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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, January 16

648
[Approximate year.] Death at Forsheim, France, of St. Fursey who had founded monasteries in England and Gaul. Many years earlier, Fursey, while seriously ill, had fallen into a trance in which he saw visions of heaven and hell that he recorded. These will probably be among the sources from which Dante will draw inspiration for the descriptions of hell and heaven in his Inferno and Paradiso.
1543
British Parliament prohibits the reading of the New Testament in English by "women or artificer's prentices, journeymen, servingmen of the degree of yeoman, or under, husbandmen or labourers..."
1545
Death of Georg Spalatin, 61, German reformer and friend of Martin Luther. Spalatin's court life allowed him to give secular government a better understanding of Luther's ideas.
1604
At the Hampton Court Conference in England, John Rainolds presented to King James I the motion '...that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible.' Approved the next day, Rainolds' motion led to the 1611 publication of the Authorized (King James) version of the Bible.
1630
Archbishop William Laud consecrates St. Catherine Cree Church, in Leadenhall Street, London, with ritual and ceremony that his detractors consider excessive and counter to Reformation or Puritan tendencies.
1650
Death of Blessed Maximus, Priest of Totma in Vologda District, a "fool for Christ" who had continually fasted and prayed. The Orthodox consider him a saint because of miracles alleged to have occurred at his tomb.
1740
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'If I see a man who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity, I am not very solicitous to what...communion he belongs. The Kingdom of God, I think, does not consist in any such thing.'
1786
The Virginia Legislature adopted the Ordinance of Religious Freedom, which guaranteed that no man would be forced to attend or support any church. This mandate later became the model for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1815
Reformer Henry Thornton dies at William Wilberforce’s house in London, England. A banker and Parliamentarian, he had been the financial brains behind the social schemes of the philanthropic and anti-slavery group known as the Clapham Sect.
1899
Death in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, of Charles P. Chiniquy, who had been a Catholic priest but, following disciplinary action, left the church and became a popular American agitator against Catholicism and the author of the anti-Catholic book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. He had also blamed Lincoln’s assassination on a Catholic conspiracy.
1929
Abraham Odekunle Aiki returns to his home town in Ilero, Nigeria, where for more than forty years he will preach, visit, pray, and study. His church will grow from thirty-nine members to over one thousand, and he will plant several new churches and establish a school where none had previously existed.
1982
Great Britain established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
1999
United Methodists disturb many fellow Methodists and other traditional Christians by "blessing" a lesbian couple before fifteen hundred people in Sacramento, California. The women were lay leaders who had lived together for fifteen years.
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