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"slept in Jesus," and of whom he is the first fruits that now rose. These were pledges of the future general resurrection and a necessary confirmation of the prediction by Isaiah, in which Messiah says, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise," xxvi. 19.

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They rose in the same bodies in which they before had lived; otherwise they could not be called their bodies, or be known to those to whom they appeared: but who they were has not been known. Some have thought that they were the ancient patriarchs, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c.; but this does not appear to have been the case, as they would not have been known without some special revelation to each individual to whom they appeared. It seems more probable that they were some of the recently departed saints, such as John the Baptist, his father Zechariah, the venerable Simeon, Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary, and others well known to many to whom they appeared still living in the holy city Jerusalem.

What became of these saints after they had then been raised from the dead? This question has more frequently been asked than who they were? But of

this we have no information-there is a total silence respecting it in the Scriptures. Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to suppose, with our wisest commentators, that they continued on earth, either among their friends, or in some retirement to which they were divinely directed, until the ascension of Christ, when they would be drawn by the Spirit to join the mysterious retinue of angels in the triumphant entry of the exalted Messiah into his kingdom of glory, and joyfully surround the throne of God!

ILLUSTRATION OF MATTHEW XXI. 44. "A CONSTANT Reader," who desires to be informed by the Christian's Penny Magazine, "the meaning of Matt. xxi. 44," is requested to compare the account of the conversation of our Lord with the infidel cavilling Jewish priests and teachers, as given by Luke xx. with the record of Matthew.

Our Saviour perfectly knew the base and treasonable designs of his Jewish rulers against himself, and, therefore, in his discourse, he warned them by parables against the fearful and tremendous ruin which they were thereby assuredly bringing upon themselves. A great part of the spirit of his admonition is contained in the verse which is the subject of inquiry; but it will be necessary to look back upon its connexion to behold its full force and design: and as nothing that we have seen gives so fully the true spirit of the passage as the new translation and the paraphrase of Dr. Doddridge, we shall transcribe it from the Family Expositor" of that excellent divine.

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"And Jesus looked upon them with great seriousness and solemnity in his countenance, and said unto them, What is this then that is written? (Psal. cxviii. 22, 23.) Did you never read, or never reflect upon this remarkable passage in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders refused, the same is become the head-stone of the corner, this is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes ?' Words which, though they might seem to be accomplished in the exaltation of David to the Jewish throne, are in their highest sense applicable to the Messiah, who, though disdainfully rejected by you Scribes and Pharisees and rulers of the people, whose office it is to build up the church, is nevertheless chosen by God to be its great support and ornament (Luke xx. 17; Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii.

10, 11). And therefore let me plainly tell you, that whosoever shall fall upon this stone, that is, whosoever shall stumble at me and my doctrine while I am here on earth in this humble form, he shall be broken and damaged by it; but on whomsoever it shall fall, when raised up to so glorious an eminence, it shall even grind him to powder, like a brittle potsherd crushed by the weight of some huge stone falling upon it from on high. (Compare Daň. ii. 44.) So, whosoever shall oppose me after my exaltation to glory, and the pouring out of my Spirit for the full revelation of my Gospel and proof of my mission, he will bring upon himself aggravated guilt, and dreadful, unavoidable destruction" (Matt. xxi. 44).

SUNDAY READING FOR YOUTH.

"Constant Reader" further asks, "What Sunday lecture can you best recommend for youth ?"

In reply to this inquiry, we remark that much will depend on the age and attainmets of the youth, as to what books would be proper and suitable even for Sunday reading. With a view to aid parents in this important work, we will mention a few books which are instructive, religious, and attractive to youth. Sunday Reading for the Young. Manners and Customs of the Jews. Journeys of the Israelites. Rites and Worship of the Jews. Keith on Prophecy.

Young Christian, by Abbott.
Pilgrim's Progress.

Missionary Records. India, China, North America, and Tahiti. All the above by the Religious Tract Society.

Scripture Natural History, by W. Carpenter. The Child's Commentator on the Scriptures, by J. Cobbin, M.A., 7 vols. 18mo. The above list might be amply enlarged; but this will lead the intelligent parent to others.

THE BEST SCHOOL PRAYER-BOOK.

In reply to our correspondent we would remark, that nothing has fallen under our observation equal to the "Sunday-school Devotional Assistant," by the Religious Tract Society, price about 8d.

THE BEST WORK ON ENGLISH COMPOSITION. Exercise in composition with the aid of Lennie's Grammar, or Murray's Grammar, with Notes to the Rules of Syntax, aided by a careful reading of the first thirteen lectures of Blair's Rhetoric, will be found useful. We trust these replies will conduce to the real Christian edification of "A Constant Reader."

REVIEW.

A Treatise concerning Religious Affection. By PRESIDENT EDWARDS. 18mo. cloth, pp. xvi.-500. London Religious Tract Society.

"REVIVALS of religion" are far less frequently mentioned at the present time, than they were three or four years ago, either among the Christians in Great Britain or America. Can this be that they are less prevalent in our churches? or less desired by professors? While we are greatly inclined to believe that the "Religious revivals" were somewhat overrated about the period in question, we fear that now they are not so generally enjoyed, nor the subject of so earnest prayer among the people of God.

Counterfeits, in religious profession, there have | been in every age; and, according to the representations of the Scriptures, such characters may be expected in our churches down to the end of time. Those are permitted to exist among us, partly at least, for the trial of our own sincerity-to promote our self-inspection-and illustrate the grace of God in those who are living by faith in Christ.

Self-examination requires some aid in enabling a believer to judge correctly of his own spiritual condition; and he who furnishes a directory in this essential exercise, renders no inconsiderable service to the cause of religion.

President Edwards has been justly esteemed as a prince among theologians; and next in importance to his profound work on the "Freedom of the Human Will," is to be esteemed this masterly treatise on "Religious Affections."

Mr. Lereno E. Dwight, the intelligent and judicious biogropher of this great divine, says of this treatise, that," as a work exhibiting genuine Christianity in distinction from all its counterfeits, it possesses such singular excellence, that were the books on earth destined to a destruction so nearly universal, that only one besides the Bible could be saved; the church of Christ, if aiming to preserve the volume of the greatest value to man, that which would best unfold to a bereaved posterity the real nature of true religion, would unquestionably select for preservation, the "Treatise on the Affections."

Many, unquestionably, would not fully accord with Mr. Dwight in this conclusion: but as a discriminating work on experimental godliness, it will be difficult to estimate its value too highly; and many thanks are due to the Religious Tract Society for this beautiful edition of a theological treatise of such sterling worth to the church of Christ.

This work is in three parts:-Part I. Concerning the Nature of the Affections, and their Importance in Religion.-Part II. Shewing what are no certain Signs that Religious Affections are truly Gracious, or that they are not.-Part III. Shewing what are Distinguishing Signs of truly gracious and holy Affections.

The Faithful Servant adorning the Christian Character. 18mo. cloth, pp. xii. 312. London: Religious Tract Society.

"FAITHFUL servants" are, by many persons, said to be exceedingly scarce, especially such as adorn the Christian character. Comparatively scarce we fear they are but we are convinced that a due degree of regard has not been paid to young females, particularly when they have been taken into families as

servants.

Considering how great a measure of domestic comfort depends upon the character of female servants, it seems astonishing that so little has been done to promote their improvement.

Several works bearing the title of the volume before us have been given to the public; but they are far inferior to this, which is full of practical wisdom -written in a fascinating style, with characters drawn from an extensive acquaintance with society, and illustrated with many striking anecdotes. We sincerely wish every female servant, and every young person about to enter a family in that capacity, become possessed of a copy of this valuable volume, as a New-year's present, and it is scarcely less deserving of being read by every mistress of a family.

Journeyings and Encampments of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. Roller Map. London: Sunday-school Union.

SCRIPTURE Geography is of high importance to the reader of the Bible; and every attempt to explain and illustrate this subject confers a favour upon the church of God. The Sunday-school Union has done great service to the rising youth of Britain in the publication of their very valuable series of maps on Scripture Geography: the present one is deserving of all praise; it is beautiful and instructive, price only 78.; and we recommend that it be procured for every Sunday-school room, and for every vestry, and indeed for every Christian family.

FOR CHRISTMAS-DAY.-PSALM CX.
ARGUMENT.

HEAR Judah's king in lofty strain
The great salvation now explain;
Hear him exalt his Saviour high,
Assert his power and dignity!
Describe his sceptre and his might,
His subjects and their glorious right,
His everlasting priesthood too,
His wond'rous conquests bring to view;
How he achiev'd them ;—there indeed
We praise and wonder!-see him bleed;
He to this prophecy referr'd,

His servants† too the same declar'd.
How could the church with nobler strain,
Welcome his advent and his reign,
Than on her Saviour's birth-day sing,
This anthem to her Infant King?
PSALM.

Thus said Jehovah to my Lord,

"Ascend my throne and hear my word; "At my right hand thy place shall be, "And thou thine enemies shalt see "Low at thy feet;-the LORD shall send "His rod from Sion to defend; "Tis strong, 'tis mighty to command, "And thou amidst thy foes shalt stand. "A willing people shall be thine, "Whilst thou in holiness shalt shine; "More than the drops of morning dew "Thou shalt thy numerous offspring view. "The LORD hath sworn, nor will repent, "Thou art the priest himself hath sent; "Melchizedek a type was given,

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Thy priesthood is in earth and heaven. "The LORD will strike at thy right hand "Kings in his wrath; thou shalt command "The heathen; if they will not yield, "They shall be crushed in battle-field.

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THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS.

CANTO III.

Continued from page 408.

SAUL, cherising his malignant spirit
Against the meek disciple of the Lord,
With willing feet, hasted to the high-priest,
Authoritative letters to obtain,

Appointing him the chief inquisitor,

With diligence through Damascus to search
For those who call'd upon the name of Christ,
And bring them in irons, men or women,
For condemnation to Jerusalem.

Letters of inquisition granted, Saul,
With eager soul, pursued his guilty way.
Damascus was in view: a savage joy,
Such as intol'rant bigots only know,

Sprung up within him, while fiend-like malice
Urged his speed, to seize, like a fierce tiger,
Bitten with hunger, his hapless victims.

They in peace, the love of Christ pervading
All their pow'rs, heard the report of his dread
Mission; and while he curs'd, for him they pray'd.
"Wonders of grace to God belong :" he heard
Their ardent supplication, by himself
Inspir'd, and struck the guilty murderer!
Not with his awful arrows of just wrath,
By flaming lightning, to sink his wretched,
Helpless soul, in hopeless, endless anguish :
Sovereign mercy reign'd. With light surpassing
Mid-day splendours, was he struck down to earth
Prostrate, to hear that voice which, in the morn
Of resurrection, all the dead shall wake,
And bring from lowest caverns of the earth,
And depths of ocean, t' appear in judgment,
Speaking in terms of pity infinite-
"Saul! Saul! Why dost thou persecute me ?"
He, impress'd with reverent awe, replied,
Trembling and astonished to hear such words,
"Who art thou, holy Lord? In mercy tell!"

From the celestial brightness, thus, the Lord Answer'd, in words of grace, to melt that heart, Hardened in evil, deceiv'd by Satan,

His master, in ways of wicked madness :"I am Jesus,-of Nazareth indeed"Whom thou persecutest :-'tis hard for thee "To kick against the goads." He, still trembling, Penetrated deeply with conscious guilt, Wondering now at that mercy, infinite, Which could spare his wicked soul alive, said, "Lord! what wilt thou have me to do for thee?" Again with grace, the Lord of glory spake, Giving him tokens sure of forgiveness Free, and favour divine, appointing him To preach that faith, which, wickedly, With all his powers, he labour'd to destroy.

Jesus thus, Rise, and stand upon thy feet: "I have appeared to thee for this purpose, "To make thee a minister and witness, "Both of these things which thou hast seen, and things

"In which henceforth I will appear to thee: "Delivering thee from the Jewish people, "Enrag'd to madness by thy conversion "To my interests, and from the Gentiles, "Unto whom now I send thee, to open, "By the bright beams of heavenly truth, their eyes, "Turning their minds from darkness to the light, "And from the power of Satan's grievous yoke, "To God: that they may thus receive divine "Forgiveness of sins, and inheritance "Most glorious, among all those, whose souls "Renew'd, are sanctified by faith in me."

Saul's commission given, the vision ceas'd: Yet lessons of high import were needful For him to learn; that with its mighty pow'r, Renewing truth divine might be deeply Imprinted on his heart. By means chosen Most wisely to instruct, and form his mind, For his enduring labours through the world, To bless all nations,-he was taught of God! From his prostration on the earth, he rose ; Not to behold the splendours of the skies, Nor landscape, hill and dale, and murm'ring rills, For vision fail'd him: celestial brightness Too great for mortal sight, seal'd up his eyes With scales, making him look inward, viewing His heart,-"forgetting the things behind," mere Outward duties, reflecting on his state Of high guilt and alienation, blinded By Satan, and held in his delusions, The slave of sin refin'd-God's enemy! To be concluded in our next.

WINTER.

FROM the bleak regions of the frozen north, Where blustering Boreas holds his long-lived reign,

Lo, frowning Winter rushes furious forth, And spreads o'er mourning lands his dread domain.

No more the lily boasts her snowy pride,

No more the rose, no more the violet blooms; Nor purling streams in gentle murmurs glide, Nor balmy zephyrs scatter rich perfume. From the thatched cot the icicles depend,

The swain to covert drives his fleecy care; With frozen gems oppress'd, the branches bend, All chilled and torpid with the nipping air.

All drooping now fair nature's winged choirs That wont to greet her with harmonious lay, The sweet wild warblers whom the spring inspires, Forget their tuneful notes and sorrowing pine

away.

In this sad season while the sickening year

Mourns the rude prospect of the barren soil, While bare and blasted all the groves appear, And the hard earth eludes the peasant's toil;

Mindful of pity, eldest born of heaven,

And meek-eyed Charity, her sister fair, From your abundance let an alms be given, To cheer each want and smooth the brow of

care.

So when life's prospects like a dream shall fade, And winter's clouds your setting sun o'ershade, Sweet smiling Peace shall then your couch attend, And joy by faith in Christ exalt thy name; While Hope her golden pinions shall extend,

And point to other worlds and deathless fame.

London: Printed by JAMES S. HODSON, at his residence, No. 15, Cross Street, Hatton Garden, and Published by him at 112, Fleet Street; where all communications for the Editor (post paid) are to be addressed; sold also by Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., and by all other Booksellers, Newsvenders, &c. in the King. dom.

The trade may be supplied in London, by STEILL, Paternoster Row: BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand in Manchester, by Ellerby!: Sheffield, Innocent; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Finlay and Charlton; Liverpool, Arnold.

Published on Saturday, Dec. 24, 1836.

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CLARE CHURCH, SUFFOLK. CLARE, a market-town in Suffolk, is famous, not so much from its situation, trade, or the multitude of its inhabitants, as for the great men who have borne its name with the title of earl or duke. Its population at the census in 1831, was only 1019, but its fine, large ancient church, makes it appear venerable. Lionel, third son of Edward III. becoming possessed of the barony of Clare by marriage, was created

duke of Clarence; and that title has ever since belonged to a branch of the royal family. This title belongs to our present monarch William IV.

Suffolk, especially in connexion with the antiqui. ties of Bury St. Edmund's, will engage our attention, at an early period in the new year; and as this number closes our volume, we can conveniently postpone our further remarks on the subject of our present engraving.

MEDITATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS DAY. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah ix. 6.)

ANGELIC heralds announced the glad tidings of Messiah's birth, and proclaimed to the watchful shepherds of Bethlehem, the perfect fulfilment of this glorious prediction by Isaiah. Let me, therefore, go with them in meditation, "even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass," that I with them may rejoice in the salvation of

God.

Curiosity might partly have impelled the shepherds in their resolve-and a holy inquisitiveness

VOL. V.

may reasonably influence my mind. Mysterious as is the meaning of the language of the enraptured prophet, let me endeavour to understand the full import of its signification. Let me again reflect upon the address of the celestial messenger to the humble but pious peasants, that this may aid my perception of the meaning of these titles given to Messiah. "Fear not-for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke ii. 10, 11).

Astonishment must have filled their minds on

hearing this divine announcement: it fills my mind even now to read it; and they would surely have risen up immediately to proceed on their way to the honoured city, had not their attention been again arrested by another celestial prodigy. But "suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (ver. 13, 14).

Believe, and wonder, and adore, O my soul, the blessed Author of these intimations of his eternal purposes of mercy to our world! go then with the shepherds to Bethlehem-behold the lowly shedsurvey the consecrated manger, "the place where the Lord lay" as "an infant of days-yet the Almighty God-the everlasting Father-the Prince of Peace." I will take the inspired apostle as the infallible interpreter of this amazing mystery, and let him explain to me the sublime language of Isaiah. Thus he ad. dresses believers on the Son of God-" Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. viii. 9). Cherishing the confiding spirit of "a little child," I will regard the lessons of this able instructor; I will receive his doctrine "with meekness, as the en

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grafted wood, which is able to save the soul" (James i. 21). I cannot penetrate the counsels of heaven, nor can I comprehend the whole import of this declaration. But why should I expect to be able fully to understand all the deep things of God?" On this lofty subject the apostle himself declares, "Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. iii. 16). Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham" (Heb. ii. 16). "As the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" (Heb. ii. 14—17).

Thus expounded by the apostolical commentary, I now see the highest reason for the lofty titles given to the Redeemer of a guilty world; and for this "babe lying in swaddling-clothes in the manger" at Bethlehem, being called also by his expressive name IMMANUEL, which being interpreted by the spirit of inspiration is, God with us" (Matt. i. 23).

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"God manifest in the flesh!" mystery divine! ineffable mystery of grace! Here hangs the perfect redemption, and the eternal salvation of a ruined worldof unnumbered millions of the fallen children of Adam-reconciled, justified, sanctified, and glori fied, as the adopted "sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty!"

Embracing with my whole heart this precious "record that God gave of his love" (1 John v. 10), and trusting in his mighty power for my redemption from evil and preservation to his eternal kingdom, guilty and unworthy mortal as I am, I will no longer indulge despondency, but "joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom I have now received the atonement" (Rom. v. 11). He has graciously "laid help on One that is mighty to save"-his incommunicable and inviting titles indicate and proclaim his dignity and office-as the prophet, priest, and king of his church--and these offices constitute, as the merciful declarations of God demonstrate, that "He is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us" (Heb. vii. 25).

"He ever lives to intercede
Before his Father's face;

Give him, my soul, thy cause to plead,
Nor doubt the Father's grace."-WATTS.

REFLECTIONS ON THE LAST EVENING IN THE YEAR.

TIME rolls onward into the boundless ocean of eternity! With rapid revolutions the mysterious wheel of Providence is in motion, carrying us forward to an unknown world! Another day is closed! another year is gone! their hours and minutes of duty are for ever expended, and their seasons of privilege can never be recalled for improvement or abuse.

Are these various times and seasons then, through which Divine Providence has sustained and led me, sunk into perpetual oblivion? Will no recollection of the past be required for ever? Have I no review of by-gone years to make? Will no account be taken of my use of those talents committed to me? Infidelity would fain persuade me that all the purposes of Divine Providence in relation to me are answered and satisfied in my enjoyment of the sweets and comforts of the present life on earth--that moral accountability is a mere fiction-the politic inven

tion of interested priests for their convenience in governing a deluded world!

Cheerless, pernicious, and lying principles of infidel disbelief-scarce less repugnaut to the dictates of sober reason than to the sublime doctrines of Jesus Christ. Shall I regard their lying oracles, and hear them pronounce-"No future state! No life to come! No punishment of villany! No rewards for the godly! No celestial inheritance for the righteous?"

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Ah, no! Blessed be God, these things cannot be; God, the Maker of the world, hath spoken-" Life and immortality, are brought to light by the Gospel." God, that cannot lie, hath promised eternal life" to all his faithful servants, and he is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Let infidels choose their own delusions, let them anticipate the gloominess of perpetual night, and solace themselves in the persuasion of the horrors of everlasting death! Unhappy men transgressors of the law of God-they dare not believetheir guilty consciences forbid the hope of their inheriting holy happiness in the kingdom of Godand, therefore, they have not courage to suppose the truth of the Gospel of Christ. O when will they be wise and yield their souls to God!

"Let sinners take their course,

And choose the road to death;
But in the worship of my God,

I'll spend my daily breath."-WATTS. Triumphant over these delusions cherished by men of corrupt minds, am I then prepared to yield up my account with joy? Have my days and months of this year been filled up with duty to my God, ad spent in his delightful service and to his glory Have I improved my talents and privileges according to his appointment! Alas! I cannot presume to stand before God on the ground of my duties: I am an unprofitable servant in the vineyard of the Lord, I am a defaulter! I am verily guilty of negligence, sloth, and unfaithfulness. I have "come short of the glory of God." I must cherish the sentiment of the devout Psalmist, and adopt his penitent appeal-"Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O LORD: for in thy sight no man living shall be justified" (Psal. cxliii. 2).

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Conscious that all my deeds are accurately registered in the book of God's omniscience, that I must, however reluctant, appear before the Divine tribunal, that I must "receive according to the deeds done in the body"-" I flee for refuge to the hope set before me in the Gospel," humbly renouncing all hope of justification or acquittal, except on the ground of the infinite worthiness of Immanuel, my heavenly “advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world" (1 John ii. 2). Believing with the heart unto righteousness," I trust in the faithful promises of a covenant-keeping God, and look forward with humble hope to that all-momentous " day of the Lord," that then I shall see his face with joy, "My debts all cancell'd, and my crimes forgiven, My Judge all glorious, but without a frown," and that before assembled worlds, I shall hear with transport, his voice proclaim those gracious words"Come ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world."

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Divine forbearance may yet spare me another year; O that it may be in mercy, and that I may be girded with strength" from the grace of the Spirit, "Let my heart, O Lord, be sound in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed." Prepare me for thy service to show forth thy praise. Bless me and make me a blessing; and enable me to finish my earthly course

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