Christ, our Light

Quotations for April, 2025

Tuesday, April 1, 2025
Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872

Unless we look upon ourselves as called to unity, we shall never be united. If God does not will that we should be united, what can our devices for producing it avail? Whereas, if we believe that it is His will, and that we are fighting against His will by our divisions, we have a right confidently to hope that He will at last bring us to repentance, or, if we do not repent, will accomplish His purposes in spite of us.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), Hope for Mankind, Macmillan, 1868, p. 27 (see the book; see also Ps. 133:1; Matt. 23:8; John 17:20-21; Acts 4:32; Rom. 12:16; 15:5-7; Eph. 4:3; Phil. 1:27-28; 2:1-2; Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 3:8; 2 Pet. 1:10-11; more at Belief, Call, Church, Confidence, Purpose, Repentance, Unity, Will of God)

Wednesday, April 2, 2025

Prayer and a holy life are one. They mutually act and react. Neither can survive alone... We are in danger of substituting churchly work and a ceaseless round of showy activities for prayer and holy living. A holy life does not live in the closet, but it cannot live without the closet. If, by any chance, a prayer chamber should be established without a holy life, it would be a chamber without the presence of God in it.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), Purpose in Prayer, New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1920, p. 49 (see the book; see also 2 Kings 4:32-33; Ps. 17:1; Pr. 15:29; Matt. 6:6; 14:23; Acts 10:9; Eph. 3:14-15; Jas. 5:16; 1 Pet. 3:12; 1 John 1:7; more at Holiness, Life, Prayer, Presence of God)

Thursday, April 3, 2025

In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church. And Scripture is the best expounder of Scripture. The best way, therefore, to understand it is carefully to compare Scripture with Scripture, and thereby learn the true meaning of it.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, v. X, New York: J. & J. Harper, 1827, p. 52 (see the book; see also Luke 24:45; Ps. 119:18; Rom. 15:4; 2 Cor. 3:14-18; 4:4-6; Eph. 5:13-14; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Church, Judgment, Meaning, Scripture, Truth)

Friday, April 4, 2025

God having forgiven sin, he will call it no more into remembrance. The Lord will make an act of indemnity, he will not upbraid us with former unkindnesses, nor sue us with a cancelled bond. ‘He will cast our sins into the depth of the sea.’ Sin shall not be cast in as a cork which riseth up again, but as lead which sinks to the bottom. How should we all labour for this covenant-blessing?
... Thomas Watson (c.1620-1686), Discourses on Important and Interesting Subjects, Blackie, Fullarton, 1829, p. 385 (see the book; see also Mic. 7:18-19; Ps. 103:12; Jer. 31:34; Eze. 11:19-20; 36:25-27; Rom. 6:17-18; 8:1-2; more at Blessing, Forgiveness, God, Labor, Remembrance, Sea, Sin)

Saturday, April 5, 2025

Exclusiveness and temperamental dislike are responsible for a great many sins against brotherly love, and must be fought down by every true follower of our Lord. When men are left to themselves, they gravitate into mutually exclusive groups composed of congenial classes or of congenial types. But Christianity steps in and breaks up these little sets, in order to blend them into one varied and splendid whole.
... Charles H. Brent (1862-1929), With God in the World [1899], London: Longmans Green, 1914, p. 71 (see the book; see also Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 7:21-22; 12:13; Eph. 6:5-9; Jas. 2:2-5; Rev. 7:9; more at Body of Christ, Love, Neglect, Neighbor, Sin)

Sunday, April 6, 2025
Commemoration of Albrecht Dürer, artist, 1528, and Michelangelo Buonarrotti, artist, spiritual writer, 1564

Eternal Lord! eased of a cumbrous load,
And loosened from the world, I turn to Thee;
Shun, like a shattered bark, the storm, and flee
To thy protection for a safe abode.
The crowns of thorns, hands pierced upon the tree,
The meek, benign, and lacerated face,
To a sincere repentance promised grace,
To the sad soul give hope of pardon free.
With justice mark not Thou, O Light divine,
My fault, nor hear it with thy sacred ear;
Neither put forth that way thy arm severe;
Wash with thy blood my sins; thereto incline
More readily the more my years require
Help, and forgiveness speedy and entire.
... Michelangelo Buonarrotti (1475-1564), translated by William Wordsworth in The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, William Wordsworth, Philadelphia: Troutman & Hayes, 1851, p. 326 (see the book; see also Ps. 46:1; 51:2-3,10,17; 62:7-8; 91:1-2; Matt. 27:28-29; Eph. 1:7-8; Heb. 6:18; 1 John 2:12; more at Blood, Forgiveness, Grace, Hope, Justice, Meekness, Promise, Repentance, Safety, Sin, World)

Monday, April 7, 2025

The truth is that, to ask God to act at all and to ask Him to perform a miracle, are one and the same thing.
... John Hewitt Jellett (1817-1888), The Efficacy of Prayer, London: Macmillan, 1878, p. 41 (see the book; see also Mark 2:8-11; Matt. 9:4-6; 10:29; Luke 5:22-24; John 7:21-24; 10:24-26,32; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; 12:28; more at Action, God, Miracle, Prayer)

Tuesday, April 8, 2025
Commemoration of William Augustus Muhlenberg of New York, Priest, 1877

There is but one thing needful—to possess God. All our senses, all our powers of mind and soul, all our external resources, are so many ways of approaching the Divinity, so many modes of tasting and of adoring God. We must learn to detach ourselves from all that is capable of being lost, to bind ourselves absolutely only to what is absolute and eternal, and to enjoy the rest as a loan, a usufruct... To adore, to understand, to receive, to feel, to give, to act: there is my law, my duty, my happiness, my heaven.
... Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, tr. Mrs. Humphry Ward, New York: Macmillan, 1885, p. 1 (see the book; see also Ps. 34:8; Eccl. 5:11-16; Isa. 40:6-8; 55:2; Hab. 2:13; Matt. 6:19-21; 16:26; Mark 8:36-37; John 4:13-14; 6:27; 2 Cor. 4:18; Col. 3:2; more at Duty, Everlasting, God, Happiness, Heaven, Mind, Soul)

Wednesday, April 9, 2025
Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945

We pray to God because we believe in him through Jesus Christ; that is to say, our prayer can never be an entreaty to God, for we have no need to come before him in that way. We are privileged to know that he knows our needs before we ask him. This is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty. It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use, what matters is the faith which lays hold on God and touches the heart of the Father who knew us long before we came to him.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 163 (see the book; see also Heb. 4:16; Matt. 6:32; Jer. 1:5; 2 Cor. 3:4; Eph. 3:12; more at Belief, Faith, Father, God, Jesus, Joy, Knowledge, Prayer)

Thursday, April 10, 2025
Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761
Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347
Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955

O plain, and easy, and simple way of salvation, wanting no subtleties of art or science, no borrowed learning, no refinements of reason, but all done by the simple natural motion of every heart, that truly longs after God. For no sooner is the finite desire of the creature in motion towards God, but the infinite desire of God is united with it, co-operates with it. And in this united desire of God, and the creature, is the salvation and life of the soul brought forth.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer [1749], London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 47 (see the book; see also Ps. 42:1-2; 63:1; 84:2; 143:6-7; John 6:37-39; 7:37; Rev. 22:1-2; more at Heart, Life, Longing, Salvation, Soul)

Friday, April 11, 2025
Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878

There are two kinds of people one can call reasonable; those who serve God with all their heart because they know Him, and those who seek Him with all their heart because they do not know Him.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #194, p. 75 (see the book; see also Amos 5:14; Zeph. 2:3; Matt. 5:6; 6:33; 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10; more at Heart, Knowing God, People, Reason, Search, Service)

Saturday, April 12, 2025

Cultivate the habit of falling asleep with the Lord’s Prayer on your lips every evening when you go to bed and again every morning when you get up. And if occasion, place, and time permit, pray before you do anything else.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Luther’s Works, v. 24, Sermons on the Gospel of John 14-16, Jaroslav Pelikan, ed., Concordia Publishing House, 1974, p. 387 (see the book; see also John 16:23-24; Ps. 5:3; 88:13; 119:147; Isa. 26:9; Matt. 6:6,9-12; Mark 1:35; more at Evening, God, Morning, Prayer)

Sunday, April 13, 2025
Palm Sunday

We believe love is a moral absolute because it reflects the nature of God. Genuine religion thus differs from philosophy or ethics, however noble and necessary they are. True religion is not man’s search for the good life, important as that might be; neither is it our effort to find God, inevitable as that may be; true religion is our response to Him who seeks us. It is not an argument for God, but a response to God’s love.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Life We Prize, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951, p. 211 (see the book; see also Luke 7:47; John 3:16; 15:16; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 John 4:10,19; more at Belief, God, Love, Morality, Philosophy, Religion, Search, Truth)

Monday, April 14, 2025

All religion that man himself makes has the opposite direction from that of the gospel. It is an ascent toward the eternal, perfect God. Up, up—that is its call. God is high above, we are down below; and now we shall soar by means of our moral, spiritual, and religious endeavors out of the earthly, human depths into the divine heights... God is too high and the evil in us too deep that man could reach the goal this way. The soul of man is crippled or stiffened and cramped in such an ascent to the highest height. The end is more or less unconfessed or unavowed despair, or a self-righteousness that leaves room neither for love of God nor for genuine love of men. When we men wish to be honest, we have to say, “We cannot reach the goal.” [Continued tomorrow]
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), I Believe in the Living God: sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Westminster Press, 1960, p. 79-80 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:1; John 10:9; 14:4-6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:10-12; 5:1-2; 8:1-2; Eph. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:21; more at Despair, Everlasting, Evil, God, Gospel, Man, Perfection, Religion, Self-righteousness)

Tuesday, April 15, 2025

[Continued from yesterday]
God has in his mercy shown us a completely different way. “Men cannot come up to me, so I will go down to them.” And now God descends to us men... This act of becoming man begins at Christmas and ends on Good Friday...
God really goes to the end. He reaches the goal. To be sure, this end is exactly the opposite of what we fix as a goal. We wish to climb up to heaven; God, however, descends—down to where? To death on the cross...
This is why Jesus Christ had to descend into hell. He had to go the way to its very end. The rightful end of man is hell, that is, banishment away from God—Godforsakenness. There only has God completely come to us, there where he has taken upon himself everything, even the cursed end of our way... Jesus Christ has gone into hell in order to get us out of there. For along with everything he does, that is his goal, that he may get us out, bind us to God, reconcile us with God, and fill us with God’s Spirit. He had to despair of God for us so that we do not have to despair of God... He has taken all that upon himself so that we may become free of it.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), I Believe in the Living God: sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Westminster Press, 1960, p. 80-83 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:2; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 49:14; 53:3-6; 1 Pet. 3:18-20; more at Christmas, Cross, Death, Despair, God, Good Friday, Hell, Holy Spirit, Incarnation, Jesus, Reconciliation, Revelation)

Wednesday, April 16, 2025

Jesus Christ is the Master who can comfort and strengthen a man like that Macedonian, a labourer and working man who has a hard life, because He is the Great Man of Sorrows who knows our ills, who was called a carpenter’s son, though He was the Son of God, who worked for thirty years in a humble carpenter’s shop to fulfil God’s will, and God wills that in imitation of Christ, man should live humbly and go through life, not reaching after lofty aims, but adapting himself to the lowly, learning from the Gospel to be meek and simple of heart.
... Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), in a letter, Dec 26, 1878, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh to His Brother, 1872-1886, Constable & Company, Limited, 1927, p. 192 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:3-4; Acts 16:9; 27:2; more at Authenticity, Christ, Comfort, God, Gospel, Humility, Jesus, Master, Meekness, Simplicity, Work)

Thursday, April 17, 2025
Maundy Thursday

[Jesus said to] His disciples in earth, This, this is the Passover that “I have so longed for,” as it were embracing and even welcoming His death. And which is more, “how am I pinched, or straitened,” till I be at it! as if He were in pain, till He were in pain to deliver us. Which joy if ever He shewed, in this He did, that He went to His Passion with Psalms, and with such triumph and solemnity, as He never admitted all His life before. And that this His lowest estate, one would think it, He calleth His exaltation. And when any would think He was most imperfect, He esteemeth His highest perfection. “Here is love.” If not here, where? But here it is, and that in his highest elevation. That the joys of Heaven set on the one side, and this poor joy of saving us on the other, He quit them to choose this. That those pains and shames set before Him, and with them this joy, He chose them rather than forego this.
... Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Ninety-six Sermons, v. II, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841, p. 176 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:5; Luke 12:50; 13:32; 22:15; Heb. 12:2; 1 John 4:10; more at Choices, Death, Joy, Longing, Love, Pain, Perfection, Salvation, Shame)

Friday, April 18, 2025
Good Friday

I’ve already named what I consider to be the great-grandfather of all stumbling blocks: the fear of losing—of looking like a failure, and above all of being a failure. On examination, however, it turns out to be an odd fear. For one thing, it’s clean contrary to the words of Jesus: “Those who save their life will lose it, and those who lose their lives for my sake will save it.”... If that Friday, as we claim to believe, is the best thing that ever happened to the world—if we have been rescued by the world’s champion Loser—it’s got to be surpassing strange that we’re afraid of the very failures that are our personal sacraments of salvation.
... Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013), The Foolishness of Preaching, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, p. 16 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:6-7,12; Matt. 16:25; 27:39-43; Mark 8:35; 15:29-32; Luke 9:24; 23:35-37; more at Belief, Failure, Fear, Jesus, Life, Sacrament, Salvation)

Saturday, April 19, 2025
Holy Saturday
Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012

The blood of Jesu’s cross
Was never shed in vain;
There is not any loss
Of His most precious pain:
This is the great, the finished plan
To open heaven’s door for man.
Let all bow down and own
The sacrificèd Lamb!
Among all titles known
His is the greatest name:
Praise, laud, and blessing to our Lord,
Let Him be evermore adored!
... William Williams (1717-1791), Sweet Singers of Wales: a story of Welsh hymns and their authors, Howell Elvet Lewis, London: Religious Tract Society, 1889, p. 45 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:8-9; Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 1:29; Eph. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 9:15; 10:19-20; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 5:12-13; more at Blessing, Blood, Cross, Heaven, Lamb, Praise, Sacrifice)

Sunday, April 20, 2025

In the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we see God’s decisive victory not only over death but over all God’s other enemies as well. In that one climactic event, we see the certainty that someday, in the kingdom of God, there will be no more violence, war, jealousy, or death... These forces are still alive and at work in the world, but because of the victory that God won at Easter, their doom is certain. One day death will die.
... Stephen T. Davis, Risen Indeed, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1993, p. 200-201 (see the book; see also Isa. 53:10-11; Hos. 13:14; Rom. 6:9; 1 Cor. 15:53-54; 1 Thess. 4:14; Rev. 21:4; more at Certainty, Death, Doom, Easter, Enemy, God, Jesus, Kingdom, Resurrection, Victory)

Monday, April 21, 2025
Feast of Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1109

Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered—someone who has gone through experiences with the Lord that have brought limitation, and who, instead of trying to break free in order to be ‘used’, has been willing to be imprisoned by Him and has thus learned to find satisfaction in the Lord and nowhere else—then immediately you become aware of something. Immediately your spiritual senses detect a sweet savour of Christ.
... Watchman Nee (1903-1972), The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977, p. 281 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 2:15; Matt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 1:18; Eph. 5:1-2; Phil. 3:8; 4:11-13; 1 Tim. 6:6-9; Heb. 10:34; 13:3; Jas. 1:2-4; more at Christ, God, Satisfaction, Suffer)

Tuesday, April 22, 2025

It is we who are Christians who hold the secret behind the façade [of Christmas], but it was never meant to be a secret; on the contrary, from the beginning it was meant to be ‘good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people’. By thought, by prayer, by every tried and untried means let us do all that we possibly can to make known that astonishing mystery, which is also an historical fact, that God became one of us that we might become like Him.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), God With Us: a Message for Christmas, London: Epworth Press, 1957, p. 13 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 4:1; Luke 2:10; Rom. 16:25-26; 1 Cor. 2:7-8; Eph. 3:2-6,9-10; Col. 1:25-27; 2:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 3:2; more at Christmas, God, Historical, Incarnation, Joy, Tidings)

Wednesday, April 23, 2025
Feast of George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304
Commemoration of Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1988

The clerks of the law have great need [of penance], which have been ever against God the Lord, both in the old law, and in the new, to slay the prophets that spake to them the Word of God. Ye see that they spared not the Son of God... and so forth of the apostles and martyrs that hath spoken truly to the word [of] God to them, and they say it is heresy to speak of the holy Scripture in English, and so they would condemn the Holy Ghost that gave it in tongues to the apostles of Christ to speak the Word of God in all languages that were ordained of God under heaven.
... John Wycliffe (1320?-1384), Wyckett, in Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe, Robert Vaughan, ed., London: Blackburn and Pardon, 1845, p. 275 (see the book; see also Isa. 55:11; Matt. 4:4; 23:27; 27:24; Isa. 40:8; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:4; 1 John 2:27; more at God, Heresy, Holy Spirit, Martyr, Penance, Prophet, Scripture)

Thursday, April 24, 2025
Commemoration of Mellitus, First Bishop of London, 624

Just as character can only be truly rendered in narrative form, so the answer to the question “Who am I?” can only be given if we ask “What is my story?” and that can only be answered if there is an answer to the further question, “What is the whole story of which my story is a part?” To indwell the Bible is to live with an answer to those questions, to know who I am and who is the One to whom I am fully accountable.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1989, p. 100 (see the book; see also Luke 24:33-35; Ps. 22:30-31; 102:18; Mark 16:12-13; John 1:14; 16:13; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 3:16; more at Bible, Destiny, Knowledge, Question)

Friday, April 25, 2025
Feast of Mark the Evangelist

The mark of a saint is not perfection but consecration. A saint is not a man without faults, but a man who has given himself without reserve to God. In the language of the New Testament every baptized Christian—dead and buried and raised in Christ—is a saint. We are dwelling among saints: we are saints. That is the will of God for us. If it is unaccomplished, the failure comes through our faithlessness.
... Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), Social Aspects of Christianity, Macmillan, 1887, p. 156-157 (see the book; see also Philemon 1:4-5; John 17:15-19; Rom. 15:15-16; more at Baptism, Christ, Consecration, Death, Perfection, Saint, Will of God)

Saturday, April 26, 2025

We suffer today from a false distinction between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual. The Christian church has sometimes behaved as though only the spiritual element in man was the subject of God’s concern. The actions of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels give the lie to this, and show that God’s salvation concerns the whole man (Mark 3:4). Indeed the word [salvation] is used most frequently in the Gospels with reference to the healing of disease.
... Michael Green (1930-2019), The Meaning of Salvation, Regent College Publishing, 2000, p. 112 (see the book; see also Matt. 8:25; 14:30,36; Mark 3:4-5; 6:56; 10:52; Luke 8:36; 17:19; more at Church, God, Jesus, Man, Miracle, Salvation)

Sunday, April 27, 2025
Feast of Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

Give me the lowest place: not that I dare
Ask for that lowest place, but Thou hast died
That I might live and share
Thy glory by Thy side.
Give me the lowest place: or if for me
That lowest place too high, make one more low
Where I may sit and see
My God and love Thee so.
... Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), Christina Rossetti: the complete poems, London: Penguin Classics, 2001, p. 181 (see the book; see also Matt. 23:11-12; Ps. 18:27; Pr. 15:33; 25:6-7; 29:23; Isa. 57:15; Luke 14:8-11; 18:10-14; Jas. 1:9-10; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Death, Glory, God, Humility, Life, Love, Sight)

Monday, April 28, 2025
Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

How can you expect to keep your powers of hearing when you never want to listen? That God should have time for you, you seem to take as much for granted as that you cannot have time for Him.
... Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), Markings, tr. Leif Sjöberg & W. H. Auden, (q.v.), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964 (post.), p.12 (see the book; see also Ps. 37:7; 73:23-24; Hab. 2:1; John 1:1-2; Eph. 2:17; Heb. 12:25; more at God, Listening, Time)

Tuesday, April 29, 2025
Feast of Catherine of Siena, Mystic, Teacher, 1380

The Divine Wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them; not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons, v. IV, Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1866, p. 34 (see the book; see also Ps. 5:7; 85:8; Luke 22:43; Rom. 8:34; 2 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 3:16; 2 Thess. 3:3; more at Evil, Gifts, Prayer, Strength)

Wednesday, April 30, 2025
Commemoration of Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922

Enough has... been said to show that the impoverished secularised versions of Christianity which are being urged upon us for our acceptance today rest not upon the rigid application of the methods of scientific scholarship nor upon a serious intuitive appreciation of the Gospels as a whole in their natural context, but upon a radical distaste for the supernatural.
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 282 (see the book; see also Heb. 4:2; Isa. 59:1-2; Matt. 13:58; Mark 6:5-6; 9:23; more at Apologetics, Gospel, Miracle)


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