Saturday, April 07, 2007

Catherine Booth Resources

I have enjoyed rereading this biography of Catherine Booth, Catherine Booth — a Sketch by Colonel Mildred Duff , which was given to me by one of my sisters when I was a teenager. It is written in an easy style and I find is quite engaging.

However, it does not compare with reading the actual writings of Catherine Booth. They are powerful and articulate. Some of her works here are sermons recorded in shorthand and edited by Booth and then published. I highly recommend reading some of her sermons and other writing.

Here is a piece that I found particularly moving. In this short paragraph taken from The Iniquity of State Regulated Vice (1884) we get a glimpse of Catherine Booth as a mother (she had 8 children), as a preacher, as a social reformer and a women who was not afraid to confront parliament in a time when women did not have the right to vote. She knew what it meant to care for widows and orphans. In a A Speech Delivered at Exeter Hall, London, on February 6th, 1884,on the Iniquity of State Regulated Vice,
    I did not think we were so low as this--that one member should suggest that the age of these innocents should be heightened to 14, and that another suggested it should be not so high. Another that it should be reduced to 10, and oh! my God, pleaded that it was hard for a man--HARD--for a man!--having a charge brought against him, not to be able to plead the consent of a child like that.
    I would not tell what, but for the grace of God, I should feel like doing to the man who brought that argument to bear on my child. (Applause.) I have a sweet innocent little girl--many of you have also--of 14, as innocent as an infant of any such things--what, if a man should make an application of this doctrine to her. Well may the higher classes take such care of their little girls? Well may they be so careful never to let them go out without efficient protectors. But what is to become of the little girls of poor unprotected widows?

I highly recommend these writings - they are as pertinent today as when they were written, is some cases sadly so.

Female Ministry, Or, Woman's Right to Preach the Gospel (1859)

Female Teaching: Or, The Rev. A.A. Rees versus Mrs. Palmer (1861)

Godliness: Being Reports of a Series of Addresses Delivered At James's Hall, London, W., During 1881

The Iniquity of State Regulated Vice (1884)

Papers on Aggressive Christianity (1880)

Papers on Practical Religion (1879)

Popular Christianity: A Series of Lectures (1888) (2nd ed.)


Retha said...

This is very interesting. In "the iniquity of state regulated vice" do you have any link on what laws, exactly, she was protesting?

Anonymous said...

This sermon relates to the age of consent for sex. If the age of consent was 10, then a child prostitute could be considered a prostitute rather than a rape victim.