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July 19 in Christian History

Jul 18, 2013 09:35 AM EDT

1504 Birth of Heinrich Bullinger, Swiss reformer. He continued Zwingli's work after his death at Kappel (1531), and composed the Second Helvetic Confession in 1566.

1753 Birth of Lemuel Haynes, colonial American Congregational clergyman. In 1785,Haynes, 32, was ordained to a church in Torrington, Connecticut, making him the first African-American to pastor a white church.

1870 The Vatican I Ecumenical Council issued the proclamation 'Pastor Aeternus,'declaring the pope's primacy and infallibility in deciding faith and moral matters. (Few Protestants agree with this doctrine.)

1876 American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson noted: 'Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than material, that thoughts rule the world.'

1944 German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from prison: 'The religious act is always something partial; "faith" is something whole, involving the whole of one's life. Jesus calls us not to new religion but to life.'

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© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church