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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, April 7

1321
Muslims near Bombay challenge Franciscan Thomas of Tolentino to say what he thinks of Muhammad. When he responds that "Muhammad is the son of perdition and has his place in hell with the devil his father..." they kill him and his companions, who will become known as the Four Martyrs of Tana. Jordanus of Severac survives to bury them and to conduct mission work in India for about ten years.
1779
James Hackman, curate of Wiverton, Norfolk, shoots and kills Martha Reay, mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, outside a London theater. Reay, considerably older than Hackman, seems to have encouraged his attentions because she desired the respectability of marriage which the earl would not give her. Hackman had studied to become a clergyman so that he could support her, but Reay, having borne the earl several children, in the end chose not to leave him. Hackman will be hanged shortly afterward, rejecting an offer of assistance from the earl.
1872
Death of Abigail Bradley Hyde in Andover, Massachusetts. She had written a number of hymns including "Dear Savior, if These Lambs Should Stray."
1884
Birth of C. H. Dodd, English clergyman and Bible scholar. Dodd became the most influential British New Testament scholar of the mid-20th century, and penned over a dozen books, including "The Parables of the Kingdom" (1934).
1933
"German Christians" apply the Nazis' Aryan clause to the church, effectively barring Jews (and individuals of Jewish descent) from holding church offices.
1938
Japanese soldiers shoot Herman Liu in front of his home where he is waiting for a bus with his son. Liu, educated in the West, had become the first Chinese president of the Baptist University of Shanghai. After Japanese occupation, he had resisted them and helped war refugees. Urged by friends to flee he had replied, "I will not desert."
1942
Formation of the National Association of Evangelicals at Hotel Coronado in St. Louis Missouri. Rev. J. Elwin Wright delivers the opening address of a three-day conference. Evangelicals are there to find common ground to fight against evil forces, he says, and to seek ways to fight for Christ aggressively and unitedly.
1947
Repose (death) of Savvas the New, patron saint of the Greek island Kalymnos. An ascetic, he had been priest and spiritual father of the nuns of the Convent of All Saints but was also known for painting icons.
1948
The Episcopal Church consecrates three Filipino bishops, thus extending apostolic succession to the Philippine Independent Church.
2007
Death in Nineveh, New York, of Johnny Hart, following a stroke. He had created the popular comic strip B.C. (featuring Stone Age characters) through which he sometimes expressed evangelical Christian beliefs after his conversion.

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