Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, January 14

1528
Anabaptist preacher Leonhard Schiemer is beheaded and burned in Austria. Dreading death, he strengthens himself with the thought, "If I did not place all my confidence in the Lord I would fall; but the Lord is my comfort and my confidence; he forsakes none who trusts him." During his ministry, he had made about seventy converts in Rattenberg. In prison he had written letters that were held in high regard by other Anabaptists.
1639
Adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut - the first written constitution known to history that specifies the powers of government. It is largely the work of clergyman Thomas Hooker.
1643
Death in Ely, England, of John Bois, one of the translators of the Authorized Version of the Bible, and a key editor of it. He had also assisted with an edition of John Chrysostom's writings. Significantly, he had been able to read the Hebrew Bible at age five and taught Greek at Cambridge for ten years.
1753
Death in Oxford, England, of George Berkeley. Years earlier, as newlyweds, he and his wife had attempted mission work in America, but left when financial backing failed. After his return to England, he had gained fame for a theory of vision and for his philosophical system of idealism, which held that familiar objects were ideas in the mind and did not exist outside of our perception. (In a famous incident recorded in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, when Johnson learned of Berkeley's philosophy he kicked a large stone until it hurt his foot and announced “I refute it thus.") Made bishop of Cloyne, he had shown consideration toward both Roman Catholics and Protestants.
1892
Death in London, England, of Cardinal Henry Manning, who had been a leader in the Oxford movement for reforming the Church of England before transferring his allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.
1893
Pope Leo XIII appointed Archbishop Francesco Satolli as the Vatican's first Apostolic Delegate to the United States.
1915
Death in Oxford, England, of Richard Meux Benson, the principal founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Anglican form of monasticism.
1972
American Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'I have come to the conclusion that none of us in our generation feels as guilty about sin as we should or as our forefathers did.'
1985
Death in Ecuador of Dr. Manuel Naula, the first Quichua Indian to become a medical doctor. A Christian, he was known for his self-sacrificing life and soul-winning efforts.
2003
Death of Sipho Mncube, a South African evangelist who had once been an alcoholic, drug addict, and thief. Many had come to Christ through his humility and charitable efforts.

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