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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
William

Even Arminians Believe that the Natural Man Has No Free Will

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...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

 

If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether. Therefore, anyone who acknowledges that even a LITTLE grace is necessary to believe, by default, acknowledges that man in his natural state has no moral ability to come to Christ. We all know that Jesus himself says (and I quote) "no one can come to Me unless God grants it" (John 6:65) and "the Spirit gives life (quickens) the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:63). And Paul says "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3)

 

If you agree with the above statements from the Bible, then by definition, you already agree that man (left to himself) has no free will to come to Christ. You agree that his intentions are so sold to evil ... that his will and affections are under such bondage that he would never come apart from the grace of Christ. Therefore to teach that the natural man has a free will actually overthrows the gospel ... it is precisely because man is in bondage that he needs Christ to set him free." (John 8:34, 36)

 

So we have already ESTABLISHED that man has no free will. We all agree on this, EVEN ARMINIANS. The question really is what is the nature of God's grace? Is it effectual or does it merely help the sinner? Jesus answers this in John 6:63 when he declares: "All the the Father gives to me will come to me..."

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Stan, you have already wasted too much of my time. I do not see you creating your own threads, and quite frankly do not find engagement with you to be beneficial. I see people have taken time to respond to you as well as I today, only for you to reject what was posted within minutes. What you consider discussion and debate, I see as nothing more than argumentativeness. This website is Protestant: Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed. You are obviously a guest in that format, and I understand your doctrinal positions are nowhere to be found but in Heresy Hill. The articles posted here are topic starters. If you wish to post your own articles then by all means do so in the appropriate category, except for the Reformed Theology section (Only Reformed may start Threads). You are welcome and encouraged to post in Christforums' Hersey Hill as mentioned to you before.

 

God bless,

William

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I'm wasting your time? I see, so you just want to post biased articles but NOT deal or support them? What exactly do you think a DISCUSSION forum is? I do try to initiate discussion but it seems you just don't discuss and start NEW thread with the same TULIP doctrine over and over again. I guess I should have followed my original instinct and stayed off here, because you don't want to discuss and apparently neither do the regulars here.

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A two hour response was met with a few minute rejection by you. You can't tell me you took the time to consider the scriptural proof texts. You think typing out your pre-programmed argumentative responses without thinking through your presuppositions are discussions? You have consistently used threads to support the heresy of your own choosing. That is welcome here at Christforum's Heresy Hill. You say "I agree and understand", then you disagree and contradict yourself in your very next statement. Either you're deliberately contradicting yourself in order to frustrate others or as other members have suggested are just plain ignorant. Scripture doesn't contradict itself, but interpretations do. Every time you run into a logical contradiction you either align your interpretations to your heretical doctrinal positions (which in themselves are contradictory) or just ignore the contradictions. Then you have the audacity to accuse others of doing what you yourself make a habitual practice of.

 

If you decide to leave, feel free to return to Heresy Hill at Christforums. You're welcome at Christforums' Heresy Hill, and encouraged to post.

 

God bless,

William

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3 minutes ago, Anto9us said:

Where or what is THAT?

 

Is it a sub-forum on this board?

Was a category on the board in an earlier version. Since then the board has been revised several times and Heresy Hill was dropped in favor of clearly defining our demographic or audience in which we provide services to as stated in the Terms of Service.

 

God bless,

William

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Many Calvinists think that Arminianism is a "will yourself to heaven" , Semi-palegianist theology. But Jacob Arminius and even John Wesley affirmed original sin and total depravity. Man is inherently evil and without God's grace (John 6:44), they only have the free will to sin. 5 point Calvinists also affirms man has free will, but it's a sinful free will. In other words, man will always turn away form God because they love darkness more than light (John 3:19-21). John Wesley said that man has a free will only to do evil unless God's grace enables him to choose.

Here is a quote from Jacob Arminius, himself, on total depravity,

“In the state of Primitive Innocence, man had a mind endued with a clear understanding of heavenly light and truth concerning God, and his works and will, as far as was sufficient for the salvation of man and the glory of God; he had a heart imbued with ‘righteousness and true holiness,’ and with a true and saving love of good; and powers abundantly qualified or furnished perfectly to fulfill the law which God had imposed on him. This admits easily of proof, from the description of the image of God, after which man is said to have been created, (Gen 1:26-27) from the law divinely imposed on him, which had a promise and a threat appended to it, (Gen 2:17) and lastly from the analogous restoration of the same image in Christ Jesus. (Eph 4:24, Col 3:10)

But man was not so confirmed in this state of innocence, as to be incapable of being moved, by the representation presented to him of some good, (whether it was of an inferior kind and relating to this animal life, or of a superior-kind and relating to spiritual life) inordinately and unlawfully to look upon it and to desire it, and of his own spontaneous as well as free motion, and through a preposterous desire for that good, to decline from the obedience which had been prescribed to him. Nay, having turned away from the light of his own mind and his chief good, which is God, or, at least, having turned towards that chief good not in the manner in which he ought to have done, and besides having turned in mind and heart towards an inferior good, he transgressed the command given to him for life. By this foul deed, he precipitated himself from that noble and elevated condition into a state of the deepest infelicity, which is under the dominion of sin. For ‘to whom any one yields himself a servant to obey,’ (Rom 6:16) and ‘of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage,’ and is his regularly assigned slave. (2 Pet 2:19)

In this state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace. For Christ has said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ St. Augustine, after having diligently meditated upon each word in this passage, speaks thus: ‘Christ does not say, without me ye can do but Little; neither does He say, without me ye can do any Arduous Thing, nor without me ye can do it with difficulty. But he says, without me ye can do Nothing! Nor does he say, without me ye cannot complete any thing; but without me ye can do Nothing.’ That this may be made more manifestly to appear, we will separately consider the mind, the affections or will, and the capability, as contra-distinguished from them, as well as the life itself of an unregenerate man.”

“This is my opinion concerning the free-will of man: In his primitive condition as he came out of the hands of his creator, man was endowed with such a portion of knowledge, holiness and power, as enabled him to understand, esteem, consider, will, and to perform the true good, according to the commandment delivered to him. Yet none of these acts could he do, except through the assistance of Divine Grace. But in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of and by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good; but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine Grace.”

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 2:03 AM, William said:

If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether. Therefore, anyone who acknowledges that even a LITTLE grace is necessary to believe, by default, acknowledges that man in his natural state has no moral ability to come to Christ. We all know that Jesus himself says (and I quote) "no one can come to Me unless God grants it" (John 6:65) and "the Spirit gives life (quickens) the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:63). And Paul says "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3)

 

Can you help me understand this better, are you saying that Gods Word has no power on a sinner unless God first calls him?

That kind of takes the edge off the sword, doesn't it?

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20 hours ago, Guppy said:

Can you help me understand this better, are you saying that Gods Word has no power on a sinner unless God first calls him?

That kind of takes the edge off the sword, doesn't it?

God and His Word are synonymous so no contest.

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20 hours ago, Guppy said:

Can you help me understand this better, are you saying that Gods Word has no power on a sinner unless God first calls him?

That kind of takes the edge off the sword, doesn't it?

It shows He has the power of His Sword. 

 

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2 hours ago, Becky said:

It shows He has the power of His Sword. 

 

With respect Becky, that is not what the scripture is saying

Heb 4

12For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 

 I believe  you are saying. Gods Word has no effect on us unless God first calls us

To me, this then takes the power out of his Word. The Word has no power on its own

The word does not then, penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

The word is useless unless God first calls a person

Basically isn't that what is being said, Gods word is powerless unless we are first called be God

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2 hours ago, Placable37 said:

God and His Word are synonymous so no contest.

so then, is Gods Word enough to transform a sinner (the power of his Word) or does God first need to call  a person so that he receives the Word

 

Hopefully you see my problem... The word has no power, unless God has first called the person. which then makes the Word a dull sword

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43 minutes ago, Guppy said:

With respect Becky, that is not what the scripture is saying

Heb 4

12For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 

 I believe  you are saying. Gods Word has no effect on us unless God first calls us

To me, this then takes the power out of his Word. The Word has no power on its own

The word does not then, penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

The word is useless unless God first calls a person

Basically isn't that what is being said, Gods word is powerless unless we are first called be God

Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 

 

It must not have been as clear to you as it was in my head.  He is His Word and He Has all power in Heaven and Earth.  

 

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 1:03 AM, William said:

...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

 

If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether. Therefore, anyone who acknowledges that even a LITTLE grace is necessary to believe, by default, acknowledges that man in his natural state has no moral ability to come to Christ. We all know that Jesus himself says (and I quote) "no one can come to Me unless God grants it" (John 6:65) and "the Spirit gives life (quickens) the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:63). And Paul says "...no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3)

 

If you agree with the above statements from the Bible, then by definition, you already agree that man (left to himself) has no free will to come to Christ. You agree that his intentions are so sold to evil ... that his will and affections are under such bondage that he would never come apart from the grace of Christ. Therefore to teach that the natural man has a free will actually overthrows the gospel ... it is precisely because man is in bondage that he needs Christ to set him free." (John 8:34, 36)

 

So we have already ESTABLISHED that man has no free will. We all agree on this, EVEN ARMINIANS. The question really is what is the nature of God's grace? Is it effectual or does it merely help the sinner? Jesus answers this in John 6:63 when he declares: "All the the Father gives to me will come to me..."

The bottom line is this ," Anyone without the Spirit of God , he is none of His." Rom.8:9 . The authenticity of genuine salvation rest entirely on a testimony that gives all credence to God in the act of redemption. These are many , no, multitudes who cannot attest to a true relationship with God because they have no actual testimony to give because it is all based on what they did to "earn" salvation. Paul gives a pointed indictment against the natural man who cannot identify with true grace . The witness of the Spirit is the inner assurance of God's truth. One of the conditions of this inner conviction concerning the things of God is obedience to His known will .Jn. 7:17,18. God uses this ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict us of the truth that cannot be understood other than through divine help. " Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee ,but My Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee That thou art Peter and upon this Rock  ( this Rock is Christ ) I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." Matt. 16: 17,18. I don't want to start a biblical war with my Arminian friends here but if they have never experienced the saving grace of God , through Christ and do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit then I suggest that they dig deeply into the actual experience of having God at the forefront of the grace they received that caused them to believe . Genuine grace produces genuine salvation .

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2 hours ago, Guppy said:

so then, is Gods Word enough to transform a sinner (the power of his Word) or does God first need to call  a person so that he receives the Word

 

Hopefully you see my problem... The word has no power, unless God has first called the person. which then makes the Word a dull sword

Hi Guppy,

I believe that anyone that claims to have salvation with no recourse to the Word of God is a false convert.

Thus I have to say that anyone who answers your question and addresses your problem without recourse to the Word of God is a false witness.

  Furthermore I believe that if anyone thinks they can reason their way to some formulaic conclusion about how the Holy Spirit works on the unregenerate sinner to make them desire regeneration they are deluded. Such a pursuit is futile. A sinner may come to repentance after a life of crime and wonder why God did not lead them to repentance sooner. The answer is simple. We are at God's mercy like clay in the hands of the potter. Once I saw the true nature of my sin I wanted to be free of it and had no desire to resist God's grace. It is the goodness of God in making His will known to us through His Word and by His Spirit that leads us to repentance and not anything that we can "boast" of.

Joh 1:1
(1)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:12-14
(12)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(13)  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
(14)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Rom 1:16-20
(16)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(18)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
(19)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
(20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
 

Edited by Placable37
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The gospel of free will that was brought into the Holiness Movement by Charles Finney and had spreader across evangelicalism, is the DAISY Arminianism, with D, representing Diminished depravity. Even though Jacob Arminius did not really teach that, nevertheless, use the semi-Palegian free will bought into the Holiness and Evangelical movements by Finney is a straw man that Calvinists use on Arminianism.

Edited by CodytheBerean1711

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On 12/7/2018 at 2:21 PM, CodytheBerean1711 said:

The gospel of free will that was brought into the Holiness Movement by Charles Finney and had spreader across evangelicalism, is the DAISY Arminianism, with D, representing Diminished depravity. Even though Jacob Arminius did not really teach that, nevertheless, use the semi-Palegian free will bought into the Holiness and Evangelical movements by Finney is a straw man that Calvinists use on Arminianism.

 

Is the nuances of the teachings of Jacob Arminius really the appropriate litmus test?  “Arminianism”, as it exists today, does have the indelible marks left by the Wesleys and Finneys of the intervening centuries and exists through the Holiness and Evangelical movements.

 

It would seem foolish to discuss ‘Calvinism’ and refuse to acknowledge “T.U.L.I.P” since the concept did not appear until the Council of Dort and the acronym is a very modern addition, neither of which were written by John Calvin.  Calvinism is what it is today, including the WCF and the Presbyterian Church and the Particular Baptists that brought us to this point.  It is far more than just the writings of one man named Calvin.

 

I was weaned off the world and onto scripture by the Church of God of Anderson Indiana, so I hold Wesleyan Arminianism in high reguard.  I simply believe that it is mistaken on Total Depravity and the extent of God’s sovereignty.  So where does “Classic Arminianism” exist without the influence of the Holiness or Evangelical Movements?

 

God Bless,

Arthur. 

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10 hours ago, atpollard said:

I simply believe that it is mistaken on Total Depravity and the extent of God’s sovereignty. So where does “Classic Arminianism” exist without the influence of the Holiness or Evangelical Movements?

Arminianism is a more highly tuned and/or defined form of Semi-Pelagianism. Could say that Semi-Pelagianism finds its fulfillment in Arminianism whereas Augustinian theology finds its fulfillment in Calvinism.

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On 2/16/2019 at 8:49 PM, atpollard said:

 

Is the nuances of the teachings of Jacob Arminius really the appropriate litmus test?  “Arminianism”, as it exists today, does have the indelible marks left by the Wesleys and Finneys of the intervening centuries and exists through the Holiness and Evangelical movements.

 

It would seem foolish to discuss ‘Calvinism’ and refuse to acknowledge “T.U.L.I.P” since the concept did not appear until the Council of Dort and the acronym is a very modern addition, neither of which were written by John Calvin.  Calvinism is what it is today, including the WCF and the Presbyterian Church and the Particular Baptists that brought us to this point.  It is far more than just the writings of one man named Calvin.

 

I was weaned off the world and onto scripture by the Church of God of Anderson Indiana, so I hold Wesleyan Arminianism in high reguard.  I simply believe that it is mistaken on Total Depravity and the extent of God’s sovereignty.  So where does “Classic Arminianism” exist without the influence of the Holiness or Evangelical Movements?

 

God Bless,

Arthur. 

that it is mistaken on Total Depravity and the extent of God’s sovereignty.

 

I do  not understand the term 'extent of God's sovereignty'  Either He is sovereign or He is not  . Down the lines of a little bit pregnant . To me His sovereignty is a big deal. 

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3 hours ago, Becky said:

that it is mistaken on Total Depravity and the extent of God’s sovereignty.

 

I do  not understand the term 'extent of God's sovereignty'  Either He is sovereign or He is not  . Down the lines of a little bit pregnant . To me His sovereignty is a big deal. 

How familiar are you with what John Wesley taught about how God saves people?

 

The gist:

1. All people are naturally no darn good.

2. Prevenient Grace ... God steps in and soverignly grants people the grace to be able to choose Jesus.

3. Some repent and others harden their heart against God’s Grace.

4. God responds to repentance with a new birth.

 

The issue is less an argument that God Saves vs Man Saves, than a difference of opinion about HOW God saves. 

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3 minutes ago, atpollard said:

How familiar are you with what John Wesley taught about how God saves people?

 

The gist:

1. All people are naturally no darn good.

2. Prevenient Grace ... God steps in and soverignly grants people the grace to be able to choose Jesus.

3. Some repent and others harden their heart against God’s Grace.

4. God responds to repentance with a new birth.

 

The issue is less an argument that God Saves vs Man Saves, than a difference of opinion about HOW God saves. 

Thanks for the reply, But what does your reply have to do with God being sovereign?  Who can be more sovereign then God? 

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9 minutes ago, atpollard said:

How familiar are you with what John Wesley taught about how God saves people?

 

The gist:

1. All people are naturally no darn good.

2. Prevenient Grace ... God steps in and soverignly grants people the grace to be able to choose Jesus.

3. Some repent and others harden their heart against God’s Grace.

4. God responds to repentance with a new birth.

 

The issue is less an argument that God Saves vs Man Saves, than a difference of opinion about HOW God saves. 

Familiar with Wesley saying this, but not Scripture.

 

Wesley's Arminianism (prevalent grace) >> Synergism >> Still a form of Semi-Pelagianism >> Leading back to Roman Catholicism.

 

I have no idea why so many are gracious to Wesley. Perhaps because he wrote a couple of nice hymns which made him sound like a Calvinist. Then again, I've heard a lot of Reformed folk suggest Wesley was a man that demonstrated a heart after God but not a transformed mind. I receive that as an analogy describing Wesley which breaks down like any analogy taken too far. I say this because when I question the extent a person may be maligned in heart and mind I begin to question a person's salvation and that's not someplace I'd like to go so I'll limit my remarks to his theology.

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26 minutes ago, atpollard said:

1. All people are naturally no darn good.

2. Prevenient Grace ... God steps in and soverignly grants people the grace to be able to choose Jesus.

3. Some repent and others harden their heart against God’s Grace.

4. God responds to repentance with a new birth.

Just wanted to touch upon this.

 

All people are no darn good, but only some harden their hearts against God's Grace? But isn't the New Birth an act of God's Grace? The very heart of the natural man that is at enmity against God is removed and replaced by a heart receptive to God. Not partially removed, going back to use Becky's analogy this is like suggesting that man is only "partially birthed" when regenerated.

 

Therefore, 3-4 really demonstrate contradictions in terminology and the logical order of salvation.

 

It's almost like Wesley is defining Grace as some bottled up gift handed from one to another. God's very works are an act of Grace. For example, Election as well as the Atonement and Regeneration is an act of God's Grace.

 

Wesleyan Arminianism sounds like a rebuttal made by unbelievers, doesn't it? I think so, and I'm quite used to such replies made by Semi or Full blown Pelagians.

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