William Wilberforce on the Christian’s sense of guilt, grace, and gratitude

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Hence, too, we become more suitably impressed, (even overwhelmed would be an inadequate name for a feeling which we never can experience in a just degree,) with a sense of the unspeakable mercy and love of God. It is not merely that he pardons those who deserve punishment at his hands: but, if we may presume to use such an expression, in speaking of truths, the grandeur of which exceeds our limited faculties. He who declares himself to abhor all iniquity, has devised a plan for exercising his lenity, without disparagement to his attribute of justice, by the sacrifice of the only Son of his love, the partaker of his divine nature and glory. ...

For more, see William Wilberforce on the Christian’s sense of guilt, grace, and gratitude.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
Wilberforce's (rather lengthy...) epitaph is my all-time favorite.

To the memory of William Wilberforce (born in Hull, August 24th 1759, died in London, July 29th 1833); for nearly half a century a member of the House of Commons, and, for six parliaments during that period, one of the two representatives for Yorkshire.

In an age and country fertile in great and good men, he was among the foremost of those who fixed the character of their times; because to high and various talents, to warm benevolence, and to universal candour, he added the abiding eloquence of a Christian life.

Eminent as he was in every department of public labour, and a leader in every work of charity, whether to relieve the temporal or the spiritual wants of his fellow-men, his name will ever be specially identified with those exertions which, by the blessing of God, removed from England the guilt of the African slave trade, and prepared the way for the abolition of slavery in every colony of the empire: in the prosecution of these objects he relied, not in vain, on God; but in the progress he was called to endure great obloquy and great opposition: he outlived, however, all enmity; and in the evening of his days, withdrew from public life and public observation to the bosom of his family.

Yet he died not unnoticed or forgotten by his country: the Peers and Commons of England, with the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker at their head, in solemn procession from their respective houses, carried him to his fitting place among the mighty dead around, here to repose: till, through the merits of Jesus Christ, his only redeemer and saviour, (whom, in his life and in his writings he had desired to glorify,) he shall rise in the resurrection of the just.​
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Wilberforce's (rather lengthy...) epitaph is my all-time favorite.

Of course, any posting of that epitaph ought to be accompanied by a photo of his marker in Westminster.

I may have told the story before of how my family and I were disappointed when the official tour there marched us right past Wilberforce's marker, with no mention at all, on the way to the burial place of Charles Darwin. We had to go back on our own and spend time at Wilberforce. That the tour would skip it seemed a dire oversight, and a sad commentary on the state of things.

Wilberforce 2.png
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
That the tour would skip it seemed a dire oversight, and a sad commentary on the state of things.
For sure. My wife and I visited Westminster Abbey several years ago, unguided, but we had made a list of some of the memorials/graves of great historical leaders that we wanted to be sure to see. Wilberforce was definitely on it.
 
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