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coast, which does not owe a useful and instructive library to the care and exertions of Elizabeth Fry, and very numerous are the testimonies which she has received of the value and usefulness of the books which have thus been provided.
She was a faithful and diligent distributor of religious tracts, and larger publications of an edifying character, besides the Holy Scriptures. These, whether travelling or at home, she took care to keep so near at hand, and so nicely arranged, as to be always ready for use on every occasion. Few have been known, as the writer believes, to keep every thing around them in better order, or to arrange their daily duties, and, as it were, to pack up life, with greater skill. This was one secret of her success in all her pursuits. Another was the remarkable discretion which guided her in her communications with persons in authority. She knew exactly how far to go, and she went just so far, and no farther. A third was the imperturbable evenness of her temper, and quiet ness of spirit, which marked her whole course. She moved along in her walk of mercy at an easy steady pace, and was never ruffled, never in a hurry. Her expressive countenance wore the beaming smile of unaffected kindness; yet such was the calm dignity of her appearance and demeanour, that the love which she inspired wherever she went never failed to be mingled with a feeling of deference.
The law of love, which might be said to be ever on her lips, was deeply engraven on her heart; and her charity, in the best and most comprehensive sense of the term, flowed freely forth towards her fellow-men of every class, of every condition. Thus she won her way, with a peculiar grace, and almost uniformly obtained her object. There was, how ever, another quality, which powerfully tended to this result-patient and indomitable perseverance. She was not one of those who warmly embrace a philanthropic pursuit, and then as easily forsake it. Month after month, and year after year, she laboured in any plan of mercy which she thought it her duty to undertake,
and never forsook it in heart and feeling, even when health failed her, or other circumstances, not under her control, closed the door, for a time, on her personal exertions. This perseverance was combined with a peculiar versatility and readiness in seizing on every passing occasion, and converting it into an opportunity of usefulness. She was not only always willing, but always prepared, always ready, (by a kind of mental sleight of hand,) to do good, be it ever so little, to a child, a servant, a waiter at an inn, a friend, a neighbour, or stranger !
There can, indeed, be no doubt that her natural endowments were peculiarly fitted, under the sanctifying influence of Divine grace, to her arduous vocations in life: but it was this grace, or, in other words, it was the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord, which was in fact, her main qualification for every service in the Gospel —for every labour of Christian love. This it was which imparted a heavenly loveliness to her countenance, brightness and clearness to her words, a sacred melody in times of religious solemnity to her voice, and a strength and facility to her actions. This it was which mainly accounted both for the fortiter in re and the suaviter in modo for which she was so much distinguished. “ C'est le don de Dieu," cried a German prince, who interpreted for her while she was addressing a large company of orphans in a foreign land. It was, indeed, the gift of God, supernaturally bestowed from the fountain of his grace, by which she was enabled so to move, speak, and act in his service, and by which her natural faculties—his gifts by creation-were purified, enlarged, and directed.
No one could more fully enter than she habitually did into the force and meaning of the apostle's words : “ I know that in me, that is to say, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing ;' no one could more readily or rightly answer his question, “'What hast thou, that thou hast not received ?” She was remarkably free from selfcomplacency, dwelling deeply in the sense of her own unworthiness; and from her inmost heart could she adopt the prayer of the Psalmist, “ Not unto
us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.”
One example may illustrate the effect of her Christian influence. On visiting one of the State prisons in the kingdom of in 1839, she found many hundred convicts working in chains, sorely burdened and oppressed. In union with her friend William Allen, she pressed the case, in the absence of the King, on the attention of the Queen and Crown Prince. Soon afterwards, the Queen was seized by her mortal illness, but did not depart from this world without obtaining the kind promise of her Royal Consort that Elizabeth Fry's recommendations respecting the prisons should be at once adopted When the same prison was again visited by her in 1841, not a chain was to be seen on any of the criminals. They were working with comparative ease and freedom; not one of them, as the governor declared, had made his escape; and great and general was the joy with which they received and welcomed their benefactress.
In several of the royal persons with whom she communicated she met with truly kindred hearts, and it is not too much to assert, that some of them were united to her in the bond not only of warm and constant friendship, but of Christian fellowship. When the King of Prussia was in England, he made a point of visiting her at her own abode, on which occasion she had the pleasure of presenting to him her children, and children's children a goodly company, between thirty and forty in number! She was also gratified by receiving a most affectionate and sympathizing letter from him, in his own hand, within a few weeks of her death. The interest felt about her on the continent of Europe, as well as in the United States of America, was indeed as warm and nearly as general as in her own country.
After all, however, those loved her the best who knew her the most in private life. She was, truly, an attached and devoted wife—a cherishing and cherished mother--a loving and grateful sister-a dispenser of the true balm of Christian comfort, in
every hour of need, to her intimate associates and friends. Her love, which flowed so freely towards mankind in general, assumed a concentrated form towards the individuals of her own immediate circle. There was not one of them who did not live in her remembrance; not one who could not acknowledge her as an especial friend-a helper and sustainer in life, Delightful was her conversation in the family group, whether at her own dwelling, or in those of her relatives ; always fixing the attention, always soothing the feelings, always tending to virtue and happiness, to love, peace, and union.
She was an ardent lover of the beauties of nature, and observed them with delight, in their smaller as well as larger features. A shell by the sea-side, a feather, or a flower, would fill her heart with joy, and tune her tongue to praise, while she gazed on it as an evidence of Divine wisdom, skill, and goodness. It was, indeed, a remarkable feature in her character, that she was as complete in the little as in the great things of life as successful in matters of a subordinate nature as in those of higher moment. She cared for the bodies of her friends as kindly and as skilfully as for their souls. She was the refuge of those around her in every trouble, whether more or less important; and knew how to satisfy all who came to her, and all to whom she came.
Those who are accustomed to observe the ways of Divine mercy and wisdom will not be surprised that so beloved, so popular a being, should experience the full force of the Scripture declaration—" Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Many and varied were her tribulations in the course of her pilgrimage, and it was through no light measure of affliction that she was prepared for her fulness of sympathy with the sufferings of others. A delicate constitution, and many sore visitations of sickness, the unexpected death of some of her beloved children and grandchildren, as well as the loss of other near relations and connexions, and some unexpected adverse circumstances, were among the close trials of faith and
patience, with which her heavenly Father saw fit to prove her in this valley of tears. And, indeed, they served their purpose, for she was preserved in deep humility and true tenderness of spirit before the Lord, under whose holy hand she quietly bowed in resignation of soul. She knew what it was to mourn and weep, but she never despaired. She was one who could truly sing the song of Habakkuk : “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my salvation.”
In the summer of 1843, she spent a few weeks in Paris, for the last time. Never, perhaps, did she manifest a greater brightness than during that period. Her numerous friends (of various classes) flocked around her with peculiar pleasure, and lively and precious indeed was her testimony amongst them to the truth as it is in Jesus, and to its practical importance and efficacy. It was a particular satisfaction to her on that occasion to renew her intimacy with several French ladies of truly Christian character, especially with her long-loved and faithful friend, the Countess P , a lady of deep piety, and with a heart full of love to God and man, like her own. This was her last effort of the kind. Soon after her return home, her health was evidently much enfeebled, and towards the close of that year she became so alarmingly ill that the solicitude of her own family, and of the multitudes who loved her and knew her value, was painfully awakened. Earnest inquiries after her health were made from the highest quarters, as well as by the poor and miserable of mankind. Public prayers were offered for her recovery in some of the Protestant churches on the continent; and numerous, we doubt not, were the petitions put up in private on behalf of the cherished one, who had been “the succourer of many."
These petitions were graciously an-
swered; so that it was by very slow degrees her friends were weaned from that peculiar dependence on her to which they were naturally prone. Although she continued very infirm in body, the sufferings which she had endured, from a painful irritation of the nerves and spasms, gradually abated. She was again enabled, to a certain extent, and with occasional relapses, to enjoy the company of her friends; again united with them in the public worship of God; again cheered and comforted the family circle; again laboured, as far as health would permit, for the benefit of her fellow-men. It was a joy and comfort to many that she was enabled to attend two of the sittings of the last Yearly Meeting of Friends, and the last Annual Meeting of the British Ladies' Society, on which several occasions she addressed the company present, with all her usual sweetness, love, and power.
About two months ago, she went with her husband and family, for change of air and scene, to Ramsgate, where a commodious residence had been prepared for her, within view of the sea. There she was surrounded by several members of her family, and took peculiar pleasure in the company of some of her beloved grandchildren, who had lately lost an invaluable father. But she was far from forgetting to be useful to others beyond her own circle. Repeatedly was she engaged in acceptable religious service at a friends' meeting in a neighbouring village ; and she took great pains in disseminating Bibles and Tracts among the crews of foreign and other vessels, which frequented the harbour. “We must work while it is called to-day,” said she; “ however low the service we may be called to, I desire, through the help that may be granted me, to do it the end;" adding, “Let us sow beside all waters. I so greatly feel the importance of that text. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.'”
While such was her earnest desire, 4A
she placed no dependence for salvation on any works of righteousness which she had done or could do ; but only on the fulness and freeness of the pardoning love of God in Christ Jesus—the one great sacrifice for sin -her sure and certain hope of eternal glory.
In the meantime there was a marked sweetness and loveliness in her conversation and demeanour, and a peculiar and increasing seriousness in her state of mind-a longing for a glorious eternity-which seemed to denote that she was rapidly ripening for a holier and brighter scene, a better and enduring inheritance. Speak ing of her late afflictions, in a note to one of her brothers, she acknowledged that she did not count them strange, as though some strange thing had happened unto her, but rather rejoiced in being made a partaker in the sufferings of Christ, that when his glory should be revealed, she might be glad also with exceeding joy. “Ah, dear est ,” she added, “may we, through our Lord's love and mercy, eventual ly thus rejoice with him in glory, rest, and peace, when this passing scene shall close upon our view!"
Her hour was, indeed, nearly come. In the afternoon of the 11th Oct., after a day or two of considerable suffering and debility, she was suddenly attack. ed with pressure on the brain, and while sinking under the stroke was heard to exclaim, “Oh, my dear Lord, keep and help thy servant!” She soon fell into a deep slumber, and became totally unconscious;
which state, notwithstanding some severe convulsions, continued, almost without intermission, until, on the morning of the 13th, she quietly drew her last breath. On one occasion, however, she woke up for a few moments, and said to a faithful attendant who was beside her bed, “This is a strife, but I am safe.” Safe she then was, doubtless, in the holy hands of the Lord, who was with her in the valley of the shadow of death. Safe she now is for ever, as we reverently, yet firmly believe, in the bosom of that adorable Redeemer, whom she ardently loved and faithfully followed.
Although she was scarcely to be numbered with the aged, her's was a long life in the service of her God and Saviour. She died in her 66th year,
May we not entertain the joyful assurance, that, “when the son of Man shall came in his glory, and all his holy angels with him,” this handmaid of the Lord, so remarkable for her loving spirit, and unceasing endeavours to benefit her fellow-men, will be found among those who shall receive the joyful sentence, “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; sick and in prison, and ye visited me. ....., Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME.”
EXTRACT FROM THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD'S LAST
If some good men at the close of the last and the early part of the present century began a movement which was likely to work, and has since wrought, great and important results, be it remembered that they had a grand object in view. They found the Church with a name that she lived,
yet was dead; with little vigour in her ministrations, and few symptoms of spiritual vitality. Merged, for the most part, in dry, sentimental, heartless morality, the peculiar and distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel were rarely brought into fitting and scriptural prominence. It was a dark
EXTRACT FROM THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD'S LAST CHARGE. 547
unfruitful time when they set them selves to the task of awakening a careless and lethargic generation. And unlike the agitators of recent days, their trumpet gave no uncertain sound.
The fall and degeneracy and sinfulness of man, with the means of reconciliation to an offended God through the One only Mediator, and the necessity of a living faith in the full and free grace of the everlasting Gospel, were the leading topics of their pulpit labours. Doctrines these, then seldom discussed, though abundantly set forth in our Liturgy; but in their stead, long arguments on the Evidences, or calm, reasoning discourses on the beauty of virtue, on the dignity of man, on the merit and reward of obedience, lulled the unsuspecting listeners into placid security and pillowed them in soft repose. In endeavouring to rouse their Christian brethren from this state of dull and torpid indifference, it may be that the chief movers did not always act with discretion and wisdom, or with that attention to Ecclesiastical rule and order and discipline, which it was their duty to observe and to inculcate, and that they rarely asserted, or feebly vindicated some grave principles. For all such faults let reasonable blame be allotted, after due allowance for human infirmity and error, for the want of sympathy in most of their contemporaries, for the vehemence of opposition which they had to encounter, and for the misrepresentation they were called upon to endure. Yet, it must be owned, they were doing a great work, and they prospered in it. To this even their adversaries bare witness, by adopting gradually most of their sentiments, and by acting at length upon most of their principles, under a conviction, doubtless, that those sentiments and principles, in the main, were consonant with the mind and will of God as revealed in the divine oracles. If, then, in the commencement and early progress of that religious movement, some unhappy disunion and dissatisfaction prevailed, we must grant that the struggle was for great and vital objects; the fundamental and essential
doctrines of the Gospel were at stake. There could be no halting between two opinions.
Compared with this, the present strife about the force of difficult and doubtful rubrics, about postures, vestments, and the like, sinks into utter insignificance, leaving behind only sorrow and a sense of shame at the bitterness which has marked its career. The time chosen for such disputes was most unfortunate, when reasonable men on all sides were beginning to entertain a better appreciation of each other's motives, and contending parties were fast drawing to a nearer agreement in principle and practice, promising the happiest result. This result had indeed been already in part effected in the improved tone and religious character of the country. This unhappy strife, for aught we know, may have been designed by the overruling providence of God as part of his Church's trial. Waters become unwholesome by stagnation, and the atmosphere is cleared and purified by storms. So it may be ordained for her good, that the Church should have no rest while “militant here in earth,” nor till “her warfare is accomplished,” and her work is done.
“The Priest's lips are to teach knowledge, and the people are to seek the law at his mouth.” But this end can hardly be compassed if public feeling be estrarged from our ministrations. It will be wise, therefore, to follow a conciliatory course, wherever this can be done without unbecoming compliance, and without any compromise of truth. All singulari, ties of doctrine and of ceremony should be avoided. In matters “diversely taken,” we should allow long custom to be the interpreter and guide. As there are confessedly some things in which the most scrupulous conscience and the nicest punctiliousness cannot carry out the letter, are we unreasonable in asking you to let long usage have its weight, and to be satisfied with fulfilling the spirit? and in asking you, likewise, not to insist on some others which cannot be universally enforced without a more than countervailing inconvenience, or with