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Today in Christian History
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.
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.
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).
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.
Death in London of Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott, hymnwriter. "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" will be her best known hymn.
Gregorio Aglipay founds the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Independent Filipino Church), after the Roman Catholic Church refuses to consecrate any Filipino bishops.
Death of Bishop L. H. Holsey in Atlanta, Ga. He had been one of the first bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
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.'
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"