Saturday, 19 September 2015

1884-09-11a Salvation Army Spilt and Resolution - Part One

“There is a fight between the dissentients and the faithful for the two outposts of this station. These outposts are Waterdown and Millgrove.”

Hamilton Spectator.  September 11, 1884.

The split in the ranks of the Hamilton corps of the Salvation Army had manifestations outside of the city proper, even to the rural area in the northern section of Wentowrth. The breakaway section of the Hamilton Army decided to assert themselves in both Waterdown and Millgrove, superseding the influence of the main corps:

“ Sergt. Barrett, the leader of the mutineers, has ‘seized, them, and says  he is determined to hold them until this dispute is settled. He held a meeting in Millgrove on Tuesday night and one in Waterdown last night. Soldiers were sent to both these places from the regular army, but when it was found that the enemy had secured a foothold in both, it was decided to let them remain in possession. Sergt. Barrett claims the honor of opening up these outposts, and he will not give them up without a struggle.”1

1 “The Salvation Army Trouble”

Hamilton Spectator. September 11, 1884.

Back in the city, the main corps, offically known as the Third Canadian Corps, carried on as usual, with the leader, Captain Bertha Smith, still in command:

“Last night the regular army – that is those who have remained faithful to Capt. Smith – held the usual meeting in the barracks. It was well-attended, and the spirit manifested was harmonious. Capt. Bertha, in her address, said that she was in the habit of opening her Bible at random and taking the first passage of scripture that caught her eye as a message or a promise from the Lord. Recently, she opened the Bible, and the first verse she saw was this : “Fret not yourself because of your enemies,” and it comforted her exceedingly. No matter what evil-minded persons might say of her, she was trying to do her duty, and would continue to do it.”1

The division in the ranks of the Hamilton Salvation Army was shown in the fact that while the main army was meeting, the breakaway troops also were meeting in a different location:

“The dissentients turned out last night in smaller numbers than on Tuesday night. They held a meeting in a small upper room in a building on James street, a few doors below Cannon, which has been used as the band’s practising room. Nobody but soldiers were admitted.”1

Meanwhile, the overall leader of the Salvation Army in Canada, who had been fully informed of the schism in the Hamilton Corps was on his way to arbitrate and ultimately decide which side of the dispute would get his support, hopefully leading to a reunification amongst the Hamilton soldiers.

(To Be Continued).

No comments:

Post a Comment