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Today in Christian History
Death of St. Maximus the Confessor, who had been a vigorous opponent of Monothelitism. Dreadfully persecuted, he had been humiliated, had his tongue cut out and his right hand chopped off. Monothelitism was the heresy that Christ had a divine, but no human, will.
In the German village of Herrnhut, religious reformer Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, 27, organized a group of Bohemian Protestant refugees into the first Moravian community of "Unitas Fratrum" (united brotherhood).
John Witherspoon assumes the presidency of Nassau Hall (i.e. the original Princeton).
Death of Tikhon of Zadonsk, a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, notable for his spiritual writings that stressed love and forgiveness. "Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us."
Martin John Spalding is ordained in Rome. He will become bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, where he will work tirelessly to expand the Roman Catholic Church, and will found the American College at Louvain.
Ganga Narayan Sil, a learned convert from Hinduism, preaches his final sermon. Although never formally ordained, he had preached in streets and in chapels, winning Hindus and Muslims to Christ.
Missionary James Stewart arrives in Cape Town, South Africa. He will found the Lovedale Center.
Death of Elizabeth Prentiss, a school teacher who had written the hymn "More Love to Thee, O Christ."
Death of Ira D. Sankey. He had been Dwight L. Moody's song evangelist for three decades, and had penned many hymn tunes, including the tunes to which "Faith is the Victory" and "Simply Trusting Every Day" are sung.
Birth of Rex Humbard, pioneer radio and television evangelist. In 1958 Humbard established the Cathedral of Tomorrow in Akron, Ohio, from which he afterward based his television ministry.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"