted
to the rank of Staff-Captain and saw two brief periods of service at the
International Training Garrison in London, and a few months in the
Candidates' Department at Headquarters. Then another breakdown, and
another year's furlough.
Her health again improving, to her great delight the Staff-Captain was
re-appointed to the Training Garrison, this time as Secretary of Field
Training. Twelve months of golden service followed. She revelled in her
work amongst the women cadets, who, under her holy, gracious influence,
were trained in the arts of service on the field. She had a remarkable
influence upon the cadets. They knew her record, and accepted her because
of that; but coming close up to her they rejoiced in her as a teacher and
a leader because of what they found her to be. The cadets delighted in
her classes. She made the field work appear to be the most glorious
calling on earth. She inspired the weakest girl with hope that she might
rise and excel if she would be at pains to grip herself and make the most
of the talents and opportunities God had given her. She held herself up
as an example of what God can do with a timid girl who was so entirely
yielded to Him as never to say 'I can't.'
The air raids on London were very severe during that twelve months. One
Saturday night, Leyton suffered terribly, and on Sunday morning, Staff-
Captain Lee with a detachment of cadets arrived to minister to the needs
of the terrified, and in many cases, homeless people. The police at once
gave them right-of-way in the distressed area.
There were lodgings to arrange for people whose homes were in ruins,
letters and messages to send to anxious relatives, terrified little
children and the elder people to comfort and provide food for. The Staff-
Captain was in her glory. Her cheerful face, ringing voice, and capable
management had a remarkably soothing and steadying effect upon the
distressed people, while the cadets revelled in the service she set them
To be included in a campaign led by Staff-Captain Lee was a great delight
to the cadets chosen for this privilege. This the twelve sergeants
[Footnote: Probation Officers selected to assist in the work of
Training.] enjoyed in the recess between the sessions. Southend, during
holiday season, was the place chosen for the attack. House-to-house
visitation, open-air 'bombardments' among the holiday crowds, and great
meetings in the citadel were included in the attack. The first to lead
the way of eighty seekers for pardon or purity was a little child,
unaccustomed to Salvation Army meetings. Dressed in white, with wistful,
earnest face, the little one had listened to the Staff-Captain's message,
and when the invitation was given she came forward, looking up to the
platform with inquiring, wondering eyes. Then at the penitent-form the
Staff-Captain pointed the little one to Jesus. She loved to rescue the
drunkard and criminal from the pit of sin, but to lead a little child to
the Saviour was the dearest joy of all to Kate Lee. The following day she
visited the child in her home; her parents both sought the Lord and
became Salvation soldiers.
The Staff-Captain's example amongst the cadets was more powerful than her
word. One tells of a week-end visit to Shepherd's Bush with a brigade,
and one of her local officers asking if she couldn't spare half a day to
visit his home, to which she replied, 'You know me better than to think
that is in my line.' She was away with her cadets by eight-thirty next
Many are the loving, tender memories of the cadets she trained. Those
who, by reason of long distance or for other reasons, could not go home
for Christmas, reckoned they were privileged to remain at the garrison
because of the tender love Staff-Captain Lee expended on them, whom she
feared might feel lonely and deprived at the Christmas season.
After recess came a transfer for a few months to The Army's Holiday Home
at Ramsgate, where it was hoped that the good air and freedom from heavy
responsibility would re-establish her health. The officers to whose
comfort she ministered during the holiday months, recall sweet memories
of her influence. One says:--
She was wonderfully gentle in spirit. But about her was a strength
and authority that made one feel all the while the presence of a
superior soul; that one must be at his best in her company. In
guiding the conversation at the table she showed a winsome
discretion; pleasant, bright topics were the order; she enjoyed
wholesome fun and encouraged it, but unkind criticism and sarcasm
could not live under her eyes.
Another writes of her sweetness to the little children who stayed in the
Home; how they remembered the stories she told them, and her quaint
little grace before meals, which they adopted for home use.
Receiving word to return to London and prepare for a foreign appointment,
she came on wings of joy. Her doctor gave her a reassuring report, and to
her friends she sent notes of pure happiness, telling that at last after
six years of hoping against hope, her doctor had given her a clean 'bill
of health' and she was well enough for service in any part of the world.
She had not the strength of former days for field work, but somewhere in
America, Australia, or Canada, she was to be appointed to training work.
How she would love the girls committed to her charge. How she would pray
over them, travail in spirit for them, until she saw the passion of
Christ born in them, and they go out to do the work that had been her
Her face glowed with joy; her eyes sparkled; her feet skipped; her hand
gripped as she told her comrades, 'I'm good for ten years yet.' She went
to her dressmaker with the palpitating joy of a bride-elect. She sorted
her papers; tore from their mounts and rolled the photos of her field
associations; chose a few of her favourite pictures and packed them. All
was ready, and waiting orders she spent the days at her desk, or visiting
her spiritual children. She appeared to be so well. Then, bronchitis,
which foggy weather always induced, laid her up for some days.
Her sister Lucy watched her with a strange misgiving at her heart. Kate
had always been of an independent disposition, had despised breakfast in
bed, but for a week or two she accepted this indulgence without
resistance. The least noise pained her, and the loving, mother-sister
crept about in soft slippers, pondering things in her heart but saying
nothing, until one morning she declared, 'Little dear, I think it's more
than a bottle of bronchitis medicine you need; I'm going to ask the
doctor to call.' Kate was resting somewhat listlessly, but at that word
she rose, the commander in every tone of her voice. 'Indeed, no! I'm not
very grand this morning, but not that. If you're late for the office, of
course you must give a reason, and no idea that I'm not fit must get
'But----' persisted Lucy.
'Well, you can go to-night if you still feel so,' compromised Kate, and
smiled her sister away.
The following day the doctor called, and gave an opinion that hastened a
specialist to the tiny cottage. He was a kind man and shrank from giving
a verdict that meant a full stop to this precious life. An immediate
operation was the only hope to save life, and this was arranged.
From the first, Kate Lee felt she was going "Home." She wrote to a
special friend, 'I have my appointment; very different from what I
expected; but all's well. I am in His will.' The comrade hastened to her
to learn the news, 'Where are you going?' she asked. 'To another country
altogether--to Heaven,' she replied.
There was a wondrous peacefulness about the little home as those two
gentle women made preparations for the hospital.
Kate's last day at home was spent chatting with her sister, writing
letters settling personal affairs, and resting.
Down to the very brink of the River she wrestled for souls. The last
letter she wrote that day was to Lieut.-Colonel Mary Bennett, of the
Women's Social Work, in London, whose interests she had enlisted in a
woman addicted to drugs. She writes, 'I am feeling concerned about her. I
meant to do my part fully in helping you, and am grieved to fail you in
this way.' Then she mentions her sudden illness and continues on the
subject of self-denial (Self-Denial Week was to begin the following
Saturday),' I was trying to give you a little surprise, and, as I have no
special target this year, felt I would like to do a little for your home.
As this has come it will not be much I am afraid, but I have three pounds
for you which we have both collected. My sister will bring it over.' Her
personal Self-Denial gift had gone to give another corps a lift. She was
full of hope that the corps were having a good Sunday.
The morning of her last day at home, the corps cadet whom she had come to
call 'my little Leff,' was with her. She writes:--
I will never forget that talk; she went over the names of her dear,
saved drunkards, one by one, giving me messages for some I would see.
She urged me to continue praying for them, if the Lord called her
Home. She said it would be a luxury to slip away; then, sitting up in
bed and looking right into my face, she said, 'Little Leff, _those
are the people I want you to live for. You do, and you will love them,
won't you?_' With the tears running down my face, I promised that
I would do so.
A few days under observation at the Mildmay Hospital, to which she was
admitted and cared for with much tenderness not only for Christ's sake,
as is the purpose of that excellent institution towards sufferers, but
for her work's sake, then came the operation. The warrior spirit entered
into fires of suffering that she had not hitherto felt; but while the
flesh shrank, her faith triumphed. Her sister, who had hovered about her
bed during the week, spent the Sunday with her. Even then, those women
held themselves at attention at the call to service, and, at the request
of the Sister of the ward Kate occupied before the operation, Commandant
Lucy left her sister's side and conducted a service with the patients.
Kate felt that she had not much longer to live, and reaching for her
writing pad and pen, she wrote a last message of love for her sister and
brother. Her sister found the letters in her blotter after Kate had 'gone
home.' To her she wrote:--
I am writing this line in case I do not see your dear face again, as
I want you to have a last message of love. It will not be long until
we meet again, and you can think of me watching for you. I do not
want to leave you all alone, but the thought that to-morrow I may
see His face thrills my soul, and it would be easy to slip away. I
am very tired, but I want to finish my course, and am quite willing
to face the struggle again if it is His will.... Now, my own
treasure, I cannot write more, but must say one great big thank you
for all you have done for me, and for all the love you have lavished
The next morning when Lucy saw Kate again, she was sure that soon her
precious sister would see the King in His beauty. What the separation
would mean to her no one would fully know; but, as ever, forgetful of
herself, she sat beside her, smiled and said brightly, 'Little love, if
you see mother before I do, tell her I'm coming.' Back came Kate's ready
smile, and she replied, 'Rather!' so naturally that for a moment it
seemed impossible that she was on the borderland of earth.
But soon the brave spirit became troubled. 'What is it, little love?'
'Oh, the people, the people! _I haven't the heart to send them
away_.' moaned Kate. Her mind was wandering, and the ruling passion of
her life, in death was strong upon her. She was out amongst the crowds,
seeing their sins and their sorrows, and their needs, and in a dim way
was conscious that she no longer had power to serve them.
'Darling, do not worry any more; you have loved them and sought them all
these years, and now you're going to rest,' said Lucy. The words reached
her ears, but she shook her head, _'I haven't the heart to send them
away,'_ she moaned.
Faithful, brave little follower of The Army's Founder, in life; even to
her deathbed there came an echo from his. In his blindness, William Booth
had mourned to his daughter, 'Oh, the sins, the sins of the people!' He
went into eternity, sighing for the sins and sorrows of the world.
But further back than the human, we can trace this spirit. The Saviour,
looking upon a multitude of needy souls, is saying, _'I have compassion
on the multitude; I cannot send them away.'_ William Booth caught the
spirit of Christ; he lived it; breathed it into thousands of his
followers, of whom there has not fought and triumphed in life and death a
truer saint and soldier than Kate Lee, the Angel Adjutant.
We conclude this sketch of her career with some words of General Bramwell
Booth: 'I pray that many of those who knew her, and of those who did not
know her,' he says, 'may be stirred up by the testimony of her life and
death to walk in the same path, and so glorify God and bless their
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