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Today in Christian History
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.
Pioneer American Methodist bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: 'Alas for the rich! They are so soon offended.'
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.'
Members of the newly organized Evangelical Alliance elect William E. Dodge, a leading merchant, industrialist, and philanthropist to be their president. In their charter they affirm their belief in "the divine-human person and atoning work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the only and sufficient source of salvation, as the heart and soul of Christianity, and as the center of all true Christian union and fellowship." The alliance will organize prayer gatherings and conferences, and issue appeals in behalf of persecuted Christians.
Death in Highland Park, New Jersey, of Methodist evangelist James Caughey, who converted large numbers to Christianity in Canada, preaching revival and holiness.
Chinese authorities in Shanghai force more than twenty-two thousand members of the "Little Flock" to attend a mass denunciation because of their faith.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"