Compassion for All Living Creatures
By Peter MitchellThe film Amazing Grace opens with a haggard and ill Wilberforce riding in a carriage through the pouring rain. The carriage passes two men whipping and beating a horse lying on the ground from exhaustion. Wilberforce stops the carriage and despite his frail condition and protestations of his doctor struggles out to confront the men.
This poignant opening to the film reminds us that while his work to abolish slavery was the most well know, that work flowed out of a belief in the complete and utter Lordship of Christ. Indeed, that work included compassion for animals as Wilberforce was one of the founding members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now the RSPCA) in the United Kingdom.