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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Fiery Fiddler - James Dowdle

As he looked at the two hundred pounds of dignity, standing six-feet high in the dock, His Honour felt uncomfortable. He was not quite sure that the Canadian Chief of Police was a match for this' Hallelujah' Colonel.

'The law makes and provides,' went the prosecution, ' that no person be allowed to obstruct the highway, and any person or persons so doing, shall, at the request of the police, thereat cease to do so or be taken into custody.'

'Obstructing the highway!' piped the police. man. 'That was what you were doing with your preaching and fiddling. When ordered to desist, you insisted on playing the constables to the police station. High sport for the crowd that was, and not decent!’

‘Men’s sins are not decent,' thundered the Colonel, 'and you came obstructing God in His work of cleansing the defiled.'

Chief Baines nudged His Honour. Ranting in Court was irregular.

'Let us pray for these two wrong-thinking officials', said the Colonel, turning to his two companions in the dock with him; and promptly sank to his knees.

Such praying Chief Baines had never heard before. It astonished him; but when he tried to get to the door the magistrate, who seemed almost petrified where he sat, blocked the way of escape. He had to sit it out till, during a pause in the prayer, he took his chance.

‘There, there,' said His Honour to the accused; 'gang awa!' Ye may march unmolested on the side-walks if ye do so in single file. And ye may sing and ye may play the drum a' ye like, only ye must just move on when the police tell ye. Gang awa'! Gang awa'! '

It was enough! Marching out of Court, the vivacious Salvationist led his comrades in singing:

Soldiers of faith, arise,
And put your armour on;
The opposing powers of darkness flee
Before the Rising Sun.

'That Colonel,' remarked the magistrate, 'is a great talker.'

'Yes,' replied Baines, 'he can out-talk the Devil. Neither you nor I stand the ghost of a show with him.'

James Dowdle could pray anywhere. As a boy in an English village, he had prayed when two ruffians had held him in front of a horse which they said would eat him! Later, as a guard on the Great Western Railway, he had prayed at the request of a fellow-worker who, seriously injured, was being taken to hospital. But these had been but reedy warblings compared with the passionate outpourings which were characteristic of him in later years.

And, also, this portly saint could play! He made his violin plead, then triumph; made it woo and wassail as his fingers danced and his bow raced across the strings.

In its early days, The Salvation Army had often to encounter physical as well as spiritual opposition. Its unconventional marching, singing and playing in the streets revolted the taste of those who preferred religion to be decorous, and raised the ire of others whose sinful ways were interfered with. Gangs of roughs, craving excitement, vented cruel passions on the Salvationists, breaking up their Open-Air Meetings, attacking them with stones and other missiles, or with their brutal fists battering those who sought only their highest good. Hundreds of Salvationists, nearly half of them women and children, were injured in a year.

Even where crowds were more friendly, hecklers disturbed the Open-Air Meetings, and drunks would create unusual situations by joining in the proceedings. Leaders had to be intrepid, ingenious, good humoured.

Dowdle - true to The Army's slogan: 'No retaliation for persecution'- in open-air tussles with the roughs would take the pushing about (and there was a lot of him to push) with a spontaneous gaiety. Always, however, he held his fiddle high above his head, concerned lest it be hurt. He loved his fiddle. With his instrument under one arm and flourishing his bow with the other, he would harangue his hearers for ten minutes, then lead off into a gay song which would set them singing merrily.

He had a way with crowds, and could always get one. Going along some main street, this rollicking opportunist might set down his violin case at a strategic point.

‘Stand back! Stand back!‘ he would roar, as if to keep off the gathering crowd from the offending case, they in turn regarding him with mingled dismay and expectation.

‘Stand back!' he would roar again. ‘It might go off!’ Then, when his congregation had assembled, he would deftly extract his instrument.

‘Why, it's old Dowdle and his fiddle,' some would laugh, for his fame was widely known; and the Meeting would begin.

His playing always brought glad ripples of laughter, and, even amid the squalor of the slum , the message of liberty and peace. Once, after a disappointing day, while waiting ten minutes for a train, he took out his fiddle and filled the waiting room with merry music that produced smiles all round. Another time, he was seen with two drunken women -one on each arm - while he played his fiddle and led a street procession to the Salvation Army Hall.

A sprightly, mischievous boy, who ' loved a scrap,' James Dowdle had grown up in a two roomed cottage in the. pretty village of Upton Lovell, Wiltshire, where he was born on December 20, 1840. His parents had practised a simple, loving piety. In the chapel they attended the preachers were fiery and forthright; too hot for James, whose wild ways were rebuked by their scorching words. Fleeing from the truth about himself, to the disappointment of his parents he had left the chapel and, in order to salve his conscience by formal attendance at a place of worship, joined the Church, where he played a bass viol.

When he was twelve an uncle had undertaken to teach him the trade of a wheelwright. But the work had not suited James - nor the religious discipline of writing and reading passages from the Bible, set him by his uncle of an evening. Three times he had run away, till finally he had been sent to a farm near his home. But farm life was too slow; he had hied off to London as soon as he could and secured a job in the goods yard of the Great Western Railway, where he had rapidly risen to the position of guard.

Formal religion on Sundays did not square with loose living during the week. Dowdle had 'cut' with the Church and given rein to his unruly passions-till his evil way of life was challenged by the preaching of ?L man named Richard Weaver. After weeks of misery, having listened to a converted actor conducting a religious service in a music hall, Dowdle decided to 'surrender to God.' At that moment he had found the peace of a forgiven past.

He had commenced fearlessly to tell his mates of his new experience, till one day an older man said to him:

'Look here, James; I'm an old Christian and I don't get the persecution you get. Keep your religion to yourself. Don't try to push it down other people's throats.'

Dowdle, prevented by his long hours of work from attending a place of worship on Sundays, had. found that in neglecting to talk about his experience of the power of Christ he lost that power. Soon he was visiting public-houses again; the old vicious habits returned.

Just at the time of this moral relapse Dowdle had been made a railway guard. In the course of his duties he had often to walk on the open track. At Slough one day, he was crossing the line to get some drink when fast-moving wagons caught him, threw him, and would have mangled him had not a workmate snatched him from death or serious injury.

Not long afterward, at Oxford, as he was talking to another guard, before Dowdle's eyes the poor fellow had been killed beneath some passing freight. At Reading he had two similar experiences., After the second, a Christian pointsman had said to him:

'Jim, it's by God's mercy you were not killed. If you had been, what would have become of you ?'

Startled by these incidents, a little while later, while listening to a band of men preaching at Paddington Green, Dowdle had knelt on the stones and prayed for God's forgiveness, arising with a wonderful feeling of gladness.

A blaspheming pointsman tested the genuineness of his change of heart when, rebuked for his filthy language, he struck the convert a violent blow. James laid down his lamp and doubled his fists as the blood rushed to his face. But quietly he picked up his lamp again and walked away, coward though he might seem.

'Didn't you kill him for it? ' asked a fellow guard who heard of the assault.

'No! I prayed God to save him,' was Dowdle's reply.

A few hours later, the pointsman was hurrying forward to beg Dowdle's pardon.

‘Certainly, I forgive you freely,' said Dowdle.

But it was only the grace of God that caused me to keep my hands off you.' The hefty man had learned that meekness which Jesus declared should inherit the earth.

The Paddington Green preachers were led by a builder named Stevens, who, soon afterward, opened a mission hall. Dowdle was anxious to attend the opening ceremony, but could not get leave from work even by paying for a substitute. ,So keen was he, however, that he sacrificed his job.

He became a baker's roundsman, but his employer, when he heard him' bawling about the streets ' about religion, insisted that he could not allow it.

'But my open-air speaking is not done in your time,' Dowdle protested. When the baker remained adamant, he again promptly forsook his job.

Dowdle then became the faithful workman of Mr. Stevens the builder, and a preaching partner of Mr. Stevens the evangelist. After working hours, wherever a job had taken them, they would tackle the low, drink-sodden, temper-ridden desperadoes of the neighbourhood, sometimes having a far from friendly reception.

One morning Dowdle was roused at four o'clock to face the key man of a gang of roughs who often attacked Stevens' meetings. The man was carrying a rope, determined to make an end of the awful life he had been living, either by suicide or by Salvation. Dowdle was soon up and pointing the man to the Saviour.. Working among such as these, he was being prepared for a wider ministry.

The 'Eastern Star' was a notorious public house in Whitechapel. One day Mr. Stevens was asked to call there and discuss certain alterations with a Rev. William Booth. The place was to become the Headquarters of 'The Christian Mission,' of which Booth was the General Superintendent.

Dowdle, who accompanied his employer, was greatly interested in the tall evangelist with his piercing eyes, his hooked nose and black beard. What he heard of his work in the East End thrilled him, for Mr. Booth's Meetings were evidently crowded with the most vicious and degraded men and women, many of whom were being converted and joining in the crusade of the unusual minister.

Dowdle was invited to special Meetings at a theatre on the following Sunday. In an Open Air Meeting preceding a march, he heard William Booth preach and himself was asked to speak. Before long he was one of this remarkable man's most enthusiastic followers. They became warmly attached to each other.

William Booth conducted the marriage of Mr. Dowdle and Miss Stevens, daughter of the bridegroom's former employer. The couple took charge of a shop in Shoreditch where they served cheap dinners to the poor on weekdays and, in a former music-hall behind the shop, led evangelistic Meetings on Sundays.

That shop warmed bodies and souls. Behind the counter Dowdle kept a Bible to feed those in need spiritually; his success was seen in scores of people who gave up their evil and selfish life and began to serve God. True, the combination of puddings and prayers shocked some folk who, reflecting the spirit of the age, did not include a social conscience in their religious convictions. Hard to reconcile Dowdle with the starched shirt and immaculate black suit and tie of the respectable preachers of the period!

A visitor to the soup shop would see him - expansive, his face beaming through a cloud of steam rising from cauldrons of soup, potatoes and meat; a large white apron covering his huge figure, and his sleeves rolled to the elbows as he flourished fork and ladle. And many a man whose family was starving was helped.

Before long, the Dowdles were needed in the provinces, first at Chatham, where Mrs. Booth, the gifted wife of the mission leader, had been preaching With great effect. Later still, they took charge of Mission Stations at Stockton, Leeds and Plymouth. In these centres and many neighbouring places, Dowdle made a deep. impression. Always his methods were spectacular, though never bizarre. Novelty served to capture the people's interest, but he was seeking their Salvation, not personal notoriety. All the same, he was often quixotic.

'What are you propping that place up for, man' he shouted one day to a man leaning against a public-house. ' Come away and let the Devil prop up his own house.'

Early in his Christian life his future wife had asked Dowdle to sign the abstinence pledge. He had countered by remarking that the small amount of liquor he took wouldn't make any difference to him.

'Then,' wise Miss Stevens had said, 'it won't be difficult for you to give it up.' That had settled matters. In any case he saw only too much of the evil consequences of drink, and it was but natural that he should say strong things against the cause of such misery. He saw that he must give up the temperate use of what, taken in excess, was ruining so many around him.

In Dowdle's denunciation of the evil there was nothing mealy mouthed; nor was his temperance teaching fired, artillery-like, from a distance. Dowdle was never afraid of hand to hand encounter. At times his mode of expression was extreme, but then he had seen the extreme and often terrible results of drunkenness.

'Hallo!' he exclaimed to a barman of a public house he passed one day. ' What are you doing ?

‘Cleaning the windows,' came the reply.

'You can't do it,' said Dowdle.

'Can't do it! What do you mean ' The barman was secretly irritated.

'Mean?' said Dowdle. 'I mean that those windows are stained with the blood of souls, and nobody can get that stain off.'

Yet few ever took offence at what he said, for with his strong convictions went a manner so brisk and a spirit so amiable that he was dubbed a good sort.'

'Oh, hinney,' the Geordies of Tyneside would remark, ' there's neebody like Doodle.' Around Middlesbrough, the Salvationists were called 'Sally Doodles'; he was so widely known.

By this time Dowdle had been entrusted with the oversight of a large area, with a number of Salvation Army Corps - for in 1878 The Christian Mission had become The Salvation Army - under his command. His boisterous personality still pushed its way into the affairs of men wherever he went. With his office-boy, he was walking along a street one day when they came upon a wagoner smoking.

‘Look here, Willie,' said Dowdle, ' here's a man this beautiful day smoking. He's got Hell inside, and he must have a bit of fire outside, too.'

The man, aroused, said that he was just having a quiet smoke to cool himself. Major Dowdle, as he now was, let him have it hot about his spiritual welfare, but all in so friendly a manner that the man was not offended. Always he was anxious to help the people whose habits he might condemn. Even those out to disturb him were prevented by his good-natured courage. He and his Converts were kneeling in the street on one occasion, praying, when half-drunken men threw water over them and then, breaking into the ring of Salvationists, rolled over Dowdle. He, however, continued praying. In the Hall later, one of the roughs, with tears in his eyes, asked to address the Meeting. Confessing that he had been in the wrong, he asked all to pray for him, which, of course, Dowdle was glad to do.

At Sunderland, a man dressed like a clown rode a pony into the middle of an Open-Air Meeting. The imperturbable Dowdle quietly took hold of the pony's head and continued the Meeting. Afterward, the mounted man was led at the head of the march, right through the doors and up to the front of the Victoria Hall. The ' clown' at first brazenly faced it out, but this was no ordinary Meeting. The diversion of a comic on a pony wag soon forgotten by the great audience. The fancy dressed man, spiritually unseated, slid off his pony to the Penitent Form. He could not fool Christ. The foolishness of God is wiser than men.'

The same discovery was made by a landlord who, from the door of his public-house, offered Dowdle a large pot of beer. As if intending to enjoy it, the Major accepted it, and walked into the house. There he set the beer on the counter and talked to the landlord and the men about their souls.

'Now, men, we'll pray,' said he, and, kneeling on the sawdust-covered floor, he talked to God for them all. Finished, he stalked out of the public house and emptied the beer into the gutter.

Dowdle's friendliness together with his passionate exhortations did much to build up the ' Division' he commanded-all Salvation Army work north of Scarborough and Lancaster. By the time he left this work two and a half years later, the number of Corps had been more than trebled. He was constantly visiting his Officers, conducting Meetings for them, championing their cause, encouraging, reproving, suggesting anything and everything to help them. Sometimes Mrs. Dowdle accompanied him, at other times they traveled to separate fields of labour.

A Leeds clergyman, who disagreed with many Salvation Army methods, yet had to say that he had never known a man who did not show self in connection with his work except Dowdle.

Extremely powerful, too, were his Meetings. Besides his colloquial preaching, Dowdle's vocal ducts with his wife always made a great appeal. The two looked a strange contrast - he, huge and dominating; she, rather frail and winsome-but their spirit and manner gave a picture of happy confidence in each other and in God.

Mrs. Dowdle often followed up their duets with simple, homely words which the crowd, hushed by the singing, was ready to receive. Quietly the seekers would come forward. Love unadulterated, all - inclusive was the secret of these two who, lacking many earthly gifts, held the heavenly key that unlocked the hearts of others. Hence they were chosen of God for their task.

This is His will, He takes and He refuses,
Finds Him ambassadors whom men deny;
Wise ones nor mighty for His saints He chooses
No such as John, or Gideon, or I.

At Leeds, where a circus had been hired for the Meetings, a low barrier prevented people from coming into the ring-where a platform and Penitent Form had been erected-to declare their decision to follow Christ. But no obstacle stayed the power of those gatherings. Dowdle asked those who wished to seek God to put up their hands, and then provided chairs so that they could climb over the balustrade. Hundreds made the climb. 
‘Are you going to Pullan's?' was on everybody's lips during his stay in Bradford. Pullan's was a large theatre he was using on Sundays for his Meetings, and the roads leading to it were thronged as people streamed to hear him. Hundreds experienced a change of heart in Pullan's Theatre.

One man, named Saunders, soon afterward migrated to Australia. Attending a mission meeting in Adelaide, he met another Christian Mission Convert, Gore by name. Together they began to hold Meetings in the land of their adoption, and so successful was their work that soon they petitioned William Booth to send Officers to take charge, ' as quick as fire and steam could bring them.' From that beginning the work has increased until to-day there are in the Commonwealth over 2,000 Officers, working at some 1,400 evangelistic and social centres. Such is God's multiplication table.

One drizzling night, wearing oilskins, Dowdle strode through Westgate in Bradford, handing out handbills with announcements of his Meetings. Leaning against a lamp-post he saw a disconsolate lad of seventeen. As he gave him a bill, he paused to say 'God bless you!' and to tell him that on the following night, in Pullan's Theatre, devils would be cast out of men by the power of God's Spirit. It was Dowdle's way of saying that many were to find that their evil passions, now in control, would come under the rule of God, and they could thus find peace of heart.

The youth was John Lawley, an engine-cleaner in a local mill. That night, through a misunderstanding, he had parted company with his best friend. In his loneliness he was glad to read, by the light of the lamp, the handbill confirming Dowdle's invitation to the Meeting. He accepted it and, as a result, later made a public confession that he would follow Christ.
Far greater than a man's single endeavour in the service of God is the multiplied witness of his Converts. John Lawley became an outstanding Salvation Army Officer who commanded important centres of work and, later, traveled far and wide with William Booth. Vast congregations in many parts of the world were deeply moved by his singing of Gospel songs, many of which he himself composed. Following the General's addresses, he conducted the Prayer Meetings, in which multitudes were persuaded to accept Christ's forgive new of sins.

Before Lawley set out as a world-traveler, however, Dowdle himself was to journey to other countries. For ten years he campaigned in New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, in his robust manner appealing to all sorts and conditions of men to seek the Saviour.

From country after country, as well as from many parts of the homeland, news was flashed to Headquarters in London of hundreds of ' prisoners taken '-the expressive term of those days for Converts won from the bondage of sin and captured for Christ.

With his usual tireless labour, Dowdle crowded his days. In one year, in Australia - the long distances less easy to cover in the eighties and nineties than nowadays - Dowdle traveled 23,500 miles, visited 160 centres and conducted 1,200 Meetings, in which more than 6,500 persons decided to serve God.

The popularity he enjoyed wherever he went did not spoil his zeal. His Meetings remained typical of him-his rough candour, merry asides, soulful singing and intense earnestness in endeavouring to ' seek and save that which was lost.' He spent himself for souls.

In 1896, Dowdle returned to London broken in health. Coming out of a specialist's consulting room in Melbourne, he had confided to Mrs. Dowdle, with a calm voice that proved his absolute trust in the God he served:

'They say it's heart disease. God's will be done.'

On arrival in London he was taken to a little house in Clapton where he spent the remaining years of his life. The cabby who drove him helped him into the house. Once in the passage Dowdle helped the cabby to find Christ. Physical weakness did not diminish his desire to win men for his Master.

For his few remaining years his work was limited, yet he wielded a quiet and powerful influence among his colleagues on Headquarters. In his magnanimous spirit there was no heart disease.

Dowdle's old leader and friend, General William Booth, conducted the funeral of his faithful Commissioner. On the coffin, draped with the Salvation Army Flag, lay Dowdle's cap and fiddle. Great and respectful crowds gathered for what a working man described as a funeral ' worthy of a duke'.

On the following Sunday nearly 200 persons sought Christ in the Memorial Meeting in the famous Clapton Congress Hall. Amongst them were several women of the streets who were taken from the Hall direct to The Salvation Army's Receiving Home. The Meeting was worthy of a soul-winner.
William Burrows

A Hooligans' Supper

I had hoped to attend the banquet in the character of a street Arab but chance threw me instead into the army of the Crusaders, and before I could show my colours, I had enlisted, and was out against the Saracens of South London attached to the staff of the "Kennington Devil-Drivers." the 1159th. Regiment of the King's Own Army of Salvation. My greatest ambition was at last realised: I was a Special War Correspondent at the front!

As the Major and I deployed out of Kennington Lane, reconnoitering the hostilities, we caught the volleys of a lively skirmish by the Elephant and Castle, at which point the first "open-air" company of volunteers was making a desperate stand against the enemy. Our troops had formed a hollow square. and, though surrounded by an overwhelmingly superior force, were more than holding their own. We hurried up to join them and gave our own voices to the Cause.

It was after ten o'clock, and predatory "Hooligans", street walkers and a shivering army of the homeless encompassed our little Forlorn Hope of sharpshooters who were firing words of hope into the hearts of the throng. The Blue Brigade fought like heroes all that night There was round after round of hallelujahs, gallant charges of entreaty and promise, and by ones and twos the men and lasses fell — fell to their knees, aimed a prayer, and formed again.

What did it mean? How were we to make those half-starved wretches believe it were better to drudge for eighteen shilling, a week than to "lift" five pounds in half that time? But the Brigadier knew the proper range, elevation. and charge. and his shots went home. It is an old story now, this fanatical street minstrellsy; but. though we smile and toss our shilling to the silver-faced girls with banner or drum, it is always new and always wonderful, this strange mixture of mysticism, exaltation, and Holy Text, the promise of Life Everlasting, the slang. the cheap music and the grotesque display, all of which, mixed in the open air and rain, spiced with persecution and ridicule, savoured with the mud of the street, makes a spell that brings the blackguard and the professional criminal to his knees. It is the old miracle-play rewritten to suit she times; but it is not priestcraft — it is friendcraft, and, in virtue of that distinction, it is alive and human, casting off the shroud of the dark ages.

We retreated in good order, then, after the battle, marched four abreast through the slime of the Newington Butts. singing "Saved by the Blood of the Lamb". At corner and corner we were reinforced by other squad of street-skirmishers, who fell in at our rear, and, with a fascinated escort of pavement-stragglers, we got back in a triumphal procession to the Barracks. There, besieging the old chapel, were the hundred "Hooligans" invited to attend the armistice.

They had all been selected by Brigadier Hoggard's staff, or by the "Slum Officers" — women of the Army who live in the purlieus, week in and out, doing "settlement work", but unskilled in scientific "sociology", and compiling reports for no University. It is their business to learn the life and language of the poor, and to insert the thin edge of salvation, helping the slatternly drunkard from the gutter. nursing the sick, clothing the naked. They speak the dialect of the alley; they believe in filling a man's stomach before they offer him the bread of Eternal Life.

So the "Hooligans" filed in, mid made pell-mell for the triple row of tables,and took their seats at the benches — as precious set of scoundrels as you could pick out of the Rogues Gallery. Here was Mustard, "a crop-haired, low-browed lad with a villainous scowl, squat and smoky. who had recently done ten days time for breaking a policeman's nose. Here was "Spug" Rafferty. who was known by the Staff. though not by the police, to have "busted" a house in South Lambeth only last week, and there were a score of others, self confessed highwaymen and sneak-thieves, pointed out to me. There was "Stodger", who had the unique distinction of not having taken a drink, or "lifted a jerry", or knocked down a "copper" for two weeks! There were men and boys, in cliques and gangs, who would go out of the hall and "stand a bloke on his head" before morning as surely as they would eat seven sandwiches during the evening.

We fed them beef and bread and tea till the Commissary Department had emptied its larder. The record was something like ten cups of tea, and is held, I think, "Stodger" himself. For many of then, this "tuck-in" would have to last for several days, and what "puddin'" they could not swallow was carried away in their pockets.

We passed amongst them, gossiping and getting acquainted, under the pretence of inciting them to new attacks upon the provender, until at last their fury lulled and they were in condition for the feast of unworldly wisdom that was to follow. Meanwhile, in the bank of seats above the platform at the end of the hall, a choir of saints in blue halos had been singing gospel songs set to the tunes of the street, their role. ascetic, thin lipped lasses framed in the dark bonnets of the Order of the Weltschmeriz.

As Commissioner Coombs gave his straightforward. plain-worded talk, Brigadier Hoggard, who has instituted the movement and propelled it with his own personal force and magnetism, leaned over the railings and watched the faces of the gathering. It is the Brigadier who knows many things about the "Hooligan" which the police do not know, for he has gained their confidence by a career of tact and discretion and good advice. I do not doubt that he knows the secret leaders of the "Borough" and the "New Cut" gangs, men who are well dressed and respectable in appearance, and yet direct the piracies of their respective "mobs". He knows perhaps who is "wanted" for that job in Brixton last Saturday night, but, though be will not tell, you may be sure that he is doing his best to get the criminals to confess, and it is not so unlikely that he will succeed either.

The Brigadier knows too how the "Hooligans" and pickpockets put the "splits", or detectives off the scent, where the "fences" are that change stolen watches into good coin, and he can show you places in South London where a well dressed man's life is not safe after dark. And yet, knowing all this, he has faith that he can in time touch such hearts and rescue some brands from the burning. He is wise; he believes in works as well as faith, and you may feel sure that, beside the mysteries of his creed, he depends also Upon the power of human love. So, with his doctrine, he offers to these friendless, homeless, hopeless guests sympathy, counsel, and aid.

The Brigadier points to one or two absorbed faces, who seem to have found a friend for the first time to offer them an open-handed fellowship, and he shows one or two more young men who have done honest work ever since he has met them. The Brigadier is not easily discouraged, for he has seen a sinner profess repentance in Church, go up to the altar rail, and come out with the communion plate hidden under his coat.

These feasts cost the Headquarters Staff about a pound a night, but as yet the officers have not attempted to enlist public support in the way of contributions, for they are feeling their way, confident that the money will come if the cause is worthy.

We have had the Missionary Crusaders who go forth armed with tracts, the Charity Crusaders who strew shillings among beggars, and the Sociological Crusaders who compile statistics. Thee are many Orders in the Church of Rome who do better than these, but all work at best through interpreters. This is a new experiment, bound to the same end but armed with different weapons; me may help, hinder, watch or ignore it as we will but the Forlorn Hope pushes on through Darkest England under the yellow, red. and blue flag.

Gelett Burgess

The Sketch. March 1st. 1899

The Times - 1880

For two years or thereabouts, our towns have had frequent opportunities of witnessing an exhibition not to everybody's taste. The "Salvation Army," as far as it can be known to the uninitiated, consists of 'a band of men and women marching through the Streets, generally towards church time, with banners, devices, and sometimes emblematic helmets, and other accoutrements, singing sensational hymns, and by their gestures inviting all whose eyes they succeeded in catching to fall in and march to the head-quarters or rendezvous of those who are to. be saved. The worship they conduct undercover is not quite of the sober and monotonous character that finds most favor with English respectability. The confident heirs of a newly-assured salvation sing hymn after hymn with emphatic refrains, in, an ascending scale of devotional energy. At intervals exhortations, which are at least simple, intelligible, and frequently reiterated, restore their flagging energies for fresh multitudinous utterances. The sense of numbers amounting to an army, if not on the spot, yet in faith, everywhere present, feeds the strength of the individual.

The devotees are told, very likely with truth, that hundreds of thousands are at the same moment marching towards Zion, scouring her bulwarks, ascending her steeps, and even entering her gates. It is plain that the enthusiasm does not the away when these provocatives are withdrawn. It is plain, too, that the movement has not lost the attractiveness of novelty and youth.
The army is still found on our streets. It is not to be expected that even so much as a good minority of a settled and well-regulated population should take part in such a movement, or like it, or even regard it with indifference. A very large part of our own population on one ground or other, believe themselves saved already, and, therefore, under no need to go out of their way for a new call. A large part are very well satisfied to be in a fortunate minority in this respect, and take an exclusive view of the celestial circle. About the last thing they desire is to meet their neighbors there, especially if they are not clean, or talk broad, or cannot distribute their h's properly.
A large part are quite content not to be saved; indeed, think there is no such thing. If these various classes be added together, they will constitute an immense majority against the Salvation Army. Most of these people, however, are ready to Nave it alone. They will be neither for it nor against it. But there remain the irrepressible roughs. It is unnecessary to describe them, for they promise to be our lords and masters. They are the present tyrant, whose function it is to test the sincerity of the virtuous and the gratitude of the brave. It is with them that the “Salvation Army" is now waging its only physical warfare. English people, generally would leave it to the test of time. The men that stagger out of the public-houses, or that have not yet recovered front their Saturday night's carouse, or that dread sonic possible interference with their own ways, molest the harmless soldiers with insulting cries, mockery, and more serious annoyances. The faith of the majority, the good taste of the educated, and the universal sense of decency are outraged under the pretence of interrupting the exceptional method of a few. But it is evident that if the "roughs" are to be allowed to do what they like, the streets can no longer be called the Queen's highway or the land her realm.
Editor’s note. Well, I guess that’s us told then!

All the World - Issue 1 - November 1884

Changes, victories and surprises come so thick and fast in The Salvation Army that a Soldier has to be on his guard always, or perhaps he would lose his balance. One post carries the news that the police forbid us holding meetings in the theatre after dusk, and the next post carries the glorious tidings of a cathedral being thrown open to us to do as we like in. But for one, as well as the other, God has taught us to say “Hallelujah!” and mean it.
But we have numbers of sinners to give a warning word to, and a very limited time to do it in – so off we go.
UPSALA (forty miles further north) we remember so well. Only a few months ago we entered this town strangers to nearly all, and we secured a piece of land, ran up a building for between 1,500 and 2,000 people, and today we have a strong fighting Corps in splendid condition. The beautiful Barracks was crowded as usual, though a charge was made for admission, and from first to last the most riveted attention was given. The Major led the meeting and we were glad to hear testimonies from some of the first converts who appear to have lost none of their first love and zeal.
STOCKHOLM,. The 28th September brought us to the most wonderful day The Salvation Army in Sweden had known. It was on this day that the new Salvation Cathedral was to be opened as a Salvation Army Barracks. The building noted for its beauty and improvements with regard to ventilation, etc. had been visited by many of the clergy and others interested, and all had expressed their admiration at the completeness of the whole affair. No wonder that a stir was caused, when, one week before the opening day, bills announced that The Salvation Army would commence operations there.
Two large halls, with eleven rooms and spacious cellars, comprise the building, the lower hall accommodating 1,000 persons, and the upper one about 3,000. The building, which had been in progress for two years, was not on the opening day complete, only the smaller of the halls being ready for occupation. We commenced the day, at seven a.m., with a full house for a praise meeting, for we all felt that we had a great cause to praise the Lord. The consecration meeting , at eleven was a time of thorough giving up, both bodies, souls, and building, and all that we as Salvation Soldiers possessed. Hosanna at three, exalted our great Helper; Christians of all denominations joined us in our songs of praise. But the night meeting (great Salvation) was the one which, after all, does us so much good – drives away headache, heartache pains and aches of all descriptions. We had no time to think of anything but Salvation.
Sitting on the first bench was a man known to nearly all present; in fact, he had been on that first seat the whole day – the editor of the Swedish ”Punch” He had taken as much interest in the opening meetings as a parson could do, and gave us some hopes of capture. Some amongst us were unbelieving, and I, myself went so far as to say, “I fancy he is getting a good many notes for the next edition of ‘Punch’ But God was at work, and he only needed a very little persuasion to bring him down, like a cannon ball, to the mercy-seat. He was followed by ten others who, with him, testified to the great Salvation that night. Our friend the editor was the first to testify. As he stepped upon the platform many of the congregation clapped their hands, and we shouted “Hallelujah!” to see such a miracle of grace. He said that he had been one of our greatest enemies, and that it had been within his power to misrepresent us, he being connected with the paper world. He had caricatured us and thought we were hypocrites and fools. “My friends,” said he, “for there are many of you here, carry my respects to the drinking-saloons that
I have been in the habit of visiting, and say to them, from me, that I am done with them. I have also done with the paper, and will, by God’s help, serve Him” He came early the next morning to the Barracks, to see the place where he fell with his load of sin, and walked around the Barracks singing the praises of his Saviour.
GOTHENBURG. Here We have been able to leave our old Barracks, which have been a heavy financial burden to us, and secure a nice building suitable in every way for our work. This new building was used as an hotel, but just in that neighbourhood hotels are not so badly needed, and the proprietor was therefore willing to let it to us. It comprises two Halls, each seating about 300 persons, with a number of rooms adjoining, and large yards, back and front, suitable for open-airs.
We were full up, though admission was charged, and if that congregation was a sample of the future gatherings we should reach some of the very roughest in the town.