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    June 17, 1886

    “The Alemanni” The Signs of the Times 12, 23, pp. 356, 357.

    OF all the barbarian nations that divided the Roman Empire, the Alemanni “were the first who removed the veil that covered the feeble majesty of Italy.” But as their progress beyond the Rhine is so intimately connected with that of the Franks, we have reserved to this place the history of this people.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.1

    “They are first mentioned by Dion Cassius, who relates that the Emperor Caraealla gained, in 203 A.D., a victory over them on the banks of the Maine, and thence assumed the surname Alemannieus. The origin of this tribe, and the country from which they came, are unknown; but we have a distinct statement, which is apparently confirmed by the very name of the people, that they had flocked together from all parts, and were a mixed race. They proved most formidable enemies to the Romans as well as to the Gauls, their western neighbors, who to this day apply the name Alemanni (Allemands) to all the Germans indiscriminately, though the Alemanni, properly so called, occupied only the country between the Maine and the Danube. In the reign of Aurelian, 270 A.D., they attempted to invade Italy, but were repulsed. After the death of that emperor, however, they renewed their attacks by invading Gaul, and ravaging the country at different times. Several undertakings against them were of little avail, until in 357 A.D. the Emperor Julian completely defeated them in the neighborhood of Strasburg, where all their forces were assembled under seven chiefs. This and other defeats, however, did not break the power of the Alemanni, who, being pressed on by other barbarians in the North, were forced to advance southward and westward to conquer new countries for themselves. Hence, after the middle of the fifth century, we find them established not only in the country now called Suabia, but also in a part of Switzerland and in Alsace. In these countries the Alemanni have maintained themselves ever cine, and the greater part of the modern Suabians and the northern Swiss are descendants of that ancient race.”—Encyclopedia Britannica, art. Alemanni.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.2

    “In the reign of the emperor Caracalla [A.D. 211-217], an innumerable swarm of Suevi appeared on the banks of the Mein, and in the neighborhood of the Roman provinces, in quest either of food, of plunder, or of glory. The hasty army of volunteers gradually coalesced into a great and permanent nation, and as it was composed from so many different tribes, assumed the name of Alemanni, or Allmen, to denote at once their various lineage and their common bravery. The latter was soon felt by the Romans in many a hostile inroad. The Alemanni fought chiefly on horseback; but their cavalry was rendered still more formidable by a mixture of light infantry, selected from the bravest and most active of the youth, whom frequent exercise had inured to accompany the horsemen in the longest march, the most rapid charge, or the most precipitate retreat.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.3

    “This warlike people of Germans had been astonished by the immense preparations of Alexander Severus [A.D. 234]; they were dismayed by the arms of his successor [Maximin, A.D. 235], a barbarian equal in valor and fierceness to themselves. But still hovering on the frontiers of the empire, they increased the general disorder that ensued after the death of Decius [A.D. 250]. They inflicted severe wounds on the rich provinces of Gaul; they were the first who removed the veil that covered the feeble majesty of Italy. A numerous body of the Alemanni penetrated across the Danube and through the Rhetian Alps into the plains of Lombardy, advanced as far as Ravenna, and displayed the victorious banners of barbarians almost in sight of Rome.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.4

    “The insult and the danger rekindled in the senate somesparks of their ancient virtue. Both the emperors were engaged in far distant wars, Valerian in the East, and Gallienus on the Rhine. All the hopes and resources of the Romans were in themselves. In this emergency, the senators resumed he defense of the republic, drew out the Pretorian guards, who had been left to garrison the capital, and filled up their numbers, by enlisting into the public service the stoutest and most willing of the Plebeians. The Alemanni, astonished with the sudden appearance of an army more numerous than their own, retired into Germany, laden with spoil; and their retreat was esteemed as a victory by the unwarlike Romans.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.5

    “When Gallienus received the intelligence that his capital was delivered from the barbarians, he was much less delighted than alarmed with the courage of the senate, since it might one day prompt them to rescue the public from domestic tyranny as well as from foreign invasion. His timid ingratitude was published to his subjects, in an edict which prohibited the senators from exercising any military employment, and even from approaching the camps of the legions. But his fears were groundless. The rich and luxurious nobles, sinking into their natural character, accepted, as a favor, this disgraceful exemption from military service; and as long as they were indulged in the enjoyment of their baths, their theatres, and their villas, they cheerfully resigned the more dangerous cares of empire to the rough hands of peasants and soldiers.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.6

    “Another invasion of the Alemanni, of a more formidable aspect, but more glorious event, is mentioned by a writer of the lower empire. Three hundred thousand are said to have been vanquished, in a battle near Milan, by Gallienus in person, at the head of only ten thousand Romans. We may, however, with great probability, ascribe this incredible victory either to the credulity of the historian, or to some exaggerated exploits of one of the emperor’s lieutenants. It was by arms of a very different nature, that Gallienus endeavored to protect Italy from the fury of the Germans. He espoused Pipa, the daughter of a king of the Marcomanni, a Suevic tribe, which was often confounded with the Alemanni in their wars and conquests. To the father, as the price of his alliance, he granted an ample settlement in Pannonia. The native charms of unpolished beauty seem to have fixed the daughter in the affections of the inconstant emperor, and the bands of policy were more firmly connected by those of love. But the haughty prejudice of Rome still refused the name of marriage to the profane mixture of a citizen and a barbarian; and has stigmatized the German princess with the opprobrious title of concubine of Gallienus.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.7

    “While the vigorous and moderate conduct of Aurelian restored the Illyrian frontier, the nation of the Alemanni violated the conditions of peace, which either Gallienus had purchased, or Claudius had imposed, and, inflamed by their impatient youth, suddenly flew to arms. Forty thousand horse appeared in the field, and the numbers of the infantry doubled those of the cavalry. The first objects of their avarice were a few cities of the Rhetian frontier; but their hopes soon rising with success, the rapid march of the Alemanni traced a line of devastation from the Danube to the Po.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.8

    “The emperor was almost at the same time [A.D. 270, Sept.] informed of the irruption, and of the retreat, of the barbarians. Collecting an active body of troops, he marched with silence and celerity along the skirts of the Hercynian forest; and the Alemanni, laden with the spoils of Italy, arrived at the Danube, without suspecting, that on the opposite bank, and in an advantageous post, a Roman army lay concealed and prepared to intercept their return. Aurelian indulged the fatal security of the barbarians, and permitted about half their forces to pass the river without disturbance and without precaution. Their situation and astonishment gave him an easy victory; his skilful conduct improved the advantage. Disposing the legions in a semicircular form, he advanced the two horns of the crescent across the Danube, and wheeling them on a sudden towards the center, enclosed the rear of the German host. The dismayed barbarians, on whatsoever side they cast their eyes, beheld, with despair, a wasted country, a deep and rapid stream, a victorious and implacable enemy.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.9

    “Reduced to this distressed condition, the Alemanni no longer disdained to sue for peace. Aurelian received their ambassadors at the head of his camp, and with every circumstance of martial pomp that could display the greatness and discipline of Rome. The legions stood to their arms in well-ordered ranks and awful silence. The principal commanders, distinguished by the ensigns of their rank, appeared on horseback on either side of the Imperial throne. Behind the throne the consecrated images of the emperor, and his predecessors, the golden eagles, and the various titles of the legions, engraved in letters of gold, were exalted in the air on lofty pikes covered with silver. When Aurelian assumed his seat, his manly grace and majestic figure taught the barbarians to revere the person as well as the purple of their conqueror. The ambassadors fell prostrate on the ground in silence. They were commanded to rise, and permitted to speak. By the assistance of interpreters they extenuated their perfidy, magnified their exploits, expatiated on the vicissitudes of fortune and the advantages of peace, and, with an ill-timed confidence, demanded a large subsidy, as the price of the alliance which they offered to the Romans. The answer of the emperor was stern and imperious. He treated their offer with contempt, and their demand with indignation, reproached the barbarians, that they were as ignorant of the arts of war as of the laws of peace, and finally dismissed them with the choice only of submitting to this unconditional mercy, or awaiting the utmost severity of his resentment. Aurelian had resigned a distant province [Dacia] to the Goths; but it was dangerous to trust or to pardon these perfidious barbarians, whose formidable power kept Italy itself in perpetual alarms.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.10

    “Immediately after this conference, it should seem that some unexpected emergency required the emperor’s presence in Pannonia. He devolved on his lieutenants the care of finishing the destruction of the Alemanni, either by the sword, or by the surer operation of famine. But an active despair has often triumphed over the indolent assurance of success. The barbarians, finding it impossible to traverse the Danube and the Roman camp, broke through the posts in their rear, which were more feebly or less carefully guarded; and with incredible diligence, but by a different road, returned towards the mountains of Italy. Aurelian, who considered the war as totally extinguished, received the mortifying intelligence of the escape of the Alemanni, and of the ravage which they already committed in the territory of Milan. The legions were commanded to follow, with as much expedition as those heavy bodies were capable of exerting, the rapid flight of an enemy whose infantry and cavalry moved with almost equal swiftness. A few days afterwards, the emperor himself marched to the relief of Italy, at the head of a chosen body of auxiliaries, (among whom were the hostages and cavalry of the Vandals,) and of all the Pretorian guards who had served in the wars on the Danube.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.11

    “As the light troops of the Alemanni had spread themselves from the Alps to the Apennine, the incessant vigilance of Aurelian and his officers was exercised in the discovery, the attack, and the pursuit of the numerous detachments. Notwithstanding this desultory war, three considerable battles are mentioned, in which the principal force of both armies was obstinately engaged. The success was various. In the first, fought near Placentia, the Romans received so severe a blow, that, according to the expression of a writer extremely partial to Aurelian, the immediate dissolution of the empire was apprehended. The crafty barbarians, who had lined the woods, suddenly attacked the legions in the dusk of the evening, and, it is most probable, after the fatigue and disorder of a long march. The fury of their charge was irresistible; but, at length, after a dreadful slaughter, the patient firmness of the emperor rallied his troops, and restored, in some degree, the honor of his arms. The second battle was fought near Fano in Umbria; on the spot which, five hundred years before, had been fatal to the brother of Hannibal. Thus far the successful Germans had advanced along the Emilian and Flaminian way, with a design of sacking the defenseless mistress of the world. But Aurelian, who, watchful for the safety of Rome, still hung on their rear, found in this place the decisive moment of giving them a total and irretrievable defeat. The flying remnant of their host was exterminated in a third and last battle near Pavia; and Italy was delivered from the inroads of the Alemanni.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 10, par. 26-30; chap. 11, par. 18-22.SITI June 17, 1886, page 356.12


    (To be Continued.)

    “The Authority of the Old Testament” The Signs of the Times 12, 23, pp. 360, 361.

    THE Disciples not long since issued a pamphlet entitled, “Our Position.” One part of their position is stated as follows:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.1

    “We accept the Old Testament as true; ... but as a book of authority to teach us what we are to do, the New Testament alone, as embodying the teachings of Christ and his apostles, is our standard.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.2

    Upon this the Christian Intelligencer makes the following excellent comment:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.3

    “But they forget that in thus denying the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures they fly directly in the face of the teaching of Christ and his apostles. When the Saviour repelled the tempter in the wilderness if was by quoting the Old Testament. He said again and again, ‘It is written; but if the words written had no authority, why were they cited? In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord said that he came not to destroy (abrogate) the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. But if the law and the prophets were not abrogated by him, then they are of binding authority still. When he was asked what was the great command, he answered, quoting the words of the Pentatech which enjoin supreme love to God and to love our neighbor as ourselves, words which are unlimited either in time or place, and therefore are authoritative now, and evermore. When he was asked about marriage, he quoted from Genesis the passage which settles the question for all time. When he was asked about the resurrection, he referred to the Old Testament as deciding the point not for Jews only but for all men. When he was asked about the way to eternal life, he gave the most explicit sanction to the decalogue, saying, ‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ It follows, then, that to deny the authority of the Old Testament is to deny the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.4

    “The apostle Paul throughout his epistles cites the old scriptures, not simply as illustration, but as confirmation of his utterances. Not only so, but he affirms that ‘whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,’ and again, that ‘they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ He also and that ‘ever scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness’ (Revised Version]; but how could it be this unless it were authoritative? In the conference at Jerusalem the apostle James quoted from the prophets as a means of settling the question which caused the assembling of the council, and in the epistle he refers to the royal law according to the Scripture as a decisive rule of action. The apostle Peter not only quotes the Old Testament as authority, but tells his brethren that they do well to take heed unto it as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, since they knew that its authors ‘spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost.’SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.5

    “It is clear, then, that they who restrict authority to the teachings of Christ and his apostles are counter to those very teachings. And they cut themselves off from three-fourths of the rule of faith which God has given. They also greatly disparage the divine wisdom. It pleased the Most High to make his revelation of himself gradual. Through a long course of years the disclosures were made, the late never superseding but supplementing the earlier, and the whole together constituting the divine directory for men. The Bible, the whole Bible, is one book, and it is needful in order to accomplish its purposes; but to deny authority to the greater part of it is sadly to mutilate the inspired rule of faith and practice. If the Old Testament has and was designed to have no grip upon the conscience of Christians, its use and advantage to them is wofully [sic.] abridged. In fact, it is reduced to the level of uninspired productions. It may contain many excellent things, but the reader is to sit in judgment upon their value to him just as he would in the case of any human production. Whatever is be, narrative, proverb, psalm, statute, or prophecy, he is to accept it if it commends itself to his mind, otherwise not. To all who hold such views one may well repeat the incisive words of our Lord, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures.’”SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.6

    Yet as plain as all this is, the Christian Standard seriously sets about to controvert it, and begins by asking the ever mistaken question of that denomination, namely:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.7

    “Who is now the Lawgiver in the spiritual universe? ... That is the question. Moses or Christ—which? ... Those scriptures were a standard to those who lived under the authority of Moses; but they cannot, in the nature of things, be a standard of authority to those who live under the authority of Christ.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.8

    We would ask the Standard, who, but God, has ever been the Lawgiver in the spiritual universe? Where was Moses ever a lawgiver in the spiritual, or in any other, universe? We challenge the Standard to show, from the hour that Moses saw the burning bush to the hour of his death, that he ever did anything upon his own authority, unless it be at the rock of Meribah, when he said, “Must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Numbers 20:8-12. But as this forfeited his entrance into the promised land, we think that even the Standard would hardly present that as proof that Moses acted on his own authority. The calamity that came upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and all their company, was to demonstrate that the authority by which Moses acted as the authority of God. “Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.” Numbers 16:28.SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.9

    Then by what right is it that the Standard speaks of the “authority of Moses”? None whatever but an assumed right. It is directly against the word of Moses, to speak of what he did as being the authority of Moses. From Exodus 3:4 to Deuteronomy 34:4, from the burning bush to Pisgah, always the word is, “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying,” “And the Lord said unto Moses,” etc. So it is all through the Old Testament. The Lord spoke to Joshua, to the Judges, to Samuel, to David, to Nathan, to Isaiah, to Jeremiah, to Ezekiel, to Daniel, and to all the prophets. None of these spoke on their own authority, nor upon the authority of Moses, but ever by the authority of the Lord. None of these things ever purported to be the authority of Moses. Nobody ever obeyed them as of the authority of Moses, but always as of the authority of God. And this authority is the authority of Christ. It was the Spirit of Christ that was in all the prophets from Moses—yet, from Abraham, from Enoch—to Malachi. It was the Spirit of Christ that testified in all their writings, “searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them did signify, when it testified,” etc. 1 Peter 1:11. The Old Testament, then, is the testimony of Christ, and the testimony of Christ is the testimony of God. Therefore, to deny the authority of the Old Testament is to deny the authority of Christ and of God.SITI June 17, 1886, page 360.10

    But this will not suit the Standard at all; for according to it the authority of Christ did not begin till after his resurrection. It says:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.1

    “It was after his resurrection that Jesus claimed the possession of ‘all authority in Heaven and on earth,’ ... and from that time men are under the authority of the Lord Jesus.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.2

    It is true that it was after his resurrection—in fact, on the day of his ascension—that Jesus said this; but to claim that he had not this authority till that time is more than the record will justify. Nearly the beginning of his ministry, before the imprisonment of John the Baptist, the record is, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John 3:35. And before the death of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father.” Matthew 11:27. “By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16, 17. “Without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:3. Before he came into the world, he upheld “all things by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1:1-3. Now if the Christian Standard can conceive how Christ could have all things delivered to him, how he could create all things delivered to him, how he could uphold all things by the word of his power, and yet have no authority till after his resurrection, it has a power of conception that is truly phenomenal. Besides this, if the Standard’s position were true, it would follow that no part of the New Testament even would be of authority except that which was spoken after the resurrection of Christ. For it was not till then that Christ “claimed the possession of authority.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.3

    In reply to the Intelligencer’s instance of Jesus telling the young man, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” the Standard again lets itself out after this fashion:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.4

    “Let the reader carefully observe that this was the question of a Jew, propounded to one whom the questioner regarded as an expounder of the law; and therefore Jesus answers him out of the law. This certainly proves that the law of Moses was then authoritative. But does the Intelligencer mean to say that this is the way of life taught in the gospel? and that to deny this is ‘to deny the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ’? We have not so learned Christ.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.5

    Then we say that the Standard has not properly learned Christ. This was not all that Jesus said to the young man. He said also to him, “Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come and follow me.” Was it as “a Jew,” “an expounder of the law” to a Jew, that this was said by the Lord Jesus? No; it was said by the Saviour of the world, the One by whom comes eternal life, to one who honestly asked the way to eternal life, and one whom Jesus wanted to follow him. It was said to one whom Jesus wanted to be his disciple. Therefore, what Jesus told this young man to do is what his disciples must do that they may have eternal life. Had the young man done it, he would assuredly have been a disciple of Christ; therefore, to deny the commandments of God, of the Old Testament, is to deny an essential part of the duty of a disciple of Christ. The Standard, and the “Disciples” whom it represents, need to learn more thoroughly what constitutes a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Standard needs to so learn Christ.SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.6

    But aside from this special pleading, the Standard cannot make its own system work. In answer to the statement that “Jesus repelled the tempter by quoting the Old Testament,” it says:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.7

    “Those Scriptures had authority. Jesus was a Jew, ‘born under the law,’ and it was his office to ‘magnify the law and make it honorable.’ Not one jot or tittle of the law was to pass until all was fulfilled; and Jesus was then engaged in fulfilling it. What has that to do with the question concerning the present Lawgiver, whose authority we are to honor?”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.8

    And yet in an editorial on the same page, in reply to a Catholic on the worship of Mary, it says:—SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.9

    “There are no hymns of praise, there is no worship, addressed to Mary in the Scriptures. ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,’ is what the Son of Mary uttered as true doctrine.”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.10

    But hold, Mr. Standard. Why may not the Catholic answer you in your own words, that it was as “a Jew ‘born under the law,’” and “as an expounder of the law,” and while he was “engaged in fulfilling it,” that Jesus uttered these words? He was speaking to one who regarded him “as an expounder of the law, therefore Jesus answered him out of the law. This certainly proves that the law of Moses was the authoritative.” But “what has that to do with the question concerning the present Lawgiver whose authority Catholics are to follow?”SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.11

    Now why is not that argument as sound in behalf of the Catholics as the foregoing is in behalf of the Disciples? Or is it true that argument against the authority of the Old Testament is good for the Disciples alone, and is not to be used by other people? “It is a poor rule that will not work both ways.” And as the Standard’s rule, by its own application, will not work both ways, we set it down that the argument against the authority of the Old Testament is a poor, miserable shift to escape the obligation of the Law of God. J.SITI June 17, 1886, page 361.12

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