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Aug. 31 in Christian History

Aug 31, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

1688 - Death of English Puritan clergyman and writer John Bunyan, 69. Imprisoned several times between 1660 and 1672, Bunyan used these periods of isolation to pen his two literary masterpieces, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) and Pilgrim's Progress (1678).


1757 - Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master.'


1824 - Birth of Anna B. Warner, American hymnwriter. She never married, but lived with her sister Susan in New York state. In 1860, a novel they co-authored contained a poem which became one of the most beloved of all children's hymns: I Know.'


1861 - Birth of Jesse Brown Pounds, American hymnwriter. During her lifetime she published nine books, 50 cantatas and over 400 religious song texts. Three of her hymns remain popular today: "Anywhere With Jesus," "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" and "The Way of the Cross Leads Home."


1870 - Birth of Maria Montessori, Italian educator. She developed a theory of teaching which emphasized a reinforcement of initiative, and a freedom of movement for the child. Her theory of elementary education has since been named, appropriately, the "Montessori Method."


© 1987-2011, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church