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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Monday, May 4

Pope Alexander IV founded the Roman Catholic religious order of the Augustine Hermits.
Pope Alexander VI issued "Inter caeterea II," which divided possession of the New World discoveries by Spain and Portugal along a longitudinal line running 250 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.
Traveling home from the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther is taken into protective custody by order of German ruler Frederick the Wise and held at Wartburg, where he will translate the Bible into German.
Three Carthusian monks and two other priests are hanged, drawn, and quartered in London for refusing to submit to Henry VIII as head of the church. The Carthusians are John Houghton, Robert Lawrence, and Augustine Webster. Richard Reynolds is a learned Bridgettine monk. The fifth martyr is John Haile, vicar of Thistleworth.
Dutch missionary George Candidius lands in Formosa where he will zealously begin to learn the language and preach.
Death of Isaac Barrow, an eminent English divine, educator, mathematician, and classics scholar, whose sermons will be reprinted for two hundred years. He will, however, be most remembered by later generations for his influence on Isaac Newton.
Death in Bavaria of Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, a hymnwriter and Christian student of the Kabbalah, which he had begun translating into Latin. His most notable hymns were “Jesus, Sun of Righteousness” and “Dayspring of Eternity.”
Anna Nitschmann of the Moravians enters into a covenant before God which will later be observed as an annual Choir Festival, in which Moravian Sisters remember Nitschmann's original covenant, renew it for themselves, and initiate new members into the Choir.
The Moravians in Pennsylvania established the Moravian Women's Seminary at Bethlehem. It was the first educational institution of its kind established by the "Unitas Fratrum" in (colonial) America.
Birth of Carl G. Glaser, German music teacher. Of his many choral pieces, Glaser is primarily remembered today for his hymn tune AZMON, to which the Church today sings: "O For a Thousand Tongues."
Death of Methodist superintendant Thomas Coke while leading a group of missionaries to India.
A committee at Mount Vernon Church, Boston, reluctantly accepts Dwight L. Moody into church membership, having already rejected him once because of his complete ignorance of Christian truth. Moody will develop into an evangelist of international fame.
Death in San Francisco of Lutheran frontier evangelist and pastor Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken, who had worked primarily around Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had been instrumental in attracting many Lutheran pastors from Germany to America and in setting the evangelical tone of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.
Rufus Wilder Miller, of the Reformed Church, organizes a Bible study and prayer group called the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip at Reading, Pennsylvania. Loosely based on a Scottish organization that had inspired Miller, it soon will multiply chapters across denominational lines, becoming a trailblazer in such interdenominational activity.
Many people gather to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Michael Augustine Corrigan's episcopal consecration. Laymen, priests, and prominent Catholics will testify to the virtues of this Archbishop of New York.
Death at Hampstead of W. Robertson Nicoll, editor of the British journal The Expositor and author/editor of the fifty-volume Expositor’s Bible (to which twenty-eight other scholars contributed).
Under arduous wartime conditions, Mei Yiqi, a Christian educator, becomes president of a makeshift university at Kunming, organized in exile out of three refugee universities' faculties.
Bandits torture and murder Vasily Martysz, a Polish Orthodox priest. After serving as a priest in Alaska and Pennsylvania, he had returned to Poland, where following World War I he organized a chaplaincy for the Polish army and labored to make the Polish Orthodox Church self-ruling. He had retired by the time of his death.
In deciding the legal case "Walz v. Tax Commission of New York," the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a New York statute exempting church-owned property from taxation.
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