Amazing Grace Essay

By May 3, 2017 Politics

Amazing Grace Essay

Amazing Grace is a Christian song written by John Newton. Newton was a

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former Captain of a slave ship who became a monk to atone for his sins. He wrote

Amazing Grace after becoming a Christian. The movie, Amazing Grace, explains the

background of the song, which most Americans today are probably unaware of, and

serves as the song that motivated and encouraged William Wilberforce to seek an end to

slavery. Although Wilberforce is just 21 years old when he first enters political office, he

learns very quickly how to work in the political arena. Several years after entering office,

Wilberforce and William Pitt introduced a bill before the English Parliament that would

ban slavery in England. Although the bill was defeated, Wilberforce understood that this

was just the beginning the struggle against slavery. The driving forces behind

Wilberforce was his strong belief in God and a desire to abolish slavery. The movie is

about the personal and political struggles Wilberforce faced as he took on the English

establishment. In the end, Wilberforce??™s determination and perseverance persuades those

in power to end the inhumane slave trade in England.

In England, William Wilberforce, who was born into wealth and privilege, is a

member of Parliament and a Christian. Wilberforce was driven by his conscience and

inspired by John Newton to seek an end to slavery. Newton is also a close friend and

mentor to Wilberforce. At one point, Wilberforce was torn between abandoning politics

and serving God. Although his conscience was telling him that serving God in the

ministry was very important, Wilberforce also wanted to serve the people in Parliament.

At the time, Wilberforce??™s dilemma was to choose between the two. His good friend,

William Pitt (who later becomes Prime Minister of England) believes he can do both and

with the help of anti-slavery activists, they encourage Wilberforce to serve in politics and

fight to end slavery at the same time. Wilberforce finally agrees that he can do God??™s

work by serving in Parliament and leading the abolition cause because his faith in God

and his conscience would not allow him to accept the immorality of slavery.

Wilberforce understood that he had an up hill battle because, at the time, many in

Parliament believed Wilberforce was a radical, and he was but, he was a man of strong

faith also. Additionally, most of the key political people in Parliament did not support

ending slavery because slaves provided cheap labor for England??™s sugar plantations.

Unlike many in the seventeenth century, William Wilberforce did not view

slavery as a matter of individual conscience. Wilberforce believed that it was his duty as

a Christian, as well as all Christians, to oppose slavery. His own conscience lead him

to understand and recognize ???the moral quality of a concrete act??? that he might perform.

To Wilberforce, ignoring slavery would be similar to ignoring right from wrong. This

concern for doing what was right was demonstrated by Wilberforce in the beginning of

the movie when he witnessed a man beating an exhausted horse. Wilberforce confronts

the man and points out that the horse would be able to finish the work if he would allow

the horse to rest. Wilberforce??™s reasoning of the situation made sense to the man so he

stopped beating the horse and allowed it to rest. This is the same approach he used

to reveal the facts about slavery in an effort to persuade the English to do what was right.

Similar to how Jesus and God??™s Word sheds light on sin, Wilberforce wanted to shed

light on the injustices of slavery. By presenting the facts instead of angry accusations, he

allowed each man??™s conscience to do the convicting.

Wilberforce??™s struggles encourage each Christian to never quit even if everyone

is against us. Although Wilberforce was rejected, ridiculed, and suffered physically, he

never gave up. At times he probably thought God had abandoned him but John Newton

reminded him that ???God sometimes does his work with a gentle drizzle.???


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