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§ 194. The Pharisees attempt to arrest Christ.—He warns them that they should seek Him, but should not find Him. (John, vii., 30, seq.)

The increasing influence of Christ’s words and works naturally excited 294the fears and jealousy of the heads of the Pharisaical party; their domination was in danger from a spiritual power directly opposed to their spirit and statutes. He had so often, both in Jerusalem and Galilee, overcome their machinations by the power of truth, and frustrated their charges of heresy by his words and works, that no course was left but to withdraw him from his sphere of labour by actual force.

They sought, therefore, to lay hold of his person; but Christ, perceiving their plans, declared in words of prophetic warning, “Yet a little while I am with you, and then will I go back unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me; and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” He thus warned the Jews, that if they did not use the time that was rapidly passing, they would not be able to escape the distress that was to come upon them by their own fault. In that time of trouble they would long the more earnestly for the Deliverer and Messiah—whom they might have known—but in vain; they could then find no Redeemer, nor obtain the fellowship of Him who would have been raised into heaven. The Jews maliciously interpreted this dark saying to mean that he intended to go forth as a teacher of the heathen (v. 35); a point worthy of note, from the inference it allows, that their anxiety to make him a heretic was founded upon a dawning presentiment that his teaching was destined to be a universal one.

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