Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, February 19

842
The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended, when a Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of images (icons) in the churches. (This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches.)
842
Icons are restored to eastern churches with solemn processions on the first Sunday of Lent following the iconoclast wars, an event that will later be observed as the "Feast of Orthodoxy."
1414
Death in Canterbury, Kent, England, of Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor of England. He had been a violent persecutor of the Lollards, Wycliffe's reform followers.
1568
Burial of Miles Coverdale, who had produced the first complete printed edition of the Scriptures in English, completing William Tyndale's Bible following Tyndale's execution. Coverdale's version of the Psalms will long be used by the Church of England.
1672
(or 1671) Death in Boston, Massachusetts, of Charles Chauncy, eighteen years the president of Harvard College. A Congregational clergyman, his insistance on full immersion for baptism had been controversial in New England.
1716
Death in Bergen, Norway, of Dorothe Engelbretsdotter, once highly regarded for her Christian verses, which included an evening and a morning hymn.
1869
Death near Melrose, Scotland, of Elizabeth Clephane. A Scottish orphan, she wrote two memorable hymns: “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” and “The Ninety and Nine.”
1882
Death in Toronto, Canada, of Methodist minister Egerton Ryerson who had been a notabale educator in Canada. Although most of his reforms and innovations had high merit, his policies for the education of native Americans will be censured by future generations.
1896
Death of Xi Shengmo. After years of bondage to opium, he had become a Christian and the Holy Spirit freed him after an agonizing battle. He then adopted his last name which meant "conqueror of demons." He went on to establish fifty opium refuges in four provinces where prayer was a major factor in treatment of the addicts. Many became Christians and applied his methods to other addicts.
1954
Death of evangelist Lionel Bale Fletcher in Sydney, Australia.

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