Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, March 20

687
Death of Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who had been a vocal supporter of Celtic church practices against Roman practices until the Synod of Whitby opted to adhere to Roman practices.
1473
Kneeling in the confessional, Catherine of Genoa experiences an overpowering sense of her faults and of the world's misery, owing to its sin against the goodness of God, and she nearly swoons. Transported by love for God, she lives the remainder of her life (d.1510) in an unusually heightened spiritual state.
1653
[Old Style] Oliver Cromwell's government creates a court of forty-three commissioners to examine all ministers who are awarded church positions in England to certify their fitness for ministerial service.
1661
Death at St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, Scotland, of famed Presbyterian preacher and author Samuel Rutherford (March 29 and 30 are also sometimes given).
1739
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'I look upon all the world as my parish.'
1757
Evangelist William Romaine preaches at St. Mary's, Oxford, on "the Lord our righteousness" and gives such offense to the self-righteous scholars that he is barred from ever preaching there again.
1799
Believing himself eternally damned, William Cowper writes his last poem "The Castaway," in which he compares himself to a man who has fallen off a ship in a storm and has to be abandoned by his shipmates. Cowper is well-known in English literature as a precursor of the Romantic movement and also wrote such hymns as "There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood," and "O for a Closer Walk with God."
1840
Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'The more God opens your eyes, the more you will feel that you are lost in yourself.'
1852
American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, 41, published her classic antislavery novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The controversy it kindled helped lead to the American Civil War, nine years later.
1873
In a letter to an assembly of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, W. H. Miles, their only living bishop, urges them to elect three more because the denomination has grown so large one or two bishops can no longer oversee it.

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