Quotations for November, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Feast of All Saints
I never think of [the silences of God] without thinking how great is the delight which comes when any man discovers that God really has been answering him all the time when he thought that his prayers were all unheard. That must be one of the most exquisite joys of heaven.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1904, p. 132
(see the book; see also 1 John 5:14-15; Ps. 4:1; 10:1; 22:1; 35:22; 46:1,10; 83:1; 88:14; Hab. 1:2; Luke 15:7; more at Discovery, God, Heaven, Joy, Man, Prayer, Silence, Thought)
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Feast of All Souls
A great many think because they have been filled once, they are going to be full for all time after; but O, my friends, we are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full. If we are going to be used by God we have to be very humble. A man that lives close to God will be the humblest of men. I heard a man say that God always chooses the vessel that is close at hand. Let us keep near Him.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), Glad Tidings, New York: E. B. Treat, 1876, p. 291
(see the book; see also Acts 13:52; Isa. 11:1-4; 61:1-3; Mic. 3:8; Luke 1:14-15,41,67; 4:1,14,18-19; 10:21; Acts 2:4; 4:8,31; 6:3-5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; more at God, Holy Spirit, Humility, Man)
Monday, November 3, 2014
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639
We are so steeped in the antichrist philosophy—namely, that success consists in embracing not the values of the Sermon on the Mount but an infinity of material things, of sex and status—that we little sense how much of what passes for practical Christianity is really an apostate compromise with the spirit of the age.
... Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003), Twilight of a Great Civilization, Westchester, Il: Crossway Books, 1988, p. 15
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:1-4; Matt. 6:25; 16:26; Mark 4:18-19; 8:36-37; Luke 8:14; 12:15-21; 16:9-13; John 12:42-43; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:16; Heb. 12:1; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; 1 John 2:15-17; more at Apostasy, Material things, Philosophy, Practical Christianity, Worldly)
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
He who gives riches becomes poor; for He assumes the poverty of my flesh, that I may assume the riches of His Godhead. He that is full empties Himself; for He empties Himself of His Glory for a short while, that I may have a share in His Fulness.
... St. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389/390), from Oration XLV, A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. VII, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., Christian literature Company, 1894, p. 426
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 8:9; Isa. 53:2-3; Matt. 8:20; Rom. 15:3; Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:9; 12:2; more at Giving, Glory, Poverty)
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
If we would meet God in worship, there is only one place we must go, to Jesus Christ. Christianity has no geographical center like Islam and Judaism... He came into the world to explode geographical limitation. There is no temple now. Jerusalem is not the center. Christ is.
... John S. Piper (b. 1946), Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, Crossway, 2006, p. 69
(see the book; see also Ps. 10:16; 2:8; 110:1; 139:7-10; Dan. 7:14; John 4:23-24; Acts 2:32-36; 17:27-28; 1 Cor. 15:24-27; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 12:2; 2 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 11:15; 19:16; 21:22-24; more at Christ, God, Jesus, Temple, Worship)
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944
Any one can believe that Jesus was a god—what is so hard to credit is that He who hung upon the cross was the God. That is what you are asked as Christians to believe.And it is the sword, glittering but fearful. It must cut your life away from the standards of this world, away from its thought and its measures, no less than its aims and hopes. Hard and bitter is the separation; and you will be parted from many great and noble men, some perhaps your own teachers, who can accept about Jesus everything but the one thing needful. The Christian faith, if accepted, drives a wedge between its own adherents and the disciples of every other philosophy or religion, however lofty or soaring. And they will not see this; they will tell you that really your views and theirs are the same thing, and only differ in words, which, if only you were a little more highly trained, you would understand. Even among Christ’s nominal servants there are many who think a little goodwill is all that is needed to bridge the gulf—a little amiability and mutual explanation, a more careful use of phrases, would soon accommodate Christianity to fashionable modes of speaking and thinking, and destroy all causes of provocation. So they would. But they would destroy also its one inalienable attraction: that of being... a wonder, and a beauty, and a terror—no dull and drab system of thought, no mere symbolic idealism.
... John Neville Figgis (1866-1919), The Gospel and Human Needs, London: Longman’s, Green & Co., 1911, p. 149-150
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:34-36; Mic. 7:5-6; Matt. 24:10; Mark 13:12-13; Luke 21:16; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 1:19-23; 3:18-19; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16; 21:5; more at Belief, Cross, Faith, God, Gospel, Jesus, Philosophy, Religion, Thought)
Friday, November 7, 2014
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739
The murderer and the unloving sit on the same bench before the Judge of eternal truth... Until we love our brother,—yes, until we love our enemy,—who is yet our brother,—we contain within ourselves the undeveloped germ of murder. And so with every sin in the tables, or out of the tables.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Selections from the Writings of George MacDonald, F.L. Dusenberry, 1889, p. 29
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:21-22; Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17; Ps. 37:8; Matt. 5:43-45; Eph. 4:26-27,31-32; 1 Pet. 2:23; 3:9; more at Enemy, Judgment, Love, Murder, Sin, Truth)
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England
So often people think that Christianity is only something soft, only a kind of gooey love that loves evil equally with good. This is not the biblical position. The holiness of God is to be exhibited simultaneously with love. We must be careful therefore, not to say that what is wrong is right, whether it is in the area of doctrine or of life, in our own group or another. Anywhere what is wrong is wrong, and we have a responsibility in that situation to say that what is wrong is wrong. But the observable love must be there regardless of the cost.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The Mark of the Christian, Inter-Varsity Press, 1976, p. 28
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:6; Rom. 12:9; Eph. 4:15; 1 John 3:18; 3 John 1:3; more at God, Holiness, Kindness, Love, Wrong)
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433
There is a manifest want of spiritual influence on the ministry of the present day. I feel it in my own case, and I see it in that of others. I am afraid that there is too much of a low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us. We are laying ourselves out, more than is expedient, to meet one man’s taste, and another man’s prejudices. The ministry is a grand and holy affair; and it should find in us a simple habit of spirit, and a holy but humble indifference to all consequences.The leading defect in Christian ministers is want of a devotional habit.
... Richard Cecil (1748-1810), The Works of the Rev. Richard Cecil, v. III, Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 1825, p. 308-309
(see the book; see also Tit. 1:7-9; Pr. 28:1; 1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 1:27-28; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; more at Church, Devotion, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Humility, Minister, Prejudice)
Monday, November 10, 2014
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
You must not deceive yourself with saying, Where can be the harm of clothes? for the covetous man might as well say, Where can be the harm of gold or silver? but you must consider, that it is a great deal of harm to want that wise, and reasonable, and humble state of heart, which is according to the spirit of religion, and which no one can have in the manner that he ought to have it, who indulges himself either in the vanity of dress, or the desire of riches.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 124-125
(see the book; see also Col. 3:2; Ex. 20:17; Matt. 6:19-21,28-30; 13:22; 19:23-24; 23:5; Luke 12:15,33-34; 18:24-25; John 6:27; Eph. 5:5; 1 Tim. 2:9-10; Heb. 13:5; 1 Pet. 3:3; 1 John 2:15-17; more at Gold, Humility, Religion, Temptation, Vanity)
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397
Miracles of healing and dispossession are reminiscences of an unfallen Paradise and prophecies of a Paradise regained. Though we call them supernatural, they are not contranatural.
... A. J. Gordon (1836-1895), The Ministry of Healing, Boston: H. Gannett, 1883, p. 44
(see the book; see also Matt. 8:16; 9:20-22; 12:43-45; Luke 8:28; Jas. 2:19; more at Miracle, Paradise, Prophecy)
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
We will not doubt that that kingdom has existed from the moment of creation and will never end. It cannot be “shaken” and it is totally good. It has never been in trouble and never will be. It is not something that human beings produce or, ultimately, can hinder. We do have an invitation to be a part of it, but if we refuse we only hurt ourselves.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), The Divine Conspiracy, HarperCollins, 1997, p. 25
(see the book; see also Ps. 145:13; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:14; Matt. 25:34; Luke 1:32-33; Heb. 12:27-29; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; more at Creation, Existence, Goodness, Kingdom)
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836
This [1 John 4:19] is the sum of all religion, the genuine model of Christianity. None can say more: why should any one say less? or less intelligibly?
... John Wesley (1703-1791), 1 John 4:19, in loc., Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament, v. II, London: Thomas Cordeux, 1813, p. 342
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:19; Luke 7:47; John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 2:3-5; Tit. 3:3-5; 1 John 4:10-11; more at God, Love, Religion, Truth)
Friday, November 14, 2014
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796
We are frequently advised to read the Bible with our own personal needs in mind, and to look for answers to our private questions. That is good, as far as it goes... But better still is the advice to study the Bible objectively, ... without regard, first of all, to our own subjective needs. Let the great passages fix themselves in our memory. Let them stay there permanently, like bright beacons, launching their powerful shafts of light upon life’s problems—our own and everyone’s—as they illumine now one, now another dark area of human life... Following such a method, we discover that the Bible does “speak to our condition” and meet our needs, not just occasionally or when some emergency arises, but continually.
... Frederick C. Grant (1891-1974), How to Read the Bible, London: Thomas Nelson, 1959, p. 8-9
(see the book; see also Ps. 63:5-7; Deut. 8:3; Ps. 1:2-3; 23; John 3:16; Rom. 8:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; more at Bible, Goodness, Life, Light, Memory, Permanence)
Saturday, November 15, 2014
No condition of life will of itself make a man content, without the grace of God; for we find Haman discontented in the court, Ahab discontented on the throne, Adam discontented in paradise; nay, and higher we cannot go, the angels that fell discontented in heaven itself.
... Matthew Henry (1662-1714), The life of the Rev. Philip Henry, A.M. , London: B. J. Holdsworth, 1825, p. 237
(see the book; see also Ps. 50:23; 145:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:8; 1 Tim. 6:6; Heb. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:4; more at Angel, Contentment, God, Heaven, Man, Paradise)
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240
True progress is not found in breaking away from the old ways, but in abiding in the teaching of Christ and His Spirit in the Church. There is an apparent contradiction here, for how can we abide, and yet advance? It is a paradox, like much else in scripture; but Christian experience proves it true. Those make the best progress in religion who hold fast by the faith once for all delivered to the saints, and not those who drift away from their moorings, rudderless upon a sea of doubt.
... Henry Barclay Swete (1835-1917), The Life of the World to Come, London: Society for the Promoting of Christian Knowleldge, 1918, p. 106
(see the book; see also Jude 1:3; John 15:4-7; 1 Cor. 15:3-5; Gal. 2:5; 1 Tim. 1:15; 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:2; Tit. 1:9; 2:1; 2 Pet. 3:2; more at Christ, Church, Doubt, Faith, Holy Spirit, Progress, Scripture, Teach)
Monday, November 17, 2014
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
All day I see souls dead to God look sadly out of hungry eyes. I want them to know my discovery! That any minute can be paradise, that any place can be heaven! That any man can have God! That every man does have God the moment he speaks to God, or listens for him!
... Frank C. Laubach (1884-1970), Letters by a Modern Mystic: excerpts, Student Volunteer Movement, 1937, p. 24
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 6:2; Matt. 5:6; John 12:20-21; Acts 2:41,47; 4:4; 13:48; 17:32; Rom. 8:30; Eph. 2:1-2; more at Death, Discovery, God, Heaven, Listening, Paradise, Prayer, Soul)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
God hath given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends; but so that for every hour of our life, after we are persons capable of laws and know good from evil, we must give account to the great Judge of men and angels.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living , in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 9
(see the book; see also Ps. 90:12; 39:4-5; 89:47; Isa. 40:6-8; Matt. 12:35-36; Rom. 12:2; 14:12; Eph. 6:7-8; Heb. 2:2-3; 10:36; Jas. 1:10; 4:13-15; 1 John 2:17; more at Eternity, God, Judgment, Knowledge, Life, Time)
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280
Life is not long enough for a religion of inferences; we shall never have done beginning, if we determine to begin with proof. We shall ever be laying our foundations; we shall turn theology into evidences, and divines into textuaries... Life is for action. If we insist on proofs for everything, we shall never come to action: to act you must assume, and that assumption is faith.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, v. 8, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 556
(see the book; see also 1 John 3:23-24; Ps. 119:32; Luke 6:46; John 14:21; 15:10-14; 1 John 2:1-3; more at Action, Faith, Life, Proof, Religion)
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
Christians need to think through what the gospel can mean to a searching heart. Besides deliverance from a literal hell, it may put an unbeliever’s marriage back together, it may end his overpowering guilt, it may free him from a burdensome habit, it may bring peace, it may bring financial stability, it may solve many of his interpersonal problems, it may be the key to coping with illness, it may be the solution to a tragedy or some great loss, it may be the key to resources for living. Possibly it will be all of the above. That’s good news! Every basic human need or motive is matched by some facet of the gospel.
... Joseph C. Aldrich (1941-2009), Lifestyle Evangelism, Multnomah Press, 1981, p. 89
(see the book; see also Isa. 61:1-3; Hos. 2:23; Matt. 4:23; 5:3-12; Rom. 6:16-17,20-22; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:1-3; 4:22-24; Heb. 4:16; Jas. 1:27; 1 Pet. 2:10; more at Deliverance, Gospel, Guilt, Heart, Life, Marriage, Need, Peace)
Friday, November 21, 2014
Be thoroughly acquainted with your corruptions and temptations, and watch against them all the day; especially the most dangerous sort of your corruptions, and those temptations which your company or business will unavoidably lay before you.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. I, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 468
(see the book; see also Jas. 3:13-15; Pr. 16:18; Matt. 26:41; Luke 21:34; 1 Cor. 8:1-3; 10:12-13; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:1; Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Tim. 4:16; 6:9; more at Companion, Corruption, Danger, Temptation)
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
Christ, who said to the disciples “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends “You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing. At this feast it is He who spreads the board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare hope, who sometimes does, and always should, preside. Let us not reckon without our Host.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 89-90
(see the book; see also John 15:16; 6:35,53-56; Rom. 14:1-4; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 4:19; more at Beauty, Christ, Creation, Friend, God, Hope, Revelation)
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
The grammar commonly used to refer to or ask about the church still carries heavy baggage of being a “place where certain things happen.” We ask, for instance, “Where do you go to church?” “Where is your church?” “Did you go to church last Sunday?” Indeed, even when not referring to a tangible building, we tend to relate “church” to a meeting or activity, a set of programs, or an organizational structure. Only with awkwardness would one talk about being “part of a church.”In North America, this “place where” orientation manifests itself in a particular form. Both members and those outside the church expect the church to be a vendor of religious services and goods.
... Darrell L. Guder, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1998, p. 83-84
(see the book; see also Matt. 18:20; Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:24; Matt. 12:28; 28:19-20; Luke 17:20-21; Acts 17:27-28; Rom. 14:17; Col. 1:17,27; Rev. 21:3; more at Builder, Church, Service, Sunday)
Monday, November 24, 2014
If [God] wants you to do something, he’ll make it possible for you to do it, but the grace he provides comes only with the task and cannot be stockpiled beforehand. We are dependent on him from hour to hour, and the greater our awareness of this fact, the less likely we are to faint or fail in a crisis.
... Louis Cassels (1922-1974), Christian Primer, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964, p. 102
(see the book; see also Ps. 28:7; 112:9; 118:14; Jonah 2:2,8-9; 1 Cor. 10:13; 15:10; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; Eph. 1:11-12; 3:16; 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:1-3; 4:10; 5:10; more at Awareness, Dependence, Failure, God, Grace, Task)
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century
To expect, to demand, miracles is not only wrong, inasmuch as it shows a lack of trust in God; it is also senseless, for we count millions of accomplished miracles, and if none of them has convinced us, why should we be convinced by this one miracle?
... Alexander Yelchaninov (1881-1934), Fragments of a Diary: 1881-1934, in A Treasury of Russian Spirituality, Georgii Petrovich Fedotov, ed., Nordland, 1975, p. 443
(see the book; see also Mark 8:11-12; Matt. 11:2-5; 12:38-39; 16:1-4; Luke 11:29; 23:8; John 2:18-19; 6:30; 20:30-31; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; Heb. 2:4; more at Achievement, God, Miracle, Trust, Wrong)
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748
Our God, our help in ages past,Our hope for years to come;Our shelter from the stormy blast,And our eternal home. Under the shadow of thy throne,Thy saints have dwelt secure;Sufficient is thine arm alone,And our defence is sure. Before the hills in order stood,Or earth receiv’d her frame;From everlasting thou art God;To endless years the same. A thousand ages, in thy sight,Are like an evening gone;Short as the watch that ends the night,Before the rising sun. Our God, our help in ages past,Our hope for years to come,Be thou our guard while troubles last,And our eternal home.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Psalms of David Imitated , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, Ps. 90, first part, p. 186-187
(see the book; see also Ps. 90:1-4; Deut. 33:27; Ps. 46:1; 71:3; 91:1; Isa. 8:13-14; Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8; 2 Pet. 3:8; 1 John 4:16; Rev. 1:8; more at Earth, Eternity, Everlasting, God, Home, Hope, Past, Sight, Year)
Thursday, November 27, 2014
The most difficult task facing us today is to persuade the person who is enjoying Christian culture and Christian standards that these do not survive of themselves.
... Godfrey Cowan
(see also Matt. 13:20-21; Judg. 2:18-19; Ps. 36:1-3; 106:12-13; Hos. 6:4; Rom. 2:7; Phil. 1:4-6; 2 Pet. 2:20-21; more at Authenticity, Culture, People, Providence, Task, Today)
Friday, November 28, 2014
Our own curiosity often hindereth us in the reading of holy writings, when we seek to understand and discuss, where we should pass simply on. If thou wouldst profit by thy reading, read humbly, simply, honestly, and not desiring to win a character [i.e., reputation] for learning.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.v.2, p. 37
(see the book; see also Luke 21:38; Ps. 19:7; 116:6; 119:130; Matt. 11:25; 18:2-3; 23:8; Luke 24:44-45; Rom. 12:8; 16:19; 1 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 1:12; 11:3; more at Bible, Humility, Simplicity, Understanding)
Saturday, November 29, 2014
The mistake we make is to look for a source of comfort in ourselves: self-contemplation, instead of gazing upon God. In other words, we look for comfort precisely where comfort never can be.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons Preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, v. II, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1859, p. 147
(see the book; see also Ps. 121:1-2; 42:1-3; 63:1-2; 84:2; 143:6; Isa. 26:9; Matt. 5:4; John 7:37-39; 16:20-22; 2 Cor. 1:3-7; Rev. 21:4; more at Comfort, Contemplation, God, Self)
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Feast of Andrew the Apostle
We rejoice in the fact that God has actually been here—and that is one half of the meaning of Advent.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Good News: Thoughts on God and Man, New York: Macmillan, 1963, p.158
(see the book; see also Mark 1:7-8; Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Mark 13:34-37; Luke 2:20; more at Christmas, God, Meaning)
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