Wednesday with the Wesleys

To William Wilberforce

Balam, February 24, 1791

Dear Sir, Unless the divine power has raised you up to be as Athanasius contra mundum [against the world], I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villany which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it. Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a “law” in all our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villany is this? That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant,

[note: this was one of John Wesley’s final letters address just a week before his death, meant to encourage Wilberforce in continuing his work in Parliament to outlaw the slave trade]

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