Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, June 16

1361
Death in Strasburg of Johannes Tauler, German mystic and influential preacher.
1539
German Reformer Martin Luther declared: 'Faith justifies not as a work, nor as a quality, nor as knowledge, but as assent of the will and firm confidence in the mercy of God.'
1654
Queen Christina, a convert to Roman Catholicism, abdicated her Swedish throne to devote the remainder of her life to religion and art.
1660
The British House of Commons passes a resolution to burn books of John Milton that had championed the Parliamentarian rebellion against Charles I and argued for the legitimacy of that king's execution. The books will be burned on 27 August 1660.
1752
Death at Bath of Bishop Joseph Butler, whose head-on challenge of his own doubts had led him to write Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Nature (1736), a highly original and famous apologetic that answered Deism. It had quickly become a textbook for ecclesiastical students.
1804
Anglican missionary to Persia, Henry Martyn wrote in his journal: 'My soul, alas, needs these uneasinesses in outward things, to be driven to take refuge in God.'
1818
Death of Samuel J. Mills at sea. He had been exploring Africa to see if a mission work could be established. With Adoniram Judson and others, Mills had been a founder of American foreign missions.
1833
John Henry Newman, while traveling on a ship from Italy to France, pens the words to the hymn, “Lead Kindly Light Amid the Encircling Gloom.”
1862
Repose (Death) of Archimandrite Moses, who had entered the monastic life with the blessing of the famous St. Seraphim himself. After years of asceticism in Roslavl Forest, he had visited Optina and was persuaded to found a hermitage there.
1983
Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, remaining there through June 23rd.

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