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Boundless Salvation

The Shorter Writings of William Booth

Andrew M Eason and Roger J. Green

William Booth (1829–1912) is remembered for the major role he played in founding the Salvation Army, an evangelical organization now operating in more than 120 countries. Few people, however, are aware of the fact that Booth was also a prolific author. During his long lifetime he wrote countless articles and speeches on a variety of topics, ranging from Christian doctrine to female ministry and missionary work. The most important of these shorter writings are presented in one volume for the first time here, along with perceptive commentary by two leading scholars of the Salvation Army. Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth convincingly demonstrates that Booth’s enormous accomplishments arose from deeply held religious convictions. It argues persuasively that his life and ministry must be understood in relation to the Methodist theology and transatlantic revivalism that inspired and guided him. By showcasing and analyzing these religious contexts, this edited collection sheds considerable light on a towering figure of the Victorian period. In the process, it offers valuable insight into the origins and development of the Salvation Army, one of the most remarkable organizations to arise during the nineteenth century. Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth will appeal to a broad readership, especially to those with an interest in religion and history.
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A project of this magnitude would not have been possible without the generous support of many people over the last two years. First and foremost, we wish to thank Dr. Donald E. Burke, the President of Booth University College, who provided encouragement and institutional funding for the completion of this book. Dr. Burke’s passion for the mission, history and theology of the Salvation Army is rivalled by few. Not surprisingly, therefore, Don was instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Salvation Army Studies at Booth University College in 2009. It was his vision to create a clearing house for research and publications on the Salvation Army so that Salvationists and the broader community could better understand the denomination’s history, theology and multi-faceted ministries. We sincerely hope that Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth will help to further the worthy mandate of the Centre for Salvation Army Studies.

We would also like to thank the various individuals and publishers who graciously allowed us to reproduce the selections contained in this volume. Given that the majority of these shorter writings originally appeared in Salvationist publications, we are especially grateful to General Shaw Clifton (Rtd) for kindly and quickly consenting to their reprinting. Appreciation is extended as well to The Contemporary Review and The Methodist Recorder for granting us the privilege to reprint the following: “What is the Salvation Army?” The Contemporary Review 42 (August 1882): 175–182; and “Wesleyan Methodist Conference,” The Methodist Recorder (August...

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