Tolle Lege: Amazing Grace

Readability: 1

Length: 281 pp

Author: Eric Metaxas

I’m not looking for a savior on Capitol Hill, mine died on a hill called Golgotha, but o that God would raise up politicians like William Wilberforce who love the Savior, are men of impeccable integrity, fight for great causes, possess a sanctified political brilliance, and persevere despite incredible opposition.

Some might find Metaxas’ style a bit distracting; I think the life of a eloquent and witty man excuses, perhaps even calls for a clever flourish here and there. Here is an account of a beautiful life, beautifully written.

God changed the world through Wilberforce. Wilberforce’s chief great cause that He devoted his life to was the abolition of the slave trade. May God raise up a man with the spirit of Wilberforce to fight tenaciously against what I believe is the greatest blight on our nation today – abortion. May Amazing Grace
, or another Wilberforce biography give you hope, not in Capitol Hill, but in the mercy of our God.

To fathom the magnitude of what Wilberforce did we have to see that the ‘disease’ he vanquished forever was actually neither the slave trade nor slavery. Slavery still exists around the world today, in such measure as we can hardly fathom. What Wilberforce vanquished was something even worse than slavery, something that was much more fundamental and can hardly be seen from where we stand today: he vanquished the very mind-set that made slavery acceptable and allowed it to survive and thrive for millennia. He destroyed an entire way of seeing the world, one that had held sway from the beginning of history, and he replaced it with another way of seeing the world. Included in the old way of seeing things was the idea that the evil of slavery was good. Wilberforce murdered that old way of seeing things, and so the idea that slavery was good died along with it. Even though slavery continues to exist here and there, the idea that it is good is dead. The idea that it is inextricably intertwined with human civilization, and part of the way things are supposed to be, and economically necessary and morally defensible, is gone. Because the entire mind-set that supported it is gone.

‘Dear Sir:

Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum [against the world], I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be fore you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a ‘law’ in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?

That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant,

John Wesley’


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