Newton's song "Amazing Grace" serves as a metaphor for Wilberforce's life. Wilberforce sings it in front of his political peers as a kind of personal anthem. He loves to escape to country spots to pray and ponder nature. While there, he begins to question whether his penchant for spiritual solitude renders him unfit to be a politician. Wilberforce concludes that he's called to serve God and others by shaping public policy, saying, "God has set before me two great objects: Suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of society."
Newton is instrumental in helping Wilberforce embrace that calling. Newton tells him not to expect lightning-bolt answers ("God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms"). And on a more practical note, Newton recognizes Wilberforce's natural rapport among his peers ("People like you too much [for you] to live a life of solitude"). Not only does Newton recommend a political career, he exhorts his pupil to confront the slave trade. "I can't help you, but do it, Wilber. Do it. Take them on. Blow their dirty, filthy ships out of the water. ... Do it, for God's sake."
Likewise, when Pitt introduces Wilberforce to a group of anti-slavery crusaders, one of them says, "We understand that you're having problems choosing whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist. We humbly suggest you can do both. ... Surely the principles of Christianity lend to action as well as meditation."
Newton, meanwhile, is haunted by "20,000 ghosts"—the lives of those he sold into slavery. Though he's wracked with guilt, the old man cleanses his soul by confessing those misdeeds in his memoir, which reads, "Although my memory is fading, I remember two things very clearly: I'm a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior." As a pastor, Newton embraces simplicity and renounces worldly trappings.
A terminally ill Pitt confides in his lifelong friend, "I'm scared, Wilber. At this moment, I wish I had your faith."
Essay about Amazing Grace
1287 Words6 Pages
Amazing Grace is not a good movie, it is a great movie. Films on History can be lengthy and tedious, but that sure is not the case in this fascinating movie about the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. Contrary to what its title suggests, “Amazing Grace” isn’t really about the inauguration of the Christian hymn. Set in the 18th century England, it focuses on William’s political career to abolish the slave trade by arguing against it on the floor of the House of Commons, which placed him at odds with some of the most powerful men of the time. William is a motivated man with one purpose; endeavoring to terminate slavery in the empire.…show more content…
At this point, he is debating whether he should go into the ministry and abandon a political career altogether. His friend William Pitt tries to convince him not to, and tells Wilberforce of his magnificent plan to become prime minister and that he wants Wilberforce there with him. Pitt, still trying to convince Wilberforce to stay in Parliament brings a group of people over to Wilberforce’s house for dinner. While eating, one of the men places a set of chains on the table and begins to explain how slaves are transported in ships. A former slave, Oloudah Equiano, explains the process and shows Wilberforce the branding mark on his chest he got when he was sold. They tell Wilberforce that they need someone to help them to oppose the trade.
John Newton, an elderly priest, served as captain of a slave ship who realized what he was doing was wrong. He then wrote a song to God to free him from the sin of his wrong doing in his correlation with the slave trade; this song was called “Amazing Grace.” Newton acts as indefinite motivation for Wilberforce to continue his anti-slave movement.
Parliament becomes impossible to persuade. There are so many excuses set fourth by the Parliament explaining what effects the lack of trade will cause to the people of the city, as well as many industries. Even with the research Wilberforce gathers and presents to the Parliament, including an autobiography written by his friend/former slave Equiano, but still not one thing happens.