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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, July 5

1439
Delegates of the Orthodox Greeks sign an Act of Union with the Roman Catholic church, accepting the Latin formulas. However, the union will never take place, because the laity and clergy of the Orthodox church will resoundingly reject the agreement.
1581
At the request of the States of Holland and Zealand, William of Orange assumes "entire authority, as sovereign and chief of the land" as long as war with Spain shall continue. The conflict pitted Protestants vs. Catholics.
1767
Death of ministerial student Michael Bruce at twenty-one years of age. He had written the hymn "How Happy is the Child Who Hears" and other poems showing some talent but did not receive credit for them for a hundred years, his literary executor having passed them off as his own productions.
1768
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'We are reasonable creatures, and undoubtedly reason is the candle of the Lord. By enlightening our reason to see the meaning of the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit makes our way plain before us.'
1833
Henry Wilson, the Anglican bishop of Calcutta, India, states that the caste system must be abolished in Anglican churches. "Those who belong to Christ must give proof of having really put off . . . the old, and having put on the new man in Christ Jesus" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
1903
Death of English theologian William Burt Pope. His Compendium of Christian Theology had set forth in three volumes the strongest arguments of his day for the holiness doctrine of Methodism.
1928
Charles Pean, a Salvation Army worker, sails as a misisionary to notorious Devil's Island.
1962
Death of Helmut Richard Niebuhr, theologian, Yale professor, and author of Christ and Culture.
1963
In an instruction given by the Holy Office, disposal of the dead by cremation was officially granted sanction by the Catholic Church. (Belief in the resurrection of the dead had previously made cremation repugnant to many Christians.)
2007
Unidentified opponents behead Rev. Pau Za Khen, a sixty-two-year-old Lutheran pastor in northeastern India's Manipur. Khen had been abducted from his daughter's home by four men the previous day. He was found with his hands tied behind his back and his eyes blindfolded.

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