Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Monday, July 30

381
Emperor Theodosius issues a decree from Heraclea, containing the names of bishops who are to be regarded as orthodox in their respective districts. Authority for the date: Wace, Henry. A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D.
1233
Conrad of Marburg, a cruel inquisitor, is murdered on a wooded road in Germany. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
1419
The Hussite priest Jan Ĺ˝elivský and his followers, some armed with pikes, swords, and clubs, march to the church of the Virgin Mary of the Snows in Prague from which they have been barred by Catholic authorities. Breaking in, they hold Communion service with both bread and wine. The group proceeds to the town hall where several newly appointed Catholic councilmen are gathered, and demands the release of imprisoned reformers. When the councilmen refuse, the protesters hurl thirteen of them out a window. Those who survive the fall are dispatched by the mob. Authority for the date: Christian History 68 (2000).
1540
Robert Barnes is burned at Smithfield for heresy without a public hearing for his Reformation views. Authority for the date: www.lutheranhistory.org.
1547
John Knox is captured by the French. He had become the chaplain of the killers of Cardinal Beaton of St. Andrews. When the French capture their castle, he is sentenced to the galleys. Eventually he will escape the galleys to become a leader of the Scottish Reformation. Authority for the date: Hughes, Philip. Popular History of the Reformation. Garden City, NY: Hanover House, 1957.
1629
The Puritans of Salem, Mass. appointed Francis Higginson as their teacher andSamuel Skelton as their pastor. The church covenant, composed afterward by these two men,allowed into communion only those who could prove a sound doctrinal knowledge and anexperience of grace in their lives.
1680
Execution of David Hackston of Rathillet in Edinburgh. Involved in the murder of Archbishop James Sharp of St. Andrews, he is executed in a particularly grisly fashion, first having his hands cut off, then being hanged until near death, then having his still-beating heart cut from his body. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
1718
Death of William Penn, 74, English Quaker and founder of American colony ofPennsylvania. Penn permitted in his colony all forms of public worship compatible withmonotheism and religious liberty.
1750
Lutheran missionary Christian Friedrich Schwartz arrives in Tranquebar, India. He will become one of the most successful missionaries of his century to India. Authority for the date: www.lutheranhistory.org.
1784
Fray Francesco Palou, a former schoolmate of Fray Junipero Serra and a brother friar, records the death of his famous predecessor as the last entry of Serra's parish record of all baptisms, marriages, and deaths. Authority for the date: Stoddard, Charles Warren. In the Footprints of the Padres.
1820
Johann Gossner, a German evangelical, preaches his first Russian sermon to a jammed church in St. Petersburg. Many Russians will be converted through his influence. Authority for the date: Brandenburg, Hans. The Meek and the Mighty: The Emergence of the Evangelical Movement in Russia. New York: Oxford U
1822
Pioneer church founder James Varick, 72, was consecrated the first bishop of theAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
1913
Death in Overton, Flintshire, England, of hymnwriter Mary Fawler Maude, best known for "Thine Forever! God of Love." Authority for the date: www.hymnology.co.uk.
1956
By an act of Congress, signed by President Eisenhower, 'In God We Trust' becamethe official U.S. motto.
1964
Wu Weizun, a staunch Christian of Tianjin, China, who has suffered severely for his faith, is summoned by the police and his house is searched. Because he refuses to say anything during his interrogation, acting on three principles he has established for himself based on God's word (non-resistance, not disputing, and not begging) he is sent to a detention center. He will be treated with great harshness and his wife compelled to divorce him. However, he determines to follow Christ at any cost and will do so with consistency for decades. Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity.
1976
Death of Rudolf Bultmann, 92, German Bible scholar and one of the three majorpioneers of modern form 'criticism' (i.e., 'analysis') of the New Testament Gospels.
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