Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, January 16

648
[Approximate year.] Death at Forsheim, France, of St. Fursey who had founded monasteries in England and Gaul. Many years earlier, Fursey, while seriously ill, had fallen into a trance in which he saw visions of heaven and hell that he recorded. These will probably be among the sources from which Dante will draw inspiration for the descriptions of hell and heaven in his Inferno and Paradiso.
1543
British Parliament prohibits the reading of the New Testament in English by "women or artificer's prentices, journeymen, servingmen of the degree of yeoman, or under, husbandmen or labourers..."
1604
Puritan John Rainolds suggests to King James I "that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek." James will grant approval the next day. Seven years later, the Authorized Version (King James Version) will be published.
1630
Archbishop William Laud consecrates St. Catherine Cree Church, in Leadenhall Street, London, with ritual and ceremony that his detractors consider excessive and counter to Reformation or Puritan tendencies.
1650
Death of Blessed Maximus, Priest of Totma in Vologda District, a "fool for Christ" who had continually fasted and prayed. The Orthodox consider him a saint because of miracles alleged to have occurred at his tomb.
1740
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'If I see a man who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity, I am not very solicitous to what...communion he belongs. The Kingdom of God, I think, does not consist in any such thing.'
1786
Virginia adopts a statute for establishing religious freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
1815
Reformer Henry Thornton dies at William Wilberforce's house in London, England. A banker and Parliamentarian, he had been the financial brains behind the social schemes of the philanthropic and anti-slavery group known as the Clapham Sect.
1982
Great Britain established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
1999
United Methodists disturb many fellow Methodists and other traditional Christians by "blessing" a lesbian couple before fifteen hundred people in Sacramento, California. The women were lay leaders who had lived together for fifteen years.

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