Chapter 23 » 23.07

Faith and action

The testimony of Marsden Monthly Meeting concerning John Bright (1811–1889), who was a member of parliament for over 40 years and held ministerial office, shows how he carried the calm strength of his religious faith into his political life.

His deep sense of responsibility in the sight of God, and his intense human sympathy were the most powerful influences in drawing him from business into public life; and his natural nervousness was thus overcome by his sympathetic nature taking up the cause of the poor and the wronged. Of his public speeches it might be said, he believed and therefore he spoke. His aim was not popularity or party triumph, but the hope of advancing the cause of Truth and Right so far as he saw it…

Although at one time there were grave doubts in the minds of many Friends as to whether it was desirable for members of our Society to engage in active political life … it has been evident in John Bright’s case that he entered upon it under a deep sense of duty, and that he endeavoured to carry his Christianity with him into all his public life.

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