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  By William Booth  
 
Portrait: William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army
General William Booth
Books by William Booth
Many books about General William Booth have been written. But he himself was also a writer. The most famous book he wrote is surely "In Darkest England...and the way out".
The journalist W. T. Stead did help him to write this well-known book. But this is not the only one which was written by General Booth. In his books, he writes often surprisingly direct to help christians in their life. Some of his books are:
- SALVATION SOLDIERY (1882)
- IN DARKEST ENGLAND... and the way out (1890)
- PURITY OF HEART (1902)
- LETTERS TO SALVATIONISTS ON RELIGION FOR EVERY DAY Vol. I (1902)
- LETTERS TO SALVATIONISTS ON LOVE, MARRIAGE AND HOME,
Being Vol. II of RELIGION FOR EVERY DAY (1902)
- SERGEANT MAJOR DO-YOUR-BEST OF DARKINGTON (1906)
- THE SEVEN SPIRITS, OR WHAT I TEACH MY OFFICERS (1907)
Three of his books are introduced below. The first book I have chosen is:
"Letters to Salvationists on Love, Marriage, & Home," Religion for Every Day Vol. II (pub. 1902)
In the preface of the book is written, that the letters from William Booth were already published in two weekly publications of The Salvation Army: "The War Cry" and in "The Social Gazette". These letters were written to assist in the development of godly relationships of Salvationists. It ranges in information from courtship to engagements, from the choice of a partner to how to make love. There are 2 chapters dedicated to inform on advantages & disadvantages of marriage. And the 2nd half of the book devotes itself to how the married couple is to treat one another, fighting for God together, the training of children, & education.
William Booth begins this book emphasizing that The Salvation Army has a strong impact on young people
"it is a great satisfaction to me that ours is a religion which attracts the young not by the gymnasium and the bicycle club or the singing company, but by the joy & gladness of the service of Christ." (W. Booth)
Then he says, since many of the young people are unmarried, it is important that they have the right views of marriage & the steps that lead up to it. That is the reason why he wrote this book. In the chapter "The Choice of a Partner", General Booth advises:
"all whom it may concern that they should, by prayer and reflection, settle upon a definite idea of the sort of person likely to prove suitable for a life companion."
His first qualifications to even considering a possible life companion are:
1) A present day, up-to-date personal relationship with Jesus Christ (my interpretation of W. Booth' words)
2) A Godly life, resulting from the power of the Holy Spirit within, alive and well & active
3) A heart controlled by the love of God and people
Books by William Booth in the Salvation Army museum
"In Darkest England"
the most famous book by William Booth

As far as the "How to make Love" chapter and "The Training of Children" and other relationship chapters, I guess one has to buy the book...

The 2nd book is:
"Purity of Heart"
Letters by William Booth to Salvationists and others (pub. 1902)
(Matthew 5:8)
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
William Booth describes with great clarity & grace the blessing of a pure heart in this little book. He begins with explaining what it is when we say a man is pure, in the godly sense. General Booth says,"When we say that a man is pure, we mean that he is right and honest and true inside and out. He not only professes, but practices the things that have to do with his duty to God and man."
In today's language we would say "he walks what he talks!"


Founder of The Salvation Army: William Booth (picture in the museum)
William Booth writing at his desk
Booth adds that "God delights in Holiness. Heaven, His dwelling place is pure. It's inhabitants are pure. It's employments and enjoyments, and worship are all alike pure."
In Chapter 2, General W. Booth begins with the Scripture in Hebrews 12:14"Follow...holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
His personal testimony is this:"It is indeed a precious topic. I have loved it and talked about it all the way through my religious life. And today I regard the enjoyment and publication of the Blessing of a Clean heart as being as essential to my own peace, power, and usefulness, and as necessary to the progress and prosperity of The Army as ever it was."

He explains what is meant by the Heart: It is not the organ which pumps the blood throughout our body as the driving force of the Natural Man, even though this is ever so important to take care of. But the spiritual heart is the great driving force of the Spiritual man.
1) In this sense it is your Heart that feels joy or sorrow.
2) It is the Heart that chooses between right & wrong.
3) It is the Heart that decides on the particular line of conduct to be pursued.
4) It is the Heart that love righteousness and hates sin (Message Bible definition for sin - "doing whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it." My words: "It can be understood as simply being self-centred, not considering God in our every day events.")
5) It is the Heart that moulds the character, guides the choice, and masters all the course and conduct of a man's life.

In understanding the pure Heart concept, it is important to realize a pure Heart is not a Heart that is never tempted to do evil. A pure Heart is not a heart that cannot suffer.
By a pure Heart, it is not meant that the Heart cannot sin. The devil was once a beautiful, sinless creature. But he yielded to temptation. The sinless crown fell from his beautiful brow, and from a pure archangel he was changed into a foul fiend, and hurled all the way from his bright & sinless Heaven to his dark and gloomy hell. By a pure Heart, it is not meant any experience of Purity, however blessed it may be, that cannot increase in enjoyment, usefulness and power.

My summary: It is a book that should be read and re-read at least once a year by every Salvationist who desires to be a true Salvationist, inside and out.
It gives us a reminder to reflect on the important things in the business of God, which in General Booth's estimation is a Pure Heart. And a Pure Heart is a heart that has been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus from all sin, and filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit which enables us to please God is all we do...to love Him with all our might, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Where this experience is enjoyed by anyone it may be said that God has made the heart Pure, even as He is Pure.

Preface in "Purity of Heart"
The book "Purity of Heart" by William Booth has recently been reprinted and is therefore as a new edition available.

One of my favorite books written by William Booth is "The Seven Spirits" or what I teach my Officers (pub. 1907). General Booth prefaces the book with the realization that The Salvation Army representatives have a great opportunity set before them to glorify God by blessing the world! This privilege very largely depends upon the Field Officers. This book is a collection of messages for Salvation Army Officers held on a Congress 1904.

General Booth says:"Officers make the character of the armies they lead. This is true of military armies - Napoleon not only led his army, but made it. This is equally true, if not more so, of


Book by W. Booth in the Salvation Army Museum in Basel

Salvation Armies. On you, the Field Officer (FO), this responsibility rests. The FO especially fashions the force he controls, chiefly in three ways: by his mind, character, and methods. In short, he constitutes the mold in which those whom he commands will be cast. The shape you give the men and women under your command today will go down to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations. You are making the kind of Salvationists who will be walking about here 500 years from now, if the world lasts that long. If the Officer is a coward, those whom he commands will be cowards. If he is holy, they will be holy. If he is a man of resistless courage and daring, they will be like him. Our responsibility for success of failure is therefore enormous. Where we are successful we are not only gaining victories today, but making the conquerors of the future. Let us remember - we shall have to give an account of our stewardship. We are passing over one by one to that great Tribunal. My dear wife, Commisioner Dowdle, the Consul, have all gone to give their account. We too shall have to go. The words, "Behold I come quickly", are ever sounding in my ears."
William Booth continues:
"I propose to tell you frankly what I think is the kind of Officer called for at this juncture of our history; and, among other things, I think he should answer to the following description:
1. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Divine Life. Dead things will be of no use here.
2. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Holiness. Sanctified men are the world's greatest need.
3. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Supreme devotion to God through The Army.
4. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Light, causing men to know themselves, and know the things of God.
5. He should be possessed of the Spirit of War, fighting with other Salvationists against the evil and selfish tendencies of this world.
6. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Faith.
7. He should be possessed of the Spirit of Burning Love!"

This book is for those who are seeking to make their service to God and others via The Salvation Army productive and powerful. It is full of spiritual treasures that will challenge your faith and convict you of sin, it will remind you of God's purpose for you and keep you on the "straight and narrow" path that eventually will lead you to Heaven and accountability before God. (Debra K. Johnson, USA)

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