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Martin Jr.
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Postby Martin Jr. » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:06 pm

Amen

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Postby burnt » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:30 pm

November 2, 1880 James A. Garfield was elected 20th president of the United States. It likely cut into his preaching time as a lay-minister, but then again, maybe not...

"In the first sermon that he is known to have preached (1853), he compared the career of Napoleon with the career of an even greater conqueror, Jesus Christ. The audience sat spell bound. Preaching another sermon, he contrasted the material and spiritual realms. "Men are tending to materialism. Houses, lands, and worldly goods attract their attention, and as a mirage lure them on to death. Christianity, on the other hand leads only the natural body to death, and for the spirit, it points out a house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens..." (Christianity.com)

More about this remarkable young man at this link:

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30598.html

It rather sounds like Garfield was a disciple who wanted to spread the good news no matter where he was.

Well how about that, isn't that what Jesus asked of his followers in Matthew 28:19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." (NASB)

Some have read his commission this way "As you are going..." indicating that spreading the message of Jesus is to be an every day practice!

Truth is, if the life of Christ has taken root in our lives, it will be obvious to others - both intentionally and unintentionally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FSyv9_8iV8
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:13 am

November 10, 1952: "English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'I believe that, in the present divided state of Christendom, those who are at the heart of each division are all closer to one another than those who are at the fringes.'" (StudyLight.org)

November 11,1760: "English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'You cannot live on what He did yesterday. Therefore He comes today.': (SLO)

May 12, 1556: "Dutch Anabaptist reformer Menno Simons wrote in a letter: 'I can neither teach nor live by the faith of others. I must live by my own faith as the Spirit of the Lord has taught me through His Word.'" (SLO)

May 12, 1615: "Richard Baxter was born at Rowton, Salop, England. Disgusted by the frivolity of the court, to which he was early introduced, he returned home to study on his own. He became a nonconformist..." (Christianity.com) http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 11-12.html

Nonconformists are just so inconvenient to everyone...

November 13, 1618: "The Synod of Dort convened. It was controlled by Calvinists..." (C.c)

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30066.html

Seems the Calvinists found it needful to resort to devious means - even violence - to achieve their goal of enforcing grace! Ah well, did the goal not justify the effort? Or was there some dichotomy at work there...

November 15, 1731: "William Cowper was born in Herfordshire, England. After an unhappy childhood in which he was brutalized at school, Cowper trained for the legal profession but never practiced law. Stress led to deep depression, from which Cowper never fully recovered. At age 32 he was converted..." (C.c)

See - http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 11-15.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R0uGJ83tZ8

Cowper's salvation experience and subsequently complicated life is another illustration of the Apostle Paul's words -

"For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies." (2 Corinthians 4: 6-10)

One of Cowper's best-known hymns - There is a Fountain Filled With Blood" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1WRt1Ag5gI

...and this... "Oh, For a Closer Walk with God"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wWVpafJX8A
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:24 pm

November 16, 1200: A king helps carry the coffin of Hugh, a committed servant of the Lord.

Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln and a churchman of humble character, would tolerate no wrongs against the common people and rightfully commanded the respect of of all - both the peasants who loved him for his merciful and caring approach toward them and the royalty which he boldly rebuked for their exploitation of the poor, whenever he found it necessary.

And although he frequently found it necessary, he kept his position and preserved his life because of his tactful and gracious manner.

It is said that a swan would follow Hugh while he was Bishop of Lincoln and it would even guard him in his sleep. It seems a fitting emblem of gratitude for the grace, love and kindness that he showed to all creatures, both of humankind and those of the animal kingdom.

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 29811.html

Hugh served as Bishop of Lincoln Cathedral during which time he performed an outstanding act, the effect of which bears a strong, but sadly diminishing influence on our everyday affairs - he was a signatory of the Magna Carta!

Hugh's motivation in adding his name to the Great Charter was consistent with his relentless and obstinate efforts at protecting the lives and dignity of the lower classes of the often-unfair and unjust feudal system.

The Charter, however, was not sealed until the year 1215 by King John, presumably the same King John that considered it an honor to be one of Hugh's pallbearers. One of 4 remaining copies of the original of this document of immeasurable contribution to freedoms and justice remains in safekeeping in Lincoln Castle.

Hugh of Lincoln was never known to have lifted a sword against oppressors, yet perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that through his determination, eloquence, self-denial and commitment to a Godly life, he did as much to bring freedom and fairness to the western world as perhaps any other earthly figure in memory.

Hugh of Lincoln was not only a man of theological learning - he was an outstanding model of Christian values at work! And although Hugh was a humble servant of Christ who stood up to kings in fearless determination, an English king considered it a honor to help bear his coffin to its burial place.

Yet how much greater an honor it will be to gain the notice of the King Eternal, an immeasurable reward for humble service!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTWunG_lUrE

Lincoln Cathedral - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... e_west.jpg

November 17, 270: Gregory, Bishop of Neocaesarea died..."When Gregory became bishop of Neocaesarea in the region of Pontus (modern Turkey) in the year 239, there were only seventeen Christians. When he died (which tradition says happened on this day, November 17, 270), there were only seventeen pagans. That transformation was owing largely to his faithful efforts..." (Christianity.com)

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 29627.html

Perhaps Hugh of Linclon had discovered what another spoke of over 5 centuries later -
November 19, 1742: "English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Plead His promises, be much in secret prayer, and never give God rest, till your soul is filled with all His fulness.' " (StudyLight.org)


November 20, 1850: "Blind Fanny Crosby underwent a dramatic spiritual conversion at age 30. Fifteen years later, she began writing her first of over 8,000 hymns texts. Many of these remain popular today, including "Rescue the Perishing," "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" and "Tell Me the Story of Jesus."" (SLO)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPtUwVoJsi8
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:35 pm

November 22,1963: "Death of C.S. Lewis, 65, Anglican scholar, novelist and Christian apologist. Well-known for his children's classic, "The Chronicles of Narnia" (1950-56), Lewis also penned other Christian classics, including "The Screwtape Letters" (1943) and "The Great Divorce" (1946)." (StudyLight.org) -also “Surprised by Joy” wherein he describes his conversion experience.

Lewis was one of the 20th century’s most articulate apologists for the Christian faith. His conversion story is both most remarkable and, at the same time, not uncommon, in that he was an atheist who set out to disprove the existence of God. Guess what - instead of smashing belief in God, Lewis ended up broken on the rock of God’s truth!

November 26,1962: "English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'No doubt [my body] has often led me astray: but not half so often, I suspect, as my soul has led IT astray. For the spiritual evils ... arise more from the imagination than from the appetites.' "(StudyLight.org)

Obedience or disobedience to the unchanging Word begins in our minds, in our thinking - not in our bodies. We first justify our actions within before they find expression outwardly.

So whether individually or collectively, it is really disturbing when we find ourselves straying from what God clearly stated in his unchanging Word, because it means that, at some level, we have knowingly made such a choice. So we, like Lewis, either end up broken on the rock of God’s truth, or will the rock be our eternal undoing.

And further to that, on
November 27,1950: "American missionary martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'What gets me into the Kingdom, from Christ's own statement, is not saying "Lord, Lord," but acting "Lord, Lord."' (SLO)

Elliot’s words are a practical extension of Lewis’ statement - it is of no use to proclaim Jesus as Lord if our actions don’t match. (Elliot was talking about actions based in deliberate and willful aberrations from truth, rather than slips based in our human fallibility)

Jesus said “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. [I never knew you] You’re out of here.’" (Matthew 7:21-23, The Message)

To whom, then, should we listen, when we make our choices - the voice of truth, or egocentric expediency - doing that which suits me best, here and now?

Obedience brings familiarity that surpasses a mere speaking of his name. So the question is does He know your - and my - name because of our close connection to Him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtlDVleJBtA
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby TexasBred » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:19 am

AMEN BROTHER !!!!!!!!!!
Nothing but a beggar trying to show other beggars where I found bread.

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Postby burnt » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:25 pm

December 3, 298: Two men died rather than violate their conscience -

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 29631.html

December 3, 1841: "Birth of Clara H. Scott, American music teacher and composer. A contributor to the collections published by Horatio R. Palmer, she is best remembered today as author and composer of the hymn, "Open My Eyes, That I May See."" (StudyLight.org)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODDfaAybNKk

It is easy to overlook the contributions of people like Clara Scott who left us with a message in music, a message that is easily recalled and frequently repeated through the years, long after the writer is buried and forgotten.

The above song is an example of such a lasting message. Interesting also is how one can be quite familiar with a song but not really be fully aware of its message until a life circumstance jars awake our understanding of it.

Then suddenly, our mind is opened to absorb the meaning of the words put to music and we realize that the writer(s) - perhaps long gone - must have gone through the same experience as we did and recorded their story, process and feelings to the benefit those who followed after them.

There is a tremendous value in hymnody in how it can speak to needs that may be difficult to understand and express in spoken words.

The apostle Paul pointed out the value in finding fulfillment through this avenue with these words - " Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:18-20, The Message)

December 4, 1685, John Nisbit saw his impending martyrdom not as a punishment, but as an event that would very soon unite him with his Savior.

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30172.html

No doubt, he viewed death the same way as the terminally ill young woman who wanted to be buried with her fork in her hand...

http://www.guideposts.org/hope-and-fait ... t-yet-come

How is it that these two examples of faith did not shrink from the thought of dying - a prospect which most of us try to avoid with all our natural might, even if we have assurance of eternal life?

Is the key found in the words of the hymn by which we remember Clara Scott - "Open my eyes that I might see..." - see something which traverses the temporal and locks onto the eternal?

December 5, 1951: "American missionary martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'How sadly and how slowly I am learning that loud preaching and long preaching are not substitutes for inspired preaching.'" (SLO)

Ponder this -

December 6, 1955: "English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'It is a dreadful truth that the state of having to depend solely on God is what we all dread most... It is good of Him to force us; but dear me, how hard to feel that it is good at the time.'" (SLO)
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:26 pm

December 8, 1810 -"Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain, Connecticut. Apprenticed to a blacksmith, he developed a longing to read the scriptures in their original languages, which he succeeded in doing on his own. Because of this he was known as "The Learned Blacksmith." He became editor of a Christian magazine and a champion of peace movements." (Christianity.com)

Wow, this guy went a long way for a young man who had a tough start. I'd say that it's no small thing to learn another language with proper schooling, not to mention learning Hebrew and Greek on his own! And he did all that while working hard to support himself. Where is that ethic today?

The notable thing is that all his hard work had a significant impact on the course of English and American history.

http://library.ccsu.edu/help/spcoll/bur ... graphy.php

December 11, 1792: "Birth of Joseph Mohr, the Austrian Roman Catholic vicar who, along with the Oberndorf Church organist Franz Gruber, on Christmas Eve of 1818, authored the enduring Christmas hymn, "Stille Nacht" ("Silent Night")." (StudyLight.org)

Is there a more simple song than this, a song which captures so much of the Gospel message and profound theology in so few words - "Son of God, love's pure light radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth."

Jesus Christ, Son of God, came to us bringing grace, love and light to show us how he wants us to live, all in one tiny, vulnerable human form. What event has ever surpassed this!

This is without a doubt my most treasured song of the season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE1G-JdeNow
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:02 pm

December 14, 1836: "Birth of Frances Ridley Havergal, English devotional writer. In frail health most of her life, Miss Havergal was nevertheless a fruitful writer, and authored such hymns as "Take My Life and Let It Be," "Who is on the Lord's Side?" and "I Gave My Life for Thee."" (Studylight.org)

This beautiful hymn came from her pen and experience, this a capella rendition from the Smucker family -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIcKms_IUY

December 14, 1955: "Catholic religious leader, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, 60, was quoted in "Look" magazine on this date as stating that 'an atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.'" (SLO)


December 17, 1843: "Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published. The "social conversion" of Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve may be seen as a literary symbol (based on the events of the first Christmas night) of the human potential released through spiritual conversion." (SLO)

December 18, 1917, after having seized Church lands and taking over all education several days earlier, the Bolsheviks grabbed religious ritual away from the Church, making marriage a civic matter. All this, after the church thought it was looking at greater freedom under the new regime! Read more here -

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30717.html

December 19, 1950, the Chinese Communists arrested Dr. Bill Wallace and eventually killed him for his faithfulness to Christ. In times of ease like we currently enjoy, being persecuted for our faith seems like a remote possibility...

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30801.html

December 19, 1965: "American missionary and apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'God has given us rules not because He is arbitrary, but because the rules...are fixed in His own character... Thus, when we sin we break the law of God...in the direction of destroying what we really are.'" (SLO)

And here we thought that God was just being bossy? Maybe there is really good reason for allowing Him to work in us a change of heart toward Him moving us to follow His instructions? Schaeffer's words about the self-destruction that follows continual disobedience to God's words are supported by ample evidence in our societies.

Paul said this about those who reject God's instruction "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness..." (Romans 1:28, 29 ESV)
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:19 am

Well I did some reading and writing for this space last evening after a busy social day and lost it all in a computer glitch. This site doesn't want to load for me sometimes and last night was one of them after I had done the prep.

I will post back again in the New Year.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a joy-filled Christmas celebration, especially remembering the greatest event in Christian history - the birth of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:13 pm

January 4, 1528: "Ferdinand of Austria, younger brother to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, issued the first secular mandate forbidding the Anabaptist religious movement." (Studylight.org)

Over the course of the Reformation and the next 250 years there were a multitude of such mandates issued against the Anabaptists, as shown in the link below.
http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mandates

However, the more these people were repressed, persecuted and killed, the more their numbers grew as other people witnessed their calm and peaceful response to horrendous treatment. They were expelled from their homeland, hunted like animals and their orphaned children disinherited (by the civic authorities) from their dead parents' estates.

The businesses they owned were made illegal, their houses burned, the assets confiscated and bounties were placed on their heads with large rewards for the killing of leaders. One such bounty was set at 100 Reichstaler, a coin from that era, depicted in this link -
http://www.coingallery.de/KarlV/Kempten_D.htm

Still their numbers grew as their neighbors joined with them, convinced of their innocence by their display of calm and unwavering faith. If captured, these defenseless people bravely met death with joy. As the wood was piled around them, they often sang hymns and prayed aloud, bolstered by the knowledge that they would very soon be seeing their Savior face to face.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qec8TMNJEcw

Even their persecutors grew weary and sickened by the innocent blood they shed. One such murderer was the provost Aichelin who surprised an entire Anabaptist family on their farm, Mantelhof, near Wurttemburg, Germany. He and his men burned 20 women and children alive in their house after hanging the father and son from a nearby Linden tree before the eyes of his family.
http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mantel ... Germany%29

It was after this atrocity that a historian said of Aichelin: "But God at last instilled fear into him through the steadfastness of His servants, so that he swore that he would not execute another brother. He was later stabbed in Württemberg and died a shameful death." Another account states how many of the persecutors swore off killing because of the horrors that they had committed on these innocents.

There is in the archives of my own family history an account dated January 11, 1711, of one Anabaptist from the Schwarze farm of the hamlet,Trub, Switzerland. Hans Schwartzentruber (hence the origin of my surname) was expelled to Holland but later returned to Bern, Switzerland. He must have survived and/or had sons who survived, for their movements were traced through the oft-troubled Palatinate and eventually had children who moved to Germany and then North America where they found freedom to freely worship as they believed.

As one of their descendants, I am deeply humbled to think of the extreme deprivation and abuse they endured as they held to their faith. Their example of patient suffering remains to this day as a model of Christ-like conduct in the face of opposition and oppression. They forgave. They endured. They died without malice toward anyone.

And they gained eternal life!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BaOhZrdLVY

And they were often reduced to having nothing which they could call their own on this earth. For some reason they remind me of this passage from Hebrews 11:35-40:

"...Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, and they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."(ESV)

What do I - what do you - consider to be our most valuable possession? Is it something here, or "something better"?

January 5, 1527: "Swiss Anabaptist reformer Felix Manz, 29, was drowned in punishment for preaching adult (re-)baptism. Manz's death made him the first Protestant in history to be martyred at the hands of other Protestants." (SLO)

On January 8, 1956, 5 missionaries died in the Ecuador jungle. As has been so often proven before, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church"...

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30813.html

January 9, 1944, a chain gang convict breaks his chains...

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30776.html
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.

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Postby burnt » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:53 am

January 11, 1777: "Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'A soul may be in as thriving a state when thirsting, seeking and mourning after the Lord as when actually rejoicing in Him; as much in earnest when fighting in the valley as when singing upon the mount.'" (StudyLight.org)

As a follower of Christ, you might sometimes find yourself in a place where God's grace and guidance seem distant or even absent. You are not alone - it is not unusual for disciples to come under such attacks from the one who opposes our faith!

Peter said this to his persecuted and scattered Asian hearers: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5: 6-10, ESV)

Newton's words offer encouragement for those who find themselves in a struggle to stay afloat when dark circumstances seem about to overwhelm their faith. Faith is the residual power of our commitment when feelings and rationality would tell us to quit.

January 11, 1945, in his last letter to his wife, an imprisoned German lawyer wrote this: (I stand before Judge Friesler) "not as a Protestant, not as a big landowner, not as a nobleman, not as a Prussian, not as a German, but as a Christian and nothing else.".

Having withstood the totalitarian demands of Nazism, he knew what would inevitably become of him, having said this: "Nazism and Christianity were alike in one thing: both systems demanded the whole man." The Kingdom of Heaven is either first in one's life, or nothing at all.

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 30779.html

January 13, 1547: In response to the concerns that triggered the Reformation, an assembly of bishops of the Roman Catholic Church signed a declaration on "justification", or how one is made right with God. The purpose of calling the Council was to try to reunite all believers under the Roman Catholic umbrella.

However, although there was a much-needed clarification of some principle doctrines, the objective of reunification failed and life became much worse for many believers (deemed heretics by both sides) who did not hold the same views as either the reformers or the Catholics.

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 29976.html

January 14, 1529: After a mere 18-year-old Juan Valdés had his revolutionary book, "Dialogue on Christian Doctrine", published, he knew what it meant to fall on the wrong side of prevailing opinion. The Spanish Inquisition prevailed...

http://www.christianity.com/church/chur ... 29945.html

January 16, 1604: "At the Hampton Court Conference in England, John Rainolds presented to King James I the motion '...that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible.' Approved the next day, Rainolds' motion led to the 1611 publication of the Authorized (King James) version of the Bible." (SLO)
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". Henry D. Thoreau.


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