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December 13 in Christian History

Dec 13, 2008 12:57 PM EST

1204 - Death of Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), 69, medieval Jewish scholar and author. His greatest writing, "Guide of the Perplexed" (1190) attempted to harmonize Aristotelian philosophy with rabbinic Judaism.


1823 - Birth of William W. How, Anglican clergyman. Shunning the glory of higher ecclesiastical positions, How was known for his work among the poor in East London. He also wrote 50 hymns, of which "We Give Thee But Thine Own" and "For All the Saints" remain two of his most popular.


1835 - Birth of Phillips Brooks, American Episcopal clergyman. Though he produced ten volumes of sermons, he is better remembered today as author of the Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," written in 1868 for the children of his Sunday School.


1851 - Birth of E.O. Excell, American sacred chorister. Excell published 50 gospel songbooks and wrote and composed 2,000 hymns, including "Since I Have Been Redeemed, "Count Your Blessings" and "I'll Be a Sunbeam for Jesus."


1950 - American missionary martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'I think God is to be glorified by asking the impossible of Him.'

© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church