Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, August 3

Pope Sixtus IV issues the bull Salvator noster, which claims to extend indulgences to cover purgatory and to allow the merits of the saints, Mary, and Christ to become effective for those suffering there: "The souls, that is, for whose sakes the stated quantity or value of money has been paid in the manner declared." Many Catholic theologians protest, noting especially the potential for financial abuse. Authority for the date: British Library. Incunabula Short Title Catalogue.
An order of the French parliament is published throughout Paris to the sound of trumpets, commanding all booksellers, printers, and others with Luther's books in their possession, to give them up within eight days or face imprisonment and fine. Authority for the date: Baird, Henry Martyn. The Rise of the Huguenots.
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'I am no friend to sinless perfection. I believe the existence (though not the dominion) of sin remains in the hearts of the greatest believers.'
Samuel Seabury, having obtained ordination in Scotland, is publicly recognized as Bishop of Connecticut in a convocation at Middletown, Connecticut. He thus becomes the United States' first Anglican bishop (soon reorganized as the Episcopal Church). Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.
Henry Williams arrives in New Zealand where he will become head of the Church of England's mission. Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.
Birth of Maltbie D. Babcock, American Presbyterian clergyman. His pastoral work centered around Maryland and New York, but he is better remembered today as author of the well-known hymn, "This is My Father's World."
Lord Shaftesbury, a notable British philanthropist, lays foundations for a new housing project for the poor. Authority for the date: Dictionary of National Biography.
Death in London of Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott, hymnwriter. "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" will be her best known hymn. Authority for the date: www.ccel.org/ccel/nutter/hymnwriters.ElliottE.html
Leo Tolstoy, Russia's famous novelist, enters pantheistic and anti-trinitarian sentiments into his diary that are contrary to his nation's Orthodox Church: "I say that the God who created the world in six days and who sent His son, and also his son himself, are not God, but that God is the one existing, incomparable good, the beginning of everything . . . " Authority for the date: Townsend, James. "The Theology of Leo Tolstoy." Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 11 (Spring 199
Birth of Martin Noth, German Lutheran Old Testament scholar. His researches concentrated on the "history-of-traditions" approach to analyzing and understanding the Old Testament writings.
Death of Bishop L. H. Holsey in Atlanta, Ga. He had been one of the first bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Authority for the date: Phillips, C. H. The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America.
Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'The Church must not underestimate the importance of human example; it is not abstract argument, but example, that gives its word emphasis and power.'
English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.'
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