Sayings of William Booth

At age 15: God shall have all there is of William Booth.

At age 20: I will (1) rise every morning sufficiently early . . . and have a few minutes, not less than five, in private prayer; (2) avoid all the babbling and idle talking in which I have lately so sinfully indulged; (3) endeavour . . . to conduct myself as a humble, meek, and zealous follower of the bleeding Lamb, and by serious conversation and warning endeavour to lead [others] to think of their immortal souls; (4) read no less than four chapters in God’s word every day; (5) strive to live closer to God, and to seek after holiness of heart, and leave providential events with God; (6) read this over every day or at least twice a week. God help me, enable me to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and to yield myself a prisoner of love to the Redeemer of the world.

To Catherine in 1865, after seeing some of East London’s gin palaces: I seemed to hear a voice sounding in my ears, “Where can you go and find such heathen as these, and where is there so great a need for your labours?”

Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.

Secular music, do you say, belongs to the devil? Does it? Well, if it did I would plunder him for it, for he has no right to a single note of the whole seven. . . . Every note, and every strain, and every harmony is divine and belongs to us. . . . So consecrate your voice and your instruments. . . . Offer them to God, and use them to make all the hearts about you merry before the Lord.

While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight—while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God—I’ll fight! I’ll fight to the very end!

By William Booth

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #26 in 1990]

Compiled by Norman H. Murdoch.
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