Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Conversion of Frederick Douglass

As Frederick Douglass is currently in the public eye for 15 seconds, it is well to pay tribute to the great crusader against the scourge of slavery, and to remind the forgetful that he was a man of deep Christian faith. Though it is to be regretted that he never found his way home to the Catholic Church, his account of his conversion to faith in Christ is noteworthy.

Following is an excerpt from his autobiography entitled, My Bondage, My Freedom which speaks for itself:
“My religious nature was awakened by the preaching of a white Methodist minister, named Hanson. He thought that all men, great and small, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God; that they were, by nature, rebels against his government; and that they must repent of their sins, and be reconciled to God through Christ. I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion of what was required of me; but one thing I knew very well—I was wretched, and had no means of making myself otherwise. Moreover, I knew that I could pray for light. I consulted a good colored man, named Charles Johnson; and, in tones of holy affection, he told me to pray, and what to pray for. I was, for weeks, a poor, broken-hearted mourner, travelling through the darkness and misery of doubts and fears. I finally found that change of heart which comes by “casting all one’s care” upon God, and by having faith in Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer, Friend and Savior of those who diligently seek Him. 
“After this, I saw the world in a new light. I seemed to live in a new world, surrounded by new objects, and to be animated by new hopes and desires. I loved all mankind—slaveholders not excepted; though I abhorred slavery more than ever. My great concern was, now, to have the world converted.”
Read more in context here: My Bondage, My Freedom by Frederick Douglass.

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