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Darkest India by Commissioner Booth-Tucker

Part 3 out of 3

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are only waiting to be cultivated to yield a rich return, it is equally
notorious that by improved methods of agriculture the present produce of
the soil may be doubled and trebled. To this subject we intend to pay
the full attention that it deserves, making the best possible use of
Native experience and European science. We shall be in a peculiarly
favorable situation for experiments on a large scale. But this is a
subject on which we cannot at present do more than touch, reserving for
a future period the elaboration of schemes which will doubtless have an
enormous reflexive effect upon the whole of India, and thus materially
increase the wealth of the entire country and the revenue of the



As in England, so in India, the establishment of a colony over the sea
will in the end prove the necessary completion of our scheme for
supplying work to the workless. There are sure to be found eventually in
overcrowded centres many for whom work at home cannot be found, and for
whom vast reaches of unoccupied territories in other lands wait to
afford a home.

Happily this will not be an immediate necessity in India. Over the
extended area occupied by the various races which comprise the Indian
Empire, large tracts of land still wait to be conquered by well-directed
industry, and the numerous settlements which it will be possible to form
in different parts of the country may for some time to come absorb the
surplus labour, add to the wealth of the country, the stability of the
Empire and the more rapid advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. Since,
however, we must look forward to emigration as the ultimate solution of
the problem which confronts us, we shall briefly indicate the lines upon
which we propose to carry it out.

In the establishment of Over-sea Colonies we shall follow very closely
the lines laid down in "Darkest England."

At present the continuous stream of emigrant labour flowing into
existing colonies already overstocked with labor, is creating serious
difficulties, and we have no idea of relieving a congested labour market
in one country by overstocking another: this would be, not to heal the
disorder, but only to shift the locality.

It may not be generally known how extensively emigration is already
resorted to by the people of India. We know that the impression is
abroad that Indians will not leave their country, that they fear the
sea, are too much attached to their home and their customs, and are far
too much filled with the dread of losing caste to yield to any pressure
that may be brought to bear upon them to quit the shores of their own
land for foreign fields of labour. As a matter of fact, however,
emigration to a considerable extent already exists.

In Ceylon alone there are nearly 300,000 Tamil coolies employed on the
Tea Estates, besides hundreds of thousands more who have permanently
settled in various parts of the Island. Vast tracts in the Island are
still waiting to be occupied. The former population of Ceylon is
variously estimated as having been from twelve to thirty millions,--now
it is only three! Is it impossible for us to suppose that it can be
restored to its former prosperity? Immense tanks and irrigation works
cover the entire country in tracts which are now unoccupied and desolate.
Many of these have been restored by Government, and there are now
100,000 acres of irrigable land in that country, only waiting to be
occupied and cultivated. Government is ready to give it on easy terms.
Here, then, alone is a wide and hopeful field for Indian emigration,
only requiring to be skilfully directed in order to find a home and
living for millions of India's destitute.

Now what we propose to do is not to check the stream of emigration, nor
yet to help it to flow on in its present channel until it overflows its
banks and engulfs in ruin the colonies it might have enriched, but
rather to dig out new channels, founding entirely new colonies in
districts yet unoccupied, on the plan laid down in "Darkest England."

The stream which, diverted into 20 or 30 channels, would enrich and
fertilize a whole continent, would if confined to one or two channels
burst its banks and become a desolating flood.

We shall ourselves become the leaders of the coolies, and dig out
channels in Ceylon, in Africa, in South America, and other countries,
building up from entirely new centres new colonies and territories and
kingdoms where the Indian colonist would find himself not a stranger in
a strange land, unwelcome, neglected, or illtreated, but at home in a
new India, more prosperous and happy than the one he had left behind,--a
colony peopled and possessed and managed by those of his own race and

Emigration carried on simply in the interests of those who promote it
and derive a profit out of it, without regard to the needs of the
districts to which they are exported, and with absolute disregard to the
comfort and convenience of the emigrant, and often attended with
heartless cruelties, must necessarily be fraught with grave evils. These
we believe we should largely be able to obviate. In vessels chartered by
ourselves or in some way under our direction, and with every comfort and
convenience which can be secured for the limited sum available for cost
of transit, for men, women, and children, under the direct
superintendence of our own trained officers, what a curtailment of human
suffering and shame there will be in the transit of the Colonist alone!
On his arrival he will be met by those who, if strangers, are his
friends, and who will secure for him comfortable quarters, communicate,
or enable the emigrant to communicate, with his friends at home,
introduce him to the particular industry to which he is assigned, and
who will not cease their personal care of him until he is happily
settled in his new home, and who will afterwards be available for
advice and counsel. He will find himself, not amongst people who are
eager to secure their own profit at his expense, but a part of a
commonwealth where each is taught to seek the good of his neighbour, and
where the laws are framed to secure and perpetuate this desirable
condition of things. A community where the blessings of home and
education and sanitary laws and religion are valued and made available
for all, and where liberty, which nowhere shines so sweetly as amongst a
frugal, industrious, intelligent, simple and godly people, reigns in

Moreover, our widely extended operations, our connection and oneness
with the great social movement of the Army in various lands, and the
regulations which will control the movement, will enable us invariably
to convey our colonists to fields where their labours will be of the
greatest value, and instantly to check any tendency to excess of labour
at any given centre, and even at times to greatly relieve temporary
gluts in the labor market arising from unforeseen circumstances.

In short, it is scarcely possible to overrate the blessings likely to
flow from Colonies where drink and opium will be unprocurable, where
vice will be repressed, where greed will receive little encouragement
and have few opportunities to grow, and where the comparative absence of
poverty on the one hand, and of extreme wealth on the other and the
general contentment of the people, will make life on earth a joy to
those who were once nearly starved out of it.




In connection with our Labor Bureau we shall establish an intelligence
department, the duty of which will be to collect all kinds of
information likely to be of use in prosecuting our Social Reform.

For instance, it would watch the state of the labor market, would
ascertain where there was a lack of labor and where a glut, would inform
the public of the progress of the movement, would bring to our notice
any newspaper criticisms or suggestions, and would generally make itself
useful in a thousand ways.


This would meet a long-felt want, and could also be worked in connection
with the Labor Bureau.

The poor would be able to get sound legal advice in regard to their
difficulties, and we should be able to help them in their defence where
we believed them to be wronged.


This has been established for some time in England with admirable
success, our worldwide organization enabling us to trace people under
the most unfavorable circumstances. No doubt there would be much scope
for such a department in India. At the outset it would form part of the
duties of the Labor Bureau, and would not therefore entail any extra


A thoroughly confidential matrimonial bureau which would wisely advise
people desirous of getting married, would certainly be of great service
in India. Its operations would no doubt be small in the beginning, but
as it got to be known and trusted it would be more and more resorted to.

Even supposing that outsiders should hold aloof from it, we should have
a large inside constituency to whom its operations would be very
valuable, and it would be thoroughly in accordance with native notions
for the mutual negotiations to be carried on in such a way.

Missionaries are everywhere largely resorted to in regard to questions
of this kind; and we have every reason to believe that it would be so
with ourselves, and we should thus be able largely to guard our people
against ill-assorted matches, and to furnish them with wise counsel on
the subject.


The subject of emigration has been already referred to elsewhere. No
doubt we shall ultimately require a separate and special office for this
purpose in all the chief cities but at the outset its duties would fall
upon the Labor Bureau and Intelligence Departments who would collect all
the information they could preparatory to the launching of this part of
the scheme.


In place of the "Whitechapel by the sea" proposed by General Booth, a
suitable Indian substitute would I think consist of periodical "melas"
similar to those already prevalent in various parts of the country.

These might be arranged with the treble object of religious
instruction, bodily recreation, and in order to find an occasional
special market for the surplus goods that we produce.

Everything would be managed with military precision. The place would be
previously prepared for the reception of the people. An attractive
programme would be arranged. Everybody would be made to feel comfortable
and at home. And no effort would be spared to make the occasion morally
and spiritually profitable, as well as valuable for the relaxation it
afforded to the bodies of those who attended, and financially profitable
for the purpose of our Social Reform work.



In order to put the whole of the foregoing machinery into motion on an
extensive scale, there can be no doubt that economise as we may, a
considerable outlay will be unavoidable. True we are able to supply
skilled leadership under devoted and self-sacrificing men and women for
a merely nominal cost. True we have Europeans willing to live on the
cheap native diet, and to assimilate themselves in dress, houses and
other manners to the people amongst whom they live. True that we have
raised up around us an equally devoted band of Natives, in whose
integrity we have the fullest confidence and whose ability and knowledge
of the country will prove of valuable service to us in the carrying out
of our scheme. True that around our 450 European and Native officers, we
have enlisted and drilled a force of several thousands of earnest
soldiers of the Cross, who are pledged abstainers from all intoxicating
liquors and drugs, who have renounced all forms of impurity and
sin,--who have promised to devote their lives to the social, moral and
spiritual regeneration of their fellow countrymen,--who are accustomed
to pray and preach in their leisure hours, without being paid a cowrie
for doing so, and who not only support themselves and their families by
their labor, but contribute for the support of their officers.

Nevertheless, while it is a fact that this cheap and efficient agency
exists for the carrying out of the reforms that have been sketched in
the foregoing pages,--it cannot be denied that a considerable sum of
money will be needed for the successful launching of the scheme.

Once fairly started, we have every reason to believe that the plans
here laid down will not only prove strictly self-supporting, but will
yield such a margin of profit as will ultimately enable us to set on
foot wholesale extensions of the scheme. No doubt there will be local
disappointments and individual failures. We are dealing with human
nature, and must anticipate that this will be the case. But the
proportion of success will far outweigh the fraction of failure, and
when the profits and losses of the scheme came to be balanced year by
year we have no doubt that socially, physically, morally and financially
we shall be able to show so enormous a gain that the most unreasonable
of our critics will be silenced.

And yet when we come face to face with the details of the scheme, we
find that the scale of our operations must necessarily depend on the
amount of capital with which we are able to start. The City Colony, with
its Labor Bureau, Labor Yards, Food Depots, Prison and Rescue Homes, and
Salvage Brigade, will involve a considerable initial expense. Although
we are able to supply an efficient supervising staff for a mere fraction
of the ordinary cost,--rents of land and buildings will have to paid.
And although work will be exacted from those who resort to our Yards and
Homes, yet the supply of food to the large numbers who are likely to
need our help will at the outset probably cost us more than we are able
to recover from the sale of the goods produced.

The Country Colony, with its Industrial Villages, Suburban Farms, and
Waste Settlements, will involve a still heavier outlay of capital. There
is every reason to believe that we may look for an ample return. Indeed
the financial prospects of this branch of the scheme are more hopeful
than these of the City Colony. But to commence on a large scale will
involve no doubt a proportionate expenditure. We may hope indeed that
Government, Native States and private landowners will generously assist
us to overcome these difficulties by grants of land, and advances of
money and other concessions. Still we must anticipate that a
considerable portion of the financial burden and responsibility in
commencing such an enterprise must of necessity fall upon us.

The Over-Sea Colony may for the present be postponed, and hence we have
not now to consider what would be the probable expenses. But omitting
this, and having regard only to the City and Country Colonies, I believe
that to make a commencement on a fairly extensive scale we shall require
a sum of one lakh of rupees. We do not pretend that with this sum at our
command we can do more than make a beginning. It would be idle to
suppose that the miseries of twenty-five millions of people could be
annihilated at a stroke for such a sum.

We do believe however that by sinking such a sum we should be able to
manufacture a road over which a continuous and increasing mass of the
Submerged would be able to liberate themselves from their present
miserable surroundings and rise to a position of comparative comfort.

We are confident moreover that the profits, or shall we call them the
tolls paid by those who passed over this highway, would enable us
speedily to construct a second, which would be broader and better than
the first. The first two would multiply themselves to four, the four to
eight, the eight to sixteen, till the number and breadth of these social
highways would be such as to place deliverance within easy reach of all
who desired it.

The sum we ask for is less than a tithe of what has been so speedily
raised in England for the rescue of a far smaller number of the
submerged. And yet there may be those who will think that we are asking
for too much. But when I see far larger sums expended on the erection,
or support of a single Hospital, or Dharamsala, and when I remember that
Indian philanthropy has covered the country with such, I am tempted to
exclaim "What is this among so many?"

Surely it would be a libel upon Indian philanthropy and generosity to
ask for less, in launching a scheme, which has received the hearty
support of multitudes of persons so well able to form a judgment as to
its feasibility and soundness, and this too after having been submitted
to the most searching criticisms that human ingenuity could suggest! At
any rate this we can promise, that whatever may be given will be laid
out carefully to the best possible advantage. A special annual balance
sheet will show how the money entrusted to our care has been expended,
and if the success of the work be not sufficient to justify its
existence, it will always be easy for the public to withhold those
supplies on which we must continue to depend for the prosecution of our

Looking at the future however in the light of the past history of the
Salvation Army, both in India, and especially in those other parts of
the world, where its organization has had more time to develop and fewer
obstacles to contend with, we are confident that the results will be
such as to repay a hundred fold every effort made and every rupee laid
out in promoting the welfare of India. And even supposing that
comparative failure should result, we should have the satisfaction of
knowing that

"'Tis better to have tried and failed,
Than never to have tried at all!"

The anathemas of posterity will alight upon the heads, not of those who
have made a brave effort to better the evils that surround them, but of
those who by their supineness helped to ensure such failure, or by their
active opposition paralysed the efforts and discouraged the hearts of
those who, but for them, might either have wholely succeeded in
accomplishing what all admit to be so desirable, or might at least have
been far nearer reaching their goal than was possible owing to the
dog-in-the-manger obstructions of those who had neither the heart to
help, nor the brains to devise, nor the courage to execute, what others
might have dared and done!



In proposing at once to deal with the problem of lifting out of the jaws
of starvation India's poorest and darkest however impossible it may look
to some, we have the immense advantage and encouragement which arises
from the fact that General Booth's scheme (which I have followed as
closely as the widely differing conditions of Indian society would
admit) has already received the all but universal approval of the best
and ablest in Europe from the Queen downwards. It has in fact so
commended itself to the general public that men of all shades of
religious belief, men of no belief at all, men of every political party,
and from every rank of society have not only heartily approved but
contributed already L100,000 for the carrying out of the project.
Moreover, some of its most important details have already had applied to
them both in England and Australia the valuable test of experience.

There is one question which may start up in the mind of the reader and
that is, granted that the scheme is sure to prove successful in England,
is it not still probable that, owing to the complex arrangements of
caste and religion in India any such scheme would meet with failure. To
this I answer in the first place, that all will be helped, irrespective
of their creed, and any change of opinions on their part will be purely
voluntary, since no compulsion, beyond that of love and moral suasion,
is intended to be used. Moreover, drowning men are not too particular as
to the means available for their rescue. They would rather be dragged
out of the water by the hair of their heads than left to drown, or would
rather be lifted out feet foremost than left to be devoured by
alligators. If it be true that starving men are driven by hunger to
commit theft solely that they may be sent to jail where at least they
will get food and be saved for a time from the hunger-wolf, how can we
doubt but that thousands will hail with gladness a deliverance which is
not only a deliverance from want and starvation, but the opening out of
a brighter path for their whole future.

The blessed example set by hundreds of men and women in our ranks who
have given up friends, parents, home, prospects and everything they
possess to walk barefooted beneath India's burning sun in order to seek
the weal of its people cannot fail I believe to stir up the rich and
well-to-do, nay _all_ but those too poor to help,--to make some
sacrifice to heal the unutterable woes, and to sweeten the hard and
bitter lot of those who, often through no fault of their own, have
fallen in the battle of life, and who have been all but crushed and
cursed out of existence by misfortunes which are to some extent at least
within our power to remedy.

True lovers of India (and nothing is more encouraging than the splendid
manner in which the intelligence of this country is arousing itself to
thoughtful active effort for the weal of the nation, putting aside all
differences of race and religion, that it may unite to seek the common
good,) true lovers of India, we say, will never allow differences in
race and religion to hinder them in a question affecting the well-being
of some 26,000,000 of people who are already a drag and a hindrance to
the rising prosperity of the nation, and who are sure if neglected to
become a danger. No one asks about the religion of Stanley. His heroic
march through the terrible forest, his rescue of Emin Pasha, his
successful achievement of that which to most men would have been
impossible, have made him to be admired and praised in every land.

Here we are proposing to rescue, not one Pasha and a handful of his
followers, but almost as many people as the entire population of Great
Britain. We stand at the edge of this forest. We know something of it
before we enter. We are not dismayed. We only ask you to meet the cost
of the expedition. Great armies of beggars and workless, and drunkards
and opium-eaters and harlots and criminals are going to be dragged out
of these morasses, to bless the land which gave them birth with the
wealth of their labor and to build new Indian Empires across the sea.

A bold and daring expedition has been planned into this dark social
forest, with its dismal swamps, its pestilential vapours, its seemingly
endless night, to rescue and bring to the light of hope, to green
industrial pastures and healthy heavenly breezes, its imprisoned
victims. May we not then, since men can be found to do and dare in such
a godlike enterprise, confidently claim the enthusiastic interest and
the practical help of all good men, no matter when or how they worship
the great Eternal Father of the human race!

If any one should object that is an impossible enterprise, we answer,
who can tell? Why indeed impossible, seeing that millions of acres wait
to be tilled and to yield their treasures to the unfed mouths of
workless labourers? Why impossible, since hundreds of thousands are
saying, it is not charity, we crave, but the privilege to work and earn
our bread? Why impossible, when willing hearts and hands are ready to
spring forward and at any cost dive into this dark forest and bring the
hungry mouths into the fostering care of the fruitful earth? Why
impossible, when a mass of unproductive wealth waits to serve some
useful purpose and bless its holder, bringing back to him a hundred per
cent, if he will but lend it to his God by giving it to the poor?

We have portrayed with studied moderation the dark regions of woe. We
have laid before you with careful explicitness the scheme or remedy. We
have endeavoured to anticipate and answer all objections. And now it is
for you to make this great enterprise possible by uniting to subscribe
the sum we ask for, as necessary to float the scheme.

We have built our deliverance ship in the dockyard of loving design, we
have wrought her plates, riveted her bolts, fixed her masts, put in her
boilers and engines, fitted her and supplied her with gear. It is your
privilege to launch her--to draw the silver bolt and permit her to leave
the stocks and glide down into the dark deep sea of misery and land on
heavenly shores the drowning submerged millions.

We believe that your response will be worthy of you. Coming generations
will thank you, and the blessings of them that were ready to perish will
rest upon you, and the God of the fatherless and the widow will remember
you for good.


_The Poor Whites and Eurasians._

It will doubtless be noticed that I have excluded the consideration of
this question from the foregoing pages. This has been decided on, though
with considerable hesitation, for the following reasons:--

1. Numerically they are much fewer than the submerged India of which we
have been speaking.

2. Influential charitable agencies already exist, whose special duty it
is to care for them; any effort on our part to apply General Booth's
scheme to them would probably be regarded by those societies as a work
of supererogation, and would be likely to be received by them with a
considerable measure of opposition.

3. The circumstances and surroundings of the European and Eurasian
community are so different that the scheme will require considerable
readaptation. Indeed the subject will need a pamphlet to itself, and I
have found it impossible to work it harmoniously into the present

4. I am convinced moreover that this is a _subsidiary_ question, and
that our main efforts _must_ be directed towards reaching and uplifting
the purely Indian submerged.

5. Should however the question be pressed upon us hereafter, we shall be
quite prepared to take it up and deal with it systematically and
radically on the lines laid down by General Booth. I have studied with
considerable care and interest the writings of the late Mr. White on
this important matter, and believe that if the necessary funds were
forthcoming, it would be comparatively easy for us to adapt the Darkest
England Scheme to the necessities of this important class.


_Her Majesty the Queen-Empress cordially sympathises._

Her Majesty says "The Queen cannot of course express any opinion on the
details of the scheme, but understanding that your object is to
alleviate misery and suffering, her Majesty cordially wishes you success
in the undertaking you have originated."

_His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales,_

Writes to express his hearty interest in the scheme and is seen
earnestly studying the book and making notes upon it.

_The Empress Frederick reads the book with interest._


_November_ 1, 1890.

Count Seckendorff begs leave to acknowledge by command of her Majesty
the Empress Frederick the receipt of General Booth's book in "Darkest
England and the way out." Count Seckendorff is commanded to say that her
Majesty will read the book with special interest.

_The Earl of Aberdeen expresses his sympathy._

In common with thousands of others I have been studying your "plan of
campaign." Last night I saw Mr. Bancroft's letter. I think he has
performed a public service in coming forward in this spirited manner at
the present time. Those who have been in any way associated with past or
existing efforts on behalf of the classes which you aim at reaching
should reasonably be amongst the first to welcome a scheme so practical,
so comprehensive, and so carefully devised as that which you have placed
before the country. I shall be happy to become one of the hundred
contributors who according to Mr. Bancroft's proposal shall each be
responsible for L1,000 on the condition specified. With the offer of
sympathy, and the assurance of hearty good wishes,

I remain, yours very faithfully,


_The Earl of Airlie Subscribes._

"The Earl of Airlie has forwarded towards General Booth's fund a cheque
for L1,000."

_The Marquis of Queensberry offers his services._


_November_ 21.

My Dear General Booth--I have read your book "In Darkest England" with
the greatest interest, also with thrills of horror that things should be
as bad as they are.

I send you a cheque for L100, and shall feel compelled if your scheme is
carried out to give you a yearly subscription. You say you want
recruits. When I come to town I should very much like to see you to talk
this matter over, for I see no cause which a man could more put his
heart and soul into than this one of endeavouring to alleviate this
fearful misery of our fellow-creatures. I see you quote Carlyle in your
book, but is it possible for any one like myself, who is even more
bitterly opposed than he was against what to me is the Christian
falsehood, to work with you! We have two things to do as things are at
present--first to endeavour to alleviate the present awful suffering
that exists to the best of our abilities, and surely this ought to be a
state affair; and secondly to get at the roots of the evils and by
changing public opinion gradually develop a different state of things
for future generations, when this help will not be so necessary. I do
not wish to get into a religious controversy with you on how this is to
be brought about, but I tell you I am no Christian and am bitterly
opposed to it. A tree, I believe, is to be judged by its fruits.
Christianity has been with us many hundreds of years.

What can we think of it when its results are as they are at present with
the poor whom Christ, I believe, you say informed us we should always
have with us. I know nothing about other worlds, beyond that I see
thousand around me whom I presume look after their own affairs. It
appears to me our common and plainest duty to help and to try and change
the lot of our suffering fellow creatures here on this earth. You can
publish this if you please, but without suppressing any of it. If not
and any notice is given of subscriptions as I see you are doing, I beg
it may be notified that I send this mite as a reverent agnostic to our
common cause of humanity.

Yours faithfully,


_Lord Scarborough is amongst its supporters._

"Lord Scarborough, writing from Lumley Castle Chester-le-street, has
subscribed L50."

_Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone lend to it the weight of their influence._

"Mr. Gladstone has already expressed has interest in the scheme and now
Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone with a like kindly expression forward L50 towards

_Mr. Pickersgill, M.P., looks upon it with increasing favour._

At the New Debating Society, Haverstook Hill, Mr. Pickersgill, M.P.,
said when he first began to read the book he did not approach it with
any particularly favourable feelings towards the Salvation Army. He
thought that the scheme was the most plausible ever devised. There was
in it a happy blending of the ideal with the practical, and a nice
balancing of its various parts in the attempt to solve the problem
involved in the question "Can we get back to the ordinary conditions of
life as they exist in a small healthy community."

_The Bishop of Durham reviews the Scheme._

Speaking on Thursday night at the closing meeting of the General Church
Mission at Sunderland, the Bishop of Durham said that just now men were
talking on all sides of a great scheme which had been set forth for
dealing with some of the social sorrows of our age. The remarkable book
in which it was sketched was well calculated to present, in a most vivid
combination, the various forms of work to which Christian men must bring
the power of their faith. It brought together with remarkable skill the
different problems which were pressed upon them; it allowed them to gain
a view of the whole field and something of the relation of the different
parts one to another. For his own part he trusted that many might be
stirred to some unwonted exertion.

_The Bishop of Lincoln thanks the General._

"I thank you heartily for the book you have sent me. The name of it is
already well known to English Churchmen, and its object is one in which,
we all agree.

"The Cross of Christ is the only effectual remedy for the great mass of
vice and wretchedness in our large towns, to which you are endeavouring
to call public attention; and we must not be content with presenting
that Cross in words alone, but must endeavour to show, by our personal
efforts and example, how it may practically be applied so as to purify
the lives and quicken the hopes of those amongst our countrymen who are
now as much strangers to its power as the inhabitants of darkest

_The Bishop of Bath and Wells values the book._

"I beg to acknowledge, with very many thanks, the receipt of your letter
and the volume of your work, 'In Darkest England,' which you have been
so good as to send me. I shall read it with much interest, both from the
deep importance of the subject, whether viewed in its social, political,
or Christian aspect, and also from its containing the opinion of one who
has had such universal opportunities as you have had of becoming
acquainted with the wants of the lowest and most unhappy section of our
great population."

_The Bishop of Rochester is glad to possess the book._

The Bishop of Rochester writes that he hastens to thank Mr. Booth for
sending him his book, and he is glad to possess it, and hopes it may be
productive of much good. He takes the opportunity of expressing his
profound sympathy with him in Mrs. Booth's death.

_The Bishop of Wakefield (Dr. Walsham How) studies the scheme with
deepest interest._

I have just received your book, which you have so kindly sent me. I have
already bought a copy, which I shall give away. I am studying your
scheme with the deepest interest, and I trust and pray it may bring
blessing and hope to many. May I venture to express my sympathy with you
in your recent heavy bereavement? You do not sorrow as those that have
no hope.

_Canon Farrar preaching at Westminster Abbey, says we are bound to help
the scheme or find a better one._

It was not difficult to see, as early as half past one on Sunday
afternoon last, that something was about to take place in Westminister
Abbey. A friendly policeman informed me that the service in the fine old
pile of buildings did not commence till three o'clock, but that as Canon
Farrar was announced to preach, and upon such an all-absorbing topic as
General Booth's new book, people were bent upon securing a good position
by being in time.

Some three-quarters of an hour before the service commenced the gigantic
building was crowded, and the trooping multitudes only arrived at the
doors to find a crowd waiting for the least opportunity of getting in.
It was reported that thousands were turned away.

Canon Farrar had announced his subject as "Social Amelioration," and at
the outset stated that he alone was responsible for the opinions he
proposed to express in connection with General Booth's scheme. In a very
masterly and eloquent way he pictured the social evils which disgrace
our civilisation, the small and ineffectual efforts being put forth for
their removal, and the terrible responsibility resting upon us as a
nation to do our utmost to forward any scheme which appeared likely to
effect an amelioration. He proceeded:--

Well, here was General Booth's scheme, which he had examined, and with
which he had been deeply struck. He pitied the cold heart which could
read and not be stirred by "Darkest England." In his best judgment he
believed the scheme to be full of promise if the necessary funds were
provided, and he merely regarded it as his humble duty to render the
undertaking such aid as he could.

Had any such scheme been proposed by a member of the Church of England,
he should have given it every support. He regarded the scheme as
supplementing, not interfering with, the work of the Church, as
preparing for, not hindering, the Church's work. The scheme, although no
Christian scheme could be wholly dislinked from religion, was yet most
prominently a social scheme; its origin was The Salvation Army, but it
was intended to promote the work of the common Church.

Was the scheme to be thrown aside contemptuously at once on account of
prejudice, because it emanated from The Salvation Army? If any thought
so, he blamed them not, but he for one declared he could not share their
views. He was, perhaps, more widely separated from some of the methods
of the Salvation Army than many of his brethren, but the work of the
Army had not been unblessed, and there was much that might be learned
from an organisation which in so short a time had accomplished so great
a work. He dwelt upon the nature of The Salvation Army's work, the
officers who were exerting themselves in connection with it, the number
of countries to which the organisation had spread. The Salvation Army in
its work and extent had credentials which could not be denied. Were they
to stand coldly, finically aside because they were too refined and nice,
and full of culture to touch this work of The Salvation Army with the
point of the finger? He took it that he should fail grievously in his
duty if insult or self-interest caused him to hold aloof from any
movement which Christ, if He had been on earth, would have approved.

Then Dr. Farrar quoted the late Bishop Lightfoot and the late Canon
Liddon in favor of The Salvation Army as an organisation which had
accomplished a deal of good work.

Next he asked, "How shall we receive General Booth's scheme now that it
is here to our hands?" With some people the simplest way of treating any
scheme for good was to leave it alone. To those who took that position
with reference to General Booth's scheme he had nothing whatever to say.
There was no need for saying anything either to the other class of
people who would talk about a scheme, and having talked about it drop
the matter and think no more about it.

Another way in which General Booth's scheme might be received was that
of examining it, and if convinced against it of rejecting it. That, at
all events, was a perfectly manly course; a clear and decided method of
reception which there can be no mistaking. To those included in this
class, those who would regard the scheme as migratory or pernicious,
there was nothing to be said. But what about those who did not mean to
help in this or any other scheme, those who left others the burden of
the work, the opportunists who would want to step in when the breach had
been made? Here, no doubt, there would be such a class, but the last way
of receiving General Booth's scheme, and the way in which as he trusted
it would be received, was to support it by their influence, and to give
to it of their means. It was an immense and far-reaching scheme, which,
might bring help and hope to thousands of the helpless and hopeless,
made helpless and hopeless by the terrible conditions of society, but
for every one of whom Christ died.

To begin the scheme in earnest would require a sum of L100,000, but he
asked, "What was that to the wealth of England--to the wealth of
London?" It was a mere drop in the ocean compared to what was every year
spent on drink and wasted in extravagance. There were a hundred men in
England who might immortalise themselves by giving this sum, and yet not
have a luxury the less. He left the response to General Booth's appeal
with the public, but would it not, he asked, be a desperate shame for
England if any scheme giving so hopeful a promise of social amelioration
should fail without a trial, and like a broken promise, be lost in air?

But to this observation somebody might reply in the form of a queried
objection, "The scheme might fail." _Yes, it might fail; anything might
fail. But if to die amid disloyalty and hatred meant failure, then St.
Paul failed. If to die in the storm meant failure, then Luther and
Wesley and Whitfield failed; if to die at the stake by the flames meant
failure, did not martyrs fail; Finally, if to die on the cross, with the
priests and the soldiers spitting out hatred, meant failure, then Jesus
Christ failed._ Yes, the scheme might fail; but was all this failure?
Were there none among them bold enough to look beyond the possibility of
failure? Could they not somehow get round the word? Fear and jealousy
and suspicion and intolerance and despair were counsellors finding
multitudes to listen, but he for one would listen to the nobler
counsellor "Hope." Were none of them bold enough at the last moment to
prefer even failure in a matter like this to the most brilliant success
in pleasing the world and making truce with the devil? He would try to
hope that the scheme might not fail, but what each one had to consider
was the question, "Shall it fail through my cowardice, my greed, my
supineness, my prudential cautiousness, my petty prejudices, my selfish

"If, on examining this plan in the light of conscience, we see in it an
augury for the removal of the deadly evils which lie at the heart of our
civilisation, it seems to me we are bound to do our utmost to help it
forward. 'But,' you say, 'if we conscientiously disapprove of it?' Then
we are in duty bound to propose or to forward


"One way only is contemptible and accursed--that is, to make it a mere
excuse for envy, malice and depreciation.

"He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear;
but God shall be the judge between us, and His voice says in Scripture:
'If thou forbear to deliver them that are bound unto death, and those
who are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, "Behold," we knew it not,
doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it, and he that keepeth
thy soul, doth not He know it, and shall not He render to every man
according to his work?'"

_Archdeacon Sinclair wishes the scheme success._

Speaking at Bromley, Kent, on Friday night, in connection with the
Canterbury diocese, of the Church of England Temperance Society,
Archdeacon Sinclair referred to General Booth's scheme. He wished very
great success to that courageous and large scheme.

_The Rev. Brooke Lambert defends the scheme in the "Times."_

There is much that is not new in the scheme. General Booth allows that
much. But there are two factors in his scheme which, if not new, at
least acquire a new prominence. These two factors are help and hope.
Society drops these two h's. For help it substitutes money-giving, and
as for hope for the disreputable, it has none. The personal contact of
General Booth's workers, of his 10,000 officers, is an essential feature
of the scheme. They take the man or the woman as they enter the shelter,
and prevent it from becoming a means of dissemination of crime, of
filth, of disease. They stand by the new-fledged proselyte to work, to
encourage perseverance. They follow him to the country colony, the
abomination of desolation to one who has walked the London pavements and
found his heaven in the gin-palace and the music-hall, to stimulate
effort. They accompany him to the colony to remind him that true freedom
is not licence, that the conditions of success are a change of mind and
not of climate. But for them, one might doubt whether the hope General
Booth conceives for the "submerged tenth" would be hope at all in their
eyes. Nothing so difficult as to persuade the Londoner to go into the
country, and the emigrant to keep to work away from the congenial
interludes of town pleasure. But once create this hope (and persistent
reiteration can do much when the agent is a kindly man or woman) and you
have introduced a new element into the life of the wastrel. Our prison
system, growing in harshness, failed utterly to deter; with the
reformatory system, based on the principle of making it to a man's
interest to behave well within the walls, a new era dawned on criminal
legislation. It is for these reasons that I look with deep interest on
General Booth's experiment. Do not let us say, "The experiment has been
tried before; it is useless to attempt it again." I believe there is
enough of novelty in General Booth's scheme to justify a hope of
success. But for past failures I can but say that people do not regard
failure as a ground for inaction when their interest is deeply involved.
When I was a boy, some 45 years ago, I saw at the old Polytechnic
experiments in electricity: the electric light, the electric cautery,
&c. For years I expected to see them introduced into the work-day world.
Now, at last, they are coming into use, but I do not think the shares
stand at a very high premium. None the less electricity will one day be
of universal use. That is what experiment in spite of failure has done;
that is what we ought to do in social matters. When all is done, the
result will be comparatively small when compared with our aspirations,
but it will create, as all good work does, new outlets for effort, new
objects for hope.


_The Vicarage, Greenwich, Nov. 19._

_Dr. Parker approves the General's Scheme._

A report in the _Star_ says:--"Dr. Parker, preaching his one-minute
sermon at the City Temple yesterday (Sunday) morning, said, 'I hope
General Booth will get every penny he asked for. No man can make better
use of money. I wish be would include other Englands in his scheme.
There is another England, darker than the darkest he has in view. I mean
the England of genteel poverty and genteel misery.... These people are
not in the slums, but they are fast being driven in that direction....
From my point of view, one of the best features in General Booth's
scheme is that nobody is to receive anything for nothing. It is easy to
throw money away. Money we work for goes farthest. There is


upon it.

DR. PARKER SAYS "NO BOARDS."--Dr. Parker, addressing his congregation on
Thursday morning, said:--"General Booth spoke to me the other day at my
house, amongst others, about boards of trustees and referees, and all
the rest of it, in reference to his scheme. I said that would spoil the
whole thing. I do not want any boards of reference. We have boards
enough and referees enough--(laughter)--and we do not want little men to
assume an awful responsibility which Providence never meant them to
handle. They had better let a great governing spirit like General Booth
manage the whole thing in his own way. I am afraid I was even more of a
democrat than even General Booth suspected. (Laughter.) I am an
autocrat--I believe in one man doing a thing. Some persons imagine if
they have got six little men together that they will total up into a
Booth. The Lord makes His own Booths, and Moodys, and Spurgeons, and
sends them out to do His work, and we shall do well to get out of their
way, except when we have anything to give of sympathy, money, prayer and
assistance. Presently, some Thursday morning, I am going to give you a
chance of giving--which you will--to this great scheme." (Applause.)

_Dr. Moulton, President of the Wesleyan Conference, is grateful for the
labour which the General has expended upon this problem._

"No one can read your book without recognising the claim which you have
established on the sympathetic help of all Christian churches. For
myself, I am deeply grateful to you for the enormous labor which you
have expended on the great problem, and for your able treatment of its

_Revd. Alfred Rowland says he believes the working of the Scheme will be
for the good of the people._

Yesterday morning the Rev. Alfred Rowland preached at Park Chapel,
Crouch End, the first portion of a sermon on General Booth's book. The
preacher said the scheme was a noble, bold, and generous effort to reach
the masses. He believed the result of the working of the scheme would be
for the good of the people at large. He asked them to give liberally to
the project, even if it was only an experiment, because he believed it
would succeed, and all he could do, financially and otherwise, he should
be pleased to do in support of the scheme.

_A Collection for the Scheme is raised at City Church, Oxford._

At the City Church, Oxford, on Sunday, the rector, the Rev. Carterel
J.H. Fletcher, preached at both morning and evening services in aid of
General Booth's Social Salvation Fund, and the collections were devoted
to the object.

_Revd. H. Arnold Thomas makes a successful appeal on behalf of the


The sum of L650 was collected at Highbury Congregational Chapel,
Bristol, on Sunday, as a contribution to General Booth's fund, for his
scheme unfolded in his book, "In Darkest England." This was in response
to an appeal from the pastor, the Rev. H. Arnold Thomas.

_Revd. Champness looks upon it as a forlorn hope._

A letter dated from Rochdale, and bearing the well-known name "Thomas
Champness," has reached General Booth, with a contribution of L50. "I
wish," writes Mr. Champness in his letter, "I could make you know how
much my heart is with you in your great scheme. I am not as sanguine as
some of your admirers are as to the success you are sure to win; but I
look upon it as a forlorn hope, in which a man had better lose his life
than save it by ignoble do-nothingness."

_Mrs. Fawcett points out the great value of the Scheme._


Mrs. Henry Fawcett, lecturing last night on "Private Remedies for
Poverty," before the Marylebone Centre of the university Extension
Lectures Society, at Welbeck Hall, Welbeck-street, W., said that
according to classified directories of London charities, these charities
had a yearly income of L4,000,000, but she did not think full returns
were made in all instances, and that the total sum was nearer
L7,000,000 than L4,000000, while the entire cost of poor-law relief in
the United Kingdom was only L8,000,000. Having dwelt upon the evils of
misdirected charity, she said the keynote of General Booth's scheme, and
what, as it seemed to her, gave her great hope of its being to some
extent a success, was the amount of personal devotion and energy which
it called for and which she believed the Salvation Army was prepared to
give to its development. Its keynote was the possibility of bringing
about a change in the individual by personal effort and influence. As
General Booth pointed out, the problem was unsolvable unless new soul
could be infused in the poor and outcast class whom it was designed to
help: and to this end it was not money that was wanted so much as the
personal service of men and women. One great feature of the scheme was
that no relief was to be given without work, except in very exceptional
cases. She had personally visited the workshops and shelters of the
Salvation Army in Whitechapel, and she found a number of people
apparently of the very lowest moral and physical type, and yet they were
de-brutalised and had a happy human look as they went on with their
work, which in some cases was the same as they had performed in gaol. No
temptation was afforded by the workshops or shelters to induce people to
stay away from ordinary industrial life longer than they could possibly
help. The men had to sleep in a kind of orange-box without bottom, on
the floor, upon an American oilcloth mattress; and with a piece of
leather for a coverlet. Most previous schemes for employing the
unemployed upon colonies and waste land had failed because of the men
put upon them, who were drunken, lazy, and half-witted. By General
Booth's scheme there was process of selection which would weed out those
individuals: and she thought photography might be employed in getting to
know bad and unsatisfactory characters.

_Mrs. Howard M'Lean hopes the Scheme may have an immediate trial._

Mrs. Howard M'Lean "presents her compliments to General Booth, and begs
to send him her promise of L100, in the earnest hope that the scheme set
forth in 'In Darkest England' may at least have a fair trial, and that

_The "Times of India" points out the advantages of the Scheme._

If we apprehend the scheme aright, it will be carried out independently
of existing charities, and indeed not under the guise of a charity at
all. The bread of poverty is bitter enough, but that of pauperism is
bitterer still, and General Booth, it would seem, intends to foster
rather than discourage such spirit of independence as he may find among
the lost souls for whom he works. But it seems to us that where such a
scheme as his chiefly gains its power, is in its total dissociation from
church or sect. However good the work which is done by the Church and by
the more widely ramified agency of the Non-conformist sects--and no one
will be found to deny that this work is of the greatest possible value
in relieving the destitute and reclaiming the criminal classes--there is
little or no unity about it. It is under no individual control, it is
not carried out on any uniform system, and one agency has no means of
knowing what another agency is doing. The result is that relief gets
very unevenly distributed, and the lazy and dissolute profit at the
expense of the deserving poor. Nor do any of these agencies, as a
general rule, aim at any systematic crusade against other destitution
than that of the moment. When they touch the lowest of low-life deeps;
it is for the most part in the way of temporary relief only, without the
effort (because they have not power) to set these people on their feet
again and give them the means of earning a living. It is here that
General Booth steps in, and by an elaborate but perfectly feasible
system, proposes without any attempt at proselytization to drag the poor
from their poverty, put them in the way of doing work of any kind they
may be fitted for, and eventually establish them in an over-sea colony.

Looking now to the objections which may be urged against General Booth's
scheme, we are at once confronted by two important considerations. The
first concerns the "General" himself. He asks for a million pounds
sterling to enable him to carry out his project, and the question seems
to have already been asked, Is he the person to whom a million pounds
may be entrusted? Will it be so safeguarded that those who subscribe may
feel assured that the money will be properly applied and an honest
attempt made to do the work here planned out? To all these questions we
are disposed to reply in the affirmative. General Booth and his
Salvation Army have by this time pretty well weathered the storm of
abuse and scorn with which their methods were at first received, and
however much we may be disposed even now to question the taste or
propriety of those methods, there can be no amount of doubt in the mind
of any reasonable man that the Salvation Army has been the means of
achieving enormous good the whole world over. In his administration of
this huge organization of which himself was the founder, Mr. Booth has
proved himself a man of probity and of the strictest possible integrity.
We do not hesitate to say that all the money he requires for this great
scheme may be safely placed in his hands, and that he will render a
strict account of its disbursement. Then comes the question, how far is
it possible for him to succeed in the work he proposes to undertake? He
has already in the field a vast organization doing good work among the
dregs of the population, and the extension of this organization to carry
out the main points of his project is not a matter of difficulty. The
ill is a terrible one, the evil gigantic, and the means to grapple with
it must be gigantic also. But given the means, will they be effective?
We frankly confess that we do not believe they will be so effective as
General Booth hopes, but we believe at the same time that if he can
achieve only one-tenth of what he hopes to achieve, ten millions of
pounds would be worthily laid out upon it. The hungry, the dirty, the
ragged, the hopeless and outcast, the criminal and the drunkard, the
idle and the vicious--can he gather all these in with any hope of
starting them afresh on the journey of life? So much work of this kind
has already been done without any special system, that there can be
little doubt that to a large extent he can. With the honestly poor it is
not a difficult matter, but with the vicious and criminal classes, who
have no inclination to work so long as they can steal, it will be a long
time before the Salvation Army or any other agency can effect any
sweeping reform. The work will be slow, but we believe it will be done.
It has been objected against General Booth's scheme that it is not new,
except in the fact that General Booth proposes that it shall be himself
who carries it out. It seems to us, on the contrary, that it is new in
one most vital aspect, and that is, that its details are to be worked
out by an enormous united body on a definite plan, instead of by
numberless charitable agencies all working independently of each other.
We believe, in short, that General Booth will meet with a very large
measure of success, and we believe also that when the details of his
scheme come to be read and discussed, he will have no difficulty in
getting all the money he asks for, and more besides. Looking at the
enormous wealth of England, a million pounds is as nothing. It is the
Duke of Westminister's income for three months, and it would open up the
means of finding hope and work and refuge, and a new life beyond the
seas, for a million or more of the helpless poor. We wish Mr. Booth
God-speed in his great undertaking.

_The "Bombay Gazette" of November 15th, 1890, gives an exhaustive
review, from which we cull the following extracts:_--

There is little of the form, though there may be much of the spirit, of
the Salvation Army in General Booth's "Darkest England and the Way Out."
It is on the whole a sober, and in some respects well-reasoned, attempt
to solve the most urgent problem of the day. Whosesoever the actual
workmanship of the book may be, the personality of General Booth
pervades every page--nowhere obtrusively it is true, but sufficiently to
impart life and warmth to the discussion of a problem whose solution,
though it must be sought for only within the limits marked out by
economic principles, will never be found, unless it is sought for with a
certain passionate sympathy for the outcast. The dramatic parallel which
the writer establishes between the savagery of Darkest Africa and the
suffering and sin of Darkest England, will arrest attention, and will of
itself make the book popular. Here, however, we are concerned with the
more matter-of-fact elements in the problem, and with the practical
remedies which are proposed for it. The heading of "the Submerged Tenth"
which is given to one of the chapters, roughly indicates the dimensions
of the task that has to be performed. General Booth takes three millions
to be the strength of the army of the destitute in England. The total
comprises the representatives of every phase of want--criminals and
drunkards and idlers and their dependants, as well as the class who are
destitute through misfortune, who are honest in their poverty, and whom
no man can blame for it. For these last-named, society does next to
nothing. There is the workhouse for people who have spent their last
penny; for so long as it remains unspent, it is a legal disqualification
for the help of the State. Or there is the casual ward, where a hard
task is exacted in payment for hard fare, but where absolutely nothing
is done to help the wayfarer to gain or regain a place and a living in
society. Out-relief has been reduced to the minimum. A few weeks ago the
whole parish of St. Jude, Whitechapel, with a population of sixty
thousand, provided only four applicants to the Board of Guardians for
out-relief. Thus far the organized official agency has done little
enough for the raising of the "submerged tenth." If _laissez faire_ were
a cure for all the ills of society, they would have been cured long ago,
for the remedy has been applied with a persistency that has failed not.
General Booth thinks that he has discovered a more excellent way, and is
entitled to a hearing for his plan, for part of it is already in
operation. In the "shelters" established by the Salvation Army in the
east of London, casual relief is given on almost as large a scale as in
the casual wards of the London Workhouses; but he claims for it that it
is a less degrading form of help, that sympathy goes with it; and with
him of course the emotional accompaniments which the Salvation Army is
careful to provide, count for much.

_The "Christian" prognosticates a good future for the Scheme._

Up to this stage the great social scheme of General Booth for uplifting
the "sunken tenth," has been, so to speak, "in the air." Monday night's
meeting at Exeter Hall may be said to have set it on the solid ground
and given good hope that it will run as fast and as far as the supplied
resources will allow. The great audience to which the General had to
address himself, was not mainly of the usual enthusiastic Army type; but
it cannot be said that it was not ready to approve and applaud when any
good and telling point was made. The brief religious service at the
beginning gave the proceedings the spiritual stamp of Army gatherings,
but the larger part of the time was taken up with the statement of the
General. For more than two and a half hours he was on his feet so that
he did not, at any rate, spare himself in his effort to interest the
public in his gigantic plan of campaign. At the outset, he expressed
diffidence in entering on the exposition of somewhat new lines of work,
but he soon showed himself at home, and in much that he advanced there
was a happy audacity and a confidence that boded well for the future
developments of his scheme.

_The "Bombay Guardian" defends the Scheme._

General Booth's aim is to give every one who is "down in the world" a
chance to rise. No one, however poor or however degraded, is to be left
out. By means of shelters and training factories in the towns, he would
give every one a chance who wishes to work, however "lost" their
character may have become. There is to be absolutely no charity. All
will work for their food and lodging, until they have gained sufficient
character and experience to take a situation as a respectable working
man or woman. There are thousands of "out-of-works," "ne'er-do-wells,"
&c., in every large town in England, who are naturally fitted for
agricultural work, although they have lived all their lives, perhaps,
far away from the green fields. For the training of these General Booth
has a scheme of a large "Farm Colony" which will be nearly or entirely
self-supporting. When trained sufficiently in agricultural work, they
will be drafted off by emigration to a great "over-sea" colony in South
Africa. The whole movement will be permeated by earnest Christian
teaching. The man who is in trouble and professes to be converted, will
be welcomed on that account, and the man who is in trouble but does not
profess to be saved, will be equally welcome in the hope that he may
give himself to Christ.

It is computed that there are three million people in England whom this
scheme will eventually hope to help. A first instalment of L100,000
towards an eventual million, is asked for as a starting-point for the

This seems a large undertaking and a large sum, but compared to the
needs of the world, it is very small.

There is a still darker France than the darkest England, a darker Italy
than the darkest France, and deeper depths of darkness still in India.

We think that those who know the "slums" of London and large English
towns the best, will be the heartiest in wishing God-speed to General
Booth's latest movement, which also includes every possible form of
Christian benevolent activity.

When Christ reigns as Viceroy for Jehovah for a thousand years, as the
Word of God so distinctly intimates, it may be that some such plan as
this, far more perfect and world-wide in its aim, will form part of the
inaugurative forces of that happy lot.

Speaking broadly, General Booth's great scheme is in harmony with views
that are accepted by all Christians. His design is to elevate the
wretched to more favourable conditions of life, on the principle of the
Temperance reformer who seeks to remove temptations to drunkenness; or
of the opponent of the iniquitous opium traffic, who insists upon the
prohibition of the drug which is the curse of millions; or of the
antagonist of licensed impurity, who demands that the tendency of law
shall be to make it easy to do right, and not afford facilities to do
wrong. Some passages of "In Darkest England and the Way Out" are
certainly capable of being misconstrued. But on looking at the book and
its scheme as a whole, the Christian heart is drawn into lively sympathy
with it, without being committed to every detail. If all that is
anticipated be not realized by this gigantic scheme, the attempt to
carry it out cannot do otherwise than prove a source of great and
eternal good to multitudes, as the labourers carry on their work in
dependance upon God.

_The London "Speaker" testifies to the capacity of Gen. Booth for
winning the masses._

Seeing from what the Salvation Army has grown, and to what it has grown,
we are extremely reluctant to denounce any scheme seriously and
carefully elaborated by its leader, as being "too big to be
practicable." We must remember who will be the "one head and centre" of
the scheme. There are many weak points in General Booth: he is only
human. But he is an earnest man; he has proved his talent for
organisation; he has proved his capacity for winning the sympathies of
the masses. We would say nothing against gentleness, and quiet, and
culture. We hope to attain them in the end. It is a pretty work to prune
the vine, a beautiful thing to let in the sunlight on the fruit, and to
watch the perfection of bloom, and shape, and color; but first of all
something has to be done at the roots, something at which we may hold
our noses, but which is for all that requisite.

It remains to be seen, first, whether the people concerned would accept
the scheme; secondly, whether discipline could be maintained; thirdly,
whether money can be raised. As to the first two questions, experience
in some degree answers. The people _do_ come to the Salvation Army's
establishments, and they do behave well in the Shelters and the
Workshops. Those who best know the poorer working classes of the
country, will be the least likely to despair on these points. A group of
poorer English men and women are easily led by a leader who instils
regularity and order, and of whose hearty goodwill to them, they are
assured. Organisation is in the English blood; and the rougher East End
crowd has orderly elements ready to respond at once to the word of
command from men and women whom they know and trust. Only the crowd must
be sober; and that which its leader preaches must be hope. As to the
money, some portion has come in already; and if this is used, as it will
be, in making a visible beginning, there will be plenty of people
troubled in their consciences who will be ready to give more. Let us
give General Booth money, and five years for his experiment. At the end
of that time it will be clear enough whether or no the best thing which
we can provide for the unemployed is a lethal chamber.

_The Book has an unprecedented sale._

Up to the middle of January the book had reached a total circulation of
200,000 copies, beside running through two separate editions in America.
It is now being translated into Japanese, French, Swedish and other

_The Book of the year._

I do not think I say too much when I say it will not be the attitude ten
per cent. after they have read from cover to cover the most remarkable
volume that has been issued from the press this year.


It is a book that stands by itself. In one sense it may be said that
there is nothing new in it. That many men are miserable, that it is the
duty of all calling themselves by the name of Christian, to do their
utmost to save their perishing brethren, and that if they set about the
task in earnest, certain well-known methods will have to be resorted to;
all this is familiar enough. Neither can it be said that the spirit of
exalted enthusiasm which breathes in every page of the book is one
appears for the first time in the writings of General Booth. It is on
the contrary the abiding evidence of the presence of the Divine Spirit
in men, which has never failed in this world since "the first man stood
God conquered, with his face to heaven upturned." But the unique
character of the book arises from the combination of all these elements,
with others which have never hitherto been united even within the covers
of a single volume. There is a buoyant enthusiasm in every page, a
sanguine optimism at which the youngest among us might marvel, combined
with a familiar acquaintance with the saddest and darkest phenomena of
existence. The book deals with problems which of all others are most
calculated to appal, and overwhelm the minds with the sense of
desolation and despair, yet it is instinct throughout with a joyous hope
and glowing confidence. General Booth, face to face with the devil,
still believes in God.


Another distinctive feature of the book is the extent to which it
combines the shrewdest and most practical business capacity with the
most exalted religious enthusiasm. The fanatic is usually regarded as
somewhat of a fool; no one can read this book through and think that
General Booth has the least deficiency in practical capacity, in shrewd
common sense and enormous knowledge of men. From one point of view it is
easy to be a saint, and it is easy to be a man of the world; the
difficulty is to combine the two qualities, the cunning of the serpent
with the innocence of the dove. There is nothing of the naive and
guileless innocence of a cloistered virtue in the book, but though the
serpent is very cunning his wiliness and craftiness coexist with a
simple enthusiasm of humanity which is very marvellous to behold. When
we read General Booth's expressions of confidence in the salvability of
mankind and note the intrepid audacity with which he sallies forth like
another David to attack the huge Goliath who threatens the hosts of our
modern Israel, and remember that he is no mere shepherd boy fresh from
the fold, but one who for forty years of his life has lived and laboured
in an atmosphere saturated with emanations from every form of human vice
and wretchedness, then we feel somewhat as did Moses when he stood
before the burning bush, "and he looked, and behold the bush burned with
fire and the bush was not consumed."


It is impossible not to be impressed by the parallel and at the same
time by the contrast between General Booth's book and the latter day
prophecies of Mr. Carlyle. For forty years and more Mr. Carlyle
prophesied unto the men of his generation, proclaiming in accents of
deep earnestness, tinged, however, by a bitter despair, what should be
done if we were not utterly to perish. I remember the bitterness with
which he told me, while the shadows of the dark valley were gathering
round him, that when he wrote his whole soul out in "Latter Day
Pamphlets," and delivered to the public that which he believed to be
the very truth and inner secret of all things, his message was flouted,
and "it was currently reported," said he, with grim resentfulness "it
was currently reported that I had written them under the influence of
too much whiskey." Now, however, another prophet has arisen with
practically the same gospel, but with oh, how different a setting! In
Mr. Carlyle's books, his prophetic message shines out lurid as from the
background of thunder-cloud amid the gloom as of an eclipse heralded by
portents of ruin and decay. Here "In Darkest England and the Way Out"
there is a brightness and a gladness as of a May day sunrise. Infinite
hope bubbles up in every page, and in every chapter there is a calm
confidence which comes from the experience of one who in sixty years of
troubled life can say with full assurance "I know in whom I have
believed." That is not the only contrast between the two. Mr. Carlyle as
befitted the philosopher in his study, contented himself with writing in
large characters of livid fire, "This is the way, walk ye in it;" but
the generation scoffed and walked otherwhere. General Booth, equally
with Mr. Carlyle writes up in characters so plain that the way-faring man,
though a fool, cannot help reading it, "This is the way, walk ye in
it." But he does more. He himself offers to lead the van, "This is the
way," he declares, "I will lead you along it, follow me!"


Another distinctive characteristic of this book is its extraordinary
catholicity. In this respect I know no book like it that has appeared in
our time. While declaring with passionate conviction the truth and
necessity of the gospel which the Salvation Army preaches, there is not
one word of intolerance from the first page to the last. It is easy to
be broad when there is no intensity of conviction. The liberality of
indifference is one of the most familiar phenomena of the day. But
General Booth is broad without being shallow, and his liberalism
certainly cannot be attributed to indifference! He is as earnest as John
the Baptist, for now and then the aboriginal preacher reappears crying
aloud, Jonah-like, messages calling men to flee from the wrath to come.
But no broad churchman of our time, from Dean Stanley downwards, could
display a more catholic spirit to all fellow workers in the great
harvest field, which is white unto the harvest, but where the labourers
are so few. This spirit he displays not only in the religious field, but
what is still more remarkable, he carries it into the domain of social
experiment. The old intolerance and fierce hatred which raged in the
churches at many great crises in the history of the world is with us
still, but it is no longer in religious dress. The rival sects of
socialists hate each other and contend with each other with a savagery
which recalls the worst days of the early church. Every man has got his
own favourite short cut to Utopia and he damns all those who do not work
therein with the unhesitating assurance of an Athanasius. Hence
catholicity is much more needed and much more rarely found in the domain
of social economics than in that of religious polemices. General Booth
as befits a practical man is supremely indifferent to any particular
fad, and constructs his scheme on the principle of selecting every
proposal which seems to have stuff in it, or is calculated to do any
good to suffering humanity. The socialist, the individualist, the
political economist, the advocate of emigration, and all social
reformers will find what is best in their own particular schemes
incorporated in General Booth's schemes. He claims no originality, he
disclaims all prejudice even in favour of his own scheme. His
suggestions, he says, seem for the moment the most practicable, but he
is ready, he tells us with uncompromising frankness, to abandon them
to-morrow if any one can show him a better way.


Another extraordinary characteristic of the book is its combination of
supreme humility with what the enemy might describe as overweening
arrogance. The General's confidence in himself and his men is superb.
Not Hildebrand in the height of his power, or Mahommed, at the moment
when he was launching the armies which offered to the world Islam or the
sword, showed himself more supremely possessed with the confidence of
his providential mission than does General Booth in his book. "For this
end was I created, to this work was I called, all my life has been a
preparation to fit me for its accomplishment." While thus speaking with
the confidence of a man who feels himself charged with a divine mission,
General Booth displays a humility and a teachableness that is as
beautiful as it is rare. Over and over again he deplores his lack of
knowledge and the insufficiency of his experience, and admits that his
most elaborate proposals may be vitiated by some flaw or some defect
which will make itself only too apparent when they get into action. So
far from being determined to thrust his scheme as a panacea down the
throats of reluctant humanity he appeals to all those who may differ
from him not to stand idly cavilling at his proposals, but to produce
something better of their own, assuring them that he will be only too
good to carry out the best of his ability any scheme which will do more
for the benefit of the lapsed classes than his own.


General Booth shows himself in the capacity of a bold and shifty mariner
who has been ordered to take a ship filled with precious cargo across a
stormy and rock-strewn ocean to a distant port. Quicksands abound, cross
currents continually threaten to carry the ship from her course, the
wind shifts from point to point, now rising to a hurricane and then
dying away to a dead calm. But alike by night and day, whether the sky
be black with clouds, or bright with radiant sunshine, in the teeth of
the wind or in a favourable gale, he presses forward to his distant
haven. He will tack to the right or to the left, availing himself to the
utmost of every favourable current and every passing breeze, supremely
indifferent to all accusations of inconsistency, or of deviating from
the straight line from the port which he left to the port for which he
is bound, if so he can get the quicker and the more safely to his goal.
Hitherto General Booth had practically been in the condition of a
Captain who relied solely on his boilers to make his voyage. "Get up
steam, make the heart right, keep the furnace fires going, and drive
ahead through the darkness regardless of a lowering tempest or of the
swift rushing current which sweeps you from your course." This book
proclaims his decision in favour of adopting a less reckless and more
practical mode of navigation. While his reliance is still placed on the
inner central fire he will not disdain to utilise the currents, the
tides, and the winds which will make it easier for his straining boilers
and untiring screw to forge its way across the sea.

The book is interesting in itself as a book, but of the bookmaking part
of it, it is absurd to speak. You might as well speak of the rivets and
the paint, in describing the performance of a Cunarder; as to speak of
the literary merits or demerits of this book. As a piece of actuality,
full of life and force, it comes to us in paper and ink and between two
covers; but the vehicle of its presentation is as indifferent as the
quality of the boards in which it is bound. The supreme thing is not the
form but the substance.--_The Review of Reviews._

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