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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, March 5

493
Archbishop John sallies forth from Ravenna with crosses, the Gospels, and a retinue of monks, falling at the feet of Theodoric and suing for peace - which the invader grants.
1518
Erasmus sends a copy of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses to Sir Thomas More, a vigorous opponent of the Protestant Reformation.
1526
Zurich authorities commence a trial which eventuates in sentences of life imprisonment for the Anabaptists Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock. Two weeks later the three manage to escape.
1555
French-born Swiss reformer John Calvin wrote in a letter to Philip Melanchthon: 'It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results.'
1687
Hungarian officials behead and quarter Sigmund Zimmermann, Caspar Rauscher, Andreas Keczer, and Franz Baranyay in Eperjes [PreŇ°ov, Slovakia]. In a complex political situation, animosity to oppressive Hapsburg policies had led to a revolt after which Catholic leaders of the Holy Roman Empire cracked down on all opposition, cruelly oppressing Protestants and their pastors and inspiring another revolt. These four are the first to die as martyrs when the second revolt was quelled in Eperjes.
1708
Death in London of Bishop William Beveridge. He had preached profoundly and lived peaceably amid the controversies of his day. He will be remembered for his book Private Thoughts upon Religion and a Christian Life (1713), published after his death. It sets forth resolutions such as, "I am resolved, by the grace of God, to be always exercising my thoughts upon good objects, that the devil may not exercise them upon bad."
1743
In Boston, editor Thomas Prince published the first issue of his weekly, "The Christian History." It was the first religious journal published in America.
1850
Birth of Daniel B. Towner, American music evangelist. An associate of D.L. Moody, Towner composed over 2,000 hymn tunes, including AT CALVARY ("Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride"), MOODY ("Marvelous Grace of our Loving Lord") and TRUST AND OBEY ("When We Walk With the Lord").
1899
Evangelist Sam Jones opens a crusade in Toledo, Ohio, where the mayor is also named Sam Jones. The mayor welcomes the publicity until Jones says, "If the Devil were mayor of Toledo, he wouldn't change a thing." Nonetheless, Mayor Jones will be reelected by a wide margin.
1977
Death in Abeokuta, Nigeria, of James Tanimola Ayorinde, who had been a Baptist pastor, chairman of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, and a respected and beloved leader of the Baptist World Aliance.

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