Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, August 2

1555
Martyrdom of James Abbes. The bishop of Norwich had tried to convince him to recant and given him money. When Abbes returns and throws down the money, saying he was wrong to have accepted it, the bishop again reasons with him but finally hands him over to secular authorities to be burned alive at Bury.
1564
Pius IV issues the motu proprio (personal edict) Alias nonnullas constitutiones appointing eight cardinals to bring discipline to church music in conformity with a decision of the Council of Trent.
1776
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'Use all the ability which God gives, and He will give you more.'
1844
Isaac Hecker makes his confession and is received into the church. He will found the Paulists to convert Americans to Catholic Christianity.
1861
Death in Versailles of Father Gioacchino Ventura, a controversial Catholic writer and Italian patriot, whose voice was often raised in behalf of liberty, limited government, decentralization, and constitutionalism. He had also written a book The Mother of God, Mother of People (1840) that advocated the priesthood of women, contending that Mary, as mother of Jesus, acted as a priest to sacrifice her son.
1881
Sergius Georgievich Golubyatnikov is ordained to the Orthodox priesthood in Russia, taking the name Seraphim. He will rise to become a bishop but will be imprisoned in 1917 for condemning the Bolsheviks' February revolution. He will become the first prisoner at the Novospassky monastery when it is converted to a prison and will be executed (it is thought) in 1921.
1908
Death of Frederik Franson, missions pioneer. As a young man, Frederik Franson had collapsed from exhaustion and malaria while working a farm in Nebraska. During his recovery, he had read the Bible and became convinced he needed Christ in his life. Afterward, in 1890, Franson had founded T.E.A.M. (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) in Chicago. In his mission work, he had often encountered persecution and had even been jailed for his faith activities.
1916
Death of Samuel David Ferguson, a leading educator and bishop of the Episcopal Church in Liberia, and the first African American elected a bishop of the Episcopal Church, although he served in that capacity only in Liberia.
1942
Burial in Tobolsk of the Orthodox bishop Vladyka Hermogenes whom the Bolsheviks had martyred in June for his outspoken censure of their evil behavior.
1982
Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'There is the constant danger of slipping into the idea that if a person has sufficient faith, he will always be healed. This is clearly not what the Bible teaches.'

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