Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, May 29

The Council of Constance deposes scandalous Pope John XXIII (later numbered among the antipopes). When he receives notice of his deposition, he removes the papal cross from his room and says he regrets having been elected pope. He will be imprisoned for three years. Authority for the date: Christian History 68 (2000).
Constantinople, the capital of Eastern Christianity from A.D. 324, fell to the Turks. The city afterward became the capital of the Ottoman Empire and was renamed Istanbul. Its conquest marked the end of the Middle Ages.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V procures a brief from Pope Paul III, setting aside a sentence against his favorite preacher, the Benedictine monk Alonso de Virués, who had been accused of Lutheranism because of his correspondence with Erasmus and isolated passages from his sermons. Authority for the date: Lea, Charles. Pages from the Inquisition.
Sixteen assassins enter Cardinal Beaton's castle early in the morning along with stone masons renovating the palace. They wait until Marion Ogilvy, Beaton's mistress, departs before breaking into the archbishop's rooms and stabbing him to death in retaliation for his recent execution of the reformer George Wishart. Authority for the date: Christian History 46 (1995).
John Penry, who has called for reform in the Church of England, is hanged as a traitor based on a satire he did not write and some notes criticizing Queen Elizabeth I. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
Construction began on Old Swedes (Holy Trinity) Church in Wilmington, Delaware. The structure has been used continuously as a place of Christian worship ever since.
Death in Bremen of Laurenti Laurentius, German Pietist hymnwriter who had been cantor and music director at the cathedral church of Bremen. Authority for the date: www.hymntime.com.
John Barnard preaches "The Throne Established by Righteousness" before the King's council and representatives in Masachussets, arguing that governments must have the consent of the governed and that government officials should respect church leaders - who in turn should support the government in maintaining order. Authority for the date: Barnard, John. "The Throne Established by Righteousness." Boston, 1734.
Pioneer American Methodist bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: 'Lord, keep me from all the superfluity of dress, and from preaching empty stuff to please the ear, instead of changing the heart.'
Samuel Stillman preaches a sermon titled "The Duty of Magistrates" before the General Court of Massachusetts, calling for a bill of rights for Massachusetts, separation of church and state, and the abolition of slavery. He declares that governments have no right to impose religious practices upon anyone. Authority for the date: www.belcherfoundation.org/duty_of_magistrates.htm.
Consecration in Trinity Church, New York, of Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold, of Massachusetts, an Evangelical, and Bishop John Henry Hobart, of New York, a High-churchman. The pair will do much to revitalize the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. Authority for the date: Bacon, Leonard Woolsey. A History of American Christianity.
Death in London of George Burder, an evangelical pastor and hymnwriter, who had taken part in founding the Religious Tract Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and London Missionary Society in addition to editing The Evangelical Magazine. Authority for the date: Hatfield, Edwin. The Poets of the Church. New York: Anson Randolph & Co., 1884.
Birth of Charles W. Fry, the English musician who, along with his three sons, formed the first Salvation Army brass band. Fry also authored the hymn, "Lily of the Valley."
Honors student Samuel Zwemer is ordained in the Reformed Church of America. He will become a leading missionary to the Islamic world. Authority for the date: J. Christy Wilson, Jr. The Apostle to Islam: The Legacy of Samuel Zwemer.
The Barmen Synod opens, an assembly of German pastors who oppose Nazi racism and adhere to the historic Reformed Confessions, and therefore are known as the "Confessing Church." Authority for the date: Christian History 32 (1991).
German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter: 'We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know; God wants us to realize His presence, not in unsolved problems, but in those that are solved.'
Following a beating by police in a Peruvian jail, Arturo Marin gives his heart to Christ. Later rearrested on mistaken identity, he serves his sentence in two of Peru's worst prisons, where he will lead many men to Christ. After his release, he will become a pastor with Heart Cry mission. Authority for the date: http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/arturo-marin
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