Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Amazing Grace


The year 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain. While I was in Ireland, I was able to see the movie Amazing Grace (see link above), which tells the story of William Wilberforce, a British politician who was influential in bringing about an end to the slave trade in his country. Throughout his political career, he was defeated again and again in Parliament, but he never gave up fighting for what was right. I love learning about people like that who are not just interested in themselves and in their own little world, but who have a vision for greater things that have a lasting value, and who are ready to use their lives for a greater purpose. When we look at the life of Wilberforce, we see that in all of this, he was motivated by the love of God. A recent article in The Economist stated the following:


In the end any analysis of the real William Wilberforce has to draw on theology as well as politics. He can hardly be understood except in the context of a strain of evangelical Christianity, on that stresses sin and atonement, to which he was converted in 1787. (The Economist, 24 February 2007, p. 60)

For anyone who is interested in learning more about Wilberforce and his faith, I strongly recommend John Piper's short book Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce which can also be read online at http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/OnlineBooks/ByTitle/.


Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce
The movie takes its title from the famous song Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, a contemporary of William Wilberforce. John Newton was a slave trader who repented of his sins and found complete forgiveness and salvation in Christ. He then became a preacher and gifted song writer who encouraged Wilberforce to continue his fight against the slave trade. His song, Amazing Grace, is a biographical account of the great change he experienced in his life and speaks of the grace of God, which can bring about this wonderful change in anybody. The original words of the song are as follows:


Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

1 comment:

flowerstarkles said...

Hey!

What an encouraging blog! Thanks! I saw Amazing Grace last night with a colleague and his girlfriend and it was awesome! What a challenge to me especially with the things I have been thinking about. May the Lord lead and guide me in HIS way and use me for HIS glory.

Every blessing,
Sarah