What Is A Man Profited? – Wm. King, 7 of 28

The passage that was to shape young William's life.
The passage that was to shape young William’s life.

“What is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” Mark 8:36 of The Bible. William King heard these words and the sermon that accompanied them from a minister who was freeing his slaves and returning to New England in the early days of King’s tenure at Matthews Academy. They were to have a profound impact on him. “I have now lived long enough in the country to see the evils of slavery,” he wrote in his autobiography.

“The evils, of the system that were necessarily connected with it bore as heavily on the white families as on the black. The moral evils connected with the system were such that it could not exist with Christianity. It would either destroy Christianity or Christianity would destroy it. They could not exist together. When I lived in the south slavery had reached the zenith of its power and was ripening for destruction.” (39) “I saw the danger to which I would be exposed from the world in the situation I was about to enter upon. There was the prospect of wealth and a gay and fashionable world with all its pleasures spread out before me, including the human heart to settle down in their midst and make this world my portion.” (37)

In 1841 he married Mary Phares, the oldest daughter of a wealthy planter.

When did you come to a point where you realized you were losing your soul? What did you do about it?


What moral evils do you believe should not be tolerated today?

2 thoughts on “What Is A Man Profited? – Wm. King, 7 of 28

  1. Hubris has been, is, and will continue to be part and parcel of the human condition. Oppression, judgement and intolerance continue, as in Rev. King’s days. The poor, the rich, those adrift from abuse, those enslaved by oppression, addictions of all varieties are still with us. There is then, room for contrition, change of heart, change of behaviours, and opportunities to assist alongside those in need. And to be bold enough to look for and ask for help when we are in need. Most of us fit the former and are candidates for change, and once on the road to change, would be able to assist others in need because we speak from experience: been there, done that, even bought the T-shirt.

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