Booth With a View

tsa-vintageThe Season, as it’s known in commercial circles, began in earnest on Friday, even while the turkey feathers were still flying. Can you hear the pleasant jingling sound of cash registers ringing up sales? Oh, wait, it’s all digital now. Sad.

If I want to think fondly about the Christmas season, I turn my thoughts to The Salvation Army, the one church in this country that never loses sight of what the holiday is all about, and focuses its energy on providing aid to the neediest.

No, I’m not a Christian, let alone a Salvationist: if anything, I’m an Omnibulist. But I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with many Salvation Army clergy and laypersons, and they are among the finest, hard-working, most caring and inspirational people I’ve ever met.

I found this typewritten document on the wall of an office in a Salvation Army facility in Gainesville and copied it. Only recently was I able to authenticate it (the link is provided below). I haul it out now and then to reread, especially when preparing to meet with prospective clients with the idea that I can somehow share General Booth’s indomitable spirit and commitment with them. I usually fail. But then, well, read on…..

1910 Sermon by William Booth

Founder, The Salvation Army

I am glad you are enjoying yourselves. The Salvationist is the friend of happiness. Making Heaven on Earth is our business. Serve the Lord with gladness is one of our favourite mottoes.

So I am pleased that you are pleased.

But amidst all your joys don’t forget the sons and daughters of misery. Did you ever visit them? Come away and let us make a call or two.

Here is a home, six in a family. They eat and drink and sleep and sicken and die in the same chamber.

Here is a drunkard’s hovel, void of furniture, wife a skeleton, children in rags, Father maltreating the victims of his neglect.

Here are the unemployed, wandering about, seeking work and finding none.

Yonder are the wretched criminals cradled in crime, passing in and out of prison all the time.

There are the daughters of shame, diseased and wrong and ruined, traveling down the dark incline to an early grave.

There are the children, fighting in the gutter, going hungry to school, growing up to fill their parents’ places.

Brought it all on themselves, do you say? Perhaps so, but that does not excuse us from assisting them.

You don’t demand a certificate of virtue before you drag some drowning creature out of the water, nor the assurance that a man has paid his rent before you deliver him from the burning building.

But what shall we do? Content ourselves by singing a hymn, offering a prayer, or giving a little good advice?

NO! Ten Thousand Times, NO!

Salvation Army Logo

Salvation Army Logo

We will pity them, feed them, reclaim them, employ them. Perhaps we shall fail, and many times, quite likely. But our business is to help them all the same, and that in the most practical, economical, and Christ-like manner.

So let us hasten to the rescue for the sake of our own peace, the poor wretches themselves, the innocent children, and the Saviour of us all.

But you must help with the means. And, as there is nothing like the present, who in this company will lend a hand by taking up the collection?

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?op=&cid=16

 

 

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13 Responses to Booth With a View

  1. Piles says:

    “Omnibulist?” Do tell.

  2. Ted End says:

    How can they call themselves an army — what about separation of church and state?

    • Flaming Yon says:

      OMG — last time Ted End was heard from on this he confused the Salvation Army with El Salvador’s army. Now, what, Ted — you think the Salvation Army is part of the US military? Can I have some of what you’re smoking? I wanna be drooling stupid for a few hours.

  3. NME says:

    All that bombast to ask for money, just like every other religious group.

    • Dawgbowl says:

      You might be right, NME, but the significant difference is what they do with it. Let me know when you find a Salvation Army pastor wearing a $2,000 suit, flashing a Rolex, and driving a BMW.

  4. Lois Terms says:

    This gave me chills. Thanks.

  5. One Man's Opinion says:

    Spelling correction; I’m sure you meant “Omnibullshitist”

  6. Beardsley says:

    In my experience, while just about everybody is familiar with The Salvation Army, most people are not aware that it’s a church, a faith, an organized religion. Most people have the idea it’s some kind of social service agency. People recognize the kettles and the resale stores, and know that they feed hungry people daily. They don’t grasp that there are churches, too, with worship services. I’m not a believer, either, but I share your admiration and respect for them. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading this sermon. Good post.

  7. What! No post on Fidel Castro’s death? Well, good for you. When garbage is hauled out, it doesn’t need a valedictory.

    He was buried inside a giant rock like a poisonous mushroom without roots that only leaves a black stain where it grew.

  8. Squathole says:

    Wonderful to see you here again, Manny — in fact when the news came out I wandered over to see if you’d resurrected yourself to comment. No, I can’t add anything that hasn’t been expressed over and over by, well, everybody, from journalists who have been updating their “Fidel Castro Dies” articles for decades, politicians angling for attention, and the families of his victims who have their final opportunity to vent and regret he will never face justice. Times like this make me wish I could believe in a Hell, or at least a Heck. So let’s look ahead — Merry Christmas!

  9. Borkon says:

    Finally, after all the dead rockers this year, somebody who deserved it started his dirt nap.Wasn’t real big news in this part of the world, but some of us noticed.

  10. Hose B says:

    “Brought it all on themselves, do you say? Perhaps so, but that does not excuse us from assisting them.”

    God bless him. And that’s the difference between people of good will and the rest of us.

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