Watching the waters rise as the rains continued to fall, I thought about all of the Harding students we have from South Louisiana. I know that such an historic flood will affect their families and create concern and confusion for the coming weeks and months.

I spoke to one student, and she told me that their family was affected and that “it’s pretty bad.” One of my coworkers has family and friends whose homes were completely flooded. A minister friend of mine in Baton Rouge said that the flood “created problems for so many of our members.” Another friend in Alabama told me that their church was going to raise funds and send supplies down.

We have all seen pictures on the news and Facebook of the disaster relief efforts, and I’m so thankful that God is directing so many people and supplies to help out. My prayer, and I’m sure yours, too, is that God will work through this and that those affected will find the help and relief they need. One way to help is to contact the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ. They are coordinating an effort to help as many as possible in their area and can be reached at 225-927-4673 or through their website www.sbrcc.org.

Morris Seawel, senior advancement officer

As we continued our “Looking for Wilberforce” trip, we left Oxford the next morning and drove 50 miles north to Olney. This lovely little English town was, for 16 years (1764-79), the home of John Newton. Newton is best known in history as the writer of what is probably the most beloved hymn in the English-speaking world, “Amazing Grace.”

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The former captain of a slave ship, Newton later become one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his day. Metaxas describes Newton as a defining influence in the life of William Wilberforce, first when Wilberforce was a child and even more significantly during what Wilberforce would call “the great change.”

Newton ministered for the parish church in Olney from 1764 until 1779. It was during this time that he became good friends with Wilberforce’s uncle and aunt, William and Hannah Wilberforce, who lived near London. Following the death of Wilberforce’s father and the illness of his mother, he went to live with his “Uncle William” and “Aunt Hannah” in Wimbledon. It was here that young Wilberforce became acquainted with some of the greatest and most devout spiritual leaders of his day. Among them was the former-slaver-turned-minister Newton, who was in his 40s during the time that Wilberforce lived with his aunt and uncle between the ages of 9 and 12. Metaxas speculates, “It was he who would have given little Wilberforce his first knowledge of slavery” (p. 7).

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The greatest impact that Newton seems to have had on Wilberforce happened many years later. By that time, Newton had left Olney and had moved to London to work with the Church of St. Mary Woolnoth. 1775 was the year of what Wilberforce came to call “the great change.” It was the year when he transformed from a self-indulgent son of privilege into a serious disciple of Jesus, intent on giving his life to the will of God. Metaxas chronicles this year of spiritual crisis and relates the details of a transformative meeting between the 26-year-old Wilberforce and the 60-year-old Newton on Dec. 7, 1785.

Wilberforce must have poured out his heart now to the one person who might understand his anguish and his difficult choices. But as so often is the case, Wilberforce discovered what he had so terribly feared as a chimera, nothing as bad as he had thought. Newton didn’t tell him what he had expected — that to follow God he would have to leave politics. On the contrary, Newton encouraged Wilberforce to stay where he was, saying that God could use him there. (Metaxas, p. 59)

The words “God could use him there [Parliament[” set the course for the remainder of the life of Wilberforce. The old slave ship captain gave wise counsel to the distressed young politician that day, and the story of the fight against the British slave trade was forever changed.

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I’ve long been thankful for Newton because of the power that the words to “Amazing Grace” have had on my own life. But during our time in Olney, my gratitude had a different focus. On that day, I was most grateful for the counsel, encouragement, comfort and direction that he gave to Wilberforce. He called him to remain in Parliament and engage the great struggles of his day, and he assured him that “God could use him there.” Thank you, John Newton!

Final stop: Kingston upon Hull

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 7, 2016

 

I was reading Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas when I learned that the journals, letters and other important papers from the pen of William Wilberforce could be found today in the rare books and manuscripts section of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Seeking every potential connection with Wilberforce, I began exploring the possibility of viewing these original documents and perhaps even holding them in my hands. Jean Waldrop, director of the Harding University Brackett Library, assisted me stateside, and I corresponded about this matter with Colin Harris at the Bodleian Library via email. They both helped me to get a good idea of what sorts of materials were in the Wilberforce collection.

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Our very busy first day in England was spent seeing four different Wilberforce sites. Then, on the morning of our second day, we rented a car and drove to Oxford. Arriving in the early afternoon, we quickly moved into our hotel in town and then headed to the Bodleian Library. When we arrived at the library, which is actually a collection of libraries, I was directed across the street to a building where I could apply for a reader’s card. I walked up to the desk, mentioned that I had been in correspondence with Mr. Harris, and asked if I could speak with him. The receptionist called his office and then reported back to me that Mr. Harris had taken a tea break. They then led me to the office where I was taken through the process of obtaining a reader’s card. After that, I put my bag in a locker, went through security again, and was directed upstairs to find Mr. Harris. (I ought to take the opportunity at this point to acknowledge that everyone in this entire process could not have been more kind and helpful.)

By the time I arrived in the rare books reading room, Mr. Harris had returned from tea. He was exactly as I had pictured him through his emails, a man perfectly made to work in a reference room. Mr. Harris spends his days helping students locate the materials they are searching for while he calmly maintains the decorum and care of the manuscripts such a place requires. In short, he was tremendously helpful to me and very patient with my lack of knowledge concerning the everyday processes of his reading room.

Mr. Harris helped me locate the index of the Wilberforce collection and then showed me how to fill out a rare book request form. It was about 3:45 p.m. when he told me that if I would submit my requests by 4 p.m., then the materials would be delivered to me at 5 that same afternoon. I quickly followed his instructions and submitted the forms. Then, at 5 p.m., I walked to the desk and was handed four packets of William Wilberforce materials. The moment was surreal. I could not believe what I was holding in my hands!

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For the next hour, I was lost in a world of Wilberforce. I was holding his journals, reading his handwriting, feeling the texture of the sheets of paper on which he wrote, and sitting enveloped in the musty smell of old documents — perhaps even the smell of his writing desk. Some of the items I read were as mundane as a shopping list while others were as sublime as this reformer’s spiritual journals. Metaxas writes about how severely critical Wilberforce was with himself, and I noted that on several of the entries I read in the spiritual journals, Wilberforce began with the words “Alas! Alas!”

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I only read the Wilberforce papers for about an hour because I knew that I couldn’t begin to do justice to their study in the short time I had that day. And I knew that the Brackett Library has obtained digital and microfilm copies of this same material for the students and faculty of Harding University to use this year as part of Harding Read 2016. This was simply a visit to see the originals with my own eyes and to hold them in my own hands. On my journey looking for Wilberforce, this was a most incredible day!

Next stop: Olney

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 6, 2016

 

 

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The start of the school year is quickly approaching, and knowing practical things to survive college is a must. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks from Harding students, Harding alumni offered advice, too.

Invest in a quality rain jacket and rain boots.

The rain seems to fall the hardest when you’re walking to and from classes. An umbrella might seem like a good idea, but when the wind picks up and puddles reach your ankles, you’ll think otherwise.

Be prepared in case you get sick.

You’re staying up late, drinking lots of soda in the cafeteria, and taking advantage of the unlimited French fries. You might get sick adjusting to a new living environment. Sophomore Matthew Swann can attest.

“Be prepared to get sick the first several weeks if the dorm life is really new to you and not an environment you’re used to. It happened to me last year, and it was bad — allergies, coughing, sneezing and runny, itchy nose!” -Swann

Make a checklist of things to help you through your sickness — Emergen-C, Gatorade, crackers and Alka-Seltzer tabs. If you can’t manage your sickness with those go-to items, Student Health Services is free to students and is a frequented and appreciated place by many.

Scott White offered advice if you find yourself needing a prescription filled.

“Figure out a pharmacy and file insurance information before you need a prescription. It is no fun to deal with the paperwork when you are sick. Some pharmacies offer delivery.” – White (’92)

Budget your DCB and use your meal plan.

It’s going to be tempting to eat Chick-fil-A for lunch every day. You’ll definitely want to start every morning off with a bagel and coffee from Einstein’s, but learn to budget your DCB. Your end-of-semester self will thank you.

The average amount of DCB for a freshman is $250. With 16 weeks in the semester, that’s around $15 a week. That’s a Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries for lunch and a couple of bagels and cups of coffees for breakfast. Depending on your love for chicken biscuits, that’s also a chicken biscuit every morning after chapel.

To hold yourself accountable, have friends who you meet up with for lunch and dinner everyday. Go to the cafeteria together, and make sure you’re keeping your DCB in check. Even better, mark a day in the week — for instance, DCB Tuesday — and get Chick-fil-A or Panda Express with your friends.

Also, don’t forget to use your cafeteria swipes. You pay for those; don’t let them go to waste.

Don’t spend too much on your dorm decorations, and don’t over pack.

Pinterest packing lists and decoration ideas are great, but remember that everything you carry up to your dorm room at the beginning of the year has to come back down — and then some.

Throughout the year, you’ll accumulate a lot of stuff, and you’ll wonder how it all got there. It happens to everyone — don’t worry. Start with a small amount of things so as the year progresses you’ll have space available to put stuff.

Some of those packing lists are too extensive. Unless you’re running a business from your dorm room, you’re not going to need that Vera Bradley desk organizing set. Go without it. You’ll save money and space. Check out this Harding packing list: bit.ly/HU_Pack.

Use the GAC gym, and don’t buy a gym membership off campus.

Off-campus gym memberships are expensive! The average gym membership cost is $40 a month. That’s $40 you could spend on a day trip to Memphis or on a concert ticket.

With the expansion of the Ganus Athletic Complex, there is no need to go off-campus for your daily workout. Stay on campus, and save yourself $40.

Don’t forget about the little things.

Check out of the dorm, and check in with your parents.

“Checkout if you are going home for the weekend. Call your parents once a week. And love every minute.” -Susan Leibovich, Harding parent

“Call or write home at least once a week. Your parents want to know the little silly everyday things that are going on.” -Deanna Brooks (’66)

“Find friends that match your ambition and academic goals. Find friends that love the Lord and want to make him known.” -Charles Pappas (’97)

Don’t forget to have fun.

So many people say their years at Harding are the best of their lives, and that’s so true. Have fun, and enjoy your time at Harding.

Kaleb Turner, public relations intern

McLarty churchAfter we finished our encounter with the Sir Thomas Lawrence portrait of William Wilberforce in the National Portrait Gallery, we hired a cab and asked the driver to take us to the Holy Trinity Church in Clapham. The neighborhood in which this historic (1776) church still stands now has its own stop on the London Tube. When we arrived at the church to continue our search for connections with William Wilberforce, we got that feeling you get when you enter a run-down neighborhood for the first time, and you aren’t exactly sure how safe it is for you to be there. However, there were plenty of people on the streets, and we could see people of all ages sitting in the park next to the church. We walked up to the building and pushed the buzzer on the door but received no answer. As we continued our walk around the building, we met a group of people who were coming out of a basement classroom where they had been attending their regular AA meeting. The room, we later discovered, is very fittingly named “The Wilberforce Center.” One of the gentlemen in the group was very kind and helpful and offered to help us find an open door. After having no success with locating an unlocked door, I used my cell phone to call the number on the church sign. A young woman answered the phone and came downstairs to open the door. She confessed that she didn’t know much about Mr. Wilberforce, but she graciously proceeded to show us around the building.

The first Wilberforce connection she pointed out was a beautiful stained-glass window that depicts Wilberforce as a man in green trousers and distinctive yellow stockings. He is surrounded by enslaved Africans, and he holds a copy of what appears to be the bill abolishing the slave trade. The wording on the stained glass states, “Before my Father which is in heaven, The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee.”

Mclarty windowThe second recognition of Wilberforce at the church is a small blue medallion above the front door from the Greater London Council that recognizes William Wilberforce and “The Clapham Sect” for their work in abolishing slavery in the British Empire.

McLarty engravingThe final recognition of Wilberforce at the Holy Trinity Church is a large engraved stone that is part of the outside wall of the church. It is significantly scarred, and we were told that the damage had been inflicted by Nazi bombings during World War II.

McLarty.ClaphamThe Clapham Sect

Who in the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries labored so abundantly for national righteousness and the conversion of the heathen, and rested not until the curse of slavery was swept away from all parts of the British Dominions

Eight names are listed alphabetically, the final one being William Wilberforce.

The “Clapham Sect” once lived in this neighborhood and attended this church. They were constantly in one another’s homes and sometimes even lived in the same houses. They challenged and inspired one another to continue the work of abolishing the slave trade and, eventually, the institution of slavery, itself. I came to Holy Trinity Church in Clapham looking for William Wilberforce. What I discovered was evidence of a community. The work of Wilberforce was not accomplished in isolation. He was part of a church community that faithfully stood with him as he fought slavery for 47 long, grueling years. He was not alone.

Next stop: Oxford’s Bodleian Library

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 5, 2016

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New beginnings have been trademarks of his summer so far, but being a supportive dad from the stands at his sons’ baseball games comes first.

Dr. Jeff Mercer was named dean of the College of Pharmacy in April and began his role on June 1 when Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, the previous dean, moved into her new role as vice provost for accreditation.

“The most pleasant surprise of this transition has been the support of friends and colleagues,” Mercer said. “It really has seemed like everybody is pulling for me, and personally that means a lot to me.”

Mercer has been able to witness department- and campus-wide change. From watching his predecessor move into her new role to seeing new hires within the College of Pharmacy, Mercer said it’s been a whirlwind.

“It seems like transition is everywhere, and I’m a part of a lot of transition that is going on,” Mercer said. “Once you’re in the midst of change with a positive attitude, you begin to look around and see so much opportunity. There is so much room for meaningful engagement, and I think that is something that people are excited about.”

Amid all the change, Mercer still finds time for family, friends and fishing. Earlier this summer, Mercer and Executive Vice President David Collins spent an afternoon fishing on Crooked Creek, which Mercer said is something he has wanted to do since he moved to Arkansas. Outside of fishing, Mercer spends time with his three sons, devoting much travel and many hot summer days to baseball.

“We just got back from Laurel, Mississippi, where my youngest son was playing in the Dixie Youth World Series,” Mercer said. “The other two made it to the state tournaments with their teams, so that’s really driven a big part of my summer.”

As the school year nears, Mercer’s focus turns to the students and the possibilities for success and service among students and faculty within the College of Pharmacy.

“I think pharmacy is one of the greatest professions ever, and I think the students who make a choice to be a pharmacist are choosing a great profession and one that holds the public’s trust,” Mercer said. “We’re one of the most trusted professions in the United States, and as such, I think Harding is well positioned to lead in that area being a faith-based university with a mission mindset. I hope our students realize that great responsibility and opportunity.”

To pharmacy students, Mercer urges making the most of their time at Harding by taking advantage of all that is offered and making deliberate decisions about the future.

“I look back at my time as a pharmacy student, and it was my opportunity to set the tone for the rest of my life,” Mercer said. “I would just encourage students to see their time here in the College of Pharmacy as a great opportunity and to take their time seriously and make meaningful choices about their future.”

With just two weeks until students start class for the 2016-17 school year, Mercer said he’s eager to begin the year and see students back on campus and in the classrooms.

“It’s never a burden for me to wake up in the morning and come to work here in the College of Pharmacy,” Mercer said. “That helps me to know I’m doing the right thing, and it speaks volumes about our incredible faculty, staff and students here in the College of Pharmacy and Harding.”

Kaleb Turner, public relations intern

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After we left Westminster Abbey, Ann and I walked north on Whitehall up to Trafalgar Square. Our mission was to locate the 1828 oil on canvas Wilberforce portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence. After a false start when we entered the National Gallery instead of the National Portrait Gallery, we finally found our way to the correct entrance. As an added bonus, the Portrait Gallery is free.

It took us awhile to find the Wilberforce painting, but we finally located it in a room dedicated to 18th-century social reformers. As we turned the corner, there he was! I don’t know if you feel this way or not, but to me portraits are not like other artwork; portraits look back. Eyes meet eyes, and you take the measure of one another. So, there I was looking at what Sir Thomas Lawrence saw when he looked at Wilberforce in 1828. The painting was never completed, so it almost appears as though a spotlight is shining on the face of the man who led the campaign to abolish the Slave Trade in Great Britain.

Looking at the face in the painting, I was reminded of so many personal details that Metaxas shared in his “painting” of Wilberforce in Amazing Grace. Here are but a few:

  • Wilberforce was “tiny and stood just over five feet with a child-sized torso.” (p. 43).
  • He suffered from ulcerative colitis his entire life. (p. 43).
  • He was “greatly renowned for his singing voice.” (p. 29).
  • He was once called “the wittiest man in all of England.” (p. 28).
  • He was highly regarded for his “intelligence, charm and wit.” (p. 21).
  • He had extremely poor eyesight. (p. 55).

Mextaxas’ most extensive physical description of Wilberforce is set in 1807, the year the Slave Trade was abolished: “His always frail body, which had been wracked with pain and discomfort ever since he could remember, was the body of someone much further along in years. The constant doses of opium pushed on him by his doctors for his ulcerative colitis had taken their toll on his eyes, and the curvature of his spine and the telltale slump of his head that would mark him in later years were already discernible. He’d entered Parliament as a boy of twenty-one, fresh from the bright green lawns of Cambridge — but how the years and battles had aged him.” (p. 205)

As I looked into the eyes of Wilberforce (actually looking through Sir Thomas Lawrence’s eyes as he looked into the eyes of Wilberforce), the thing that most impressed me was that he did not look coldhearted, distant, broken or bitter. Even after decades of staring unflinchingly into the hellish realities of the Slave Trade and after facing endless defeats in Parliament, Wilberforce remained a kind, caring, even playful husband and father. All the harsh realities of his life had failed to harden his heart. There was still room for joy, for love, for family and for God.

Does all of this show in the eyes of a man like Wilberforce? I don’t know. But as I continue “looking for Wilberforce,” I think I found a bit of him in a painting in the British Portrait Gallery.

Next stop: Clapham.

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 5, 2016

 

Photo by Robert Muth via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Robert Muth via Wikimedia Commons.

After our visit to Parliament, we walked across the street to Westminster Abbey. This beautiful and ancient church has been the site of coronations and royal weddings for a thousand years. It also is the place where England has bestowed special honor on kings, queens, politicians, poets, missionaries and others by providing a place for them to be buried. Westminster Abbey feels like a cemetery primarily because it is a cemetery, albeit inside one of the most beautiful church buildings in the world. We went there on our “looking for Wilberforce” tour because on Aug. 3, 1833, William Wilberforce was buried in the Abbey.

Everyone who loves Wilberforce is thankful that he lived to see the day when Parliament voted to end not only the slave trade but also the institution of slavery itself. He received the news of this long-awaited event on Friday evening, July 26, 1833, more than 45 years after he had introduced his first bill in the House of Commons to abolish the slave trade. Finally, finally, the day had arrived. Wilberforce is reported to have exclaimed, “Thank God that I should have lived to witness a day in which England is willing to give twenty millions sterling for the Abolition of Slavery” (Metaxas, p. 274). Only three days later, Wilberforce breathed his last.

Amazing Grace, thankfully, contains the text of a letter that was delivered to the sons of Wilberforce a few hours later on the day he died.

We, the undersigned members of both Houses of Parliament, being anxious upon public grounds to show our respect for the memory of the late William Wilberforce and being also satisfied that public honors can never be more fitly bestowed than upon such benefactors of mankind, earnestly request that he may be buried in Westminster Abbey; and that we, and others who may agree with us in these sentiments, may have permission to attend his funeral. (Metaxas, p. 275).

Photo via www.westminster-abbey.org.

Photo via www.westminster-abbey.org.

So, William Wilberforce was buried in Westminster Abbey among kings and poets. Today, 183 years later, most tourists don’t even notice his name inscribed on the floor between the window where you buy your ticket and the stand where you pick up your audio tour. I have to confess that I overlooked it and had to be helped to find it later by a very kind red-robed Abbey marshal. At another location within the Abbey, there is a statue of Wilberforce, seated in a chair and with his head tilted in his very distinct and characteristic way. He looks pleasant, almost amused, as he stares back at the tourists listening to their headsets. I wondered how many people knew anything about this remarkable social reformer. And I wondered if there were others there in the Abbey at that moment who had come, as we did, just for Wilberforce — not for kings and queens and generals but for a tiny, sickly member of Parliament with a deep faith, a tender conscience, and an indomitable spirit who refused to allow the world to ignore the horrible plight of slaves.

We visit cemeteries because they somehow help us feel closer to the people whose names are engraved on the stone markers. There it is easier to remember and reflect on the difference the person made in our life and on the world. And in those moments, it is almost as inevitable as breathing for us to give thanks to God for the person whose life we remember. That is how I felt in Westminster Abbey when I went there “looking for Wilberforce.” The next stop on this journey will be the National Portrait Gallery.

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 3, 2016

Books.08-03-2016-7972Editor’s note: we are rerunning this post from last year because it can help you save on back to school.

I don’t consider myself an expert at much, but if there is one thing I like to do and am fairly good at, it is finding a good deal. I like it best when it is for items I or my family must have.

So it makes me glad to let you know you can save the 9.5 percent tax on textbooks, Harding apparel and school supplies at Harding University Bookstore Saturday.

You see, Aug. 6 is a tax-free holiday for the state of Arkansas, and the bookstore will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Come by and take advantage of tax-free prices on items you or your student will need to purchase in just a couple weeks.

Do you live too far away or can’t come by to shop? Place your order online today through Sunday, and the bookstore will give you the tax-free rate and hold your books until you return.

It’s always good to save but even better when it reduces your school bill for the fall.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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William Wilberforce’s lifelong friend, William Pitt, stands guard over St. Stephen’s Hall. The House of Commons met here when they voted to abolish the slave trade on February 23, 1807.

Stop 1: The British Parliament

I finished rereading Amazing Grace, Eric Metaxas’ biography of William Wilberforce, shortly before landing at London’s Heathrow Airport late Tuesday night. It was in the final paragraph of his epilogue that I found the words that would become the title of this short travelogue and blog. Metaxas writes, “To all of us wandering together here now, looking for William Wilberforce…” That is it! To all of us in the Harding community who are taking part in Harding Read 2016, we know exactly what “looking for Wilberforce” feels like. We now sense a connection to him that we can’t quite explain. He is both friend and hero, both bigger than life and yet a strangely comfortable companion. Amazing Grace leaves us wanting to continue this relationship, and so we go “looking for William Wilberforce.”

For a few short days in England, Ann and I are planning to visit some of the places that will hopefully help us connect even more deeply with the man we have come to consider both friend and inspiration through reading Amazing Grace. We want to walk where he walked and touch some of the things he touched. In this way, we will spend the week “looking for William Wilberforce.”

Our journey began this morning with a tour of Parliament. Though most of the buildings have been rebuilt since the time of Wilberforce because of fires or World War II bombings, there is still a strong sense of heritage, politics and government process within the walls of these iconic structures. As we stood (but were told in no uncertain terms not to sit!) between the red bench seats in the House of Lords, we remembered that the final bill to abolish the slave trade was introduced by British Prime Minister William Grenville to this group first as Wilberforce was “watching from the gallery, and doubtless on pins and needles throughout” (Metaxas, p. 206).

We then walked the short distance to the House of Commons, the room filled with the familiar green bench seats that we sometimes see featured in Parliamentary debates on CSPAN. There we imagined Wilberforce rising to his feet, year after painfully frustrating year, to introduce yet another bill to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. And I thought of how thankful I was that John Newton had counseled the terribly confused and deeply distressed Wilberforce that he did not need to leave politics to serve God. Instead, according to Metaxas, “Newton encouraged Wilberforce to stay where he was, saying that God could use him there” (Metaxas, p. 59). “There” meant the place where we were standing: the British House of Commons.

All of this led up to the highlight of the morning, and I have to confess that I almost missed it. Our last stop with our guide was in St. Stephen’s Hall. Today, it is a beautifully ornate room that seems more of a passageway than a historic chamber. On either side of the room, there are the familiar green benches that we had earlier seen in the modern-day House of Commons. Then our guide told us in a somewhat offhanded way that St. Stephen’s Hall (now a chapel) was where the House of Commons met from 1547 to 1834. Then, as the British sometimes say, “The penny dropped.” I asked our guide, “So this is the place where the final decision was made to abolish slavery?” He said yes, and we headed to the next stop on the tour. But Ann and I realized that we were in the hallowed place where the deeply moving scene described by Metaxas on pages 210 and 211 took place. Because of Harding Read 2016, we had been here before! We were sitting where Wilberforce, realizing that the moment had finally come, after 20 years of frustration, and the slave trade was about to be voted out of business in the British Empire. We were sitting where Wilberforce was “overcome, and taking his head in his hands, he wept” (Metaxas, p. 210).

We came here “looking for Wilberforce” and in a small way this morning, we found him in Parliament. Stop 2 will be Westminster Abbey.

Bruce McLarty
London, England
August 3, 2016

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