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The True William Wilberforce of Amazing Grace

 

William Wilberforce of Britain stood with strict Christian morality. He stood verbally strong against lewdness, sexually impurity, immodesty, drunkenness, foul language, indecent literature—everything contrary to our most innocent and undefiled Savior; Hebrews 7:26. 

 

Concerning the epitaph of William Wilberforce, I have admired all he sought in the name of his Savior. When he became a believer in 1785, he fought to end slavery, but suffered continually under the hand of liberal persecution.  Finally, England ceased its slavery trade in 1833, three days before his death and about 30 years before America followed suit, due mainly to his voice of influence.   

 

Val Lee  (Author of Cliques in the Church, Apostasy in the Church, and Queen Esther/Looming Holocaust—see Amazon.com. These books can also be read at https://vallee7.wordpress.com/. I also write and submit photos for Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures http://leesbird.com/ “Through the Looking Glass of Val Lee”)

  

http://www.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_108_2_Bayes.pdf

 

 William Wilberforce: His Impact on Nineteenth-Century Society Condensed

Churchman 108/2 1994

Jonathan Bayes

William Wilberforce is remembered today mainly for his long Parliamentary campaign for the abolition of the slave-trade. He look up the cause of Africa and the West Indian slaves in 1786, and the Act of Parliament for Abolition finally received the Royal Assent and became law on 25 March 1807.

 

Not that that was the end of the struggle. Wilberforce had always seen the abolition of trading in human beings as but the first step towards the ultimate goal of the outlawing of slavery itself. This objective was not attained until 1833. By then Wilberforce had been retired from the politics of Westminster for eight years, and had handed on to others the baton of the antislavery campaign. It was his joy to live just long enough to hear of the final success in the House of Commons of the Bill for the Abolition of Slavery. He died two days later.

 

His notoriety on nineteenth-century British society came not through his work on behalf of the slaves, but through the other great task to which he believed himself to be called of God. On Sunday, 28 October 1787 Wilberforce wrote in his diary: ‘God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners’, by which he meant the reform of the morals of Britain. The question of slavery, that he first voiced his personal concern to reform the morals of England.

 

Around the time when he was preparing his Bill concerning capital punishment, in 1786,Wilberforce read a book by Dr Joseph Woodward, entitled The History of the Society for the Reformation of Manners in 1692.

 

It was traditional for a new monarch to mark his accession to the throne by issuing a Proclamation for the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue, and for the Preventing of Vice, Profaneness, and Immorality.

 

At that time, corruption was rife at every rank of society. The well-to-do were notorious for their gambling, while, amongst the poorer classes, prostitution abounded. Drunkenness and foul talk were common lo all social strata.

In devising his plan to form a new Society for the Reformation of Manners, Wilberforce believed, as we have already noted, that the way to begin was by making the strict combatting of crime an effective deterrent. The Society was designed to raise the moral tone of the nation by clamping down on offences such as the publication of indecent or blasphemous literature, and the desecration of the Lord’s Day. In targeting such offences in particular, Wilberforce was giving expression to his conviction that the looseness of the nation’s morals arose from the religious apathy and skepticism

which prevailed amongst all classes. His plan was that his Society for the Reformation of Manners should serve to restore England to its Protestant faith, by standing against those moral offences which militated against Christianity. As a by-product, Wilberforce believed, there would follow a general moral improvement.

 

1787 the Preamble the King George III articulated his ‘inexpressible concern’ at ‘the rapid progress of impiety and licentiousness’, and at the deluge of ‘profaneness, immorality, and every kind of vice’, which had broken in upon this nation. He declared his royal purpose ‘to discountenance and punish all manner of vice, profaneness and immorality, in all persons, of whatsoever degree or quality, within this our realm.’

 

Wilberforce: Our dependence on our blessed Saviour, as alone the meritorious cause of our acceptance with God, . . . must be not merely formal and nominal, but real and substantial. . . . It is not an occasional invocation of His name, or a transient recognition of the authority, of Christ, that fills up the measure of the terms ‘believing in Jesus’. . . . We must be deeply conscious of our guilt and misery, heartily repenting of our sins, and firmly resolving to forsake them: and thus penitently flying for refuge to the hope set before us, we must found altogether on the merits of our crucified Redeemer our hopes of escape from their deserved punishment, and of deliverance from their enslaving power. This must be our first, our last, our only plea. The corollary of this view of salvation, Wilberforce goes on, is the recognition that real Christianity is a commitment which demands the totality of a person’s life, doing everything to the glory of God.

 

Wilberforce proclaims explicitly that nominal Christianity is not

Christianity, that the difference is not a trifling one, but that nominal Christianity lacks altogether the radical principle of Christianity, namely the remembrance that we are fallen creatures, born in sin and naturally depraved, and that we need to be born again to become Christians in a genuine sense. His final challenge is to realize that nominal Christianity in one generation will lead to absolute unbelief in the next.

 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Amazing Grace, Christianity, England, Great Britain, Hate, Movies, Religion, Scripture, Sin, Slavery, Theology, Uncategorized, Willaim Wilberforce | , | 1 Comment