Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, February 22

1225
Hugh of St. Cher dons the habit of the Dominican order. He will become a notable Bible scholar and head a team that will create the first really useful Bible concordance.
1297
Death in Cortona, Italy, of St. Margaret of Cortona, a Franciscan tertiary, who had established a hospital for the poor.
1649
The Westminster Assembly adjourns, having held one thousand one hundred and sixty three sessions over a period of five years, six months, and twenty-two days. They were known for their solemn fasts and long hours of prayer.
1680
Death of Thomas Goodwin, 79, famed English Congregational Nonconformist preacher. His last words were: 'Ah, is this dying? How I have dreaded as an enemy this smiling friend.'
1703
General Codrington bequeaths two plantations in Barbados for medical mission work to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, on condition that professors and scholars be maintained there to study and practice medicine, surgery, and divinity in order to "endear themselves to the people and have the better opportunities of doing good to men's souls whilst they are taking care of their bodies."
1845
Death in London of Rev. Sydney Smith, wit and literary critic, author of The Letters of Peter Plymley. He had once tied some antlers to donkeys to pretend they were deer when an aristocratic lady was visiting. His daughter wrote, “My father died in peace with himself and with all the world; anxious to the last to promote the comfort and happiness of others. He sent messages of kindness and forgiveness to the few he thought had injured him. Almost his last act was bestowing a small living of £120 per annum on a poor, worthy, and friendless clergyman, who had lived a long life of struggle with poverty on £40 per annum.”
1870
Missionary James Gilmour sails from Liverpool to work in China and Mongolia. Made chaplain of the ship on which he is sailing, he shares the gospel with every member of the crew during the night watches.
1911
Death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Frances E. W. Harper, an African-American woman who had labored in the anti-slavery cause alongside workers such as Julia Ward Howe and Frederick Douglas. She had published a volume of poems when twenty-one years of age.
1944
English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'Heaven enters wherever Christ enters, even in this life.'
1980
American Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'None of us are normal, even after we are Christians if we mean by that being perfect. What is possible, however, is for us to live in the fullness of life in the circle of who we are, constantly pressing on the border lines to try to take further steps.'

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