Fifth of February
1597: Twenty-six Japanese Christians are crucified for their faith in Nagasaki, Japan.
1631: English clergyman Roger Williams arrives in America. After questioning Massachusetts' fusion of church and state, he was banished. He bought land from native Americans and founded Rhode Island, where he established America's first Baptist church in America. His writings on religious liberty were greatly influential in securing that freedom later in America.
From "The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed":
We find not in the gospel, that Christ has anywhere provided for the uniformity of churches, but only for their unity.
Paul, in matters of Christian liberty, commends the unity of their faith in the Holy Spirit, giving orders that we should not judge nor condemn one another, in difference of judgment and practice of such things where men live to God on both sides, even though there was some error on one side (Romans xiv. 1—6). How much less in things indifferent, where there may be no error on either side.
1736: Methodism cofounders and brothers, John and Charles Wesley arrive in Savannah, Georgia. They were to be missionaries to the native Americans and John was to be the pastor of the Savannah parish. Their efforts failed.
"I went to America to convert the Indians, but O! who shall convert me?" he asked two years later.
1837: Dwight Lyman Moody, a great evangelist and revivalist of his day, is born in Northfield, Massachusetts. He wrote:
I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that he would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come.
1864: Having already established herself as a poet, forty-four-year-old Fanny Crosby pens her first hymn. She went on to write eight thousand more before her death fifty years later.
She insisted that if she had a choice, she would still choose to remain blind, "for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”