January 14: Today in Christian History

January 14: Today in Christian History

January 14, 1236

Death of St. Sava from pneumonia in Tmovo, Bulgaria. He had become ill after participating in a ceremony known as “Blessing of the Waters.” From being a monk, he had risen to become archbishop of Serbia.

January 14, 1331

Death in Udine of Odoric, a Franciscan who had traveled to China and reported on the Far East, but whose credibility was low because he reported many details on hearsay.

January 14, 1528

Anabaptist preacher Leonhard Schiemer is beheaded and burned in Austria. Dreading death, he strengthens himself with the thought, “If I did not place all my confidence in the Lord I would fall; but the Lord is my comfort and my confidence; he forsakes none who trusts him.” During his ministry, he had made about seventy converts in Rattenberg. In prison he had written letters that were held in high regard by other Anabaptists.

January 14, 1529

Juan Vald├ęs publishes his Dialogue, giving rise to the Valdesians of Spain. His emphasis on faith and religious feeling, as well as disregard of ecclesiastical authority, paves the way in Spain for Protestant ideas, but forces him to flee the Inquisition.

January 14, 1610

Forty-four ministers, mostly from the province of Holland, sign a Remonstrance that expresses their objections to certain Calvinist teachings of the state church of the Netherlands..

January 14, 1623

Death of Father Parti Sarpi, a Venetian polymath and doctor of theology. He had assisted Venice in its struggles against the papacy and wrote a history of the Council of Trent that exposed misdeeds of the pope, all while still a member of the Augustinian Servite order.

January 14, 1639

Adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut—the first written constitution known to history that specifies the powers of government. It is largely the work of clergyman Thomas Hooker.

January 14, 1643

Death in Ely, England, of John Bois, one of the translators of the Authorized Version of the Bible, and a key editor of it. He had also assisted with an edition of John Chrysostom’s writings. Significantly, he had been able to read the Hebrew Bible at age five and taught Greek at Cambridge for ten years.

January 14, 1753

Death in Oxford, England, of George Berkeley. Years earlier, as newlyweds, he and his wife had attempted mission work in America, but left when financial backing failed. After his return to England, he had gained fame for a theory of vision and for his philosophical system of idealism, which held that familiar objects were ideas in the mind and did not exist outside of our perception. (In a famous incident recorded in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, when Johnson learned of Berkeley’s philosophy he kicked a large stone until it hurt his foot and announced “I refute it thus.") Made bishop of Cloyne, he had shown consideration toward both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

January 14, 1841

Death in Cheshire, Massachusetts, of Baptist evangelist John Leland, who in addition to his evangelistic work had been an ardent opponent of slavery and a strong advocate for religious liberty.

January 14, 1892

Death in London, England, of Cardinal Henry Manning, who had been a leader in the Oxford movement for reforming the Church of England before transferring his allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.

January 14, 1914

Doctor Walter Lewis Wilson, having heard James Gray preach on the Holy Spirit, goes home, falls on the floor, and yields to the Holy Spirit. He becomes a notable evangelist, founder of churches and a college in Missouri, and will be known as “Beloved Physician.”

January 14, 1915

Death in Oxford, England, of Richard Meux Benson, the principal founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Anglican form of monasticism.

January 14, 1953

Death in Ashfield, New South Wales, of Robert J. H. McGowan, Australian minister, Bible scholar, conservative theologian, and moderator of the General Presbyterian Assembly for New South Wales.

January 14, 1983

Death in Taiwan of Lillian Dickson, founder of The Mustard Seed, an inter-denominational mission agency that engaged in relief aid, public health, and Christian education.

January 14, 1985

Death in Ecuador of Dr. Manuel Naula, the first Quichua Indian to become a medical doctor. A Christian, he was known for his self-sacrificing life and soul-winning efforts.

January 14, 2003

Death of Sipho Mncube, a South African evangelist who had once been an alcoholic, drug addict, and thief. Many had come to Christ through his humility and charitable efforts.

January 14, 2018

Death of Silas Owiti, founder of Kenya’s the Voice of Salvation and Healing Church International.

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