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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, November 23

615
Death of the Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus at Bobbio, Italy, in one of the many monasteries he had founded.
857
Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople is deposed and banished, having refused Holy Communion to Emperor "Cesar" Bardas because he was living in incest with his daughter-in-law Eudocia. Photius is made Patriarch in his place, although Ignatius will eventually be restored.
1585
(or 20th) Death in London of Thomas Tallis, composer of fine Christian music, including the highly regarded Lamentations of Jeremiah and a number of psalm settings.
1654
French thinker Blaise Pascal undergoes a profound religious conversion, which he records on paper, giving the date and time, followed by the mystical words: "Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ..."
1729
German-born John Philip Boehm, 46, was formally ordained a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. Boehm had previously come to America in 1720, where he began organizing religious services among German Reformed immigrants in Pennsylvania.
1742
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Two things I would earnestly recommend to your constant study: the book of God, and your own heart. These two, well understood, will make you an able minister of the New Testament.'
1846
James Evans, having served as a missionary to Canadian Indians, collapses unexpectedly while in England and dies instantly at forty-five years of age. He had been under tremendous strain from sexual allegations brought against him by liquor traders furious at his preaching. A memorable incident in his life had been his accidental shooting of an Indian convert. Friends urged him to flee. James, however, located the man's family, explained what had happened and offered himself for adoption in the man's place. The mother was so impressed that a white man would care about the feelings of an Indian family, she let James live. For the rest of his short life, James shared his income with her.
1872
Death of John Bowering who wrote the hymn "In the cross of Christ I Glory."
1938
Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula is sent to Kitengule-Mwibara where he begins his ministry as an ordained minister. He will become the first bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.
1947
E. L. Sukenik of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered the previous winter (1946-47) by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.

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