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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, March 31

1492
Queen Isabella, having compelled Muslims to convert to Christianity or leave Spain, now signs a similar decree relating to her Jewish subjects, ordering them to convert to Christianity or face expulsion. It will not actually be issued for another month and will allow three months for compliance.
1515
Needing money to rebuild St. Peter's basilica, Pope Leo X announces a sale of indulgences to run for eight years beginning this day. Albert of Brandenberg, deeply in debt after purchasing his position as archbishop, is allowed to keep half the proceeds, but will not profit as greatly as he hopes because the indulgence will anger the friar Martin Luther, who will post his Ninety-Five Theses in response. The Reformation will result.
1783
On Easter Sunday, Fra Junipero Serra founds San Buenaventura, the ninth Spanish mission in California.
1787
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'When the witness and the fruit of the Spirit meet together, there can be no stronger proof that we are of God.... Were you to substitute...reason for the witness of the Spirit, you would never be established.'
1816
Death near Fredericksburg of Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. He had preached his last sermon in Richmond, Virginia, just a week earlier.
1901
Death in Verona, Italy, of John Stainer, composer of much church music, including the cantata The Crucifixion.
1950
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'How the Savior suffered in the sinner's place! What tormented him in time menaces the sinner for eternity.'
1958
English apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to an American Lady": 'What most often interrupts my own prayers is not great distractions but tiny ones things one will have to do or avoid in the course of the next hour.'
1976
American Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in your pastor. If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person, we would be on shifting sand.'
2011
Death of Tanzanian evangelist Yohana Zebedayo who worked with the Africa Inland Church, preaching Christ-centered sermons.

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