Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, April 20

1441
During the Council of Florence (1438-45), Eugenius IV issued the bull "Etsi non dubitemus," which asserted the superiority of the pope over the Councils.
1479
Death of Alexander who founded the Orthodox monastery of Oshevensk, experienced miracles, and was a notable spiritual counselor.
1534
Execution of Elizabeth Barton, the "Nun of Kent" who had prophecied against King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn. She said Henry would die shortly thereafter. (He lived fifteen more years.) A staunch Roman Catholic with a reputation for holiness, she urged pilgrimmages and prayer to Mary and strongly opposed the Lutheran Reformation.
1653
Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament, so-called because it consisted of only a few representatives who still remained. Cromwell lectures them on their vices and their uselessness, saying he is doing this at God's command: “Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. Go!”
1676
Death of Baptist minister John Clarke, a founding father of Rhode Island, and the agent who obtained the colony's charter from King Charles II in 1663.
1718
Birth of David Brainerd, colonial American missionary to the Indians of New England. Following his premature death from tuberculosis at 29, Brainerd's journal (published in 1649 by the Jonathan Edwards) influenced hundreds to become missionaries after him.
1826
Birth of Erastus Johnson, American hymnwriter. A lifelong student of the Bible, Johnson, at age 47, penned the hymn, "O Sometimes the Shadows are Deep" (a.k.a. "The Rock That Is Higher Than I").
1898
C. H. Spurgeon's London tabernacle burns down. Efforts to rebuild it commence at once.
1943
In Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
2001
A Peruvian Air Force aircraft shoots down a private airplane carrying missionaries, killing Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity.

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