“To attempt to save the lost we must accept no limitations to human brotherhood. If the scheme which I set forth in these and the following pages is not applicable to the thief, the harlot, the drunkard and the sluggard, it may as well be dismissed without ceremony. As Christ came to call not the Saints but sinners to repentance, so the new message of Temporal Salvation, of Salvation from pinching poverty, from rags and misery, must be offered to all. They may reject it, of course. But we who call ourselves by the name of Christ are not worthy to profess to be His disciples until we have set an open door before the least and worst of these who are now apparently imprisoned for life in a horrible dungeon of misery and despair.
To get a man soundly Saved it is not enough to put on him a pair of new breeches, to give him regular work, or even to give him a university education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged you have wasted your labor. What is the use of preaching the Gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive?
You might as well give a tract to a ship wrecked sailor who is battling with the surf which has drowned his comrades and threatens to drown him. He will not listen to you. Nay, he cannot hear you any more than a man whose head is under water can listen to a Sermon. The first thing to do is to get him at least a footing on firm ground, and to give him room to live. Then you may have a chance. At present you have none. And you will have all the better opportunity to find a way to his heart, if he comes to know that it was you who pulled him out of the horrible pit and the miry clay in which he was sinking to perdition. “
Taken from General Booth’s message, “Darkest England Scheme: The Cab Horse Charter message.