Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, May 24

1543
Death of Polish cleric and astronomer Nicolas Copernicus. Copernicus participated in a Roman Catholic religious community at the cathedral of Frauenburg.
1575
Lutheran scholar Stephen Gerlach delivers the Augsburg Confession to Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II for consideration as talks continue to see if common ground can be found for a union between the Orthodox and Lutheran churches.
1607
Captain John Smith and the Jamestown colonists observe their first celebration of the Eucharist, thought to have been presided over by John Hunt, their Anglican priest.
1738
John Wesley feels his "heart strangely warmed" when he hears a reading of the preface to Luther's commentary on Romans at a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street, London. The event turns him into a soul-winner.
1768
Death of pastor and hymnwriter Joseph Hart. Twenty thousand people will attend his funeral. Although reared godly, he had become virulently opposed to Christianity and wrote against John Wesley. However, at forty years of age, he returned to his childhood faith and began to write hymns. Among the best known was "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy." His hymns were so successful he was encouraged to become a Congregational minister. He was so fervent that great crowds gathered to hear him preach.
1859
Madame Caroline Miolan-Carvalho gives Charles Gounod's Ave Maria its first public performance.
1892
Birth of Earl B. Marlatt, American religious educator and hymnologist. In 1926 Marlatt penned the hymn, "`Are Ye Able?' Said the Master," to be sung in a consecration service at Boston University's School of Religion.
1896
Maud Booth speaks in Sing Sing prison, seeking prison reform, and electrifies the prisoners: "I do not come here to prevent you from paying the just penalty of your crimes; take your medicine like men. When you have paid the penalty I will help you. I will nurse you back to health. I will get you work. Above all I will trust you. It depends on you whether I keep doing so or not."
1949
After selfless service to his nation both as an Episcopal bishop and as an organizer of medical relief during the Sino-Japanese war, Zhu Youyu is in Shanghai when Communist forces enter the city. He will soon be denounced as an imperialist agent by the Communists, speaking through the Three Self Patriotic Church.
1950
Death in Shanghai of Yan Huiqing, a Christian who had held high diplomatic posts in several Chinese governments, and whose ceaseless efforts had much to do with keeping the territory of China intact during decades of foreign predation. He also revived the Chinese Red Cross to deal with the Japanese invasion. His funeral service will be held in his family's home church, Church of Our Saviour.

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