Today in Christian History

November 28

November 28, 1628: English preacher John Bunyan, author of more than 60 books, including the famous Pilgrim's Progress, is born in Elston, England (see issue 11: John Bunyan).

November 28, 1757: English Christian mystic William Blake is born in London. A poet, sculptor, and engraver, he was unschooled but fascinated with Milton, Shakespeare, Dante, and the Bible. He experienced visions all his life, beginning at age 4 when he saw God looking in his window.

November 28, 1863: The the first annual national Thanksgiving Day is celebrated. Back in October, President Lincoln had proclaimed the fourth Thursday of each November from that time forward as a national day of thanks.

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October 16, 1311: The Council of Vienne opens to decide if the Templars, a military order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims, are heretical and too wealthy. Pope Clement V decided to suppress the order. Its leader was burned and members' possessions taken by the church. That decision was adamantly derided by the poet Dante and by later historians (see issue 40: The Crusades).

October 16, 1555: English reformers Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley are burned at the stake at the order of Roman Catholic ...

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