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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, August 2

1776
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Use all the ability which God gives, and He will give you more.'
1844
Isaac Hecker makes his confession and is received into the church. He will found the Paulists to convert Americans to Catholic Christianity.
1861
Death in Versailles of Father Gioacchino Ventura, a controversial Catholic writer and Italian patriot, whose voice was often raised in behalf of liberty, limited government, decentralization, and constitutionalism. He had also written a book The Mother of God, Mother of People (1840) that advocated the priesthood of women, contending that Mary, as mother of Jesus, acted as a priest to sacrifice her son.
1881
Sergius Georgievich Golubyatnikov is ordained to the Orthodox priesthood in Russia, taking the name Seraphim. He will rise to become a bishop but will be imprisoned in 1917 for condemning the Bolsheviks' February revolution. He will become the first prisoner at the Novospassky monastery when it is converted to a prison and will be executed (it is thought) in 1921.
1907
The Vatican issued the decree "Ne temere," declaring that marriages of Catholics were valid only if celebrated before a duly qualified priest and at least two witnesses.
1908
Death of Frederik Franson, missions pioneer. As a young man, Frederik Franson had collapsed from exhaustion and malaria while working a farm in Nebraska. During his recovery, he had read the Bible and became convinced he needed Christ in his life. Afterward, in 1890, Franson had founded T.E.A.M. (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) in Chicago. In his mission work, he had often encountered persecution and had even been jailed for his faith activities.
1916
Death of Samuel David Ferguson, a leading educator and bishop of the Episcopal Church in Liberia, and the first African American elected a bishop of the Episcopal Church, although he served in that capacity only in Liberia.
1946
English literary scholar and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'Apologetic work is so dangerous to one's faith. A doctrine never seems dimmer to me than when I have just successfully defended it.'
1947
Death from tuberculosis of Liu Tingfang, a prominent Presbyterian educator and church leader in China.
1948
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot penned this prayer in his journal: 'Father, teach me the speed of eternity. Synchronize my movements with the speed of Thine Own heart then, hasting or halting, I shall be in good time.'

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