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rue believers are

CHAP. III.

the children of God. M. cir. 4073. sons of God, and ait doth not for we shall see him as he is. A.M. cir. 4073. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. mpp. Galba, yet appear what we shall be:

3 d And every man that hath

Impp. Galba, one, Vitel. et espasiano. but we know that, when he shall this hope in him purifieth him- Othone, Vitel. et

. appear,

we shall be like him; self, even as he is pure.

b

om. vin. 18. 2 Cor. iv. 17. b Rom. viii. 29. 1 Cor.

XV. 49. Phil. iii. 21. Col. iii. 4. 2 Pet. i. 4.

c Job xix. 26. Ps. xvi. 11. Matt. v. 8. 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

2 Cor. v.7.-- Ch. iv. 17.

adth, the depth, the height, he does not attempt himself-abstains from all evil, and keeps himself describe.

from all that is in the world, viz., the lusts of the flesh, The Father hath bestowed] For we had neither of the eye, and the pride of life. God having purified im nor merit that we should be called, that is, con- his heart, it is his business to keep himself in the love Euted or made, the sons of God, who were before of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ Eldren of the wicked one, animal, earthly, devilish; unto eternal life. The apostle does not here speak erefore, the love which brought us from such a of any man purifying his own heart, because this is pth of misery and degradation must appear the impossible ; but of his persevering in the state of sre extraordinary and impressive. After kind wjev, purity into which the Lord hath brought him. The A ve might be called, kai equev, and we are, is added words, however, may be understood of a man's anxiABC, seventeen others, both the Syriac, Erpen's ously using all the means that lead to purity; and abie, Coptic, Sahidic, Æthiopic, Slavonic, and imploring God for the sanctifying Spirit, to “cleanse Igate.

the thoughts of his heart by its inspiration, that he Therefore the world] The Jews, and all who know may perfectly love him, and worthily magnify liis

God, and are seeking their portion in this life; name.” rweth us not-do not acknowledge, respect, love, or

As he is pure.] Till he is as completely saved prove of us. In this sense the word yivwokalv is from his sins as Christ was free from sin. Many tell :e to be understood. The world knew well enough us that “this never can be done, for no man can be it there were such persons; but they did not ap- saved from sin in this life.” Will these persons ne of them. We have often seen that this is a permit us to ask, How much sin may we be saved quent use of the term know, both in Hebrew and from in this life? Something must be ascertained on eek, in the Old Testament and also in the New. this subject: 1. That the soul may have some deterBecause it knew him not.] The Jews did not ac- minate object in view ; 2. That it may not lose its pledge Jesus; they neither approved of him, his time, or employ its faith and energy, in praying for ctrine, nor his manner of life.

what is impossible to be attained. Now, as he was Verse 2. Now are we the sons of God] He speaks manifested to take away our sins, ver. 5, to destroy those who are begotten of God, and who work the works of the devil

, ver. 8; and as his blood hteousness. See the preceding chapter.

cleanseth from all sin and unrighteousness, chap. i. And it doth not yet appear whut we shall be] Outw 7,9; is it not evident that God means that believers wvepwon. It is not yet manifest; though we know in Christ shall be saved from all sin? For if his blood at we are the children of God, we do not know that cleanses from all sin, if he destroys the works of the ite of glorious excellence to which, as such, we devil (and sin is the work of the devil), and if he who all be raised.

is born of God does not commit sin, ver. 9, then he When he shall appear] Eav pavepw@y: When he shall must be cleansed from all sin ; and while he connunifested ; i. e. when he comes the second time, tinues in that state he lives without sinning against od shall be manifested in his glorified human nature God, for the seed of God remaineth in him, and he judge the world.

cannot sin because he is born, or begotten, of God, ver. We shall be like him] For our vile bodies shall be 9. How strangely warped and blinded by prejudice ade like unto his glorious body; we shall see him as and system must men be who, in the face of such 318

, in all the glory and majesty both of the divine evidence as this, will still dare to maintain that no ad human nature. See Phil. iii. 21 ; and John xvii. man can be saved from his sin in this life ; but must 4: Father, I will that they also whom thou hast daily commit sin, in thought, word, and deed, as the įren me be with me where I am, that they may behold Westminster divines have asserted: that is, every my glory. John had seen bis glory on the mount man is laid under the futal necessity of sinning as when he was transfigured; and this we find was many ways against God as the devil does through his neffably grand; but even this must have been par- natural wickedness and malice; for even the devil fially obscured, in order to enable the disciples to bimself can have no other way of sinning against bear the sight, for they were not then like him. But God except by thought, word, and deed. And yet, when they shall be like him, they shall see him as he according to these, and others of the same creed, 4-in all the splendour of his infinite majesiy. even the most regenerate sin thus against God as

Verse 3. And every man that hath this hope in him] long as they live.” It is a miserable salvo to say, All who have the hope of seeing Christ as he is; they do not sin so much as they used to do ; and that is, of enjoying him in his own glory;

purifieth they do not sin habitually, only occasionally. Alas,

a

He that abideth in Christ

I. JOHN.

is preserved from sin. A. M. cir. 4073. 4 Whosoever committeth sin 7 Little children, flet no man A. M. cir. 4073. A. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, transgresseth also the law : for deceive you: 8 he that doeth

Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano. a sin is the transgression of the righteousness is righteous, even

Vespasiano law.

as he is righteous. 5 And

ye

know b that he was manifested to 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; take away our sins; and din him is no sin. for the devil sinneth from the beginning. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: For this purpose the Son of God was mani

whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither fested, i that he might destroy the works of known him.

the devil.

* Rom. iv. 15. Ch. v. 17.—b Ch. i. 2. c Isai. lii. 5, 6, iv. 8. 3 John 11.- Ch. ii. 26.- -8 Ezek, xvii. 5-9. 11. I Tim. i. 15. Hebr. i. 3. ix. 26. 1 Pet. ii. 24. 2 Rom. ii. 13. Ch. ii. 29.- h Matt. xiii. 38. John viii, 44. Cor, v. 21. Hebr. iv. 15. ix, 28. 1 Pet. ii. 22.

2. Ch. ii. 4. Gen, iii. 15. Luke x. 18. John xvi, 11. Hebr. ü. 14.

for this system! Could not the grace that saved Verse 6. Whosoever abideth in him] By faith, love, them partially save them perfectly ? Could not that and obedience. power of God that saved them from habitual sin, save Sinneth not] Because his heart is purified by faith, them from occasional or accidental sin ? Shall we and he is a worker together with God, and conse suppose that sin, how potent soever it may be, is as quently does not receive the grace of God in raic. potent as the Spirit and grace of Christ? And may See on ver. 3. we not ask, If it was for God's glory and their good Hath not seen him] It is no unusual thing wa that they were partially saved, would it not have been this apostle, both in his gospel and in his epistles, ti more for God's glory and their good if they had put occasionally the past for the present, and the been perfectly saved ? But the letter and spirit of present for the past tense. It is very likely that ber God's word, and the design and end of Christ's he puts, after the manner of the Hebrew, the preterite coming, is to save his people from their sins. Dr. for the present : He who sins against God dath Macknight, having stated that ayvibee, purifieth, is in see him, neither doth he know himthe eye of ls the present tense, most ridiculously draws this con- faith is darkened, so that he cannot see him as be clusion from it: “In this life no one can attain to formerly did ; and he has no longer the experimenta. perfect purity; by this text, therefore, as well as by knowledge of God as his father and portion. 1 John i. 8, those fanatics are condemned who ima- Verse 7. Let no man deceive you] Either by assemigine they are able to live without sin.” Yes, doctor, ing that "you cannot be saved from sin in this life." the men you call fanatics do most religiously believe or “that sin will do you no harm and cannot alter your that, by th grace of hrist cleansing and strengthen- state, if you are adopted into the family of God; for sin ing them, they can love God with all their heart, soul, cannot annul this adoption.” Hear God, ye deceivers mind, and strength, and their neiglıbour as them- He that doeth righteousness is righteous, according to selves; and live without grieving the Spirit of God, his state, nature, and the extent of his moral powers, and without sinning against their heavenly Father. Even as he is righteous.] Allowing for the disparity And they believe that, if they are not thus saved, that must necessarily exist between that which z it is their own fault. But a blind man must ever be bounded, and that which is without limits. As Go a bad judge of colours.

in the infinitude of his nature, is righteous; so thes; Verse 4. Sin is the transgression of the law.] The

being filled with him, are in their limited nature spirit of the law as well as of the gospel is, that

righteous. we should love God with all our powers, and our

Verse 8. He that committeth sin is of the deril] Ha neighbour as ourselves.” All disobedience is con

this, also, ye who plead for Baal, and cannot bear the trary to love ; therefore sin is the transgression of the thought of that doctrine that states believers are tu law, whether the act refers immediately to God or to

be saved from all sin in this life! He who committra our neighbour.

sin is a child of the devil, and shows that he has

still the nature of the devil in him; for the day Verse 5. And ye know that he was manifested to take sinneth from the beginning—he was the father of away our sins] He came into the world to destroy sin, brought sin into the world, and maintains sin in the power, pardon the guilt, and cleanse from the the world by living in the hearts of his own children, pollution of sin. This was the very design of his and thus leading them to transgression; and persuadmanifestation in the flesh. He was born, suffered, ing others that they cannot be saved from their sies and died for this very purpose ; and can it be sup- in this life, that he may secure a continual residence posed that he either cannot or will not accomplish the in their heart. He knows that if he has a place there object of his own coming ?

throughout life, he will probably have it at death; In him is no sin.] And therefore he is properly and, if so, throughout eternity. qualified to be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of For this purpose] ELS TOUTO For this rery ent

with this very design, was Jesus manifested in the

men.

h

He who is born of

CHAP. III.

God sinneth not. A.M. cir. 4073. 9 - Whosoever is born of God from the beginning, 5 that we A. M. cir. 4073. A. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, doth not commit sin; for this should love one another.

Impp. Galba, Othoue, Vitel. et

seed remaineth in him : and he 12 Not as Vespasiano.

Othone, Vitel. et Cain, who was of

Vespasiano. cannot sin, because he is born that wicked one, and slew his of God.

brother. And wherefore slew he him? Be10 In this the children of God are manifest, cause his own works were evil, and his broand the children of the devil: whosoever ther's righteous. doeth not righteousness is not of God, a neither 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if 'the world he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard 14 We know that we have passed from

hate you.

* Ch. v. 18.-- 1 Pet. i. 23. Ch. ii. 29.

a Ch. iv. iv. 4,8. Hebr. xi. 4. Jude 11.-i John xv. 18, 19. xvii. 8.-_e Ch. i. 5. ii. 7.---. Or, commandment. -8 John xiii.

14. 2 Tim. iii. 12.- Lk Ch. ii. 10. 34. xv, 12. Ver. 23. Cb. iv. 7, 21. 2 John 5.

cli Gen.

flesh, that he might destroy, iva Avon, that he might From the beginning God hath taught men that they loose, the bonds of sin, and dissolve the power, should love one another. How essentially necessary influence, and connexion of sin. See on ver. 3. this is to the comfort and wellbeing of man in this

Verse 9. Whosoever is born of God] reyevvnuevos, state of trial and difficulty, every sensible man must Begotten of God, doth not commit sin: that is,” say see. All are dependant upon all; all upon each, and some, as he used to do; he does not sin habitually each upon all. Mutual love makes this dependance as he formerly did." This is bringing the influence pleasant and doubly profitable. Nothing can be more and privileges of the heavenly birth very low indeed. I pleasing to an ingenuous and generous mind than to We have the most indubitable evidence that many of communicate acts of kindness. the heathen philosophers had acquired, by mental Verse 12. Not as Cain] Men should not act to discipline and cultivation, an entire ascendancy over each other as Cain did to his brother Abel. He murall their wonted vicious habits. Perhaps my reader dered him because he was better than himself. But will recollect the story of the physiognomist, who, who was Cain ? Εκ του πονηρου ην, he was of the coming into the place where Socrates was delivering devil. And who are they who, through pride, lust of a lecture, his pupils, wishing to put the principles of power, ambition, gain, &c., murder each other in the man's science to proof, desired him to examine wars and political contentions? Ek tou rovnpou aloi. the face of their master, and say what his moral cha- To attempt to justify the principle, and excuse the racter was. After a full contemplation of the philo-instigators, authors, abettors, fc., of such wars, is sopher's visage, he pronounced him “the most as vain as it is wicked. They are opposed to the gluttonous, drunken, brutal, and libidinous old man nature of God, and to that message which he has sent that he had ever met.” As the character of Socrates to man from the beginning : Love one another. Love was the reverse of all this, his disciples began to your enemies. Surely this does not mean, Blow out insult the physiognomist. Socrates interfered, and their brains, or, Cut their throats. Oh, how much of said, “The principles of his science may be very the spirit, temper, and letter of the gospel have the correct, for such I was, but I have conquered it by my nations of the world, and particularly the nations of philosophy.0 ye

Christian divines ! ye real or pre- Europe, to learn! tended gospel ministers! will ye allow the influence And wherefore slew he him?] What could induce of the grace of Christ a sway not even so extensive a brother to imbrue his hands in a brother’s blood ? as that of the philosophy of a heathen who never Why, his brother was righteous, and he was wicked; heard of the true God?

and the seed of the wicked one which was in him Verse 10. In this the children of God are manifest] induced him to destroy his brother, because the seed Here is a fearful text. Who is a child of the devil? of God—the divine nature, was found in him. He that commits sin. Who is a child of God? He Verse 13. Marvel notif the world hate you.] that works righteousness. By this text we shall stand Expect no better treatment from unconverted Jews or fall before God, whatever our particular creed may and Gentiles than Abel received from his wicked and say to the contrary.

cruel brother. This was a lesson to the church, preNeither he that loveth not his brother.] No man is paratory to martyrdom. Expect neither justice nor of God who is not ready on all emergencies to do mercy from the men who are enemies of God. They any act of kindness for the comfort, relief, and are either full of malice and envy, hateful, hating one support of any human being. For, as God made of another, or they are specious, hollow, false, and one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon the deceitful. face of the whole earth, so all are of one family;

A foe to God was ne'er true friend to man." and consequently all are brethren, and should love as brethren.

Verse 14. We know that we have passed from death Verse 11. For this is the message] See chap. i. 5. unto life] Death and life are represented here as He that hateth his brother

I, JOHN.

is a murderer. A. M. cir. 4073. death unto life, because we

el

17 But • whoso hath this A. M. cir. 4073. 4. D. cir. 69.

A.D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, love the brethren. He that world's good, and seeth his

Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et loveth not his brother abideth brother have need, and shutteth

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano.

Vespasiano. in death.

up his bowels of compassion 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a mur- from him, 'how dwelleth the love of God in derer: and ye know that no murderer hath him? eternal life abiding in him.

18 My little children, & let us not love in 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in because he laid down his life for us : and we truth. ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 19 And hereby we know that we are of

a Ch. ii. 9, 11.- b Matt. v. 21, 22. Ch. iv. 20.- .c Gal. "Ch. iv, 20. 5 Ezek. xxxii. 3). Rom. xii. 9. Eph. ir. v. 21. Rev. xxi. 8. d John iii. 16. X. 13. Rom. v.8. 15. James ii. 15. 1 Pet. i. 22.- John xviii. 37. C. Eph. v. 2, 25. Ch. iv.9,11.- Le Deut. xv.7. Luke iii. 11. i. 8.

two distinct territories, states, or kingdoms, to either ceive, eyvwrapev, we have known, the love of God, of which the inhabitants of either may be removed. because he laid down his life for us.

Of God is This is implied in the term petaßeßnrapev, from peta, not in the text, but it is preserved in one MS., and denoting change of place, and Baivw, I go. It is the in two or three of the Versions ; but though this does same figure which St. Paul uses, Col. i. 13: Who not establish its authenticity, yet rov Otov, of God, N hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and necessarily understood, or tov Xplotov, of Christ, 25 translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. Erpen's Arabic has it; or avtoV EIS nuas, his love to us, The believers to whom St. John writes had been as is found in the Syriac. A higher proof than this once in the region and shadow of death, in the place of his love Christ could not have possibly given to the where sin and death reigned, whose subjects they children of men. were ; but they had left that kingdom of oppression, We ought to lay down our lives for the brethrm.? wretchedness, and woe, and had come over to the king- We should risk our life to save the lives of others; dom of life, whose king was the Prince and Author of and we should be ready to lay down our lives to relife; where all was liberty, prosperity, and happiness ; deem their souls when this may appear to be a meais where life and love were universally prevalent, and of leading them to God. death and hatred could not enter. We know, there- Verse 17. But whoso hath this world's good] Here fore, says the apostle, that we are passed over from is a test of this love; if we do not divide our brand the territory of death to the kingdom of life, because with the hungry, we certainly would not lay dors we love the brethren, which those who continue in the our life for him.. Whatever love we may preterd old kingdom-under the old covenant, can never do ; mankind, if we are not charitable and benevolent, we for he that loveth not his brother abideth in death. He give the lie to our profession. If we have pa has never changed his original residence. He is still bowels of compassion, we have not the love of God an unconverted, unrenewed sinner.

in us; if we shut up our bowels against the poor, we Verse 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a mur- shut Christ out of our hearts, and ourselves out o derer] He has the same principle in him which was heaven. in Cain, and it may lead to the same consequences. This world's good.Tov BLOV TOV KOOMOV" The life of

No murderer hath eternal life] Eternal life springs this world, i. e. the means of life ; for so Bros is chez from an indwelling God; and God cannot dwell in used. See Mark xii. 44 ; Luke vii. 43; xv. 12, 3; the heart where hatred and malice dwell. This text xxi. 4; and other places. has been quoted to prove that no murderer can be How dwelleth the love of God in him?] That is ! suved. This is not said in the text; and there have cannot possibly dwell in such a person. Hardbeen many instances of persons who have been guilty heartedness and God's love never meet together, of murder having bad deep and genuine repentance, much less can they be associated. and who doubtless found mercy from his hands who Verse 18. My little children] Tervia por, Myke prayed for his murderers, Father, forgive them ; for loved children, let us not love in word-in merely they know not what they do! It is, however, an allowing the general doctrine of love to God and mad awful text for the consideration of those who shed to be just and right; human blood on frivolous pretences, or in those wars Neither in tongue] In making professions of love, which have their origin in the worst passions of the and of a charitable and humane disposition, and human heart.

resting there ; but in deed—by humane and mercful Verse 16. Hereby perceive we the love of God] This acts; sixteenth verse of this third chapter of John's first And in truth.] Feeling the disposition of which epistle is, in the main, an exact counterpart of the we speak. There is a good saying in Yalcut Ruten sixteenth verse of the third chapter of St. John's fol. 145, 4, on this point : “ If love consisted in trand gospel: God so loved the world, that he gave his only- | only, then love ceascth as soon as the word is probegotten Son, &c. Here the apostle says, We per- nounced. Such was the love between Balak as

Vain professions of
CHAP. III.

love condemned. A. M. cir. 4073. the truth, and shall a assure our 23 : And this is his command- A. M. cir. 4073. A. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, hearts before him.

ment, That we should believe

Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel, et 20 For if our heart con

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano.

on the name of his Son Jesus

Vespasiano. demn us, God is greater than Christ, and love one another, our heart, and knoweth all things.

as he gave us commandment. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, 24 And " he that keepeth his commandments d then have we confidence toward God. dwelleth in him, and he in him. And - 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of hereby we know that he abideth in us, by

him, because we keep his commandments, and the Spirit which he hath given us. - do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

*Gr. persuade. - ol Cor. iv. 4. -- Job xxij. 26. Hebr. 1. 22. Ch. ii. 28. iv. 17.- Ps. xxxiv. 15. cxlv. iv. 9. 1 Pet. iv. 8. Ver. 11. Ch. iv. 21.-_Chii. 8, 10.

h Matt. xxii. 39. John xüi. 34. xv. 12. Eph. v. 2. 1 Tbess. 18, 19. Prov. xv. 29. Jer. xxix. 12. Matt. vii. 8. xxi. 22.

* John xiv. 23. xv. 10. Ch. iv. 12.-_' John xvii. 21, &c. Mark xi. 24. John xiv. 13. xv.7. xvi. 23, 24, James v. 16.

m Rom. viii. 9. Ch. iv. 13. Ch. v. 14.- John viii. 29. ix. 31.- -6 John vi. 29. xvii. 3.

the new.

Balaam. But if love consisteth not in word, it cannot Because we keep his commandments] Viz., by je diss lved ; such was the love of Abraham, Isaac, loving him and loving our neighbour. These are the Jacob, and the rest of the patriarchs which were be great commandments both of the old covenant and ore them.”

And whoever is filled with this love to Verse 19. Hereby we know that we are of the truth] God and man will do those things which are pleasing That we have the true religion of the Lord Jesus, to him ; for love is the very soul and principle of ind shall assure our hearts-be persuaded in our con- obedience. ciences, that we have the truth as it is in Jesus; as The word heart is used in the preceding verses for 10 man can impose upon himself by imagining he conscience ; and so the Greek Fathers interprèt it, noes when he does not : he may make empty pro- particularly Origen, Nicephorus, and Ecumenius ; essions to others, but if he loves either God or man, but this is not an unfrequent meaning of the word in e knows it because he feels it; and love unfelt is the sacred writings. lot love, it is word or tongue. This the apostle lays Verse 23. That we should believe on the name of his own as a test of a man's Christianity, and it is the Son] We are commanded to believe on Christ, that trongest and most infallible test that can be given. for the sake of his passion and death we may be jusle that loves feels that he does love; and he who tified from all things from which we could not be eels that he loves God and man has true religion; justified by the law of Moses; and being through nd he who is careful to show the fruits of this love, him redeemed from the guilt of sin, restored to the a obedience to God and humane acts to man, gives divine favour, and made partakers of the Holy Ghost, thers the fullest proof that he has the loving mind we are enabled to love one another as he gave us comhat was in Jesus.

mandment; for without a renewal of the heart love Verse 20. If our heart condemn us] If we be con- to God and man is impossible, and this renewal cious that our love is feigned, we shall feel inwardly comes by Christ Jesus. ondemned in professing to have what we have not. Verse 24. Dwelleth in him] i. e. In God; and hem And if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our God, in him—the believer. art, for he knows every hypocritical winding and And hereby we know] We know by the Spirit urning of the soul, he searches the heart, and tries which he hath given us that we dwell in God, and he reins, and sees all the deceitfulness and desperate God in us. It was not by conjecture or inference wickedness of the heart which we cannot see, and, that Christians of old knew they were in the favour f we could see them, could not comprehend them; of God, it was by the testimony of God's own ind as he is the just Judge, he will condemn us more Spirit in their hearts; and this testimony was not strictly and extensively than we can be by our own given in a transient manner, but was constant and conscience.

abiding while they continued under the influence of Verse 21. If our heart condemn us not] If we be that faith that worketh by love. Every good man is yonscious to ourselves of our own sincerity, that we a temple of the Holy Ghost, and wherever he is, he is practise not deceit, and use no mask, then have we both light and power. By his power he works ; by confidence toward God — we can appeal to him for his light he makes both himself and his work known. our sincerity, and we can come with boldness to the Peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost must throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to proceed from the indwelling of that Holy Spirit ; and help in time of need. And therefore says the those who have these blessings must know that they apostle,

have them, for we cannot have heavenly peace and Verse 22. Whatsoever we ask] In such a spirit, we heavenly joy without knowing that we have them. receive of him, for he delights to bless the humble, But this Spirit in the soul of a believer is not only Erpright, and sincere soul.

manifest by its effects, but it bears its own witness to its

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