Questions for Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas

  1. Born in 1759, William Wilberforce was described as a ‘glorious little child, a veritable cherub of twinkling luminosity’. Did you think that the early life of William was ‘unfair’ or the norm for that time?  [His 14 year old sister died, his father died at 40, his mother fell ill and he went to live with his wealthy Aunt and Uncle in Wimbledon.]  At Wimbledon he met John Newton.
  2. What sort of life did William lead in Cambridge, and who did he meet there?
  3. How and why did Wilberforce enter parliament at 21, and what did it cost?
  4. When William went to the French Riviera with Isaac Milner, what book did they discuss and how did it change William’s life?
  5. What was the ‘Reformation of Manners’ and how did it impact the political and social landscape in the late 18th Century?
  6. What started William on the path to speaking against the slave trade? How did John Newton advise him when he went through his ‘Great Change’?
  7. What was the Zong incident and how was it connected to the Middle Passage?
  8. Wilberforce wrote a book about Christianity which challenged the status quo. Did it have any effect on the English gentry?
  9. When Wilberforce married he brought his wife Barbara to the Clapham community. Are there places like that in Melbourne today?
  10. How did this biography impact you and what do you take away from it?




The subtitle of this book is William Wilberforce And The Heroic
Campaign To End Slavery.

Amazing grace

Amazing Grace tells the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833). This accessible biography chronicles Wilberforce’s extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament.

At the center of this heroic life was a passionate twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833.

His conversion, described as The Great Change, occurred while he was wrestling with the moral dilemmas of the 18th century’s ‘civilized’ society.  Religion had become empty with outward trappings but no real power or sincerity.