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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, August 3

1521
An order of the French parliament is published throughout Paris to the sound of trumpets, commanding all booksellers, printers, and others with Luther's books in their possession, to give them up within eight days or face imprisonment and fine.
1739
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'I am no friend to sinless perfection. I believe the existence (though not the dominion) of sin remains in the hearts of the greatest believers.'
1785
Samuel Seabury, having obtained ordination in Scotland, is publicly recognized as Bishop of Connecticut in a convocation at Middletown, Connecticut. He thus becomes the United States' first Anglican bishop (soon reorganized as the Episcopal Church).
1823
Henry Williams arrives in New Zealand where he will become head of the Church of England's mission.
1858
Birth of Maltbie D. Babcock, American Presbyterian clergyman. His pastoral work centered around Maryland and New York, but he is better remembered today as author of the well-known hymn, "This is My Father's World."
1872
Lord Shaftesbury, a notable British philanthropist, lays foundations for a new housing project for the poor.
1897
Death in London of Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott, hymnwriter. "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" will be her best known hymn.
1898
Leo Tolstoy, Russia's famous novelist, enters pantheistic and anti-trinitarian sentiments into his diary that are contrary to his nation's Orthodox Church: "I say that the God who created the world in six days and who sent His son, and also his son himself, are not God, but that God is the one existing, incomparable good, the beginning of everything . . . "
1920
Death of Bishop L. H. Holsey in Atlanta, Ga. He had been one of the first bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
1944
Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'The Church must not underestimate the importance of human example; it is not abstract argument, but example, that gives its word emphasis and power.'

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