Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, April 26

865
Death of Paschasius Radbertus, who wrote an influential book affirming that the Eucharist contains the true, historical body of Jesus Christ.
1518
German reformer Martin Luther stated in his Disputation at Heidelberg: 'Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.'
1569
Queen Elizabeth I of England issues a special license allowing John Seconton to hold Sunday games because he has fallen on hard times and has four children to feed. She requires local authorities to send "four or five good substantial men" to keep the peace.
1630
George Herbert is appointed by the Earl of Pembroke to the parishes of Fugglestone St Peter and Bemerton St Andrew, near Salisbury. There he will write notable Christian poetry and preach sermons comprehensible to a rural audience.
1731
(Uncertain date; April 24 is also often given.) Death of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe and Journal of the Plague Year, works of fiction noted for their versimilitude, which he wrote from a Puritan non-conformist point of view. He had been hiding from creditors and was found dead, hence the uncertainty of the date of his death. Two centuries after Defoe's death, Neesima Shimeta, a Japanese youth, will be converted to Christianity through reading Robinson Crusoe.
1834
Birth of Horatio R. Palmer, American Congregational clergyman. From his books of religious verse came two hymns which are still sung today: "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts" and "My Faith Looks Up to Thee."
1865
German missionary Ernst Faber arrives in Hong Kong where he will help create a Chinese-Christian literature by having Chinese associates write their own books in consultation with him. He also will work with Chinese officials to import and apply European technology in China.
1877
Residents of Minnesota observe a statewide day of prayer, set by Governor John Sargent Pillsbury, imploring deliverance from a plague of grasshoppers that has been ravaging their crops. Many families are on the verge of starvation. In the next two days warm weather will cause millions of larvae to wiggle to life and skeptics scoff; but a plunge in temperature on the fourth day will freeze and kill them. A chapel will be built at Cold Spring to commemorate the miracle.
1969
Emmanuel Oladele Agboola is unanimously elected to chair the 56th annual session of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in acknowledgment of his hard work and zeal for souls. His contemporaries recognize him as one of Nigeria's greatest indigenous pastors and educators as well as a humble and kind man.
1995
Azmy Mokhtar Aziz, a Coptic Christian, is murdered in the city of Malawy, one of several Copts targeted there this year.

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