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Nicodemus.

Nicodemus.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HENRY VARLEY


THIS evening I propose to address* you from
thoughts contained in the third chapter of the
Gospel of John, as touching the interview
between Nicodemus and the Great Master ; and I
shall endeavor to make my remarks, as far as I pos-
sibly can, subserve the object of this meeting in the
interest of young men. " There was a man of the
Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews :
The same came to Jesus by night
BY HENRY VARLEY


THIS evening I propose to address* you from
thoughts contained in the third chapter of the
Gospel of John, as touching the interview
between Nicodemus and the Great Master ; and I
shall endeavor to make my remarks, as far as I pos-
sibly can, subserve the object of this meeting in the
interest of young men. " There was a man of the
Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews :
The same came to Jesus by night

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 29, 2014
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ICODEMUS. BY HERY VARLEYTHIS evening I propose to address* you from thoughts contained in the third chapter of the Gospel of John, as touching the interview between icodemus and the Great Master ; and I shall endeavor to make my remarks, as far as I pos- sibly can, subserve the object of this meeting in the interest of young men. " There was a man of the Pharisees, named icodemus, a ruler of the Jews : The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God : for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with Him." What an important time has come in the history of a man, when his desire after a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ leads him to the Master Himself. Such a time as this had come to icodemus, and such a time I trust has come to many of you who are found • This Address was delivered by Mr. Varley at the SJeventh Anniversary Meeting of the Hamilton Young Men's Christian Asso- ciation, held in the Centenary Church, Hamilton, Canada, on the evening of Friday, December 4, 1874. 6* ( 121 ) 122 ICODEMUS. in this house to-night. I want you now to notice how the Lord Jesus deals with icodemus. " Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. icodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be bom when he is old ? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb,
 
and be boni.^ Jesus answered. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." You will observe in these words, that there is apparently no connection between the question which is put by icodemus, and the answer given by the Lord. The reason of this I think is obvious. icodemus wanted Christ to do what many men in our day want Him to do. He wanted Christ to educate before converting ; and I assure you, my friends, that the Master will never do that. He will bear with you ; He will be full of tenderness, and full of long suffering and gentleness ; but as surely as I am speaking to you to-night, the Master will deal with you in this peremptory way, as sud- denly as He did with icodemus : " Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be 6orn again^ he cannot see the kingdom of God." The reason of this I will try and illustrate to you. What would you think of me were I to go to a teacher of eti- quette, and say to him : " Sir, I understand you are schooled in the laws of Court, and you teach kings and nobles how to demean themselves in the high places of the land : I want you to teach mc how to ICODEMUS. 123 wear a crown ; how to hold with becoming dignity a levee." " But pardon me," is the reply, " are you a king ? " o." " You have no expectancy of the crown ? " " ot the least." " And you want me to educate you, do you !" Would not the absurdity of the thing justify his derisive laugh, as he turns and leaves you ? And yet, that is what thousands of men are wanting. They are wanting Jesus Christ to educate a lifeless being ; they arc wanting
 
Him to dress up that which God rejects. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again," there is no life to develop, there is not a mail to teach or educate. There is not a soul listening to my voice who was born into the world with spiritual life ; it is not ours by hereditary right, by infant or adult baptism, by sprinkling or immersion. " He that /lal/i the Son hath lifcl' but he that hath not the Son of God, though he may be the mightiest intellect in the earth, though he may be the wisest of politicians, and have the largest perception of mundane affairs, though he may be as eloquent as Demosthenes, yet if he has not Christ, he is destitute of life. The Master's words generally strike home at once, and, by His sharp and keenly directed arrow. He has hit the centre of icodemus's mind. icode- mus has not misunderstood Him. icodemus said unto Him : " How can a man be born when he is old } can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born } " Jesus answered, " Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 124 ieODEMUS. kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" Mark the sharp division here : " that which is bom of the flesh is flesh," and, dear friends, you may do with it what you like — ^you may develop it, you may educate it, you may restrain it, you may circumcise it, you may teach it to pray, you may baptize it, you may bring it to the holy table of the Lord, you may put its name on the Church's book,  — and when you have done all, it will remain flesh stilL That which is born of the flesh remains flesh

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