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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, May 29

1415
The Council of Constance deposes scandalous Pope John XXIII (later numbered among the antipopes). When he receives notice of his deposition, he removes the papal cross from his room and says he regrets having been elected pope. He will be imprisoned for three years.
1593
John Penry, who has called for reform in the Church of England, is hanged as a traitor based on a satire he did not write and some notes criticizing Queen Elizabeth I.
1698
Construction began on Old Swedes (Holy Trinity) Church in Wilmington, Delaware. The structure has been used continuously as a place of Christian worship ever since.
1734
John Barnard preaches "The Throne Established by Righteousness" before the King's council and representatives in Masachussets, arguing that governments must have the consent of the governed and that government officials should respect church leaders - who in turn should support the government in maintaining order.
1779
Samuel Stillman preaches a sermon titled "The Duty of Magistrates" before the General Court of Massachusetts, calling for a bill of rights for Massachusetts, separation of church and state, and the abolition of slavery. He declares that governments have no right to impose religious practices upon anyone.
1811
Consecration in Trinity Church, New York, of Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold, of Massachusetts, an Evangelical, and Bishop John Henry Hobart, of New York, a High-churchman. The pair will do much to revitalize the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.
1832
Death in London of George Burder, an evangelical pastor and hymnwriter, who had taken part in founding the Religious Tract Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and London Missionary Society in addition to editing The Evangelical Magazine.
1837
Birth of Charles W. Fry, the English musician who, along with his three sons, formed the first Salvation Army brass band. Fry also authored the hymn, "Lily of the Valley."
1890
Honors student Samuel Zwemer is ordained in the Reformed Church of America. He will become a leading missionary to the Islamic world.
1944
German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter: 'We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know; God wants us to realize His presence, not in unsolved problems, but in those that are solved.'

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