Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, January 19

825
Vikings wipe out the monastery on the Isle of Iona. They allow its monks to celebrate mass before slaying them.
1563
Reformed scholars issue the first full edition of the Heidelberg Catechism, a Calvinist statement of faith written by Peter Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus. It will soon be accepted by nearly all of the Reformed churches in Europe.
1568
Death of Miles Coverdale, 80, publisher of the first printed English Bible. He completed the translation of the Old Testament which William Tyndale had left unfinished at his death in 1536.
1803
Death in Edinburgh, Scotland, of John Erskine, an evangelical minister connected with Scotland's eighteenth-century revivals.
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'To be made fit for the work of a missionary I resigned the comforts of a married life, ...and that was a severe struggle. Now again will I put forth the hand of faith, though the struggle will be far more severe.'
1852
H.M.S. Dido reaches Banner Cove, Patagonia, and finds dead missionaries, whose diaries show that "Arise, My Soul, Arise" was one of last songs they sang.
1859
The Finnish Missionary Society is organized as the result of a decree by Csar Alexander III (Russia had occupied Finland). Its purpose is to spread Christianity in Finland although it will later conduct foreign missions.
1886
Death in Wakefield, Massachusetts (formerly South Reading), of hymnwriter Georgiana L. Heath who had written “For the Presence of the Springtime” and “Ye Soldiers of Jehovah.”
1897
Mel Trotter staggers drunk through Chicago, determined to drown himself in Lake Michigan, but comes to the Pacific Garden Mission, enters, and is converted. Three years later, alcohol-free, he heads a rescue mission in Grand Rapids and eventually founds the Mel Trotter Mission.
1900
Death in Bournemouth, England, of Henry Twells, a clergyman in the Church of England, a preacher of power and author of the hymn “At Even, E'er the Sun Was Set.”

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