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Today in Christian History
Death of Leonard Euler, in St. Petersburg. He had been a notable mathematician and a dedicated Christian apologist. In the latter capacity, he experienced the gibes of Voltaire and of Frederick the Great.
Death of Elie Neau, a French Huguenot. Because of persecution, he had fled to the New World. Captured by a French corsair, he had been returned to France where efforts were made to force him to convert to Catholicism. Having refused to give way, he was kept three years in prison, a year in the galleys, and another year in a dungeon until England obtained his release. He had said to one captor, "Sir, do not pity me, for could you but see the secret pleasures my heart experiences, you would think me happy." Later, living in the United States, he ran a school for slaves.
The first American congregation of Dunkards (German Baptists) gathered in Philadelphia, PA.
Robert Morrison reaches Canton, China, where he will translate the Bible into Chinese.
Samuel Marsden is shipwrecked while sailing to take the gospel to the Maori of New Zealand.
Death of Hannah More, Christian playwriter, Sunday school leader, and philanthropist.
St. Louis, Missouri, became the site of the first Hebrew synagogue to be built in the Mississippi Valley.
Death of Starets (Elder) Macarius, who had translated many Greek texts of the holy fathers into Russian, bringing renown to the Optina Monastery.
Sir Michael Costa's oratorio Naaman receives its first performance - at the Birmingham Festival in England, the same venue which nineteen years earlier had premiered Mendelssohn's Elijah.
The first cathedral of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the U.S. and Canada was dedicated in Hackensack, NJ. The American archdiocese for this branch of Orthodoxy was created the previous year by Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Yacoub III.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"