William Wilberforce led the twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade. He championed medical aid for the poor, prison rehabilitation, education for the deaf, and restrictions on child labor. Wilberforce found "nothing more effectual than private prayer, and the serious perusal of the New Testament." He maintained that "all may be done through prayer, almighty prayer." He insisted that "in the calmness of the morning, before the mind is heated and wearied by the turmoil of the day, you have a season of unusual importance for communing with God and with yourself." He seized upon such opportunities, believing "God will prosper me better if I wait on him."
365 Days with Wilberforce is a collection unlike any other. Drawing directly from Wilberforce's writings, the selections in this book illustrate how God sustained and guided him. Those who seek to walk their pilgrim's progress aright will find much to ponder, pray over, and treasure.
“You are not to measure your growth in grace only or chiefly by your advances in knowledge, or in zeal, or any other passionate impression of the mind, no, nor by the fervour of devotion alone; but by the habitual determination of the will for God, and by your prevailing disposition to obey his commands, submit to his disposal, and promote the highest welfare of his cause in the earth.” (Page 309)
“What a mystery of iniquity,’ he said, ‘is the human heart! How forcibly do thoughts of worldly pursuits intrude into the mind during the devotional exercises; and how obstinately do they maintain their place—and when excluded how incessantly do they renew their attacks!—which yet the moment our devotional exercises are over, fly away of themselves.’” (Page 314)
“To thee, O God, I fly, through the Saviour; enable me to live more worthy of my holy calling; to be more useful and efficient, that my time may not be frittered away unprofitably to myself and others, but that I really may be of use in my generation, and adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour. I am a poor, helpless creature, Lord, strengthen me.” (Page 273)
“Prayer, prayer, my dear Samuel; let your religion consist much in prayer. May you be enabled more and more to walk by faith and not by sight, to feel habitually as well as to recognize in all your more deliberate calculations and plans, that the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal. Then you will live above the world, as one who is waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Page 240)
Kevin Belmonte lives in the seaside village of York, Maine. His is part of a literary family that includes the poets Robert Frost and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. For the last five years he has been the principal historical consultant for Amazing Grace, a feature film on the life of Wilberforce. He has served as a script consultant for the BBC, and his book, Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce, is the winner of the John Pollock Award for Christian Biography. He and his wife, Kelly, are the proud parents of a son, Samuel.