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II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the

office of a magistrate, when called thereunto":

in the ma

naging whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each

commonwealth *;

so, for that end, they may lawfully, now

under the New Testament, wage war upon just and neces

sary occasions".

III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven" : yet he hath au

afraid of the power do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same : Ver. 4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 1 Pet. ii. 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake : whether it be to the king, as supreme ; Ver. 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. II. b Prov. viii. 15. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. Ver. 16. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. Rom. xiii. T, 2, 4. [See in letter a.] c Psal. ii. 10. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Ver, 11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Ver. 12. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little : blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 1 Tim. ii. 2. For kings, and for all that are in authority ; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Psal. lxxxii. 3. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Ver, 4. Deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the

fear of God. 1 Pet. ii. 13. [See in letter a.] d Luke iii. 14. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages. Rom. xiii. 4. [See letter a] Matt. viii. 9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth : and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. Ver. 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Acis x. 1. There was a certain man in Cesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, Ver. 2. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. Rev. xvii. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them : for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Ver. 16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. III. e 2 Chron. xxvi. 18. And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn


thority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or réformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed'. * For the better

incense: go out of the sanctuary, for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. With Matt. xviii. 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. And Matt. xvi. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heavert : and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Ver. 29. Are all apostles 2 are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles 2 Eph. iv. 11. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and

some pastors and teachers; Ver. 12.
For the perfecting of the saints, for
the work of the ministry, for the edi-
fying of the body of Christ. 1 Cor.
iv. 1. Let a man so account of us as
of the ministers of Christ, and stew-
ards of the mysteries of God. Ver. 2.
Moreover, it is required in stewards,
that a man be found faithful. Rom.
x. 15. And how shall they preach, ex-
cept they be sent as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them
that preach the gospel of peace, and
bring glad tidings of good things:
Heb. v. 4. And no man taketh this
honour unto himself, but he that is
called of God, as was Aaron.
f Isa. xlix, 23. And kings shall be
thy nursing-fathers, and their queens
thy nursing-mothers: they shall bow
down to thee with their face toward
the earth, and lick up the dust of thy
feet, and thou shalt know that I am
the Lord ; for they shall not be asha-

* The Associate, or Secession Church, declares her mind on this as follows: “...We assert and declare, that the endeavours,” of the Christian Magistrate, “for accompiishing these ends,” stated in the Confession, chap. xxiii. sect. 3, " must all be such as are consistent with the spirit of the Gospel, not by the interposition of the civil sword, but by his own advice and example.”—Testimony of the Secession Church in Scotland, chap. xxiv. sect. 6. “To worship God after that way and manner they judge most agreeable to his will, is a right common to all men. They o: and often do, err, and offend the Most High, by substituting a false worship in place of that which he requires: but no power on earth may take trom them their right...Yet this right cannot be pleaded in behalf of principies, or practices, destructive to civil society. Therefore the civil magistrate does not go beyond the limits piescribed to him when he lăys those under, restraint, who teach that it is their duty to destroy the lives of those whom they judge heretics; that they are not obliged to fulfil promises made to persons whom they consider in that light, and that they may lawfully break their oaths, if they obtain a dispensation for this purpose from the pope of Rom,e. The safety of society renders it necessary to guard against persons of this description. not because they are of a false religion, but because they are enemies to the lights of mankind, and would use their liberty to destroy that of other people. Thus the magistrate, in discharging his duty to civil society, is often the instrument, in the hand of God, for protecting his church from the fury of persecuting enemies,” &c. &c. &c.—Testimony of the Associate Church in the United States, rt M. sect. 17. pa. The public good, and common order in all reasonable society, unto the glory of God, is the great and only end which those invested with magistracy can propose. in a sole respect to that office.—And as the whole institution and end of their office are cut out by, and tie within the compass of natural principles, it were absurd to suppose, that there could or ought to be any exercise thereof towards its end, in the foresaid circumstances, but what can be argued for and defended from natural principles.” Declaration and Defence of the Associate Church’s Principles concerning civil government. See the Scotch Testimony, p. 12, &c.-Sce the note on chap. xx, sect. 4. of this Confession.


med that wait for me. Psal. cxxii. 9. God of heaven, let it be diligently Because of the house of the Lord our done for the house of the God of heaGod, I will seek thy good. Ezra vii. ven: for why should there be wrath 23. Whatsoever is commanded by the against the realm of the king and his

The Reformed Church has declared her mind on this article as follows.

1. It is the will of God, revealed by the constitution of human nature, and more clearly in the sacred scriptures, that his rational creatures, living together in one part of the world, and connected by a common interest, and by common duties, should enter into a civil association, for the better preservation of peace ...}. in subserviency to godliness and honesty.

1 Cor. xi. 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you? Gen. 1.7. All the elder, (ruler, l of the land of Egyot, Exod. iii. 16. Go and gather the elders of Israel together. I Sam. xvi. 4. And the olders of the town trembled at his coming. Exod. xviii. 19. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee. 21. Thou shalt provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. 22. And let them judge the people...23. And all this people shall also go to their place in poace. Isa. xxxii. 17. And the work of righteousness shall be peace. 18. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Rom. xii. 17. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18. As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 1 Tim. ii. 2. For kings and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Rom. xiii. 2. Whosover, therefute, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.

2. It is the duty of all men voluntarily to form civil societies, establishing such authority, as may best tend to preserve order, liberty, and religion, among them; and it is lawful for them to model their constitutions of government in such a manner as may appear most suitable to them, provided such constitutions, in their principles and distribution of power. Le in nothing contrary to the divine law.

Prov. xxi. 3. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Ezek. xlv. 9. Remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord. Deut. i. 13. Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers ever you. 14. o ye answered me and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. Chap. xvi. 18. Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates. Ezek. xxx. 21. And their governor shall proceed from the midst of them—this that engaged his heart to approach unto me. 22. And ye shall be my people, and 1 with be your God. 1 Tim. ii. 2. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Deut. xvii. 14. when thou art come unto the land—and shill dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me. 15. Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee whom the Lord thy God shalt choose—Thou mayeft not set afiranger over thee. 16. But he shall not multiply horses to himself; 17. Neither shall he multiply wives—neither siiver and gold. zo. That his heart be not lified up above his brethrén, and that he turn not aside from the commandment.

3. God, the supreme governor, is the fountain of all power and authority, and civil magistrates are his deputies: In the administration of government, obedience is due to their lawful commands for conscience sake; but no power, which deprives the subject of civil libertywhich wantonly squanders his property, and sports with his life—or which authorizes, false religion, (however it may exist according to divine Providence) is approved of, or sanctioned by God, or ought to be esteemed or supported by man as a moral institution.

Rom. xiii. 1. There is no power but of God. 4. He is the minister of God to thee for good. 5. Wherefore, ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Prov. xxix. 2. when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Chap. xxviii. 15. As a roaring lion, and a raging tear; so is a wicked ruler. Psalm xciv. 20. Shais the to one of iniquity have tellowship with thee? Psalm ii. 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel against the Lord. Hos. viii. 3. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good. 4. They have set up kings, but not by me. Rev. xiii. 1. And saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns—and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. Chap. xii. 9. The dragon—that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan. Chap. xvii. 12. The ten horns which thou sawesi are ten kings—receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 14. These shall make war with the lamb. 17. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast. - .

4. God, who, in his holy providence, makes even the wrath of man to praise him, sometimes manages the magistrates which are over heathen, and other wicked nations, balancing their , ambition: their interest, and their power, in such a manner, as to maintain some degree of peace and safety in the empire, and sometimes makes use of them as a scourge to punish guilty sinners, for their rebellion against the King of heaven.

Psal. lxxxii. 1. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. lxxv. 7. He putteth down one, and setteth up another. Isa. xlv. 1. Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, 5. l giided thee, though thou has not known me. 13. He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price or reward. Jer. xxix. 7. And seek the peace of the city—for in the peace tiereof shall ye have péace. Ezia ix. 7. For our iniquities have we–been delivered into the hand of the kings of the land. Neh. ix. 37. The kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins.

5. It is lawful for Christians residing in nations in which the light of the gospel has not been generally diffused, to continue in submission to such authority as may exist over them, agree. ably, to the law of nature, which, where revelation does not exist, is the only standard of civil duty. In such cases the infidelity of the ruler cannot make void the just authority conferred upon him by the constitution.

I Pet. ii. 12. Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles. 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. 16. As free, and not using your liberty for a clock of maliciousness. Room. ii. i2. For when the Genties, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the low, these having not the law are a law unto themselves. Jonah iii. 7. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Niile!

*h, by the decree of the king and his nobles. 10. And God repented him of the evil that he said that he would do wnto theon; and he did it not.

sons Ver. 25. And thou, Ezra, after are beyond the river, all such as know the wisdom of thy God that is in thine the laws of thy God; and teach ye hand, set magistrates and judges, them that know them not. Ver. 26. which may judge all the people that And whosoever will not do the law

6. Christian rulers, appointed to office according to a righteous civil constitution, have authority from God, to rule in subserviency to the Kingdom of Christ, and are to be conscientiously supported by the persons, the property, and the prayers of the ruled, in the maintenance of the peace, the safety, and the honour of the nation.

Psalm ii. Io. He wise now, therefore, bye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 1 1. Serve the Lord with fear. 12. Kiss the son, lest he be angry. Pselm 1.xxii. 1 1. Yea, all king; shall fall down before him ; all nations shall serve him. Dan. vii. 14. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him. 27. Åndall dominions shall serve and obey him. Prov. viii. 15. By ine kings reson, and princes de-ree justice. Ron. xiii. i. He is the minister of God to thee for good. 5. where


fore, ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 7. Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute, to whom tribute; fear, to whom sear; honour, to whom honour.

7. It is the duty of the Christian magistrate to take order, that open blasphemy and idola: try, licentiousness and in morality, be suppressed, and that the church of Christ be supported throughout the commonwealth; and for the better discharge of these important duties, it is lawful for him to call synods, in order to consult with them; to be present at them, not interfering with their proceedings, (unless they become manifestly seditious and dangerous to the peace,) but supporting the independency of the church, and its righteous decisions, and preserving its unity and order against the attempts of such despisers of ecclesiastical authority as should endeavour, in a riotous manner, to disturb their proceedings.

Rom, xiii, 4. For he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to weath. 2 Chron. xiv. 2. And Asa did that which was good and right. 3. He took o the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down their images. Rev. xvii. 16. These shals hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. Prov. xx. 26. A wise king scattereth the wicked. Psalm ci. 8. iwi. early destroy all the wicked of the land. Prov. xiv. 34. Righteousnessexalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Chap. xvi. 12. The throne is established by righteousness. Isa. xlix. 23. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, [nourishers.) Chap. ix. 1 o. Kings shall minister unto thee. 12: For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish. Chap. lxii. 4. And thy land shall be married. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God, 2 Chron. xxix. 2. And he did right in the sight of the Lord. 4. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together. 15, And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. Chap. xxx. 21. And Hezekiah spake comfortably un. to all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord. Rev. xxi. 24. And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it, Dan. vii. 22. And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 1 Cor. x. 31. Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Psalm oxxxvii. 5. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let noy right hand forget her cunning. cxii. 7. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within th; palaces.

We therefore condemn the following errors, and testify against all who maintain them: 1. “That civil government is not an ordinance of God.” 2. “That christians owe no allegiance to civil authority.” 3. “That civil government is founded in grace.” 4, “That the scripture revelation is not the rule by which Christians should direct their civil conduct.” 5..." That the magistrate, as such, has nothing to do with the Christian religion, nor the minister a right to examine the policy of nations, and teach civil duries.” - .* 6. “That Christians are bound to cherish, as the ordinance of God, all those who may be exalted in providence to power in a nation, although they may be tyrants and usurpers, and bound by an oath to give their power unto the beast, in the establishment of a false religion.” 7. “That it is lawful for civil rulers to authorize the purchase and sale of any part of the human family, as slaves.” - w 8. “That a constitution of government which deprives unoffending men of liberty and property is a moral institution, to be recognized as God’s ordinance.”


-1. Civil society being a voluntary association, the nation is not bound to admit to all its pe. culiar privileges every person who may reside within the reach of its power, nor is every person dwelling within the limits of a nation under obligation to incorporate with the national society. Every government has the right of making laws of naturalization, and every individual possesses the right of expatriation, and both these rights are to be exercised in conformity to the law of God, the supreme ruler and judge.

Gen. xlvii. 4. For to sojourn in the land are we come.—Now, therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. Num. x. 29. And Moses said unto Hobab-Come thou with us, and we will do thee good. 3o. And he said unto hin, I will not go. chap. xv. 13. One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you. Chap. xxiv. 17. Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger. Deut. xxiii. 8. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the Lord, in their third generation. Acts xxi. 39. A citizen of no mean city. Chap. xxii. 27. 'I ell me, art thou a Roman?

he said, Yea. 28. with a great sun outained I this freedom. And Paul said, but I was freeborn. Jam. iv. 12. “there is one lawgiver.

2. It is the duty of Christians, for the sake of peace and order; and in humble resignation to God’s good providence, to conform to the common regulations of society in o: lawful; but to profess ailegiance to no constitution of government which is in hostility to the kingdom of Christ, the head of the church. and the prince of the kings of the earth. - oer. xxix. 4. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God cf Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, 5. Build

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of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Ver. 27. Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: Ver. 28. And hath extended mercy unto me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes; and I was strengthened, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me. Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death: and all the congregation shall certainly stone him : as well the stranger, as

he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. Deut. xiii. 5. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, (because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in,) so shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Ver. 6. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy Bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, northy fathers: Ver. 12. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities,

ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 6. Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters. 7. And seek the peace of the city, whither l have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. Psalm oxxxvii. 1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down ; yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 4. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a stra::ge land? 6. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. 8. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, 9. Happy shall hebe, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Acts iv. 19. Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you, more than unto God, judge ye. Matt. vi. Io. Thy kingdom come. Heb. xii. 26. Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 28, wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved. Mic. iv. 8. The kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. {} Arise, and thresh, O daughter of Zion; for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make and t

thy hoofs brass; hou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.

3. Virtuous persons, who in their private capacity are endeavouring to further the true end of civil ão: the maintenance of peace and quietness in all godliness and honesty, although they dissent from the constitution of civil government of the nation in which they reside, have a right to protection in their lives, liberties, and property, they contributing their proportion of the comunon taxation; but they are not to act inconsistently with their declared dissent, and it would be tyranny to constrain them to such measures.

Rom. xiii. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Witt thou, then, not he afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shall have praise of the same. 1 Tim. ii. 2. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable lite, in all godliness and honesty. Num. xv. 16. One law, and one manner, shall be for you, and for the stranger that with you. Exod. xxii. 21. Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Effypt. Rom. ii. 3. And thinkest thou this, o man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?, Jer. xxi. 1 . Thus saith the sord, Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. Estb. iii. 8. And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad, and dispersed among the prople in all the provanoeu of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's

laws; therefore, it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. 9. 1 f it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed. o

4. Christians testifying against national evils, and striving in the use of moral means to ef. fect a reformation, should relinquish temporal privileges, rather than do anything which may appear to contradict their testimony, or lay a stumbling block before their weaker brethren.

1 Kings six. 9. And he came thither unto a cave, and fodged there. Io. And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts: for the children of Israel have for saken thy covenant. Heb. xi. 24. By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 26; Esteoming the reproach of christ greater fiches than the treasures in Egypt. 36. And others had trials of cruel "lockings, and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonments. Num. xxiii. 9. Lo, the people shall, dwell alone, and shall not be

reckoned among the nations. Rom. xiv. 21. It is good neither to eat flesh, or drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother fumbleth, or is offended.

we therefore condemn the following errors, and testify against all who maintain them : 1. “That it is lawful to profess or swear allegiance to an immoral constitution of civil government.” - - 2. “ That Christians, under pretence of bearing an active testimony, are bound to effect a change in the moral state of nations with the sword.” . . " 3. * That it is not lawful for Christians to wage war in defence of liberty, religion, or life.” 4. “That the enjoyment of no temporal privilège may be relinquished for the sake of peace, or for fear of making a Christian brother to offend.”

- Testimony of the Reformed Cburch, Chapter, wrviii. and xxix.

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