June 25, 1115: St. Bernard founds a monastery at Clairvaux, France, that would soon become the center of the Cistercian religious order. The order had been established 17 years earlier to restore Benedictine monasticism to a more primitive and austere state, but it is Bernard who is most closely associated with it. He founded 70 Cistercian monasteries, which in turn founded another 100 in his lifetime (see issue 24: Bernard of Clairvaux).
June 25, 1530: Lutherans present their summary of faith, known as Confession of Augsburg, to Emperor Charles V. Philipp Melanchthon did most of the work preparing it, but it was not presented until it received Martin Luther's approval (see issue 39: Luther's Later Years).
June 25, 1580: On the fiftieth anniversary of the Confession ofAugsburg, Lutherans publish the Book of Concord, which contains all the official confessions of the Lutheran Church, in German.
June 25, 1744: The first Methodist conference convenes in London. Leaders set standards for doctrine, liturgy, and discipline, giving an organizational framework to the "Evangelical Revival" touched off by John Wesley and George Whitfield in 1739 (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 69: Charles and John Wesley).
June 25, 1865: English missionary J. Hudson Taylor forms the China Inland Mission. Its missionaries would have no guaranteed salaries, nor could they appeal for funds; they would simply trust God to supply their needs. Furthermore, its missionaries would adopt Chinese dress and press the gospel into the China interior (see issue 52: Hudson Taylor).
December 9, 1608: English poet John Milton is born in London. Though most famous for his epic Paradise Lost, he also penned an exposition of Christian doctrine, a plan for Christian education, and various political writings.
December 9, 1840: Unable to go to China, David Livingstone sets sail from London as a missionary to southern Africa (see issue 56: David Livingstone).
December 9, 1843: The first Christmas cards—actually more like postcards—are created and sold for a shilling.