You're Going Too Fast!


by 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 would 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 can adapt yourselves to all peoples and countries and climates. Why don’t you push on faster? Why don’t you train more—send out more workers—hunt up more criminals, drunkards and fallen? 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 considered to be a good thing when traveling. I don’t know of any train that goes as fast as I would like. My 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 go faster!” Speed is reckoned a good thing in money-making. Who would complain if we were an investment company that quickly developed 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 military brigade, no one would complain of our going too fast on the line of victory. If we achieved great victories in very little time, we would fascinate the world again, as Napoleon did with the speed of his successes.

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 co-workers in saving souls? If anyone 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 forward! Hurry onward! Save the lost! Does salvation travel as fast as sin? See how wickedness spreads. Talk about a prairie fire—it devours everything before it. Does Salvation keep pace with our ever-growing population?

Make the calculation in your most favored “Christian” cities, and you will find we are terribly behind in the race.

Do we keep pace with the demons in energy and untiring labor? Do we go as fast as death?

LET US GO FASTER! We must increase the speed if we are to keep pace with the yearnings of the Almighty Heart of Love that would have all men to be saved. We must go faster if we are to have a hand in the fulfillment of the prophecies.

Read the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, and think of the speed that must be reached before all that comes true.

We must go faster if we would wipe out the reproach and taunts of the mocking infidels who are ever asking for living proof of God’s existence. We must increase our pace before our own prayers are answered, our own expectations realized, our own relations converted, and our own consistency proved.

My comrades, the General issues the command to every country, and to every division, and to every corps, and to every soldier—to advance. The pace of the past is to be no standard for the future. We must go faster. Obstacles, difficulties, and enemies shall be swept before us, and the mouths of those who condemn us shall be forever stopped before the Lord.

Edited & Abridged by David Smithers From “The General’s Letters”

Published by Salvationist Publishing and Supplies, London, England (1886).

Reprinted from The War Cry March 28, 1885. Edited again September 2011.


Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience. (A.W. Tozer)

We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism… (C.T. Studd)
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