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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, March 22

1208
The bishops of London, Ely, and Worcester pronounce Pope Innocent III's interdict on England, then flee the country. King John had promised to mutilate them if they pronounced the ban, which was issued because he refused to accept Stephen Langton as archbishop. Churches are closed and religious services discontinued. However, the baptism of children will continue, as will confession of the dying and administration of last rites.
1556
Cardinal Reginald Pole is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, restoring Catholicism to England for a brief time between the Protestant reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth I.
1593
Arrest of John Penry, an independent Welsh pastor, who will be hanged for sedition. He had criticized Church of England leaders for their neglect of Wales and among his papers was found the draft of a strongly worded letter to Queen Elizabeth.
1641
The Archbishop of Armagh convenes a provincial synod at Kells which almost unanimously pronounces the war undertaken by the Catholics of Ireland against the English "just and lawful."
1720
John Gill is solemnly ordained as a Baptist pastor in Horsleydown in a lengthy public ceremony which involves much prayer and soul searching. Gill will remain at Horsleydown for 51 years and gain recognition as a great controversialist, sharply critical of Wesley's theology because it placed the decision to follow Christ in a person's own hands.
1814
Beheading of the Orthodox monk Euthymius in Constantinople. He had abandoned Christianity for Islam in his youth but soon regretted it, returned to faith, became a monk on Mt. Athos, and practiced great austerities. Eventually he traveled to Constantinople where he testified of his faith.
1819
Birth of Joseph P. Webster, American sacred music writer. During his lifetime, Webster composed over 1,000 pieces of music, including the still-popular hymn tune SWEET BY AND BY ("There's a Land That is Fairer Than Day").
1836
Birth of Edgar P. Stites, American Methodist frontier preacher and missionary. Stites is remembered today as author of the hymns "Beulah Land" and "Trusting Jesus."
1920
Death in Guayaquil, Ecuador, of George S. Fisher, founder of the Gospel Missionary Union. He had contracted typhoid fever while visiting the work in Ecuador.
1930
Birthday of Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson, religious broadcaster, politician and founder in 1963 of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

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