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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, 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."
371
Against his will, Martin is consecrated bishop of Tours. To escape the press of the world, he had founded the first monastery in France.
473
The remains of Martin of Tours are moved (translated) from the small church where they have lain for decades to the new and larger Church of St. Martin of Tours constructed at the instigation of Archbishop Perpetuus of Tours, who will in due course be buried at his famous predecessor's feet.
1648
Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, is martyred by the Iroquois.
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.
1844
Captain Allen Gardiner founds the Patagonian Mission. He will perish in its service in 1851.
1970
American Presbyterian missionary Francis Schaeffer observed in a letter: 'If standards are raised which are not really scriptural,... it can only lead to sorrow. If we try to have a spirituality higher than the Bible sets forth, it will always turn out to belower.'
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"