Not letting the streets alone.

When William Booth came to preach in Brixton Theatre he stayed at the London home of Alexander and Helen Glegg. More than sixty years later, their younger son Lindsay told me about that weekend with the founder of the Salvation Army.

The General’s secretary came in advance to make the arrangements. He fixed a bell by the side of his leader’s bed, and carried a wire up the stairs to his own room, where a battery and bell were connected. “The General might be ill in the night and require me,” explained the officer. “He might even die in the night, and I should be by his side to take down his last words.”

But there was no sign of the General’s dying just then. Lindsay says he kept them very much alive over that weekend. “I will never forget his face or his sermon in the Brixton Theatre. He gripped you by his dominating personality. His piercing eyes seemed to look right through you, and his long white beard made you think of the rugged prophets of old. The General preached that night on the Flood, and his very appearance almost made one think that Noah himself had returned to warn us of judgment to come. I can see him now describing the breaking of the storm and the men beating on the door of the ark and in their anguish crying out, ‘My God, it’s shut!”

The General had just been to see King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace, and was full of his visit and of how interested the King had been in his conversion accounts. To Lindsay, Booth said, “I never had the advantages you had. I never had the education you have. But there came a day in my life when I said to God, ‘Lord, thou shalt have all there is of William Booth’—and thereafter God blessed me.”

Yet the man received by royalty and given the freedom ...

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