William Gladstone was born on December 29, 1809, and was the fifth of six children. He attended Eton School, Oxford, before entering Parliament in 1832. His religious views were decidedly High Church. His first major publication in 1838, The State in Its Relation with the Church, defended the "establishment" of the Church of England. Though he believed in a High Church view of apostolic succession, he always opposed Roman Catholicism.
When Gladstone visited Naples, the authorities, wanting to show him special honor arranged for him to go to Pompeii on Sunday. When the hour came for him to leave, he did not show up and they found him in his regular place with the people of God in the church, he did not go to Pompeii until Tuesday.
Gladstone served as Prime Minister four times between 1868 and 1894. He had 8 children.
He once sat in Christ's Church College and talked at some length about happy changes he had witnessed during his lifetime in the lot of the English people. One of the students said, "Sir, are we to understand that you have no anxieties for the future? Are there no adverse signs?" The grand old man of England answered slowly, "Yes, here is one thing that frightens me - the fear that God seems to be dying out in the minds of men.
One day as Gladstone spake at the Exchange, there was a man in the crowd upon whose heart the Holy Spirit had been working. Suddenly, as with a flash of penetrating light, the thought flashed into his soul, "One of these days they will be gathering to meet the coming Christ. Will you be ready?" The thought would not let him rest. He went home, and found the Son of God as his Savior.
William E. Gladstone died on May 19, 1898.