William Booth: Soup, Soap, and Salvation by Janet Benge & Geoff Benge

William Booth: Soup, Soap, and Salvation by Janet Benge & Geoff Benge

Author:Janet Benge & Geoff Benge [Benge, Janet & Benge, Geoff]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Juvenile Nonfiction, Biography & Autobiography, Religious
ISBN: 9781576582589
Google: 4UoW58lxcF8C
Amazon: 1576582582
Barnesnoble: 1576582582
Goodreads: 1864030
Publisher: YWAM Publishing
Published: 2002-06-15T11:43:38+00:00

Chapter 10

“Unbecoming and


The Salvation Army was born in May 1878. News of its founding fired the imagination of many of the old East London Christian Mission workers, and soon military words and phrases were popping up everywhere. Captain Cadman had often called his Bible a “sword,” and now many others followed his example. Large mission houses were referred to as “citadels” and smaller ones as “forts.” Groups of workers called themselves “troops,” who together made up a “corps.” Everyone wanted a rank: Part-time workers over fifteen years of age became soldiers, and full-time workers became officers. When they preached, the captains opened with shouts of “Fire a volley,” which meant for the audience to shout out a stirring hallelujah, and when it was time to pray, everyone was to do “knee-drill.” Bible reading became “taking rations.” The Christian Mission Magazine was renamed The War Cry, and a second magazine was published for children and called Little Soldiers.

Any army had to have uniforms, and soon the men were wearing plain blue serge suits with a brass letter ‘S’ on the collar and a bold red shirt underneath. The women wore a discreet navy skirt and jacket with a black straw bonnet. Catherine Booth designed the bonnet with a tilted brim to deflect flying missiles. This quickly became known as the Hallelujah Bonnet. William Booth took to carrying an umbrella and wearing a black top hat and a long frock coat that made him look like a veteran of the American Civil War.

William came up with the pattern for the Salvation Army flag. It had a red background, representing the blood of Jesus, a blue border, representing the holiness of God, and a yellow sun that represented the fire of the Holy Spirit. The new motto, “Blood and Fire,” was emblazoned across it. The flag was often carried into “battle” while the troops sang, “Onward, Christian soldiers, / Marching as to war, / With the cross of Jesus / Going on before: / Christ the royal Master / Leads against the foe; / Forward into battle, / See, His banners go!”

All of these changes captured the imagination of the poor, who flocked as never before to hear the gospel preached. One year after the Salvation Army was born, the number of army units had risen from twenty-nine to eighty-one. There were now 127 officers, where there had been only thirty-one full-time workers in the old East London Christian Mission. Best of all, as far as William was concerned, these new officers were “homegrown.” Over one hundred of them had been converted through the work of the mission and were now eager to serve others. And there was plenty of work for them all to do, as an estimated twenty-seven thousand soldiers and seekers came to Sunday night meetings in citadels and forts around the United Kingdom.

William’s children were a part of the Salvation Army from the very first day. Thirteen-year-old Eva even recruited Little Jeannie, their pet monkey. She made her a tiny army uniform, complete with insignia.


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