Quotes of William Wilberforce

“Can you tell a plain man the road to heaven? Certainly, turn at once to the right, then go straight forward.”

“Of all things, guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer.”

“And, sir, when we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion, and of God?”

“Let everyone regulate his conduct . . . by the golden rule of doing to others as in similar circumstances, we would have them do to us, and the path of duty will be clear before him.”

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”

“God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.”

“They know indeed that they are mortal, but they do not feel it.”

“Men of authority and influence may promote good morals. Let them in their several stations encourage virtue . . . let them favour and take part in any plans which may be formed for the advancement of morality.”

“Here the Divine Doctrine is contradicted by the reverse action—That sympathy is the great source of humanity. ”

“I mean not to accuse anyone, but to take the shame upon myself, in common, indeed, with the whole parliament of Great Britain, for having suffered this horrid trade to be carried on under their authority. We are all guilty—we ought all to plead guilty, and not to exculpate ourselves by throwing the blame on others; and I, therefore, deprecate every kind of reflection against the various descriptions of people who are more immediately involved in this wretched business. ”

“It is indeed a most lamentable consequence of the practice of regarding religion as a compilation of statutes, and not as an internal principle, that it soon comes to be considered as being conversant about external actions rather than about habits of mind. This sentiment sometimes has even the hardiness to insinuate and maintain itself under the guise of extraordinary concern for practical religion, but it soon discovers the falsehood of this pretension, and betrays its real nature. The expedient, indeed, of attaining to superiority in practice by not wasting any of the attention on the internal principles from which alone practice can flow, is about as reasonable, and will answer about as well, as the economy of an architect who should account it mere prodigality to expend any of his materials in laying foundation, from an idea that they might be more usefully applied to the raising of the superstructure. We know what would be the fate of such an edifice.”

 

William Wilberforce

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William Wilberforce by William Hague

Film about William Wilberforce – Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace – The Life of William Wilberforce

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