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THE PRESENT TIME.

To Thee our infant race we leave;

perfectly, and derive no benefit from their reading; bu. Then may their fathers' Goil receive, That ages yet unborn inny raise

there is no doubt they formed a very large proportion of Successive hymns of humble praise.'

those who are put down as able to read. The Rev. Dr He spent the evening surrounded by his family, and Serero Dwight, who visited the continent a few years conversing with his children in a strain of cheerful ago, says, in reference to France, “After minute inquiries piery; and, after a night of sound repose, arose as well in every part of the kingdom which I visited, I learned, as usual the next morning. About noon, leaving the

that of the adults among the Roman Catholic peasantry parlour, he was found, a few minutes after, in an apoplectic fit, or a seizure resembling apoplexy. Several

a large proportion of them could neither read nor write, medical men repaired to the spot, but life was ex

whilst among the Protestants almost every child was tinct.”

instructed." It has been calculated, that more than His remains were interred in the burying-ground be- half the individuals of the nation cannot read; that fif. Jonging to the meeting-house, on Thursday, the 8th of teen millions of one of the leading nations of Europe March. On that occasion, the Rev. Mr Horsey of do not possess the simplest art of reading; and though Northampton engaged in prayer; the Rev. Mr Ed. wards, of the same place, delivered the funeral oration; they had the power, what good could be expected and the writer of these lines endeavoured to improve from it, unless they had books to read which are the providence by a suitable discourse. A considerable salutary in their tendency? The excessive zeal of Ro. number of the clergy in the vicinity, and nearly all the man Catholics to establish schools and promote educadissenting ministers of the county, attended the pro- tion in the United States of America, while their own cession, wbich was rendered deeply affecting by the countries on the continent groan under ignorance, affords tears of a vast assembly, consisting of all the respect- but an indifferent proof of the purity of their motives, able inhabitants of the town, who felt, on this occasion, and the sincerity of their love for true knowledge. We tbey bad lost a father and a friend.

may safely put down the grossly ignorant in France to the THE PROTESTANT CHURCH OF account of Popery; but what is the literary food of those FRANCE

who can rend ? It is not the Bible, except to a very limit.

ed extent. The Rev. Mr Bickersteth, in his Sermon beFROM THE REVOLUTION IN 1792 TO

fore the European Missionary Society in 1836, records

the appalling fact, that in about twelve years, viz., BY THE Rêv. JOHN G. LORIMER,

from 1817 to 1829, there were published in France not

less than five millions seven hundred and sixty-eight PART IV.

thousand nine hundred, or nearly six million copies, of Having brought to a close the history of the Pro- the works of the four chief French infidels. Of course, jestant Church of France from its origin down to the besides these, many more works of the same sentiment srésent day, and seen in its experience so much of the and spirit, but by inferior authors, were widely circuvower, and faithfulness, and goodness, and sovereignty | lated. In the same period, the whole distribution of f God, we cannot dismiss the theme without casting a the Scriptures did not rise to one hundred thousand zasty glance at the MORAL AND RELIGIOUS STATE or copies, and these were often given away gratuitously, *BANCE AS A WHOLE. Even were the Protestant Church while infidelity was greedily purchased. The French eformed and faithful in every point, yet it is but a small correspondent of the New York Observer remarked at part of the vast domain of France which she occupies. the same time, that the country is inundated with mi, At best, her places of worship number only a few bun-serable almanacs, containing scandalous anecdotes, abtreds; whereas the estimated population of the country surd prognostications of the weather, and all sorts of $ not less than thirty-three millions. What is the extravagancies, and yet that there are millions of men piritual condition of this immense body of immortal who absolutely read nothing else in the whole year but beings? Every intelligent Christian is constrained to their almanac. So impressed has the Religious Tract onfess, that it is melancholy in the extreme. The Society of Paris been with the mischief of these widekeople of France may be emitent for their vivacity and spread publications, that it has published an Almanack alent, their ingenuity in arts and sciences, their pro- des bons seils, An Alinanac good Counsels,' Tess in civilization and manners; but, morally and containing a verse of Scripture for every day in the eligiously considered, they are objects of the deepest year; and a variety of useful instructions as a countertommiseration. The ignorance is great, and wide-active. The same excellent observer drew the followpread. Within these few years, most laudable exer- ing appalling picture but four years ago :

fons have been used by the Government to promote “ Most of the plays performed in our theatres are he cause of primary education ; but it is not based filled with the most revolting scenes. Libertinism, upon the Word of God; and therefore, so far as expe- adultery, incest, treason, assassinations, the most hideBence bas yet gone, the system has not, and cannot,

ous vices, the most frightful crimes, divested of their

odious qualities, obtain a prominent place in these dra. sestrain from crime, far less conduct to abiding happi- matic productions. Novels, another very fruitful branch Bees

. Indeed, from remarkable tables published in of our literature, are no better; they represent men Mr Bulwer's recent work on France, it appears, that governed by the vilest passions of human nature, in wbere the sort of education ministered in that country is colours that it is impossible for a virtuous man to be. bost abundant, there the crime also is most prevailing. hold without blushing and indignation; they descend T'he ignorance, howevet, is great. So recently as 1830, into the sewers for mud to throw at the most venettut of three hundred thousand young men capable of able and sacred things. It was in novels that St. Si.

monism exhibited impudently what is called the free starrying arms, one hundred and forty thousand, nearly woman, committing her adulteries even near the cradle one-half of the whole, could neither read nor write. of her child about to die! and this free woman, or rather We are not informed bow many could read only im. I this child of hell, boasts of her conduct, declares berself

no

the most virtuous, the most moral, the most pure woman stronger than they were at the period of their supptes of her age ! and there are journals and reviews which sion, being able to boast of six hundred and sixty-nin applaud this inconceivable madness!"

colleges, one hundred and seventy-six seminaries, tv The reader must have heard before of St. Simonism, hundred and twenty-three missions, nearly twenty above referred to, and also of Fourierism. They are three thousand members, of whom nearly one halj ar two new species of French infidelity and materialism. priests. What a contrast is the poor French Protestar Regarding the first a great noise was made in 1830. It pastor, with his average population of five thousand, was to gather all nations under its banner. Twenty. scattered flock,-to the Popish priest with his seve one of the disciples, with Enfantin, the high priest, at hundred people at his very door. It may be true, th: their head, set out to the East, to convert Egypt to in point of pecuniary provision drain from the Stat their system, but ere long, a number of them were con- there has been a great decline in the resources of th verted to Mahommedanism, and the last accounts of the Popish Church of France, from the period of the fir founder are, that he leads an immoral life in a harem, revolution. At that time she had a revenue from tvih formed of abandoned females whom he brought with of one hundred and thirty-five millions of franes, l4 him from Europe. This religion ended as it began, in sides territorial possessions to the extent of one half ti shameful and scandalous prostitution. With respect to whole land of the country,--such is the amazing pom Fourierism, again, its religion is Pantheism; it holds that of ignorance, tyranny, and superstition in the hands matter is God, and its social system is founded on a a worldly priesthood. At present the whole sum drav community of property of the wildest description. Both from public sources, may not exceed thirty-two millic schemes were highly extolled, and collected together of francs ; but the success of Popery is not depender not a few disciples from respectable ranks in society ; | on public funds. She can raise, by fraud and terro indeed, the founder of the latter was almost worshipped much more through private channels, than she cou as a god-raised as a benefactor of men, infinitely above now-a-days have any chance of obtaining from oth Christ! What can give us a more impressive view of quarters, and she is wise in her generation. With the blended ignorance and infidelity of France, than the gard to the actual increase of her numbers, we can existence and even temporary honour of these moral and speak, but there seems little doubt that while Prote: religious abominations.

antism is gaining in some quarters, Popery is gaining And then, what is the state of Popery, the old others. There seems to be a revival, or at least, effo: enemy of the Protestant faith ? Its power is still after a revival of the faith and power of the Church vast, and, in some respects and quarters, though by Rome over the world, generally, at the present time, y

means in all, increasing. The whole number trust and believe, preparatory to her final and irretrie of Romish priests in active service, is not less than able destruction. God usually allows his enemies forty thousand four hundred and forty-seven; to a rise up and make somewhat of a conspicuous show is population of thirty-two millions, this is a priest to mediately before their fall, the better to manifest ! eight hundred of the whole population, including Pro- own power and glory in the overthrow. Intellige testants as well as Roman Catholics. Deduct two mil. and Christian men, who have recently visited the eo ! lion of Protestants, and a priest's charge does not ex- tinent, bear testimony to the favourable change wli ceed seven hundred and sixty. How manageable is has taken place in the public feeling toward Popery, this number, and what influence may be brought to bear least in Paris. We are informed, that instead of inji upon so limited a field! It may be true that the eccle- ing and vilifying the priests, which was common imu siastical rulers of France declare fifty-two thousand diately after the revolution of 1830, politicians a priests necessary to meet the full wants of the Roman conductors of the press now usually commend them, a Catholic population. But this is the optimism of the nat- speak of the necessity of religion. The correspondi ter. At this rate, deducting the Protestants, each priest of the New York Observer, about four years ago, saj would not have a larger charge than five hundred and many who never put a foot in a church, under Lo ! eighty-two persons,—but the present number of priests XVIII. and Charles X., who would be almost asham is the indication of immense power,—the more especi- to go to mass, because such a step would be considered ally, when it is remembered that there bas been an in-courting political favour, now frequent religious wi! crease in the priesthood since 1827. In the course of ship, and invite their relatives and friends to foll: a few years, they have risen nearly four thousand five their example. On Easter of this year, (1834,) i hundred, without any proportionate increase of popula- Catholic churches of Paris were more filled than tė tion. From 1815 to 1830, or in fifteen short years, have been known to be for thirty years. Jinmense nu! not less than three thousand and twenty-four French bers crowded the vast edifices of Romish worship, a nunneries were raised, and two years ago, nearly one still thousands of persons listened without in the stree hundred and fourteen thousand French youths of both unable to enter.” It may be added, tbat in Paris i sexes, very many of them the children of families of in. Popish Church bas several very popular preachers, & fluence, were receiving their education from monks and that she is trying what influence can be exerted throu nuns,

the most intolerant and Jesuitical of their order. this channel. Whatever interpretation be put up The Jesuits, whom the reader will recollect, were sup- these things, the facts are important. pressed in 1773, and the effects of whose suppression were immediately felt in the lightening of the persecu

Printed and Published by JOHN JOHNSTONE, 2, Hunter Sq1:

Edinburgh ; and sold by J. R. MACNAIR & Co., 19, Glassford stra tions of the Protestants of France, were revived in Cilasgow ; JAMES Nisbet & Co., HAMILTON, ADAMS & Co., a 1814, and have acquired immense influence since, on

R. GRUOMBRIDGE, London ; W. CURRY, Junr. & Co., Duh

W. M'Come, Belfast ; and by the Booksellers and Local ART the continent and in every Popish country, both at home

in all the Towns and Parishes of Scotland ; and in the price

Towns in England and Ireland. and abroad. A few years ago they were considerably Subscribers will have their copies delivered at their Residence

THE

SCOTTISH CHRISTIAN HERALD,

CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF

THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.

CONTENTS. 1-An Audress founded on the Epistles to the Seven Churches

Editor. Part I.,

110 in Asia. Part I. By the Rev. James Buchanan, Page 465 5.- A Discourse. By the Rev. John M'Naughtan, A.M., 473 2.-" Minims of Nature." No. I. By the Rev. David Lands- 6.-Sacred Poetry. "Glory to God in the Highest." By borough,

468
Montgomery,

477 3.-Sacred Poetry. “ The Last Plague of Egypt." By H. 7.-Christian Treasury. Extracts from Memoir of Mrs Wilson, Rogers,

470

Lacon, and St. Augustine, 4.—Biographical Sketch. Miss Mary Jane Graham. By the 8.-The Covenanters of 1638. By the Rev. Thomas M'Crie, ib.

AN ADDRESS FOUNDED ON THE EPISTLES TO THE SEVEN

CHURCHES IN ASIA.*

Part I.
BY THE REV. JAMES BUCHANAN,

Minister of the Parish of North Lcith.

[READ THE SECOND AND THIRD CHAPTERS OF REVELATION.] All that is doctrinal in these epistles may be, tive, the Redeemer appeared to the beloved disciple, proved from other parts of Scripture, which had and he “sell at his feet as dead ;” and, with what no special reference to the Asiatic Churches ; solemn awe, then, should we, the present members and, even that part of them, which is descriptive of his visible Church on earth, listen to his voice, or historical, may be regarded as affording a prac- when we remember that he is still really, thouyu tical illustration of permanent and universal truth, invisibly walking in the midst of the golden candlejust as history of all kinds is correctly held to be sticks ! philosophy teaching by example. I propose, But while Jesus spake, the Spirit rested on him therefore, at present to make a few mark and on his disciple,—the Spirit, who is by and founded on these epistles, such as may be applica- from Christ, the Purifier and Comforter of his ble to the circumstances in which we are placed. Church. Whilst these epistles run in the name of

1. Consider the Author of these epistles ; or the Christ, in them we hear the voice of his Spirit authority by which they are recommended to your too, and to the Spirit the Saviour ascribes them, regard. Christ is speaking to his Church : Christ when he says, “ He that hath an ear, let hiin once crucified, but now exalted, speaks with the hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." authority proper to Him, as the sole King and Here, then, the Church is directly addressed by Head of his people. And in each of these epistles her glorified Head, and by his gracious Spirit"; be is described as possessing attributes, and in both are represented as watching over her state, Fested with powers, which should command for and providing for her welfare, and both are inHim the reverend attention of the Churches. tensely interested in every thing by which her For he is represented as “ bolding the stars,” | purity and prosperity may be effected, seeing that that is, the angels or ministers of his Church, “ in the Son and the Spirit are engaged in preparing a his right band ;” and “ as walking in the midst Church on earth to be presented in due time to of the golden candlesticks,” (ii. 1.) that is, the the Father, as a glorious Church, without spot or Churches that are upon the earth ; as “ the first wrinkle, or any such thing. A new spiritual and the last, which was dead and is alive ;” (ii. 8.) temple is to be raised out of the ruins of the fall ; “ his eyes were as a flame of fire,” (i. 14.) '« and its foundations were laid in the Redeemer's blood; out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword;" one living stone after another is added by the (i. 16.) holding in his hand “ the keys of hell agency of his Spirit ; it is rising slowly, and by und of death,” (i. 18.) “ the Amen, the Faithful degrees, so slowly, that by many its progress is and true Witness,” (iii. 14.) “ he that is holy, he unobserved, and so silently, that the noise of the that is true, be that hath the key of David, he hammer is scarcely heard, amid the din and turthat openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, moil of worldly business ; but, still it rises, and and no man openeth.” (iii. 7.) Thus arrayed in the edification of this spiritual temple is by far the his divine dignity, and asserting his high preroga- most glorious work now proceeding on the earth ; Delivered at a Congregational Prayer-Meeting in North Leith

—more glorious than the establishment of civil Church, held previous to the Meeting of the General Assembly 1839. ! polities, or the consolidation of warlike conquests, No. 30. JULY 27, 1839.-114.]

[SeeOND SERIES VOL. I.

or any work affecting merely the temporal interests any such change itself; and he finds it in the of mankind; for this is a building for eternity,—a hosom of the Church at that hour, for he adds, temple for heaven,-a vast congregation of im- “ The mystery of iniquity doth already work: mortal beings, undergoing discipline and receiving only he who now letteth will let, (that is, the instruction previous to their translation into the Roman civil power) until he be taken out of the everlasting kingdom of God and his Christ. What way: and then shall that Wicked be revealed.” wonder then, that the Redeemer, who bought it Now, what is this mystery of iniquity, this priwith his precious blood, should still, as the one mary cause of all corruptions in the Church, if it universal 'Shepherol and Bishop of souls, walk be not the radical depravity of the human heart, amidst the golden candlesticks? or, that the both in pastors and people? That is the polgracious Spirit should superintend his own greatest luted fountain from which these putrid waters work, the regeneration of a fallen world? flow. And the fountain must be cleansed, the

II. It will be instructive to consider the occa- hearts both of pastors and people must be resion which called forth these epistolary addresses. newed and sanctified, if such corruptions are to They were published before the death of the be- be removed or prevented now. The effect of loved disciple who had leaned on his Master's even a heaven-born religion in this fallen world is bosom, and consequently so early as within sixty vastly modified by the nature of the subject on years of the Redeemer's death. Yet although which it acts; it nowhere exists in a state of published thus early, they were occasioned by the ethereal purity, but in a state of combination with corruptions which had already sprung up in the gross and earthly principles; and that religion primitive Churches, planted as they had been by which, by its native influence, would elevate the apostolic labourers, and watered by pastors spe- nature of men to a moral resemblance to the cially set apart by them to the office and work of Divine image, is too often, by its admixture with the sacred ministry. This shows how easily, even earthly passions, itself debased to the similitude under the best superintendence, and in the most of fallen man. favourable circumstances, corruptions will arise And this depravity is not the peculiar attribute and spread in the visible Church, and the absolute of any one class of men : it is not confined exnecessity of cultivating a godly jealousy, and a clusively to the functionaries or office-bearers of constant spirit of watchfulness, and a sense of the Church ; it is alike universal and constant ; simple dependence on divine grace for the preser- it is to be found in every private bosom, in every vation of the Gospel in its purity and power. family, in every congregation; and froin all these What more evident proof of this can be con- various sources it issues so as to corrupt the ceived than the one furnished by the context, Church. Individuals are depraved, and hence where we see that within a very few years after they either cannot tolerate sound doctrine, or will the glowing eloquence of Paul had ceased to be not live up to their profession ; parents are deheard, and the zeal of Peter had terminated in praved, and hence families are corrupted through martyrdom, but while as yet the benignant and evil example or negligent instruction; elders and now mature love of the Apostle John shone deacons are depraved, and bence, as well as from mildly in the Churches, and many private disciples the reluctance of the people, discipline is relaxed ; were still spared who exemplified the faith of pastors and ministers are depraved, and hence the Christ by the holiness of their lives, and were dereliction of pastoral duty, and the faithless or ready, we doubt not, to seal their testimony with feeble preaching of the Word.

These, brethren, their blood ; yet even then, immediately after the are the real sources of all corruptions in the incarnation of God's own Son, after the exhibi- Church : sources which lie within the Church it. tion of miraculous powers, the plain fulfilment of self, nay, within our own bosoms; and as this prophecy, the zealous and superhuman labours of should teach us the necessity of vigilant watch apostles and evangelists, and the solemn fate which fulness, so it may point out the nature of the only had just befallen the Jewish Church, whose foun- remedy by which these corruptions may be redations were upturned, and her children scattered moved or prevented. The remedy must be apto the four winds of heaven, even then the Chris- plied to the root and origin of the disease ; it is tian Church began to fall into declension and in vain that we cut off fruitless branches, if we decay, and the speedy growth of its corruptions leave a corrupt tree or a gangrened root. Our from that period till they were consummated in hearts must be renewed and sanctified,—the hearts the Papal power, is as highly instructive as it is of ministers, of elders, of communicants, of each deeply deplorable. The discerning eye of Paul and every member of our several households. could perceive the incipient working of this un- Thus might the Church be purified of its corrupholy leaven even in his own times ; he forewarned tions ; but to look chiefly to outward changes, to ex. the Churches that there would come falling pect purity from any alteration in the mere externals away, or an apostasy, when that man of sin should of the Church, is to deceive ourselves with a vain be revealed, the son of perdition, (2 Thess

. ii. 3.) expectation, seeing that, as the corruptions of the But far from referring to any change in the mere Church proceed from the depravity of our own constitution or forms of the Christian Church as hearts, they cannot, in the nature of things, be the primary cause of this great apostasy, the removed but by the removal of their cause

. Hence apostle looks deeper

, and searches for the cause of you will find that our Lord traces all the evils of

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the primitive Churches to the decay of personal of its future usefulness,—we see that God has piety, and seeks to restore the power of personal yet some work for it to do, and is preparing it religion, in order that these corruptions may be either for faithful service or for patient suffering. cured. This leads me to notice,

And hence, whether you look into the history of III. The object of our Lord in sending these the Jewish Church, or into the annals of our own epistles to the Churches in Asia, the consideration country, you shall find that any remarkable imof which will enable us to discover some of the provement in either was always preceded, or acbeneficial purposes which may be served by them companied by, solemn fasting, humiliation, and at the present day. His object was,

prayer; and that frequently all the members of 1. To point out clearly and explicitly the errors the Church were summoned together to make and defects which then existed within the several public confession to God of their sins and declenChurches,—such errors in doctrine as were taught sions. And surely if God loves a penitent be

by those who held the doctrine of the Nicolai- liever, he cannot fail to love a penitent Church. : tanes, repeatedly mentioned with strong reproba- But while the Redeemer points out the errors

tion in the context,--such errors in discipline as and defects which existed within these several the unrebuked toleration of false teachers, as in- Churches, and seeks to awaken them to repentstanced in the case of Jezebel,—such defects in ance for the same, it was partly his design also, personal religion as consisted in “ falling from 3. To warn them against false teachers and their first love," in being lukewarm and indifferent, schismatics, and to strengthen and encourage them in " having a name to live whilst they were spi- against their external enemies. False teachers ritually deadl.” This explicit statement of what and schismatics are specially mentioned ; such as, was offensive to him in the condition of the dif- those who held the doctrine of Balaam, and those ferent Churches in Asia shows that, in his estima- who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes; and tion, it was salutary for them to be instructed on the Church of Thyatira is sharply rebuked, for this point; and hence we may learn that it is no “suffering that woman, Jezebel, who called herself good sign of a Church when it is unable to see, a prophetess, to teach and to seduce his servants." or unwilling to acknowledge, the evils which exist And their indifference to the spread of false docin it, that the Redeemer would have all the trine is strikingly contrasted with the Redeemer's Churches to know their actual condition and char- concern on that account, who never mentions the act-r in his sight.

heresy of the Nicolaitanes without adding, "which 2. By thus clearly unfolding to them the evils thing I hate." Against these internal enemies and danger of their condition, our blessed Master the Churches are warned to be on their guard ; designed to produce repentance for the same, such but, in reserence to their external and open enerepentance as should be followed up by a vigorous mies, among the heathen and ungodly, Christ reformation. It is remarkable that a call to re- offers himself as their shield and defunce. He pentance is addressed to most of the Churches forewarns them, indeed, of an approaching period separately, none being so pure as to need no re- of tribulation,-a period which speedily arrived, pentance, and yet none so totally corrupt as to and which, in ten successive persecutions, threatrender their repentance hopeless or unavailing. ened to overwhelm the infant Church; but the Thus to the Church of Ephesus (ii. 5,) he says, Redeemer had appeared before-hand, and said, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, “ Fear none of those things which thou shalt sufand repent, and do the first works ; or else I will fer: behold the devil shall cast some of you into coine unto thee quickly, and remove thy candle- prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have stick out of its place, except thou repent." This tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, solemn call to repentance indicates the spirit and I will give thee a crown of life.” (ii, 10.) which the Divine Head of the Church would And again, to Philadelphia, “ Because thou hast have to animate all its members: not the haughty kept the word of my patience, I also will keep and self-righteous pride of a pharisaic Church, thee from the hour of temptation, which shall wbicb, like that of Laodicea, says, “I am rich, come upon all the world, to try them that dwell and increased with goods, and have need of no

upon the earth.” thing," while, in his eye, they were “wretched, The object of these epistles, then, was to point and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked," out the errors and corruptions which existed with. but the spirit of godly jealousy over themselves

, in the visible Church, and to call the attention of the broken and the contrite spirit, which men may his people to them, as matters which it deeply despise, but which the Redeemer will honour and concerned them to know and to consider ; to procherish. And hence we may learn that one of duce repentance for the same, to warn them against the best symptoms of revival in any Church, after false teachers, and to strengthen and encourage a period of lukewarmness and deelension, is a them against the assaults of their outward ene. spirit of repentance, not indeed that repentance mies. And seeing that Christ is still the living which is spent in mere ontward confession, but and glorious Head of his Church, and is interested such as approves its sincerity by prompting to in the same objects, these lessons are equally ap. vigorous and enlightened measures of improve- plicable to our own Church as to the Churches of ment and reformation. When such a spirit is Asia ; and it concerns us to consider what evils poured out on the Church, we have the best omen I exist amongst us, and what remedy ought to be

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