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Years end, but we look for eternal life (1885)

The time is short—this day may be The very last assigned to thee; So speak that should’st thou ne’er s...



Death in Jerusalem of Melania the Younger, known for her charity, and for founding two convents.

Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.


America’s first-known “watch-night” service is held at St. George’s Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

Authority for the date: Harper, Howard V. Days and Customs of All Faiths. New York: Fleet Publishing, 1957.


Abraham Lincoln proposes to his cabinet that the US Constitution be amended to recognize “the Deity.” The proposal is met with disapproving silence and dropped.

Authority for the date: Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism. p.44


George Leslie Mackay, first foreign missionary of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, arrives in Taiwan where he will establish over sixty churches, a hospital, and several schools. He will cause controversy by marrying a Taiwanese slave woman, but she will become an indispensable co-evangelist with him.

Authority for the date: Carrie Kellenberger, “The Legacy of George Leslie Mackay.”


Australia’s oldest Roman Catholic church, called the Church on the Hill, is ready for worship.

Authority for the date: Maus, Cynthia Pearl. Christ and the Fine Arts.


Iosif Trifa, an Orthodox priest in Vidra de Sus (now Avram Iancu), anguished at the wickedness of his parishioners, falls to his knees in prayer. He conceives the idea of issuing a call in a magazine he edits—a call for a New Year’s resolution to fight against sin in the coming year. “The Calling to a New Life in Christ” is successful. Trifa becomes a Wesley-like revivalist figure in Romania and suffers at the hands of both church and state.

Authority for the date:


The Feast of the Circumcision [which honors Christ’s circumcision eight days after his birth] becomes known as the Feast of the Holy Name in the revised Book of Common Prayer.

Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.


Chinese Communist officials meet with evangelist Nora Lam to clear up “misunderstandings” that had earlier blocked her getting a visa to preach in China. She learns that China has approved a cultural exchange program operated by her ministry.

Authority for the date: Nora Lam and Richard Schneider, China Cry

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