Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and John Newton

William Wilberforce, born into wealth and influence, came to believe slavery was a “national crime”—for which all Englishmen were responsible! He wrote:

“In the Scripture, no national crime is condemned so frequently and few so strongly as oppression and cruelty. . .” citing Ezekiel, Zephaniah, and Amos, ultimately igniting an unprecedented movement to abolish slavery in the British empire.

John Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace,” associated with the abolitionist movement and William Wilberforce, was written by a former slave trader who become an Anglican minister.

Newton wrote the now-famous hymn while working on a sermon on 1 Chronicles 17.

On July 26, 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act was passed—just three days before the death of William Wilberforce.

Engage with the Bible—in its influence over the centuries!

Share

More Book Minute Features

April 06, 2020

With a Mighty Hand

The Haggadah is one of the most popular texts in Jewish tradition.Hebrew for “telling,” the Haggadah is the guidebook for the Seder, the ceremonial me...
March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...