Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, 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.
1455
Death in Rome of Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro), an Italian monk and painter. He is said to have painted all of his works prayerfully.
1546
Death in Eisleben of German reformer Martin Luther.
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.
1688
At a monthly meeting in Germantown, PA, a group of Quakers and Mennonites became the first white body in English America to register a formal protest against slavery. The historic "Germantown Protest" denounced both slavery and the slave trade.
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.
1885
The Cambridge Seven (star college athletes who have dedicated themselves to Christian mission work) reach China.
1902
Death in Hampstead, England, of Christopher Newman Hall, an English Congregationalist minister, who edited the Christ Church Hymnal of 1876, to which he contributed eighty-two original hymns and wrote a famous tract titled, “Come to Jesus,” that will be translated into dozens of languages. His best-known hymn will be “Friend of Sinners, Lord of Glory.”
1948
Father Butrus Sowmy of St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem phones John Trever, asking that he examine an old manuscript. It will turn out to be the first discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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