Church for the poor - William Booth
From a rare recording of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
William Booth 1829-1912, revivalist, champion of social reform and friend of the poor and downtrodden, speaking on the importance of practical Christian action:
"Making heaven on earth is our business. Serve the Lord with gladness os one of our favourite mottos, so I am pleased that you are pleased, but amidst all your joy don't forget the sons and daughters of misery.
"Do you ever visit them?
"Come away and let us make a call or two:
Here is a home, six in family, they eat and drink and sleep and sicken and die in the same chamber.
Here is a drunkard's hotel, void of furniture, wife a skeleton, children in rags, father maltreating the victims of his neglect.
Here are the unemployed, wandering about seeking work and finding none.
Yonder are the wretched criminals, cradled in crime, passing in and out of the prisons all the time.
There are the daughters of shame, diseased and wronged and ruined, travelling down the dark incline to an early grave.
There are the children fighting in the gutters, going hungry to school, growing up to fill their parents' places.
"Brought it all on themselves, do you say? Perhaps so, but that does not excuse our assisting them. You don't demand a certificate of virtue before you drag some drowning creature out of the water, nor the assurance that a man has paid his rent before you deliver him from the burning building. But what shall we do, content ourselves by singing a hymn, offering a prayer or giving a little good advice? No. Ten thousand times, no. We will pity them, feed them, reclaim them, employ them.
"Perhaps we shall fail with many, quite likely, but our business is to help them all the same, and that in the most practical, economical and Christlike manner. So let us hasten to the rescue for the sake of our own peace, the poor wretches themselves, the innocent children and the saviour of us all."
Listen to the 3 minute audio recording:
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