Today in Christian History

January 28

January 28, 814: Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, dies. He was, in his day, not only one of the greatest political rulers of all time, he was, in his day, more influential in church matters than the pope. He saw his task as secular ruler "to defend with our arms the holy Church of Christ against attacks by the heathen from any side and against devastation by the infidels.

January 28, 1547: England's Henry VIII, who split the church of England from Rome and presided over the founding of the Anglican church, dies (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

January 28, 1769: Thomas Middleton, first Anglican bishop of Calcutta, is born in England. While he oversaw a vast diocese covering all the territories of the East India Company, the church made some great advances, including the establishment of Bishop's College in Calcutta(a training college for missionaries in Asia).

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February 12, 1663: Congregational minister Cotton Mather is born in Boston. The most celebrated New England writer of his day, he was a scientist (whose work included early studies of inoculation), one of the founders of Yale University, and pastor of Boston's Second Church (just as his father, Increase Mather, had been). He also wrote Wonders of the Invisible World, a description of the Salem witch trials(see issue 41: American Puritans).

February 12, 1809: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president ...

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