June 3, 1905: Hudson Taylor, English missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, dies. “China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease-loving men and women,” he once said.
June 9, 1834: William Carey, often called “the father of modern Protestant missions” dies, having spent 41 years in India without a furlough. His mission could count only about 700 converts, but he had laid a foundation of Bible translations, education, and social reform.
He also inspired the missionary movement of the 19th century, especially with his cry, “Expect great things; attempt great things.”
June 15, 1215: King John signs the Magna Carta (right), which begins, “The Church of England shall be free,” setting forth the principle that the government had no right to control the church.
June 19, 1834: Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest pulpiteers of the 19th century, is born in Essex, England.
In 1850, the teenage Spurgeon was converted during a service at a Primitive Methodist church, as a lay preacher spoke on Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”
Mr. Spurgeon described the event in his Autobiography:
[The speaker] had not much to say, thank God, for that compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was nothing needed — by me, at any rate — except his text. Then, stopping, he pointed to where I was sitting under the gallery, and he said, “That young man there looks very miserable”…and he shouted, as I think only a Primitive Methodist can, “Look! Look, young man! Look now!”….
Then I had this vision — not a vision to my eyes, but to my heart. I saw what a Savior Christ was…. I no sooner saw whom I was to believe than I also understood what it was to believe, and I did believe in one moment.
June 22, 1714: English Presbyterian pastor and Bible commentator Matthew Henry dies. His work is still published as Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
Methodist co-founder Charles Wesley based one of his most famous hymns, A Charge to Keep I Have, on Mr. Henry’s comments about Leviticus 8:35:
[The priests] attended to keep the charge of the Lord: we have every one of us a charge to keep, an eternal God to glorify, an immortal soul to provide for, needful duty to be done, our generation to serve; and it must be our daily care to keep this charge, for it is the charge of the Lord our Master, who will shortly call us to an account about it, and it is at our utmost peril if we neglect it.
June 24, 64: After the Great Fire of Rome, Roman Emperor Nero (left) begins persecuting Christians.
According to Tacitus, Nero ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified. Some were even set on fire “to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired.”
June 25, 1744: The first Methodist conference convenes in London and begins to set standards for doctrine, liturgy, and discipline, thus giving an organizational framework to the “Evangelical Revival” that began in 1739.
John Wesley later wrote:
In June 1744, I desired my brother and a few other clergymen to meet me in London, to consider how we should proceed to save our own souls and those that heard us…. I invited the lay Preachers that were in the house to meet with us. We conferred together for several days, and were much comforted and strengthened thereby.
Adapted with permission from ChristianHistory.net.
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