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Save to Save
by General Bramwell Booth

(from unpublished 1925 Training Staff Council Lectures,
published in A Field For Exploits)

 

I think that our message is peculiar to us in some ways.

 

Some may be inclined to say, “Haven’t similar messages been preached in the past?”  The answer is “Yes” and “No.” There have, no doubt, been some messages similar in fundamentals to our own.  But our message seems to me to have in it one element of vital importance which makes it stand out a little from the others.

 

The Apostles received their message from the human lips of their Divine Master.  They took it direct from Him… The fruits which came of it were wonderfully like the fruits which have come from the declaration of our message in our day…

 

Those who followed the Apostles during the first two or three hundred years after Christ, no doubt, had a message which was received from the heart of God through the Holy Spirit. That message sustained them in their particular circumstances. It carried them through the most dreadful conflicts.  It kept alive the little flame of witness in that seat of iniquity called the Roman Empire.  That message fit their specific condition and circumstance, and it emphasised the maintenance of the life which God had planted within them, and the preservation of their faith amid blazing fires of hatred and persecution.  

 

We know that there were other manifestations amidst the period of great darkness, which followed.  What we call the Dark Ages, when a sort of fog came down on Christendom, were not without wonderful illumination here and there.  Then, in a later period, God gave His great manifestation to Luther, and many things which had been slumbering awoke.  Luther’s message seems to have been a message of faith.  He reawakened the principle that blessing and goodness are given by faith in Christ, as opposed to all that doctrine of works in which the Church had stumbled.

 

There was also a very remarkable manifestation in the life and teaching of Calvin.  He went astray in some respects, but he was seized with a marvellous understanding of divine things.  His power lay in his perception of a certain factor in the nature of God, God's power to save, God’s power to act in the moral nature independent of circumstances.  We have that same idea in our own message.  We also believe in the power of God to deal with the hidden things of the heart.

 

Then there came a very remarkable revelation through John Wesley.  It had many distinct characteristics but the outstanding lesson was that of personal experience of God, the assurance of God’s dealings with people.  But it was more or less introspective.  This revelation primarily led people to consider themselves, laying themselves bare before God as the great objects of His grace.

 

And then came our message – the message to William Booth, summed up in one of his great expressions:  Saved to Save.

 

Well, there we are.  This is our work.  There can be no doubt that the impulse which brought The Army into being was a divine impulse.  It was not some strange human spasm which took possession of William Booth one day, and made him say that he of himself would do this thing.  We know – especially those of us who knew him, know – that it was something not himself which urged him and pushed him and drew him and in a way almost drove him to seek those who were outside.  We say it was GOD.  We say the impulse was divine.  We say that the Holy Spirit chose his own vessels.  For there were two… Yes, God chose His own vessels, first in our Founders, and then in those who gathered round them and followed them, all with the same token; all, having been saved themselves, were inspired with a great ambition for the Salvation of others.  A man may be a good Catholic, or a good Presbyterian, or a good Methodist without being in any way pledged or bound to devote himself to the Salvation of his fellows, but without that ambition no one can be a good Salvationist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

 

 

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