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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, February 7

543
Benedict of Nursia visits his twin sister Scholastica. According to Pope Gregory I, knowing that she will soon die, Scholastica asks her brother to stay beside her. Benedict refuses. Scholastica lowers her eyes in prayer and such a severe thunderstorm comes up that Benedict cannot leave. Three days later, his sister dies.
1451
Death of Peter of Mladonovice, friend of Jan Hus and recorder of that martyr's mistreatment and death at the hands of the Council of Constance.
1497
Girolamo Savonarola and his followers burn works of art in Florence.
1528
Bern, the strongest canton (territorial division) in southern Switzerland in its day, officially embraced the Protestant faith of Swiss reformers Ulrich Zwingli and John Oecolampadius.
1546
Eleven days before his death, German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter to his wife Kate: 'I have a better Caretaker than you and all the angels. He it is who lies in a manger ...but at the same time sits at the right hand of God, the almighty Father. Therefore be at rest.'
1569
Philip II, king of Spain, decrees the establishment of the Inquisition in Lima. Among its many victims will be Jews.
1642
Death of Anglican prelate William Bedell, bishop of Kilmore, Ireland, as the result of torture and exposure. Although he had been popular with both Roman Catholics and Protestants because of his fair dealings and insistance on presenting the gospel in Gaelic, Roman Catholics seized him because he would not hand over refugees to be murdered.
1649
The British Parliament ratifies the Westminster Confession which had been accepted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the previous August.
1672
Solomon Stoddard accepts a call as pastor of Northampton Church, Massachusetts. He will minister there for fifty-five years. Among his most famous innovations will be the so-called "Halfway Covenant" that will allow people who are unsure of their salvation to partake of Communion. He will also become the grandfather of famed theologian Jonathan Edwards.
1832
Birth of Hannah Whitall Smith, American Quaker evangelist and devotional author. Her best-known writing was "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" (1875). It's still in print!
1856
Rev. Daniel Bliss lands in Syria where he will work as a missionary for close to fifty years, seven years in traditional activities and the remainder as an educator.
1869
Connecticut Congregational clergyman Samuel Wolcott, 56, upon returning home from a YMCA evangelistic service, penned the words to the missionary hymn, "Christ for the World We Sing."
1876
Moody and Sankey commence a New York evangelistic "crusade" at the Great Roman Hippodrome on Madison Avenue.
1916
The Orthodox monk Hermogenes is tonsured at the Belogorsk monastery. Two and a half years later he will be shot by Bolsheviks.
1938
Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller is put on trial by the Nazis because of his outspoken opposition to their policies and will be incarcerated for seven years, most of it in a concentration camp.
1943
David H. Youngdahl becomes the first chaplain endorsed by the Baptist General Conference to die in military service, going down on a transport en route to Europe during World War II.
1947
U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall prayed: 'We want to do right, and to be right; so start us in the right way, for Thou knowest that we are very hard to turn.'
1977
Rhodesian terrorists kill seven white Roman Catholic missionaries, including four nuns, at St. Paul's Mission, Musami. They ignore black Christians and staff.
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