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§ 24. The Pharisees.

In the outset, how unlike Christ was the legal spirit of Pharisaism, with its soul-crushing statutes, its dead theology of the letter, and its barren subtilties! Some few of the sect, endowed with a more earnest religious sense, and a more sincere love of truth than their fellows, could not resist the impression of Christ’s Divine manifestation; but they came to him with a full knowledge of the difference between his mode of teaching and theirs, and not as to a teacher sprung from among themselves. They had first to overcome their surprise at his strange and extraordinary language, before they could enter into closer connexion with him. They had to renounce the wisdom of their schools, to disclaim their legal righteousness, and to attach themselves to Christ with the same sense of deficiency in themselves, and the same desire for what he alone could impart, as all other men.

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