Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, July 8

1115
Death of French monk Peter the Hermit at Neufmoutier-by-Huy. He had helped inspire the Crusades.
1153
Death of Blessed Pope Eugene III. He had fled to France during disturbances in Rome.
1622
Pope Gregory XV issues a brief allowing Philip Neri's Congregations of the Oratory to govern themselves independently of one another.
1663
King Charles II of England grants a charter to Rhode Island colony that guarantees religious freedom regardless of "differences in opinion in matters of religion."
1681
Death in Thuringia of Georg Neumark, German educator and hymnwriter, author, and composer of the hymn "If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee." Twice during his life he had lost everything he owned: once to robbers and once to fire. These losses seem to have contributed much to the depth of his religious verse.
1716
Death of Robert South, a Church of England preacher, Latinist, and author well-known for participation in doctrinal controversies, often opposing with wit and invective the very positions he had formerly held, yet boldly attacking the vices of his age.
1741
Influencing the start of New England's 'Great Awakening,' colonial American theologian Jonathan Edwards preached his classic sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' at Enfield, CT.
1813
The remains of eccentric preacher William Huntington, formerly a coal shoveler, are transferred from a temporary grave at Tonbridge Wells to a permanent one at Lewes. The gravestone is inscribed with an epitaph he had written a few days before death, leaving space for dates and age: "Here lies the Coal-heaver, who departed this life [July 1, 1813] in the [69th]; beloved of his God, but abhorred by men. The Omniscient Judge, at the Great Assize, shall ratify and confirm this, to the confusion of many thousands; for England and its metropolis shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. W.H. S.S." S.S. means "Sinner Saved."
1948
The Moscow Conference convenes to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.
1959
Meeting in Oberlin, OH, the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical and Reformed churches adopted a united statement of faith. (The two groups merged to form the United Church of Christ in 1961.)

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