THE CHRISTIAN QUOTATION OF THE DAY
Christ, our Light

Quotations for July, 2003


 
Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873

Only the one who has been hurt can bring healing. The other person cannot. It is the one who has been hurt who has to be willing to be hurt again to show love, if there is to be hope that healing will come.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 226 (see the book; see also Rom. 15:1; Isa. 35:3-4; 40:29-31; 53:7; Rom. 14:1; 1 Cor. 1:25; 9:22; 2 Cor. 12:9; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 3:16; Heb. 2:18; more at Hope, Love, Weakness)

 
Wednesday, July 2, 2003

We might well pray for God to invade and conquer us, for until He does, we remain in peril from a thousand foes. We bear within us the seeds of our own disintegration... The strength of our flesh is an ever present danger to our souls. Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees... So He conquers us and by that benign conquest saves us for Himself.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Divine Conquest, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1950, Revell, 1950, p. 57 (see the book; see also Ps. 94:11-13; Job 7:17-19; Ps. 8:3-4; 49:10-13; Rom. 1:21-22; 3:3-4; more at Danger, Deliverance, Foe, God, Peril, Prayer, Strength)

 
Thursday, July 3, 2003
Feast of Thomas the Apostle

The book would have been richer if [it had represented] that small but significant section of preachers who are not content with generalization where ‘the social implications’ of Christianity are concerned, but who are prepared to take sides on concrete issues. This is an admittedly different and dangerous proceeding, but one which certainly the prophets of Israel were not afraid to tackle. This is a form of witness-bearing, which the pulpit shuns at its peril.
... O. Fielding Clarke (see also 2 Sam. 12:7-10; 1 Kings 21:18-19; Isa. 1:11-17; Amos 5:21-24; more at Danger, Preacher, Prophet, Social, Witness)

 
Friday, July 4, 2003

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation [the United States] was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
... Patrick Henry (1736-1799), attributed, Give Me Liberty: the Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry, David J. Vaughan, Cumberland House Publishing, 1996, p. 253 (see the book; see also Isa. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 John 2:15; more at Gospel, Jesus, Nation)

 
Saturday, July 5, 2003

A priest, especially in the New Testament, was not made, he was born,... created, not ordained. He was born, not indeed of the flesh, but through a birth of the Spirit... It is not enough for anyone who follows Christ to be anointed to become a priest. To say that outward ceremonies make a priest... is to [say that we can] make no one a priest until he denies that he was a priest before. Thus, in the very act of making him a priest, they in fact remove him from his priesthood.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Concerning the Ministry” [1523] in Church and Ministry II, as v. XL of Works of Martin Luther, v. XL, Concordia Pub. House, 1986, p. 19-20 (see the book; see also John 3:5-8; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Rev. 1:5-6; more at Anoint, Bible, Christ, Ordination, Priest)

 
Sunday, July 6, 2003
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535

Whatever be our conception of the universe we must, it is obvious, start somehow; we must begin with something; and the something with which we begin, from the very fact that we do begin with it, must itself be without explanation, since, if something else were invoked to explain it, then the “something else” must needs be logically prior to that which it is invoked to explain. Thus the “something” being explained by a logically prior “something else” could not have been ultimate.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), God and Evil, New York: Harper, 1943, p. 87 (see the book; see also Gen. 1:1-2; John 1:1-5; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2; more at Apologetics, Beginning, Creation, Logic, Reason, Universe)

 
Monday, July 7, 2003

“The Future and Christianity” are no casual combination of words like the “future of motoring”, or the “future of Europe”. Christianity is the founder and trustee of the future.
... Eugen R. Huessey (1888-1973), Christian Future, or the Modern Mind Outrun, New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1966, p. 61 (see the book; see also Ps. 96:10; Isa. 2:4; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; more at Future, Kingdom, Predestination, Resurrection, Social)

 
Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Elijah stood in the direct line of this tradition [of prophets]. The prophet of Yahweh was still an inspired seer, whose oracles followed the ecstatic model and were seldom remembered long; the time had not come for marvelous poetic sermons, composed in advance, delivered orally and written down later by enthralled listeners or recited from generation to generation until collected into anthologies by later scholars. Pious Israelites were not far wrong in distinguishing between true prophets and false prophets of Yahweh by the impact of their words on the privileged classes; if the latter were pleased the prophet was false; if they were displeased the prophet was true.
... William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra, Harper & Row, 1963, p. 65 (see the book; see also 1 Kings 22:8; Isa. 30:10-11; Jer. 23:30-32; Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:51-52; more at God, Inspiration, Prophet, Sermon, Tradition, Truth)

 
Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body like unto His own glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), quoted in The Shorter Life of D. L. Moody, v. 1, Paul Dwight Moody & Arthur Percy Fit, Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1900, p. 9 (see the book; see also John 3:5; 11:25-26; 2 Cor. 4:18; more at Death, Eternal life, Immortality, Life, Sin, Spirit)

 
Thursday, July 10, 2003

This Prayer is especially to be used in temptation to private sin.
O almighty God, infinite and eternal, Thou fillest all things with Thy presence; Thou art every where by thy essence and by Thy power; in heaven by glory, in holy places by Thy grace and favour, in the hearts of Thy servants by Thy Spirit, in the consciences of all men by Thy testimony and observation of us. Teach me to walk always as in Thy presence, to fear Thy majesty, to reverence Thy wisdom and omniscience; that I may never dare to commit any indecency in the eye of my Lord and my Judge; but that I may with so much care and reverence demean myself that my Judge may not be my accuser, but my advocate; that I, expressing the belief of Thy presence here by careful walking, may feel the effects of it in the participation of eternal glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 43 (see the book; see also Ps. 139:1-16; John 15:26-27; Rom. 9:23-24; more at Conscience, Eternal life, Grace, Judgment, Prayers, Sin, Teach, Temptation)

 
Friday, July 11, 2003
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550

Prayer is not a means of laying hold of God; that prayer precisely is not made possible by a system, but, rather, by a free decision of grace on the part of the one who wills indeed to listen; that prayer precisely is not addressed to one who dwells at a distance, but is addressed to one who comes very close (even into our hearts!); that prayer precisely is a miracle and not a technical procedure.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), Prayer and Modern Man, New York: The Seabury Press, 1973, p. 9 (see the book; see also Eccl. 5:2; Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 18:13; 1 Thess. 5:17-19; Heb. 10:22-23; more at God, Grace, Listening, Miracle, Prayer, Presence of God)

 
Saturday, July 12, 2003

We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners”—coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!
... Jim Elliot (1927-1956), Shadow of the Almighty: the life & testament of Jim Elliot, Elisabeth Elliot, Harper, 1958, p. 79 (see the book; see also Pr. 28:1; Acts 4:29-31; 9:28; Rom. 8:31; Heb. 13:6; more at Challenge, Commonplace, Contentment, Cross, Danger, Enemy, Fight, God, Hatred, Knowledge, Meekness, Power)

 
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Christ did not die for society, but for humanity.
... Kathryn Lindskoog (1934-2003), C. S. Lewis, Mere Christian, Glendale, Cal.: G/L Publications, 1973, reprint, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1981, p. 75 (see the book; see also Ps. 2:8-12; 22:27; Isa. 11:1-5,10; John 3:16-17; Rom. 8:22; more at Christ, Death, Man, Social)

 
Monday, July 14, 2003
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866

The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity... If we want to see mighty works of Divine grace and power wrought, in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let [us] answer God’s standing challenge, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
... J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), included in Good News for Russia, ed. Jesse Wendell Brooks, Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1918, p. 32 (see the book; see also Jer. 33:3; Matt. 17:20; Luke 17:5-6; more at Challenge, God, Grace, Power, Prayer, Work)

 
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 by two Ta’amireh shepherds produced more changes in the life of the tribe than it did in the text of the Old Testament.
... Paul W. Lapp (d. 1970), in Biblical Archaeology Review, v. IV, n. 1, March, 1978, p. 16 (see the book; see also Ps. 99:7; Hos. 8:12; Matt. 5:18; Rom. 3:1-2; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; more at Bible, Discovery, Inspiration, Life)

 
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099

Ten minutes went by, nearly two complete triangles. I had not prayed, not really prayed, for many years, and the habit came hard. Lord, please get me out of this bloody mess... No, you mustn’t talk like that to Him. “Our Father, which art in Heaven—” He’d heard that a thousand times, would be hearing it another thousand times tonight. What do you say to Him when you want help? Please, God, make somebody notice me up here; please make someone see me flying in triangles, and send up a shepherd to help me down to a safe landing. Please help me, and I promise—What on earth could I promise Him? He had no need of me, and I, who now had need of Him, had taken no notice of Him for so long that He’d probably forgotten all about me.
... Frederick Forsyth (b. 1938), The Shepherd, Viking Press, 1976, p. 51 (see the book; see also Ps. 23:1; John 10:11,14-15; Rom. 10:13; more at Forget, God, Need, Prayer, Promise, Safety)

 
Thursday, July 17, 2003

When Christianity was young and growing, there was general terror of the stars and a wide practice of astrology. The terror was mainly superstitious, and the only way of mitigating the stars’ enmity was through magic. It was one of the Church’s main tasks to reduce the license of... astrological superstition to her own discipline: there was no question of cutting it out altogether. Naturally, she did not wholly succeed, and her task could never be completed. In the Elizabethan as in earlier ages, the orthodox belief in the stars’ influence, sanctioned but articulated and controlled by the authority of religion, was not always kept pure from the terrors of primitive superstition... The superstitious terrors... have little specifically to do with the Elizabethan age. But it is worth reflecting (as is not always done) that even these were not all horror and loss. If mankind had to choose between a universe that ignored him and one that noticed him to do him harm, he might well choose the second. Our own age need not begin congratulating itself on its freedom from superstition till it defeats a more dangerous temptation to despair.
... E. M. W. Tillyard (1889-1962), The Elizabethan World Picture [1943], 9th ed., Vintage Books, 1960, p. 53-54 (see the book; see also Isa. 47:13; Job 38:4-7; Ps. 147:4; more at Church, Danger, Despair, Discipline, Religion, Star, Temptation, Terror)

 
Friday, July 18, 2003

Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 188 (see the book; see also Ps. 100:4-5; 136; 2 Cor. 1:3; more at Assurance, Attributes of God, God, Love)

 
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379

If we consider the lives of Christians in their churches, we so often find that they make good sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, employers, and employees—they have many individual virtues; but they have no way of life other than that which has been imposed upon them by their environment. It is their sociological conditions, their social class, their neighbourhood, their national characteristics, rather than their Christian faith which determine their outlook and values: they are an overwhelming demonstration that it is the economic conditions and background of one’s life which determine what one is and what one will think. This is an intolerable condition, and so long as it persists we shall not be able to make any impact on the world, because it will be abundantly clear that it is the world which is making its impact upon us.
... Douglas Rhymes (1914-1996), “The Place of the Laity in the Parish”, in Layman’s Church, ed. John A. T. Robinson, London: Lutterworth Press, 1963, p. 30 (see the book; see also Matt. 13:22,57-58; Col. 1:21-23; 1 John 5:3-4; more at Church, Faith, Family, Life, Nation, Social, Thought, Virtue, World)

 
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566

O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.
... St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross, v. III, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1935, p. 154 (see the book; see also Phil. 1:29-30; 3:10-12; Col. 1:24; Jas. 5:10-11; 1 Pet. 4:13-14; more at Bearing, Consolation, Cross, Goodness, Happiness, Safety, Suffer)

 
Monday, July 21, 2003

The student of [Roger] Williams’ own writings will, I trust, perceive that, great as has been his symbolic role, he himself was thinking on a deeper plane than that which simply recognizes religious liberty as a way for men to live peaceably together. He was not a rationalist and a utilitarian who gave up the effort to maintain an orthodoxy because he had no real concern about religious truth, but was the most passionately religious of men. Hence he is an analyst, an explorer into the dark places, of the very nature of freedom. His decision to leave denominations free to worship as they chose came as a consequence of his insight that freedom is a condition of the spirit.
... Perry Miller (1905-1963), Roger Williams, Atheneum, 1970, p. 255 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:16; more at Freedom, Liberty, Man, Religion, Spirit, Truth, Worship)

 
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles

It has been a frequent trait in Christian theologians down the ages to commit themselves whole-heartedly to the fashionable philosophies of their day, while passing severe judgments on their predecessors for adopting precisely the same attitude.
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 103 (see the book; see also Col. 2:8; 1 Cor. 2:6-10; more at Attitudes, Heresy, Judgment, Philosophy, Theology)

 
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373

In 1923 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America reaffirmed the famous “Five Points” which had been adopted in 1910. The five “essential doctrines of the Word of God and our standards” are these:
1. That the Holy Spirit did so inspire, guide and move the writers of the Holy Scriptures as to keep them from error.
2. That our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.
3. That Christ offered up himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and to reconcile us to God.
4. That on the third day He rose again from the dead with the same body with which He suffered, with which also He ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father, making intercession.
5. That Our Lord Jesus showed His power and love by working mighty miracles. This working was not contrary to nature, but superior to it.
... Kirby Page (1890-1957), Jesus or Christianity, Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1931, p. 269-270 (see the book; more at Christ, Church, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Intercession, Miracle, Resurrection, Sacrifice)

 
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471

When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Hortulus Rosarum, quoted in The Story of the “Imitatio Christi”, Leonard Abercrombie Wheatley, London: Elliot Stock, 1891, IV.ii, p. 212 (see the book; see also Ps. 4:4; Prov. 29:11; Rom. 12:19-21; more at Mind, Self-control, Sin, Wisdom)

 
Friday, July 25, 2003
Feast of James the Apostle

The wives of the fishermen were going in procession to make a tour of the ships, carrying candles and singing what must certainly be very ancient hymns of a heart-rending sadness. Nothing can give any idea of it. I have never heard anything so poignant, unless it were the song of the boatmen on the Volga. There the conviction was suddenly borne in upon me that Christianity is pre-eminently the religion of slaves, that slaves cannot help belonging to it, and I among others.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Waiting for God, Emma Craufurd, tr., Putnam, 1951, p. 67 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor. 7:20-23; Phil. 4:22; Phlmn. 1:15-16; more at Conviction, Religion, Sadness, Slave, Song)

 
Saturday, July 26, 2003

Luther, in speaking of the good by itself and the good for its expediency alone, instances the observance of the Christian day of rest,—a day of repose from manual labour, and of activity in spiritual labour,—a day of joy and cooperation in the work of Christ’s creation. “Keep it holy,”—says he,—“for its use’ sake—both to body and soul! But if anywhere the day is made holy for the mere day’s sake,—if anywhere anyone sets up its observance upon a Jewish foundation, then I order you to work on it, to ride on it, to dance on it, to feast on it—to do anything that shall reprove this encroachment on the Christian spirit and liberty.”
... Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Table Talk, 2nd ed., London: John Murray, 1836, May 19, 1834, p. 298 (see the book; see also Exod. 20:8; Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:27; more at Day, Goodness, Holiness, Law, Legalism, Liberty, Sabbath, Spirit, Work)

 
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011

I can let Christ grip me; but I cannot grip him. I love... to sit on Christ’s knee; but I cannot set my feet to the ground, for afflictions bring the cramp upon my faith. All I now do is to hold out a lame faith to Christ, like a beggar holding out a stump, instead of an arm or leg, and cry, Lord Jesus, work a miracle.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 9, 1637, p. 178 (see the book; see also Matt. 11:4-6; 15:30-31; Mark 9:23-24; Luke 7:22-23; Acts 14:8; more at Affliction, Christ, Faith, Miracle, Weakness)

 
Monday, July 28, 2003
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.
... J. S. Bach (1685-1750), Glory and Honor: the musical and artistic legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach, Gregory Wilbur & David Vaughan, Cumberland House Publishing, 2005, p. 1 (see the book; see also Mark 14:26; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Rev. 5:12; more at Art, Glory of God, Music, Renewal)

 
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

The relevance of the laity received the greatest emphasis in the sectarian apostolic movements after the 12th century, and especially in the 14th century through Wycliffe. The specific significance of this peculiar set of protests and movements is that their inspiration was purely religious. They squarely confronted the “ecclesiastical-hierarchical” line with the “biblical” one. They were, of course, not wholly unaffected by repercussions of the conflict between the worldly-conceived papal theocracy and the nationalistic demands of the nations and their rulers for an independent status, but their heart lay really with a reform of the Church in the light of the Word of God.
fn. Looking back on these struggles, one is again and again struck by the daring and independence of mind shown in the Middle Ages, a time which is always considered to be marked by submissiveness, especially to authority claimed on religious grounds as necessary to salvation. This amazement increases when one takes into consideration our own time, which regards itself by definition as the time of non-submissiveness. Nevertheless, whatever movements of protest and conflict there may be to-day against the hierarchy, they are very weak in daring and independence in comparison with those of the Middle Ages. In our secularistic age, in which submissiveness is devalued on principle, submissiveness to the hierarchical claims of the Church has never before been so undisputed.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 60-61 (see the book; see also Luke 9:57-62; Eph. 4:11-15; Jas. 1:5-6; more at Bible, Church, Independence, Reform, Salvation, Struggle)

 
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee, by cruel men and impious, call’d
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose th’ enthrall’d
From exile, public sale, and slav’ry’s chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong’d, the fetter-gall’d,
Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain!
Thou hast achiev’d a part; hast gain’d the ear
Of Britain’s senate to thy glorious cause;
Hope smiles, joy springs, and tho’ cold caution pause
And weave delay, the better hour is near,
That shall remunerate thy toils severe
By peace for Afric, fenc’d with British laws.
Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
From all the just on earth, and all the blest above!
... William Cowper (1731-1800), The Works of William Cowper: his life, letters, and poems, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1851, p. 643 (see the book; see also Isa. 61:1-2; Matt. 5:7,9; more at Exile, Hope, Joy, Labor, Love, Poverty, Slave, Zeal)

 
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556

Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest:
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
... St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491/5-1556), included in A Treasury of Sermon Illustrations, Charles Langworthy Wallis, ed., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1950, [1548] p. 61 (see the book; see also Prov. 10:16; Phil. 1:29-30; Col. 1:24; 1 Pet. 4:13-14; more at Fight, Giving, Labor, Service, Teach, Toil, Will of God)

 

Christ, our Light

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