Eric Metaxas’ Amazing Grace Book Review Book Review
Named as the greatest social reformers and human rights activist, William Wilberforce single-mindedly fought slavery by working first for the eradication of the disreputable trade and liberation of slaves. Both Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln addressed Wilberforce as an inspiration and the perfect example of a human rights activist. Frederick Douglass attributes William Wilberforce’s persistence, enduring enthusiasm to his faith that influenced the English Parliament into opposing the slave trade. It facilitated the government’s move to end slavery and the slave trade.
This paper is a book review of Eric Metaxas book “Amazing Grace.” The paper analyzes the connection between William Wilberforce’s Christian Faith and his bid to abolish the slave trade and reforming social morals in the British society. The paper also highlights the people who influenced and facilitated the achievement of the abolishment of slavery. Lastly, the paper highlights the qualities learned that should be imitated.
Wilberforce’s Christian Faith Influence
William Wilberforce is perceived to be a stout Christian whose faith significantly influenced the England Parliament to end slavery trade in England. The impact of his faith in his actions and decisions, not only did it affect England, but the entire world. In his book, Eric Metaxas pays close attention to Wilberforce’s conversion to Christianity and his deliberate decision to serve God by involving himself in politics. It can, therefore, be established that William Wilberforce’s faith played a significant role in his day-to-day activities as a politician. In his perception of slavery and the slave trade that was taking place during his time, he saw it as a social evil and chose to work to suppress it. The country had tolerated slavery and other social evils such as child labor and prostitution, public executions, revolting cruelty to animals, and general disregard for the law.
As described by Metaxas, Wilberforce’s zealous faith in Christianity influenced him to change the world around him by correcting the social injustices in the society of his time. To do this, William Wilberforce started off by suggesting moral reforms that viewed other human beings as another’s property. He argued that all people are equal before God and, therefore, no one has the right to own another person.
William sort to understand what is expected of him as a Christian serving in politics though raised in a privileged family. In his childhood, Wilberforce’s friend John Newton, greatly influenced his later life as a grown-up and politician. John Newton was the leading evangelical in London to write about his blameworthiness as a slaver and later wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace.” William Wilberforce’s bid to fight slavery was also significantly influenced by William Pitt. Pitt became England’s youngest prime minister. Wilberforce’s political alliance with Pitt significantly impacted his success in fighting slavery in England. The book Amazing Grace states if ever somebody could reestablish the society’s capability to know the simple goodness again, it could be William Wilberforce.
Even though William Wilberforce’s actions and decisions can be viewed as noble, one can be skeptical since he was a politician. Society perceives politicians as people who pursue their self-interests and politics as a dirty game. Therefore, a society’s perception of a politician’s good acts may be misleading since the acts may be for their interests. It is agreeable that William Wilberforce’s decision to fight slavery was noble. However, whether his decision was specifically for the society’s interest or mutual interest to him too, is questionable.
This paper is a book review of Eric Metaxas book “Amazing Grace.” The book portrays William Wilberforce as a passionate and a dedicated Christian, cultural reformer, slavery abolitionist, and Member of Parliament. From the book, it can be proven that William Wilberforce’s faith played a significant role in the fight against slavery and the reestablishment of serenity in the British decaying cultural morals. At that time, the British society was also characterized by child labor, child prostitution, public executions and mob justice, revolting cruelty to animals and general disregard for the law. William Wilberforce among other social reformists and human rights activists helped restore order and social morals in the British Society.
Metaxas Eric. Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. New York: Harper SanFrancisco, 2007.
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