A Time Such as This: Amazing Grace & William Wilberforce

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas

“God almighty has set before me two great objects: the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.”

Because of his own good nature, Wilberforce could hardly believe that others wouldn’t leap to do what was right when they finally knew the facts. He was mistaken.”

This past year I added a new person to my list of admired heroes of history: William Wilberforce. I was familiar with who he was, particularly that he was a champion of the movement to abolish slavery in England, and I saw the 2007 film, Amazing Grace, several years ago. Reading Eric Metaxas’ excellent biography of Wilberforce secured him in my opinion as one of the great influential men of modern times. Reading of his early life reminds me of Queen Esther, who was told by her uncle Mordecai, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Continue reading “A Time Such as This: Amazing Grace & William Wilberforce”

Christianity of America vs. Christianity of Christ, According to Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself

FrederickDouglassPicFrom my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.

Frederick Douglass made his debut as a public speaker at an anti-slavery meeting in 1841, at about the age of 23. Many people in the North were quite ignorant about how horrible the conditions of slavery were in the South; they wanted to believe that terrible stories they heard were exaggerations, that it certainly wasn’t all that bad. For this reason, the most effective element at an abolitionist meeting was the presence of a former slave, whose scarred back displayed the physical abuse he suffered, while his personal story would reveal his psychological scars. While their stories were told many times over, a written narrative created a permanent record for future generations and allowed the story to be more widely dispersed. Slave narratives not only provide evidence of the very real cruelties of slavery, they also exhibit the human intellect and emotion of the black man. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was published in 1845, one of thousands of slave narratives published between the years of 1820-1860. Continue reading “Christianity of America vs. Christianity of Christ, According to Frederick Douglass”