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Christian History

Today in Christian History

August 10

August 10, 70: Roman troops, sent by Emperor Vespasian to put down a Jewish rebellion, break through the walls of Jerusalem and destroy the temple. Some said that the event occurred on the same day of the year as the earlier destruction of Solomon's temple by Babylonians.

August 10, 1760: Philip Embury, the first Methodist clergyman to come to America, arrives in New York. August 10, 1815

August 10, 1886: Joseph M. Scriven, Irish Plymouth Brethren hymnwriter, dies. He spent his life performing menial work for the destitute, and both of his engagements ended with the sudden deaths of his fiancees. Nonetheless, his best-known hymn is the uplifting "What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

August 10, 1815: Samuel Leigh, the first Methodist minister in Australia, arrives in Sydney. The Methodist denomination is now Australia's third largest, with an adherence of 10 percent of the population.

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February 23, 155 (traditional date): Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, is martyred. Reportedly a disciple of the Apostle John, at age 86 he was taken to be burned at the stake. "You try to frighten me with fire that burns for an hour and forget the fire of hell that never burns out," he said. The flames, legend says, would not touch him, and when he was run through with a sword, his blood put the fire out (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

February 23, 303: Diocletian begins ...

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