London Missionary Society
Overview
 
The London Missionary Society was a non-denominational missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 society formed in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1795 by evangelical Anglicans
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 and Nonconformists
Nonconformism
Nonconformity is the refusal to "conform" to, or follow, the governance and usages of the Church of England by the Protestant Christians of England and Wales.- Origins and use:...

, largely Congregationalist
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

 in outlook, with missions in the islands of the South Pacific
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. It now forms part of the Council for World Mission
Council for World Mission
The Council for World Mission is a worldwide community of Christian churches. The 31 members share their resources of money, people, skills and insights to carry out their missionary work.CWM was established in 1977 in its present form...

 (CWM).
Proposals for the Missionary Society began in 1794 after a Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 minister, John Ryland, received word from William Carey, the pioneer British Baptist missionary who had recently moved to Calcutta, about the need to spread Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

.
Encyclopedia
The London Missionary Society was a non-denominational missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 society formed in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1795 by evangelical Anglicans
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 and Nonconformists
Nonconformism
Nonconformity is the refusal to "conform" to, or follow, the governance and usages of the Church of England by the Protestant Christians of England and Wales.- Origins and use:...

, largely Congregationalist
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

 in outlook, with missions in the islands of the South Pacific
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. It now forms part of the Council for World Mission
Council for World Mission
The Council for World Mission is a worldwide community of Christian churches. The 31 members share their resources of money, people, skills and insights to carry out their missionary work.CWM was established in 1977 in its present form...

 (CWM).

Origins

Proposals for the Missionary Society began in 1794 after a Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 minister, John Ryland, received word from William Carey, the pioneer British Baptist missionary who had recently moved to Calcutta, about the need to spread Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. Carey suggested that Ryland join forces with others along the non-denominational lines of the Anti-Slavery Society
Anti-Slavery Society
The Anti-Slavery Society or A.S.S. was the everyday name of two different British organizations.The first was founded in 1823 and was committed to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Its official name was the Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery Throughout the...

 to design a society that could prevail against the difficulties that evangelicals often faced when spreading the Word. This aimed to overcome the difficulties that establishment of overseas missions had faced. It had frequently proved hard to raise the finance because evangelicals belonged to many different denominations and churches; all too often their missions would only reach a small group of people and be hard to sustain.

The society aimed to be more successful by creating a forum where evangelicals could work together, giving overseas missions more lines of financial support and better co-ordination, including firm support against their fierce opponents who wanted unrestricted commercial and military relations with native peoples throughout the world. The aim was to enable longer-term and more successful missions to be established.

After Ryland showed Carey’s letter to H.O. Wills, an anti-slavery campaigner in Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, he quickly gained support. Scottish ministers in the London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 area, David Bogue
David Bogue
David Bogue was a British nonconformist leader.-Life:He was born in the parish of Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland. After a course of study in Edinburgh, he was licensed to preach by the Church of Scotland, but made his way to London in 1771, to teach in schools at Edmonton, Hampstead and...

 and James Steven, as well as other evangelicals such as John Hey, joined forces to organize a new society. Bogue wrote an appeal in the Evangelical Magazine:
Its editor, Rev. John Eyre of Hackney
Hackney Central
Hackney Central is the central district of the London Borough of Hackney in London, England. It comprises the area roughly surrounding, and extending north from Mare Street. It is situated north east of Charing Cross...

, responded by inviting a leading and influential evangelical, Rev. Thomas Haweis
Thomas Haweis
Thomas Haweis was born in Redruth, Cornwall, on 1 January 1734, where he was baptised on 20 February 1734...

, to write a response to Bogue's appeal. The Cornishman sided firmly with Bogue, and immediately identified two donors, one of £500, and one of £100. From this start, a campaign developed to raise money for the proposed society, and its first meeting was organised at Baker’s Coffee House on Change Alley in the City of London. Eighteen supporters showed up and helped agree the aims of the proposed missionary society - to spread the knowledge of Christ among heathen and other unenlightened nations. By Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 over thirty men were committed to forming the society.

In the following year, 1795, Spa Fields Chapel
Spa Fields
Spa Fields is a park, and surrounding area, in the London Borough of Islington in London, bordering Finsbury and Clerkenwell. Historically it is known for the Spa Fields riots of 1816 and an Owenite community which existed there between 1821 and 1824...

 was approached for permission to preach a sermon to the various ministers and others by now keenly associated with the plan to send missionaries abroad. This was organised for Tuesday 22 September 1795, the host chapel insisting that no collection for the proposed society must be made during the founding event which would be more solemn, and formally mark the origin of the Missionary Society. Hundreds of evangelicals attended, and the newly launched society quickly began receiving letters of financial support, and interest from prospective missionaries.

Early days

Joseph Hardcastle of Hatcham House, Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 became the first Treasurer, and the Rev. John Eyre of Hackney
Hackney Central
Hackney Central is the central district of the London Borough of Hackney in London, England. It comprises the area roughly surrounding, and extending north from Mare Street. It is situated north east of Charing Cross...

 (editor of the Evangelical Magazine ) became the first Secretary to the Missionary Society -the latter appointment providing it with an effective 'newspaper' to promote its cause. The Missionary Society's board quickly began interviewing prospective candidates, and soon afterwards, a Captain Wilson
James Wilson (Captain)
Captain James Wilson , brought the first British missionaries to Tahiti on ship Duff in 1797.Wilson was a deeply religious man. The missionaries he brought were from the London Missionary Society...

 offered to sail the missionaries to their destination unpaid. The society was able to afford a boat for the Captain to sail: The Duff. It could carry eighteen crew members and thirty missionaries.

Seven months after the crew left port from the Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

 docks they arrived in Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

, where seventeen missionaries departed. The missionaries were then instructed to become friendly with the natives, build a mission house for sleeping and worship, and learn the native language. The missionaries faced unforeseen problems. The natives had firearms and were anxious to gain possessions from the crew. The Tahitians also had faced difficulties with diseases spread from the crews of ships that had previously docked there. The natives saw this as retribution from the gods, and they were very suspicious of the crew. Of the seventeen missionaries that arrived in Tahiti, eight soon left on the first British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 ship to arrive in Tahiti.

When The Duff returned to Britain it was immediately sent back to Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

 with thirty more missionaries. Unfortunately this journey was disastrous. Captured by French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s, the Duff was sold by its captors. The expense of the journey cost The Missionary Society ten thousand pounds
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

, which was initially devastating to the society. Gradually it recovered, however, and in 1807 was able to establish a mission in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 under Robert Morrison.

In 1817 Edward Stallybrass
Edward Stallybrass
Edward Stallybrass was a British Congregational missionary to the Buryat people of Siberia. He translated the Bible into Mongolian.-Biography:...

 was sent out to Russia to start a mission among the Buryat people of Siberia. The mission received the blessing of Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

, but was suppressed in 1840 under his successor Nicholas I
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

. Alongside Stallybrass worked Cornelius Rahmn of Sweden, William Swan and Robert Yuille of Scotland.

The London Missionary Society

In 1818, the society was renamed The London Missionary Society.

In 1822, John Philip
John Philip (missionary)
Dr John Philip , was a missionary in South Africa. Philip was born at Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland to a local schoolmaster...

 was appointed superintendent of the London Missionary Society stations in South Africa where he fought for the rights of the indigenous people.

1830 John Williams
John Williams (missionary)
John Williams was an English missionary, active in the South Pacific. Born near London, England, he was trained as a foundry worker and mechanic...

 sighted the coast of Savai'i
Savai'i
Savaii is the largest and highest island in Samoa and the Samoa Islands chain. It is also the biggest landmass in Polynesia outside Hawaii and New Zealand. The island of Savai'i is also referred to by Samoans as Salafai, a classical Samoan term used in oratory and prose...

 in Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 and landed on August 24, 1830 at Sapapali'i
Sapapali'i
Sapapali'i is a village on the north east coast of Savai'i island in Samoa. It is the village where John Williams, the first missionary to bring Christianity to Samoa landed in 1830. Sapapali'i is in the Fa'asaleleaga political district....

 village in search of Malietoa Vai‘inupo
Malietoa
Malietoa is a state dynasty and chiefly title in Samoa. Literally translated as "great warrior," the title's origin comes from the final words of the Tongan warriors as they were fleeing on the beach to their boats, "Malie To`a, Malie tau"....

, a paramount chief
Paramount chief
A paramount chief is the highest-level traditional chief or political leader in a regional or local polity or country typically administered politically with a chief-based system. This definition is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple...

 of Samoa. John Williams was greeted by his brother Taimalelagi. Upon meeting Malietoa at a large gathering in Sapapali'i, the LMS mission was accepted and grew rapidly throughout the Samoan Islands. The kingdom of Manu'a also became a LMS island kingdom.

1832 John Williams landed at Leone Bay in what was later to become American Samoa
American Samoa
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

. (Tala faasolopito o le Ekalesia Samoa) He was informed that men of their village have accepted the 'lotu' brought by a Ioane Viliamu in Savai'i; not knowing John Williams now stood before them. A monument stands before the large beautiful Siona Chapel - now CCCAS in Leone, American Samoa; in honor of John Williams, the Apostle of the Pacific.

In 1839, John Williams missionary work whilst visiting the New Hebrides came to an abrupt end, when he was killed and eaten by cannibals on the island of Erromango whilst he was attempting to convey to them the blessings he brought. He was traveling at the time in the Missionary ship Camden commanded by Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798-1864). A memorial stone was erected on the island of Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Rarotonga is the most populous island of the Cook Islands, with a population of 14,153 , out of the country's total population of 19,569.The Cook Islands' Parliament buildings and international airport are on Rarotonga...

 in 1839 and is still there today. His widow is buried with their son, Samuel Tamatoa Williams, at the old Cedar Circle in London's Abney Park Cemetery
Abney Park Cemetery
Abney Park in Stoke Newington, in the London Borough of Hackney, is a historic parkland originally laid out in the early 18th century by Lady Mary Abney and Dr. Isaac Watts, and the neighbouring Hartopp family. In 1840 it became a non-denominational garden cemetery, semi-public park arboretum, and...

, the name of her husband and the sad record of his death described first on the modest stone. John Williams' remains were sought by a group from Samoa and his bones were brought back to Samoa, where throngs of the LMS mission attended a funeral service attended by Samoan royalty, high ranking chiefs and the LMS missionaries. His remains were interred at the native LMS church in Apia. A monument stands in his memory across the from the Congregational Christian Church of Apia chapel.

1839-1879 Reverend George Pratt served as a missionary in Samoa for many years, at the station at Matautu
Matautu
Matautu is the name of different villages in Samoa. Places named Matautu are found on the two largest islands, Upolu and Savai'i.-Matautu, Upolu Island:On Upolu island;...

 on Savai'i
Savai'i
Savaii is the largest and highest island in Samoa and the Samoa Islands chain. It is also the biggest landmass in Polynesia outside Hawaii and New Zealand. The island of Savai'i is also referred to by Samoans as Salafai, a classical Samoan term used in oratory and prose...

 island.Pratt was a linguist and authored the first grammar and dictionary on the Samoan language
Samoan language
Samoan Samoan Samoan (Gagana Sāmoa, is the language of the Samoan Islands, comprising the independent country of Samoa and the United States territory of American Samoa. It is an official language—alongside English—in both jurisdictions. Samoan, a Polynesian language, is the first language for most...

, first published in 1862 at the Samoa Mission Press.

1844 London Missionary Society established Malua Theological College at the village of Malua
Malua
Malua is a small village on the Samoan island of Upolu. The name originates from the Samoan word "Maluapapa" which is translated 'shelter under the rock'. It is located on the northwestern coast of the island in the electoral constituency of Sagaga Le Falefa which forms part of the larger...

 on Upolu
Upolu
Upolu is an island in Samoa, formed by a massive basaltic shield volcano which rises from the seafloor of the western Pacific Ocean. The island is long, in area, and is the second largest in geographic area as well as the most populated of the Samoan Islands. Upolu is situated to the east of...

 to educate local men to become village clergy for the rapidly growing mission with over 250 villages and 25,000 membership.

1844 London Missionary Society sent Samoan missionaries to surrounding islands; Rotuma
Rotuma
Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a small but unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as "Rotumans"...

, Niue
Niue
Niue , is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia", and inhabitants of the island call it "the Rock" for short. Niue is northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to...

, Tokelau
Tokelau
Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean that consists of three tropical coral atolls with a combined land area of 10 km2 and a population of approximately 1,400...

, Ellice Islands
Tuvalu
Tuvalu , formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls...

, Papua
Papua (Australian territory)
The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea from 1883 to 1949. It became a British Protectorate in the year 1884, and four years later it was formally annexed as British New Guinea...

, Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

. Over 300 served in Papua
Papua (Australian territory)
The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea from 1883 to 1949. It became a British Protectorate in the year 1884, and four years later it was formally annexed as British New Guinea...

 alone.

Despite such difficulties, the society prevailed and would soon send missionaries all over the world, notably to India, China, Australia, Madagascar and Africa. Famous LMS missionaries included Robert Morrison (missionary) (1782-1834) who went to China in 1807, John Abbs
John Abbs
Rev. John Abbs was an English missionary. Sent out by the London Missionary Society, he spent twenty-two years in Travancore, Southern India, a period rarely exceeded by European missionaries at that time...

 (1810-1888) who went to Travancore
Travancore
Kingdom of Travancore was a former Hindu feudal kingdom and Indian Princely State with its capital at Padmanabhapuram or Trivandrum ruled by the Travancore Royal Family. The Kingdom of Travancore comprised most of modern day southern Kerala, Kanyakumari district, and the southernmost parts of...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in 1837, the sinologist James Legge
James Legge
James Legge was a noted Scottish sinologist, a Scottish Congregationalist, representative of the London Missionary Society in Malacca and Hong Kong , and first professor of Chinese at Oxford University...

 (1815-1897), and David Livingstone
David Livingstone
David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr...

 (1813–1873) who went to South Africa in 1840.

The LMS missionaries had a huge influence on the spread of their largely non-denominational approach to Christianity, throughout the world.

Merger

The London Missionary Society merged with the Commonwealth Missionary Society (formerly the Colonial Missionary Society
Colonial Missionary Society
The Colonial Missionary Society was formed in May 1836 as a “distinct society for the Colonies” following the report of a deputation to Canada by representatives of Congregational churches from Britain...

) in 1966 to form the Congregational Council for World Mission (CCWM). At the formation of the United Reformed Church
United Reformed Church
The United Reformed Church is a Christian church in the United Kingdom. It has approximately 68,000 members in 1,500 congregations with some 700 ministers.-Origins and history:...

 in 1972 it underwent another name change, becoming the Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed). The CWM (Congregational and Reformed) was again restructured in 1977 to create a more internationalist and global body, the Council for World Mission
Council for World Mission
The Council for World Mission is a worldwide community of Christian churches. The 31 members share their resources of money, people, skills and insights to carry out their missionary work.CWM was established in 1977 in its present form...

.

The records of the London Missionary Society are held at the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
The 1924 Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell also served as an LMS missionary to China.

See also

  • List of London Missionary Society missionaries in China
  • Protestant missionary societies in China during the 19th Century
  • School of Oriental and African Studies
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

     in London
  • The Historical Background to Church Activities in Zambia
  • John Smith (missionary)
    John Smith (missionary)
    John Smith was a missionary whose experiences in the West Indies attracted the attention of the anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce.-Biography:...

  • Demerara rebellion of 1823
    Demerara rebellion of 1823
    The Demerara rebellion of 1823 was an uprising involving more than 10,000 slaves that took place in the former Crown colony of Demerara-Essequibo ....

  • SS Ellengowan
    SS Ellengowan
    SS Ellengowan was a schooner rigged, single screw steamer built by Akers Mekaniske Værksted in Christiania Norway, under her original name, Nøkken. The vessel was powered by sail and a vertical direct acting steam engine. Ellengowan sank at its moorings, unmanned, during the night of 27 April 1888...



Examples of Publications Funded

  • Rev. C.W Abel, 'Savage Life in New Guine'
  • Rev. George Pratt, 'A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language'

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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