Deacon John Writes

I recently read the story in the film Amazing Grace which came out in 2006. It was the story of William Wilberforce, who is credited with being primarily responsible for the 23 February 1807 vote in England to abolish the slave trade. The vote was 283-16. But that vote doesn’t tell the story. Wilberforce spent 20 years pushing abolition. Few people in history were as stubborn as Wilberforce, and few people in history were as criticised as Wilberforce. In the 1790s he was slandered in the press, physically assaulted, subjected to numerous death threats and once challenged to a duel. During certain periods he had to travel with a bodyguard. His spirit was almost broken many times. He suffered a nervous breakdown. But in spite of all the dirt thrown at Wilberforce, he kept stomping and moving. He handled criticism, not by turning back and engaging his critics, but by kicking down the dirt and moving on toward his goal. He set his face toward the abolition of slavery, and he didn’t look back. Wilberforce feared God more than he feared his critics. It kept him committed to his goal of banishing slavery and liberating slaves in England. — In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus wants such commitment from his disciples – US.