Drive ’em into the harbour, or else into hell. Take their flag, and tie it round their necks and hang ’em!” This was the order of the mayor of Folkestone, England, when the Army corps in the town was only a few months old. Unfortunately for the pioneer Salvationists, many toughs did their best to carry out his instruction.

Real antagonism grew up in the early 1880s when publicans [tavern owners] became worried by the number of their customers who were joining The Salvation Army and were, therefore, no longer drinking. In some towns people resented being reminded by street preachers of their sinful ways and the judgment that would follow; in other places the Army’s purpose was misunderstood by professing Christians, who objected to the new movement’s interpretation of the gospel. In several areas residents objected to the disturbance of their Sunday quiet by the Army’s singing and band-playing in the streets.…

When William and Catherine Booth visited Sheffield in January 1882, the success of their Sunday meetings so angered the Army’s enemies that a local gang known as the “Blades” decided to assault them.… Later that day, as William Booth reviewed his troops covered with blood, mud, and egg yolk, their brass instruments battered beyond repair, he suggested—“Now is the time to have your photographs taken!” In that one year in Great Britain alone nearly seven hundred Army personnel were brutally assaulted on the streets, simply for preaching the gospel.…

Some of the persecution suffered by Salvationists had much more serious effects. In Guildford, England, a woman died after being kicked and knocked insensible.… In the U.S., a soldier of the corps at St. Louis was clubbed, stoned, and jumped upon until he died. A woman soldier ...

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