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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, August 2

1555
Martyrdom of James Abbes. The bishop of Norwich had tried to convince him to recant and given him money. When Abbes returns and throws down the money, saying he was wrong to have accepted it, the bishop again reasons with him but finally hands him over to secular authorities to be burned alive at Bury.
1564
Pius IV issues the motu proprio (personal edict) Alias nonnullas constitutiones appointing eight cardinals to bring discipline to church music in conformity with a decision of the Council of Trent.
1776
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Use all the ability which God gives, and He will give you more.'
1861
Death in Versailles of Father Gioacchino Ventura, a controversial Catholic writer and Italian patriot, whose voice was often raised in behalf of liberty, limited government, decentralization, and constitutionalism. He had also written a book The Mother of God, Mother of People (1840) that advocated the priesthood of women, contending that Mary, as mother of Jesus, acted as a priest to sacrifice her son.
1881
Sergius Georgievich Golubyatnikov is ordained to the Orthodox priesthood in Russia, taking the name Seraphim. He will rise to become a bishop but will be imprisoned in 1917 for condemning the Bolsheviks' February revolution. He will become the first prisoner at the Novospassky monastery when it is converted to a prison and will be executed (it is thought) in 1921.
1916
Death of Samuel David Ferguson, a leading educator and bishop of the Episcopal Church in Liberia, and the first African American elected a bishop of the Episcopal Church, although he served in that capacity only in Liberia.
1942
Burial in Tobolsk of the Orthodox bishop Vladyka Hermogenes whom the Bolsheviks had martyred in June for his outspoken censure of their evil behavior.
1947
Death from tuberculosis of Liu Tingfang, a prominent Presbyterian educator and church leader in China.
1948
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot penned this prayer in his journal: 'Father, teach me the speed of eternity. Synchronize my movements with the speed of Thine Own heart then, hasting or halting, I shall be in good time.'
1982
Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'There is the constant danger of slipping into the idea that if a person has sufficient faith, he will always be healed. This is clearly not what the Bible teaches.'

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