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Today in Christian History
Death at Aachen, Germany, of Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the greatest rulers of all time, he was influential in church matters.
Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) absolves Henry IV at Canossa, Italy, after forcing him to stand three days barefoot in snow.
Repose (death) of Venerable Theodosius, an Orthodox ascetic who had founded the Totma Ephraimov wilderness monastery in Volgoda.
Scotland's King James VI, who in 1603 would become England's James I, signed the Second Scottish Confession of Faith.
Birth of William D. Longstaff, English philanthropist. A close acquaintance of Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey, Longstaff is better remembered today as author of the hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy."
Sarah L. H. Smith reaches Beirut, where she will devote her life and energy as a missionary to Syrian women.
Death of Joseph Barnby in London. A noted choir leader and composer, he wrote the Oratorio Rebekah and many hymn tunes including those to which we sing "O Perfect Love," "Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus," "Stand up, Stand up, for Jesus," "Jesus Lover of My Soul," and "When Morning Gilds the Skies." He had also led the first English performance of Dvorak's Stabat Mater.
Conversion of Oswald J. Smith at a Robert A. Torrey evangelistic meeting. Smith becomes a notable evangelist as well as a hymnwriter.
Death of John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides. His wife and son died shortly after he began work. Alone and broken-hearted, he dug a grave and buried them. A man of great faith, he survived numerous threats from the islanders.
In NY City, a copy of the 1640 Bay Psalm Book was purchased at an auction at Parke-Bernet Galleries for $150,000 --the highest price ever paid to date for a single volume. (The original title of the book was: "The Whole Book of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre.")
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"