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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, April 4

636
Death of Isidore, archbishop of Seville, a Spanish scholar famous for his Etymologies, an encyclopedia of early medieval knowledge that used liberal arts and secular learning as the foundation of Christian education.
814
Death in Constantinople of Platon, an uncle of Theodore the Studite. The funeral oration Theodore composes for his uncle will become one of the most important sources for the history of Theodore's family. (Theodore will be famous as a champion for the restoration of icons.)
896
Death of controversial Pope Formosus. His bones will be exhumed and his corpse tried by Pope Stephen VI but he will be reburied with full honors in St. Peter's the following year under Pope Romanus.
1081
Emperor Alexius Comnenus is crowned emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). He will do much to restore its strength and his appeal to the West for military assistance will be a major factor in instituting the crusades.
1660
King Charles II of England, still in exile, issues the Breda Declaration, making promises that he will violate soon after his return to England, among them "We do declare a liberty to tender consciences; and that no man shall be disquieted, or called in question, for differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom." He will be a great persecutor of Presbyterians and of Independents such as John Bunyan.
1687
King James II of England issues a Declaration of Indulgence, granting full liberty of worship in England. Because he goes around the constitution by not consulting Parliament, even many of its beneficiaries are displeased.
1840
Death of John Campbell, a Scottish businessman, missionary, preacher, and philanthropist. He had founded a tract society, numerous Sunday schools, societies for disgraced women, and a Bible society. At the request of the London Missionary Society he had even inspected mission work in South Africa. Among his charitable activities he brought Africans to Britain for training and advocated the abolition of the slave trade.
1889
Death from pneumonia of Asa Mahan, an American holiness leader and the first president of Oberlin College and of Adrian College. One of the last things he said to his wife Mary was, "Let us praise God, my dear, for all his goodness today before you go."
1944
The BBC broadcasts "The New Man," the seventh and last of C.S. Lewis's pre-recorded fifteen-minute talks known as "Beyond Personality," all of which will later be included in his book Mere Christianity.
1964
Brazil's leading Catholics side with dictator General Castelo Branco against the social democrat João Goulart, issuing a manifesto entitled "Brazil Has Decided for Freedom" in which they denounce atheistic communism.

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