William Wilberforce (1759-1833) championed the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Parliament, introducing the bill in 1791 and persevering until it successfully passed into law in 1807. This publication of his spiritual journals allows glimpses of that process, and a great deal more. In particular, it reveals Wilberforce’s ordinary humanity as he identifies his temptations and perseveres with keeping guard over himself through various disciplines.

One of these was the self-monitoring which journal-keeping afforded: “I must secure more time for private devotion, for self-examination, for meditation, for keeping the heart […] I have been living far too publicly for me […] Lord, help me […] Oh how sad, that after trying to lead a Christian life for twenty-eight years, I should be at all staggered by worldly company, Madame de Stael etc. I will not however, please God […] be drawn into that magic circle into which they would tempt me.”

Despite nearly 200 years of distance, to meet Wilberforce through his spiritual journals is to hear the same timely concern God’s people must grapple with in every age: how to use one’s talents, means and situation in life fully to the glory of God.

This book is available from Mound Books.

Gayle Maynard, ETS