[At] Easter… Wilberforce was writing to his sister… on a beautiful day, ‘The day has been delightful. I was out before six. I think my own devotions become more fervent when offered in this way amidst the general chorus with which all nature seems to be swelling the song of praise and thanksgiving… and neither in the sanctuary nor at a table, I trust, had I a heart unwarmed with gratitude to the giver of good things.’
~ William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner
by William Hague
The whole notion of faction or party was thought by many to be wrong and unpatriotic. For an independent MP to arrive at the House of Commons, speak up for his constituency, vary his vote and mix it with all of the parties was therefore perfectly normal.
~ William Wilberforce: Life of the Great Anti-Slave-Trade Campaigner
by William Hague
Strange, isn’t it, how things change? From widespread slavery and votes for rich males only, but without factionism, to the 21st century votes for all but with factions deeply entrenched. I don’t think we have figured out democracy, even now. As Churchill reportedly said, democracy is just the least worst option. As followers of Jesus, the process of democracy must never become more than, or equal to, our desire for God. No political party or faction will ever be able to represent Christ. I guess we – prayerfully – stick with this ‘least worst’ attitude towards governance. I write with both the UK’s impending referendum on whether or not we stay in the European Union and the imminent US general election in mind.
Incidentally, what an inspiring man of faith was William Wilberforce! And William Hague (yes, that William Hague) writes surprisingly well.