Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, February 2

1594
Death in Italy of Roman Catholic composer Giovanni di Palestrina. He had sustained high quality and originality in writing one hundred and five masses and two hundred and fifty motets (settings of biblical texts).
1650
Beheading of Jordan of Trebizond in Constantinople by Muslims after he had mocked their prophet and refused to convert to Islam when brought to trial.
1738
Young George Whitefield departs for Georgia, intending to become a permanent missionary to the American colony.
1779
Pioneer American Methodist bishop Francis Asbury reflected in his journal: 'God is gracious beyond the power of language to describe.'
1784
Death in New Hampshire of Henry Alline, an American Free Will Baptist evangelist who had fostered growth of the “New Light” movement Canadian and New England churches.
1864
Death of hymnwriter Adelaide Anne Procter in London, England. Charles Dickens had published many of her verses and she had been a favorite of Queen Victoria.
1900
Death in Pennsylvania of temperance leader Annie Wittenmeyer. She had been active in home missions, founded orphanages, edited Christian periodicals, written hymns, and authored several books. Among her significant roles was as the first president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union which grew to 1,000 chapters under her leadership.
1907
In a letter written to American statesman William Jennings Bryan, Christian Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy counseled: 'The most important thing is to know the will of God concerning one's life, i.e., to know what he wishes us to do and fulfill it.'
1944
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'There is a kind of weakness that Christianity does not hold with, but which people insist on claiming as Christian, and then sling mud at it.'
1955
English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'It is right...that we should be much concerned about the salvation of those we love. But we must be careful not to...demand that their salvation should conform to some ready-made pattern of our own.'

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