Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, November 21

1526
Francis I, King of France, sends the Provost of Paris to forcibly remove De Berquin from the conciergerie where he is held by enemies of the Reformation. De Berquin seeks reformation without rupture from Rome, but three years later his enemies will use an absence of the king to burn De Berquin to death.
1638
A general assembly at Glasgow abolishes the episcopal form of church government and puts the Presbyterian form in its place.
1706
Rev. John Williams returns to a hero's welcome in Massachusetts on this day, one of the last released of 109 captives taken from Deerfield two and a half years earlier. He will write a bestseller The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion.
1852
Union Institute was chartered by the Methodists in Randolph County, NC. Renamed Trinity College in 1859, the campus moved to Durham in 1892. Tobacco magnate James B. Duke endowed the school with $40 million in 1924, upon which its name was changed to Duke University.
1873
Pope Pius IX condemns the "Old Catholic" movement that rejects the decree of papal infallibility, excommunicating by name their bishop, Joseph Humbert Reinkins, and all other adherents of the movement, labeling them "miserable sons of perdition."
1899
President McKinley tells five visiting clergymen he had not wanted the Philippines, but since they had come into the care of the United States, he had gone down on his knees and prayed to Almighty God for guidance what to do with them. The answer he believed was "that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died."
1907
Birth of Jim Bishop, American journalist. He gave new life to great historical moments through his "day" books, including his 1957 chronicle of "The Day Christ Died."
1920
Wang Ming-Dao writes out a list of his sins, vows to leave them, and receives assurance of forgiveness. He has already been a Christian for many years.
1943
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter: 'A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes...and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.'
1979
Death in Beijing of Zhao Zichen, who developed an influential but anti-supernatural theology and eventually lost his faith entirely, but not before suffering for it at both the hands of the Japanese and the Communists.

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