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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, February 5

1631
Roger Williams arrives in Massachusetts. Five years later he will flee to Rhode Island after questioning the fusion of church and state in Massachusetts. At Providence, he will establish the first Baptist church in America and his writings on religious liberty will influence the development of religious tolerance in the colonies.
1705
Death in Berlin of German theologian and clergyman Philipp Spener, author of Pia desideria. He had been known as the "Father of Pietism."
1736
The English Wesley brothers, John (32) and Charles (28) first arrived in America at Savannah, GA. They had been invited by Georgia governor James Oglethorpe as missionaries to the American Indians.
1812
Rev. Jonathan Allen preaches a sermon in Haverhill, Massachusetts, "on the occasion of the young ladies about to embark as wives of Rev. Messieurs Judson and Newell, going Missionaries to India," "ordaining" Harriet Atwood and Ann Hasseltine as assistant missionaries.
1835
Twelve American Congregationalist missionaries first see Africa from the deck of a ship through a mist. Among them is Daniel Lindley who will win renown educating Africans and pleading with the Dutch-descended Boers to ease their inflexible racism.
1851
Death in Hackney, of Congregationalist John Pye-Smith who had shown ways of reconciling geology and Scripture and been active on social issues such as the corn laws and slavery.
1864
Fanny Crosby writes her first verses for composer William Bradbury, "A Home Beyond the Tide," the beginning of a long and fruitful hymnwriting relationship.
1900
Death of Pandit Kharah Singh. He had wandered India preaching Christ.
1918
Russia's Communists issue a Decree on the Separation of Church and State that strips the church of legal rights and the power to hold property.
1944
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'Much that worries us beforehand can afterwards, quite unexpectedly, have a happy and simple solution... Things really are in a better hand than ours.'

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