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tions, and honest exercises vpon Sundayes and other Holy men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmelesse Recreadayes, after the afternoone Sermon or Seruice: Wee now tion, nor from hauing of May-Games, Whitson Ales, and finde that two sorts of people wherewith that Countrey is Morris-dances, and the setting vp of Maypoles & other sports much infected, (Wee meane Papists and Puritanes) haue therewith vsed, so as the same be had in due & conuenient maliciously traduced and calumniated those Our iust and time, without impediment or neglect of Diuine Seruice: And honourable proceedings. And therefore lest Our reputation that women shall haue leaue to carry rushes to the Church might vpon the one side (though innocently) haue some for the decoring of it, according to their old custome. But aspersion layd vpon it, and that vpon the other part Our withall We doe here account still as prohibited all vnlawfull good people in that Countrey be misled by the mistaking games to bee vsed vpon Sundayes onely, as Beare and Bull. and misinterpretation of Our meaning: We haue therefore baitings, Interludes, and at all times in the meaner sort of thought good hereby to cleare and make Our pleasure to be people by Law prohibited, Bowling. manifested to all our good People in those parts.

And likewise We barre from this benefite and liberty, all It is true that at Our first entry to this Crowne, and King such knowne recusants, either men or women, as will abstaine dome, Wee were informed, and that too truely, that Our from comming to Church or diuine Seruice, being therefore County of Lancashire abounded more in Popish Recusants | vnworthy of any lawfull recreation after the said Seruice, then any County of England, and thus hath still continued that will not first come to the Church, and serue God: since to Our great regreet, with little amendmēt, saue that Prohibiting in like sort the said Recreations to any that, now of late, in Our last riding through Our said County, Wee though conforme in Religion, are not present in the Church find both by the report of the Iudges, and of the Bishop of at the seruice of God, before their going to the said Recreathat diocesse, that there is some amendment now daily tions. Our pleasure likewise is, That they to whom it bebeginning, which is no small contentment to Vs.

longeth in Office, shall present and sharpely punish all such as The report of this growing amendment amongst them, in abuse of this Our liberty, will vse these exercises before made Vs the more sorry, when with Our owne Eares We the ends of all Diuine Seruices for that day. And We likeheard the generall complaint of Our people, that they were wise straightly command, that euery person shall resort to his barred from all lawfull Recreation, & exercise vpon the Sun owne Parish Church to heare Diuine Seruice, and each Parish dayes afternoone, after the ending of all Diuine Seruice, which by it selfe to vse the said Recreation after Diuine Seruice. cannot but produce two euils : The one, the hindering of the Prohibiting likewise any Offensiue weapons to bee carried conuersion of many, whom their Priests will take occasion or vsed in the said times of Recreations. And Our pleasure hereby to vexe, perswading them that no honest mirth or is, That this Our Declaration shall bee published by order recreation is lawfull or tolerable in Our Religion, which from the Bishop of the Diocesse, through all the Parish cannot but breed a great discontentment in Our peoples Churches, and that both Our Iudges of Our Circuit, and Our hearts, especially of such as are peraduenture vpon the point Iustices of Our Peace be informed thereof. of turning; The other inconuenience is, that this prohibition

Giuen at Our Mannour of Greenwich the foure barreth the common and meaner sort of people from vsing

and twentieth day of May, in the sixteenth such exercises as may make their bodies more able for Warre,

yeere of Our Raigne of England, France and when Wee or Our Successours shall haue occasion to vse

Ireland, and of Scotland the one and fiftieth. them. And in place thereof sets vp filthy tiplings and drunkennesse, & breeds a number of idle and discontented Now out of a like pious Care for the seruice of God, and speeches in their Alehouses. For when shall the common

for suppressing of any humors that oppose trueth, and for people haue leaue to exercise, if not vpon the Sundayes & the Ease, Comfort, & Recreation of Our well deseruing holydaies, seeing they must apply their labour, & win their People, Wee doe ratifie and publish this Our blessed Fathers liuing in all working daies ?

Declaration: The rather because of late in some Counties of Our expresse pleasure therefore is, that the Lawes of Our

Our Kingdome, Wee finde that vnder pretence of taking Kingdome, & Canons of Our Church be as well obserued in away abuses, there hath been a generall forbidding, not onely that Countie, as in all other places of this Our Kingdome.

of ordinary meetings, but of the Feasts of the Dedication of And on the other part, that no lawfull Recreation shall bee the Churches, commonly called Wakes. Now our expresse barred to Our good People, which shall not tend to the breach

will and pleasure is, that these Feasts with others shall bee of Our aforesayd Lawes, and Canons of Our Church: which obserued, and that Our Iustices of the peace in their seuerall to expresse more particularly, Our pleasure is, That the

Diuisions shall looke to it, both that all disorders there, may Bishop, and all other inferiour Churchmen, and Church. be preuented or punished, and that all neighbourhood and wardens, shall for their parts bee carefull and diligent, both freedome, with manlike and lawfull Exercises bee vsed. And to instruct the ignorant, and conuince and reforme them that Wee farther Command Our Justices of Assize in their seuerall are mis-led in Religion, presenting them that will not con

Circuits, to see that no man doe trouble or molest any of Our forme themselues, but obstinately stand out to Our Iudges loyall and duetifull people, in or for their lawfull Recrea. and Iustices : Whom We likewise command to put the Law tions, having first done their duetie to God, and continuing in due execution against them.

in obedience to Vs and Our Lawes. And of this Wee com. Our pleasure likewise is, That the Bishop of that Diocesse

mand all our Iudges, Iustices of the Peace, as well within take the like straight order with all the Puritanes and Pre Liberties as without, Maiors, Bayliffes, Constables, and other cisians within the same, either constraining them to con- Officers, to take notice of, and to see obserued, as they tender forme themselues, or to leaue the County according to the Our displeasure. And Wee farther will, that publication of Lawes of Our Kingdome, and Canons of Our Church, and so this Our Command bee made by order from the Bishops to strike equally on both hands, against the contemners of Our through all the Parish Churches of their seuerall Diocesse Authority, and aduersaries of Our Church. And as for Our

respectiuely. good peoples lawfull Recreation, Our pleasure likewise is,

Giuen at Our Palace of Westminster the eighThat after the end of Diuine Seruice, Our good people be

teenth day of October, in the ninth yeere of not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recrea

Our Reigne. tion, Such as dauncing, either men or women, Archery for

God sane the King.

Laud, as Bishop of London, had severely censured | harshly treated during three years of imprisonment, the Lord Mayor for prohibiting a woman from selling | that ended in his trial and his execution on the 10th apples on Sunday in St. Paul's Churchyard. His of January, 1645. From the scaffold Laud, seventyenforcement of the reading of this “Book of Sports” one years old, delivered his last words to man in the in all the English churches was resisted by many form of his own funeral sermon, on a text from the of the clergy, who were therefore silenced. Some twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, “Let who read it, read the Fourth Commandment after us run with patience the race which is set before us, it. Some read it unwillingly, with forced compliance looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our to preserve their livings. William Prynne, after a faith ; who, for the joy that was set before him, enyear's imprisonment in the Tower, was sentenced dured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down to a fine of £5,000, to be expelled from his Uni at the right hand of the throne of God.” The sermon versity, his Inn of Court, and his profession of the ended, this was law; to be pilloried, first at Palace Yard, Westminster, then at Cheapside, and in each place to lose

LAUD'S LAST PRAYER. an ear; to have his book burnt before his face by the common executioner; and to be imprisoned for

O Eternal God and merciful Father, look down upon me life. In 1637 eight ships in the Thames prepared in mercy; in the riches and fulness of all thy mercies look to carry to New England refugees from the rule of down upon me, but not till thou hast nailed my sins to the compulsion, were stopped, and an Order of Council

cross of Christ. Look upon me, but not till thou hast bathed prohibited “all ministers unconformable to the doc

me in the blood of Christ ; not till I have hid myself in trine and discipline of the Church of England ; and

the wounds of Christ; that so the punishment that is due that no clergyman should be suffered to pass to the

to my sins may pass away and go over me: and since thou foreign plantations without the approbation of the

art pleased to try me to the uttermost, I humbly beseech Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Lon

thee, give me now in this great instant full patience, propor

tionable comfort, a heart ready to die for my sins, the King's don.” On the 30th of June in the same year

happiness, and the preservation of this Church ; and my zeal Prynne, the lawyer, stood in the pillory again, to

to these (far from arrogance be it spoken) is all the sin, lose what remained of his ears, with the Rev. Henry

human frailty excepted, and all incidents thereunto, which is Burton and Dr. John Bastwick, a physician, sen

yet known of me in this particular, for which I now come tenced also to fine, branding, mutilation, and im

to suffer ; but otherwise my sins are many and great. Lord, prisonment. But as they went to the pillory the pardon them all, and those especially which have drawn people had strewed sweet herbs on the way.

down this present judgment upon me, and when thou hast There had been old antagonism between William

given me strength to bear it, then do with me as seems best Laud and John Williams, who in 1621 succeeded

to thee; and carry me through death that I may look upon Bacon as Lord Keeper, and was at the same time it in what visage soever it shall appear to me, and that made Bishop of Lincoln. His opinions on public there may be a stop of this issue of blood in this more questions did not please the Court of Charles. The than miserable kingdom. I pray for the people, too, as well Duke of Buckingham had been his enemy, and he as for myself. O Lord, I beseech thee, give grace of repenthad both Charles and Laud against him. As early ance to all people that have a thirst for blood; but if they as 1627 an attempt had been begun to charge him will not repent, then scatter their devices, and such as are with betrayal of the king's secrets. In 1637 this or shall be contrary to the glory of thy great name, the accusation was shifted to a charge of tampering with truth and sincerity of religion, the establishment of the King, the king's witnesses. He was condemned, and sen and his posterity after him in their just rights and privileges, tenced to a fine of £10,000, suspension by the High the honour and conservation of Parliament, in their ancient Commission Court from all his offices, and imprison and just power, the preservation of this poor Church in the ment during the king's pleasure. His palace was truth, peace, and patrimony, and the settlement of this disentered to seize goods to the value of the fine, and

tracted and distressed people under their ancient laws and a letter was there found from Lambert Osbaldistone,

in their native liberties. And when thou hast done all this Master of Westminster School, in which Laud, small

in mere mercy for them, O Lord, fill their hearts with thankof stature, was referred to as “the little urchin,"

fulness, and with religious dutiful obedience to thee and thy and “ the little meddling hocus pocus." Upon this

commandments all their days. Amen, Lord Jesus, and I

beseech thee receive my soul into thy bosom, Amen. letter further proceedings were taken, and Dr. Williams was sentenced to pay £5,000 more to the king and £3,000 to the Archbishop of Canterbury ; If any think it strange that a good man, engaged while the writer of the letter was fined £5,000 to in intense controversy about sacred things, could err the king, £5,000 to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Laud erred in attempting to enforce that unity deprived of his preferments, condemned to imprison within the Church of Christ for which all true hearts ment during the king's pleasure, and to stand in the laboured and still labour, let him remember that the pillory with his ear nailed to the posts. Dr. Wil Pilgrim Fathers were good men, and that in the free liams was not released until 1640, when he was church which they crossed the wide Atlantic to reconciled to the king, who made him, in 1641, secure they were, after a few years, banishing those Archbishop of York. Laud was then in the Tower, fellow-Christians whom they termed heretics. One to which he was conveyed on the 1st of March, of their leaders was exclaiming, “ God forbid, that 1641. He had tried force against force stronger our love of the truth should be grown so cold that than his own, and raised a tumult against prelacy. we should tolerate errors !” Another averred that He was stripped of his revenues, heavily fined, and “to say men ought to have liberty of conscience is

impious ignorance.” Another urged that “ Religion and conversation of all ministers and schoolmasters. admits of no eccentric notions.” Every member of These local courts were first instituted in 1643, and the congregation of a tolerant Baptist of Rhode remained instruments of tyranny for the next ten Island was fined twenty or thirty pounds, and one years. A fifth of the sequestrated income might be who refused to pay the fine was whipped unmercifully. granted to the expelled man, on conditions that even There was a fine on absence from “the ministry of a word of resentment might be held to break, and the Word ;" to deny that any book in the Old or the number of the clergy thus ejected has been New Testament was throughout the infallible Word reckoned by the historian of their sufferings at seven of God, was blasphemy, punishable by fine and thousand. flogging, and in case of obstinacy, by exile or death. When Cromwell first raised his troop, he had A devout woman, hearing of such things, travelled invited Baxter to become its pastor. Baxter refused, all the way from London to warn the leaders of the and reasoned against the appeal to arms. But when new church against persecution, and they flogged her. war was so far afoot that the only question could be She was sentenced to twenty stripes. At home, of having or not having the religious life maintained when Laud's friends ceased to be the persecutors, among the combatants, Baxter consented to become, they became the persecuted. Each party was full of and was for two years, chaplain to a regiment. Thus zeal in either character, and we can only look with he was at the taking of Bridgewater, the siege of equal eye, whether argument be of the seventeenth Bristol and of Sherborne Castle. He was three weeks or nineteenth century, on imperfections common to at the siege of Exeter, six weeks before Banbury humanity. John Robinson uttered a great truth Castle, and eleven weeks at the siege of Worcester. when, in his farewell to the little band that left In the army he opposed the various forms of free Delft in the Mayflower, he said, “The Lord has more opinion in religion to be found among the soldiers, truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word." and somewhat lost their confidence by his zeal on Are we not waiting yet for the acceptance of its behalf of unity; for he flinched from the religious leading truth, that of the three abiding virtues of the disputations that had cast out love, and chiefly on Christian the greatest is charity ? “Though I have that ground held with the Presbyterians of those the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, days, who desired uniform Church government not and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, less than Laud, but sought to give it a shape which so that I could remove mountains, and have not they regarded as more Biblical than the machinery of charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all archbishops and bishops. In their desire also to my goods to feed the poor, and though I give separate their church as much as possible from the my body to be burned, and have not charity, traditions of the Church of Rome, they scrupulously it profiteth me nothing." So St. Paul interpreted avoided naming children after saints. Most of the the teaching of Him who based His Church upon names in the New Testament, and many more, being two articles : “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God thus associated with saint worship, Old Testament with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with names, as Elijah, Jonathan, Obadiah ; or the names all thy mind. This is the first and great command of Christian gifts, Grace, Faith, Hope, Charity; or ment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt even religious phrases, were given as Christian names love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two com to their children by pious parents. Towards the mandments hang all the law and the prophets."

end of the civil war Baxter had a severe illness, In this sense many a true man of many a creed and it was at that time that he wrote that one of has sought the peace of God, and Richard Baxter his many books which is most widely read, “The laboured towards peace. He was gentle, without Saint's Everlasting Rest," first published in 1653. cowardice or weakness, and he sought unity for the He says :distracted Church as earnestly as William Laud. Baxter was reckoned among the Puritans, and shared “Whilst I was in health, I had not the least thought of the Presbyterian sympathies of the Long Parliament,

writing books, or of serving God in any more pnblic way than whose members voted, in May, 1641, approval “of

preaching. But when I was weakened with great bleeding, the affection of their brethren of Scotland, in their

and left solitary in my chamber at Sir John Cook's in Derbydesire of a conformity in the Church government

shire, without any acquaintance but my servant about me, between the two nations." The Grand Committee of

and was sentenced to death by the physicians, I began to the whole House for Religion, appointed three days

contemplate more seriously on the everlasting rest which I

apprehended myself to be just on the borders of; and that after the assembling of the Parliament, had originated

my thoughts might not too much scatter in my meditation, I in King James's time, but soon became a new energy

began to write something on that subject, intending but the for the inquiry into accusations against loyal clergy.

quantity of a sermon or two (which is the cause that the It had a sub-committee, which divided itself into

beginning is, in brevity and style, disproportionable to the several lesser committees, and the first sentence of

rest); but being continued long in weakness, where I had no sequestration was passed by the Grand Committee

books, nor no better employment, I followed it on till it was itself as early as the 16th of January, 1641. As

enlarged to the bulk in which it is published. The first three the work grew on the hands of the sequestrators,

weeks I spent in it was at Mr. Nowell's house at Kirby committees were appointed under Parliament in all

Mallory, in Leicestershire; a quarter of a year more, at the parts of the country. They were to consist of from seasons which so great weakness would allo, I bestowed on five to ten members, each paid five shillings a day it at Sir Tho. Rouse's house, at Rouse Lench, in Worcesterfor his attendance, and were enjoined to be “speedy shire; and I finished it shortly after at Kidderminster. The and effectual” in their inquiry into the lives, doctrine, I first and last parts were first done, being all that I intended

for my own use; and the second and third parts came after- | brotherhood of Christian charity. “I have credibly wards in besides my first intention."

heard,” says Baxter, “that Dr. Thomas Goodwin,

Philip Nye, and Dr. Owen, the leaders of the InUnder the Commonwealth, Richard Baxter spoke dependents, did tell the king that, as the Pope his mind freely to Cromwell, and told him that he allowed orders of religious parties in mere dependence was a usurper, while admitting that he sought to use on himself, all that they desired was, not to be his false position for the maintenance of godliness, masters of others, but to hold their own liberty of and that, where his own interest was not at stake, worship and discipline in sole dependence on the he sought more to do good than any who had gone king, as the Dutch and French churches do, so they before.

may be saved from the bishops and ecclesiastical courts." Before the arrival of Charles II, he had

been visited in Holland by English Presbyterians. CHAPTER X.

His Declaration from Breda had included in these

words the promise of an end of persecution for FROM THE COMMONWEALTH TO THE REVOLUTION. religion :

RICHARD BAXTER, JOHN BUNYAN, John MILTON,
RALPH CUDWORTH, ROBERT LEIGHTON, THOMAS

“And because the passion and uncharitableness of the times KEN, AND OTHERS.-A.D. 1660 TO A.D. 1689.

have produced several opinions in religion, by which men are

engaged in parties and animosities against each other, which N no small degree

when they shall hereafter unite in a freedom of conversation,

will be composed, or better understood; we do declare a Charles II. owed

liberty to tender consciences; and that no man shall be dishis crown to the

quieted, or called in question, for differences of opinion in division between

matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the Presbyterians and

kingdom; and that we shall be ready to consent to such an act Independents. At

of Parliament as, upon mature deliberation, shall be offered Kidderminster

to us, for the full granting that indulgence.”
Richard Baxter had
set up during the
Commonwealth an

The king, whom Presbyterians had helped to the
Association for Ca-

throne, after his arrival in London, named ten or tholicism against

twelve Presbyterians, including Baxter, chaplains in INITIAL. From Clarendon's Answer to Parties, of which he

ordinary. Baxter counselled his king not less faithwrote:

fully than he had counselled Cromwell, and still

laboured above all things to establish spiritual union “As we hindered no man from following his own judgment

among English Christians. Baxter and other Presby

terians in London discussed measures of compromise in his own congregation, so we evinced, beyond denial, that it would be but a partial, dividing agreement to agree on the

with Episcopal clergy, and began by offering to terms of Presbyterian, Episcopal, or any one party, because it

accept Archbishop Usher's scheme of church governwould unavoidably shut out the other parties; which was the

ment, that made each bishop the head of a Presbytery principal thing which we endeavoured to avoid ; it being not

which shared his powers, and a revised Liturgy that with Presbyterians only, but with all orthodox, faithful did not forbid extemporary prayer. They accepted pastors and people, that we are bound to hold communion, the king as supreme “in all things and causes, as and to live in Christian concord, so far as we have attained. well ecclesiastical as civil.” They proposed also that Hereupon, many counties began to associate, as Wiltshire, of the church ceremonies in question, some should be Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, Hampshire, Essex, and others; abolished as occasions of dispute upon indifferent and some of them printed the articles of their agreement. In matters, and that use of others should be optional. a word, a great desire of concord began to possess all good Upon every point the Presbyterians were met with people in the land, and our breaches seemed ready to heal. resistance by the bishops, but in October, 1660, the And though some thought that so many associations and king signed a Declaration on ecclesiastical affairs, forms of agreement did but tend to more division, by showing

which conceded very much to Presbyterian desires. our diversity of apprehensions, the contrary proved true by Had it been acted upon, much strife and division experience; for we all agreed on the same course, even to

would have been at an end; but there can be no end unite in the practice of so much discipline as the Episcopal,

to strife without change in the minds of combatants. Presbyterians, and Independents are agreed in, and as

The House of Commons in November, 1660, rejected crosseth none of their principles."

the Declaration by a majority of twenty-six.

Among enthusiasts of the time was a small body Baxter, who had always held by the monarchy, of Fifth-Monarchy men, so called from their interwelcomed the Restoration, and his great hope for a pretation of the prophecy in the seventh chapter of measure of compromise that would bring again into Daniel. The four beasts had always been interpreted one church the Episcopal and Presbyterian Christians to mean the four great monarchies of the world; the seemed at last attainable. The best Independents ten horns of the fourth beast were said to be the ten desired fellowship without the pale of a church to European kingdoms, and the “ little horn” (verses 8, which, however they might be parted from it upon 20, 21,) was now read to mean William the Conmatters of opinion, they could be joined in the queror and his successors, who “made war with the

" Leviathan" (1673).

saints, and prevailed against ther, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." This prophecy was said to be fulfilled by the trial and condemnation of Charles I. ; " and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” This was the Fifth Monarchy, and by 1666 (verses 24---27), having overthrown the power of Rome, it was to be visible on earth, terribly and suddenly, for the redemption of the people from all bondage, ecclesiastical and civil. Sixty Fifth Monarchy men on Sunday, January 6th, 1661, issued from their meeting-house at Swan Alley, in Coleman Street, led by a wine-cooper named Venner, who had conspired in Cromwell's time, carried arms, declaring for King Jesus, and killed several people. They repulsed some files of the train-bands hastily collected by the

whom Baxter had the foremost place, argued that “limiting of Church communion to things of doubtful disputation hath been in all ages the ground of schism and separation.” They asked for modifications of the Prayer Book that would add to the number of those who used it many who before had conscientious scruples. Baxter even drew up a reformed Liturgy. The reply to this and to the desire for removal of ceremonies that had served as occasions for dispute was, “ If pretence of conscience did exempt from obedience, laws were useless; whoever had not list to obey might pretend tenderness of conscience, and be thereby set at liberty.” The conference was ineffectual.

The Parliament that met in May, 1661, ordered the Covenant to be burnt by the hangman, recalled

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

Lord Mayor, each fanatic believing that he would be the bishops to the House of Lords, established miraculously sustained although a thousand came an unmodified Episcopal Church, and passed, on the against him. When they heard that the Life Guards 19th of May, 1662, the Act of Uniformity, through were bearing down upon them, they escaped to Caen which no Presbyterian minister could pass into the Wood between Hampstead and Highgate, but at ministry of the Church without ordination by a dawn on Wednesday entered London again, and bishop, “assent and consent to everything contained hoped to capture the Lord Mayor. Venner and and prescribed in and by" the Prayer Book, with about sixteen of his followers were taken and hanged declaration that the Covenant was an unlawful oath, in different parts of the town, denouncing judgment and that it is unlawful to take arms against the on the king, the judges, and the city. This incident king for any cause whatever. This Act came into was followed by a proclamation“ prohibiting all un force on the 24th of August, 1662, and those who lawful and seditious meetings and conventicles under suffered by it remembered that this was St. Barpretence of religious worship," in which the unre tholomew's Day, an anniversary already associated sisting Quakers were named with the Fifth Monarchy with religious hatreds. men. The Quakers worshipped as they held that Richard Baxter, of course, was among the ministheir duty to God required, and paid tribute also ters then shut out of the Church. He might not to Cæsar by accepting quietly the imposed pain of return to Kidderminster. The same conformity was imprisonment for conscience' sake. Few understood required from all teachers of the young, both public their point of view, and even Baxter reckoned them and private. Two thousand ministers refused comwith sectaries for whom he did not intercede.

pliance with the Act, and at once resigned, or were In April, 1661, the conference was held at the deprived of their livings. The same Parliament Savoy Palace in the Strand, between twelve bishops passed a long Act against liberty of the press, for the and twelve Presbyterians. The Presbyterians, among suppression of “ heretical, seditious, schismatical, or

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