Today in Christian History
Father Camillo Constanzo is burned alive at Hirado, Japan, in a heroic martyrdom witnessed by thousands.
The Larger and the Shorter Catechisms -- both prepared by the Westminster Assembly the previous year -- were approved by the British Parliament. These two documents have been in regular use among various Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists ever since.
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'To use the grace given is the certain way to obtain more grace. To use all the faith you have will bring an increase of faith.'
Death of Arthur Henry Hallam, for whom Alfred Lord Tennyson will compose one of the most famous elegies in English literature, "In Memoriam A. H. H."
Antoinette Brown is ordained as minister of the Congregational Church of South Butler, apparently the first woman ordained in a mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. She had trained for many years at Oberlin, but the college had refused her a degree. Eventually she will adopt Unitarian beliefs.
The Pacific Garden Mission opens its world-famous rescue work in Chicago.
Patriarch Mar Abdedmassiah consecrates Mar Ivanios at St. Mary's Church, in Niranam, India. Ivanios takes the name Mar Baselios Paulose I and is the first Catholicose of the Malankara Church. After years of conflict with the Patriarch of Antioch, the Orthodox Church of India thus becomes autocephalous (an independent church).
Pope Benedict XV published the encyclical "Spiritus paraclitus," which restated the Catholic position on Scripture: '...the Bible, composed by men inspired of the Holy Ghost, has God himself as its principal author, the individual authors constituted as his live instruments. Their activity, however, ought not be described as automatic writing.'
A racially motivated bombing kills four African-American girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Ironically, the sermon that day was to be "The Love That Forgives," based on Matthew 5:43-44.
The American Bible Society published the New Testament of its "Today's English Version" (TEV), otherwise known as "Good News for Modern Man." It marked the end of a two-year effort led by chief translator, Robert G. Bratcher. (The complete Good News Bible was published in 1976.)
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"