Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, June 23

Emperor Otto I forces the Romans to give up Benedict, a deacon whom they had elected pope to replace the wicked John XII. Authority for the date: "Benedict V (Grammaticus)." The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
Bohemian reformer and martyr Jan Hus wrote in a letter: 'It is difficult to...esteem it all joy in various temptations. It is easy to talk about...but difficult to fulfill it.'
Death of Mark of Ephesus after an excruciating two-week battle with intestinal illness. He was famous for standing alone for the Eastern church at the Council of Florence when other eastern leaders conceded to Rome. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
Knights of Malta lose their fort at St. Elmo to an attack by Ottoman Turks but will eventually drive the Turks from Malta. Authority for the date: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/the-siege-of-malta-capture-of-st-elmo-23-june-1565-172496
A vendor, slitting open a giant codfish at Cambridge fish market, finds a rancid, half-digested copy of a volume of the martyr John Frith's shorter works in its belly. Authority for the date: "Vox Piscis: or The Book-Fish" http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/content/114/457/574.extract
English Quaker William Penn signed his famous treaty with the Indians of Pennsylvania. Voltaire once remarked that it was the only treaty never sworn to, and never broken.
Birth of Samuel Medley, English Baptist clergyman and author of the hymn, 'O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth.'
Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'True religion is not a science of the head so much as an inward and heartfelt perception.... Here the learned have no real advantage over the ignorant.'
Clarissa Whitman, the beautiful two-year old daughter of missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, drowns while fetching water in two cups. Authority for the date: Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. Northwest Interpretive Association: Seat
Samuel H. Walker, a Methodist Episcopal layman, leads in the formation of the Anti-Saloon League of the District of Columbia. It will pioneer a national movement, subsequently overshadowed by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Authority for the date: Leete, Frederick DeLand. Christian Brotherhoods. Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham, 1912.
J. Gresham Machen, Presbyterian educator and defender of orthodoxy, is ordained at Plainsboro, N.J. Authority for the date: Piper, John. http://www.desiringgod.org/library/biographies/93machen.html
Walter J. Ciszek is arrested in Russia where he has been preaching the gospel in spite of Communist laws against doing so. His book He Leadeth Me will recount his experiences and sufferings. Authority for the date: Ciszek, Walter J. He Leadeth Me. Ignatius Press, 1995.
Death of Emily Divine Wilson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She wrote hymn tunes, including the tune to which we sing "When we all get to heaven." Authority for the date: hymntime.com
Death of Johan Herman Bavinck a Dutch missionary. He had labored in Indonesia and later taught at Kampen Theological College and at the Free University of Amsterdam. Authority for the date: Gerald H. Anderson, et al, eds. Mission Legacies. Biographical Studies of Leaders of the Modern Missionary Movement, M
Paul VI issued the encyclical 'Sacerdotalis Caelibatus,' reaffirming the Catholic Church's requirement of celibacy with the priesthood.
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