Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, October 18

William Sweeting and John Brewster are burned at Smithfield, England, for heresy. Authority for the date: Foxe, John. Acts and Monuments.
During the "Affair of the Placards," pamphlets appear in Paris denouncing the mass and other Roman Catholic practices. Because of the violent and abusive terms on these tracts, Protestants will be persecuted. Authority for the date: Stevenson, William. Story of the Reformation. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1959.
Birth of Matthew Henry, English Presbyterian pastor. He is remembered for his "Exposition of the Old and New Testaments" (1708-10) -- still in print! -- whose value lies in its devotional and practical comments on the books of the Bible.
Death of Fasiladas, emperor of Ethiopia, who had made strenuous efforts to remove Jesuit influence and return his nation to its traditional Orthodox roots. Authority for the date: Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
Louis XIV revoked the 1598 Edict of Nantes, which had permitted French Protestants limited religious tolerance. The Huguenot exodus which followed drained France's industrial economy, and possibly hastened the French Revolution.
Nineteenth-century England offers its last state lottery, having concluded that, although it brought in large revenues, it was evil because it induced many poor people to gamble, and had impoverished many of them. (In 1994 the lottery will be brought back.) Authority for the date: Chambers Book of Days, 1881.
Francis McDougall is consecrated Bishop of Borneo for the Anglican chuch in Labuan and Sarawak where he pioneers a medical mission. He will have little success among the Muslim Malays, will do better among the Chinese traders of Borneo, but will make good progress among the indigenous Dyaks. Authority for the date: Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. (Pelican History of the Church.) Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: P
English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'The [Christian] "doctrines" are translations into our concepts and ideas of that which God has already expressed in language more adequate, namely the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.'
Spetume Florence Njangali is converted and becomes an active member of the East African revival movement within the Anglican Church. She will overcome barriers that had prevented women from obtaining a theological education and ordination as deacons. Authority for the date: Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
Country songwriter Stuart Hamblen, 31, underwent a spiritual conversion. Author of the popular 1954 hit "This Old House," Hamblen later wrote such Christian favorites as "It Is No Secret What God Can Do," "How Big is God?" and "They That Wait Upon the Lord."
"The Week in Religion" aired for the last time over Dumont television. First broadcast in March 1952, this ecumenical Sunday evening panel show divided the hour into 20-minute segments each for Protestant, Catholic and Jewish news.
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