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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, December 18

1542
Death in Suzdal, Russia, of Solomonia Yuryevna Saburova, forced into a nunnery because of her failure to bear a son and heir for Grand Prince Vasili III of Muscovy. A woman of exemplary character, she will be recognized as a saint.
1666
Covenanter minister Hugh McCall is brought into court, found guilty, and condemned to hang for his resistance to the authority claimed by the king over the Scottish church. The verdict will be carried out four days later and on the way to the scaffold, McCall will assure his father that his death will do more good for the cause of God's people than twenty more years in the pulpit.
1821
Young George Müller is jailed at Wolfenbüttel Castle (in Germany) on theft charges and will remain imprisoned until 22 January the following year. After his conversion, he will become a faithful steward of contributions to Christian charities.
1834
Emory College was chartered in Oxford, GA, under Methodist auspices. In 1915 it changed its name to Emory University and in 1919 the campus was relocated in Atlanta, GA.
1892
Rabbi H. Rosenberg was expelled from Temple Beth-Jacob in Brooklyn, NY, for eating pork.
1904
Indian mystic Sundar Singh, 15, was converted to Christianity through a vision. Baptized into the Church of England in 1905, Singh afterward donned the robe of a Sadhu (holy man) in an endeavor to present Christianity in a Hindu form. (He disappeared in April 1929, while undertaking a strenuous work in Tibet.)
1919
Death of Wu Hongyu in Shanghai. He had been one of the first three priests ordained in the American Episcopal Church of China. He had used a medical ministry to gain access to souls.
1943
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'The man who finds God in his earthly happiness...does not lack reminder that earthly things are transient...and...there will be times when he can say in all sincerity, "I wish I were home."'
1974
Death in India of Evelyn "Granny" Brand, who had been an extraordinary missionary in the hill country. She had wanted to complete the work begun by her husband and herself years earlier, but mission authorities would not let her. So upon her "retirement" she moved to the hills and worked there with great success for twenty-four years more until her death.
1979
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith withdraws Hans Küng's missio canonica, which had permitted him to teach in the name of the church. Küng had amassed evidence against the papal claim to speak infallibility (when pronouncing officially on matters of morals and doctrine) and had made statements repugnant to Catholic theology, as that in certain circumstances a lay person could consecrate the bread and wine of the Eucharist.

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