Christ, our Light

Quotations for July, 2021

Thursday, July 1, 2021
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873

Sin... is always an act of wrong judgment. To commit a sin a man must for the moment believe that things are different from what they really are; he must confound values; he must see the moral universe out of focus; he must accept a lie as truth and see truth as a lie; he must ignore the signs on the highway and drive with his eyes shut; he must act as if he had no soul, and was not accountable for his moral choices.
Sin is never a thing to be proud of. No act is wise that ignores remote consequences, and sin always does. Sin sees only today, or at most tomorrow; never the day after tomorrow, next month or next year. Death and judgment are pushed aside as if they did not exist, and the sinner becomes for the time a practical atheist who by his act denies not only the existence of God but the concept of life after death.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1966, p. 47 (see the book; see also Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:19-20; Heb. 12:1; 1 John 3:4-10; 5:17; more at Action, Atheism, Death, God, Judgment, Life, Morality, Sight, Sin, Truth, Wrong)

Friday, July 2, 2021

Meditate on Jacob’s wrestling with the angel all night: be thou also importunate with God for a blessing, and give not over till He hath blessed thee.
Meditate on the angel passing over the children of Israel, and destroying the Egyptians for disobedience and oppression; pray for the grace of obedience and charity, and for the divine protection.
Meditate on the angel who destroyed in a night the whole army of the Assyrians for fornication; call to mind the sins of thy youth, the sins of thy bed; and say with David, “My reins chasten me in the night season, and my soul refuseth comfort:” pray for pardon and the grace of chastity.
Meditate on the agonies of Christ in the garden, his sadness and affliction all that night; and thank and adore Him for His love, that made Him suffer so much for thee; and hate thy sins which made it necessary for the Son of God to suffer so much.
... 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. 41 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:59-60; Gen. 32:22-30; Ex. 11:4-12:30; Ps. 1:2; 16:7; 19:14; 63:5-6; 77:12; 104:34; 119:11; 143:5; Isa. 37:33-36; Matt. 26:36-50; Mark 14:32-46; Luke 22:39-49; Jude 1:23; more at Affliction, Angel, Comfort, Disobedience, God, Israel, Meditation, Prayer, Sin, Suffer)

Saturday, July 3, 2021
Feast of Thomas the Apostle

Let all our chapels be built plain and decent; but not more expensively than is absolutely unavoidable: otherwise the necessity of raising money will make rich men necessary to us. But if so, we must be dependent upon them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewell to the Methodist-discipline, if not doctrine too.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), instructions to Methodists in the U.S. [1784], in A Constitutional History of American Episcopal Methodism, John James Tigert, Nashville: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1908, p. 592 (see the book; see also Luke 12:15; 1 Tim. 6:10-11,17-19; Jas. 5:1-5; more at Belief, Church, Discipline, Money, Wealth)

Sunday, July 4, 2021

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 1 Pet. 2:17; Isa. 28:16; 1 John 2:15; more at Gospel, Jesus, Nation)

Monday, July 5, 2021

Christ is God’s complete word to men; He has nothing to say which has not been said in Christ. Therefore all claims to convey an additional revelation to that which has been given in Christ (as distinct from bringing out the fuller implications of the revelation in Christ) are false claims. That is so whether these claims are embodied in books which aim at superseding or supplanting the Bible, or take the form of extra-biblical traditions which are promulgated as dogmas by ecclesiastical authority. It is true, as John Robinson said, that “the Lord hath much more truth yet to break forth out if His holy Word“—but that truth will break forth from the Word already spoken, the Word which became incarnate in Jesus Christ and has been recorded for us in Holy Writ. The Spirit of God, who spoke by the prophets and apostles, still speaks to us through their words and thus bears witness to Christ, the perfect revelation of God.
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), The Apostolic Defense of the Gospel, London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1959, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959, p. 81 (see the book; see also Mark 1:9-11; Matt. 16:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:15-16; Jude 1:3; more at Bible, Christ, God, Holiness, Incarnation, Jesus, Prophet, Revelation, Truth, Witness)

Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535

What is meant by calling the writings of Moses and the Prophets [the] “Old Testament”? Do they not set forth the covenant of grace? The doctrine of justification by faith: does not Paul in his Epistle to the Romans prove it from Genesis (case of Abraham) and from the Psalms (case of David, Ps. 32)? Where is the doctrine of substitution and the vicarious sufferings of the messiah set forth more clearly than in Leviticus and in the 53rd of Isaiah? The term “Old Testament” leads people to fancy it is an antiquated book; whereas, in many respects, it is newer than the New Testament, referring more fully to the age of glory and blessedness on the earth which is still before us.
... Adolph Saphir (1831-1891), Christ and Israel, London: Morgan and Scott, 1911, p. 140 (see the book; see also Gen. 15:6; Ps. 32; Isa. 53; more at Bible, Faith, Glory, Grace, Justification, Prophet)

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

They only really hear who obey, and they only who obey can really hear.
... Edward B. Pusey (1800-1882), Parochial Sermons, v. III, London: Rivingtons, 1873, p. 190 (see the book; see also Mark 4:23; Isa. 30:20-21; Jer. 31:33-34; Matt. 11:26-27; John 10:27; Rev. 11:17; more at Obedience, Understanding)

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Not to all men, not to any man always does God give complete abundance. To all men sometimes, to some men in long stretches of their lives, come the abasement times,—times of poverty, times of ignorance, times of friendlessness, times of distrust and doubt; but God does not mean that these times should be like great barren stretches and blanks in our lives only to be travelled over for the sake of what lies beyond. To him who, like Paul, knows how to be abased, they have their own rich value. They do for him their own good work. To have our desire set on nothing absolutely except character, to be glad that God should lead us into any land where there is character to win,—this is the only real explanation of life. He that has it may be more than reconciled to living. He may do more than triumph over his abasements. He may make close friendships with them, so that he shall part from them with sorrow when he is called to go to the right hand of God where there is no more abasement, nothing but fulness forevermore.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1904, p. 175 (see the book; see also Phil. 4:12; Matt. 18:4; Luke 14:8-11; 2 Cor. 11:7; 1 Pet. 5:6; more at Abasement, God, Knowledge, Life, Man, Poverty, Work)

Friday, July 9, 2021

Whatever may be our differences of colour, culture, and class, the unity that is ours in Christ is given visible expression at every Synod. Here we all gather around the one Altar, here we all share in shaping the policy of the Church in this diocese; here we all take part in making provision for carrying on the work of the Church during the coming year. At this time, year by year, we are specially conscious of our unity in Christ, and are made aware afresh that we are members of this new race of human beings which is made up of all those of every ethnic group who have been added to Christ. We are members of that Kingdom in which all human antagonisms are transcended. Yet we shall not interpret aright this unity which is ours in Christ Jesus unless we continually remind ourselves that it has its origin in His death and resurrection. The Church springs out of the deeds of Jesus done in the flesh, and we can only fulfil our destiny in the Church as we learn that we are utterly dependent upon the whole Body of Christ.
... Ambrose Reeves (1899-1980), Bishop of Johannesburg [1956], in Church and Race in South Africa, David M. Paton, London: SCM Press, 1958, p. 30-31 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:13; John 17:20-21; Gal. 3:28; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Altar, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Jesus, Kingdom, Unity)

Saturday, July 10, 2021

It is obvious that no human means exists for distinguishing clearly between believers and unbelievers in borderline cases. The methods of distinction upon which the churches and the Christian groups are based can only result—as experience continually proves—in including some who do not really know Christ and excluding some who have His life. In this sense, the existing churches cannot be considered to be the same as the Ekklesia, or true Body of Christ. Serious confusion has resulted when churches have assumed attitudes or prerogatives proper only to the Body. We must always clearly distinguish between the churches of men and the Ekklesia of Christ—the Body in which He lives.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 8 (see the book; see also Eph. 1:22-23; Matt. 7:15-16; Col. 1:24; 1 Tim. 3:14-15; Jude 1:8-12; more at Attitudes, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Confusion, Experience, Truth)

Sunday, July 11, 2021
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550

God is merciful even when He declines to give us things that we ask of Him.
... O. Hallesby (1879-1961), Prayer, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1943, reprint, Augsburg Fortress Books, 1975, 1994, p. 132 (see the book; see also Ps. 65:3; 100:5; 136; Mark 14:36; Tit. 3:5; more at God, Mercy, Prayer)

Monday, July 12, 2021

As, then, a consummate master teaches both by example and precept, so Christ taught the obedience, which good men are to render even at the cost of death, by Himself first dying in rendering it.
... Rufinus (345?-410), A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. III, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1892, p. 549 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:21; Ps. 40:6-8; John 4:34; 6:38; 9:4; Phil. 2:5-12; Heb. 10:5-9; 4:1; 1 John 2:3-6; more at Christ, Death, Example, Master, Obedience, Teach)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Fourth Conversation, p. 17 (see the book; see also 2 Thes. 3:13; Eccl. 11:1; Gal. 6:9; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Heb. 12:1-3; more at God, Love, Weary, Work)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866

The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us, daily, nearer God.
Seek we no more; content with these,
Let present Rapture, Comfort, Ease,
As Heaven shall bid them, come and go;—
The secret this of Rest below.
Only, O Lord, in thy dear love
Fit us for perfect rest above;
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.
... John Keble (1792-1866), The Christian Year [1827], G. W. Doane, ed., Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1842, p. 19 (see the book; see also Matt. 11:28-30; 2 Chr. 6:17; Matt. 6:10; Luke 6:21; 11:2-4; John 15:16; more at Comfort, Contentment, God, Heaven, Perfection, Prayer, Rest, Road, Task)

Thursday, July 15, 2021
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274

If we are to live unto God at any time, or in any place, we are to live unto Him at all times and in all places. If we are to use any thing as the gift of God, we are to use every thing as His gift.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 74 (see the book; see also Gal. 2:19-20; Rom. 6:4-7; Gal. 5:24; 6:14; Col. 2:11-14; more at Gifts, God, Life, Obedience, Time)

Friday, July 16, 2021
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099

Seek, then, that which thou hast lost, that thou mayest find it; for well I wot, whosoever once hath an inward sight, but a little of that dignity and that spiritual fairness which a soul hath by creation, and shall have again by grace, he will loathe in his heart all the bliss, the liking and the fairness of this world, as the stink of carrion; and he will never have any will or mind to do other deed, night or day (save what mere need of nature requireth) but desire, mourn, seek, and pray how he may come again thereto.
Nevertheless inasmuch as thou hast not as yet seen what it is fully, for thy spiritual eye is not yet opened, I shall tell thee one word for all, in the which thou shalt seek, desire and find it; for in that one word is all that thou hast lost. This word is Jesus: I mean not this word Jesus painted upon the wall, as written in letters on the book, or formed by lips in sound of the mouth, or framed in thy mind by imagination, for in this wise may a man that is void of charity find Him; but I mean Jesus Christ, that blessed Person, God and Man, Son of the Virgin Mary, whom this name betokeneth; that is all goodness, endless wisdom, love and sweetness, thy joy, thy glory, and thy everlasting bliss, thy God, thy Lord, and thy salvation.
... Walter Hilton (1330?-1396), The Scale of Perfection [early 15th century], ed. Serenus Cressy, I.iii.iii.ii (see the book; see also 1 John 2:29; Ps. 73:25; 119:40; Pr. 2:1-5; Matt. 7:7-8; 1 Cor. 13:12; Jas. 1:21; 2 Pet. 3:11-14; 1 John 1:6-7; 3:2-3; more at Goodness, Grace, Heart, Jesus, Joy, Prayer, Soul, Wisdom, World)

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Our responsibility is to walk with courage and integrity, continually looking to our Lord for Guidance.
... Ted W. Engstrom (1916-2006), former president, World Vision US, in a private communication from World Vision (see also Mic. 6:8; Jer. 7:23; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:2; more at Courage, God, Guidance, Integrity, Obedience, Responsibility)

Sunday, July 18, 2021

God’s love is a sun that never sets, and never sinks; is always, always at its full noonday glory!
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 113 (see the book; see also 1 Chr. 16:34; Ps. 118:1-4; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; 1 John 4:8; Rev. 21:23-24; more at Glory, God, Love)

Monday, July 19, 2021
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379

Above all, it is not necessary that we should have any unexpected, extraordinary experiences in meditation. This can happen, but if it does not, it is not a sign that the meditation period has been useless. Not only at the beginning, but repeatedly, there will be times when we feel a great spiritual dryness and apathy, an aversion, even an inability to meditate. We dare not be balked by such experiences. Above all, we must not allow them to keep us from adhering to our meditation period with great patience and fidelity.
It is, therefore, not good for us to take too seriously the many untoward experiences we have with ourselves in meditation. It is here that our old vanity and our illicit claims upon God may creep in by a pious detour, as if it were our right to have nothing but elevating and fruitful experiences, and as if the discovery of our own inner poverty were quite beneath our dignity. With that attitude, we shall make no progress.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 88 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 14:1-6; Ps. 94:11; 119:15-16; Pr. 30:8; Matt. 6:6-8; Col. 2:8; more at Attitudes, God, Meditation, Patience, Prayer, Vanity)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566

The commandments are not given inappropriately or pointlessly; but in order that through them the proud, blind man may learn the plague of his impotence, should he try to do as he is commanded.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), The Bondage of the Will, Revell, 1957, P. 160 (see the book; see also Rev. 3:17; Matt. 15:13-14; Rom. 3:10-23; Gal. 3:24; Eph. 4:18; more at Blindness, Commandment, Pride)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Consider that it is not failing in this or that attempt to come to Christ, but a giving over your endeavors, that will be your ruin.
... John Owen (1616-1683), The Glory of Christ [1684, 1691], in Works of John Owen, v. I, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1850, p. 428 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:8; Matt. 15:22-28; Luke 13:24; 22:44; Eph. 6:18; Heb. 12:1-3; more at Call, Christ, Endeavor, Failure, Sin)

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles

The doctrine of the Law transcending our capacity, a man may indeed look from a distance at the promises held forth, but he cannot derive any benefit from them. The only thing, therefore, remaining for him is, from their excellence to form a better estimate of his own misery, while he considers that the hope of salvation is cut off, and he is threatened with certain death. On the other hand, those fearful denunciations which strike not at a few individuals, but at every individual without exceptions, rise up; rise up, I say, and, with inexorable severity, pursue us; so that nothing but instant death is presented by the Law.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, II.vii.3, p. 316 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:56-57; Deut. 30:19; Rom. 5:20; 6:14; 7:9; Gal. 2:19-21; more at Certainty, Death, Fear, Hope, Judgment, Law, Promise, Salvation)

Friday, July 23, 2021
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373

Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.
... John Dod (c.1549-1645), quoted in The Lives of the Puritans, v. III, Benjamin Brook, London: J. Black, 1813, p. 3 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:12-13; Ps. 103:9-10; John 15:21; 1 Thess. 3:2-3; Heb. 12:5-6; more at Affliction, Sanctification)

Saturday, July 24, 2021
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471

He who exists eternally did not submit to a bodily birth because He wanted to live, but in order to recall us from death to life.
... St. Gregory of Nyssa (331?-396?), oratio catechetica (magna) 32, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. V, Philip Schaff, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1893, p. 146 (see the book; see also John 1:14; Eph. 2:1-2; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9,24; 1 John 5:20; more at Death, Existence, Incarnation, Life, Submission)

Sunday, July 25, 2021
Feast of James the Apostle

Grace is the beginning of glory, and glory is but grace perfected.
... Thomas Manton (1620-1677), from “Sermons on Hebrews 11” in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, v. 13, London: James Nisbet & Co., 1873, serm. i, p. 331 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:18; John 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:15; Heb. 11:1; more at Beginning, Glory, Grace, Perfection, Sanctification)

Monday, July 26, 2021

The redeemed soul possesses all things in Christ. He is a complete Savior. He lacks nothing. Having Him we are saved to the uttermost; without Him we are utterly lost and undone.
... Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), The Work of the Holy Spirit, tr. Henri De Vries, New York: Funk & Wagnalls company, 1900, p. 452 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:30; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8:28-34; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 1 John 4:4; more at Christ, Possession, Redemption, Salvation, Savior, Soul)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011

The idea of “conviction” is complex. It involves the conceptions of authoritative examination, of unquestionable proof, of decisive judgment, of punitive power. Whatever the final issue may be, he who “convicts” another places the truth of the case in dispute in a clear light before him, so that it must be seen and acknowledged as truth. He who then rejects the conclusion which the exposition involves, rejects it with his eyes open and at his peril. Truth seen as truth carries with it condemnation to all who refuse to welcome it.
... Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), The Gospel According to St. John, London: John Murray, 1882, p. 228 (see the book; see also 2 Thess. 2:10; Jer. 7:28; John 3:20; 6:44,45; Eph. 5:13; Jas. 2:9; more at Condemnation, Conversion, Conviction, Judgment, Peril, Truth)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750

In a conversation:
R.C.: Must one be a believer to compose in these [church music] forms?
I.S.: Certainly, and not merely a believer in “symbolic figures,” but in the person of the Lord, the person of the devil, and the miracles of the Church.
... Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Conversations with Igor Stravinsky [1958], Robert Craft, Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1959, p. 143 (see the book; see also 1 John 1:1-2; John 1:4; 11:25-26; 14:6; Eph. 6:12; 1 John 5:20; more at Art, Certainty, Church, Devil, Faith, God, Miracle)

Thursday, July 29, 2021
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!
And so, through all the length of day,
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.
... Henry W. Baker (1821-1877), included in The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen, ed., Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006, p. 317 (see the book; see also Ps. 23; more at Darkness, Death, Fear, Gentleness, Goodness, Grace, Growth, Guidance, King, Praise)

Friday, July 30, 2021
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

[I boldly] avow my firm persuasion, that to the decline of Religion and Morality, our national difficulties must both directly and indirectly be chiefly ascribed; and that my only solid hopes for the well being of my country depend, not so much on her fleets and armies, not so much on the wisdom of her rulers, or the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion, that she still contains many who love and obey the Gospel of Christ; that their intercessions may yet prevail; that for the sake of these, heaven may still look upon us with an eye of favour.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 316 (see the book; see also Jas. 5:19-20; Isa. 10:20-21; 1 Kings 19:18; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; Jas. 5:16; Rev. 5:8; more at Christ, Country, Gospel, Hope, Intercession, Morality, Obedience, People, Religion)

Saturday, July 31, 2021
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556

I desire and choose poverty with Christ poor, rather than riches; insults with Christ loaded with them, rather than honors; I desire to be accounted as worthless and a fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in this world. So Christ was treated before me.
... St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491/5-1556), The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, New York: P. J. Kennedy & Sons, 1914, p. 84 (see the book; see also Ps. 94:11; Matt. 5:11-12; 11:25; John 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 1:18-24; 3:19-20; 4:10; more at Christ, Fool, Honor, Poverty, Wisdom, World)


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