Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, August 24

410
The Visigoths sacked Rome, disillusioning Christians who were trusting in God's protection of this ecclesiastical center of early Christianity. St. Augustine (354-430) later tacked this religious problem in his monumental work, "City of God" (ca.413-27).
1456
In Mainz, Germany, volume two of the famed Gutenberg Bible was bound, completing a two-year publishing project, and making it the first full-length book to be printed using movable type.
1562
St. Teresa of Avila founds the Discalced (shoeless) Carmelite nuns.
1662
The deadline arrives for all British ministers to publicly assent to the Book of Common Prayer. Two thousand Puritans who do not accept this have to vacate their pulpits, becoming known as non-conformists.
1741
After much misery because of his spiritually-lost state, Isaac Backus experiences personal salvation in Christ at the age of eighteen while plowing alone in his fields. In his diary, he records, “I was enabled by divine light to see the perfect righteousness of Christ and the freeness and richness of His grace with such clearness that my soul was drawn forth to trust in Him for salvation. The Word of God and the promises of His grace appeared firmer than a rock, and I was astonished at my previous unbelief.” He will go on to become a Baptist pastor and successful evangelist in New England.
1779
Greek monk Cosmas of Aetolia is martyred by Muslims. He had preached throughout Greece to revive the church and founded over two-hundred schools.
1795
Death of Samuel Stennett. One of the outstanding dissenter (non-Anglican) preachers of his day, he had been a personal friend of England's King George III. He wrote the hymns "Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned" and "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand."
1854
The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa was organized by German Lutherans. In 1930 this synod merged with the synods of Ohio and Buffalo to form the American Lutheran Church.
1917
Death of Ernest W. Shurtleff, while doing relief work in World War I with his wife. An American Congregational clergyman, he had authored the hymn, "Lead On, O King Eternal."
1968
Beginning of the Second General Council of the Latin American Episcopate. The meeting is held in Medellín, Columbia. It will emphasize elements of newly-developing liberation theology and give special emphasis to the poor.

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