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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, February 23

155
Martyrdom of Polycarp, an early Church Father who was a disciple of the Apostle John. Arrested at age 86, Polycarp was burned at the stake for refusing to deny the Christian faith.
1744
Colonial missionary to the American Indians David Brainerd wrote in his journal: 'There is a God in heaven who over-rules all things for the best; and this is the comfort of my soul.'
1758
Jonathan Edwards receives a smallpox vaccination from which he contracts the disease. He will die in March.
1855
John Bright, a Quaker-born Christian parliamentarian in England, makes an eloquent speech against the Crimean War. Its most famous line is, the "Angel of Death has Been Abroad."
1918
The body of the Orthodox priest George Porgachevsky is found about a mile and a quarter from the village of Ivanovskoye, Amur region. His head is crushed and he has two bayonet wounds in his stomach. The Soviets had arrested him thirteen days earlier.
1925
Death in Alexandria, Virginia, of Kate Waller Barrett, an American physician, who, as a single mother and member of the Episcopal Church, co-founded the National Florence Crittenton Mission financed by wealthy Charles Nelson Crittenton. She had secured for the mission the first-ever federal charter for a charitable organization.
1929
Lindel Tsen is consecrated as Assistant Bishop of Honan, the first Chinese bishop in an established Anglican diocese. He will become the principal leader of Chinese Anglicanism in the mid-20th century and suffer persecution at the hands of the government.
1934
Death in Baltimore, Maryland, of Peter Ainslie, a Disciples of Christ minister, ecumenical leader, and author of The Scandal of Christianity, a sharp rebuke of divisions among Christians.
1951
Death of Zhang Boling (Chang Po-ling), a prominent Chinese Protestant layman and educator. He had been affiliated with the YMCA, founded Nankai University, accepted women for education, and promoted athletic activities. Because of the school's patriotism the Japanese had bombed and burned it and succeeding political changes made him unwelcome.
1970
The Holy Eucharist was distributed by women for the first time in a Roman Catholic service.

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