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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, April 28

1521
German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: 'The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man's reason.'
1550
Death of Georg von Polentz. He had been the first Reformation bishop of Samland and Pomesania, a region in Prussia.
1839
Birth of Vernon J. Charlesworth, English clergyman and headmaster at Charles Spurgeon's Stockwell Orphanage. Today, Charlesworth is remembered as author of the hymn, "A Shelter in the Time of Storm."
1848
John Bird Sumner is enthroned as archbishop of Canterbury. An evangelical, he had vigorously improved the diocese of Chester, consecrating over two hundred new churches; had voted for removal of restrictions on Catholics; and had written many books. In Records of Creation, he held that Moses' accounts of creation were credible and fit well with scientific findings. As archbishop he would deal even-handedly with the high and low church parties.
1862
Death of George Washington Bethune, hymn translator, Reformed church pastor, while preaching in Florence, Italy. He will be buried in September and his hymn "It Is Not Death to Die" will be sung at his funeral.
1872
Frances Havergal, in Winterdyne, England, writes the words to the hymn "A Worker's Prayer" aka "Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak." One stanza reads, "O teach me, Lord, that I may teach /The precious things Thou dost impart; /And wing my words, that they may reach /The hidden depths of many a heart."
1874
Birth of Susan Strachan, missions pioneer. Working together with her husband Harry Strachan, in 1921 she helped found the Latin America Mission in Stony Point, NY.
1911
Thousands of Genevans demonstrate for five hours against a religiously inspired ban on gambling. A shocked Karl Barth is appalled at their mindless slogans and comes out in support of the ban.
1916
Death in New York City of Congregationalist clergymen and social gospel advocate Josiah Strong, who had sought to apply Protestant ideals to social problems. He had been a strong advocate of missions, believing that only redemption through Christ could change people's behavior. His most influential book had been Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis.
1973
Death at Toulouse of Jacques Maritain, a leading neo-Thomist philosopher.

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