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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, July 4

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."
Against his will, Martin is consecrated bishop of Tours. To escape the press of the world, he had founded the first monastery in France.
A large crowd descends on a church in Constantinople chanting, “Many years to Pulcheria! Many years to the empress!” expressing support for the Christological line Pulcheria has pressed at the Council of Ephesus.
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.
Saladin defeats Christians in Palestine at the Battle of Hattin.
John Frith (Fryth) is burned at the stake in Smithfield by King Henry VIII of England. A Protestant and fellow translator with William Tyndale, he had been accused of heresy.
Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, is martyred by the Iroquois.
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.
English poet and hymnwriter William Cowper observed in a letter: 'How naturally does affliction make us Christians!'
Baptist clergyman Samuel Francis Smith penned the American patriotic hymn,'America' ('My Country, 'tis of Thee'). Smith was unaware that the tune, ironically, was also that of England's national anthem: 'God Save the Queen'!
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."
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.
Death in Lexington, Missouri, of Finis Ewing, one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Captain Allen Gardiner founds the Patagonian Mission. He will perish in its service in 1851.
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.
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.
Kathryn Kuhlman preaches her first sermon in Carnegie Hall. She will become a well-recognized evangelist and faith healer.
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.'
The Baptist convention of Nicaragua issues an appeal against United States intervention in Nicaragua and against an embargo of their nation’s Sandinista Communist regime.
An "Orthodox Congress" demonstrates in Jerusalem, working with the Palestine Authority to take control of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
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