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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, May 25

1085
Death at Salerno, Italy, of Pope Gregory VII "Hildebrand," one of the most powerful medieval popes, who had excommunicated the German emperor, Henry IV.
1141
(probable date) Synod of Sens opens. At the insistence of Bernard of Clairvaux, this council pronounces selections from theologian Peter Abelard's writings erroneous and heretical.
1510
Death in Lyon, France, of Cardinal Georges D'Amboise, minister of Louis XII, an able strategist and administrator, who had reduced taxes. He had also been a reformer of monasteries and the French judiciary and was known for his charity. In 1503 he was in position to seize the papacy by military force, but dismissed his troops and abided by the decision of the cardinals which went against him.
1805
Death in Lincolnshire of William Paley. He had developed an influential apologetic based on natural history. He will become closely associated with the argument from design, using the analogy of a clockmaker and watch.
1824
The American Sunday School Union ratifies its new name and constitution, organized out of the Sunday and Adult School Union. Its purpose was to use Sunday schools as a means to instill Christian and democratic values "wherever there is a population."
1825
Death in Bristol, England, of Baptist hymnwriter John Ryland after saying "no more pain." He had helped William Carey organize the first Baptist mission and had written the hymn "Lord, teach a little child to pray."
1855
Frederick Barker arrives in Australia where he will become the second Anglican bishop of Sydney.
1868
Death in Cornwall, England, of Billy Bray, once a profligate, but after his conversion a powerful Methodist evangelist in his native Cornwall. His most effective soul-winning had been done among fellow miners.
1909
Over 5,000 Knights Templar (a US organization that has taken the name of a Medieval order) march through Philadelphia to the stirring hymn of "Onward, Christian Soldiers." They are accompanied by sixty music bands and cheered by hundreds of thousands of onlookers.
1931
The Supreme Court decides the case United States v. Macintosh, finding against theologian Douglas Clyde Macintosh, who had sought to become a naturalized citizen of the United States with the caveat that he would fight only in a just war. Some years later the Supreme Court will reverse itself. Meanwhile, Macintosh teaches at Yale. His theology stresses religious experience guided by faith in God and practice of Christian virtues rather than creeds or doctrinal purity.

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