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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, July 4

325
A jewel-encrusted Emperor Constantine appears before the Council of Nicea that he has assembled, declaring that "Division in the church is worse than war."
1648
Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, is martyred by the Iroquois.
1755
Death of John Cennick, English clergyman. Born of Quaker parents, he had been raised in the Anglican Church, worked within the Methodist movement under John Wesley, left Wesley to work with George Whitefield, and finally, in 1845, joined the Moravian Brethren. Cennick had published several collections of hymns during his lifetime.
1765
English poet and hymnwriter William Cowper observed in a letter: 'How naturally does affliction make us Christians!'
1832
The national hymn "America" is first sung in public at a children's celebration of Independence Day, at the Park St. Church, Boston. The words had been written that February by the Rev. Samuel F. Smith and are sung to the tune of "God Save the King."
1840
Birth of American sacred composer James McGranahan. His most enduring melodies include CHRIST RETURNETH, MY REDEEMER, NEUMEISTER ('Christ Receiveth Sinful Men') and SHOWERS OF BLESSING.
1870
Birth of James Moffatt, Scottish New Testament scholar. Moffatt translated the New (1913) and Old (1924) Testaments into the colloquial English of his day. They were first published together in 1935.
1887
Excommunication of Roman Catholic priest Edward McGlynn takes effect. He was viewed as insubordinate for taking socialist positions not authorized by the church, including supporting Henry George for mayor of New York City, and then failing to obey a summons to present himself in Rome. Pope Leo XIII will lift the excommunication in 1892.
1948
Kathryn Kuhlman preaches her first sermon in Carnegie Hall. She will become a well-recognized evangelist and faith healer.
1998
An "Orthodox Congress" demonstrates in Jerusalem, working with the Palestine Authority to take control of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

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