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THE BOOTHS
William's songs

SONGS OF WILLIAM BOOTH

The Founders' Song
Send the Fire
Sanctify me now
Pentecostal Salvation
The Mighty to Save
Victory for me

THE FOUNDER’S SONG
(No. 298 in the Salvation Army song book)

Although all the following songs were written by William, this one is actually called ‘The Founder’s Song’. It was written for an evangelistic campaign called ‘Boundless Salvation’ at the Exeter Hall in London in November 1893 and was published in The War Cry in December that year. In vivid imagery it describes the experience of conversion.

O boundless salvation! deep ocean of love,
O fulness of mercy, Christ brought from above,
The whole world redeeming, so rich and so free,
Now flowing for all men, come, roll over me!

My sins they are many, their stains are so deep,
And bitter the tears of remorse that I weep;
But useless is weeping; thou great crimson sea,
Thy waters can cleanse me, come, roll over me!

My tempers are fitful, my passions are strong,
They bind my poor soul and they force me to wrong;
Beneath thy blest billows deliverance I see,
O come, mighty ocean, and roll over me!

Now tossed with temptation, then haunted with fears,
My life has been joyless and useless for years;
I feel something better most surely would be
If once thy pure waters would roll over me.

O ocean of mercy, oft longing I’ve stood
On the brink of thy wonderful, life-giving flood!
Once more I have reached this soul-cleansing sea,
I will not go back till it rolls over me.

The tide is now flowing, I’m touching the wave,
I hear the loud call of the mighty to save;
My faith’s growing bolder, delivered I’ll be;
I plunge ‘neath the waters, they roll over me.

And now, hallelujah! the rest of my days
Shall gladly be spent in promoting his praise
Who opened his bosom to pour out this sea
Of boundless salvation for you and for me.

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SEND THE FIRE!
(No. 203 in the SASB)

This song has recently become popular in the wider church with a new tune by Lex Loizides. The original was entitled 'The Fire' and appeared in The War Cry in April 1894 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of William's conversion. It uses the image of Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) and calls for the Holy Spirit to fall on us as the fire fell on Elijah’s sacrifice.

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost,
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire!

‘Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire! o see us on thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day,
To crown the offering now we pray,
Send the fire!

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SANCTIFY ME NOW
(No. 440 in the SASB)

Published in The War Cry in May 1895 it expresses the Wesleyan belief in entire sanctification as an instantaneous work of grace.

O Christ of pure and perfect love,
Look on this sin-stained heart of mine!
I thirst thy cleansing grace to prove,
I want my life to be like thine.
O see me at thy footstool bow,
And come and sanctify me now!

What is it keeps me out of all
The love and faith and fire I need?
O drive thy foes from out my soul
Whate’er it cost, howe’er I bleed!
No sin-cursed thing shall I allow
If thou wilt sanctify me now.

In vain my fearful heart points back
To failures in dark days gone by;
These shall not drive me from the track
Of heavenly flame once more brought nigh.
To keep thy grace thou’lt show me how,
So come and sanctify me now.

O pour on me the cleansing flood,
Nor let thy side be cleft in vain!
‘Tis done, I feel the precious blood
Does purge and keep from every stain.
To all the world I dare avow
That Jesus sanctifies me now.

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PENTECOSTAL SALVATION
(No. 447 in the SASB)

Published in The War Cry in May 1896, this song expresses similar thoughts to those in the previous one.

O Jesus, Saviour, Christ divine,
When shall I know and feel thee mine
Without a doubt or fear?
With anxious, longing thirst I come
To beg thee make my heart thy home,
And keep me holy here.

What is there that I will not give
To have thee ever with me live
A conquering Christ within?
My life, my all, this blessed day
Down at thy precious feet I lay,
To be redeemed from sin.

O God of pentecostal fame,
Can I not have that living flame
Burning where’er I go?
From sin and self and shame set free,
Can I not lead lost souls to thee,
And conquer every foe?

I can, I do just now believe,
I do the heavenly grace receive,
The Spirit makes me clean.
Christ takes the whole of my poor heart,
No sin shall ever from me part
My Lord who reigns supreme.

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THE MIGHTY TO SAVE

Specially written for a series of Field Officers' Councils in 1901 this song was published in The War Cry in March that year. It is the only one not to appear in the current song book.

O Jesus, the Mighty to Save,
I seek Thy great mercy to prove;
To plunge 'neath the All-Cleansing Wave,
And rise to Thy fulness of love.
The unclouded light of Thy face,
Pour into my weak, fearful heart;
Oh, come, and Thyself fill the place,
And never, oh, never depart!

I come, precious Saviour, today,
Embracing Thy beautiful will;
Thy every word to obey,
Thy every wish to fulfil.
Oh, never, no, never to sin!
Oh, never, no, never to doubt!
To always have peace dwell within,
And triumph o'er devils without.

O Jesus, I come to Thy feet,
For help in this glorious strife;
More courage - more faith I entreat,
To live the all-conquering life.
The burden of souls then I'll bear,
The cup of Thy sufferings drink,
And perishing crowds I shall dare
To rescue from Hell's awful brink.

O Jesus, I hear Thy glad voice,
The Fire, now descending, I feel;
Thy Spirit has honoured my choice,
In me Thou dost Heaven reveal.
Once more all I have is Thine own;
Once more I shall walk in the light;
By Thee shall my foes be o'erthrown -
With God I must win in the fight.

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VICTORY FOR ME
(No. 543 in the SASB)

Introduced by the Founder at the National Staff Council at Clapton in August 1900, and published in The War Cry in October of that year. It was first written for a small children’s paper editeed and issued for private circulation by Bramwell’s children. Each verse describes a different aspect of Christian victory, beginning with salvation and ending with the glory of heaven.

Jesus, my Lord, through thy triumph I claim
Victory for me, victory for me;
Lover of souls, by thy conquering name,
Victory for me, victory for me.
Canst thou not save a poor sinner like me?
Didst thou not suffer my soul to set free?
Thou didst provide by thy death on the tree
Victory for me, victory for me.

Here, Lord, I yield thee the whole of my heart,
Victory for me, victory for me;
From all that hinders at last I will part;
Victory for me, victory for me.
Called to thy service, I gladly obey,
Humbly my all at thy feet now I lay,
Trusting and fighting till life’s latest day;
Victory for me, victory for me.

Singing, I feel I shall conqueror be,
Victory for me, victory for me;
Boundless salvation is coming to me,
Victory for me, victory for me.
Cleansed by thy blood I shall walk in the light,
Held in thine arms I shall live in thy sight,
Filled with thy love I shall win in the fight;
Victory for me, victory for me.

Finished my work, I shall mount to the skies,
Victory for me, victory for me;
Comrades and kindred will shout as I rise,
Victory for me, victory for me.
Then saints and angels their welcomes will sing,
Then in his glory I’ll see my great King,
Then in loud rapture I’ll make Heaven ring;
Victory for me, victory for me.


Next page: Poem: 'William Booth enters Heaven'

Please read and/or sign The Booths' guest book.

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