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William Wilberforce - A Biography (Book Review)

autumn 2007

From triple helix - autumn 2007 - William Wilberforce - A Biography (Book Review) [p21]

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Stephen Tomkins - Lion Books 2007 - £8.99 Pb 256pp - ISBN 0 80282 5931

I have always been fascinated by Wilberforce: we were both born and bred in Hull and even attended the same school, admittedly 200 years apart! He was a truly great Christian, using his immense wealth and power to achieve his life-long mission statement: 'God has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners'. Stephen Tomkins reveals fascinating details about Wilberforce's upbringing, exposure to Methodism and education, and political career. I was moved by the account of his conversion and discovery of God's call on his life. His momentous perseverance – the abolition of slavery took up the rest of his life – made particularly sobering reading. Tomkins has been particularly fair when weighing up conflicting literary evidence – Wilberforce's sons' huge biography of their father disagrees in places with other abolitionists' accounts. This is a middleweight biography – meatier than Piper's spiritually orientated Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce, yet lighter than Hague's incredibly referenced William Wilberforce. This is essential reading for every modern-day Christian campaigner!




Article written by Rachael Pickering

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