¶ A funerall oratyon made the xiiii. day of January by John Hoper, the yere of our saluation, 1549. vpon the texte wrytyne in the Reuelatyone of Sayncte Johne. Ca. 14.


1. Thessalo. 4.

Murne not as other do which haue no hope.

‘¶ I hearde a voice from heauen, saying vnto me. Writ, Blessed are the deade, that dye in the Lorde, streyght waye, so sayth the sprete: that they maye reste from there laboures, but there workes folowe thē.’

¶ A Preface to the texte.

THe death of a mans fredis paynefull for 2. cōsyderatiōs. The one, because he that lyuethe is forsaken and desty­tute of the famylyarytye and frendshipe of him that is dead. [Page] The othere, that the lyuynge dowteth, where the soul of his frende departed is bycome. Whether it be in heauen or in hel. Both thys Iles, maye be redressed with one gode, that is to wyt: If he that lyueth be assured, by the worde of God that his frende departed, is by mortal death entered in Christ in to eternall lyfe. But nowe in thys standeth all the dowte. How the lyuynge maye know in what state the soules depar­ted stond. This dowte can not the Gentyle dissolue, the wyse menne of the worlde, nor the commone sorte of soche as bea­reth the name of christianite.

¶ Namely for this: that they ymagyn there frendes soules, to be broiled & rosted in the fyre of Purgatory. Wherfore euen [Page] as they feare they wotte not what: so seke they there reme­dy they know not how. Wyth Masse, Dirige and such other. This paynes (by the lyuynge) presupposed of the deade: who can iustlye reprehende the mis­belyuynge lyuyng for the state of the dead, that more thē nede is panyth thē selues, and more then profyt is: redemeth the prayers of other. But what may the truethe conclude. Is there any certayenty that put­tyth al out of dowte, oure fren­des soules to departe from the earthe, strayght vnto eternall lyfe. Truly after the iugement of the fleshe, there is no suche knoweledge. For the fleshe in this case, eyther wyll planelye dispayre for the horrour and gretnes of synne: or els dowte [Page] of the meanes howe it maye be remedyd. Onelye therefore the certayntye is knowen by the scrypture of God. Gyue therefore hede what in thys case what the worde of god certifieth vs of the deade.

‘¶ I hearde a voyce from heauen sayinge vnto me: Write. Blessed are the dead that dye in the lord straight waye.’

IN a matter of dowt, here beholde the dyuersyte be­tweyne the learnynge of God, and the lerninge of man. The lernynge of man wythout iudgement, knoweledge, and grace: wyll compell and force them what lyue to beleue there frendes soules departed to be [Page] broyled in Purgatory. Desyre thē to giue you a reason why? Aunswere haue they none, but that ye muste so beleue, or els be accompted for an Heretike. So that rather they wil force menne wyth dowte to abyde in sorowe: then with iugement of Goddes worde happylye to conforte them wyth ioye. Blessed therfore, be the God of mercy that hathe in thys case, put vnto vs an infallyble truethe and doctrine to warraunte the troubled mynd of the liuing for the state of the deade. And a­monge other places of most certayne trueth, here in this place he playnelye sheweth thē to be blessed that die in the lord: that is to say: Optaine the end that man was created vnto eter­nal felicite and ioy euerlasting. [Page] For a proue of the same against reasonne and mānes doctrine. Saynt Jhon sayth: I harde a voice from heauen. As though he had sayde. It is so true: it can be no waye false, for it is from heauen. And because it shoulde instructe the afflycted of oure tyme and assertaine vs of the state and condicionne of the deade, aswell as it did saint Johne, and them of hys tyme, and for euer tyll the worldles ende: the Aungell byd Sainct Johne wryte the same, saying: Wryte. Blessed are the deade in the Lorde. Although al men indifferently wyshe and couete to be blessed aftre there deathe yet all menne come not to the thynge they moste wyshe for. Because they lyue contrarye vnto the wyl of God that solie [Page] geuethe the blysse eternall, as Sayncte Paul sayth Ephe. 5.1. Cor. 6. No fornicatoure, co­uetous man shall haue any he­retayge in the kyngedome of Christ, and God. And as Paul excludeth from heauen the do­ars of the fruytes of infidelite, so doth S. John exclude for in­fidelite it selfe. Joan. 3. He that beleueth not the sonne of God, shall se no lyfe, but the Ire of God tarieth vpon him. True it is then, that al men obtaine not thys blyssinge of GOD after death. And euen as the places before shewe who shall misse of thys Joyfull felicite: so S. Jo­han, in this place sheweth who shall come vnto it, saying: Blessed are they yt dye in the Lord. They onely therfore be blessed yt dye in the Lorde. And seyng [Page] a death in the Lord is the gate to eternall life: We wyll more at large declare what it is to dye in the Lord. To dye in the Lorde is to dye in the sayeth of Christe, whom he sente into ye worlde for the redemptiō ther­of. Joan. 3. which is done when foure thinges is obserued.

¶ Fyrst yf the seykeman in hys sekenes call vnto hys remem­brance what he hath done all his lyfe tyme against the first & seconde table of the Lordes cō ­maundementes. The seconde if vpon his examination he find his brothere and neyghboure hurt by him in goodes, or fame, he studye vnfaynedlye to satis­fye him as nere as he can again in both. The thirde, that the seyke man aknowlege vnto the Lorde, asmuche as he hath of­fended [Page] agaynst the commaun­dementes of the fyrste table: wyth a detestation of them all. The fourth, that he aske of god for the death of Christe remissi­on of them all. But he that wyl assuredlye truste to optayne this forgeuenes, had nede to haue redye and prompte, ma­ny places of the scripture, that sheweth in Christe, the father of heauē to remit the syke man­nes offences. Gene. 3. Esa. 53. Matthew. 1.11. Joh. Romano. 3.4. 1. Johan. 1.2. The assurance of faith by grace optayned: it is the sekemannes parte, and as many as be wyth hym, religiouslye to praye, for the perseueraunce of the same sayeth. And also to hys poure, to help the nedefull wyth hys almes, that they also may pray [Page] to the Lorde for hym. Then thus commended hym selfe vnto God, Let him commende all his lykewise wyth some exhor­tation that they diligentlye ly­ue in the feare of God as the scripture teacheth. Gene. 49. Deuter. 31. Josua. 23. 3. Re. 2. He that thus dyeth, dyeth in the Lorde, and therfore blessed as this texte teacheth. And as it is taught in ye. 5. of S. John. Uerely, verely, I say vnto you, He that heareth my word, and beleue in him that sent me, hath euerlastinge life, and shall not come into iudgemente, but passe from death to life. He can not dye a wycked death that is blessed & sanctifyed in the bloud of Christe. As he muste nedes be, that in his seykenes seketh health by this medicine prescribed [Page] by S. John. That by four wordes helpeth the greateste and damigerouse desperation, If credite and fayeth be geuen vnto them. The firste word is: I harde a voyce. The seconde: from heauen. The thyrde: Wryte, The fourth: Blessed be the deade that dieth in ye Lord. If ye learne it well, it shall not only make you blessed at ye hour of death: But also moderate ye sorowes & murninges (whiche otherwyse) ye shall suffre while yelyue here, for youre frendes that dye. Lykewyse it shall as­suyre you of the state and condicion of your frendes departed that they haue the fauoure and presence of God. And better at ease in heauen wyth God, then ye be in the earth with menne. Learne to dye well therfore, [Page] by this lesson, ye mortall men. And leaue not the medycyne prescrybed and taught by God the father, made and tempered wyth the bloude of Christe, mi­nystred in to the soule of man by the holye ghoste, broughte from heauen by an Angel, wri­ten vpon and to the people of the earthe by holye Sayncte John. For the medycynes ap­poynted by manne, as Masse, Dirige, Peregrinacions, Par­dons, other mennes merytes when ye be gone, Tryntalles, Anniuersaries, Inuocation, & prayers of and to sayntes de­partede, Auriculare confessy­on, and suche other mennes in­uentiones whyche cannot ease nor quyet the conscience of the poore sekemanne.

But the more of thys try­sles [Page] is promysed vnto the con­science of the afflicted man, the more wretched creatoure he desyreth. As youre conscy­ence shall knowe at the tyme and houre of your sekenes and daunger. And then shall ye fele when all othere thynges be to lytle, that the precyouse bloude of Christe is ynoughe and where as wythoute dow­te youre owne conscyens shall bare you recorde (do you and all othere men for you what­soeuer may be done) ye are culpable and worthye deathe euerlastynge.

So shall Christes spyryte if he be in you by fayth bayre record with youre spyryte, that yeare for Christes sake onelye, the heyres of eternall lyfe. This is the only way to quyete euerye [Page] trouble and afflicted conscience in the daye of death. As Saint John sayeth, Blessed are the dead that dye in the Lord. But seynge the deuell can not bare this doctrine, A man to be sa­ued in Christ, for the promes of Goddes sake: He goeth aboute to persuade thys word of God to be false that sayeth: He that dyeth in the Lorde is blessed. And so wyth the moste parte of men he subuerteth this Godly consolation. Ether he maketh the syke to dispare of his salua­tion for ye greatnes of his sinne: Ether causeth hym to seke vn­sufficiente and vnlawfull mea­nes to remoue his synnes. And that you and I be subiecte vn­to this temptacion: Read Ma­thewe. .27. Luke. 23. And se what the deuell aduentured to [Page] persuade vnto Christ himselfe. And wolde haue borne hym in hande he was not the sonne of God: nether that God ca­ryde for hym seinge he suffered hys enemyes thus to preuale agaynste hym. And the same temptationne he burdened the holy prophete Dauid wyth all, Psal. 3. If he coulde obiect and bourdeyn the sonne of God wt argumentes that he could not be blessed that dyed in the lord: How muche more doth he, yee or maye he: not onelye swade & attempte, but also perswade & ouercome oure myserable and weake condycyonne: Ile pre­paryd God knoweth of a thowsande sorttes of temptationne to sustayne of them the leste. Wherefore learne by tyme, or tyme deceaue yow, how to lyue [Page] withoute tyme, of none ye may learne so wel as by the lyfe and death and also the doctryne of the Patryarkis, Prophetes, Christe, & the Apostles. Whose example yf ye follow not here: incase hereaftre ye neuer come where they be, thanke youre selues. And that ye take vpon you to vse another remedys (yea and as manye men sayeth bettre) to warraunte & stonde at the tyme of deathe agaynste the tyrannye of syne, hell, the deuel and the wordle. If after youre departure from hens it be worse wyth yow then it is wyth them: blame none but youre selues. And the bettre blame worthy be ye, so many tymes admonyshede, yet not a dele the bettre. Juge other mē as they lyste, thus I beleue. He [Page] that dyeth as an Apostle, shall hereaftre lyue lyke an Apostel. And he that beleueth as an Apostle, shalbe saued lyke an Apostle. Understonde what I saye. It is of theyr doctryne & suffycient lernynge yt I speake of, whyche is fully & suffycient­lye able to leade a man in to all treuth. 2. Tymo. 3. Augu. lib. confess. 6. Cap. 5. If any Coun­sale general, or prouyncyall: If anye lernynge of man coulde shewe you, how bettre to lyue, & more godlye to dye, then the wryttynges of the Prophetes, and the Apostles in whose wrytynges ye haue aplate bothe of there lyfe, & also of there death. I woulde comede it vnto you. But you know, there is none. Seynge ye be thys perswaded of them, & alow so muche there [Page] holynes & name: dyseable not there doctryne leste peraduen­ture those that ye now accōpte to be youre frendes: here after shalbe testes and recordes of youre Juste damnatyon, by­cause ye comende there name and persecute there blode in suche as offeryth you there doctryne. The ignorancye of thys trew doctryne to teache men to lyue and dye well, hath broght in that false & vntrewe opinione of fayned purgatory. The whyche inducyd foure greate Iles. The fyrste, it cau­seth the deathe of a mannes frynde to be more paynefull. The seconde it abolysheth one of the chief artykles of our e be­lyefe. Whyche is, I beleue the remission of synne. The thirde is that it brought the workes [Page] and deseruynges of men into greater estymatione then the merites of Christe.

The fourthe: it causeth men to lyue in a greater securyte, & libertye of lyfe: Bycause there opynione is, that there freyn­des doynges for them after deathe: shall helpe to there sal­uatione.

Beware therfore of this doctryne of purgatorye as of a moste pestilente Ile, and seyng all oure saluatione restethe in thys that we dye in the Lord: whyles we be in helthe, let vs learne thys doctryne well, and exercyse the same. It is not a Christiās part to slepe in synne as an Ile souldyer tyll the trompe blowe. Nether yet to prouyde for weapone tyll hys enymye be vpon hym. But to [Page] haue it readye that it serue as tyme and necessyte requyreth. And so we be admonyshed to do by the horryble example of the fyue folyshe vyrgynes, in ye. 25. chap. of S. Mathew. that neglectyng there oune bounde dewtye to know and lyue well, and trustynge to the helpe of others were shut out of ye Joye eternall. For whyles they wer a byinge other mēnes merites they loste there owne saluatiō.

The aduersaries of ye trueth dothe vse to obiecte agaynste thys doctrine of God, that such as dye in the Lorde shoulde strayghtway be blessed wyth hym in heauen, & say we denye not but they be blessed: but it is in hope to come & not wyth present Joye and felicytie for they muste suffre the paynes of pur­gatorye [Page] and so entre the place appoynted. To the whyche obiectione S. Johne, in thys place ansureth, & denyeth anye deferrynge of tyme betywyxe the deathe of a Christyane and hys acceptatione into the fruy­cione of God, and sayth by and by not to go fyrste into purga­torye & then aftre into heauen. And so saythe Chryste hymselfe. John. 5. The same tea­cheth vs the parable of Laza­rus soule streyghwaye vpō his death that was takē into Abrahams bossome. Luc. 16. Where as ye maye learne the state of the soules departed. And here S. John, sheweth the cause why the soules that dye be not drawen through purgatorye nor passeth through no suche paynes to come to heauen.

[Page]Because sayth he they maye reste from there laboures, that is to saye from the paynes dew for synne, and from all other myseries of right annexed and layde vpon men for synne. If the Christyane soules go into purgatorye they be not quyt from there labours but put vnto more laboures. From a hote feuere into a hote fyre, frome paynes tollerable, to ye paynes yt be (as there doctryne saythe) as greuouse as the paynes of hell. So the deathe of manne were not the ende of hys my­seryes, but the begynnynge. Nether were not deathe as S. Paull saythe. 1. Corin. 15. The laste enemye of manne, but purgatorye were. Nether were it trewe that he sayth: Ebre. 9. chapt. That manne [Page] receyueth hys iudgemēt after hys death: but after he is fyrste dead, and then sufficyently purged in Purgatorye.

Wherof ye haue no Exāple in the newe Testamente nor in the olde: ye haue neyther anye commaundemente to praye for the dead, nor yet promyse that God wyll heare youre prayer, when ye praye. Who taughte you to bryng any religion into the churche of God withoute Goddes commaūdemente, and the decrees of the vniuersall churche, whyche is the churche of the Patriarches, Prophetes and the Apostles, whose fayth, lyfe, deathe and doctryne is & oughte to be, the grounde and foundacyon of Christiane rely­gyon, as Saynct Paule wry­teth Ephe .2. Neyther in the [Page] worde of God is there anye more mencyon then of two places, ye ryght hād for the good in Christe: the lefte hande for the ile. Abrahās bosom for the one a place of ioye, hel for the other a place of payne. Let the ad­uersaryes of the truethe shewe by the scrypture (whyche we esteme ful sufficient to make a perfecte man in all thynges) a thyrde place, and then we wil as we be bounde geue place vnto thē, but sure we be, the scrip­ture Canonical which is suffy­cyent hathe no suche thynge: but of this shalbe more spoken here after. For in this texte I mene to teach & not to dispute. Lerne therfore here of S. Jhō to know yt al miseyries endythe wyth the christianes, at there death, & seing the word of god [Page] putyth thē in ioy, let not vs put them in payne. Nor those that ye scryptures saueth, let not vs condemne: yf the scrypture say they be straight ways blessed yt dye in the lord; let vs not putte thē vnder the curse of the pain­full fyre of purgatory. It is not the part of a good scoler to find fault at his maysters doctrine, vntyl such time as he be better learned then hys mayster, ney­ther before he hath or can, lerne ye elemētes & principles of gods law: to ad vnto his masters ruls Nor to better ye thing yt is perfectly good of it self wt any wit of his, which is perfectly naught Nor to say his masters doctrin is not sufficiēt: whē al ye worlde knoweth the contrary. For the best lerned men hath come out of his masters scole: & yet neuer [Page] added neyther diminyshed one iote to yt there masters taught thē. Behold ye auncyent stole of the Patriarches, Prophetes, and the Apostelles whyche ly­uyd vertuously, and dyed ho­lyly: yet neuer added to the soules anye thirde place, or paines of fyre, but were cōtented with the two places that God had appointed, one for the good, the other for the Ile. Wherefore it is my belyfe that the doctryne that sufficyd them, sufficyth vs and the fayth that saued them in Christ sauethe vs. Excepte God be chāged, and hath made newe wayes to heauen sence their deathe. Eyther they ar­red, and knewe not what was suffycyente to lede to eternall life: or these dreamers of Pur­gatory arre. For the one goeth [Page] as cōtrary in this article, to the other, as black is contrarye vnto whyte: and the catholycke churche of Christ, to the smerm and multytude of Antichriste, and asfer from the priuatyue church of the Apostles, as god­des worde is, from the supersticion of man, and the doctryne and life of S. Peter (that was but a recorde of Christ, and his doctryne. Actu. 1) from the life and doctryne of Boniface the eyghte, whyche is wryten post sextum decretaliū: better ther­fore it is to belyue with Saint Johne, and the catholycke churche, that the deade be at reste: then with the scole of the gentles and multytude of men to iudge them in payne. But let vs heare what more the holye ghost sayth vnto S. John.

‘Their worckes folow thē.’

By thys texte we learne two thynges. Fyrste, howe these that dye in the Lord be not, nor canne not be hurte by the oblo­quye and slaunderous reporte of ile spekers. Seing the world for the most part accompted the verye christianes of God to be heretikes, & sedicious persones therfore saith ye holy ghost, they depart hence with their owne workes: which sayinge shoulde cause vs to beare stronglye the peruerse iudgement of ye world for the iudgemēt of God is iust, and iudgeth not after the face, but according to the truth. Let al vs therfore lament & bewail our sinnes past, presently begin a better life, and here after be­ware in Christ of the like falle, [Page] thē let ye world say what it wyl.

The seconde doctrine here, of Saynt Johne repugneth and ouerthrowethe the opynyon of manye ignoraunte and super­sticious persones that whyles they yet lyue here them selues, passeth lytle, what faythe, reli­gyon, or workes commaundyd by god they do, but in the tyme of death they thinke to redeme all their synnes by other men­nes workes after deathe: with masse, pylgrymayge, perdones and othere. Folyshe be they that sell this abhomynacyon, but more foules be the byers seynge Christe ones caste suche sellers oute of the temple. But those hathe the Pope and hys receyued in agayne wyth both handes. And as Chryste beate them oute wyth scurges: So [Page] the Pope and his adherences wyth whyppe and fyre betyth as manye as call the people frō thys merchaūdise, and no mer­uel, for he is Christes aduersa­rye. Because therefore this er­roure hathe so muche auayled in manye mennes conscyens, that it is verye diffycyle to re­moue it (partlye because they that selie, waxe ryche by the meanes, partlye because the marchaundyse semeth good to the bier, that trustethe to apese the ire of God wyth monye) I wyl reherse testymonies of the scripture to proue that no man is the better for an other man­nes worckes, when he is dead. Christe Matthei. 25. asketh of the same he gaue hys talentes vnto, accompte of the same mā agayne, for the vse of hys ta­lentes [Page] and there vnto constraynythe eche of his credeatours. In the same chapiter sittynge in the last iudgemēt as it were, requyrythe accompt of souche workes as were done by them that shalbe iudged whiles they were yet alyue. I was an hun­gred and ye gaue me mete, a thyrst and ye gaue me drinke: & so forth, rede the place. In the olde testament and in the newe is wryten manye tymes that the iuste God wyll yeue vnto euerye man after hys owne workes. So sayth S. Paule Gal. 6. and to the Corinth. as he soweth so shall he repe, and that saithe he also. 2. Corint. 5. Euery man shall receaue as he hathe done in hys bodye be it good, or Ile. And be myndfull of the fyue folyshe virgynes [Page] that teache vs how dangerous a thynge it is to truste vnto boughten merites. When they were waked out of the slepe to go mete the bridegrome, & had not oyle sufficient in there lam­pes, they went vnto there marchauntes to bye. But in the meane tyme whyles they were agreynge vpon the pryce the gate was shut, & the miserable virgyns excludyd, & kept out from the eternall Joys. After the same sort men beyng igno­raunt of the truythe of Godes word vsith in the tyme of there sicknes with the vnlerned pry­stes. Whyles the miserable and afflictyd sicke man is crucifyed and tormentyd wyth the fier of hell in hys agony and passion of deathe askyng counsel of his curate, when hys curate shuld [Page] perswade the sicke man to the restitution of hys neyghbours goodes and fame, yf ony suche wronges were commyttyd, & then perswade him of all myghtye godes mercye in Christe, in who is bloud he foryeuethe all offences Gene. 3. Esa. 53. Ephe. 2. and makyth the synner more whitter then the snowe. Esa. 1. then the vngodlye Curate set­tythe forthe hys marchaun­des to sale: Messes, Ryngyng, lightes, peregrinations, wyth other lyke. The wreachyd syke man thoughe hys conscience barith hym record these thyn­ges satisfye not, nor remouyth the greatnys of hys temptaciō yet seinge he knowyth no bet­ter, and hath lernyd no farther then the opynyon of man hathe taughte: he begynnythe to in­treat [Page] with the priste vpon the pryce of hys marchaundes and manye tymes before they be fully at apoynt ye byer & seller: the poore sicke byer dieth, and the gate of saluation is shut in, and thus for the loste of fayuyd purgatorye that the scripture of God ferith noman with all, he fyndyth vnfaynyd hell (eternall damnation) from whense nether the lyuynge, nether the deed cā relese him. And thus I wil yet adde incase there were ony Purgatorye, yet could not ye soules be delyueryd by these remedys that supersticiō hath prescribyd seinge there reme­dies for the moste part be blas­phemye agaynst God: as the Masse a prophanation of the Lordes supper, holye water with other souche like: & other [Page] of there remedies be folyshe, & to be mockyd at, as the Ryn­gynge of belles to ease ye payne of ye deed with other. I beseche you all brether in the dere blud of Christe to leaue byinge of Godes grace, and the merites of men that cannot meritte inough for themselues. Youre owne goodes thus be stowyd, shall worke your own damna­tion. Remembre thys sayng of Saynct John. There workes folowe them. Lyue here after verteuslye that ye maye dye godlye. He fyghtithe not man­fullye, that is brought vp all wayes delicatelye. In ye houre of deathe is lyke to be our har­dyst assault & greatest danger. The bocke of oure consciens shalbe openyd. The deuyll wyl agrauat & yeue al the strenghe [Page] he can to our synne and will (if god suffre him) other extenuat and diminishe the mercye of God, or clene cause vs to de­spere: hell then will gape & open his mouth vpō vs. Make redy therfore whyl ye haue time for your selfes in ye bloud of Christ and study amendement of lief. Besydes ye scripture here what S. August. saieth. Tract. 49. super Jo. Vnusquis (que) cum causa sua dor­mit, & cum causa sua resurget. That is. Euerye man slepeth wyth hys owne cause, and shall ryse wyth hys owne cause. In oure syke­nes let vs therfore do these. 2. thinges, reconcile ourselfes to our neyghbours. The second, lette vs crye vnto the Lorde in Christ saying: I beleue remis­syon of synne.

¶ The conclusyon.

¶ If we will not lamente the death of our frends, let vs hear & rede the scripture diligent­ly that sayeth: they be blessed yt dye in the Lord. And we, if we purpose to dye wel: whyl we be in helth let vs lerne to knowe, to feare, and to put all our trust in the Lord solye & onelye tho­rough Christe, and then in the trance and dangerous agonye of deathe we shall ouercome manfullye, and saye rather for our frendes that dye, blessed & thanked the Lorde who hath vouch saued to take vnto hym hys seruaunte in the bloude of Christ from the miseris of thys worlde and the Iles therof: ra­ther then to saye (as the moste part of mē doth) God haue mercy vpon his soule, whych word [Page] includeth a verye doute of the state of the deade, and more spoken of custome, then of knowe­lege. Let vs therfore with the holy ghost say, blessed be the dead, that dyeth in the Lorde. So be it.


¶ Imprented at London by Edwarde Whitechurch at the signe of the Sonne in flet strete 1549.

Cum Priuilegio ad Im­primendum solum.

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