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Today in Christian History
(traditional date) Death by stoning of mystic and missionary Raymond Lull in Bougie, North Africa (Tunisia). He had been persuaded by a vision to seek the conversion of Muslims, had founded a school to train men to the task, and had studied Islamic culture.
Samuel Skelton and Francis Higginson, Presbyterian reverends, arrive on the ship Talbot to Massachusetts, the first clergymen of that sect in what will become the United States.
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote ina letter: 'Whatever we may undertake with a sincere desire to promote His glory, we may comfortably pursue. Nothing is trivial that is done for Him.'
Bishop Asbury preaches the dedicatory sermon for Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded by Richard Allen and fellow African-Americans after they were segregated from white worshipers in St. George's Church, Philadelphia.
At Casa Guidi (in Florence, Italy) toward morning the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning seemed to be in an ecstasy. She told her husband of her love for him, gave him her blessing, and raised herself to die in his arms. "It is beautiful," were her last words.
In a ceremony that fills Canterbury Cathedral beyond capacity, Samuel Adjai Crowther is consecrated as the first African bishop of the Church of England.
Convinced that he is the long-awaited Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, a Sufi Muslim in Kordofan (then a province of Sudan) proclaims "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God, and Muhammad al-Mahdi is the successor of God's Prophet!" He soon imprisons Christian missionaries and in 1885 will massacre many of the Christians in Khartoum.
Birth of Cyrus H. Gordon, American Jewish archaeological scholar. Having taught Assyriology and Egyptology at Dropsie College in Philadelphia, his his technical writings include the 'Ugaritic Handbook' (1947).
Death of Edward Scribner Ames, a religious pragmatist, who had studied the psychology and sociology of religion. In his book The Divinity of Christ he admitted he was not an orthodox Trinitarian. He saw Jesus as divine in the sense that he revealed divinity, and in the sense that all men share something of the divine, but Christ to him was "a revelation of the best things we know about the world."
Repose (Death) of Archbishop Andrew (Father Adrian) of New Diveyevo Monastery in Jordanville, New York. Born in the Ukraine, he had been forced to flee his native land because of Soviet persecution, eventually migrating to the United States where he established an Orthodox monastery. He was sought out for his deep spirituality.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"