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Today in Christian History
Rome recognized the Vandal territories in Northwest Africa as "federati," in an effort to stave off their invasion of Italy. (The invasion was successfully postponed for 20 years.)
Menno Simons, a Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands, publicly renounces Catholicism. Baptized by the moderate Anabaptist leader Obbe Philips, he will become the successful leader of the Mennonites.
Philip III, King of Spain, issues a Cedula Real (Royal Ordinance) that says Indians who are converted and become Christians cannot be made serfs, and are to be exempt from taxation for a period of ten years. Under this and other decrees, Jesuits will attempt to protect and train Indians, especially in Paraguay.
John Brebeuf pronounces his final vows as a Jesuit. He will go on to labor in Canada where he will be tortured to death by the Iroquois.
In Colonial America, Rev. Jonathan Mayhew of Boston delivered a sermon entitled, "Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission." The sermon attacked both the divine right of kings and ecclesiastical absolutism.
John Williams is converted while listening to a sermon by Timothy East. This Englishman will become a famous missionary to the New Hebrides islands.
Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'God feeds the wild flowers on the lonely mountain side without the help of man.... So God can feed his own planted ones without the help of man, by the sweetly falling dew of his Spirit.'
The Church of God (Winebrennarian) expels Daniel Warner for preaching holiness. He becomes a founder of the Church of God (Anderson) and will also be known for hymns such as "His Yoke Is Easy."
Chinese authorities in Shanghai force more than twenty-two thousand members of the "Little Flock" to attend a mass denunciation because of their faith.
Festo Kivengere, an Anglican Bishop in Uganda, challenges Idi Amin's mass killings in a sermon titled "The Preciousness of Life." Afterward he and his family will have to flee for their lives to Kenya.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"