Wright - BT300 W8 1788

. LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. when rightly underfiood, as his preju- dices induced him to think it was, but might, as to the probability of it, be illufirated by á familiar fimile ; Marvel not, fays he, that I laid unto thee, ye mutt be born again. The wind bloweth where it leth, and thou heard the found thereof, but canil not tell whence it cometh, ors whither it goeth; fo is every one that is born of the Spirit. The meaning of thefe words feems to be, that, though the entire renovation of heart, which Chrifi's religion required, might feem impoffible to the blind eyes of carnal men, it might neverthelefs be true ; for in the natural world, there are many things of fo fine a texture, that we cannot difcern them with our eyes, but it is very manifeft that they exill, and they are very great and power- ful in their effects. The wind is a thing altogether invifible, no man can behold it's body, or trace it's motion, even when it blows with the greateft violence; yet that there is fuch a thing is fufficiently evident, and the effe&s of it are uni- verfally known : thus, therefore, that re- generation, or renovation which is wrought in the heart of man, by the powerful agency of the Spirit of God, though, in itfelf, it be invifible, and not at all dif- cernible by fight or fenfe ; yet, in it's ef- fefts, it is a great and plain thing, and really as great and manifefi a change in the nature anddifpofition, the defires and purfuits of the foul, and 'conducing as much to all the purpofes of divine and eternal life, as the birth of man does to this mortal life. Though thefe arguments were plain, and not to be evaded or denied, yet Nicodemus retained his prejudices; this fyfiem of fpiritual religion was contrary to his apprehenfions, nor could he fee how the children of Abraham could (land in need of a renovation and change, equal to that which the infant finds when born, to fit them for the kingdomof God ; and, therefore, the ruler of Ifrael inquired, No. 4. 41 How can thefe things be ? To which our great Redeemerreplied, that it was firange he Ihould be fo hard to be infiruEted, Art thou et mailer in Ifrael, and knowe/t not thefe things? Art thou a teacher of others, and yet unable to difcern things which I have fo plainly revealed ? Our Lord then proceeded to inform him, that he was certain of the truth of what he had advanced concerning the new birth, and therefore it ought to be received ; but if thefe plain and eafy truths, relating to the fpiritual nature of the Melfzah's kingdom, were fo !lowly received i men of the firfi eminence ánd underfianding in the nation, how would they be able to com- prehend the more fublime and noble doc- trines of the gofpel, which he was come to preach to the fons of men. Our Re- deemer further proceeded to inform Nicodemus, that it was the indifpenfible duty of mankind to attend to his minifiry, becaufe he came with fuperior credentials, and higher authority than ever man had before him. Mofes had never afcended into heaven, but received his law from the top of mount Sinai ; none of the ancient prophets had defcended from the bleffed abodes, to teach mankind; whereas the Son of God came down from heaven fully commiffioned from above: he had been favoured with the clearefl and mofi ex- tenfive view of fpiritual things, and was fully acquainted with the deepen receffes of. the divine councils; nay, at this very time, is prefent with God in heaven, and at comprehenfive view beholdeth the extent of the univerfe ; he is confcious to all the gracious intentions of the Ring of heaven towards the human race, and, of confequence, muff be fuperior in autho- rity and dignity to Mofes, or any other perfon who hath appeared in the world. Our great Redeemer, before the con- ference concluded, took occafion to fet the inquiring ruler to rights, refpeEting the kingdom of the Meffiah, concerning which he fo much wanted to be informed. L He