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Monday, March 28, 2005

YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST! by General William Booth

They say we go too fast!
This accusation comes from all directions. Our enemies do not like our speed and our friends are afraid of it. What do they mean? If they had complained that we did not go fast enough, I could understand them. If our enemies had argued that after all we say about the evils of sin, the terrors of the Judgment Day, and the damnation of hell, we do not believe in these things ourselves, I could understand that, and feel humbled under their indictment.

If our friends came together and said, "Why don't you increase the speed? Look at the dying millions at home and abroad. You have evidently got a wonderful way of reaching the masses. You have accomplished what no other organization has. You can adapt yourselves to all peoples and countries and climates. Why don't you push on faster? Why don’t you train more cadets-send out more officers-hunt up more criminals, drunkards and fallen women? Go faster; get up more steam!” Now, this seems to me would be the natural way of talking for both foes and friends. But no! The cry is not "Go faster” but "You go too fast!" What do they mean?

Speed is a good thing, and, if combined with safety, the faster the better. It is reckoned good in traveling. I don’t know of any train that goes fast enough for me. Time is so precious that unless it can be spent in sleeping or working, every minute of it is begrudged. My feeling whenever I am in a train is, "Now, engine driver, do your best, and fly away!"

Speed is reckoned a good thing in money-making. Who would complain if we were an Investment Company developing a profitable gold mine? The same people who complain of our speed in spreading salvation and saving men would all want to buy shares, become our partners or buy us out.

If we were a killing army, no one would complain of our going too fast on the line of victory, slaughtering Arabs, or Afghans, or Zulus, or anybody else who did not live on our side of the sea. If we killed plenty of them, burnt plenty of houses, took plenty of spoil, we should fascinate the world again as Napoleon did with the speed of his successes. Painters and poets and newspapermen would fill the whole earth with our fame.

But because God has given us a little success in saving men and women from endless damnation, and extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, there is a great outcry–especially from those who every morning pray "Thy Kingdom come!” -that we are going too fast; they say we are ambitious and seeking great things.

Can we go too fast, my comrades in saving souls? I will not attempt to answer that question. No soldier in the Salvation Army would ask such a question. It is an insult to the Bible–to the teachers of Christianity. I refuse to reply to it.

If anyone still wants a reply, let him ask the lost souls in Hell whose brothers and sisters are following them there. Let him go and ask the blood-washed throng in Heaven, whose eyes are wide open at last to the value of salvation. Let him anticipate the Judgment Day, and in spirit stand before the Throne and propose, if he dares, the question to God Almighty.

I think from Hell, Heaven and the Great White Throne, the answer would come back; “More speed! Go faster!" If it should entail the stopping of legislature, pleasure, business, and all the employments and occupations of time, push forwards! Hurry onwards! Save the world!.. Continue reading

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