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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, February 18

676
Death of St. Colman of Lindisfarne. Involved in the controversy between the Roman church and the Irish as to when to date Easter, he had left England and established a monastery in Ireland.
1571
A group of Spanish Jesuits in the Chesapeake Bay area, led by Fray Batista Segura, were murdered by the Indians they had come six months earlier to convert. The massacre led ultimately to the withdrawal of all Jesuits living in Florida as well.
1678
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" was first published, in England. Bunyan was frequently imprisoned for preaching without a license. During these sequestered times, between 1660-72, Bunyan collected the ideas enabling him to pen this masterpiece of Christian literature.
1781
Birth of Henry Martyn, Anglican missionary to Persia. Martyn first sailed for the East in 1805. His great linguistic gifts led him to translate the New Testament both into Hindustani and Arabic, before his premature death at 31.
1856
Sultan Abdel Medjid-Khan of the Ottoman Empire decrees that governmental authorization at the highest level is required for a permit to build or even to repair a church. The law will remain in effect more than a century and a half later in Egypt. Consequently it can take years for Christians to receive permission to repair even a leaking toilet.
1869
Evangelical or "low church" Episcopalians sign the "Chicago Protest," against "unprotestantizing" tendencies in the Protestant Episcopal denomination. Suspended by mainline Episcopalians, some will band together to found the Reformed Episcopal Church in 1873.
1874
Death in London of William Sandys, English lawyer and the composer of "The First Noel." He had done a good deal to popularize Christmas carols.
1885
The Cambridge Seven (star college athletes who have dedicated themselves to Christian mission work) reach China.
1894
A mob assaults the Presbyterian mission at Yeung Kong, China, breaking into the homes of the Rev. Andrew Beattie and Dr. D. A. Beattie, where they threaten and rough up the mission families (each man has a wife and child) as they smash and loot.
1946
Pope Pius XII makes American Roman Catholic Archbishop Francis Joseph Spellman a cardinal.

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