William Wilberforce is a shining example of what a politically engaged Christian can achieve. He left behind a great legacy of leading the English abolition of slavery, and also achieved the position of English Prime Minister. But his philosophies, and idealism, and unflinching resolve against the greatest legally and socially acceptable, popular immorality of his day remains inspirational to those who believe it’s their patriotic and/or Christian duty to take a stand and actively oppose injustice and immorality, and to balance this with sound character and relationships – no easy feat!
Here is a selection of my favourite quotes of his – inspiration to campaign for the abolition of our society’s greatest evil: the clinical mass murder of our unborn children on demand – abortion.
“Surely the principles of Christianity lead to action as well as meditation.” – William Wilberforce
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.” – William Wilberforce
“Let everyone regulate his conduct… by the golden rule of doing to others as in similar circumstances we would have them do to us, and the path of duty will be clear before him.” – William Wilberforce
“Selfishness is one of the principal fruits of the corruption of human nature; and it is obvious that selfishness disposes us to over-rate our good qualities, and to overlook or extenuate our defects.”
? William Wilberforce
“Wherever we direct our view, we discover the melancholy proofs of our depravity; whether we look to ancient or modern times, to barbarous or civilized nations, to the conduct of the world around us, or to the monitor within the breast; whether we read, or hear, or act, or think, or feel, the same humiliating lesson is forced upon us.” – William Wilberforce
“When we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion, and of God? Sir, the nature and all the circumstances of this trade are now laid open to us; we can no longer plead ignorance, we can not evade it; it is now an object placed before us, we can not pass it; we may spurn it, we may kick it out of our way, but we can not turn aside so as to avoid seeing it; for it is brought now so directly before our eyes that this House must decide, and must justify to all the world, and to their own consciences, the rectitude of the grounds and principles of their decision.” – William Wilberforce
“Let us not despair; it is a blessed cause, and success, ere long, will crown our exertions. Already we have gained one victory; we have obtained, for these poor creatures, the recognition of their human nature, which, for a while was most shamefully denied. This is the first fruits of our efforts; let us persevere and our triumph will be complete. Never, never will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country.” – William Wilberforce
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” – William Wilberforce
“God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners (morality).” – William Wilberforce
“It is the true duty of every man to promote the happiness of his fellow creatures to the utmost of his power.” – William Wilberforce
“So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the Trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for Abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.” – William Wilberforce
“Never, never will we desist, until we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country.” – William Wilberforce
“Wherever the sun shines, let us go around the world with him, diffusing our beneficence; but let us not traffic, only that we may set kings against their subjects, subjects against their kings… setting millions of our fellow-creatures a hunting each other for slaves, creating fairs and markets for human flesh… concealing from ourselves all the baseness and iniquity of such a traffic.” – William Wilberforce
“I cannot believe that the same being who forbids rapine and bloodshed, has made rapine and bloodshed necessary to the well-being of any part of his universe.” – William Wilberforce
The violent seizure of someone’s property.
pillage – robbery – plunder – depredation – sack]