William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was born into an affluent family and educated at Cambridge. In 1780, he was elected to the House of Commons, and he served in it until 1825. Under the influence of his New Testament reading he was converted to Evangelicalism and determined to lead a more disciplined Christian life. In this purpose he was guided by John Newton, who opposed his wish to take Holy Orders and persuaded him to serve the cause of Christianity in Parliament, a vocation for which he was particularly well fitted by his oratorical gifts.
His Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians–a treatise promoting the view that religion depended on vital revealed truths and was not a matter of mere ethics and applied benevolence–established his reputation as the acknowledged leader of the Evangelical party. He gave himself unstintingly to the promotion of overseas missions, popular education, and the reformation of public manners and morals. He supported Catholic emancipation.
Above all, his fame rests upon his persistent, uncompromising, and single-minded crusade for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade. The sordid traffic was abolished in 1807. He died just one month before Parliament put an end to slavery in the British dominions
Our Fater in heaven,
We thank You for the life of William Wilberforce. We cry out for citizens in heaven to populate the House of Commons and the House of Lords, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. May they hold their offices to serve, and not to be served, laying down their time, energies, resources, and even their lives to establish Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Philipppians 3:14,20, Matthew 6:10, 20:28