Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, May 4

Pope Alexander IV establishes the Roman Catholic religious order of Augustines by the bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae. The order will extend the influence of the church, propagate the faith, and advance learning.
Pope Alexander VI issues a line of demarcation dividing the New World between Portugal and Spain.
Traveling home from the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther is taken into protective custody by order of German ruler Frederick the Wise and held at Wartburg, where he will translate the Bible into German.
Three Carthusian monks and two other priests are hanged, drawn, and quartered in London for refusing to submit to Henry VIII as head of the church. The Carthusians are John Houghton, Robert Lawrence, and Augustine Webster. Richard Reynolds is a learned Bridgettine monk. The fifth martyr is John Haile, vicar of Thistleworth.
Death of Isaac Barrow, an eminent English divine, educator, mathematician, and classics scholar, whose sermons will be reprinted for two hundred years. He will, however, be most remembered by later generations for his influence on Isaac Newton.
Birth of Carl G. Glaser, German music teacher. Of his many choral pieces, Glaser is primarily remembered today for his hymn tune AZMON, to which the Church today sings: "O For a Thousand Tongues."
Death of Methodist superintendant Thomas Coke while leading a group of missionaries to India.
A committee at Mount Vernon Church, Boston, reluctantly accepts Dwight L. Moody into church membership, having already rejected him once because of his complete ignorance of Christian truth. Moody will develop into an evangelist of international fame.
Under arduous wartime conditions, Mei Yiqi, a Christian educator, becomes president of a makeshift university at Kunming, organized in exile out of three refugee universities' faculties.
The United States Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of a New York statute exempting church-owned property from taxation.

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