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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 quietness 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, however, 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 every hour of need, to her intimate thy name give glory.”
associates and friends.
Her love, One example may illustrate the which flowed so freely towards maneffect of her Christian influence. On kind in general, assumed a concenvisiting one of the State prisons in trated form towards the individuals of the kingdom of in 1839, she her own immediate circle. There was found many
hundred convicts work- one of them who did not live in ing in chains, sorely burdened and her remembrance; not one who could oppressed. In union with her friend not acknowledge her as an especial William Allen, she pressed the case, friend-a helper and sustainer in life. in the absence of the King, on the Delightful was her conversation in the attention of the Queen and Crown family group, whether at her own Prince. Soon afterwards, the Queen dwelling, or in those of her relatives ; was seized by her mortal illness, but always fixing the attention, always did not depart from this world without soothing the feelings, always tending obtaining the kind promise of her to virtue and happiness, to love, peace, Royal Consort that Elizabeth Fry's and union. recommendations respecting the pri- She was an ardent lover of the sons should be at once adopted. beauties of nature, and observed them When the same prison was again with delight, in their smaller as well visited by her in 1841, not a chain as larger features. A shell by the was to be seen on any of the criminals. sea-side, a feather, or a flower, would They were working with comparative fill her heart with joy, and tune her ease and freedom; not one of them, tongue to praise, while she gazed on it as the governor declared, had made as an evidence of Divine wisdom, his escape; and great and general skill, and goodness. It was, indeed, was the joy with which they received a remarkable feature in her character, and welcomed their benefactress, that she was as complete in the little
In several of the royal persons with as in the great things of life—as sucwhom she communicated she met cessful in matters of a subordinate with truly kindred hearts, and it is nature as in those of higher moment. not too much to assert, that some of She cared for the bodies
of her friends them were united to her in the bond as kindly and as skilfully as for their not only of warm and constant friend- souls. She was the refuge of those ship, but of Christian fellowship. around her in every trouble, whether When the King of Prussia was in more or less important; and knew England, he made a point of visiting how to satisfy all who came to her, her at her own abode, on which occa- and all to whom she came. sion she had the pleasure of presenting Those who are accustomed to obto him her children, and children's serve the ways of Divine mercy and children a goodly company, between wisdom will not be surprised that so thirty and forty in number! She was beloved, so popular a being, should also gratified by receiving a most experience the full force of the Scripaffectionate and sympathizing letter ture declaration—" Whom the Lord from him, in his own hand, within a loveth he chasteneth.” Many and few weeks of her death. The interest varied were her tribulations in the felt about her on the continent of course of her pilgrimage ; and it was Europe, as well as in the United States through no light measure of affliction of America, was indeed as warm that she was prepared for her fulness and nearly as general as in her own of sympathy with the sufferings of country.
others. A delicate constitution, and After all, however, those loved her many sore visitations of sickness, the the best who knew her the most in unexpected death of some of her beprivate life. She was, truly, an at- loved children and grandchildren, as tached and devoted wife-a cherish- well as the loss of other near relaing and cherished mother--a loving tions and connexions, and some unand grateful sister-a dispenser of the expected adverse circumstances, were true balm of Christian comfort, in 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,
she placed no dependence for salva- which state, notwithstanding some tion on any works of righteousness severe convulsions, continued, almost which she had done or could do; but without intermission, until, on the only on the fulness and freeness of morning of the 13th, she quietly drew the pardoning love of God in Christ her last breath. On one occasion, Jesus—the one great sacrifice for sin however, she woke up for a few mo-her sure and certain hope of eternal ments, and said to a faithful attendglory.
ant who was beside her bed, “This In the meantime there was a mark- is a strife, but I am safe." Safe ed sweetness and loveliness in her she then was, doubtless, in the holy conversation and demeanour, and a hands of the Lord, who was with her peculiar and increasing seriousness in in the valley of the shadow of death. her state of mind-a longing for a Safe she now is for ever, as we reverglorious eternity-which seemed to ently, yet firmly believe, in the bosom denote that she was rapidly ripening of that adorable Redeemer, whom she for a holier and brighter scene, a bet- ardently loved and faithfully followed. ter and enduring inheritance. Speak- Although she was scarcely to be ing of her late afflictions, in a note to numbered with the aged, her's was a one of her brothers, she acknowledged long life in the service of her God and that she did not count them strange, Saviour. She died in her 66th year, as though some strange thing had May we not entertain the joyful happened unto her, but rather rejoiced assurance, that, “when the son of in being made a partaker in the suffer- Man shall came in his glory, and all ings of Christ, that when his glory his holy angels with him,” this handshould be revealed, she might be glad maid of the Lord, so remarkable for also with exceeding joy. Ah, dear- her loving spirit, and unceasing enest,” she added, " may we, through deavours to benefit her fellow-men, our Lord's love and mercy, eventual- will be found among those who shall ly thus rejoice with him in glory, rest, receive the joyful sentence, “ Come, and peace, when this passing scene ye blessed of my Father, inherit the shall close upon our view!”
kingdom prepared for you from the Her hour was, indeed, nearly come. foundation of the world; for I was an In the afternoon of the 11th Oct., after hungered, and ye gave me meat; I a day or two of considerable suffering was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I and debility, she was suddenly attack- I was a stranger, and ye took me in; ed with pressure on the brain, and naked, and ye clothed me; sick and while sinking under the stroke was in prison, and ye visited me. heard to exclaim, “Oh, my dear Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as Lord, keep and help thy servant!" ye have done it unto one of the least She soon fell into a deep slumber, of these my brethren, ye have done it and became totally unconscious; unto Me."
EXTRACT FROM THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD'S LAST
If some good men at the close of the yet was dead; with little vigour in last and the early part of the present
her ministrations, and few symptoms century began a movement which was of spiritual vitality. Merged, for the likely to work, and has since wrought, most part, in dry, sentimental, heartgreat and important results, be it less morality, the peculiar and disremembered that they had a grand tinguishing doctrines of the Gospel object in view. They found the were rarely brought into fitting and Church with a name that she lived, scriptural prominence. It was a dark EXTRACT FROM THE BISHOP OF HERBFORD'S LAST CHARGE. 547
unfruitful time when they set them- doctrines of the Gospel were at stake. selves to the task of awakening a care- There could be no halting between less and lethargic generation. And two opinions. unlike the agitators of recent days, Compared with this, the present their trumpet gave no
uncertain strife about the force of difficult and sound.
doubtful rubrics, about postures, The fall and degeneracy and sinful- vestments, and the like, sinks into ness of man, with the means of re- utter insignificance, leaving behind conciliation to an offended God only sorrow and a sense of shame at through the One only Mediator, and the bitterness which has marked its the necessity of a living faith in the
The time chosen for such full and free grace of the everlasting disputes was most unfortunate, when Gospel, were the leading topics of reasonable men on all sides were betheir pulpit labours. Doctrines these, ginning to entertain a better apprecithen seldom discussed, though abun- ation of each other's motives, and dantly set forth in our Liturgy; but contending parties were fast drawing in their stead, long arguments on the to a nearer agreement in principle and Evidences, or calm, reasoning dis- practice, promising the happiest recourses on the beauty of virtue, on sult. This result had indeed been the dignity of man, on the merit and already in part effected in the imreward of obedience, lulled the unsus- proved tone and religious character pecting listeners into placid security, of the country. This unhappy strife, and pillowed them in soft repose. În for aught we know, may have been endeavouring to rouse their Christian designed by the overruling providence brethren from this state of dull and of God as part of his Church's trial. torpid indifference, it may be that the Waters become unwholesome by stagchief movers did not always act with nation, and the atmosphere is cleared discretion and wisdom, or with that and purified by storms. So it may be attention to Ecclesiastical rule and ordained for her good, that the Church order and discipline, which it was should have no rest while “militant their duty to observe and to inculcate, here in earth," nor till “her warfare and that they rarely asserted, or fee- is accomplished,” and her work is bly vindicated some grave principles.
done. For all such faults let reasonable “The Priest's lips are to teach blame be allotted, after due allowance knowledge, and the people are to seek for human infirmity and error, for the the law at his mouth." But this end want of sympathy in most of their can hardly be compassed if public contemporaries, for the vehemence of feeling be estrarged from our minisopposition which they had to encoun- trations. It will be wise, therefore, ter, and for the misrepresentation they to follow a conciliatory course, wherwere called upon to endure. Yet, it ever this can be done without unbemust be owned, they were doing a coming compliance, and without any great work, and they prospered in it. compromise of truth. All singulariTo this even their adversaries bare ties of doctrine and of ceremony witness, by adopting gradually most should be avoided. In matters “ diof their sentiments, and by acting at versely taken,” we should allow long length upon most of their principles, custom to be the interpreter and under a conviction, doubtless, that guide. As there are confessedly some those sentiments and principles, in things in which the most scrupulous the main, were consonant with the conscience and the nicest punctiliousmind and will of God as revealed in ness cannot carry out the letter, are the divine oracles. If, then, in the we unreasonable in asking you to let commencement and early progress of long usage have its weight, and to be that religious movement, some un- satisfied with fulfilling the spirit? and happy disunion and dissatisfaction in asking you, likewise, not to insist prevailed, we must grant that the on some others which cannot be unistruggle was for great and vital ob- versally enforced without a more than jects; the fundamental and essential countervailing inconvenience, or with