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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, August 7

44
[possible date] Death in Caesarea of Herod Agrippa, persecutor of the Apostles, who had executed James, the brother of John.
768
Stephen IV, a Sicilian, is consecrated pope. He will form a close relationship with Pepin, the Frankish king, who will grant him the first of the papal estates.
1409
The Council of Pisa closes. Convened to end the Great Schism (1378-1417) caused by two rival popes, the Council had in fact worsened the situation, by electing a third pope, Alexander V (afterwards regarded as an antipope).
1560
Ratification of the Scots Confession by the Scottish Parliament marked the triumph of the Reformation in Scotland, under the leadership of John Knox. (In 1647, the Scots Confession was superseded by the Westminster Confession.)
1656
Eight Quakers who had arrived in Boston on the Speedwell twelve days earlier are imprisoned and banished, but will be compelled to work until the ships that brought them to America take them away.
1737
Twenty-year-old Benjamin Beddome hears a visiting preacher speak on the text "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent," and is deeply moved. Within two years he will be studying for the pastorate. Under his preaching a revival will break forth in Gloucestershire in 1741, during which forty people will be saved. In 1743 he will accept a different pastorate and will write new hymns for the close of each service.
1771
Francis Asbury volunteers to go to America for the purpose of expanding its small, struggling Methodist Church.
1847
Death in Economy, Pennsylvania, of Johann Georg Rapp, a German emigrant who had founded a Pietist community. After his death, the colony will soon fail because it practices rigorous celibacy and cannot find enough new members to sustain itself.
1865
Repose (death) of Anthony of Optina, a notable monastic leader in the Russian Orthodox Church who had labored to uplift the spiritual tone of the monks under his care until he became too ill to work.
1997
Death of Mrs. Minnie Janofski, who as a widow had become an assistant to missionaries in Bolivia twenty-four years earlier, cooking, sewing, and mending as needed, showing that age and lack of extraordinary skills need not be an impediment to Christian service.

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