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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, May 21

1382
A great earthquake in England destroys some churches in Kent and damages Canterbury Cathedral.
1535
Henry Phillips betrays William Tyndale to Roman Catholic authorities in Antwerp. Phillips, an agent of Henry VIII, already has a long track record of villainy. Tyndale will be strangled and burned.
1536
William Farel preaches so effectively in Geneva that its people swear an oath with lifted hands "to live in the holy evangelical law and the word of God as it has been announced to us desiring to abandon all masses, images, idols and all which may pertain thereto to live in union and obedience to justice." They also vow to set up a school for poor children and to educate their children.
1739
Methodist hymnwriter Charles Wesley, 31, on the first anniversary of his religious conversion, penned the hymn, "O For a Thousand Tongues."
1740
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter regarding Jesus' character; 'He was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.'
1872
Death on the Isle of Mull of hymnwriter Mary Macdougal Macdonald. The daughter of a Baptist cleric, she wrote in Gaelic. Her best known hymn is "Child in the Manger."
1874
Ira Sankey first sings "The Ninety and Nine" (the "Lost Sheep" song). His audience is deeply moved.
1884
Fourteen-year old Matrona Petrovna Frolova enters the Krasnoslobodsky Trinity women's monastery in Penza province. Four years later she will become a nun at Kazan. In 1907 she will receive a Red Cross medal for her work during the Russo-Japanese war. She becomes abbess of a Kazan monastery, where she will make every possible defense against its dismantling by the Soviets. She will be arrested many times in succeeding years, deprived of her right to vote, and shot in her old age.
1921
Baptism of Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula. He will become the first bishop in Tanzania for the Africa Inland Mission, recognized as a prayer-warrior, church planter, and author.
1944
German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'God alone protects; otherwise there is nothing.'

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