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Today in Christian History
[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.
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..."
Death at Altenburg, Saxony, of Georg Spalatin, a friend of Luther. As confidential secretary, councilor, librarian, historian, archivist, and relic-buyer for elector Frederick the Wise he had been able to promote the Reformation.
Puritan John Rainolds suggests to King James I "that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek." James will grant approval the next day. Seven years later, the Authorized Version (King James Version) will be published.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
Great Britain established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
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.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"