But he gives us more grace. ~ James 4:6
William Booth was the founder of The Salvation Army. He was the father of eight children. Born in 1857 Yorkshire, England was his second child, Ballington. As a teenager, he began preaching in Salvation Army open-air meetings, where he would often end by singing and playing his concertina. He became a Colonel in The Salvation Army at the age of 23, when he was positioned as a Training Officer. He was later moved to Australia, United States, and Canada. He married there and was assigned to the United States soon after.
Booth was Commander of the American Salvation Army from 1887-96. Unfortunately, Ballington began to be in open conflict with his brother Bramwell, Chief of Staff of the Salvation Army. As a result, the Army reassigned them to positions outside the United States. Rather than move, the couple left The Salvation Army.
On March 8, 1896, they founded God's American Volunteers, which was soon renamed Volunteers of America. Many Salvationists made the move with them. Booth led the Volunteers for the next 43 years until his death in 1940.
He wrote this song in 1892, four years before founding the Volunteers. It first appeared in "The Soldier Soloist."
The cross that He gave may be heavy,
But it ne’er outweighs His grace.
The storm that I feared may surround me,
But it ne’er excludes His face.
The cross is not greater than His grace.
The storm cannot hide His blessed face.
I am satisfied to know
That with Jesus here below
I can conquer every foe.
- Ballington Booth, 1892
Copied from“Sing to the Lord” © 1993 by Lillenas Publishing Company
Hymn commentary courtesy J. D. Sherrow