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    November 12, 1885

    “The Roman Empire. (Continued.) The Roman Provinces” The Signs of the Times 11, 43, p. 676.


    ALTHOUGH the “iron monarchy of Rome,” in the greatness of its strength, broke in pieces all kingdoms, yet the time was to come when it itself should be broken. At the same time that Daniel spoke of the fourth kingdom breaking in pieces and bruising all, he also said:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.1

    “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.” Daniel 2:41, 42.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.2

    We must now inquire, Of what should this division consist? Into how many parts should Rome be divided? We think there can be but one answer possible. Because, as it is the “feet and toes,” and particularly the “toes,” of the image that are spoken of in connection with the division, it is certain that that division is shown by the toes of the image; and as this was the image of a man, there were certainly ten toes. Therefore the only reasonable or possible conclusion is that Rome should be divided into ten parts. However, we are not left to draw our own conclusions, logical and necessary though they be. In the seventh chapter of Daniel, this same series of kingdoms is gone over again under the symbols of “four great beasts,” the fourth one of which was declared by the angel to be the fourth kingdom, which shows it to be identical with the iron—the fourth kingdom—of the great image. This fourth beast had also ten horns, which exactly correspond to the ten toes of the image. Further, the angel said plainly of these ten horns that they were ten kings that should arise (Daniel 2:24), which proves to a demonstration that the toes of the image are spoken of in connection with the division, with direct reference to the number of parts into which Rome should be divided. Therefore we know that ten kingdoms were to arise upon the ruins of the Roman power.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.3

    Now we may ask, Where should these ten kingdoms arise? In other words, Are there any clearly defined limits within which the ten kingdoms should establish themselves? We believe there are. And that we may make the subject as plain and as easily understood as possible, we shall now define those limits.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.4

    From the ascension of Nebuchadnezzar to the end of the world, these four kingdoms are the only ones that should ever bear universal sway. And each of these in its turn occupied territory peculiar to itself, from which it spread its power over the others. Although the four kingdoms were successive, and although each one in succession spread its power over all the territory of those that had preceded it, yet each one retained its own peculiar distinctions from all the others. And this distinction is kept up throughout the book of Daniel, and is even recognized in the book of Revelation, which was written in the time of the supremacy of the fourth kingdom, in a prophecy that was not to be fulfilled till after the establishment of the ten kingdoms.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.5

    The fact of the matter is, these are not only the four universal empires, but they also represent the four divisions of the then known civilized world, each one of which occupies territory peculiar to itself, and is never confounded with any of the others. Thus, Babylonia was first, and when it was overturned it was by the united power of Media and Persia, which occupied entirely distinct territory from that of Babylonia proper. Then when the Medo-Persian power was destroyed, it was by the power of Grecia, which arose from a territory entirely distinct from that of either Babylon or Medo-Perisa. So, likewise, when the Grecian ascendancy was destroyed it was by a power that arose still further to the west, entirely beyond the territory of Grecia, in a territory entirely its own, and distinct from all the others. This is all expressed in a single verse in the seventh chapter of Daniel. After the description of the four great beasts which represent these four kingdoms, he says of the fourth beast, that he beheld till he was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flames; then he says of the others:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.6

    “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” (Margin, Chaldee, “A prolonging in life was given them.”) Daniel 7:12.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.7

    This passage, with the point which we here make, is aptly and well illustrated by a passage from Rawlinson, speaking of the Babyonian monarchy, he says:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.8

    “Even when this monarchy met its death at the hands of Cyrus the Great, the nationality of the Chaldeans was not swept away. We find them recognized under the Persians, and even under the Parthians, as a distinct people.”—Seven Great Monarchies, First Mon., chap. 8, last year.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.9

    Thus is was with each and with all,—the dominion was taken away, but the nationality remained; the ruling power was transferred, but the national life continued. It follows, therefore, that, as it was Rome that was to be divided, the division must pertain to the territory that was peculiar to the fourth kingdom, and which had not belonged to any of the three that preceded it. Where was that? We can easily learn. (1) Media and Persia occupied the territory east of the Tigris and the Persian Gulf; (2) Babylonian, the territory from the Tigris to the Arabian Desert; (3) Grecia, from the Hellespont to and even beyond the Danube, and to the Adriatic Sea, northward to about the forty-fifth parallel of latitude; (4) The territory of Rome proper occupied all the rest west of the Danube and the Rhine to the Atlantic and the Frith of Forth, and all of the northern coast of Africa, to nearly as far east as the twentieth degree of longitude.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.10

    Within the boundaries thus marked lay the territory of Rome proper. It was this territory that was peculiar to the fourth kingdom. And it was within the limits drawn under “(4)” above that we are to look for the ten divisions of the fourth kingdom and the establishment of the ten kingdoms.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.11

    We propose to trace the history of these ten kingdoms from their tribe as nations as savages in the dismal forests of Germany, through their devastating incursions into the rich and civilized provinces of Rome, and down to their own establishment within these provinces, and their development into civilized and influential kingdoms there. Rome, once so powerful, once so great, now, through luxury and indulgence, grown corrupt, effeminate, and weak, we shall see waste away and perish. We shall see the movements of the nations coming in to fill up with a new and vigorous people the place that Rome was no longer worthy, it will be best, and in fact really necessary to a proper understanding of the subject, that we briefly sketch the boundaries of the provinces of the Roman Empire, both of Rome proper, and as far east as the Hellespont and the Black Sea. This task, however, has been so admirably performed by Gibbon that all that we shall need to do will be to quote his words. He says:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.12

    “We have attempted to explain the spirit which moderated, and the strength which supported, the power of Hadrian and the Antonines. We shall now endeavor, with clearness and precision, to describe the provinces once united under their sway, but at present divided into so many independent and hostile States.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.13

    “Spain, the western extremity of the empire, of Europe, and of the ancient world, has in every age invariably preserved the same natural limits,—the Pyrenean Mountains, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Ocean. That great peninsula, at presence so unequally divided between two sovereigns, was distributed by Augustus into three provinces,—Lusitania, Betica, and Tarraconcnsis. The kingdom of Portugal now fills the place of the warlike country of the Lusitanians; and the loss sustained by the former on the side of the east, is compensated by an accession of territory towards the north. The confines of Grenada and Andalusia correspond with those of ancient Betica. The remainder of Spain,—Gallicia, and the Asturias, Biscay and Navarre, Leon and the two Castiles, Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia, and Arragon,—all contributed to form the third and most considerable of the Roman governments, which, from the name of its capital, was styled the province of Tarragona.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.14

    “Ancient Gaul, as it contained the whole country between the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the Ocean, was of greater extent than modern France. To the dominions of that powerful monarchy [a republic now], with its recent acquisitions of Alsace and Lorraine [lost again in 1870], we must add the duchy of Savoy, the cantons of Switzerland, the four electorates of the Rhine, and the territories of Liege, Luxemburg, Hainault, Flanders, and Brabant.... The sea-coast of the Mediterranean, Languedoc, Provence, and Dauphine, received their provincial appellation from the colony of Narbonne. The government of Aquitaine was extended from the Pyrenees to the Loire. The country between the Loire and the Seine was styled the Celtic Gaul, and soon borrowed a new denomination from the celebrated colony of Lugdunum, or Lyons. The Belgic lay beyond the Seine, and in more ancient times had been bounded only by the Rhine; but a little before the age of Cesar, the Germans, abusing their superiority of valor, had occupied a considerable portion of the Belgic territory. The Roman conquerors very eagerly embraced so flattering a circumstance, and the Gallic frontier of the Rhine, from Basel to Leyden, received the pompous names of the Upper and the Lower Germany. Such, under the reign of the Antonines, were the six provinces of Gaul,—the Narbonnese, Aquitaine, the Celtic, or Lyonnese, the Belgic, and the two Germanies.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.15

    “We have already had occasion to mention the conquest of Britain, and to fix the boundary of the Roman province in this island. It comprehended all England, Wales, and the Lowlands of Scotland as far as the Friths of the Clyde and the Forth.”—Dec. and Hall, chap. 1, par. 23-26.SITI November 12, 1885, page 676.16

    A. T. J.

    (To be continued.)

    “Notes on the International Lesson. 2 Kings 18:1-12. Hezekiah’s Good Reign” The Signs of the Times 11, 43, p. 679.

    NOVEMBER 22. 2 Kings 18:1-12

    “AND he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.” Hezekiah was one of the best kings that ever reigned in Judah, while Ahaz, his father, was one of the worst. There was a conspiracy formed by Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel, against Ahaz king of Judah. They proposed to destroy Ahaz and set up Ashariah the son of Tabael as king of Judah. The Lord sent Isaiah to Ahaz to say, “Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.” Isaiah 7:1-10. Then Ahaz, instead of trusting the Lord, “sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyrian, saying, I am thy servant and thy son; come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. And Ahaz took the silver and old that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him; for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.1

    “AND king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship therefore. And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus; so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar; and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.” “For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him; and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.” 2 Kings 16:7-12; 2 Chronicles 28:23. In the following this worship of the gods of Syria, he shut up the house of the Lord, and in all the cities of Judah “he made high places to burn incense unto other gods.” Then too after he had put himself into the hands of the king of Assyrian, he had to rob the house of the Lord to satisfy his demands. He “cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones. And the covert for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the Lord for the king of Assyria.” “And Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.2

    THUS it was that when Hezekiah came to the throne there was urgent necessity for a reformation. He accordingly immediately set about it. “He, in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them.” Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and had them sanctify themselves, and sanctify and cleanse the house of the Lord. It took eight days to clean out all the rubbish and uncleanness that they found in the temple. Then Hezekiah gathered the rams, lambs, and bullocks for the burnt offering, and all the different orders of musicians to sing in the worship of the Lord. “And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly.” 2 Chronicles 29:36.SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.3

    NEXT, “Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel.” “So the posts passed from city to city, through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless, divers of Asher and Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem, .. even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun.” 2 Chronicles 30. This was the Lord’s last call to the people of the ten tribes. Those who thus humbled themselves and joined with Judah in the worship of God were delivered from the captivity inflicted by Sargon shortly afterward. The Lord knew the iniquities that were multiplying in Israel. He knew that their destruction could not long be delayed. As a nation, they were even now beyond recovery. But in his mercy and pity he sends one more gracious invitation to whosoever would return to his service and his worship. Still he longs for Ephraim to return. Still he pleads with Israel to repent. And then when they have gone with a perpetual backsliding, he cries out, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.” Hosea 11:8. But Ephraim was “like a silly dove.” “Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly,” till even mercy compelled to cast them out of his sight. “So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.4

    WHEN Hezekiah had brought back the people to the worship of God (“so that there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem”); then “all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah, and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned every man to his possession, into their own cities.” 2 Chronicles 31:1. Then it was that Hezekiah broke “in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it a piece of brass.” 2 Kings 18:4 (margin).SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.5

    “AND he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.” His rebellion, however, did not, in the end, amount to much in his favor. Perhaps he would have fared better if he had maintained his rebellion upon its own merits, and trusted in the Lord to help him. But he not only rebelled, but he meddled with that which did not concern him at all, and so vitiated the righteousness of his own rebellion, and brought upon him a reverse, and the oppression of the king of Assyria. In short, the story is as follows: The people of Ekron rebelled against the king of Assyria also. But their king—Padi—“was inspired by friendship and zeal for Assyria” (so says Sennacherib himself), and resisted their rebellion. Then they took Padi, and gave him up, “bound in chains of iron, to Hezekiah of Judah.” They then joined with Egypt against Assyria. Sennacherib defeated the allied forces, and then went to Ekron. What he did there we will let him tell in his own words:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.6

    “I deposed the rulers and dignitaries who had revolted, and killed them; I hung their bodies on crosses on the walls of the city. I sold for slaves all the men of the city who had committed violence and crimes. As for those who had not committed crimes or faults, and had not despised their masters, I pardoned them. I brought Padi, their king, out of Jerusalem and restored him to the throne of his royalty.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.7

    THEN, as Hezekiah, by keeping Padi a prisoner for them, was made partaker in their rebellion, Sennacherib went up to punish him. Of this Sennacherib says:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.8

    “But Hezekiah king of Judah did not submit. There were forty-four walled towns, and an infinite number of villages, that I fought against, humbling their pride and braving their anger. By means of fire, massacre, battles, and siege operations, I took them; I occupied them; I brought out 200,150 persons, great and small, men and women; horses, asses, mules, camels, oxen, and sheep, without number; and carried them off as booty. As for himself, I shut him up in Jerusalem, the city of his power, like a bird in its cage. I invested and blockaded the fortresses round it; those who came out of the great gate of the city, were seized and made prisoners. I separated the cities I had plundered from his country; and gave them to Mitenti king of Ashdod, to Padi king of Ekron, to Ishmabaal king of Gaza. Then the fear of my majesty terrified this Hezekiah of Judah. He sent away the watchmen and guards whom he had assembled for the defense of Jerusalem.”SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.9

    THEN it was that Hezekiah did as the Bible says: “And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me; that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.” 2 Kings 18:14-16. Of this Sennacherib says:—SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.10

    “He sent messengers to me at Nineveh, the seat of my sovereignty, with thirty talents of sold, and eight hundred talents of silver, metals, rubies, pearls, great carbuncles, seats covered with skins, thrones ornamented with leather, amber, seal skins, sandal wood, and ebony, the contents of his treasury.... He sent an ambassador to present this tribute and to make his submission.”—Le Normant’s Ancient History of the East, Book 4, chap. 3, sec. 3, par. 9-11. Rawlinson’s Seven Great Monarchies, Second Mon., chap. 9, par. 166, 167.SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.11

    THAT was a dear piece of business for poor Hezekiah. He had far better have let the Ekronites conduct their own rebellion, and send their king somewhere else. It would have been much better if he had attended to his own business, and let this business of these others alone. By doing as he did, he not only brought upon himself this evil, but he debarred himself from the help of the Lord. He could not ask the Lord to help him. All that he could do, in his distress, was to confess to the king of Assyria, “I have offended; return from me; that which thou puttest on me will I bear.” It is far different from this the next time this same king of Assyria comes into the land, and sends an insulting letter, demanding a further surrender. Then in his innocency he could go and spread the letter before the Lord, and ask him to look upon it and see, and bow down his ear and hear all that Sennacherib had spoken. Then, too, the Lord answered; and the king of Assyria’s army was smitten by the angel, and he returned with shame of face to his own country. Let every one remember that injunction of the Scriptures, “Let none of your suffer .. as a busybody in other men’s matters.” 1 Peter 4:15. Keep yourself clear of such things, and then if distress comes, in innocency you can present your petition to the Lord, and can trust in him to help, and he will hear, and deliver.SITI November 12, 1885, page 679.12

    A. T. J.

    “Healdsburg College Notes” The Signs of the Times 11, 43, pp. 681, 682.

    WE have been at the College a full month, and we count it indeed a privilege. One hundred and twelve students are now in attendance. Forty-three of these dwell at the Students’ Home; to this number may be added the managers of the Home, and several teachers, making in all fifty-six in the Home “family,” which may properly enough be termed “the happy family.” Almost, if not quite, all seem to enter heartily into the endeavor to conform to the rules of the institution, and to accomplish, as far as may be on their own part, the purpose of their presence here. All appear to go about the mechanical, and other forms of physical labor, as cheerfully as they do about the mental. And what is better than all—that which, indeed, is the complement of all else—with the majority of those at the Home there is an honest and hearty strife “to enter in at the strait gate”—an earnest effort to form genuinely Christian characters. Of those students who do not live at the Home, of course I cannot speak from personal association, but from what I can gather there seems to be a good, healthy influence, religious as well as otherwise, pervading the whole school.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.1

    We are sure that our people on the Pacific Coast do not realize as they should the value of Healdsburg College. They do not realize what a blessing God has placed, as it were, at their very doors. He has established this institution, has proved its success, and has shown its efficiency, not only in fitting laborers for the cause, but in the training of youth to be successful men and women in the management of the every-day affairs of life. The management of this institution is composed of those who have spent years in the education and management of children and youth; they take anxious thought for those who are committed to their charge; they are watchful and diligent to see that correct habits and right principles are inculcated and observed; and the advantages, the influence, and the care that are to be enjoyed by those who are sent to the Students’ Home, are not second to those of the best homes in the land. We wish our people would visit the College and the Home; that they would study into its principles, its advantages, and its workings, more—yes, very much more—than they do; for we are sure that if this were done, the good that is already being done by the school would be increased many fold. Brethren, think of these things, and ask yourselves, before God, what you should do toward sending your own children and inducing others to send theirs.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.2

    There are now twenty-eight students in the history class. They are well under way, and appear to be deeply interested, and willing to study hard, to accomplish as much as possible, and do it well, in the term allotted to this branch of Bible work. Fields of new and deep interest in the understanding of illustration of the sublime truths of the Bible, are opened to their minds, and they are trying to show a just appreciation of them in a higher honor, and a deeper love, for the word of God.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.3

    We call it the history class, but we would have no one get the idea that it is in the study of history apart from the Bible. It is the study of the history of those nations and kings which are directly referred to in the Bible, especially in the prophecies. So it is simply the study of the Bible in history—the study of the word of God as spoken of nations and kings, and fulfilled by them. It is the study and development of these things in such a way that those who go out into the field to labor may have not simply a vague idea, or, perhaps, at the best, a mere outline of the nations pointed out in prophecy; but that they may have a good understanding, a positive knowledge, of them; and also that in and by this they may have an acquaintance with the historical sources, the acknowledged authorities, whence are drawn the facts of history which mark the fulfillment of the prophecies of the word of God. It lends a new interest to the word of God, and a greater importance to history, when it is seen that through all history, from Abraham and Chedorlaomer to our own day, there runs the golden thread of God’s providence and word, with which the principle events of history are so inextricably blended that they are seen to be but parts of one another. It strengthens and increases faith in God and in his word, and shows the Bible to be the sublimest production that ever has been, or ever shall be, seen in this world. This gives strength and confidence to those who are called, as ministers of Christ, to use the sword of the Spirit.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.4

    We have said that there are twenty-eight students in the history class; but there should be more than twice that number here receiving the benefits of the school in fitting them for efficient labor in the cause of the Third Angel’s Message. There could be more than twice that number, and there would be too, if the example were followed which has brought two of those who are here. Two young men are here by the direct effort of certain brethren individually. One brother, who works for wages himself, bears entirely the expenses of a young man for the full Bible course of six months; and without such help this young man could not be here at all.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.5

    Another brother supports entirely, for six months, the wife and three children of a man who has labored some in the cause, while this man spends these six months at the College. In this latter instance, this good brother made considerable of a journey on foot, through mud and rain, to see the one now at College, and persuade him to come to the school. He pleaded with him, and urged him to come. He begged to be allowed to furnish the means for the support of his family, so that he might come with the assurance that his family would be well cared for. Finally, when after earnest prayer and consultation together and with the Conference Committee, the man decided to come, this brother went at once and deposited, for the benefit of the family, the whole six months’ supply of money, and this brother has a family of his own to support; nor is he rich.SITI November 12, 1885, page 681.6

    We say that these instances show sincere love for Christ and for the souls for whom he died. These men, denying themselves that men may be fitted in the shortest time to carry the last message of mercy to the perishing, manifest the spirit of Christ, who, though he was rich, yet became poor for our sakes. Why is it that there cannot be scores of such men on the Pacific Coast? Why is it that our College cannot thus be filled with men who are sent forth into the fields already white unto the harvest? Does any one suppose that these brethren will have no part in the reward that shall be given for the labor that is done by these men whom they thus virtually send into the field? Nay, verily, “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17. These brethren are thus sowing seed that shall bear fruit, thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold; and their reward shall be according to the fruit of their doings, saith the Lord.SITI November 12, 1885, page 682.1

    More than this, these brethren are doing double work for the Master. Each, in his own place, is on his own part working for him; and in addition to this, each one sends a man into the field to work for him. Thus there are four men, instead of two, at work for the Master.SITI November 12, 1885, page 682.2

    Again we say, Why can there not be scores of such men as these? You who can do this, and are not doing it, what account will you render to the Master when he comes? Will it be sufficient justification for you to say that you could not preach, while in your hands were means sufficient to have fitted one to go forth who could preach? Oh, that our brethren would all realize how great is the haste that the “King’s business” requires; and how excellent are the facilities with which he has supplied the cause on this coast, in the establishment of this institution!SITI November 12, 1885, page 682.3

    A. T. J.

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