Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, December 15

Eusebius (not to be confused with historian Eusebius of Caesarea) becomes the first bishop of Vercelli, Italy, receiving his consecration from Pope Julius I. He will be influential in having the Nicene Creed restored throughout the empire. Authority for the date: The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909.
Geneva’s Council recommends Sebastian Castellio’s appointment as preacher. He is one of the few Genevan clergy who will visit plague victims during the epidemic that year. Authority for the date: Zweig, Stefan. The Right to Heresy or, How John Calvin Killed a Conscience: Castellio Against Calvin.
Dutch Anabaptist reformer Menno Simons wrote in a letter: 'Wherever there is a pulverized and penitent heart, there grace also is, and wherever there is a voluntary confession not gained by pressure, there love covereth a multitude of sins.'
In England, proto-Baptist minister and founder of Rhode Island, 26-year-old Roger Williams married Mary Barnard, daughter of a Puritan clergyman. Two years later, he and his wife sailed from Bristol to Massachusetts.
In his first official act as a bishop, Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf ordains Peter Bohler. Authority for the date: Weinlich, John R. Count Zinzendorf. Nashville: Abington Press, 1956.
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'My brother, entreat the Lord that I may grow in grace, and pick up the fragments of my time, that not a moment of it may be lost.'
The United States Bill of Rights is ratified, guaranteeing freedom of religion among other liberties. Authority for the date: http://www.magnacartaplus.org/usa-rights
Death in Cape Town of missionary-physician Johannes Van Der Kemp. Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.
African-American Methodists from eight local conferences meet in Jackson, Tennessee. They will found the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Authority for the date: Phillips, Charles Henry. History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America.
Death at Oxford, England, of hymnwriter Sarah Doudney. Her best-known hymns were "The Christian's Good Night" and "The Master Hath Come." Authority for the date: Cyberhymnal.
British apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'May it please the Lord that...faith unimpaired may strengthen us, contrition soften us and peace make us joyful.'
More than 400 American Roman Catholic theologians charged that the Vatican had been throttling church reforms and imposing "an excessive Roman centralization." They contended that the Vatican had undercut a greater role for women, slowed the ecumenical drive for Christian unity and undermined the collegial functioning of national conferences of bishops.
Saudi Arabians arrest thirty-five Ethiopian Christians for praying in Jeddeh but charge them with meeting in a mixed company of men and women. They strip the women and search their body cavities. The Christians will be imprisoned several months until deported back to Ethiopia. Authority for the date: Persecuted: the global assault on Christians.
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