Chapter 23 » 23.98

Friends and state authority

Crime and punishment

Elizabeth Fry (1780–1845) was born into the Gurney family in Norwich. She committed herself to a religious life following the visit of William Savery of Philadelphia when she was seventeen. She devoted herself to work for prison reform (see 18.08 & 26.40). In 1827 she wrote of this work:

Much depends on the spirit in which the visitor enters upon her work. It must be in the spirit, not of judgment, but of mercy. She must not say in her heart I am more holy than thou, but must rather keep in perpetual remembrance that ‘all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God’.

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