September 11 Petition Mission

“I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me…” (Ps 118:5).

The Clapham Sect, prominent evangelicals, united to seek the abolition of the slave trade and press gangs, the reform of the penal system, improvements in the care of the mentally ill, the regulation of factory conditions, and the promotion of schools in England. Clapham, south of London, was home to two of its leaders, William Wilberforce and Henry Thornton.

Lampooned as “the saints,” the group were also credited with founding several missionary and tract societies, including the British and Foreign Bible Society. Many of them daily gave themselves to three hours of prayer and organized Christians throughout the country to unite in special prayer before critical debates in Parliament. William Temple, one of the group, replied to his critics who regarded answered prayer as no more than coincidence: “When I pray, coincidences happen; when I don’t, they don’t.”

“I called… the Lord answered.”