October 9, 2009

Do not forget the sons and daughters of misery...

The 'Do not forget' speech by William Booth. Transcript also available here...

For a video in Booth's own voice, click here...

I am glad you're enjoying yourselves. The Salvationist is a friend of happiness. Making heaven on earth is our business. 'Serve the Lord with gladness' is one of our favorite mottos. So I am pleased that you are pleased.

But amidst all your joys do not forget the sons and daughters of misery. Do you ever visit them? Come away and let us make a call or two..

Here is a home, six in family, they eat and drink and sick and die in the same chamber. Here is a drunkard's hovel, void of furniture, wife a skeleton, children in rags, father mistreating 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 the prisons all the time. There are the daughters of shame, diseased and wronged 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 our assisting them!

You don't demand a certificate of virtue before you drag someone drowning creature out of the water, nor the assurance that a man has paid his rent before you deliver him out of 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!

We will pity them, feed them, reclaim them, employ them, perhaps we shall fail with many, quite likely. But our business is to help them all the same. And that is 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 Savior 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?
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