Events 51-75

1536
John Calvin publishes The Institutes of the Christian Religion, the most substantial theological work of the Reformation.

1540
The Society of Jesus is approved by the Vatican. Founded by Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuit order places its services entirely at the disposal of the pope.

1545
The Council of Trent opens. Called by the Roman Catholic Church, it addresses abuses and serves the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

1549
Cranmer produces the beloved Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England.

1559
John Knox returns to Scotland to lead reformation there after a period of exile in Calvin's Geneva.

1572
The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France witnesses the killing of tens of thousands of Protestant Huguenots by Catholics.

1608-09
Anglican preacher turned Separatist, John Smith, baptizes the first "Baptists."

1611
Publication of the Authorized or King James translation of the Bible in the English language. Fifty-four scholars worked for four years on the project.

1620
Pilgrims coming to America sign the Mayflower Compact and commit themselves to seek the public good, uphold group solidarity and forsake self-seeking.

1628
Jan Amos Comenius is driven from his homeland in Moravia and wanders the rest of his life spreading educational reform and pleading for Christian reconciliation.

1646
The Westminster Confession is drafted in the Jerusalem Room at Westminster Abbey.

1648
George Fox founds the Society of Friends, more commonly known as "Quakers." Seeking to live simple lives, opposed to warfare and avoiding formal worship, they had an influence far exceeding their numbers.

1662
Rembrandt completes his masterful painting the Return of the Prodigal Son.

1675
German Lutheran minister Philip Jacob Spener publishes Pia Desideria which becomes a manifesto for "Pietism."

1678
John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress is published. It becomes second in international circulation, exceeded only by the Bible.

1685
Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel born. These two will go on to become musical giants illustrating the central place of Biblical subjects in the masterpieces of Western art.

1707
Publication of Isaac Watt's Hymns and Spiritual Songs marks a new development in the kind of music sung in churches.

1727
Awakening at Herrnhut launches Moravian Brethren as the forerunner of modern Protestant missionary movements.

1735
Great Awakening under Jonathan Edwards stirs the American colonies with many conversions and individual returns to heartfelt faith.

1738
John Wesley's conversion eventually leads to the founding of a branch of the Methodist Church although he had no intention of forming a separate denomination.

1780
Newspaperman Robert Raikes begins Sunday schools to reach poor and uneducated children in England. It rapidly becomes a vital international movement.

1793 William Carey sails as a missionary to India and oversees more Bible translations than had previously been produced in all Christian history.

1807
The British Parliament votes to abolish the slave trade. Its decision is owing in large part to the tireless efforts of the Christian politician William Wilberforce.

1811
The Campbells begin the Disciples of Christ, an element within what became known as the "Restoration Movement" of American Christianity.

1812
Adoniram and Ann Judson sail for India. These first missionaries to be sent from America evangelize Burma and translate the scriptures into Burmese.

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