Patience and Persistence with Lord Shaftesbury

I finished Shaftesbury: The Great Reformer by Richard Turnbull last week.

The Earl of Shaftesbury was his title; Anthony Ashley Cooper was his name. He was a British politician and reformer in the 1800's. He was a committed Christian who used his position in government and his influence in society for good. I wanted to point out one detail:

He spent 25 years fighting to protect and free children who were forced to clean chimneys for master chimney sweeps. 25 YEARS!

Children fit into the chimneys better than adults, so they would force children, usually boys, who worked for them up into the chimney. It was dangerous work. They were often burned, choked, beaten, or fell. Even after he helped pass laws to protect boys from those jobs, the master sweeps would ignore them and the laws would not be enforced. Even when there were machines to do the cleaning, rich families who did not want a loud machine in their house would employ sweeps who still had boys to do the work.

I was inspired by Shaftesbury's persistence and patience. 25 YEARS!

We should all give our lives for important causes like that and have the patience to see that through.

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