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2 hours ago, Gustave said:

Let me know once you've read the August 29, 1878 Sabbath Herald. That's where we will start as far as Ellen's belie

That article Personality of God  from 08/29/1878 was written by D.M. Canright, not EGW. 

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1 hour ago, Gustave said:

I look forward to our conversation. Let me know once you've read that Sabbath Herald I've referenced above - we will get to Kellogg for sure and can have an exchange of ideas on what he did and didn't believe. The 1st thing we need to do is establish what the Personality of God doctrine was and what Ellen White said about it's importance as articulated by the SDA Pioneers. I think that's important to do.

Gustave, While I appreciate your interest in SDA history, it's not something that really interests me nowadays. I was aware of issues regarding Living Temple and Kellogg 50 years ago. I didn't much care about it then. It's not something I've been interested in enough to study. I might say the same about the Trinity. I read the Athanasian Creed years ago. It seemed like double talk and nonsense. What the SDA pioneers believed about various topics, including the Trinity, I don't care. Most of them were terrible legalists who didn't understand the gospel. EGW said Smith didn't know what he was talking about in an article he wrote on the law.

If you really care about these things, consult the new SDA Encyclopedia. You might also consider contacting Larry Kirkpatrick at the Great Controversy.org website. Larry is an ordained SDA minister. I recall that he studied SDA history. He can speak as a "true believer" in one vein of Adventism. Me searching around trying to find statements to rebut you isn't something I want to do, neither is it fair to you.

If something comes up that interests me, I'll become involved. The 1878 article you referenced was written by Canright, not EGW.

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GHansen:

The 1878 article you referenced was written by Canright, not EGW.

Ellen White and her Husband James revised / edited that article (and a couple other anti-Trinitarian articles) for Canright - supposedly at their home which Canright was a frequent extended guest.. I think it's fair to say that Ellen tutored Mr. Canright in Bible learning.

Sabbath Herald, August 22, 1878 

"MRS. WRITE had-an appointment to speak in the Colorado Tent at Boulder City, on the evening of the 11th, so in the morning we took Elder
Canright to the place with us, where we parted with him the morning of the 12th, he to take the cars for Battle Creek, to be with his wife, who is reported to be rapidly failing. We parted with this dear brother with feelings of deep: regret that he leaves us before our return, and. yet we could not hold him a day from his faithful wife, who deserves his sympathy and care in her last hours. On our journey to this State, and for the first few weeks after our, arrival, we, needed his assistance, and he has acted the part of a true Christian brother. We have had many precious seasons of prayer together at the family altar, and when bowed together in the evergreen groves of the mountains. Here we have, after prayer and careful deliberation, decided very important matters pertaining to the cause. And here, too, we have assisted him in the revision of his very valuable work entitled, " The Bible from Heaven," and his articles on
the Personality of God, the Divinity of Christ, the Father,- Son and Holy Spirit, to be published in pamphs let form ; while he has assisted us on some important works. We have now :been together six weeks, and every day from the, first our union has grown stronger and more dear. May the blessing of God go -with him. We hope to meet him at the General Conference, both of us in the enjoyment of health and the blessing of God."

Fair enough GHansen, I most likely will be sitting on the sidelines the next time you are talking about Martin Luther as I simply don't have enough knowledge on that subject to meaningfully participate without long delays. 

 

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3 hours ago, Gustave said:

Ellen White and her Husband James revised / edited that article (and a couple other anti-Trinitarian articles) for Canright - supposedly at their home which Canright was a frequent extended guest.. I think it's fair to say that Ellen tutored Mr. Canright in Bible learning.

Gustave, Where do you get this material? Are you doing original research or simply copying information from an anti-EGW/SDA website?

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35 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Gustave, Where do you get this material? Are you doing original research or simply copying information from an anti-EGW/SDA website?

I've done all of it on my own....

To my knowledge what I've found isn't on any anti EGW or SDA website. I have copied a large amount of material from the archives and when I was doing research on the Trinity issue I would read the publications prior to and after the issue I found the hot sauce in. 

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To Chaplain / Pastor Matthews credit I no longer make the claim that SDA's are anti-Trinitarian. I now believe that there are indeed some SDA's who hold and promulgate the historic doctrine of the Trinity. I am fairly certain that while Ellen White started out as a Trinitarian she became a militant anti-Trinitarian and remained so until her death. Most of the research I've done is related to the Trinity issue. For some reason that's always been of interest to me. 

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On 7/11/2022 at 8:38 AM, Gustave said:

As I've already demonstrated here in the forum Ellen White believed that God (the Father only) had a body of FLESH, complete with all the organs, members and parts of a perfect man. This "pillar doctrine" was called "THE PERSONALITY OF GOD". Thus, when SDA's at the time of Ellen White stated that man was created in the image of God they didn't believe like the Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, etc. The SDA's believed that man actually looked like God, who was a tangible flesh, bone and blood hominid.

Gustave, I commend you for the research you have done on the trinity in early Adventism. There is no doubt that the Canright article was definitely anti trinity, published in a journal co-edited by James White. There is a series on the Personality of God by Canright in the August/September, 1878 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. Those articles further confirm the anti-trinitarian stance you described.

I don't see EGW directly involved in these articles. James White said she was involved. Exactly what her roll was isn't clear. Do you have any material, signed by her, that are plainly  anti-trinitarian, like the Canright articles?

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GHansen:

Gustave, I commend you for the research you have done on the trinity in early Adventism. There is no doubt that the Canright article was definitely anti trinity, published in a journal co-edited by James White. There is a series on the Personality of God by Canright in the August/September, 1878 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. Those articles further confirm the anti-trinitarian stance you described.

Thanks GHansen, I learned long ago that I had to base my beliefs off of what I knew and not someone else - a person can't defend someone else's truth but they can their own. Yes, I've got copies of all Canright's articles pertaining to the Trinity and Personality of God dating back to I think 1867. 

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GHansen:

I don't see EGW directly involved in these articles. James White said she was involved. Exactly what her roll was isn't clear. Do you have any material, signed by her, that are plainly  anti-trinitarian, like the Canright articles?

My experience in looking into these things indicated to me that Ellen would make statements, have visions that directly supported the anti-Trinitarian stance made by James White, D.M. Canright and others. At least that was the unequivocal understanding of the Adventists while Ellen White was alive.

James White
"We invite all to compare THE TESTIMONIES of the Holy Spirit THROUGH Mrs. White with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The TRINITARIAN may compare them with his creed, and because THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH IT, CONDEMN them [ the testimonies of Mrs. White ].Sabbath Herald June 13, 1871

 

Ellen White:
There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'" (Lift Him Up, page 235, paragraph 3.)

 

Ellen White, in detail, explained how Christ was "one" with the Father - she said it was in the same way that Christ was "one" with His Disciples - all can agree that the Disciples of Jesus were not God. 

 

Ellen White
The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one. {8T 269.4}

 

I have collected a mass of statements from Ellen White that are incompatible with the Trinity that directly support the kinds of things affirmed in the many anti-Trinitarian articles. I'll admit the one that set me off the most were those statements about how it was possible that Christ could have sinned while executing His "mission" on earth and had that happened God would have smitten Christ, eternally. This teaching (about Christ's possibility of sinning and ceasing to exist eternally) was said to be "VITAL" to one's salvation. I'll admit it - it was that line of teaching that caused me to roll up my sleeves and do the work that I did. 

 

Signs of the Time April 2, 1940
It is VITAL for every Christian to know that Jesus Christ MIGHT have sinned. The Master was not beyond the clutches of temptation. The Heaven-sent Gift could have been eternally lost and the doom of humanity would have been eternally sealed. Jesus Christ knew the pull of evil. "In that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted."

When I combine almost the almost endless type of statements above to theological affirmations that Christ was "PART OF THE GODHEAD" and that "part of the Godhead could have been eternally lost", "Heaven itself was risked", etc. by Christ and God rolling the dice on the outcome of the big plan I'm thinking its both very reasonable and very logical to conclude what I have concluded. 

As far as God not consisting of any 'parts" I can offer the following short video that explains my position. I can share that the many anti-Trinitarian articles in SDA Publications during the time when Ellen White was alive attacked the exact position of the following short video. 

 

 

Add to this the SDA teaching that Christ's "Personality" (Body) had a beginning while Father God's Personality had no beginning, I hope folks can understand I'm not just grinding an axe to be difficult. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gustave said:

Add to this the SDA teaching that Christ's "Personality" (Body) had a beginning while Father God's Personality had no beginning, I hope folks can understand I'm not just grinding an axe to be difficult. 

 

Gustave, The statements you have supplied from EGW are not comparable with what Canright wrote. Christ clothed with humanity was not God Almighty in the sense that he was prior to the incarnation. That's part of the beauty/mystery of what He did. He voluntarily limited Himself. That he might have sinned is another element of His life that I have no problem with. What James White said is merely that.

You may not have an ax to grind but reading  what she said in the worst possible light doesn't help your cause. Canright's remarks require no interpretation. White's do. Without some explicit EGW statements, along the lines of Canright, your case remains weak, except among those who do have an ax to grind.

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GHansen:

Gustave, The statements you have supplied from EGW are not comparable with what Canright wrote. Christ clothed with humanity was not God Almighty in the sense that he was prior to the incarnation

They actually are very much comparable. The SDA's when Ellen lived didn't believe that Christ, prior to (or after) the Incarnation, was God Almighty - According to them Father God's Personality HAD NO BEGINNING while Michael Christ's Personality definitely had a beginning. Christ's Divinity was 'on loan' and Christ was free to keep it provided He didn't screw up. 

"But while as the Son he does not possess a co-eternity of past existence with the Father, the beginning of his existence, as the begotten of the Father, antedates the entire work of creation, in relation to which he stands as joint creator with God. John 1:3; Heb. 1:2. Could not the Father ordain that to such a being worship should be rendered equally with himself, without its being idolatry on the part of the worshiper? He has raised him to positions which make it proper that he should be worshiped, and has even commanded that worship should be rendered him, which would not have been necessary had he been equal with the Father in eternity of existence. Christ himself declares that "as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." Daniel & The Revelation page 353

No student of Ellen White's writings can overlook Ellen's endorsement of the book the above quote came out of - the statement is simply saying that God "begat Christ" at some point prior to the creation event AND that Christ did not possess a co-eternity of existence with Father God but was exuded out of Father God. Ellen would generally describe this difference in state by saying:

"However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our 'everlasting Father.' And He says, 'I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.' John 10:14, 15, R. V. What a statement is this!--the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be 'the Man that is My fellow' (Zech. 13:7),--the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!" (The Desire of Ages, page 480 paragraph 5 and page 483 paragraph 2.)

&

Adventist Signs of the Times, March 21, 1878

Bible question to the editor

Q. But does it not say that the Word was God?


A. Yes, and it says that he was with God. Being the Son of God of course he is properly called God. This is his name, but he was NOT THE VERY and ETERNAL God Himself for it says that he was with God

Below is Ellen's endorsement of "Daniel & The Revelation"

"The grand instruction contained in Daniel and Revelation has been eagerly perused by MANY is Australia. THIS BOOK HAS BEEN THE MEANS OF BRINGING MANY PRECIOUS SOULS TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE SHOULD BE DONE TO CIRCULATE THOUGHTS AND DANIEL AND THE REVELATION. I KNOW OF NO OTHER BOOK THAT CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF THIS ONE. IT IS GOD'S HELPING HAND." Ellen White / Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) — Ellen G. White Writings (egwwritings.org)

The anti-Trinitarian Pioneers of the SDA Church had zero problem calling Christ "God" provided it was, how did you say it, ["in the sense that"] you didn't confound the eternal God with what the eternal God begot at a later time. 

Remember what James White said about "THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY" condemning the Trinity. 
 

ames White
"We invite all to compare THE TESTIMONIES of the Holy Spirit THROUGH Mrs. White with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The TRINITARIAN may compare them with his creed, and because THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH IT, CONDEMN them [ the testimonies of Mrs. White ].Sabbath Herald June 13, 1871

He said this because in fact the testimonies DID condemn the Trinity - & he wasn't the only one. 

Dr. Kellogg, while still on the good side of Ellen White said the following in the Sabbath Herald while representing the SDA Church in an open debate against the member of another Church outside Adventism. 

"Our reviewer then goes on at some length to show that according to our view the death of Christ was but a human sacrifice, and finally concludes, "Hence the Doctor's theory claims that the essence of God, the Supreme Being, who created and upholds all things from the beginning, was made into corruptible flesh, was killed by men," etc. The above statement is entirely correct, with a slight addition; the insertion of the words, " does not " just before the word " claim " will make the statement correct. As it stands, it is as wide a departure from the truth as it can be. The only grounds upon which our reviewer could be justified in making such a statement would be the supposition on his part that we believe in the doctrine of the trinity ; but he very well knows, from positions taken and arguments used in previous articles, that we do not agree with him on this subject any better than on that of the nature of the soul. We believe in but one Deity, God, who is a unity, not a compound 'being. We think the Bible as well as common sense sustains this view. Says Eld. W., "'His trinitarianism ' seems to shackle him much." We repel the charge of " trinitarianism " without the slightest hesitation. We do not believe in a triune God, as before remarked." J.H. Kellogg / Sabbath Herald November 25, 1880

For Pete's sake, the General Conference voted to mass produce Daniel and the Revelation did they not? 

Ellen White, to my knowledge never contradicted ANY of these kinds of statements yet you suggest that I ignore repeated affirmations that the SDA Church was not Trinitarian because in your view Ellen never said anything compatible or comparable? This is so far outside the limits of credibility its foolish. How about you provide me a statement from Ellen White where she says something directly against those individuals SDA historians admit were non-Trinitarian and I'll work from that angle. 

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On 7/17/2022 at 12:51 PM, Gustave said:

To Chaplain / Pastor Matthews credit I no longer make the claim that SDA's are anti-Trinitarian. I now believe that there are indeed some SDA's who hold and promulgate the historic doctrine of the Trinity. I am fairly certain that while Ellen White started out as a Trinitarian she became a militant anti-Trinitarian and remained so until her death. Most of the research I've done is related to the Trinity issue. For some reason that's always been of interest to me. 

Historically, shortly before his death James White wrote a letter that said "I'm starting to find the arguments for the trinity to be more convincing than the arguments against it."

When Mrs. White was in Australia, she asked A. G. Daniels to do a study on who Jesus was, and she asked W. W. Prescott to do a similar study on the Holy Spirit. Daniels study concluded that Jesus was indeed God, and Prescott concluded that the Holy Spirit was indeed God. As they got together they realized that between the two studies that they concluded that they reached the doctrine of the trinity. 

The trinity became the center of Mrs. White's Great Controversy philosophy. You have the 3 aspects of the trinity. Lucifer/Satan forms 3 deceptions, one against each member of the trinity. These three deceptions are answered in the 3 Angel's messages which confirms the trinity

In the first decade or so of the 20th century, Andresen heard rumors that Mrs. White became a trinitarian, others were saying that she didn't but it looks like she did because when she was in Australia Willie let someone into where his mother's writings were and slid in trinitarian statements. He wrote to Mrs. White and asked about this. They had a short talk where she assured him that yes, she was a trinitarian and let him sit with the statements that were supposedly slid into her writings, in her own handwriting.  I wish that he spent more time discussing Mrs. White's trinitarian views. He left that visit a trinitarian, but had a hierarchy between them mixing the trinity with the basic anti-trinitarian theology, that I do not find in her works. 

When I was at Andrews, I came across a fair number of flyers handed out the first decade of the 20th century accusing Mrs. White of becoming a heretic. One of the issues they used for this accusation was that she had become a trinitarian.  

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13 minutes ago, Kevin H said:

Historically, shortly before his death James White wrote a letter that said "I'm starting to find the arguments for the trinity to be more convincing than the arguments against it."

When Mrs. White was in Australia, she asked A. G. Daniels to do a study on who Jesus was, and she asked W. W. Prescott to do a similar study on the Holy Spirit. Daniels study concluded that Jesus was indeed God, and Prescott concluded that the Holy Spirit was indeed God. As they got together they realized that between the two studies that they concluded that they reached the doctrine of the trinity. 

The trinity became the center of Mrs. White's Great Controversy philosophy. You have the 3 aspects of the trinity. Lucifer/Satan forms 3 deceptions, one against each member of the trinity. These three deceptions are answered in the 3 Angel's messages which confirms the trinity

In the first decade or so of the 20th century, Andresen heard rumors that Mrs. White became a trinitarian, others were saying that she didn't but it looks like she did because when she was in Australia Willie let someone into where his mother's writings were and slid in trinitarian statements. He wrote to Mrs. White and asked about this. They had a short talk where she assured him that yes, she was a trinitarian and let him sit with the statements that were supposedly slid into her writings, in her own handwriting.  I wish that he spent more time discussing Mrs. White's trinitarian views. He left that visit a trinitarian, but had a hierarchy between them mixing the trinity with the basic anti-trinitarian theology, that I do not find in her works. 

When I was at Andrews, I came across a fair number of flyers handed out the first decade of the 20th century accusing Mrs. White of becoming a heretic. One of the issues they used for this accusation was that she had become a trinitarian.  

 

I appreciate your posting of these things - it's difficult for me to accept them as evidence Ellen White became a Trinitarian given the way she tripled down on how God would have smitten Christ had He sinned. I know from reading SDA publications while Ellen White was alive that literally every Trinitarian statement she is alleged to have made were previously made by her markedly anti-Trinitarian contemporaries. There was simply too much printed in the paper by the Pioneers and by Ellen White herself to claim that she led the SDA into the truth about the Trinity. It's just not there from what I can see. 

Do you know of any statements she made where she rebutted her numerous peccability statements or said Jesus was not "part" of the Godhead? I'd like to see them if they exist. 

 

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6 hours ago, Gustave said:

Ellen White, to my knowledge never contradicted ANY of these kinds of statements yet you suggest that I ignore repeated affirmations that the SDA Church was not Trinitarian because in your view Ellen never said anything compatible or comparable?

Gustave, I'm still not seeing any statements against the trinity from EGW. She endorsed a lot of things, e.g., the Augsburg Confession, Luther's justification theology, the teachings of Jones and Waggoner. She didn't believe  everything any of them taught, not at all. For you to reason that because EGW endorsed Smith's work on D and R, she endorsed his anti trinity statements demonstrates a very narrow view of her work on your part. She vilified his understanding of the place of the law in salvation, said he didn't know what he was talking about.

She said different things about different people at different times under different circumstances. EGW played at politics at certain times in the interests of preserving the unity of the church. She was aware of a leading minister's adulterous affair but recommended he not be driven out of the ministry because it would have been morale busting for the church at large. For her to make a raid on Smith, her husband, other leading ministers over the trinity, simply might have been too devastating to the denomination as a whole

I've asked for a very simple thing, i.e.., a statement/s that EGW herself wrote against the trinity. I haven't seen one yet. You are the anti-trinity scholar. If such statements exist, you must have seen them. If they don't, you really need to stop your anti-EGW campaign. What I'm hearing certainly sounds like ax grinding. 

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GHansen:

Gustave, I'm still not seeing any statements against the trinity from EGW. 

She endorsed a lot of things, e.g., the Augsburg Confession, Luther's justification theology, the teachings of Jones and Waggoner. She didn't believe  everything any of them taught, not at all. For you to reason that because EGW endorsed Smith's work on D and R, she endorsed his anti trinity statements demonstrates a very narrow view of her work on your part. She vilified his understanding of the place of the law in salvation, said he didn't know what he was talking about.

She said different things about different people at different times under different circumstances. EGW played at politics at certain times in the interests of preserving the unity of the church. She was aware of a leading minister's adulterous affair but recommended he not be driven out of the ministry because it would have been morale busting for the church at large. For her to make a raid on Smith, her husband, other leading ministers over the trinity, simply might have been too devastating to the denomination as a whole

I've asked for a very simple thing, i.e.., a statement/s that EGW herself wrote against the trinity. I haven't seen one yet. You are the anti-trinity scholar. If such statements exist, you must have seen them. If they don't, you really need to stop your anti-EGW campaign. What I'm hearing certainly sounds like ax grinding. 

The Adventist people's existence as a Church was founded by The Personality of God Doctrine (Sabbath Herald, October 8, 1903). It was also claimed that The Personality of God Doctrine protected the Church against the Doctrine of the Trinity & that if allowed / accepted that the Trinity would "Destroy the Personality of God". 
 

Ellen White, Sabbath Herald, August 31, 1905: I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word 'are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality, which denies the personality of God and of Christ.

Sabbath Herald, March 8, 1906 
He who denies the personality of God and of his Son Jesus Christ, is denying God and Christ. "If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." If you continue to believe and obey the truths you first embraced regarding the personality of the Father and the Son, you will be joined together with him in love.

"Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor". {MR760 9.5}

 

Ellen White explicitly stated that the Personality of God was both a Landmark and Pillar of the Adventist Faith and given that the Personality of God Doctrine is explicitly defined to be anti-Trinitarian by the people who defined the Doctrine - ANY TIME ELLEN wrote a statement pertaining to the Personality of God it's a "statement against the Trinity". Don't you find it odd that Ellen identified the P.O.G. as a Pillar and Landmark of the SDA Faith and yet today you see no mention in your Sunday School of Father God having nostrils to smell the sacrifice and other anthropomorphic affirmations? 

I've accepted that SDA's today have generally gave up on the Personality of God (WHICH IS GOOD!), I've accepted that some believe and promote the historic Doctrine of the Trinity (WHICH IS GOOD). All I'm saying is that Ellen White WASN'T a Trinitarian when she was acting as the Spirit of Prophecy for the SDA Church. You had said earlier that Ellen's role in Canright's very anti-Trinitarian article Personality of God "wasn't clear" - it was extremely clear, Ellen White had the same "role" James White had, she helped REVISE / EDIT that article. This isn't axe grinding it's simply stating the obvious. 

I'm overloaded with work so I'll have to come back to this later - have more to share but don't have time right now. Peace and well wishes.

 

 

 

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he passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, [also] the first and sec­ond angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, "The com­mandments of God and the faith of Jesus." One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old land­mark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. All this cry about changing the old landmarks is all imaginary.

Notice that the anti-trinity views are not listed. While most of our pioneers were anti-trinitarian, they did not make it a test of fellowship. General Conference president Spicer (came into office in 1922) his parents came into the church as trinitarians. 

Now, if Mrs. White did not accept the trinity, why did she tell Andresen that she did? Why did our more conservative members hand out flyers accusing her of apostacy, and one of the reasons they mentioned it was that she became a trinitarian? Why did she copy to describe the nature of Jesus quotes from someone who did the best descriptions of the traditional understanding of the trinity? Why did the trinity become the heart of her Great Controversy philosophy?

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3 hours ago, Kevin H said:

I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks.

Kevin, Gustave found a statement where EGW included the personality of God among the old landmarks:

"Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Release No.760, p. 9} 1905 [MS 62 1905]

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2 hours ago, Kevin H said:

Notice that the anti-trinity views are not listed. While most of our pioneers were anti-trinitarian, they did not make it a test of fellowship. General Conference president Spicer (came into office in 1922) his parents came into the church as trinitarians. 

Now, if Mrs. White did not accept the trinity, why did she tell Andresen that she did? Why did our more conservative members hand out flyers accusing her of apostacy, and one of the reasons they mentioned it was that she became a trinitarian? Why did she copy to describe the nature of Jesus quotes from someone who did the best descriptions of the traditional understanding of the trinity? Why did the trinity become the heart of her Great Controversy philosophy?

That was an interesting quote you provided, it reminded me of another quote that started out in a similar way.

"After the passing of time in 1844 we searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the word. Again and again these bretheren came together to study the Bible in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "we can do nothing more", the spirit of the Lord would come upon ME, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given ME.....A line of truth extending from THAT TIME to the time when we shall enter the city of God was made plain to me, and I gave it to others the instruction the Lord had given me". SM 206.4

Not long after this I believe Ellen claimed to have a vision where she asked Jesus if The Father had a Personality and she claimed Jesus told her that the Father DID. This was precisely what the early SDA's had been lambasting the Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and other Trinitarian Churches over (the other Churches affirmed that God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) was Spirit, didn't have a body, didn't consist of parts, ONE BEING. The early Adventists maintained that the Father, Michael and Lucifer the archangels were flesh and bone hominids. The early SDA figured that if heaven was a place than Father God had to be a PERSON with all the members and parts of a perfect man. Michael the archangel was basically a carbon copy of Father God as was Lucifer the archangel - only difference being between them was that Michael the archangel's "Personality" was made out of the same stuff Father God's Personality was - Michael was exuded from Father God while Lucifer was a creation (albeit a very powerful one). 

As I said and showed earlier the Personality of God Doctrine was incredibly defined it was a Landmark and Pillar. 

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Kevin H:

Notice that the anti-trinity views are not listed. While most of our pioneers were anti-trinitarian, they did not make it a test of fellowship. General Conference president Spicer (came into office in 1922) his parents came into the church as trinitarians.

Who is that quote attributed to? 

Quote

Keviin H:

Now, if Mrs. White did not accept the trinity, why did she tell Andresen that she did? Why did our more conservative members hand out flyers accusing her of apostacy, and one of the reasons they mentioned it was that she became a trinitarian? Why did she copy to describe the nature of Jesus quotes from someone who did the best descriptions of the traditional understanding of the trinity? Why did the trinity become the heart of her Great Controversy philosophy?

Where did she do this? Tell Andresen that she accepted the Trinity? Affirming the peccability of Christ is absolutely an Arian position and Ellen repeatedly did this with great vigor, in violent contrast to Scripture. Did Ellen ever recant on her peccability position in the same manner that she endorsed it? I'd also be very interested in seeing where she recanted any of her Personality of God Doctrine stuff in the same manner that she publicly supported it. 

I'm not opposed to changing my mind, a year ago I believed SDA's were not Trinitarians and I now believe that some actually are. I'd be willing to look at anything you have that has Ellen repudiating her long standing anti-Trinitarian positions. 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Kevin, Gustave found a statement where EGW included the personality of God among the old landmarks:

"Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Release No.760, p. 9} 1905 [MS 62 1905]

Thanks GHansen, I didn't catch that - I thought he was saying someone in authority inside the SDA Church had claimed that Ellen disputed some of the original landmarks and pillars. I need some sleep!

I think there are at least 2 or 3 other quotes where she mentions the Personality of God as a Landmark and Pillar. 

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Gustave, this wasn't a topic that interested me in previous times; however, I have become interested. I've also figured out how to use the filters at the EGW writings website. Those are very helpful in eliminating duplicate statements. Instead of ~200 or more statements, there are only ~50  on the "personality of God." I've not found any statements I would consider anti-trinity. Definitely many which place the personality of God issue in the context of Kellogg's pantheism. The word "personality" would better be understood as "personhood." She refers to Christ and the Father as distinct personalities. It appears that she means distinct persons. I didn't notice the mention of the Holy Spirit in any statement referring to the personalities/personhood of God and Christ.

I did notice the following: 

 "This Scripture is applicable to all who regard God as He is represented in Living Temple. Those who continue to accept the sophistry in this book will be led on and on in delusion, just as were many to whom I was commissioned to bear a testimony after the passing of the time in 1844." 18 ltrms, ms 137 par. 23, 1903

"Just such theories as you have presented in Living Temple were presented then. These subtle, deceiving sophistries have again and again sought to find place amongst us. But I have ever had the same testimony to bear which I now bear regarding the personality of God." 18 ltrms ltr 253,1903

Apparently this was an issue around 1844, which was news to me.

So you have quoted from James White, U. Smith, Dudley Canright [my uncle by marriage 4 generations back] and Stephen Haskell but not EGW. These are mere men, with no authority. You have yet to reveal a clear statement from EGW contra the trinity. Haskell was 10 years old in 1844. His article from October of 1903 carries no special authority, just his opinion.

The issue of the trinity is, more or less meaningless, to some people. SDA are not Roman Catholics. The denomination is much closer to JWs in many respects than it is to RC. I don't understand the nature of the Godhead. Nobody does, this side of heaven. EGW herself was careful about her remarks on the subject. She definitely took issue with Kellogg around 1900 and apparently others in earlier days. That issue was clearly related to pantheism. If EGW was an Arian along with other pioneers, no matter to me. What I know is that, whatever the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it is such that I can live forever because Jesus died on the cross for my sins 

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GHansen:

Gustave, this wasn't a topic that interested me in previous times; however, I have become interested. I've also figured out how to use the filters at the EGW writings website. Those are very helpful in eliminating duplicate statements. Instead of ~200 or more statements, there are only ~50  on the "personality of God." I've not found any statements I would consider anti-trinity. Definitely many which place the personality of God issue in the context of Kellogg's pantheism. The word "personality" would better be understood as "personhood." She refers to Christ and the Father as distinct personalities. It appears that she means distinct persons. I didn't notice the mention of the Holy Spirit in any statement referring to the personalities/personhood of God and Christ.

That's awesome you've become interested, also search for "God is a Person", you'll start to see a pattern in how things worked with concepts or ideas being brought forward by others than Ellen having a vision confirming those things the Pioneers were affirming. All of Ellen's statements were / are compatible with anti-Trinitarianism while they are not compatible with the Doctrine of the Trinity. 

To the SDA Pioneers Personality equated to BODY with members, parts, organs, etc. a literal person. God was a distinct "PERSON" with a body, Pre-Incarnate Michael the archangel was a literal distinct person with a body, Lucifer the archangel was a distinct person with a body - all these person's had "flesh". 

The Holy Spirit was understood to be (for lack of a better term) sort of like flatulence from Father God - i.e. "IT" lacked a personality AKA body. This is what I believe really set Ellen White off against Kellogg, after Kellogg conceded, he had become to believe in the Trinity, and affirmed "God The Holy Spirit" - when Kellogg did that, according to the Personality of God Doctrine, he (Kellogg) had destroyed the Personality (distinct hominid body) of Father God. In Adventist thought each Personality was a "BEING", a literal Person so the idea of God being a single BEING that was Triune was offensive, the wine of Babylon - there was ONLY one Personality (Being with a body) that was God, Father God, AKA The Eternal God. Michael Christ was considered to be eternal in the sense that His pre-Incarnation Personality (hominid flesh body) was of the same substance of Father God. Michael Christ pre-Incarnate looked identical to God.

"He that bath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father 1" " He that bath seen me bath seen the Father." How ? because Jesus was himself the Father? No; but as he looked just like the Father ; whoever saw the one knew just how the other looked. Here are two twin brothers who look just alike as near as may be. Being separate, a person says to one of them, "I would like to see your brother." He replies, "If you have seen me, you have seen my brother also, because we look just alike." So with Jesus and his Father." Sabbath Herald, June 18, 1867.

As you know Ellen White had a vision where she was shown that Lucifer had actual "flesh" and was made (created) to be as close to God as possible. You can see how all this could create a serious problem - Michael the archangel looked like Father God and Lucifer the archangel looked like Father God. If this wasn't a spider fight waiting to happen what would be? 

 

Quote

GHansen:

 "This Scripture is applicable to all who regard God as He is represented in Living Temple. Those who continue to accept the sophistry in this book will be led on and on in delusion, just as were many to whom I was commissioned to bear a testimony after the passing of the time in 1844." 18 ltrms, ms 137 par. 23, 1903

"Just such theories as you have presented in Living Temple were presented then. These subtle, deceiving sophistries have again and again sought to find place amongst us. But I have ever had the same testimony to bear which I now bear regarding the personality of God." 18 ltrms ltr 253,1903

Apparently this was an issue around 1844, which was news to me.

Yes, this is the Adventist issue of God being a UNITY of BEINGS and NOT a compound or triune BEING (singular). Notice this is exactly what Kellogg said the Seventh-day Adventist issue had always been with the Trinity all along and that SDA's believed in a unity of separate Beings and NOT in a compound or triune Being. Kellogg said this when he was still a member in good standing of the SDA Church and friend of Ellen - later, after Kellogg was called on the carpet to revise his book he stated he had become a Trinitarian and it was "God the Holy Spirit that was everywhere". Ellen told Kellogg that he had destroyed the personality (flesh hominid body) of Father God - Kellogg did. 

Quote

GHansen:

So you have quoted from James White, U. Smith, Dudley Canright [my uncle by marriage 4 generations back] and Stephen Haskell but not EGW. These are mere men, with no authority. You have yet to reveal a clear statement from EGW contra the trinity. Haskell was 10 years old in 1844. His article from October of 1903 carries no special authority, just his opinion.

 

VERY INTERESTING about your relation to D. Canright!

Ellen charism didn't work like that - she didn't create any Doctrines in the SDA Church - she simply had visions which supported the Doctrines other people thought up - Ellen basically validated or confirmed the Doctrines other people brought in. 

Ellen White
At that time one error after another pressed in upon us; ministers and doctors brought in new doctrines. We would search the Scriptures with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit would bring the truth to our minds. Sometimes whole nights would be devoted to searching the Scriptures and earnestly asking God for guidance. Companies of devoted men and women assembled for this purpose. The power of God would come upon MEand I was enabled clearly to define what is truth and what is error. As the points of our faith were thus established, our feet were placed upon a solid foundationWe accepted the truth point by point, under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. I would be taken off in vision, and explanations would be given me. I was given illustrations of heavenly things, and of the sanctuary, so that we were placed where light was shining on us in clear, distinct rays.--Gospel Works, p. 302. {3SM 32.1}"

It's quite simple - someone brings in a Sabbath Doctrine and Ellen White has a vision that confirms the Sabbath is the most important thing. Another example would be The Personality of God where Ellen is shown that Father God has a body, that Lucifer has "flesh", etc. 

Quote

GHansen:

he issue of the trinity is, more or less meaningless, to some people. SDA are not Roman Catholics. The denomination is much closer to JWs in many respects than it is to RC. I don't understand the nature of the Godhead. Nobody does, this side of heaven. EGW herself was careful about her remarks on the subject. She definitely took issue with Kellogg around 1900 and apparently others in earlier days. That issue was clearly related to pantheism. If EGW was an Arian along with other pioneers, no matter to me. What I know is that, whatever the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it is such that I can live forever because Jesus died on the cross for my sins 

SDA's publicly rebuked literally every Protestant Christian Church for their belief in the Holy Trinity - Roman Catholics are taught that the Trinity is a mystery and every heresy involving the Trinity is due to someone trying to "REMOVE OR EXPLAIN AWAYTHE MYSTERY" - The Pioneers absolutely did this and Ellen's visions absolutely supported the Pioneers beliefs in that area. JW are Adventists just like Christadelphians are Adventists - they're just not "Seventh-Day" Adventists. Amen to the last sentence in your post - I can stand united with you in what you said there. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gustave said:

SDA's publicly rebuked literally every Protestant Christian Church for their belief in the Holy Trinity

Obviously, some influential SDAs did not believe in the trinity. So what? SDAs have been anti-Catholic for a long time. They had no reason for embracing a doctrine not plainly articulated in Scripture that was established by the RC church. SDA don't believe in the intercession of the saints, the ascension of Mary, purgatory, the mass, or the pope.   None that I know of are ashamed of rejecting many, if not most RC beliefs 

I thought the Athanasian Creed was nonsense when I read it so I'm not surprised that early SDA rejected it.  I'd be interested to see any vision in which EGW "saw" things contra the "trinity."  While you have done some good work in bringing the Canright articles into view, Erwin Gane was well aware of them in 1963. No doubt many, if not most SDA academics, seminary graduates, and interested people  were/are.

What I'm interested in is support for the unsubstantiated claims you have made. EGW affirmed the distinct personhood of the Father and Son. That doesn't prove she was anti-trinity. EGW wrote about 50 statements on the "personality of God" which she understood to mean the individuality of the Father and Son. Many of those statements were made in the context of her opposition to pantheism.

I've yet to see any plain statement that reveals White's rejection of the trinity. Not a big deal if she did reject it. And while she and others might reject the trinity, the personality/personhood of God including three distinct beings is something I see no evidence she did reject. The exact nature and relationship of God's threefold existence, as far as I know, she did not delve into. 

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SDA understanding of the Holy Spirit as articulated in the Sabbath Herald July 25, 1878

"AlL trinitarian creeds make the Holy Ghost a 'person, equal in Substance, power, eternity; and glory with the Father and Son. Thus they claim three' persons in the trinity, each one equal with both the others. If this be so, then the Holy Spirit is just as truly an, individual intelligent person as is the Father or the Son. But this we cannot believe. The Holy
Spirit is not a person. In all our prayers we naturally conceive of, God as a person, and of the Son as a person; but who ever conceived of the Holy Ghost as 'being a person, standing there beside the Father and equal with him ?
Such a conception:neVer enters any one's mind. If you say that it does, we ask of What form is the' Holy Ghost ? IS it like the Father and Son, in the form of a man ? Who can tell ? Again, the Father himself is said to be a spirit. Are there, then, two spirits, both divine, both God, both equal to each other, both alike ? Then how is one different from the other ? God is said to be a spirit ; and it is everywhere declared that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. IS it then the spirit of a spirit What kind of spirit would that be? Again, "God is a spirit." John. 4:24. Now if the Holy Ghost is a distinct person from the Father, here are two spirits.  That the pre-existent Word, the Son, is another person, our opponents contend ; and that he
'has a spirit they will not deny. Here, then, are three spirits—the, son is a spirit, and the Holy Ghost is a spirit, and both 'eqUal in substance and' power. Well, now `„the Son- hap 'a spirit, for ” God hatii sent forth 'the Spirit 'of his Son into our hearts 'Orying, Abba, Father." Gal. 4 :6. Again, "If' any man have not 'the Spirit of Christ he is none of his, Roin 8 : 9. This
makes four spirits. God also ' has a spirit. " The Spirit of God." Gen. 1 : 2. And if the Holy Ghost be equal to the other two persons, then it must have a spirit too. Here are six spirits, and according to our trinitarian brethren, six persons
."

Now, the SDA anti-Trinitarians had ZERO problem in calling the Holy Spirit a "PERSON" provided it was in the right sense as can be seen below.

Signs of the Times, 1912, Vol 39 # 32

3829 — Is The
Holy Spirit A Personality?

Question:
Can't we say that the Holy Spirit is a
personality, as long as the personal pronoun
is attributed to it? T. A. Z.


Answer:
The use of the personal pronoun is not of itself proof that the Holy Spirit is a personality, and yet the work of the Spirit is the work of a personality. By the Spirit both the Father and the Son come personally to every soul that receives the Spirit. In that wonderful sense which no human being can comprehend, the Spirit comes to each soul as a personality. And yet it does not have what we would call human personality of being in one place only at one time, that is, such personality as has our Lord Himself — in one place as He is in no other place. The Holy Spirit may be in any number of places at one and the same time, bringing the special presence of God in each of those places. In the office of the "Signs of the Times" there are fourteen different telephones all connecting with the manager. The manager may connect all these with him at one and the same time. He could issue a general order so that the foreman of each department could hear his voice at the same time. In a way he is personally present in every department. Every department hears his voice. The marvelous invention of the telephone makes him present in fifteen different places at the same time. So it is that God's Spirit makes the Father and the Son present in as many different places as God may direct, at one and the same time. We know somewhat of the working. We understand how it is to some extent of the Lord's ways and methods. We see the effects, but we know almost nothing of the nature and the power that Infinity uses to communicate with man. Let us be willing to leave it there. In some instances the Spirit is represented as the great life of God. In some it is spoken of as a power that is poured out and shed forth. To the individual it comes as the representative of the personal God. Therefore it may be spoken of as a personality, and looking at it from another view-point, as not a personality

As late as 1923 the SDA Education Department was drawing thick black lines through books they had in school so as to not expose the youth to teachings that contradicted the Personality of God Doctrine. I may be mistaken but I believe the CLS Readers were produced by the Methodist Church

 

"As soon as our schools are opened the first difficulty we meet is what to put into the hands of our, children, in their mother tongue, as they progress in its study. There are many "Readers" produced by the C. L. S and by Indian educators. In our school at Prakasapuram, we have used many kinds, but we prefer the latest publications of the C, L. S. to all the previous ones. In the former C. L. S. Beaders we have come across certain anti-Scriptural expressions here and there on the personality of God, immortality of the soul, and the fate of the wicked. In such cases we used to draw thick black lines over those expressions in the books for the lower classes and not assign them for lessons. But in the classes where students have little knowledge of the truth, we leave such points to be discussed, and take that occasion to teach them the truth concerning those topics mentioned in the Readers." Eastern Tidings, Report of the Educational Department, April 15, 1923

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As I've said numerous times, I'm interested in [for this discussion] what EGW said about the trinity. So far, you have produced little, is anything. Any remarks by EGW on the personality/personhood of the Holy Spirit would also be appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, GHansen said:

Obviously, some influential SDAs did not believe in the trinity. So what? SDAs have been anti-Catholic for a long time. They had no reason for embracing a doctrine not plainly articulated in Scripture that was established by the RC church. SDA don't believe in the intercession of the saints, the ascension of Mary, purgatory, the mass, or the pope.   None that I know of are ashamed of rejecting many, if not most RC beliefs 

I thought the Athanasian Creed was nonsense when I read it so I'm not surprised that early SDA rejected it.  I'd be interested to see any vision in which EGW "saw" things contra the "trinity."  While you have done some good work in bringing the Canright articles into view, Erwin Gane was well aware of them in 1963. No doubt many, if not most SDA academics, seminary graduates, and interested people  were/are.

What I'm interested in is support for the unsubstantiated claims you have made. EGW affirmed the distinct personhood of the Father and Son. That doesn't prove she was anti-trinity. EGW wrote about 50 statements on the "personality of God" which she understood to mean the individuality of the Father and Son. Many of those statements were made in the context of her opposition to pantheism.

I've yet to see any plain statement that reveals White's rejection of the trinity. Not a big deal if she did reject it. And while she and others might reject the trinity, the personality/personhood of God including three distinct beings is something I see no evidence she did reject. The exact nature and relationship of God's threefold existence, as far as I know, she did not delve into. 

I realize that the ascension of Mary, Purgatory, the Mass and the Papacy are rejected by Protestant Churches but only Cults rejected the Trinity. Even the most fundamental and conservative of Protestant Faith Traditions accept the Doctrine of the Trinity as systematizing Sacred Scripture. 

The Personality of God Doctrine required that The Father ONLY was God and that the Father was a PERSON with a Body, a distinct singular BEING. The Personality of Christ Doctrine followed the Personality of God Doctrine and it required that The Son (Michael the archangel) was a PERSON with a body, a distinct singular BEING.  

Affirming the Trinity Doctrine requires the believer to define God as a single, simple, spiritual BEING (Father, Son & Holy Spirit). Essentially God became man without ceasing to be God. When Kellogg stated that he had accepted the Trinity Doctrine he had destroyed the personality of God according to Ellen White as God ( in the ultimate sense ) was no longer the Father ONLY (Father God's distinct hominid flesh body had been destroyed). 

Quote

GHansen:

What I'm interested in is support for the unsubstantiated claims you have made. EGW affirmed the distinct personhood of the Father and Son.

Here,

"The Father and the Son EACH HAVE A PERSONALITY. Christ declared, "I and My Father are one". Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form". Evangelism p. 614 / T9 p 68

 

"In this Scripture [John 1:1-4, 14-16:3-34-36] God and Christ are spoken of as two distinct personalities, each acting in their own individuality". MR 760 p 18

 

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