Today in Christian History
(the 24th or 25th of Safar 400; by some calculations, October 18th). Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, hacking out the church's foundations down to bedrock.
A General Council of the Church opens in Vienne. Its opening had been delayed, waiting for Knights Templars to arrive, but they were already under arrest.
English reformers Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer are burned at the stake under the government of Queen Mary.
The American colony of Maine passed legislation granting religious freedom to all its citizens, on condition that those of contrary religious persuasions behave acceptably.
Birth of Johann G. Eichhorn, German Old Testament scholar. Eichhorn was a pioneer in "higher criticism," which evaluated Scripture through literary analysis and historical evidence, rather than by the unquestioned authority of systematized religious tradition.
In Philadelphia, as the second general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church closed, a church constitution had been adopted. Canons of the new denomination were ratified and a revised version of the "Book of Common Prayer" was authorized.
Death of Daniel Rowland, Welsh evangelist.
Death of Henry Martyn, Anglican missionary to Persia. During his short life of 31 years, he translated the New Testament into Hindustani, later into Arabic and Persian. He died at sea, while returning to England.
After four days of torture, Che Jinguang, an elderly Chinese Christian in Boluo, is ordered to renounce Christianity. When he refuses, he is killed and his body thrown into a river, the first-known Protestant martyr in China.
Death of Horatio Gates Spafford, who penned the hymn "It is Well with My Soul."
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"