Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Monday, March 20th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena.

Day alternately clear & cloudy, but comparatively cool. We Americans are not suffering from heat now. Mrs. Rev. Owens is down with the measles. God gives me excellent health; praise to His name. Last night God revealed His love to me in my soul. The infinite goodness of my Creator is truly marvelous.

God’s love is the only true comfort possessed by me. I suffer myself to be ordered about the world by people in whom I have little or no confidence. Since I have lost faith in the rectitude of the Booth administration I cannot take the same pleasure I once did in the work of building up the Salvation Army. In days not far back I thought the Booths were as willing to sacrifice themselves for the glory of God & the advancement of His cause as to sacrifice us for that purpose, but I do not think that way now. Three great prizes sought after eagerly on different lines of effort by the unregenerate are, fame, power and wealth. Many seek these prizes thro’ the church & with that object they do not hesitate to sacrifice themselves; the Booths I feel are doing the same for the aggrandizement of their family. The name of Booth now is synonymous with imperialism. If a man marries a Booth girl he is required to add the word Booth as a prefix to his own surname, as witness the marriages of Commissioners Clibborn, and Hellberg, and Judge Tucker –We have these men styled Booth-Clibborn, Booth-Hellberg and Booth-Tucker. Exceedingly modest is such an example on the part of the meek & lowly Booths. Custom is reversed again in favor of the Booth girls when they marry. They do not act on the principle of love & honor & obey their husbands, but the case stands the other way, at least in the last two instances cited, for the reason, presumably, that the General appoints his own daughters to the oversight of natives & not their husbands save as the second in command. We have the case of Merachale Booth-Clibborn in Holland & Belgium, Consul Booth-Tucker in the United States & Lucy Booth-Hellberg in France & Switzerland. Field Commissioner Evangeline Booth (unmarried) is in command of British America. When a male Booth marries a woman custom is allowed to hold its usual sway: vide, Commandant Herbert H. Booth, Australasia who married a Dutch girl –Shoch; Ballington Booth who took to wife Miss. Maud Charlesworth & W. Bramwell Booth. When the General caps the climax of family self-abnegation by apppointing a member of his own family (which I fully expect) his successor as general of the Salvation Army, then we shall have such a beautiful example of the never-mind me or mine spirit as the world has not been treated to for centuries. Will he do it?

At the time of the Ballington Booth split in New York, I was editor of the national War Cry published there. I was appointed to receive the New York newspaper reporters to furnish them S.A. news. A reporter attached to the New York “Post” sprung a surprise upon me by inquiring why General Booth appointed his own children to all the important S.A. commands in the world. The question was a stunner, for I knew they filled the chief places. When hardly more than boys and girls they were appointed to positions of trust & promoted in rank far above old officers, who had rendered years of faithful service.

The Salvation Army in my opinion is the grandest religious agency every devised to bless humanity, and embraces in its ranks the noblest spirits that I have ever known on earth, but the heaviest weight carried by this God-raised organization today is the Booth family. I am exceedingly sorry to put such thoughts on paper, but such is my opinion, formed after a service of sixteen years. Nothing would please me better than to change my opinion for the better, but as matters stand I cannot help having them. They are not pleasant to me.

This forenoon after Bible reading, prayer, cooking etc. etc. added another page to War Cry copy wrote & copied a letter to Lt-Col. Wm Evans & sent the same away by todays U.S. mail. To do this I hastened down to the post office with it. Two Kodak pictures were sent: Clayton Scott & ruins of Ft. Canacao [Cañacao] at Sangley Point. Subheads of article: “Keeping Early Hours,” “Prepared for a Siege,” “With the Fifty-First” & “In Prison.”

Private A. Lloyd, Co E. 1st Montana vol. inf. came in from the front with his accoutrements of war. Had a talk & did not forget to have prayer together. He claims to be in good spiritual condition. This is very encouraging to me for which I praise His dear name. Lloyd presented me with 4 Filipino “Republica” stamps without me asking for them: 2, 2 cent stamps, maroon color are telegrafos; 2 cents, red, is postage, the fourth is 50 cents, blue, telegrafos. The central design is a large triangle with a star in each corner & a sun surrounded by rays in the middle. They will probably be very valuable in future years.

I saw a fine balloon after dark this p.m., probably sent up by Filipinos.