Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, January 21

1118
Death of Pope Paschal II. During his troubled pontificate, he had been faced with four anti-popes and suffered captivity at the hands of Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V, who extorted concessions from him.
1217
Matthew Paris is clothed as a novice at the Abbey of St. Albans in England. He will be remembered as a monk who chronicled English history.
1549
The English parliament passes "An Act for Uniformity of Service and Administration of the Sacraments throughout the Realm" which establishes the first Book of Common Prayer in Edward's reign.
1575
William Byrd and Thomas Tallis are awarded letters patent giving them the exclusive right to print music in England, and to print ruled music paper. Effective for twenty-one years, this is the first patent of its kind. The first work printed under the patent will be their own Cantiones (1575), containing 34 motets, half by Tallis and half by Byrd.
1609
Death in Leyden, Netherlands, of Joseph Justus Scaliger, famed for putting ancient chronology onto a scientific footing.
1738
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in his journal: 'I desire to have no greater portion than the prayers of the poor.'
1750
Newly-ordained missionary Christian Friedrich Schwartz embarks from London for Tranquebar, the seat of the Danish Mission in India. Four months after arriving, he will preach his first sermon in Tamil and afterwards will conduct a successful work.
1921
Presbyterian minister Samuel McCrea Cavert, a notable ecumenist, becomes the General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. A chief player in forming the World Council of Churches, he will die in 1976. "The temptation of Protestantism has always been to magnify freedom at the expense of unity. The temptation of Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, has been to magnify unity at the expense of freedom."
1931
Soviets execute the Orthodox priest Peter Alexeyevich Bulgakov for "agitation against Soviet power." He had long resisted their efforts to get him to abandon his faith and three months before his death had refused to hand over church keys to them.
1986
Charismatic Bible Ministries was founded in Oklahoma. A fraternal fellowship of charismatic organizations, CBM held its first major conference in June 1986 in Tulsa.

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