Solomon says: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Elizabeth Fry’s life was a living proof of the honors that a persistent, steady, self-denying course of doing good invariably wins in the long run.
CLOSING DAYS OF LIFE.
Indefatigable workers wear out, while drones rust out. As the years are counted, of so many days, months, and weeks, many workers of this class die prematurely; but a wiser philosophy teaches that “He liveth long who liveth well.” Into her years of life, long, eventful, and busy, Elizabeth Fry had crowded the work of many ordinary women; it was little wonder, therefore, that at a time when most people would have settled down to enjoy the relaxations and comforts of a “green old age,” she had begun to set her house in order, to die. Her energies had been fairly worn out in the service of humanity, and from the time that she made the resolution to serve God, when moved by William Savery’s pleadings, right onward through forty-eight years of sunshine and shadow, vicissitudes and labors, she had never swerved from her simple, earnest purpose. The propelling motive to that long course of Christian usefulness may be found in a few words uttered by her shortly before her death: “Since my heart was touched at seventeen years old, I believe I have never awakened from sleep, in sickness or in health, by day or by night, without my first waking thought being, ’how best I might serve my Lord.’” That unchanged desire ultimately became the master-passion of her life.