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Verse 48. The rulers. The members of the Sanhedrim, who were supposed to have control over the religious rites and doctrines of the nation.

The Pharisees. The sect possessing wealth, and office, and power. The name Pharisees sometimes denotes those who were high in honour and authority.

Believed on him. Is there any instance in which those who are high in rank or in office have embraced him as the Messiah? This shows the rule by which they judged of religion.

1st. They claimed the right of regulating the doctrines and rites of religion.

2nd. They repressed the liberty of private judgment, stifled investigation, assumed that a new doctrine must be heresy, and laboured to keep the people in inglorious bondage.

3rd. They treated the new doctrine of Jesus with contempt, and thus attempted to put it down, not by argument, but by contempt, and especially because it was embraced by the common people. This is the way in which doctrines contrary to the truth of God have been uniformly supported in the world; this is the way in which new views of truth are met; and this the way in which those in ecclesiastical power often attempt to lord it over God's heritage, and to repress the investigation of the Bible.

{r} "any of the rulers" Jer 5:4,5; Joh 12:42; 1 Co 1:26

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