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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, January 14

1331
Death in Udine of Odoric, a Franciscan who had traveled to China and reported on the Far East, but whose credibility was low because he reported many details on hearsay.
1604
The Hampton Court Conference opened in London, during which Puritan representatives met with their monarch, King James I, to discuss reform within the Church of England.
1623
Death of Father Parti Sarpi, a Venetian polymath and doctor of theology. He had assisted Venice in its struggles against the papacy and wrote a history of the Council of Trent that exposed misdeeds of the pope, all while still a member of the Augustinian Servite order.
1753
Death in Oxford, England, of George Berkeley. Years earlier, as newlyweds, he and his wife had attempted mission work in America, but left when financial backing failed. After his return to England, he had gained fame for a theory of vision and for his philosophical system of idealism, which held that familiar objects were ideas in the mind and did not exist outside of our perception. (In a famous incident recorded in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, when Johnson learned of Berkeley's philosophy he kicked a large stone until it hurt his foot and announced "I refute it thus.") Made bishop of Cloyne, he had shown consideration toward both Roman Catholics and Protestants.
1841
Death in Cheshire, Massachusetts, of Baptist evangelist John Leland, who in addition to his evangelistic work had been an ardent opponent of slavery and a strong advocate for religious liberty.
1892
Death in London, England, of Cardinal Henry Manning, who had been a leader in the Oxford movement for reforming the Church of England before transferring his allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.
1966
French-born American trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote in a letter: 'The best way to solve the problem of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's is to have nothing that is Caesar's.'
1983
Death in Taiwan of Lillian Dickson, founder of The Mustard Seed, an inter-denominational mission agency that engaged in relief aid, public health, and Christian education.
1985
Death in Ecuador of Dr. Manuel Naula, the first Quichua Indian to become a medical doctor. A Christian, he was known for his self-sacrificing life and soul-winning efforts.
2003
Death of Sipho Mncube, a South African evangelist who had once been an alcoholic, drug addict, and thief. Many had come to Christ through his humility and charitable efforts.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"