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which the Pharifees profefs'd to believe. And therefore St. Paul, when he was making his Defence before the High-Prieft, and Claudius Lyfias the Chief Captain of the Roman Garrifon, took Advantage of this; and perceiving that the one Part of bis Accufers were Sadducees, and the other Pharifees; he cried out, in the Council, Men and Brethren, I am a Pharifee, the Son of a Pharifee: of the Hope and Refurrection of the Dead, I am call'd in Queftion. And when he had fo faid, there arofe a Diffention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the Multitude was divided; and there arofe a great Cry; and the Scribes that were of the Pharifees Part, arofe and ftrove.
This Expedient might be of Service to the Apostle, juft at that Seafon. But otherwise, he had little Reafon to expect that they, who had united in crucifying the LORD of Life, would let their Differences prevail fo far, as to be favourable to him who was employ'd in carrying on that Building, of which JESUS CHRIST hmself was the Chief Corner Stone.
The Pharisees were much greater Hypocrites than any of the rest; and therefore we often find them fo ftyl'd, by our C LORD himself. They pretended to much Fafting and Prayer; but took care to do it in fuch a Manner, as to make every Body take notice of it: their whole Design thereby being only the more effectually to deceive and take Advantage of Mankind; They made long prayers for a pretence. De They set up for being more strict Ob- xxiii. 14. fervers of the Law than the rest of the Jews; but their Strictness, in Reality, went no further than Trifles, and mere indiffe rent Things, while Matters of Moment and Importance to eternal Salvation, were utterly neglected by them. They paid tythe. of mint, and anife, and cummin, every little Herb that grew in their. Garden; but omitted the weightier Matters of the Law, Judgment and Mercy and Faith.
And, because the Law orders that the Children of Ifrael fhould make a particular Kind of fringe upon the borders of their Numb. garments, that when they look'd upon it, they xv. 38. might remember the commandments of the LORD, and do them; Therefore the Pha
risees, who did all their works to be seen of Matt. men, made broad their Phylacteries, and enxxiii. 5. larged the borders of their garments; to procure them, what they lov'd better than the Commandments of the LORD, Reverence and Respect among the ignorant Multitude; to have the uppermoft rooms at feafts, and the chief feats in the fynagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be faluted with bonourable titles.
The Sadducees, though they did not believe a future Life, yet profefs'd themselves oblig'd to obferve the Law, because of the temporal Rewards or Penalties which were to attend them according as they behaved themselves; and appear, in the main, to have been a fomewhat better Sort of Men than the Pharifees; because we seldom find our LORD charging them with Hypocrify, and thofe many other foul Crimes with which he upbraids the Pharisees. The Baptift indeed joins them with the Pharifees, Matt. iii. when he says of both together, O generation of vipers! And our LORD bids his Disciples ib. xvi. 6, Beware of the leaven (the Doctrine) of the Pharifees, and of the Sadducees.
But, as to their Error, in not believing a Resurrection; an Error of a pernicious Nature, as it tends to deprive Mankind of the Bleffings of a Social Life bere, and cuts off the Wretches who are fo unfortunate as to be misled by it, from eternal Happinefs, bereafter; Our bleffed LORD took 1 Care, effectually, to confute and put to filence thefe ftupid Maintainers of it, at a Time when they attempted to fneer and ridicule Him by, what they took to be an unanswerable Queftion: Whofe wife of the feven men that had married her, a woman 23. fhould be at the refurrection?
This grofs fenfual Suppofition of theirs, in making the Cafe improbable, the better to palliate their own Incredulity, he explodes by faying, Ye do err, not knowing the fcriptures, nor the power of God. For, in 1 the refurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are, as the angels of God in heaven. But, as touching the refurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, faying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of 6. Ifaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And
when the multitude heard this, they wer aftonished at his doctrine.
We have only one thing to observe further in relation to the Sadducees; which is that this moftrous Opinion of theirs was abetted and follow'd by the most considerable People among the Jews; fuch as the Bear monde, as it is call'd, is mostly made up of, in the present Age. When the Apostles, after the Death of CHRIST, began to attract the Regards of the People, both by their Doctrine and Miracles, and multitudes of believers were added to the LORD; then it is faid, The High-Prieft rose up, and all they that were with him (which is the fect of the Sadducees) and were filled with indignation; and laid their hands on the Apoftles, and put them in the common prison. Now the Reafon of the Sadducees being fo active against the Apostles was plainly Acts iv.z. this, Because they preach'd thro' JESUS, the refurrection from the dead.
The Herodians were a Sect, who differed from the Reft of the Jews, by beFor lieving that Herod was the Mehab: Grounding their Opinion upon that celebrated Prophesy of Jacob; The fceptre fhall
Gen. xlix. 10.