Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 1905. GENERAL BOOTH.
[ Today the famous head of the Salvation Army passed through Ashburton on his way to Ohristchuroh. The visit of a man so well known as General Booth, is a notable event to the colony as a whole, quite apart from the special interest that attaches to it in the eyes of the members of I the religious organisation of which he is the leader. Six years ago General Booth visited New Zealand for the second time, and as he had on that occasion reached the allotted span of three score years and i ten, it was not anticipated that he would again be abla to favour this colony with a visit, but time has not yet been able to materially weaken the physical and mental vigour of the veteran, and now at the advanced age of seventy-3is he is on New Zealand soil for the third time. It is forty years since, as tho Rev. William Booth, he laid the foundations of the worldwide organisation that is so well known today. The history of the early years of the Salvation Army ia the hist; ry of a hard and severe struggle against prejudice and misrepresentation, and of a determination to persist in spite of all obstacles in the work of raising the helpless and the fallen. The record of the Army's work in the great metropolis of Britain is one that any religions organisation might well be proud of, and the success that has attended their efforts in the direotion of rescue work, and the skill and thoroughness with which that work has been carried out. are remarkablo evidences of the vigorous personality of our visitor, and the syl-sacrificing enthusiasm he inspires in his followers. General Booth hae lived "the strenuous life "for such a lengthy period as half a centuvy, and the fact that he stands to-day a strong and healthy man after a life of ceaseless mental and bodily exertion, constitutes in itself something of a record. The particular fame that attaches to the name of General Booth spring 3 from his conception and execution of the scheme which he outlined a little over a decade ago in his famous book " In Darkest England and the Way Out." It is in the department of social and religious activity known as rescue work that the Salvation • Army stands pre-eminently, and it is in its Bystem of dealing with the outcasts and " dead beats " of society that its peculiar distinctions have been won. It is stated that during last winter the Salvation Array in ijondon alone provided beds for half a million homeless wanderers aud supplied two million meals, besides finding work for large numbers of the unemployed in the labour homes and furm colonies established in accordance with General Booth's great i
scheme. It is one of the aims of that scheme to clear the London streets of the homeless thousands constantly found on them, although that ta?»k appears a superhuman one, the Army has accomplished a trreat deal towards its reliswtioii. General Both has addressed audiences in every European country axcept Russia and most portion? of i'qh British Empire. He conns to New Zealand fresh from the scenes o c the great religious revival in Wales and oth«r parts of Britain, and thij fact tend^ an additional degree of interest to his visit. General Booth's energy never seems to flag. Last year he presided over and directed the Salvation Army Congress held in London, and then soon afterwards paid a visit to tho English provinces. Last year ho aleo had the honour of a personal audience with King Edward nnd Queen Alevandra and was congratulated by their Majesties on the success that had crownei his efforts vo alleviate the sufferings of the submerged tenth. People of every religious denomination have joined in welcoming our distinguished visitor to our shores, nnd in hoping that his brief sojourn in the colony may be profitable to his followers and enjoyable to himself.