Nicodemus said to 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?…
Yonder is a cracked bell. How again to restore it? By one of two methods. The first is to repair the bell, to encompass it with hoops, to surround it with bands. Nevertheless you can easily discern the crack of the bell in the crack of the sound. The only effectual way is to remelt the bell, recast it, and make it all new; then it will ring clear, round, sonorous as ever. And human nature is a bell suspended high up in the steeple of the creation to ring forth the praises of the Almighty Creator. But in the Fall in Eden the bell cracked. How again to restore it? By one of two ways. One is to surround it with outward laws and regulations as with steel hoops. This is the method adopted by philosophy as embodied in practical statesmanship; and without doubt there is a marked improvement in the sound. Nevertheless the crack in the metal shows itself in the crack in the tone. The best way is to remelt it, recast it, remould it; and this is God's method in the gospel. He remelts our being, refashions us, creates us afresh from root to branch, makes us new creatures in Christ Jesus, zealous unto good works; and by and by we will sound forth His praises in a nobler, sweeter strain than ever we did before. Heaven's high arches will be made to echo our anthems of praise.
(J. C. Jones, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Nicodemus saith 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?