32.The Pharisees heard. Hence it appears that the Pharisees, like persons set on the watch, were anxious on all occasions not to permit Christ to be known. In the first instance the Evangelist calls them only Pharisees, and next he adds to themthe priests of whom the Pharisees were a part. There can be no doubt that, as they wished to be reckoned the greatest zealots for the Law, they opposed Christ more bitterly than all the other sects; but finding that their unaided exertions were not sufficient to oppress Christ, they committed the affair to the whole order of the priests. Thus they who, in other respects, differed among themselves now conspire together, under the guidance of Satan, against the Son of God. Meanwhile, since the Pharisees had such ardent zeal and such incessant toil for defending their tyranny and the corrupt state of the Church, how much more zealous ought we to be in maintaining the kingdom of Christ! The Papists in the present day are not less mad or less eager to extinguish the Gospel; and yet it is monstrously wicked that their example does not, at least, whet our desires, and cause us to labor with greater boldness in the defense of true and sound doctrine.