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Catherine Booth — a Sketch   By:

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Reprinted from The Warriors' Library




Colonel Duff has, at my request, written the following very interesting and touching account of my dear Mother; and she has done so in the hope that those who read it will be helped to follow in the footsteps of that wonderful servant of God.

But how can they do so? Was not Mrs. Booth, you ask, an exceptional woman? Had she not great gifts and very remarkable powers, and was she not trained in a very special way to do the work to which God called her? How, then, can ordinary people follow in her steps? Let me tell you.

Mrs. Booth walked with God. When she was only a timid girl, helping her mother in the household, she continually sought after Him; and when, in later years, she became known by multitudes, and was written of in the newspapers, and greatly beloved by the good in many lands, there was no difference in her life in that matter. She was not content with being Mrs. General Booth of The Salvation Army, and with being looked upon as a great and good woman, giving her life to bless others. No! she listened daily for God's voice in her own heart, sought after His will, and leaned continually for strength and grace upon her Saviour. You can be like her in that.

Mrs. Booth was a soul winner. A little while before her spirit passed into the presence of God, and when she knew that death was quite near to her, she said: 'Tell the Soldiers that the great consolation for a Salvationist on his dying bed is to feel that he has been a soul winner.' Wherever she went in the houses of strangers as well as of friends, in the Meetings, great and small, when she was welcomed and when she was not, whether alone or with others she laboured to lead souls to Christ. I have known her at one time spend as much trouble to win one as at another time to win fifty. You can follow her example in that.

Mrs. Booth always declared herself and took sides with right. Whatever was happening around her, people always knew which side she was on. She spoke out for the right, the good, and the true, even when doing so involved very disagreeable experiences and the bearing of much unkindness. She hated the spirit which can look on at what is wicked and false or cruel, and say, 'Oh, that is not my affair!' You can follow her example in this also.

Mrs. Booth laboured all her life to improve her gifts. She thought; she prayed; she worked; she read above all, she read her Bible. It was her companion as a child, as a young follower of Christ, and then as a Leader in The Army. Those miserable words which some of us hear so often about some bad or unfinished work 'Oh, that will do' were seldom heard from her lips. She was always striving, striving, striving to do better, and yet better, and again better still. All this also you can do.

Mrs. Booth was full of sympathy. No one who was in need or in sorrow, or who was suffering, could meet her without finding out that, she was in sympathy with them. Her heart was tender with the love of Christ, and so she was deeply touched by the sin and sorrow around her just as He was. Even the miseries of the dumb animals moved her to efforts on their behalf. This sympathy made Mrs. Booth quick to see and appreciate the toil and self denial of others, and ever grateful for any kindness shown to her or to The Army or to those in need of any kind. The very humblest and youngest of those who read this little book can be like her in all this.

Mrs. Booth endured to the end. She never turned back. She was faithful. Her life and work would have been spoilt if she had given up the fight. She was often sorely tempted. She was slandered and misrepresented by enemies, betrayed by false friends, and often deeply wounded by those who professed to love her, though they deserted the Flag. But she held fast... Continue reading book >>

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