“Ideas have far-reaching consequences, and one must be ever so careful about what one allows to lodge in one’s brain.”
One might think that the man responsible for removing the slave trade and even slavery itself from England might be a household name. However, William Wilberforce is not a well-known man in today’s society. His legacy in politics changed the world for the better and he almost left politics at an early age after a life-changing event had him wondering how best to use his life on Earth.
I first came across Eric Metaxas when I read his biography on Dietrich Bonheoffer. I have since read almost all of his books – Miracles, If You Can Keep It, 7 Women, 7 Men, and Everything You Wanted to Know About God. I am looking forward to reading his biography on Martin Luther this fall. His writing style is very readable and I learn a lot every time I read one of his books. Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery was no different.
Wilberforce was one of the people Metaxas picked in his 7 Men and The Secret to their Greatness book and I wanted to read more about him. When I saw the last Metaxas book I had to read was about Wilberforce, I was excited. Wilberforce was born into a world where religious behavior was looked down upon, yet, when he lived with his aunt and uncle, he came to believe in God. He was quickly removed from that situation only to find God again later in life. He was a young, rising politician and thought maybe God would want him to serve people instead of being in politics. Several friends convinced him to try to use his position to influence the country for good instead – and he did. His main agenda was to end slavery and he started by trying to end the slave trade. It was slow work, but eventually he found success. Along the way, he also tried to influence the morality of the nation by encouraging good behavior. Wilberforce died shortly after slavery was outlawed in all of the United Kingdom and its territories, which then affected much of Europe and the United States.
There is a lot more depth to Wilberforce’s story than that short synopsis. I would recommend anyone high school age or older read about Wilberforce and learn about how he changed the world. I know I am going to make sure my children know about this man’s role in history. If you don’t know much about this man, I highly recommend that you read this book!