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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, July 31

1556
Death of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, of an acute gallbladder attack. He had spent the day before in prayer.
1773
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'Duty is ourpart; the care is His.'
1776
Francis Salvador, a plantation owner from South Carolina, became the first Jewto die for American independence, when he was killed in a skirmish with the British.
1834
Slaves that have been freed in the West Indian Islands hold midnight prayer and thanksgiving services.
1847
Death of Methodist elder Orange Scott. He had presided over the convention that created the Weslyan Methodist Connexion, whose members felt that the Methodist Episcopal Church compromised on too many issues, including slavery.
1871
Death in Newport, Rhode Island of Phoebe Cary. She had written religious poetry, including the hymn "One Sweetly Solemn Thought."
1874
Patrick Francis Healy was inaugurated president of Georgetown University, theoldest Catholic university in America. Healy at the same time became the first African-American to head a predominantly white university.
1889
Death of Horatius Bonar. An editor and pastor in Scotland's Free Church, he had been a prolific writer and poet, authoring several missionary biographies and over six hundred hymns, one of which would maintain its popularity for over a century: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say."
1900
Martyrdom of evangelist Liu Fengshi, formerly a gambler and opium addict. When the Boxers come to Taigu, China, he offers to die first. His wife and daughter-in-law are also beheaded. By the end of the summer, eighty of Taigu's one hundred and twenty Christians will be martyred.
1955
Wang Ming-Dao, a Chinese evangelical pastor, is denounced by the Communist-controlled official church publication.

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