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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, May 19

363
During the night and early morning, earthquakes accompanied by ball lightening disrupt an attempt to rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem that was to begin the next day. These forces destroy much of the material gathered for the work. The rebuilding had the backing of the pagan emperor Julian as one of his lines of opposition to Christianity; and the event will be recounted in numerous contemporary and near-contemporary sources - Pagan, Jewish, and Christian.
988
Death of Archbishop Dunstan of Canterbury who had attempted to integrate the Danes fully into the English church and nation.
1125
Death of Vladimir Monomachus. As the Christian ruler of Kiev, he strove to unite Russians and end in-fighting among Russian families. His writings show him to have been pious and to have recognized that faith is only demonstrated by works. "Oh, my children! Give praise to God and love also mankind. Neither fasting, nor solitude, nor monastic life shall save you, but good deeds." He invoked Christ constantly in prayer.
1382
(or the 21st) An earthquake shakes London about 2 pm as a synod, led by Archbishop William Courtnay, meets to condemn John Wycliffe for his efforts to reform the church.
1662
The Cavalier Parliament passes "An Act for the Uniformity of Public Prayers and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies; and for establishing the Form of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, in the Church of England." The act requires reordination of many pastors, gives unconditional consent to the Book of Common Prayer, advocates the taking of the oath of canonical obedience, and renounces the Solemn League and Covenant. Great persecution will follow and about two thousand Puritan ministers will be ejected from their positions.
1740
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'True faith is not merely in the head, but in the heart.'
1861
Ashbel Green Simonton, a Presbyterian missionary to Brazil, holds his first service in Rio de Janeiro.
1885
The complete Old and New Testament English Revised Version (EV or ERV) of the Bible was first published in England. After a promised 20-year wait, U.S. scholars on the ERV committee published an "Americanized" edition in 1905, known afterward as the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible.
1971
"Godspell" first opened at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City. The musical by Stephen Schwartz is based on the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, and is still produced by secular and religious theater groups today.
1979
Businessman Carlos Annacondia gives his life to Christ in San Justo, Argentina, at an evangelistic meeting led by Manuel A. Ruiz of Panama. He will become an evangelist who preaches on five continents, and eventually will head the Message of Salvation Christian Mission Team, connected with the Assemblies of God.

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