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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, August 12

Charles the Bald gives Bishop Hincmar an estate - which the bishop will make over to the hospice of St. Denis on his elevation to the archepiscopate.
On command of Pope Alexander IV, Thomas Aquinas is reluctantly admitted as a doctor of theology by the University of Paris. The university had denied mendicant friars (Dominicans and Franciscans) the privilege of occupying university chairs because they had refused to take an oath relating to the autonomy of the university. School leaders had also opposed the friars on a number of other grounds.
During the French Revolution, a decree orders the evacuation of all religious houses that are still occupied by "religious men and women" (meaning monks and nuns), except those that provide medical services or charities. The occupants have until October 1st to comply.
Archibald Alexander becomes the first professor of Princeton, filling its theology chair. Like many of America's premiere colleges and universities, Princeton had been founded to train ministers.
Birth of Joseph Barnby, English organist and choirmaster. He composed nearly 250 hymn tunes during his life. Of these the most enduring include LAUDES DOMINI ("When Morning Gilds the Skies"), LONGWOOD ("Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart"), MERRIAL ("Now the Day is Over") and ST. ANDREW ("We Give Thee But Thine Own").
Ashbel Green Simenton lands in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "What can one or two missionaries accomplish in an empire as large as the United States?" he had asked. "The work is so perfectly hopeless by mere human agency that they who undertake it must either find support by resting upon the power of God or else despair." He will found the first Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In order to carry on his work more effectively, he will move to the center of the city, where he will be exposed to malaria. With friends begging him to leave, he retorts that if foreign merchants live there merely to make money, he should be willing to do so to win souls. He will contract malaria and die at the age of thirty four.
Bolsheviks arrest the Orthodox spiritual father of the Belogorsk monastery, Hieromonk Vyacheslav, whom they will execute.
A group of Ayor
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'I must come to be aware of Satan. He may never get me into hell, but he may cause God shame in defeating me. Preserve me from the lion, Lord. Let him not swallow me up.'
In Rome, the first papal funeral ever held outdoors was conducted for Pope Paul VI in St. Peter's Square.

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