My family just watched Amazing Grace, the new movie about William Wilberforce's political fight against the British slave trade of 200 years ago. We enjoyed the movie on many levels. While watching it, four passages from the Scriptures came to my mind.
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel (Proverbs 12:10, NASB).
I noticed William Wilberforce's kindness toward animals. Throughout the movie, he cared for both wild and domesticated animals. His future wife mentioned that Mr. Wilberforce founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:12-14, NASB).
I also noticed Mr. Wilberforce's kindness toward the poor, especially in his habit of welcoming them to dinner at his mansion.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9, NASB).
William Wilberforce's perseverance in fighting the slave trade in the face of overwhelming resistance for decades eventually led to the triumph of goodness. So many hearts were changed by his efforts that the laws of the British empire eventually were changed.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16, NASB).
William Wilberforce's kindness and persevering faith in God attracted and inspired his wife. She joined him in his cause, becoming his greatest ally and source of encouragement. His life made the Christian faith appealing to the people nearest to him. On his deathbed, Prime Minister William Pitt expressed the desire to have a faith in God similar to Mr. Wilberforce's faith. His faith was infectious, as Jesus intended it to be.
Amazing Grace was a movie worth seeing ( and even purchasing on DVD when it becomes available).