Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, April 4

397
Death of Ambrose of Milan, a bishop of many talents. He will later be considered one of the four Latin fathers. He had been one of the "tools" God used to lead Augustine of Hippo to Christ.
636
Death of Isidore, archbishop of Seville, a Spanish scholar famous for his Etymologies, an encyclopedia of early medieval knowledge that used liberal arts and secular learning as the foundation of Christian education.
896
Death of controversial Pope Formosus. His bones will be exhumed and his corpse tried by Pope Stephen VI but he will be reburied with full honors in St. Peter's the following year under Pope Romanus.
1081
Emperor Alexius Comnenus is crowned emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). He will do much to restore its strength and his appeal to the West for military assistance will be a major factor in instituting the crusades.
1523
Leonard Kopp helps twelve nuns escape from their cloister at Nimschen in Saxony, hidden in his fish barrels. One of them, Katherina von Bora, will wed Martin Luther.
1739
Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt receives its first complete performance at the King's Theatre, London.
1742
Charles Wesley preaches his famous sermon, "Awake, thou that sleepest," to the University of Oxford. Printed, the sermon will became Methodism's most popular tract.
1840
Death of John Campbell, a Scottish businessman, missionary, preacher, and philanthropist. He had founded a tract society, numerous Sunday schools, societies for disgraced women, and a Bible society. At the request of the London Missionary Society he had even inspected mission work in South Africa. Among his charitable activities he brought Africans to Britain for training and advocated the abolition of the slave trade.
1944
The BBC broadcasts "The New Man," the seventh and last of C.S. Lewis's pre-recorded fifteen-minute talks known as "Beyond Personality," all of which will later be included in his book Mere Christianity.
1965
German theologian Jurgen Moltmann revealed in a letter to Karl Barth: 'Polemics always makes one a little one-sided.'

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