Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, June 23

964
Emperor Otto I forces the Romans to give up Benedict, a deacon whom they had elected pope to replace the wicked John XII.
1415
Bohemian reformer and martyr Jan Hus wrote in a letter: 'It is difficult to...esteem it all joy in various temptations. It is easy to talk about...but difficult to fulfill it.'
1683
English Quaker William Penn signed his famous treaty with the Indians of Pennsylvania. Voltaire once remarked that it was the only treaty never sworn to, and never broken.
1738
Birth of Samuel Medley, English Baptist clergyman and author of the hymn, 'O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth.'
1775
Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'True religion is not a science of the head so much as an inward and heartfelt perception.... Here the learned have no real advantage over the ignorant.'
1914
J. Gresham Machen, Presbyterian educator and defender of orthodoxy, is ordained at Plainsboro, N.J.
1941
Walter J. Ciszek is arrested in Russia where he has been preaching the gospel in spite of Communist laws against doing so. His book He Leadeth Me will recount his experiences and sufferings.
1942
Death of Emily Divine Wilson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She wrote hymn tunes, including the tune to which we sing "When we all get to heaven."
1964
Death of Johan Herman Bavinck a Dutch missionary. He had labored in Indonesia and later taught at Kampen Theological College and at the Free University of Amsterdam.
1967
Paul VI issued the encyclical 'Sacerdotalis Caelibatus,' reaffirming the Catholic Church's requirement of celibacy with the priesthood.

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