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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, July 8

1115
Death of French monk Peter the Hermit at Neufmoutier-by-Huy. He had helped inspire the Crusades.
1413
Jan Hus's De ecclesia (On the Church) is read in Bethlehem chapel, Prague. Cardinal D'Ailly will later complain at the Council of Constance that it combats the pope's plenary authority as much as the Koran.
1622
Pope Gregory XV issues a brief allowing Philip Neri's Congregations of the Oratory to govern themselves independently of one another.
1623
Death of Pope Gregory XV in Rome from a fever, after several days in great misery.
1663
King Charles II of England grants a charter to Rhode Island colony that guarantees religious freedom regardless of "differences in opinion in matters of religion."
1681
Death in Thuringia of Georg Neumark, German educator and hymnwriter, author, and composer of the hymn "If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee." Twice during his life he had lost everything he owned: once to robbers and once to fire. These losses seem to have contributed much to the depth of his religious verse.
1813
The remains of eccentric preacher William Huntington, formerly a coal shoveler, are transferred from a temporary grave at Tonbridge Wells to a permanent one at Lewes. The gravestone is inscribed with an epitaph he had written a few days before death, leaving space for dates and age: "Here lies the Coal-heaver, who departed this life [July 1, 1813] in the [69th]; beloved of his God, but abhorred by men. The Omniscient Judge, at the Great Assize, shall ratify and confirm this, to the confusion of many thousands; for England and its metropolis shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. W.H. S.S." S.S. means "Sinner Saved."
1939
After just a month in America where he was to lecture, Dietrich Bonhoeffer departs for Germany, writing to Reinhold Niebuhr, "I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people."
1948
The Moscow Conference convenes to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.
2001
Vonette Bright celebrates the release of a new series of books, My Heart in His Hands, at a Sunday reception in Atlanta. The four-book devotional series for women has been written to complement the seasons of a women's life through inspiring stories and Scripture verses, with much of the content culled from her Women Today radio program.

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