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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, November 14

1359
Death of Gregory Palamas, a fourteenth-century Byzantium monk. He had advocated repetitive prayer and devotion to Mary. Having fled from Mt. Athos to escape the Turks, he became bishop of Thessalonica, was excommunicated during power struggles, and eventually rehabilitated.
1558
Dutch Anabaptist reformer Menno Simons wrote in a letter: 'We ought not to dread death so. It is but to cease from sin and to enter into a better life.'
1716
Death at Hanover, Germany, of the Lutheran philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz who refused lucrative positions that would have forced him to change faith. A mathematical genius, the symbols he developed will be used in calculus.
1739
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in his journal: 'We can preach the Gospel of Christ no further than we have experienced the power of it in our own hearts.'
1741
In Wales, English revivalist George Whitefield, 27, married widow Elizabeth Burnell, 36. (Whitefield apparently did not allow marriage to interrupt his evangelistic activities, since he was not home when their first child was born.)
1784
Consecration of American clergyman Samuel Seabury as a bishop of the Anglican Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Church of England had refused to perform the ceremony because he would not swear loyalty to the crown. The following year he formally becomes America's first Anglican bishop. Five years later, he will help reorganize America's Anglicans as the Episcopal Church.
1869
Death of Elizabeth Maria Thompson, founder of the Lebanon Evangelical Mission. She had gone to Lebanon to comfort the widows and orphans created by a Muslim massacre of the Christian males at Damascus.
1876
The Christian-sponsored Girl's Higher Normal School opens in Tokyo, Japan.
1910
Death of John La Farge, a Roman Catholic artist, who had painted murals for Trinity Church, Boston, and the Church of the Ascension, New York City. He had also produced notable work in glass and other media.
1990
Death of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge. He had become a Roman Catholic in his old age and wrote a skeptical life of Christ and The Third Testament, a look at the lives of some notable but eccentric Christians. It was he who also brought Mother Teresa to world attention

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