This month in Christian history

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As a reminder of the long, rich, passionate and sometimes violent history of the Christian church, the Anglican Journal is introducing “Milestones,” a short feature that will explore historical and intellectual events in the evolution of Christendom.

March 321
Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to become a Christian, officially proclaims Sunday to be the Christian day of worship, saying, “Let all judges and all city people and all tradesmen rest upon the venerable day of the sun.”

March 1536
John Calvin, a French theologian of the Protestant Reformation, publishes his groundbreaking Institutes of the Christian Religion, in Basel, Switzerland, in which he expounds the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, justification by faith alone and the supremacy of God in selecting individuals for salvation.

March 10, 1748
John Newton, captain of a slave ship, is converted to Christianity during a huge storm at sea. He eventually becomes an Anglican clergyman and writes the popular hymn “Amazing Grace.” Over the years, he collaborates with the poet William Cowper on a hymnal.

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Diana Swift
Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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