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Growth in Grace Illustrated in the Life of Nicodemus.

Growth in Grace Illustrated in the Life of Nicodemus.

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Published by glennpease
BY DR. McCOSH.

*^ There came also Nicodemas which at the first came to Jesus
by night " (John xix. 39), as compared with, " There was a
man of the Pharisees named Nicodemas, a ruler of the Jews:
the same came to Jesus by night " (John iii. i, 2). Nicodemas
saith unto them (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of
them,) Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and
know what he doeth ? — John vii. 50, 51.
BY DR. McCOSH.

*^ There came also Nicodemas which at the first came to Jesus
by night " (John xix. 39), as compared with, " There was a
man of the Pharisees named Nicodemas, a ruler of the Jews:
the same came to Jesus by night " (John iii. i, 2). Nicodemas
saith unto them (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of
them,) Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and
know what he doeth ? — John vii. 50, 51.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 24, 2014
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GROWTH IN GRACE ILLUSTRATED IN THE LIFE OF NICODEMUS. BY DR. McCOSH. *^ There came also Nicodemas which at the first came to Jesus by night " (John xix. 39), as compared with, " There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemas, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night " (John iii. i, 2). Nicodemas saith unto them (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth ? — John vii. 50, 51. AMONG other and higher excellences by which the four Evangelists are characterized, every thinking mind is much interested to notice the variety of character, good and evil, brought before us. In the centre or foreground of the painting (if painting it can be called which is the simplest of all simple narratives) stands Jesus, the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person, only seen in shadow, — working miracles, relieving distress, and teaching his disciples, under the pressure all the while of the mighty load of a world's sin. Around we see the apostles distinguished by almost every possible diversity of character, some timid, others confident, each with a heart ungodly by nature, but all with one sad exception coming under Divine
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GROWTH IN GRACE. 279 Power, which is struggling with remaining corruption within them. Farther on we get a glimpse of other disciples shrinking from the view ; for though convinced that Jesus has come from God, they have not the courage to avow themselves to be his follow-ers. Here and there among the groups that hover around we notice enemies irritated by the faithfulness of the Holy One in the midst of them, and anxiously plotting to be rid of him. At this place we observe a company of scoffing Sadducees, at this other a band of scowling Pharisees. Scattered among these we meet with persons who had been relieved by the love of him who went about continually doing good ; who had had their burdens removed or their diseases healed. This man, fixing his eyes so eagerly on Jesus, was lately blind ; this other, listening so intently, was lately deaf; this third, walking and leaping with such alacrity, was not long before hopelessly lame ; while this fourth was only a few days ago prostrated on a bed of sickness, or shut up in the gloom of the sepulchre. In the background we have the mass of the people
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vacillating between two opinions, — now strewing his path with branches of trees and shouting '^ Hosanna ! *' and again with loud voice demanding his crucifixion. Where else will you meet with such a variety of character, reaching from spotless excellence on the one hand to bloated lust and demoniacal fury on the other? Heaven and earth and hell, god and man and devils, the flesh and the spirit, human nature and divine grace, meet and wrestle till we discover the 28o GOSPEL SERMONS. several properties of each. By this mingling of lig^ht and shadow we are interested and allured to pursue the path before us, and in doing so we gather deep instruction. I mean at this time to single out for more special contemplation a single person from the multitudes that pass before us. That individual is Nicodemus. He is presented to us in three different positions. In the passage immediately before us he is engaged with Joseph of Arimathea in committing the body of Jesus to the place of sepulture. But the Evan-
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