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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, September 27

1177
Pope Alexander III writes a letter to the legendary Prester John, supposedly Christian king over much of central Asia. He entrusts this to Philip, his physician, to deliver. Philip does not survive the attempt to convey it.
1540
Through the encyclical "Regimini militantis ecclesiae," Pope Paul III officially approved the Society of Jesus, a body of priests organized by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534 for missionary work. Today, the Jesuits constitute the largest Catholic teaching order in the United States.
1660
Death of St. Vincent de Paul. After giving his life to serving the poor, he had founded the first Confraternity of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission, and the Daughters of Charity (the first non-monastic women's order completely given to care of the sick and poor).
1674
Death of Thomas Traherne. His poetry, considered worthless at his death, will be rediscovered by William T. Brooke who will point them out to Alexander Grosart much later at an outdoor book stall. Bertram Dobell later proved they were the work of Trahern. Trahern's poems will come to be recognized as among the best of the seventeenth century minor poets, brimming with childlike delight in God's works.
1715
Death at Charterhome, London, of Dr. Thomas Burnet, an English theologian, and author of Sacred Theory of the Earth, popular in its day. He had tried to explain Noah's flood by describing the antedeluvian world as a hollow, oval-shaped object filled with water.
1735
Birth of Robert Robinson, English clergyman and author of the hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." He was converted at age 20 under the preaching of revivalist George Whitefield.
1785
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. was founded on this date, following the American Revolutionary War, when U.S. Anglicans met in Philadelphia to create a denomination independent from and autonomous of the Church of England.
1787
Thought to be a runaway slave, George White is arrested while searching for his mother. He will become a famous itinerant African-American preacher.
1839
G. Tradescant Lay, an English physician, asserts at the first annual meeting of the Medical Missionary Society in Canton, China, that he will endeavor while he has life, to create a nearly universal system to freely give the benefits of "rational medicine" (as opposed to pre-scientific medicine) to the world's poor.
1957
The dramatic anthology series "Crossroads" aired for the last time over ABC television. Depicting the work of various clergymen, the series had premiered in October 1955.

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