Christian History Home > This Week in Christian History
The Current Week in 2015:
July 26, 1603: James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England. Among his many acts affecting English religious life (it is he for whom the King James Version is named) was the issuing of the Book of Sports, approving sports on SunDay .
July 26, 1833: Having abolished the slave trade in 1807, Britain's House of Commons bans slavery itself. When William Wilberforce, who had spent most of his life crusading against slavery, heard the news, he said, "Thank God I have lived to witness [this] Day ." He died three Day s later (see issue 53: William Wilberforce).
July 26, 1869: England's Disestablishment Bill is passed, officially dissolving the Church of Ireland. It is from this act that we get the mighty word "antidisestablishmentarianism," which was the organized opposition to the legislation.
July 26, 1925: William Jennings Bryan, American editor, politician, and anti-evolutionary leader, dies five Day s after being publicly ridiculed for his role in the Scopes "Monkey" trial (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and the Rise of Fundamentalism).
July 27, 1681: During a bitter battle between Scottish Episcopalians and Presbyterians, five Presbyterian preachers are martyred in Edinburgh. The Church of Scotland became Presbyterian permanently in 1690.
July 28, 1148: Too weak to retake Edessa from the Muslims, the armies of the Second Crusade beseige Damascus. They blundered and were forced to retreat within five Day s. Believers throughout Christendom were shocked and devastated that a crusade preached by a moral exemplar (Bernard of Clairvaux) and led by royalty (King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad III of Germany) would fail (see issue 40: The Crusades).
July 28, 1727: Moody, stiff young preacher Jonathan Edwards marries Sarah Pierrepont, a lively 17-year-old. The union proved happy and produced 11 children, six of who were born on SunDay s. This caused a bit of a scandal, because people then believed children were born the same weekDay they were conceived. Nonetheless, people admired the marriage, including George Whitefield, who declared, "A sweeter couple I have not seen" (see issue 8: Jonathan Edwards and issue 77: Jonathan Edwards).
July 28, 1881: American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen is born in Baltimore (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and The Rise of Fundamentalism).
July 29, 1030: Viking king Olaf Haraldsson, patron saint of Norway, dies in the battle of Stiklestad. Though limited in his ability to force his countrymen to convert during his reign, his death was later hailed as a miracle-filled martyrdom and, as his legend grew, it spurred on christiansd converting the country. In time, Olaf became one of the most well-known saints of medieval Christendom, and his relics in Norway became one of Europe's most popular pilgrimage destinations (see issue 63: Conversion of the Vikings).
July 29, 1794: In a converted blacksmith's shop in Philadelphia, former slave Richard Allen assembles a group of black Christians who had faced discrimination in the local Methodist Episcopal Church. They formed the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the mother church of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, now known throughout the world (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).
July 29, 1833: English abolitionist William Wilberforce dies a mere three Day s after England abolishes slavery (see issue 53: William Wilberforce).
July 29, 1968: Pope Paul VI publishes his encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which condemns artificial birth control methods.
July 30, 1718: William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania as a colony for Quakers to enjoy religious liberty, dies.
July 30, 1775: The U.S. Army founds its chaplaincy, making it the Army's oldest division after the infantry.
July 30, 1956: In God We Trust becomes the official motto of the United States by an act of Congress signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (see the U.S. Treasury website).
July 31, 1556: Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish Roman Catholic reformer and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), dies in Rome. During his life he saw 1,000 men join his order and 100 colleges and seminaries established. Apart from his order, Ignatius's greatest legacy he left in his Spiritual Exercises, a devotional guide that has been in constant use for over 460 years.
July 31, 1566: Bartolome de las Casas, the first Spaniard ordained in the New World and "Father to the Indians," dies in Spain. He wrote several books detailing the horrors committed upon Native Americans by the Spanish settlers, and argued for the humanity of the Indians against many of his countrymen who had described them as children or subhuman (see issue 35: Christopher Columbus).
July 31, 1966: After John Lennon proclaims the Beatles to be "more popular than Jesus," residents of Alabama burn the band's records and other products.
August 1, 1714: The "Schism Bill," which was intended to reestablish Catholicism in England, dies with its chief supporter, Queen Anne. For years, Dissenters regarded the date as a day of deliverance, the "Protestant Passover.
August 1, 1779: Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a devout Episcopalian who helped establish the American Sunday School Union, is born.
August 1, 1834: The first Protestant missionary to China, Robert Morrison, dies at age 52. The Englishman's translation of the Bible, completed in 1823, filled 23 volumes (see issue 52: Hudson Taylor).
August 1, 1897: Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Militantis Ecclesiae, which describes Protestantism as the "Lutheran rebellion, whose evil virus goes wandering about in almost all nations.
Browse More ChristianHistory.net
Home | Browse by Topic | Browse by Period | The Past in the Present | Books & Resources