Quotations for November, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Feast of All Saints
The abstract metaphysical monotheism, the constant emphasis laid on God’s unity and infinite and incomprehensible essence, could not give light to the mind or peace to the heart... How human is the God of the Old Testament—the God who appears, speaks, guides, who loves and is loved, even as the Man of the New Testament, Christ Jesus, is divine! This difference between the idea of an absolute and infinite God and the God of Scripture is, after all, that which separates the true believer and Christian from the natural man.
... Adolph Saphir (1831-1891), Christ and Israel, London: Morgan and Scott, 1911, p. 8
(see the book; see also Heb. 3:6; Ps. 2:7; Isa. 9:6-7; John 3:35-36; Heb. 1:1-4; 3:1; 12:2; more at Bible, Christ, God, Guidance, Infinite, Jesus, Love, Monotheism, Scripture, Unity)
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Feast of All Souls
It will perhaps be said that in our present state of schism this assertion of spiritual principle [as in 1 Cor. 12:3] can give us no definite guidance for action, can provide us with no clear programme, and must remain unfruitful. Surely that is not wholly true. It certainly must help us if we recognize that it is the presence of the Holy Spirit which creates a unity which we can never create. If men believe in the existence of this unity, they may begin to desire it, and desiring it to seek for it, and seeking it to find it. If, when they find it, they refuse to deny it, in due time, by ways now unsearchable, they will surely return to external communion.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Pentecost and the World, London: Oxford University Press, 1917, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 58 fn.
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:3; John 14:20; 17:20-23; Eph. 4:3; Col. 2:2-3; 1 John 1:3; 3:24; more at Belief, Church, Guidance, Holy Spirit, Truth, Unity)
Friday, November 3, 2017
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639
A man may be haunted with doubts, and only grow thereby in faith. Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to rouse the honest. They are the first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be, understood... Doubt must precede every deeper assurance; for uncertainties are what we first see when we look into a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Voice of Job”, in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 241-242
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:21; Job 4:13-15; Isa. 40:27-28; John 20:25-29; Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet. 1:6; more at Assurance, Doubt, Faith, God, Understanding)
Saturday, November 4, 2017
We are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way that we would have it be, rather than the way God has provided, which is infinitely better for us. As they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life, heresies pander to the most unworthy tendencies of the human heart.
... C. FitzSimons Allison (b. 1927), The Cruelty of Heresy, Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehead Publishing, 1994, p. 17
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 1 Kings 22:22; Isa. 6:10; Hos.13:6; John 12:40; 2 Cor. 3:14; 2 Tim. 4:3; more at Blindness, God, Heart, Heresy, Selfish, Way, Weakness)
Sunday, November 5, 2017
A Christian marriage is [not] one with no problems or even a marriage with fewer problems. (It may well mean more problems.) But it does mean a life in which two people are able to accept each other and love each other in the midst of problems and fears. It means a marriage in which selfish people can accept selfish people without constantly trying to change them—and even accept themselves, because they realize personally that they have been accepted by Christ.
... Keith Miller (1927-2012), The Taste of New Wine, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1965, p. 48
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 7:12-17; Deut. 33:27-29; Ps. 37:24; 119:116-117; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8:38-39; 14:4; more at Attitudes, Christ, Love, Marriage, People, Selfish)
Monday, November 6, 2017
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944
The principle of sacrifice is that we choose to do or to suffer what apart from our love we should not choose to do or to suffer.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Readings in St. John’s Gospel, London: Macmillan, 1939, 1952, p. xxix-xxx
(see the book; see also Heb. 13:16; Mic. 6:7-8; Matt. 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 4:18; Heb. 6:10; 13:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:5; more at Choices, Love, Obedience, Sacrifice, Suffer)
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739
In that age they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be as the angels... We are destined to a better state—destined to rise to a spiritual consortship. So we, who shall be with God, shall be together: since we shall all be with the one God, though there be many mansions in the house of the same Father; and, in eternal life, God will still less separate them whom He has joined together, than, in this lesser life, He allows them to be separated.
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), The Writings of Quintus Sept. Flor. Tertullianus, v. III, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1870, p. 41-42
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:29-30; Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-5; Mark 10:7-8; Acts 13:17; Rom. 1:21-22; Eph. 5:31; 2 Pet. 3:5; more at Bible, Eternal life, Father, God, Marriage)
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England
Old truths must constantly be re-stated if they are not to be forgotten. To Homer, the dawn was “rosy-fingered;” to Shakespeare, it was “in russet mantle clad;” to Housman, “the ship of sunrise burning.” The scientist can explain exactly why the sky looks as it does in the early morning, the physiologist why we perceive as we do. Yet no one suggests that there is no dawn at all, or that its appearance has changed over the centuries, or that any one of these percipients was mad or deceitful. Why should our knowledge of the Creator be less capable of variety and development than our knowledge of any aspect of Creation?
... Raymond Chapman (1924-2013), The Ruined Tower, London: G. Bles, 1961, p. 32
(see the book; see also Ps. 149:1; 33:3; 36:5; 92:5; 96:1; 98;1; 144:9; Isa. 42:10; Isa. 55:8-9; Rev. 5:9; more at Creation, Dawn, Historical, Knowledge, Perception, Truth)
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433
Let us not enquire into the affairs of others that concern us not, but be busied within ourselves and our own spheres; ever remembering that to pry into the actions or interests of other men not under our charge, may minister to pride, to tyranny, to uncharitableness, to trouble, but can never consist with modesty; unless where duty, or the mere intentions of charity and relation, do warrant it... Knock therefore at the door before you enter upon your neighbor’s privacy; and remember that there is no difference between entering his house and looking into it.
... 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. 79,81
(see the book; see also 2 Thess. 3:11-13; Rom. 12:18; Col. 4:5; 1 Thess. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:7; 5:13; more at Attitudes, Charity, Duty, Neighbor, Practical Christianity, Pride)
Friday, November 10, 2017
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
Lord, forgive—That I have dwelt too long on Golgotha,My wracked eyes fixedOn Thy poor, tortured human form upon the cross,And have not seenThe lilies in Thy dawn-sweet garden bendTo anoint Thy risen feet; nor known the waysThy radiant spirit walks abroad with men.
... Pauline Schroy, in Upper Room Bulletin, v. XVII, Upper Room Bible Class, 1931, p. 188
(see the book; see also John 20:14-16; Mark 16:12; Luke 24:16-17; John 21:4; more at Cross, Forgiveness, Golgotha, Jesus, Man, Spirit, Way)
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397
Doctrinal rightness and rightness of ecclesiastical position are important, but only as a starting point to go on into a living relationship—and not as ends in themselves.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 46
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:6; Ps. 42:1-2; 63:1-2; 84:2; 107:8-9; Luke 6:21,25; John 6:27; more at Authenticity, Dogma, Mission)
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Why should any man have power over any other man’s faith, seeing Christ is the author of it?
... George Fox (1624-1691), Journal, v. II, Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite, 1808, p. 118
(see the book; see also Heb. 5:7-9; Ps. 51:6; Rom. 1:16-17; Heb. 9:15; 2 Thess. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 John 5:20; more at Christ, Faith, Man, Power)
Monday, November 13, 2017
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836
The Church seems to have lost heart somewhat, has allowed the old assurance and enthusiasm to cool below the temperature at which big things get done, is always whimpering and complaining about something, has developed a foolish trick of gathering into corners in discouraged groups and bleating disconsolately that God seems to be strangely little in our day, the very mood that so maddened the Hebrew prophets that they itched to lay violent hands upon their countrymen, and literally shake it out of them. We Church people have become so prone to loud and abusive self-depreciation that the thing amounts to a disease... and though these doleful spirits are not altogether serious, ... the world is listening, and takes us, not unnaturally, at our own dismal and unflattering valuation.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 286
(see the book; see also Rev. 2:1-5; Ps. 85:6; Jer. 17:7; Matt. 24:12-13; Rom. 10:11-12; Phil. 3:13-16; 1 Thess. 4:9-10; Heb. 6:10-11; 1 Pet. 2:6; ; more at Church, Discouragement, Folly, Listening, People, Prophet, World)
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796
Logic may be viewed, perhaps, as a machine which is designed, at best, to be such that when we feed into it certain data and turn the logic crank, we inevitably get certain conclusions out the other end. Logic is designed to give inevitably true results starting from known true—or assumed-to-be-true—premises. Logic is a wonderful tool when we want only logical conclusions. We should not reject such a machine merely because it is not equipped to handle all of reality. The scientist who commits himself to use a logic machine is doing wisely, qua scientist, for use on data of science. But if he feeds into that machine convictions that there is no God, or ignores God because He is not in his corpus of data, and then draws from his logic the conclusion that God does not exist, his conclusion is irrelevant. Logic is a tool; it should not be made into a religion.
... Kenneth L. Pike (1912-2001), With Heart and Mind, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962, p. 6-7
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:27-29; Isa. 29:14; Matt. 11:25; 18:3-4; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16-17; 21:15; Acts 6:9-10; 17:18; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; more at Existence, God, Logic, Religion, Science, Truth)
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
When the bones have become most dry, when they are lying most scattered and separate from each other, there is still a word going forth— ... from Him who liveth for ever and ever—the voice which says, “These bones shall rise.” ... All struggles after union, though they may be of the most abortive kind, though they may produce fresh sects and fresh divisions, though they must do so as long as they rest on the notion that unity is something visible and material, yet indicate a deep and divine necessity which men could not be conscious of in their dreams if they were not beginning to awake.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Cambridge: Macmillan, 1853; Boston: Crosby, Nichols, 1853, p. 448-449
(see the book; see also Eze. 37:4-6; John 17:22-23; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 2:2; 3:14; more at Church, Dream, Longing, Man, Sect, Unity)
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240
This idea of the Bible’s unity is not a concept which is imposed upon the Bible because of the dogmatic assertion that it is verbally inspired. To the contrary, it is inherent in the Bible, for the Bible declares itself to be the Word of God. If it be the Word of God, its various teachings should all form a coherent unity. This presupposition of the Bible’s unity provides a test for the validity of a system of interpretation: if the system is not able to demonstrate the Bible’s unity, it must be an inadequate system.
... Daniel P. Fuller (b. 1925), Gospel and law: contrast or continuum? : The hermeneutics of dispensationalism and covenant theology, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980
(see the book; see also Isa. 40:7-8; Ps. 119:89-91; Isa. 55:11; Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Mark 13:31; Rom. 3:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; more at Bible, God, Inspiration, Unity)
Friday, November 17, 2017
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
Irresponsible spending is the scandal of Christian America, in the face of the world’s need. The American standard of living has risen to unprecedented heights, although a large portion of the world exists on a sub-human level. Philanthropy, as we practice it, is not enough—although the word philanthropy actually means brotherhood. Our stewardship of God’s goods requires that we administer in God’s name—that is, with full awareness that the world is His and that His love is directed toward us no more fully than toward every man.
... Rachel Henderlite (1905-1991), A Call to Faith, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1955, p. 192
(see the book; see also 1 John 3:17; Isa. 58:7-10; Rom. 12:13; 2 Cor. 9:5-9; 1 Tim. 5:3; 6:17-18; Heb. 13:16; more at Brotherhood, Church, God, Love, Need, World)
Saturday, November 18, 2017
But when once Christ has called him, Peter has no alternative—he must leave the ship and come to Him. In the end, the first step of obedience proves to be an act of faith in the word of Christ. But we should completely misunderstand the nature of grace if we were to suppose that there was no need to take the first step, because faith was already there. Against that, we must boldly assert that the step of obedience must be taken before faith can be possible. Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 66
(see the book; see also Matt. 14:28-31; Mark 1:16-18; Luke 17:6; 2 Cor. 9:13; 2 John 1:6; more at Action, Belief, Call, Christ, Faith, Grace, Obedience)
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280
Much of today’s Christianity is almost completely earthbound, and the words of Jesus about what follows this life are scarcely studied at all. This, I believe, is partly due to man’s enormous technical successes, which make him feel master of the human situation. But it is also partly due to our scholars and experts. By the time they have finished with their dissection of the New Testament and with their explaining away as “myth” all that they find disquieting or unacceptable to the modern mind, the Christian way of life is little more than humanism with a slight tinge of religion.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Ring of Truth, London: Hodder & Stoughton; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967, p. 102
(see the book; see also Rom. 16:17-18; more at Belief, Bible, Jesus, Life, Master, Myth, Religion, Success, Way)
Monday, November 20, 2017
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
The sacred page is not meant to be the end, but only the means toward the end, which is knowing God himself.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
(see the book; see also Rom. 11:33-36; Prov. 2:3-5; more at Bible, Knowing God, Purpose, Scripture)
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Faith is required of thee, and a sincere life, not loftiness of intellect, nor deepness in the mysteries of God. If thou understandest not... the things which are beneath thee, how shalt thou comprehend those which are above thee? Submit thyself unto God, and humble thy sense to faith, and the light of knowledge shall be given thee, as shall be profitable and necessary unto thee.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, IV.xviii.2, p. 286
(see the book; see also Heb. 5:8,9; Luke 8:10; 1 Cor. 2:7-10; more at Faith, God, Humility, Knowledge, Sincerity, Submission)
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
The sort of love I have been describing... can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or (alas) a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself. Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society. Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions. If ever the book which I am not going to write is written, it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of “the World” will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 30
(see the book; see also Rom. 2:23-25; Jer. 8:8-9; Luke 10:26-29; 18:10-14; John 5:45-47; Rom. 3:23; Jas. 1:22-27; 4:16-17; more at Book, Christ, Church, Confession, Historical, Idol, Love, Social)
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
Lord, I am glad for the great gift of living,Glad for Thy days of sun and of rain;Grateful for joy, with an endless thanksgiving,Grateful for laughter—and grateful for pain. Lord, I am glad for the young April’s wonder,Glad for the fulness of long summer days;And now when the spring and my heart are asunder,Lord, I give thanks for the dark autumn ways. Sun, bloom, and blossom, O Lord, I remember,The dream of the spring and its joy I recall;But now in the silence and pain of November,Lord, I give thanks to Thee, Giver of all!
... Charles Hanson Towne (1877-1949), The Speaker: a quarterly magazine v. IV, n. 13-16, Pearson Brothers, 1910, p. 200
(see the book; see also Eph. 5:19-20; Ps. 19:1; Isa. 34:1; 63:7; Phil. 4:6; Col. 1:11-12; 3:17; more at Giving, Gladness, God, Gratitude, Joy, Prayers, Thanksgiving)
Friday, November 24, 2017
Let men say what they will, or pick holes where they may, they will never succeed in disproving these facts. To the Reformation, Englishmen owe an English Bible, and liberty for every man to read it.—To the Reformation, they owe the knowledge of the way of peace with God, and of the right of every sinner to go straight to Christ by faith, without bishop, priest, or minister standing in his way.—To the Reformation, they owe a Scriptural standard of morality and holiness such as our ancestors never dreamed of.—For ever let us be thankful for these inestimable mercies!
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Facts and men, pages from English Church history, between 1553 and 1683, London: William Hunt, 1882, p. 57
(see the book; see also 2 Sam. 22:31; more at Bible, Christ, Faith, Historical, Holiness, Knowledge, Liberty, Morality, Peace, Priest, Reformation, Scripture, Sinner, Thanksgiving)
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century
The Christian should participate in social and political efforts in order to have an influence in the world, not with the hope of making a paradise (of the earth), but simply to make it more tolerable. Not to diminish the opposition between this world and the Kingdom of God, but simply to modify the opposition between the disorder of this world and the order of preservation that God wants it to have. Not to bring in the Kingdom of God, but so that the Gospel might be proclaimed in order that all men might truly hear the good news.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Presence of the Kingdom, tr. Olive Wyon, Philadelphia: Wesminster Press, 1951, p. 47
(see the book; see also 1 Peter 1:24-25; more at God, Gospel, Influence, Kingdom, Preach, Social, World)
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748
Jesus shall reign where’er the sunDoes its successive journeys run,His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,Till moons shall wax and wane no more. For him shall endless prayer be made,And princes throng to crown his head;His name, like sweet perfume, shall riseWith ev’ry morning sacrifice. People and realms, of every tongue,Dwell on his love with sweetest song,And infant-voices shall proclaimTheir early blessings on his name. Blessings abound where’er he reigns;The prisoners leap to lose their chains;The weary find eternal rest,And all the sons of want are blest. Let every creature rise and bringPeculiar honours to our King:Angels descend with songs again,And earth repeat the loud Amen.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Psalms of David Imitated , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, Ps. 72, second part, p. 159-160
(see the book; see also Ps. 72:17-19; more at Blessing, Coronation, Everlasting, Honor, Jesus, Kingdom, Prayer, Sacrifice, Song)
Monday, November 27, 2017
For the ancient philosopher and priest of esoteric cults, steeped in the tradition of Classical Greek, the grammatical forms in the Lord’s Prayer would seem almost rude. One does not find the optative forms of polite petition so characteristic of elaborate requests made to earthly and heavenly potentates. Rather than employing such august forms, the Christians made their requests to God in what seem to be blunt imperatives. This does not mean that Christians lacked respect for their heavenly father, but it does mean that they were consistent with a new understanding of Him. In the tens of thousands of papyri fragments which have been rescued from the rubbish heaps of the ancient Greek world, one finds the imperative forms used constantly between members of a family. When the Christians addressed God as “Father,” it was perfectly natural therefore for them to talk to Him as intimately as they would to their own father. Unfortunately, the history of our own English language has almost reversed this process. Originally, men used “thou” and “thee” in prayer because it was the appropriate familiar form of address; but now these words have become relegated to prayer alone.
... Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011), God’s Word in Man’s Language, New York: Harper, 1952, p. 68
(see the book; see also Isa. 41:8-9; more at Bible, Family, Father, God, Historical, Prayer)
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for his heart was meek and he always thought of others. Our vocation, to be beautiful, must be full of thought for others.
... Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910-1997), quoted in Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Malcolm Muggeridge, London: Collins, 1971, p. 69-72
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 6:1-2; more at Beauty, Meekness, Obedience, Sanctification, Thought)
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Belief in law is essential to the philosophical conception of prayer. If the universe were a mere chaos of chances, or if it were a result of absolute necessity, there would be no place for intelligent prayer; but if it is under the control of a Lawgiver, wise and merciful, not a mere manager of material machinery, but a true Father of all, then we can come to such a Being with our requests, not in the belief that we change His great plans, nor that any advantage could result from this if it were possible, but that these plans may be made in His boundless wisdom and love to meet our necessities.
... J. W. Dawson (1820-1899), The Origin of the World, Harper, 1877, p. 172-173
(see the book; see also Isa. 33:22; more at Father, Law, Love, Mercy, Philosophy, Prayer, Universe, Wisdom)
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Feast of Andrew the Apostle
“Why was I born?” “Why am I here?” Theology answers, “You are here to grow, to grow up in every way unto the full stature of a man newborn in Christ.”
... Frederick Ward Kates (1910-1987), A Moment Between Two Eternities, New York: Harper & Row, 1965, p. 12
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:11-13; more at Christ, Growth, Purpose, Theology)
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