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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

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.

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