William Wilberforce: A Man Willing to Speak the Truth

“It is indeed a most lamentable consequence of the practice of regarding religion as a compilation of statutes, and not as an internal principle, that it soon comes to be considered as being conversant about external actions rather than about habits of mind. This sentiment sometimes has even the hardiness to insinuate and maintain itself under the guise of extraordinary concern for practical religion; but it soon discovers the falsehood of this pretension, and betrays its real nature. The expedient, indeed, of attaining to superiority in practice by not wasting any of the attention on the internal principles from which alone practice can flow, is about as reasonable, and will answer about as well, as the economy of an architect who should account it mere prodigality to expend any of his materials in laying foundation, from an idea that they might be more usefully applied to the raising of the superstructure. We know what would be the fate of such an edifice.”

How much of our modern society is built in this way–everything outward, nothing inward?  How many people realize that even the outward is often missing, yet continue to compliment the emperor on his new set of clothes?


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