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Today we remember William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, Emancipator of the Slaves, who died in 1833. At age 26 he became a Evangelical Christian and sought to live his daily life according to Biblical teaching. Two years later in 1787 he wrote in his diary that he believed God had called him to devote his life to the suppression of the slave trade. In 1807 Wilberforce was instrumental in having an Act passed in the British House of Commons which made it illegal for British ships to engage in the transport of slaves. Finally, 46 years after his diary entry, on 22 July 1833 the British House of Commons passed second reading of the Slavery Abolition Act. Wilberforce died on 29 July 1833, and the Act came into force on 1 August 1834.

Perseverance has always been highly prized by followers of Jesus Christ. St. Paul describes how when the Lord called him to an apostle, Paul began the long process of changing his daily life. This led to personal inner and outer changes which required perseverance in the face of opposition in order to fulfill God’s will for him. Let us give thanks to God for the examples given us in people like St. Paul and William Wilberforce.

Bible Reading: Philippians 3:4-14