Today the Church honors and remembers an Evangelical Anglican, a defender of the defenseless, William Wilberforce, who lived from 1759 to 1833. Wilberforce had a conversion on a trip to the continent of Europe. On the trip he read William Law’s book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. Law wrote that “if God is ‘our greatest good,’ then the wisest way to live is to please God through a life of worship, adoration, and devotion. Since many fail to live this way, Law diagnoses why and suggests certain concrete practices as a remedy.” (Tim Perrine in his description of the book.)
Thereafter, Wilberforce considered how he could best serve God, and he thought about becoming a clergyman; however, he was persuaded by Christian friends that his calling was to serve God through politics. Wilberforce was a major supporter of programs for popular education, overseas missions, parliamentary reform, and religious liberty. He is best known, however, for his untiring commitment to the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. After a long fought fight, he was ultimately successful is passing legislation in 1806 abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire. It was not until 1833 that slavery was totally abolished, and just a year after his death, nearly a million slaves were set free. (See James Kiefer on William Wilberforce.)
He was also close friends with the Rev. John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
Let us pray: Let your continual mercy, O Lord, enkindle in your Church the never-failing gift of love, that, following the example of your servant William Wilberforce, we may have grace to defend the children of the poor, and maintain the cause of those who have no helper; for the sake of him who gave his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sundays at 11:00 a.m.: Adult Christian Education-Contemporary Moral Issues.
The Feast of St. Augustine will be celebrated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 starting with the Eucharist Rite II at 9:00 a.m. followed by a pot luck luncheon.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550