Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, May 25

Alfonso VI of Castile captured Toledo, Spain, and brought the Moorish center of science into Christian hands.
(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. Authority for the date: Werner Robl "The Council of Sens in 1141 and its aftermath." http://www.abaelard.de/030029senseng.htm
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. Authority for the date: Catholic Encyclopedia
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V pronounced Martin Luther an outlaw and heretic for refusing to recant his teachings while at the Diet of Worms (held the previous month).
Stephen T. Badin, 25, was ordained in Baltimore, MD ÀÀ the first Catholic priest to be ordained in the newly independent United States of America. Badin afterward served as a frontier missionary, and played a key role in establishing Catholicism in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee during the early nineteenth century.
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. Authority for the date: Encyclopedia Americana.
The American Sunday School Union was established in Philadelphia. It pledged itself: (1) to circulate appropriate literature in every part of the land; (2) to secure a unity of evangelistic effort; and (3) to plant a Sunday School wherever there was a population.
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.” Authority for the date: Burrage, Henry S. Baptist Hymnwriters and Their Hymns. Portland, Maine: Brown, Thurston & Co., 1888.
Frederick Barker arrives in Australia where he will become the second Anglican bishop of Sydney. Authority for the date: Larsen, Timothy T., David W. Bebbington, and Mark Noll. Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. IVP Academic, 2003.
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. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (org. 1743) united with the Free Church of Scotland (org. 1843) to form the new Free Church of Scotland. (In 1929 the Free Church merged with the Mother Church, afterward retaining the name Church of Scotland.)
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. Authority for the date: The Daily Star, May 26, 1909.
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. Authority for the date: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/283/605/case.html
Thirty-six-year-old Zhang Xiuju is dragged from bed and beaten all night because of her Christian faith. Her dead body, with rope marks and signs of torture is returned two days later with the claim she died trying to jump from a moving police car. Authority for the date: Paul Hattaway, China’s Christian Martyrs. p. 478
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