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Today in Christian History
Repose (death) in Antidium of Ioannikios the Great, a monk who had formerly been a brave soldier. As a monk he practiced great austerities and was alleged to have performed miracles. At first he was on the side of those who opposed icons but later came to favor their use.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law making it a capital offense to deny that the Bible was the Word of God. Any person convicted of the offense was liable to the death penalty.
Birth of Anglican clergyman Augustus M. Toplady. A highly respected evangelical leader, Toplady authored the hymn "Rock of Ages" two years before his premature death at 38 in 1778.
John Wesley describes a curious incident in his journal in which a farce titled Trick upon Trick or Methodism Displayed takes place in a hall. As the actors mock Methodism, the crowd is thrown into a panic because their seats and the stage begin to collapse. Undaunted, the actors try several times to go on with the farce, but each time they do, further collapse occurs until finally the show is given up.
The London Missionary Society is founded.
Death of Felix Mendelssohn, whose compositions include the religious oratorios St. Paul and Elijah.
C. T Studd, one of a group of Christian students known as The Cambridge Seven, meets missionary Hudson Taylor and is accepted for service in the China Inland Mission.
Charles A. Briggs is called to present his defense before the New York Presbytery for attacking biblical inspiration.
Pan Xiushan, the first Christian convert of the Hmu tribe in China's Guizhou Province, becomes also the tribe's first martyr when struck down with a sword. Minutes later William Fleming, a missionary for whom he translated, is also killed, the first martyr of the China Inland Mission.
London's "Evening Standard" newspaper published John Lennon's controversial remark stating that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." The quote touched off a storm of controversy and international protest, resulting in a world-wide boycott of Beatles music.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"