For English abolitionist William Wilberforce (August 24, 1759–July 29, 1833), campaigning against slavery was a natural extension of appreciating Christ’s love. Wilberforce’s compassion and his high view of Christian ideals shine through in his writings.
Though Wilberforce wrote only one book, A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, many of his other writings and sayings appear as a daily devotional in 365 Days with Wilberforce.
The following quotes were assembled using these two resources, as well as 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Modern Church and 300 Quotations for Preachers:
Wilberforce on faith, responsibility, and more
1. “No one expects to attain to the height of learning, or arts, or power, or wealth, or military glory, without vigorous resolution, strenuous diligence, and steady perseverance. Yet we expect to be Christians without labour, study, or inquiry.”
2. “My business is in the world, and I must mix in the assemblies of men or quit the post which Providence seems to have assigned me.”
3. “Great indeed are our opportunities; great also is our responsibility.”
4. “What plea can we have to urge in our defense, if we remain willingly and obstinately ignorant of the way which leads to life with such transcendent means of knowing it?”
5. “Ingratitude sickens the heart, and chills and thickens the very life’s blood of benevolence.”
6. “It is the distinguishing glory of Christianity not to rest satisfied with superficial appearances, but to rectify the motives, and purify the heart.”
7. “Our enmities soften and melt away; we are ashamed of thinking much of the petty injuries which we may have suffered, when we consider what the Son of God, ‘who did no wrong, neither was guile found in his mouth,’ patiently endured.”
8. “Christ should be a Christian’s delight and glory. I will endeavor by God’s help to excite in myself an anxiety and longing for the joys of heaven . . .”
9. “Christianity recognizes no innocence or goodness of heart, but in the remission of sin, and in the effects of the operation of divine grace.”
10. “Wherever we direct our view, we discover the melancholy proofs of our depravity; whether we look to ancient or modern times, to barbarous or civilized nations, to the conduct of the world around us, or to the monitor within the breast; whether we read, or hear, or act, or think, or feel, the same humiliating lesson is forced upon us.”
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