Quotations for August, 2023
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Therefore Adam could have stood if he wished, seeing that he fell solely by his own will. But it was because his will was capable of being bent to one side or the other, and was not given the constancy to persevere, that he fell so easily. Yet his choice of good and evil was free.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.xv.8, p. 181
(see the book; see also Deut. 30:19-20; Gen. 3; 1 Cor. 15:22; more at Choices, Evil, Free will, Goodness, Self)
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Holiness [1877, 1879], Sovereign Grace Publishers, reprint, 2001, p. 9
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 4:3-7; Matt. 5:48; John 17:17; Rom. 7:13; 2 Cor. 3:18; more at Holiness, Progress, Sin)
Thursday, August 3, 2023
What is wrong with the world in general, is wrong likewise more or less with you and me, and with all human beings; for after all, the world is made up of human beings; and the sin of the world is nothing save the sins of each and all human beings put together; and the world will be renewed and come right again, just as far and no farther, as each human being is renewed and comes right. The only sure method, therefore, of setting the world right, is to begin by setting our own little part of the world right—in a word, setting ourselves right.
... Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), All Saints’ Day, and other sermons, ed. William Harrison, London: Kegan Paul, 1878, p. 46
(see the book; see also Ps. 32:1-2; 51:7; Isa. 1:18; Rom. 8:6-7; Heb. 12:1; 1 John 1:7; 2:1-2; more at Renewal, Sin, World, Wrong)
Friday, August 4, 2023
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
The phrase “Word of God” as used in the Bible itself, notably in the opening sentences of the Fourth Gospel, is an English translation of a Greek word, Logos, which was in wide use among philosophers at the time the New Testament was written. It connotes the creative, outgoing, self-revealing activity of God. The Logos was not a particular divine utterance, but God’s overall message to mankind. It was not necessarily communicated verbally in speech or writing. Indeed, the whole point of Christianity is that the supreme communication of the Word took place when it was expressed through a human life and personality in Jesus Christ.
... Louis Cassels (1922-1974), Your Bible, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967, p. 3
(see the book; see also Rom. 3:1-2; John 1:1-2; 1 John 1:1-2; Rev. 19:11-13; more at Bible, God, Gospel, Jesus, Philosophy, Revelation)
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
The idea of endless and limitless progress and development seems unsatisfying both philosophically and religiously; a process only finds its meaning in its goal. However far off be the Beatific Vision, to see the King in His glory, “to know Thee and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent”—this is heaven, and “it were a well-spent journey though seven deaths lay between.”** from letters of Samuel Rutherford
... Nathaniel Micklem (1888-1976), Prayers and Praises, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1941, p.36
(see the book; see also Mark 13:26-27; Matt. 24:30-31; John 14:2-3; 17:3; 1 John 3:2; more at Glory, Goal, Heaven, Jesus, Journey, King, Knowing God, Meaning, Progress, Sight, Vision)
Sunday, August 6, 2023
It is perilous to separate thinking rightly from acting [rightly]. He is already half false who speculates on truth, and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done. Life is an action, not a thought. And the penalty paid by him who speculates on truth, is that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes to him a falsehood.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons Preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, v. I, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1857, p. 335
(see the book; see also 1 John 5:3-5, Matt. 7:24-27; John 13:17; 1 Cor. 13:3; Gal. 6:7-8; 1 Thess. 1:3; Jas. 1:22; 2:14,17-22,26; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; 1 John 2:3; more at Action, Life, Peril, Thought, Truth)
Monday, August 7, 2023
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
Thou hallowed chosen morn of praise,That best and greatest shinest!Lady and Queen and Day of days,Of things divine, divinest!On thee our praises Christ adoreFor ever and for evermore.
Come, let us taste the Vine’s new fruitFor heavenly joy preparing:Today the branches with the RootIn Resurrection sharing:Whom as True God our hymns adoreFor ever and for evermore.
Rise, Sion, rise, and looking forth,Behold thy children round thee!From East and West, and South and North,Thy scatter’d sons have found thee!And in thy bosom Christ adoreFor ever and for evermore.
O Father! O coequal Son!O coeternal Spirit!In Persons Three, in Substance One,And One in power and merit;In Thee baptiz’d, we Thee adoreFor ever and for evermore!
... John of Damascus (c.676-749) & John Mason Neale (1818-1866), Hymns of the Eastern Church, London: J. T. Hayes, 1870, p. 105-106
(see the book; see also John 16:16; Matt. 16:21; 28:5-7; Mark 16:6-7; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:17; more at Christ, Day, Easter, Father, God, Heaven, Praise, Resurrection, Son, Today)
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
The power of goodness is found in the tiny. Since the beginning, God has chosen the tiny over the large: David over Goliath, Gideon and his three hundred soldiers over thousands of Midianites, Elijah over the prophets of Baal, one sheep over ninety-nine sheep. Spirituality is about doing the tiny work of God, little acts, small responses to God’s presence in our lives.
... Mike Yaconelli (1942-2003), Messy Spirituality , Zondervan, 2007, p. 129
(see the book; see also Matt. 25:40; Judg. 7:2-7; 1 Sam. 17:45-50; 1 Kings 18:18-24; Matt. 10:42; Mark 9:41; 12:42-44; Luke 15:4-7; 2 Cor. 8:12; more at God, Goodness, Life, Power, Presence of God, Spiritual life)
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
There is a childhood into which we have to grow, just as there is a childhood which we must leave behind; a childlikeness which is the highest gain of humanity, and a childishness from which but few of those who are counted the wisest among men, have freed themselves in their imagined progress towards the reality of things.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), David Elginbrod, vol. 1, Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1871, p. 50
(see the book; see also Mark 10:15; Matt. 18:3; 19:13-15; Luke 18:17; John 3:3-6; 1 Pet. 1:14; 2:2; more at Growth, Imagination, Man, Progress)
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees... Let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Sermons of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon of London, seventh series, New York: Sheldon and Co., 1864, Sermon 349
(see the book; see also Jude 1:22-23; Rom. 15:21; more at Condemnation, Evangelization, Hell, Mission, Prayer, Sinner)
Friday, August 11, 2023
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
Every passage in the history of our Lord and Saviour is of unfathomable depth, and affords inexhaustible matter of contemplation. All that concerns Him is infinite, and what we first discern is but the surface of that which begins and ends in eternity.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1849, p. 342
(see the book; see also Rom. 11:33; John 1:18; Eph. 2:6-7; 3:8-11,17-18; Col. 1:25-27; 2:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:16; more at Contemplation, Eternity, Infinite, Savior)
Saturday, August 12, 2023
All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.vii.5, p. 623
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Blessing, Commitment, Stewardship, Trust)
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Feast of Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Priest, Teacher, 1667
Commemoration of Florence Nightingale, Social Reformer, 1910
Commemoration of Octavia Hill, Worker for the Poor, 1912
While the Spirit of God is doing this work [of regeneration] in man, man must also be ‘a fellowworker with God;’ he must entertain the Spirit, attend his inspirations, receive his whispers, obey all his motions, invite him farther, and truly renounce all confederacy with his enemy, sin; at no hand suffering any ‘root of bitterness to spring up,’ not allowing to himself any reserve of carnal pleasure, no clandestine lust, no private oppressions, no secret covetousness, no love to this world, that may discompose his duty... When we leave every sin, when we resolve never to return to the chains, when we have no love for the world but such as may be a servant of God; then I account that we are entered into a state of grace.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. VI, London: Ogle, Duncan & Co., 1822, Sermon XIV, p. 5
(see the book; see also Heb. 12:15; Ps. 32:5; 51:7,10; 130:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 7:10-11; 2 Pet. 3:18; more at Duty, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Love, Pleasure, Resolve, Sin, World)
Monday, August 14, 2023
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
To us with ideas of individuality inherited from Greek and Western philosophy, it may seem strange or even unjust, but this principle of ‘corporate solidarity’ is vital to Christian faith; without it the whole conception of transference from being ‘in Adam’ into another solidarity of being ‘in Christ’ is of little meaning. [Continued tomorrow]
... Ian P. M. Cundy (1945-2009), “The Church as Community”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 24
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 10:5; Rom. 16:7; 1 Cor. 1:19-21; 2:12; 3:18-19; Col. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:16; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Faith, Philosophy)
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
[Continued from yesterday]Of course, we are accepted by Christ as individuals; we need our private times of study, prayer and devotion, but our individual conversion incorporates us ‘into Christ’ and our individual baptism incorporates us into his body, the Church. To be indwelt by the Spirit is therefore to be part of his people and to have this symbiosis not just with Christ but also with the rest of his people.
... Ian P. M. Cundy (1945-2009), “The Church as Community”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 25
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:25; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; more at Baptism, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Conversion, People, Spirit)
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
The blood of the cross is the basis of all prayer. Through it the relationship is established that underlies all prayer. Only as I come to God through Jesus to get the sin score straightened, and only as I keep in sympathy with Jesus in the purpose of my life can I practice prayer.
... Samuel Dickey Gordon (1859-1936), Quiet Talks on Prayer, Fleming H. Revell Co., 1904, p. 129
(see the book; see also Eph. 1:7; Rom. 3:25-26; 5:9; Eph. 2:13; Col. 1:19-20; Heb. 10:19-22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5-6; more at Blood, Cross, God, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Purpose, Sin)
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 181
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:18; Ps. 28:7; 30:11-12; 75:1; 136; Eph. 5:19-20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:17; Rev. 5:11-13; more at Dumbness, Heaven, Repentance, Thanksgiving)
Friday, August 18, 2023
The true pollution of the man comes from within; and the life is stained because the heart is impure. For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, like the uncharitable and bitter judgments of His accusers—and thence come also the sensual indulgences which men ascribe to the flesh, but which depraved imaginations excite, and love of God and their neighbour would restrain—and thence are the sins of violence which men excuse by pleading sudden provocation, whereas the spark led to a conflagration only because the heart was a dry fuel—and thence, plainly enough, come deceit and railing, pride and folly.It is a hard saying, but our conscience acknowledges the truth of it. We are not the toy of circumstances, but such as we have made ourselves; and our lives would have been pure if the stream had flowed from a pure fountain.
... G. A. Chadwick (1840-1923), The Gospel According to St. Mark, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891, p. 192
(see the book; see also Mark 7:15,18-23; Matt. 15:11,17-20; Luke 11:38-41; Rom. 8:7-8; 1 Tim. 4:4-5; Tit. 1:15; Jas. 4:1-3; more at Bitterness, Depravity, Evil, Folly, Heart, Judgment, Man, Pride, Purity, Thought, Truth)
Saturday, August 19, 2023
Nowhere in the New Testament are we told to “build the Kingdom.” It is already built “from the foundation of the world,” built into the nature of reality. You “see,” “enter,” “proclaim,” “suffer for” the Kingdom, but never “build” it. For the Kingdom is not a relativism to be built, but an absolute to be accepted, submitted to, obeyed.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), The Christ of the American Road, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1944, p. 208
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:19-22; Matt. 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 19:23-24; Mark 9:1; 10:23-25; Luke 9:27,60; 18:24-25; John 3:3-5; Acts 9:15-16; 14:22; 1 Pet. 2:4-9; more at Bible, Builder, Kingdom, Obedience, Preach, Submission, Suffer)
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
Here is a paradox, that no one can seek the Lord who has not already found Him. It is Thy will, O God, to be found that Thou mayest be sought, to be sought that Thou mayest the more truly be found.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), On Loving God, CCEL, ch. 7
(see the book; see also Ps. 70:4; 27:8; 105:3-4; Amos 5:4; Matt. 6:33; 7:7; Luke 12:31; John 6:27; Heb. 11:6; 1 John 4:19; more at Discovery, God, Paradox, Search)
Monday, August 21, 2023
One hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 90
(see the book; see also John 17:22-23; 6:40; Rom. 14:5-7; 15:5-7; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:2-7,11-13; Phil. 2:1-2; Col. 3:13-14; Heb. 12:1-2,14; 1 John 4:11-12; more at Christ, Fellowship, God, Heart, Unity, Worship)
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Nothing could have saved the infant Church from melting away into one of those vague and ineffective schools of philosophic ethics except the stern and strict rule that is laid down here [in Rev. 2:15, 16] by St. John. An easy-going Christianity could never have survived; only the most convinced, resolute, almost bigoted adherence to the most uncompromising interpretation of its own principles could have given the Christians the courage and self-reliance that were needed. For them to hesitate or to doubt was to be lost.
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1904, p. 300
(see the book; see also Rev. 2:15-16; Isa. 11:1-4; Acts 7:54-56; 8:1-4; 17:30-31; Rom. 8:35-37; Eph. 6:17; 2 Thes. 1:4; Rev. 2:5,21-22; 3:19; 19:15; more at Certainty, Church, Courage, Doubt, Hesitancy, Historical, Infancy, Philosophy, Resolve, Rule)
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
There is in St. Paul’s definite, soul-stirring assertion of the wrath of God and the reality of the judgment at hand, a truth more profound than any that underlies our somewhat enfeebled ideas of universal benevolence and the determined progress of the race. There is something more true in his denunciation of idolatry as sin than in our denial that it is possible for a man to worship an idol, or in our suggestion that all idolatry is only a road to spiritual worship of the one true God... One day I think we shall return to these stern doctrines, realizing in them a truth more profound than we now know, and then we shall preach them with conviction, and being convinced ourselves we shall convince others.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 73
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:19-21; Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:16-17; Ps. 78:58; 106:37-39; Matt. 6:24; 1 Cor. 8:10-13; 10:14-16; 2 Cor. 4:4; 6:15-17; more at Conviction, God, Idol, Judgment, Preach, Sin, Truth, Worship)
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
As I do no good action here, merely for the interpretation of good men, though that be one good and justifiable reason of my good actions: so I must do nothing for my salvation hereafter, merely for the love I bear to mine own soul, though that also be one good and justifiable reason of that action; but the primary reason in both, as well as the actions that establish a good name, as the actions that establish eternal life, must be the glory of God.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXI, p. 76
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 9:12-13; Hab. 2:14; Matt. 5:16; John 15:7-8; Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:12; more at Action, Eternal life, Glory of God, Goodness, Love, Reason, Salvation, Self, Soul)
Friday, August 25, 2023
We should all like life to be free from suffering, and our love to be free from pain. But there is no true love without suffering. So the highest love of all, the love of Christ for men, showed unforgettably how deeply he must suffer in order to bring men to himself.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), For This Day, Denis Duncan, ed., Word Books, 1978, p. 54
(see the book; see also Rev. 5:9; John 12:32-33; Rom. 5:8; 8:32; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 2:9; 5:7-10; 13:12; 1 Pet. 2:20-21; 4:1; 1 John 2:2; 4:9-10; more at Christ, Life, Love, Man, Pain, Suffer)
Saturday, August 26, 2023
... the fundamental pride of putting oneself at the center of the universe is the hinge upon which the entire world of the ruined self turns.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), The Renovation of the Heart, Colorado Springs, Colo.: Navpress, 2002, p. 57
(see the book; see also Pr. 16:18-19; Ps. 18:27; Pr. 11:2; Matt. 20:25-27; Mark 7:20-23; 10:42-44; Luke 1:51-52; 11:43; Rom. 12:3,16; 2 Cor. 10:12; Eph. 4:17-19; 2 Tim. 3:2-5; Rev. 3:17-18; more at Pride, Self, Universe, World)
Sunday, August 27, 2023
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,—That, in the course of justice, none of usShould see salvation: we do pray for mercy;And that same prayer doth teach us all to renderThe deeds of mercy.
... William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Merchant of Venice, in The Dramatic Works of William Shakspeare, London: Jones, 1823, Act IV, scene 1, p. 200
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:12-13; Jer. 9:23-24; Amos 5:24; Matt. 5:7; Eph. 2:4-5; more at Justice, Mercy, Prayer, Salvation, Teach)
Monday, August 28, 2023
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
I inquired what iniquity was, and found it to be no substance, but the perversion of the will, turned aside from Thee, O God, the Supreme, towards these lower things.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions , Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, VII.xvi, p. 162
(see the book; see also John 4:34; Ps. 32:2; 36:1-3; 125:4-5; 141:4; Matt. 6:10; Mark 3:35; John 6:38-40; Rom. 12:2; more at God, Prayers, Sin)
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
We cannot wait until all uncertainty disappears before dealing with ultimate issues. A decision has to be made in spite of the risk of choosing amiss. The risk after all is greatly diminished on account of the evidential signposts indicating the truth of the gospel, and we ought to take them very seriously. It is not God’s way to overpower us with undeniable demonstrations. We will wait for them in vain. In respect of our cognitive freedom, his way is to provide us with good and sufficient evidence of reasonable, persuasive force, and then to invite us to enter into the trustful certitude of faith.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 120-121
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:38-39; John 6:58-64; Acts 17:27-31; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; Eph. 3:12; Heb. 11:1; more at Choices, Faith, Freedom, Gospel, Reason, Truth, Uncertainty)
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
We live in a day characterized by the multiplication of man’s machinery and the diminution of God’s power. The great cry of our day is work, work, work, new organizations, new methods, new machinery; the great need of our day is prayer. It was a master stroke of the devil when he got the church so generally to lay aside this mighty weapon of prayer. The devil is perfectly willing that the church should multiply its organizations, and deftly contrive machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ if it will only give up praying.
... R. A. Torrey (1856-1928), How to Pray, Fleming H. Revell, 1900, p. 128
(see the book; see also Isa. 43:20-22; Job 21:14-15; Ps. 14:4; Isa. 64:7; Jer. 10:21; Dan. 9:13; Luke 18:6-8; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Christ, Church, Day, Devil, God, Prayer, Work)
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
But upon a day the good providence of God did cast me to Bedford to work on my calling: and in one of the streets of that town, I came where there were three or four poor women sitting at a door in the sun, and talking about the things of God; and being now willing to hear them discourse, I drew near to hear what they said, for I was now a brisk talker also myself in the matters of religion. But now I may say I heard, but I understood not; for they were far above, out of my reach; for their talk was about a new birth, the work of God on their hearts... And methought they spake as if joy did make them speak; they spake with such pleasantness of Scripture language, and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me as if they had found a new world.
... John Bunyan (1628-1688), Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners  The Whole Works of John Bunyan, v. I, London: Blackie, 1862, p. 10
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:18; Jer. 33:10,11; Matt. 11:15; John 1:12-13; 3:3-7; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 5:18-20; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 Tim. 1:15-16; 1 Pet. 1:3,23-25; 1 John 2:29; more at Conversion, God, Grace, Joy, New birth, Providence, Scripture)
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