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Today in Christian History
Death of Clare of Assisi, a Benedictine nun known for her spiritual relationship with St. Francis and for founding the Poor Clares.
Death of Tetzel in Leipzig, "neglected, smitten in soul, and full of misery." A hawker of indulgences, he had been a relentless foe of Luther. After indulgences had fallen into disrepute through Luther's teaching, Tetzel complained to Rome that he was safe nowhere, but Luther, when he heard of his illness, had written him a kind letter, forgiving him.
The Zurich town council agrees to suppress Anabaptists.
Robert Barclay completes a catechism and confession of faith, his first mature works.
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'Scriptural faith is a very different thing from a rational assent to the Gospel. Christ is not only the object, but the Author and Finisher of faith.'
Death of composer Lowell Mason in Orange, New Jersey. His publication of church music had been prolific, with over fifteen hundred sacred compositions to his credit. His popular tunes included those to which we sing "Nearer, My God, to Thee,"" When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," "My Faith Looks Up to Thee," and "Blest Be the Tie that Binds."
Death of John Henry Newman. Ordained an Anglican in 1824, he had become a leader in the Oxford Movement, aiming to restore the Church of England to high church principles. But in 1843 he had left Protestantism to become a Roman Catholic. His autobiography, Aplogia pro vita sua, will later be considered a Christian classic.
In Toledo, Ohio, three Lutheran synods merged to form the American Lutheran Church. (In 1960 the ALC merged with two other branches of Evangelical Lutheranism, and in 1988 joined with a third Lutheran group to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ELCA.)
Birth of Jerry Falwell, U.S. Baptist clergyman. Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, he has also been an active political lobbyist and once headed the Liberty Federation (formerly called Moral Majority), a Christian lobby which Falwell founded in 1979.
Death of Georges Vasilievich Florovsky, a twentieth-century Orthodox theologian, known for his eccumenism, profound learning, and clear writing on many areas of church life.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"