Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, April 17

326
Death of St. Alexander of Alexandria whose appointment as Patriarch of Alexandria ensures that the heretic Arius cannot fill the spot. Alexander treats Arius with consideration, but supports the orthodox position.
387
Baptism of Augustine of Hippo on Easter Eve. According to his writings, Italy observed Easter on the 18th that year. (Under the rules of the Council of Nicea it should have been observed April 25th.)
617
On a Sunday morning, Donnan and fifty-three other monks on the Hebrides Island of Eigg are massacred at the command of a Pictish queen.
1478
Repose (death) of Zosima, one of the founders of the famous Solovetsky monastery on the White Sea in northern Russia.
1713
William Law is suspended from his pulpit for non-conformist views. He will become famed as the author of a Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, but his book Power of the Spirit will be more evangelical.
1776
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'You have now such faith as is necessary for your living unto God. As yet you are not called to die. When you are, you shall have faith for this also.'
1833
English historian and statesman Thomas B. Macaulay declared: 'The whole history of Christianity proves that she has little indeed to fear from persecution as a foe, but much to fear from persecution as an ally.'
1909
After celebrating Communion, missionary/pastor Willis Hoover resigns from his Methodist congregation in Valparaiso, Chile, declaring that he is separating, for reasons of conscience, from the organization of the church but not from Methodism. The following month he will become pastor of the newly-formed Pentecostal Methodist Church in Valparaiso.
1920
Birth of Robert G. Bratcher, principal translator of the American Bible Society's 1966-1976 "Good News Bible" (also known as "Today's English Version").
1960
Death of Lettie B. Cowman, pioneer missionary to Japan, co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society (now OMS International), and author of the devotional Streams in the Desert.

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