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Archive for the ‘today in history’ Category

ON THIS DATE

Joseph Parker was born 4/9/1830, Northumberland, England, son of a stonemason in whose home the Bible was “the book most read.” One Lord’s Day walking home with his godly father & a Sunday-school teacher, Joseph declared his love to Christ & asked Him into his heart. His 1st sermon (18) was from, “It shall be more tolerable for Tyre & Sidon at the judgment, than for you” (Luk 10.14). His 2nd (also preached open air) was from Deu  32.41 but it was from the villagers response to his 3rd that he based his call to preach.

In peaching travels he met his “Annie” & wed her 11/15/1851, daughter of Mr/Mrs Wm Nesbitt a farmer, trustee, & deacon of Horsley Congregational Church where they were married. Their sweet love was interrupted by Ann’s death 12 years later.  He married Emma Jane 12/22/1864, at Sunderland,  daughter of Mr/Mrs Andrew Common, J.P., banker, & Nonconformist.  (Her life was from 6/20/1846 to 1/26/1899.) 

Althouth Parker received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Chicago University (at age 32) he was basically a “self-made man” being in his office around 6 AM for study & pray & taking meditative saunters about noon, thinking over texts he had been studying.  He began “Thursday Morning Meetings” (actually starting at 12 noon) for the business men of London (a hard city) & held them for 30 years.  He announced (9/28/1884) he’d begin preaching through the Bible – thus producing his 25 vol. The People’s Bible. After serving 33 years at London’s City Temple, (seating 3000 – often full) he died, 11/28/1902.

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ON THIS DATE

Charles Wesley was married 4/8/1749, in a small parish church at Llanlleonfel, near Garth, Wales.  His bride was Sarah Gwynne, daughter of Marmaduke & Sarah (Evans) Gwynne. The minister for the ceremony was his brother, John, who had encouraged the wedding.  Sarah (also called Sally – perhaps to distinguish her from her mother) was born in Garth, Powyes, Wales in 1726 (month, day unknown).  She was musically inclined, in fact, performed before King George III.

While a young lady her father, a local magistrate, went on occasion to arrest Howell Harris, a Wesleyan minister.  As Marmaduke listened he liked what he heard, was converted to that view, & brought Harris home.  That was the beginning; years later he entertained two brothers & one of then returned in 1748 to propose.  Her mother had not welcomed Harris to her home but warmed to Charles, her new s-n-law.

Although Charles may not have witnessed a happy marriage as a boy he & Sarah had a good union.  They settled (same year as wed) at 4 Charles St., Bristol & remained there till 1771 (house is preserved as the “Charles Wesley House”).  God blessed them with eight children (only three lived to be adults – too common a happening back then).  She died 12/28/1818 (Charles died in 1788) & was buried beside Charles. 

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ON THIS DATE

William Wordsworth was born 4/7/1770 at Cockermouth, Cumbria, England, the 2nd of 5 children of John & Anne (Cookson) Wordsworth. William’smum” died in 1778: he was sent to Hawkshead Grammar School where he penned his first poems. While at Hawkshead his dad also died.  By 1787 he was at St John’s College, Cambridge.  During one summer vacation (1788) he trekked through Cumberland county & later Wales. Before graduation he did the “European Gentleman thing” – a walking tour of France, Switzerland & Germany.  While there he came to an understanding/sympathy with the French Revolution.

After returning to England he & his younger sister, Dorothy, were re-united.  Also he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge; they published Lyrical Ballads, containing his “Tintern Abbey” & Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”  By 1802 he felt he could financially afford to marry & did. He bride was Mary Hutchinson, friend from his childhood.  They were blessed with 5 children but sadly 2 of them died, Catherine & John. Following the death of Robert Southey (1843) Wordsworth became Poet Laureate.  He died 4/23/1850; his wife Mary published The Prelude, considered his most famous work 3 months later.

Wordsworth Quotes:

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

“Come grow old with me. The best is yet to be.”

“The World Is Too Much With Us…”

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ON THIS DATE

Irenaeus (it is thought) died 4/6/202 AD, probably at Lugdunum, Gaul (now Lyon, France).  Historians estimate his birth as 125-130.  He appears connected to Smyrna, a town near Ephesus ,located in what is now Turkey.  One of the things that rivets attention on Irenaeus is that he heard (was a student of?) Polycarp and – – – Polycarp heard (was a student of?) the Apostle John.   In a sense we might call Polycarp a “spiritual son” of John & Irenaeus a “spiritual grandson” of John.  What a linage.   

Irenaeus went west to what today is southern France (perhaps while a young man).  He seems to have been sent on a trip to Rome in 177.   Before he could return persecution took the lives of several believers including the man who had been bishop there, Pothinus.  Irenaeus became bishop in his place.  He penned the Refutation of Heresies, and Proof of the Apostolic Preaching. (As an aside, he seems to have seen the earth as a sphere.)

Irenaeus Quotes:

“Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself.”

“The business of the Christian is nothing else but to be ever preparing for death.”

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ON THIS DATE

Booker T (Taliaferro) Washington was born 4/4/1856, a Black who did much for his people & poor whites of the south by teaching them trades & self-reliance. He was born to slave parents & learned early to work hard in secular employment.  He was so poor when he went looking for an education he had to sleep under a board sidewalk. He applied himself & at 16 enrolled at Hampton Institute & Industrial School, graduated at 19.

He taught school for three years, then attended Wayland Seminary, WDC. At 25 he opened a school for black youths at Tuskugee, AL with 50 students in two old buildings. At his death (age 59) there were 40 buildings, 1500 students, & a faculty of 200.  By then some 8,000 young African Americans had been trained had become useful citizens.  His secret to success?  Faith in God.  He died 11/14/1915. His biography is worth reading; it’s called

Up from Slavery.                                                                                       

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ON THIS DATE

Katharina von Bora escaped a monastery  4/4/1523 (also that year on “Easter” eve).  She is thought to have been born at Lippendorf (another town’s also been guessed) on 1/29/1499.  Her parents are thought to have been land owners but there seems less certainty about their names.  She was sent to a Benedictine cloister in 1504 & later her name appears on a provision list at a Cistercian monastery (of all places).

Leonhard Koppe, a merchant & city councilman of Torgua, regularly delivered supplies to this monastery. For him to deliver six barrels of pickled herring the day before “Resurrection Morning” was not unusual.  What WAS unusual was when his wagon (covered) pulled away he had a “six-pack of nuns” in those barrels (some say 12 nuns – number may be correct; I heard 6 years ago).  They came to Wittenberg & Luther, who had helped them escape, found places for them all – all except Katharina 🙂

One tradition has it she mentioned to Luther that he’d encouraged former monks to marry but he hadn’t. (Was this somewhere near a proposal? :))  Another source said she let it be known she would not marry unless it was Martin (or another she named).  Luther decided “his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, and the devils to weep.”  He married “Katie” (26) 6/13/1525.  They had a loving marriage (6 children) & she helped show other former nuns/monks how to have happy homes.

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ON THIS DATE 

George Herbert was born 4/3/1593, fifth son (10 children total) of Richard & Magdalen (Newport) Herbert at Black Hall in Montgomery, Wales.  Richard (who died when George was very young) was from an old & powerful Montgomeryshire family who’d lived there since the 13th century.  Herbert went to Westminster School at 10 (12?) & earned this BA at 20 & MA at 23 both from Trinity College, Cambridge Univ.

He was appointed to some positions at Cambridge. In 1624,1625 he was elected to Parliament & knew King James I.  He married Jane Danvers (1629) & though no children are listed they provided a home for three orphaned nieces. The following year he took orders in the Church of England & he spent the rest of his short life as rector in Bemerton near Salisbury (about 75 miles west of London) where he helped rebuild the church with his own funds.  He died of tuberculosis 3/1/1633.  See Izaak Walton’s Memoir of Herbert.

His classic (worth reading) The Temple, was published that same year.  By 1680 it had 20 re-printings.  From the literary side Samuel T Coleridge wrote about his diction, “Nothing can be more pure, manly or unaffected.”  From the religious side Richard Baxter said, “Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in the world is most with God.”  Herbert is thought to have influenced poet Henry Vaughan & he in turn influenced William Wordsworth.

Herbert quotes:

“His bark is worse than his bite.”

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”

“Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.”

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ON THIS DATE – Warning – not a positive post – we need sometimes to know about evil around us.

4/2/1891 is the death date of Albert Pike. He was born 12/15/1809, Boston, son of Benjamin & Sarah Pike. He attended Harvard, married Mary Hamilton 1834(?), & became a lawyer. In 1840 he had joined the international Order of Odd Fellows & soon became a Mason; by 1859 he was Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rites Southern Jurisdiction. The same year Harvard gave him an honorary MA.

When the war came Pike chose the rebel side & became a Brigadier-General. Some evil was done & he hid in the hills of Arkansas. After the uncivil war he was found guilty of treason & incarcerated but was pardoned by another Mason, President Andrew Johnson. Johnson became a Mason 5/5/1851 but after pardoning Pike he was soon a 33rd degree Mason. (Sadly some 15+ presidents have been Masons.)

Pike was a member of the KKK & is said to have had direct communication with satan. Pike belonged to another devious group – the Illuminati. It was started in 5/1/1776 (think “May Day”).  By 1834 it selected the rebel Giusseppe Mazzini, a 33rd degree Mason, to head worldwide operations & Mazzini asked Pike to head the Illuminati’s American division.

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ON THIS DATE

William Reed Newell died 4/1/1956, at Deland, FL. He was born 5/22/1868, at Savannah, OH, a town northwest of Ashland. He attended Moody Bible Institute where his young, undisciplined life began to take shape.  He returned to OH, attended & graduated from Wooster College (southeast of Ashland) in 1891.  Neither parent’s name came to light & as no wife or children are mentioned he may (?) have not married.

Following studies at both Princeton & Oberlin he took a pastorate in Chicago (Bethesda Congregational Church).  In 1895 MBI invited Newell to be their assistant superintendent under R.A. Torrey.  While here he held Bible classes & from these came his works Romans Verse-by-Verse, Hebrews Verse-by-Verse, & The Book of Revelation.  It was also at Moody that he wrote his well-known song “At Calvary.” 

“Years I spent in vanity and pride, Caring not my Lord was crucified,

Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Refrain

Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me;

There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

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ON THIS DATE 

Francis Asbury died 3/31/1816 at Spottsylvania, VA (south & west of Fredericksburg, VA).  He was born to Methodist parents at Hamstead Bridge, Staffordshire (suburb of Birmingham) England, 8/20/1745.  He began preaching at 16 (18?)  It seems it was his idea to which John Wesley concurred, for Asbury to be a missionary to America.  He arrived at Philadelphia 10/27/1771.  America was not to be the same.

He was appointed Wesley’s “general assistant in America” (1772).  Soon the position went to Thomas Rankin but when America revolted against England (“Revolutionary War”) Rankin left for England & Asbury stayed.  He with some help from Thomas Coke established Methodistism & it is said to have grown from 1200 to 214,000 members & 695 ordained preachers. He is with little doubt correctly called “Father of American Methodism.”  As is known, the Methodist church is the mother of the Holiness movement.

Asbury established Bethel Academy (1790) a Methodist school (first west of Alleghenies) about 3.5 from Wilmore, Kentucky. It was renamed Asbury College in 1891. John Wigger (American Saint) affirms that Asbury was “more recognized face-to-face than any other American of his day, including Thomas Jefferson & George Washington.”  He is believed to have preached more than16,000 sermons & traveled more than 270,000 miles for Christ.  He never married & (perhaps connected 🙂 ) his salary was $64 a year.

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