BAAL’S-MASS

BAAL’S-MASS

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 21:06:37 -0600

By L. B. Brunk

Preface

There is information here that shows how that in the past centuries paganism and politics managed to influence and corrupt the purity of Christian events that are not wholesome. Each reader may judge for themselves and deal accordingly with the truth.

XMAS — Commonly called Christmas should more properly be called BAAL’S–MASS.

This is the eve of Dec. 24, 1982, and generally referred to as “Christmas Eve.” It is very quiet in our home. There are no unusual lights inside or outside to mark any special occasion. There is no lighted tree — no holly or mistletoe — no cedar or pine branches lying around — no wreaths on the door or in the windows — no radios or television blaring about Old St. Nick — no plans for a special feast tomorrow — no visitors or guests in the house — no gifts around a tree or manger scene no wine or strong drink — no yule log in the fireplace — no candles on the table or in the windows. There is no Santa Claus in the yard, on the porch, or anywhere around, and no so-called manger scene at the road. Mrs. Brunk is reading and I am at my desk to begin an article on this subject that has been burning increasingly in my heart for more than twenty years. We are not tired (nor broke) from a wild shopping spree among the mad rush of shoppers. No — we didn’t buy or send even one Xmas Card! We have no stockings up at the fireplace and no so-called Christmas music on the console. We didn’t even go to the Mall to see Santa arrive by helicopter from the North Pole, nor did we have a special service to try to “keep Christ in Christmas! …. What a DRAB life,” you say? Wait a minute — let me explain. Let me tell you of the change that came into our lives concerning all of this stuff and then take a look at some hard facts that are related to the subject. To take a stand for truth is not drab — there will be plenty of action! Most of the opposition will come from (who do you think?) the professing Christians.

First — my personal testimony. I am sixty-five years old. I was born and raised in a Christian home. My father was a very influential minister and conference executive in his church. There were nine children in our family. All four boys are ordained preachers.

Even with the very strong discipline of our home and church, as far back as I can remember we always had a “Christmas tree” with all of the lights, snow, tinsel, star, and pretty little trinkets etc., etc. with a very liberal show of gifts and goodies. However, we were strongly taught against the Santa Claus myth and of course against the drunkenness and hilarity of the “world” at this time. I think that I remember reading the account from the Bible about the birth of Jesus, but our interest, as children, was so centered around the gifts and goodies that it was just a matter of form to get over with as soon as possible so that we could get on with the opening of the gifts. As far back as I can remember it was my job year after year to get the tree and put it up in the large living room. I was delighted in this, of course, and never realized until l was past forty years of age how inconsistent and grossly wrong it was!

I did know that there were other church folk who refrained from the tree thing, but even all of them, as far as I knew, still sought to declare December 25th as the birthday of Jesus and so observed it. A special service and Christmas caroling were regular annual activities of our church.

In the early 1940’s I was twenty-five years old and quite active in the church, having received Christ as my Savior in my early youth. Mrs. Brunk and I were happily married. I decided to change my work from a dairy plant employee to something of the self-employment nature. The first opportunity came in December when a former school buddy who lived in the Shenandoah Valley came two hundred miles south to our home near Newport News with a big truck load of beautiful cedar trees that he wanted to sell. There were hundreds of them piled on the truck like hay. I had no money to pay him so he offered me the whole load of trees for 25 cents apiece to be paid after they were sold. I decided to take the risk. We threw the trees off in a pile like so much rubbish and waited for the next morning when I would start out on my first independent business venture. I had not known what the Bible said in Jeremiah l0 about how the heathen did it, but I proceeded in the same manner. I had a good pile of stove-length slab wood that would make excellent bases for my trees. Part of the night was spent in gathering tools and nails needed for the next day.

My big surprise was when I went to load the trees in the morning. It had rained and then frozen during the night. The trees looked like herring fish bones! I loaded them carefully and headed for the big city of Newport News with a sickening feeling that I would never sell them. I spotted a place at the foot of the famous James River Bridge and began to set up. I sawed off the butts, fitted on a piece of wood, and fastened it with spikes just like Jeremiah said in the Bible. They looked so funny — the old flat frozen things! Who would ever buy them.9 Well, the sun began to shine and the trees thawed and looked so pretty and green. Sure enough, the people began to stop and I sold those 25 cent trees for a good price in only a short time! Excited was no word for it. I was in the money! I made enough on that first load of trees to pay for my first truck. Sure — you guessed it — we had to get more. And we did. My wife helped me drag trees from the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountain area through the snow almost day and night. I had no compunction of conscience whatever and not one soul out of a large congregation of people and preachers and relatives and church workers even hinted that it might be a questionable thing!

The years passed. We always had our trees and lights and liberal show of gifts. Christmas caroling was a regular thing and we did what we could to “keep Christ in Christmas.” Our big tent meetings of the early 1950’s were no challenge on the subject. Sometimes we were actually in transit in our mobile home, but we were always faithful to observe what we believed was the birthday of Jesus with the trees and lights and gifts. I recall, then, that the trees and lights began to become more modest and we began to use a manger scene instead of the trees and holly, etc. We began a more forceful emphasis on abstaining from the carnal show and placing more importance on keeping Christ in Christmas. Our preaching and printing during the 1950’s and 1960’s will support this. These were years of deep study and heart-searching on a number of issues, Christmas being one of them. We began to find, through more careful study, that all of this ado had its origin in Paganism and is most certainly condemned and forbidden in the scriptures. I am sorry to say that the change was too slow, but I am happy to report that Mrs. Brunk and I are totally delivered from ALL of this Pagan stuff. We thank God for it!

We regret that we did not instill these truths in all of our children when they were young. The very nature of the Christmas activities make it very hard for one to take their stand, especially when most preachers and friends put up a strong defense in its favor.

I have given this account to prove to any-one critical of our stand that what we believe is not solely just what was forced upon us by our church, nor was it the result of some fanatical engagement, but is the result of an open-hearted and honest search into the truth and a determination to “walk in the light” as it came to us.

Now let us look at some vital facts on the subject of Christmas.

THE VERY NAME OF CHRISTMAS IS UNSCRIPTURAL —

It is a combination of words — “the mass of Christ,” or “Christ’s mass.” There is nothing in God’s Word to even hint of such a term. The word immediately reveals its link to the Roman (Catholic) Church.

During this writing, I wish to apologize for using the word “Christmas” because I believe that in so doing we use the name of Christ in an unscriptural way and thus take His name in vain! It has been done so long and so often that we have accepted it as sort of a holy title. I might add to the list of avoidances mentioned previously that we do not for this reason wish anyone a “Merry Christmas,” although we sincerely wish everyone A GENUINE BLESSING OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR!!

There will be a great ado in Rome as the Holy Mass is administered by the Pope whom the Roman Catholic Church declares to be the “vicar” of Christ. This declaration regarding the Pope is not true. The word Christmas (the mass of Christ) was introduced by the Roman Church hundreds of years after the birth of Jesus, by attaching the birth of Jesus to December 25, which was a festival pagan day thousands of years before Christ! In the light of this statement I beg to use the word “Xmas” instead. Again I must explain. For years I wrote and preached that we should avoid using the word Xmas for the birthday of Christ and insisted that we keep Christ in Christmas. I was wrong. I am persuaded that the name of Christ does not belong in this affair by any means as I have already stated and will also develop further. I believe that instead of trying to “put” or “keep”Christ in Xmas  we should get Jesus Christ OUT of Baal’s Mass!

Xmas has its roots in paganism. There is no question about this. Read any encyclopedia on the subject. December 25 was a pagan festival day thousands of years BEFORE Jesus was born! (As was “Easter,” which many Christians think is a Christian term and related to the resurrection of Jesus. This also is a false teaching and observance.)

How then did this particular day –December 25 ever find its way into Christian circles as we see it today? The pagans were Sun-worshipers.’ Worshipers of Baal, the Sun god. Ezekiel tells us a lot about this as do many other writers in the Scriptures. On December 25th (and the days around it) the Baal-Sun-god worshipers became alarmed about the short days and the long cold nights. They proceeded to take measures to wake up their sun-god and get him back on the job. In order to do this they would build great brush fires and light torches until the days began to lengthen and become warmer. This kind of sun-god Baal worship went on for centuries during the Old Testament period before Christ was born!

The early apostolic church, of course, had no part of it and the commission of God through His prophets and apostles warned the people to renounce their heathen and pagan practice and serve the only true God. By the third and fourth centuries, after Christ, the Roman Church had apostatized to such an extent that they began to adopt the pagan practices of Baal and sun-god worship. Among them was this pagan thing of December 25. The apostate church invited the pagans to accept baptism and come into the church. The unconverted pagans, of course, would not give up their heathen religious observances. Then a most terrible thing took place! The apostate Roman Church made a proposition to the pagans that if they would accept baptism and the Eucharist, they could keep their pagan observances and the Church would simply attach Christian events to their pagan religious dates and they would both get along together! Thus, The Xmas and Easter business was introduced to the church world. (As were other unscriptural practices.) THE LITTLE BETHLEHEM JESUS WAS BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF SINNERS BY NAMING HIS BIRTHDAY AS DECEMBER 25th, WHICH WAS A CENTURIES OLD PAGAN RITE!

So, the pagans came in and the honor of our dear Savior went out! The same was true regarding Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. What a shame and what a crime that well-meaning Christians today have convinced themselves that they are doing a good service by insisting on keeping our Savior’s birthday in the ages old pagan festival days.
 
THE DEATH OF CHRIST DISGRACED BEFORE THE WORLD

Also at about this time, Constantine, the great pagan ruler, decided to Christianize the world. The Roman Church had apostatized to such an extent that there was nothing offensive in the “Christian Life” to hinder a pagan man from accepting it. Constantine claimed that he saw a vision of the Cross in the sky and thus used that as his driving force to inspire his men to fight and to make the world Christian. He drove his armies into the rivers in a wholesale rite of baptism and thus made them Christians (?). He marched under the banner of the Cross and left a river of blood and suffering in his wake — all in the name of the Cross!

Then the Crusaders (Roman Church)came in hordes of murderers and destroyers in the name of religion and under the DlRECT SUPERVISION AND BLESSING OF THE ROMAN CHURCH swept over Europe and the Holy Land in indescribable terror — all under the banner of the Cross. No wonder the Jews hated Christianity. These betrayers of truth have brought to the world the unscriptural Mass of Christ (Christmas) –the entirely unscriptural and pagan Easter –and the defunct and meaningless dead religion that boasts itself in the CROSS of Jesus. That same crowd has idolized the virgin, made a Pope out of the apostle Peter, and dumped a host of heathen-pagan filth on the Christian people of the world. The sad fact is that so many well-meaning Christians accept it in various measures and terms. Someone has said that enough splinters of the Cross were sold by the Roman Church to supply timber to build a battle ship.

WHAT DO WE DO THEN?

Abandon the birth of Jesus the Cross of Christ — the resurrection, etc.? Never! But we will not associate nor share these blessed events with the pagan and sinful program of an apostate church and a Christ denying world!

WHAT ABOUT THE TREE — THE MISTLETOE — THE LIGHTS

Trees — the groves — were earmarks all through the Old Testament of pagan and Baal worship. It goes back to the earliest records of the scripture. Bible scholars believe that this “tree” thing originated with Nimrod, the son of Cush who was the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah. Secular history bears this out.
 
Nimrod was a very wicked man and became the recognized “Daddy” of pagan and Baal worship. Anyone who desires can easily acquire information on this wicked character.

Many sentimental stories have emerged over the centuries about this tree thing. Some say that it started with a priest in Germany who especially loved children, and became known as dear Old St. Nick. Some say others. But the fact is, it goes back much, much further. The prophets repeatedly warned Israel about the trees — the groves — the sun worship, etc. Men like Gideon who slipped out at night to cut down the groves and Elijah who challenged the prophets of Baal and risked their lives in doing so are only an example of Old Testament accounts of the battle with the pagan system. Maybe something comparable would take place if someone today went through the land and tore down and burned all of the Xmas trees and lights and Santa Clauses. He would be fortunate to escape with his life. The world wouldn’t even have a chance at him. The professing Christians who preach peace and love and giving would scalp him –arrest him — torture him — or burn him alive! While the pagans danced around the fires bearing their torches and crying to their sun god on those long and bitter cold nights, we have it so nice. We just put up a tree and cover it with lights and tinsel and snow. Then we light a candle and put it in the window or hang a wreath of holly and pine at the door or windows and then retire to our warm beds in our heated homes with our stomachs bulging with the wine and candies and good food that we gorged upon for the occasion! Funny? Yes, but oh so serious. It’s all the same — Baal worship!

Hear the message of Jeremiah the prophet: “Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen.., for the Customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold,’ they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” Jeremiah 10:2-4. (See how far you have to go to find someone who even knows that this scripture is in the Bible.)

The mistletoe — the holly — the cedar –all have pagan beginnings. Secular history is abundant proof.

WHAT ABOUT SANTA CLAUS?

Someone has properly labeled Old St. Nick as the devil’s substitute for Jesus. Oh sure, so many tales have come along about the dear Old St. Nick that loves kids and now lives at the North Pole and makes his annual visit to every home in the world and comes down the chimney and has a crew of helpers at the headquarters and employs a bunch of reindeer to whisk his sleigh through the skies, etc., etc., etc. In recent years a number of interesting (but untrue) features are added to the Santa Claus myth. Now, he makes his appearance at shopping malls by helicopter and is even bringing Mrs. Claus along on special occasions. Perhaps before long he will bring some young Claus children and babies to swell the crowds and create more commercialism. Who knows where the limit will be?

Anyone who truly loves Jesus Christ will reject all of this Godless ado and work strongly to expose its untruthfulness and deceit.

The call of the scripture is exactly referring to this very matter in II Corinthians 6:14-18: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Here are the words of my father regarding this scripture as is practiced by the modern, compromising, liberal professing church today: “Go in among them and be good mixers, saith the devil, and don’t be such a sanctimonious thing, and I will deceive you and will be a father unto you and you shall be my cursed children, saith his Satanic Majesty.”

I believe that the height of my displeasure was when I discovered that some big fat professing holiness preachers were playing the part of Santa Claus in public places for commercial gain. How frightening — how disgusting — how indescribably insulting to our Savior Jesus Christ! We can only plead the mercy of God on such inconsistent and disgraceful behavior! Again we say that it is wrong to attempt to squeeze our Lord Jesus into a long established pagan system. Christian friend, if you have either been untaught or mistaught, I appeal to you to abandon this God-dishonoring system and not to touch — taste — or handle it in any way.

DECEMBER 25th OBSERVED THE WORLD OVER

To my knowledge, every nation in the world observes this date. Even Communist Russia has its jolly old gent who brings gifts, etc. Think of it! In a land where millions of people have been murdered for even breathing the name of Jesus Christ, and on this very day one would not be permitted to testify or preach in His name. Christian friend, how can we be so blind? Of the hundreds of people that I have witnessed to, I have been shocked at the lack of knowledge regarding this whole subject. Most of all I have been shocked at the high percentage of professing Christians who immediately jump to the defense of the pagan system with a host of flimsy excuses. Many who are making no profession of being a Christian or have any indication of any desire whatever to be so are ready to fight furiously in its defense. Isn’t that revealing?

Even so, I am looking at an article written by a Catholic priest (for AP news in New York) with bold headlines: “Give Christmas Back to the Pagans.” In this article this writer (a Roman Catholic priest, mind you) states, “the December 25th date for Christmas was not set by early Christians, but was adopted in the fourth century by joining the observance of the Pagan Roman celebration of “Sol-Invictus,” the sun god. It is time to come out of the land of Babylon and leave December 25th to the pagans. As Christians, we should have the courage to leave this lifeless carcass to the vultures.” Think of it –this from a Catholic priest!

NO XMAS IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1630

The Puritans came to America to escape the paganism and horror of the Roman Church. Their rejection of celebrating December 25 as the birthday of Jesus was only one issue involved. I am reading from our local newspaper that just arrived (dated December 25th, 1982) and carrying an article “America’s First Christmas.” The article originates at St. Mary’s City, Md. (sounds like a Roman Catholic town) and written for the NEA. This article states that in 1633 the first Catholics were en route to America and celebrated Christmas while at sea, where many of them died aboard from drinking wine and other spirits, and never made it to shore. Thus in the early 1630’s the Xmas observance was begun in America.

This pagan practice was so offensive to the Puritan settlers that they passed a law in the Massachusetts assembly on May 11th, 1659 which declared: “Whosoever shall be found observing any day such as Christmas shall pay for every offense five shillings.” This law was enforced in this land of America for 22 years! Yes — it was a federal offense!!

Because of this law the Roman Catholics went underground — that is they observed the occasion in secret until little by little the protestors gave in and now we have what we have in the good old USA — the biggest fake festival and gaudy unscriptural “mass of Baal” that the world has ever known. President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) is credited for setting up the first tree at the White House only a little more than 100 years ago! Now look at the show and waste and pagan worship at our White House each year to say nothing of the churches (almost universal) that participate and even foster it all.

Only this week in our local paper we see the advertisement of a large neighboring church program with the singers on their platform stage in the shape and decorations of a huge tree! Where will all of this pagan nonsense end?

WHAT ABOUT THE SNOW?

Just another added feature to make the observance attractive. The scripture states that the shepherds were in the fields watching over their flocks when Jesus was born. That doesn’t sound like a “snow storm.” Joseph and Mary made the long trip to Bethlehem where Jesus was then born. That doesn’t sound like a cold, snowy December night!

WHAT DAY THEN WAS JESUS BORN?

Nobody knows that. For reasons not known to us God withheld this from all records. Apparently God did not want us to celebrate that particular day. Every indication is that Jesus was born during the pleasant weather of the summer months. If the Christian church would choose to pin-point a special day — why would they ever choose an old established pagan festival day? December 25 is generally accepted as the birthday of Nimrod who was possibly the most wicked man of all time and recognized as the founder of idolatry and Baal worship. He married his own mother and built the tower of Babel, and to him was erected the first tree!

WHAT ABOUT THE MANGER SCENE?

Some church folk seem thoroughly serious about honoring the child Jesus with a public-live – show of characters including a few animals — donkeys, chickens, lambs, etc. The wise men are generally participating along with a life-sized doll baby to represent the Christ Child. In this also there are a number of violations. According to the gospel record the wise men (it does not say how many) did not go to the place of birth but to the house where He was kept at a later time. That probably was at least a number of months and could have even been a year or more later. King Herod had all of the male children killed up to two years of age in an effort to destroy the Child Jesus.

Also, one of the Ten Commandments clearly states that “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” To use a doll (or even to own one) in the light of this commandment is wrong. My personal feeling is that it is a stark and bold act of disobedience to use a doll to impersonate the Child Jesus!

This is to say nothing of the gross mistake of placing the whole matter in association with such a wicked and adulterous Baal-oriented festival. “Come out from among them, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.”

ARGUMENTS THAT FAVOR THE PAGAN FESTIVAL

Should we not observe some day for the birthday of Jesus? Apparently not, since God has very obviously withheld this information from us. Sure, we believe in the supernatural conception and birth of Jesus. We preach it –sing about it — and cherish the glorious truth, but we love Him too much to associate His birth with the pagan festival.

SHOULD WE NOT EXCHANGE GIFTS SUCH AS THE WISE MEN BROUGHT TO JESUS?

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus — not for each other. There is sufficient evidence that the early church did not observe the event of His birth, much less engage in exchanging gifts with each other. The Xmas festival provides occasion for the money-hungry preachers in their appeal for funds by asking for a birthday offering for Baby Jesus. There is no need to enlarge upon the excessive waste of time and money in the slavery of shopping and buying of millions of tons of worthless and needless junk to satisfy the commercial money-grabbers who after all are largely the promoters of this affair. Of course we give gifts and do things for our families and others, but not in any way as partakers of this heathen system. The festival day is hardly over until the masses begin to pour back into the business houses to exchange or return certain goods or perhaps to buy at half price or less those items that only a day before were overpriced!

How stupid can we be? Our local paper has huge ads even tonight offering half price and less for all Xmas trees and merchandise in stock!

APPEAL

It takes one with determination and deep conviction to stand against the pressure today. Most of us talk much about the Hebrew brethren who refused to bow down when the music began and the order was given. We preach and shout for Daniel who refused to partake of the King’s table. We shout and jump up and down and hug each other in the aisles when the preacher talks about Elijah and how he stood alone against the hundreds of Baal’s prophets. But oh, the lack of conviction and backbone when it comes to taking a firm stand on the issue of the pagan Xmas and Easter. Can you imagine the three Hebrew brethren stooping to such cowardice, as many do today, when they were threatened with the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down and worship the image that the king had set up? They might have reasoned thus — “When the music sounds and the order is given to bow down and worship the image, we will bow down too, but we will worship our God while they worship the image and no one will know the difference and thus we will escape the furnace and the reproach.” But thank God they did not compromise or yield. Oh God, give us men today with such conviction and backbone!

And so, because we do not have that kind of courage, the vicious cycle continues as one generation brainwashes the next. We take our vacations at Xmas — talk about what we either bought or sold or gave or received at Xmas — stock up on food, liquor, beer, candy, goodies, etc. at Xmas — scan the “gloated” stores with a fine-toothed comb to buy junk at inflated prices at Xmas — throw special parties and have special drives for money for “Jesus’ birthday” at Xmas –family reunions and elaborate feasts are standard for Xmas — manger scenes and trees and holly and lights emerge at Xmas –church papers and Sunday School literature is geared for Xmas –jam the U.S. Post Office with cards and packages showing Old St. Nick pictures and holly wrappings and snow etc. at Xmas. Multiplied tons of trees and junk will be dumped in the garbage in a few days. Only now it is getting quite popular to invest in artificial trees and decorations that can be stored away until the next year when at the sound of the cornet, flute, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, we fall down and worship the pagan god. (See Daniel 3)

A sword pricks my heart every time I hear a person, especially an innocent child, unconsciously using the word “Christmas.” I would carefully submit that anyone using the word “Christmas” is in violation of divine truth and must bear responsibility accordingly for the damage done in dishonoring our Savior and Lord, and for helping to foster a heathen, pagan, festival day that has nothing whatever to do with the birth of Jesus! Let’s get Jesus Christ out of Baal’s Mass! Yes, I feel that those of us who truly love the Lord and are walking in the light will abandon the use of the term “Christmas” and call it just what it is –“Baalmas.”

I’ll close this message with a quote from a good tract before me which deals forcefully with the subject.

“NO ONE WHO ACKNOWLEDGES THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES TO DIRECT IN ALL QUESTIONS OF DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE WILL HAVE ANY FELLOWSHIP IN XMAS CELEBRATIONS AFTER HIS ATTENTION HAS BEEN CALLED TO THE MATTER, UNLESS HE DOES IT DELIBERATELY, AND IN SELF WILL.”

I say “Amen!”

To turn the tide to any notable degree is far beyond my wildest imagination. If there is an honest soul who receives help from this message, I will be rewarded. At least I can be like the little old lady who, during the Civil War, saw the approaching army marching down the dusty road toward her home. She stood, with her stove poker, in the middle of the road. The commanding officer walked up and said, “Lady, you don’t think that you can stop this army with that stove poker, do you?” She held it close to his nose and said, “Mister, I may not be able to stop this army, but I sure can let you know which side I’m on!”

Just walk in the light and God bless you richly ever day of the year.”My heart is fixed. Oh Lord, my heart is fixed.”

L. B. Brunk

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2) Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (3) For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:1-3

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