Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, April 21

1109
Death of Anselm of Canterbury, English theologian, author of the ontological argument for the existence of God, and a father of medieval scholasticism.
1142
Death at Cluny of theologian Pierre Abelard, whose "conceptualism" changed the development of philosophy. He will be remembered for seducing his student Heloise. Although often accused of heresy, he remained a popular teacher.
1621
William Bradford is chosen governor of Plymouth Colony when his predecessor John Carver dies suddenly.
1649
Maryland issues an act defining and forbidding blasphemy and making it an offense to rail publicly against another person's faith. It promises toleration to anyone who professes Christ.
1783
Birth of English churchman and hymnwriter Reginald Heber. Heber published his first hymn at 28, and among his best remembered today are: "Holy, Holy, Holy," "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
1828
English churchman John Henry Newman wrote in a letter to his sister: 'May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.'
1878
Leo XIII published the encyclical, "Inscrutabili dei consilio." It outlined a program of reconciling the Catholic Church with modern civilization, many of its details reversing policies of his predecessor, Pius IX.
1897
Birth of A. W. Tozer, one of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Tozer was also a prolific writer, and his best- known publications include "The Pursuit of God" (1948) and "The Root of Righteousness" (1955).
1908
While rushing to assist a dying man in Labrador, missionary-doctor Wilfred Grenfell is trapped on an ice-pan (a small flat sheet of ice) and almost loses his life when it floats into the ocean.
1947
On his twenty-seventh birthday, while laying bricks, John Ajayi Agbona hears a voice calling him to ministry with the Christ Apostolic Mission Church of Nigera. He obeys and will be instrumental in founding eighty churches in five nations as well as schools in Nigeria. His work will often be accompanied by miraculous healings.

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