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Today in Christian History
Death of Polish cleric and astronomer Nicolas Copernicus. Copernicus participated in a Roman Catholic religious community at the cathedral of Frauenburg.
Robert Robinson, sixteen years old, hears George Whitefield preach and writes in his Bible "renatus" (born again). He will become a Baptist pastor and the author of the hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
Alexander Duff arrives in India. He will proceed to Calcutta where he will advance Christian education. He and his wife suffered two shipwrecks in sailing to Asia.
Inventor Samuel F. B. Morse demonstrates the world's first practical telegraph. For over a decade he had struggled to patent and finance the invention, writing in a moment of discouragement, "The only gleam of hope, and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward it calms any apprehension for the future and I seem to hear a voice saying: ‘If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?' Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence." His first message, sent from the Supreme Court to Baltimore, was a quote from the Bible: Numbers 23:23, "What hath God wrought."
Death of Mary Webb in Boston. Although bound to a wheelchair from youth, she had founded one of the first women's missionary societies in America and coordinated the efforts of two hundred local societies.
Death in Wisconsin of Episcopalian Bishop Jackson Kemper, who had served much of his life evangelizing on the American frontier and among the Indians of the Mid west.
Gilbert Haven is consecrated at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Because he promotes the equality of all persons, racists will not have him as bishop of white conferences, so the white bishop serves an Atlanta conference composed entirely of African Americans.
Death in New York City of William Lloyd Garrison, who had agitated against slavery as a speaker, writer, editor, and founder of the New England Anti-Slavery Society. Many of his anti-slavery arguments had been Bible-based.
Pioneer linguist Frank C. Laubach, while serving as a Congregational missionary, wrote in a letter: 'As one makes new discoveries about his friends by being with them, so one discovers the "individuality" of God if one entertains him continuously.'
After selfless service to his nation both as an Episcopal bishop and as an organizer of medical relief during the Sino-Japanese war, Zhu Youyu is in Shanghai when Communist forces enter the city. He will soon be denounced as an imperialist agent by the Communists, speaking through the Three Self Patriotic Church.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"