Today in Christian History
Death of Canute the Great, of Denmark. The sometimes ruthless king considered himself a Christian and had restored churches and monasteries throughout his kingdom and built several new ones.
Dutch Anabaptist reformer Menno Simons wrote in a letter: 'I can neither teach nor live by the faith of others. I must live by my own faith as the Spirit of the Lord has taught me through His Word.'
John Bunyan is arrested for unlicensed preaching and sentenced to prison. During his various incarcerations, he will pen Pilgrim's Progess and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, the greatest Puritan spiritual autobiography.
The Carolina Assembly passed a Vestry Act making the Church of England the official religion of the Carolina Colony. (Strong opposition by Quakers and other resident Nonconformists forced the colony's proprietors to revoke their legislation two years later.)
Forty-two year old Matthew Henry writes in his journal that he means to prepare a commentary on the entire Scripture. A couple days later he adds, "I set about it, that I may endeavour something and spend my time to some good purpose and let the Lord make what use he pleaseth of me." He will complete most of the project before his death in 1714. Friends will put it into final form and publish it.
Birth of Henri F. Hemy, English church organist. Of his several original compositions, best known is the tune ST. CATHERINE, to which we commonly sing the hymn, "Faith of Our Fathers."
(or the 13th) Death of Charles Simeon, one of the Church of England's most famous evangelical clergyman.
American evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody, 62, began his last evangelistic campaign in Kansas City, Missouri. Becoming ill during the last service, Moody was unable to complete his message, and died a few days later, on Dec 22.
Burial of two Orthodox monks Callistus and Jacinthus at the church of St. Neophytus in the Province of Perm. The Bolsheviks had shot them two weeks earlier, when they refused to renounce Christ, and dumped their bodies into a frozen bog.
American Presbyterian missionary Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'Loyalty to organizations and movements has always tended over time to take the place of loyalty to the person of Christ.'
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"