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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, April 21

1109
Death of Anselm of Canterbury, English theologian, author of the ontological argument for the existence of God, and a father of medieval scholasticism.
1142
Death at Cluny of theologian Pierre Abelard, whose "conceptualism" changed the development of philosophy. He will be remembered for seducing his student Heloise. Although often accused of heresy, he remained a popular teacher.
1380
A stroke leaves Roman Catholic mystic Catherine of Siena paralyzed from the waist down.
1621
William Bradford is chosen governor of Plymouth Colony when his predecessor John Carver dies suddenly.
1649
Maryland issues an act defining and forbidding blasphemy and making it an offense to rail publicly against another person's faith. It promises toleration to anyone who professes Christ.
1783
Birth of English churchman and hymnwriter Reginald Heber. Heber published his first hymn at 28, and among his best remembered today are: "Holy, Holy, Holy," "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
1828
English churchman John Henry Newman wrote in a letter to his sister: 'May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.'
1855
Sunday school teacher Edward Kimball visits the Holton Shoe Store in Boston, Massachusetts, where Dwight L. Moody works, finds him in a stockroom, and speaks to him of the love of Christ. Shortly thereafter, Moody is converted and devotes his life to serving God, becoming a notable American evangelist.
1869
Thomas Huxley first publicly uses the word "agnostic" at a meeting of the London Metaphysical Society to describe intellectuals who, like himself, are unable to come to certain conclusions on big issues such as the existence of God.
1897
Birth of A. W. Tozer, one of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Tozer was also a prolific writer, and his best- known publications include "The Pursuit of God" (1948) and "The Root of Righteousness" (1955).

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