William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a great Englishman, best known for his role in the abolition of the slave trade in the British empire. He was part of an anti-slavery movement that gained momentum in England during the late 1700s. As a member of parliament, his role was crucial—he introduced numerous motions seeking to end the repugnant trade. However, it took 18 years of lobbying before banning legislation was finally passed.
Wilberforce played a key role in many other major social reforms in England in the early 1800s. His contribution to the anti-slavery movement was highlighted in the 2007 film Amazing Grace, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and was released on the 200th anniversary of the abolition.
Although the slave trade has long been outlawed, the bible says that spiritually we are all slaves to sin—we struggle to live by our own standards, let alone God’s. It also says the only way to escape this spiritual slavery is to turn to Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean we won’t still struggle with sin. We will, however, serve a new master. You can read more about these ideas in the first few books of the New Testament.
- This article was published in the Orange City Life newspaper on 01/03/2018