- Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Higher and Middle Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity
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William Wilberforce was an English politician best known for his leadership in the movement to stop the slave trade. He began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he became an Evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. In 1797, after working on the book for four years, Wilberforce published "A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes of This Country Contrasted With Real Christianity." In it, he speaks candidly about the differences between true faith and nominal religion. Through a mix of rational argument, personal testimony, and ardent exhortation, Wilberforce calls for a revival of true Christianity in his country. The book proved to be influential and a best-seller by the standards of the day, with 7,500 copies sold in the first six months. It has also been revived several times since, with some updated translations published in modern English. This recording is of the original text.