1739 - English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Our extremity is God's opportunity.'
1810 - Birth of Samuel S. Wesley, grandson of Methodist hymnwriter Charles Wesley. Himself a sacred composer, Samuel Wesley penned over 130 original hymn tunes. The best remembered of these today is AURELIA, to which is sung "The Church's One Foundation."
1814 - During the American Revolution, American patriot Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was held overnight as a British prisoner during their shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, Key penned what later became our national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner."
1848 - Death of English devotional writer Sarah Flower Adams, 43. In 1845 she published The Flock at the Fountain, a catechism containing hymns for children. One of those hymns remains popular to this day: "Nearer, My God, To Thee."
1944 - German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill all His promises ... leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.'
© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from
Almanac of the Christian Church