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Today in Christian History
Pope Gregory IX instructs cruel inquisitor Conrad of Marburg "Punish if you will the wicked and perverse, but see that no innocent person suffers at your hands."
German reformer Martin Luther declared: 'For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.'
English Parliament takes up a bill which will exclude bishops from the House of Lords and remove the clergy from the Commission of the Peace and other positions of governmental authority. Owing to the troubled times, the bill will pass, and King Charles will sign it at the plea of his frightened wife.
William Penn was deposed as Governor of Pennsylvania. His overtures of gratefulness to James II for permitting religious freedom for dissenters of the Church of England led William and Mary to charge Penn with being a papist.
Death of fifteen-year-old John of Monemvasia (a town on a Grecian island), after suffering two days from a stab wound given because he refused to convert to Islam.
Birth of American Baptist clergyman Samuel Francis Smith. Credited with writing over 100 hymns, Smith is best remembered as the author of "America" ("My Country, 'Tis of Thee"), written at age 23, while a student at Andover Seminary.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, having left the Church of England, is received into the Roman Catholic church. He becomes a Jesuit priest who works in the slums. After the posthumous publication of his poems, he will be acclaimed as a poet.
Birth of James L Kelso, American Presbyterian archaeologist. He participated in digs at the biblical sites of Debir, Bethel and Jericho, and authored the text "Ceramic Vocabulary of the O.T."
Christian political prisoner Armando Valladares and some of his companions escape from a Cuban prison but are soon recaptured because their rescuers fail to take the plan seriously and do not show up.
Death of Matilda Schmidt Epp, wife of Theodore H. Epp, the voice of Back to the Bible. She was a soul-winner, Bible teacher, and role model to women apart from the work of her better-known husband.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"