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    August 5, 1886

    “The Saxons Enter Britain” The Signs of the Times 12, 30, p. 468.

    AFTER the settlement of the Vandals in Africa (A. D. 429-439) the Saxons were the next barbarians to plant themselves on the territory of what had been the majestic empire of Rome.SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.1

    “For the fatherland of the English race we must look far away from England itself. In the fifth century after the birth of Christ the one country which we know to have borne the name of Angeln or England lay within the district which is now called Sleswick, a district in the heart of the peninsula that parts the Baltic from the Northern seas. Its pleasant pastures, its black-timbered homesteads, its prim little townships looking down on inlets of purple water, were then but a wild waste of heather and sand, girt along the coast with a sunless woodland, broken here and there by meadows that crept down to the marshes and the sea.SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.2

    The dwellers in this district, however, seem to have been merely an outlying fragment of what was called the Engle or English folk, the bulk of whom lay probably in what is now Lower Hanover and Oldenburg. On one side of them the Saxons of Westphalia held the land from the Weser to the Rhine; on the other, the Eastphalian Saxons stretched away to the Elbe. North again of the fragment of the English folk in Sleswick lay another kindred tribe, the Jutes, whose name is still preserved in their district of Jutland. Engle, Saxon, and Jute, all belonged to the same Low German branch of the Teutonic family; and at the moment when history discovers them they were being drawn together by the ties of a common blood, common speech, common social and political institutions. There is little ground indeed for believing that the three tribes looked on themselves as one people, or that we can as yet apply to them, save by anticipation, the common name of Englishmen. But each of them was destined to share in the conquest of the land in which we live [England], and it is from the union of all of them, when its conquest was complete, that the English people has sprung.SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.3

    “Of the temper and life of the folk in this older England we know little. But from the glimpses that we catch of it when conquest had brought them to the shores of Britain, their political and social organization must have been that of the German race to which they belonged. In their villages lay ready formed the social and political life which is round us in the England of to-day. A belt of forest or waste parted each from its fellow-villages, and within this boundary or mark the ‘township,’ as the village was then called, from the ‘tun’ or rough fence and trench that served as its simple fortification, formed a complete and independent body, though linked by ties which were strengthening every day, to the townships about it and the tribe of which it formed a part. Its social center was the homestead where the etheling or corl, a descendant of the first English settlers in the waste, still handed down the blood and traditions of his fathers. Around this homestead or ethel, each in its little croft, stood the lowlier dwellings of freelings or ceorls... The corl was distinguished from his fellow-villagers by his wealth and his nobler blood; he was held by them in a hereditary reverence; and it was from him and his fellow-ethelings that host-leades, whether of the village or the tribe, were chosen in times of war. But this claim to precedence rested simply on the free recognition of his fellow-villagers. Within the township every freeman or ccorl was equal. It was the freeman who was the base of village society. He was the ‘free-necked man’ whose long hair floated over a neck which had never bowed to a lord. He was the ‘weaponed man,’ who alone bore spear and sword, and who alone preserved that right of self-redress or private war which in such a state of society formed the main check upon lawless outrage.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.4

    “The religion of these men was the same as that of the rest of the German peoples.... The common god of the English people was Woden, the war god, the guardian of ways and boundaries, to whom his worshipers attributed the invention of letters, and whom every tribe held to be the first ancestor of its kings. Our own names for the days of the week still recall to us the gods whom our fathers worshiped in their German home land. Wednesday is Woden’s-day, as Thursday is the day of Thunder, the god of air and storm and rain. Friday is Frea’s-day, the deity of peace and joy and fruitfulness, whose emblems, borne aloft by dancing maidens, brought increase to every field and stall they visited. Saturday commemorates an obscure god, Setere; Tuesday the dark god, Tiw, to meet whom was death. Eostre, the god of the dawn or of the spring, lends his name to the Christian festival of the resurrection. Behind these floated the dim shapes of an older mythology; ‘Wyrd,’ the death-goddess, whose memory lingered long in the ‘Weird’ of northern superstition; or the Shield-Maidens, the ‘mighty women,’ who, an old rhyme tells us, ‘wrought on the battle field their toil and hurled the thrilling javelins.’ Nearer to the popular fancy lay deities of wood and fell or hero-gods of legend and song; Nicor, the water-sprite who survives in our nixies and ‘Old Nick;’ Weland, the lorger of weighty shields and sharp-biting swords, who found a later home in the ‘Weyland’s smithy’ of Berkshire; Egil, the hero-archer, whose legend is one with that of Cloudesly or Tell.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.5

    “The energy of these people found vent in a restlessness which drove them to take part in the general attack of the German race on the empire of Rome. For busy tillers and busy fishers as Englishmen were, they were at heart fighters, and their world was a world of war. Tribe warred with tribe, and village with village; even within the township itself feuds parted household from household, and passions of hatred and vengeance were handed on from father to son. Their mood was above all a mood of fighting men, venturesome, self-reliant, proud, with a dash of hardness and cruelty in it, but ennobled by the virtues which spring from war,—by personal courage and loyalty to plighted word, by a high and stern sense of manhood and the worth of man. A grim joy in hard fighting was already a characteristic of the race. War was the Englishman’s ‘shield-play’ and ‘sword-game;’ the gleeman’s verse took fresh fire as he sang of the rush of the host and the crash of the shield line....SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.6

    “And next to their love of war came their love of the sea. Everywhere throughout Beowulf’s song, as everywhere throughout the life that it pictures, we catch the salt whiff of the sea. The Englishman was as proud of his seacraft as of his war-craft; sword in teeth he plunged into the sea to meet walrus and sea-lion; he told of his whale-chase amid the icy waters of the North. Hardly less than his love for the sea was the love he bore to the ship that traversed it. In the fond playfulness of English verse the ship was ‘the wave-floater,’ the ‘foam-necked,’ ‘like a bird’ as it skimmed the wave-crest, ‘like a swan’ as its curved prow breasted the ‘swan-road’ of the sea.SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.7

    “Their passion for the sea marked out for them their part in the general movement of the German nations. While Goth and Lombard were slowly advancing over the mountain and plain, the boats of the Englishmen pushed faster over the sea. Bands of English rovers, outdriven by stress of flight, had long found a home there, and lived as they could by sack of vessel or coast. Chance has preserved for us in a Sleswick peat-bog one of the war-keels of seventy feet long and eight or nine feet wide, its sides of oak boards fastened with bark ropes and iron bolts. Fifty oars drove it over the waves with a freight of warriors whose arms, axes, swords, lances, and knives, were found heaped together in its hold. Like the galleys of the Middle Ages such boats could only creep cautiously along from harbor to harbor in rough weather; but in smooth water their swiftness fitted them admirably for the piracy by which the men of these tribes were already making themselves dreaded. Its flat bottom enabled them to beach the vessel on any fitting coast; and a step on shore at once transformed that boatmen into a war-band. From the first the dring of the English race broke out in the secrecy and suddenness of the pirate’s swoop, in the fierceness of their onset, in the careless glee with which they seized either sword or oar. ‘Foes are they,’ sang a Roman poet of the time, ‘fierce beyond other foes and cunning as they are fierce; the sea is their school of war and the storm their friend; they are sea-wolves that prey on the pillage of the world!”SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.8

    “Of the three English tribes the Saxons lay nearest to the empire, and they were naturally the first to touch the Roman world; before the close of the third century, indeed, their boats appeared in such force in the English Channel as to call for a special fleet to resist them. The piracy of our fathers had thus brought them to the shores of a land which, dear as it is now to Englishmen, had not as yet been trodden by English feet. This land was Britain. When the Saxon boats touched its coast, the island was the westernmost province of the Roman Empire. In the fifty-fifth year before Christ a descent of Julius Cesar revealed it to the Roman world; and a century after Cesar’s landing, the Emperor Claudius undertook its conquest. The work was swiftly carried out. Before thirty years were over, the bulk of the island had passed beneath the Roman sway, and the Roman frontier had been carried to the Firths of Forth and of Clyde...SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.9

    “For three hundred years the Roman sword secured order and peace without Britain and within; and with peace and order came a wide and rapid prosperity. Commerce sprang up in ports, among which London held the first rank; agriculture flourished till Britain became one of the corn-exporting countries of the world; the mineral resources of the province were explored in the tin mines of Cornwall, the lead mines of Somerset or Northumberland, and the iron mines of the Forest of Dean. But evils which sapped the strength of the whole empire, told at last on the province of Britain.”—Green’s Larger History of England, chap. 1, par. 1, 2, 11, 13-16.SITI August 5, 1886, page 468.10


    “Restoration of the Papacy” The Signs of the Times 12, 30, pp. 470, 471.

    WE have seen how that Germany and the United States have acknowledged the sovereignty of the Pope, and have noted the movement in Italy, follow suit. After Germany and Italy, of the powers of Western Europe, there only remains England whose acknowledgment would be of any significance. And when Germany and Italy, which have been the most bitter of the opponents of the Papacy, are now so ready to bring about a reconciliation on which grants the sovereignty of the Pope, it is not at all difficult to believe that occasion may arise at which England would be ready to engage his good offices by also recognizing his sovereignty as Germany has done, and as Italy desires to do.SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.1

    This will the more readily appear when the motive is seen which has led Germany to humble herself before the Pope, and which is leading Italy to take the same course. This is so clearly stated by Signor Fazzari, that we shall give it in his own words:—SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.2

    “In my mind, the necessity and possibility of the understanding with the Papacy, follows from the present condition of Italy and the monarchy, both in itself and its relations with other nations; and this all the more, and most particularly from a consideration of the ever-spreading spirit of anarchy, and the condition of political degradation, which we all lament in Italy, and which certainly will not be ended by the alternative of Right and Left [the Italian Parliament] at the helm of State, so long as the ideas hitherto held by these parties are still entertained.”—The Monitor (S. F.), June 23, 1886.SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.3

    This same “ever-spreading spirit of anarchy,” it was that caused Bismarck to “go to Canossa.” In his speech in the German Parliament, the Chancellor said that there are “political parties in their own assemblies who put forward demands, and advocated views which would ruin Germany far more quickly than any papal pretensions;” and that “the Pope is a wise, venerable, and good man, very friendly to Germany, much better disposed to forward the true interests of Germany than some of the politicians in the Prussian Diet and the Reichstag.” In these expressions Bismarck clearly betrays the cause that induced him to seek the friendship of the Papacy. Socialism is rife in Germany, and has a large representation in the Parliament. It is the Socialists who “put forward demands and advocate views that would ruin Germany;” and so even the “iron” Chancellor is compelled to bend, and makes haste to enlist the Pope on his side in the impending and imminent contest with the “spirit of anarchy.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.4

    Nor is it alone in Germany and Italy that the spirit of anarchy prevails. Even while we are writing this article, there comes to hand the San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, July 25, 1886, and entitled, “The Red Specter.” We here insert the first few sentences:—SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.5

    “Socialism is the red specter of Europe. It is ever in the thought of kings; it clogs the wheels of legislation in parliaments; it alarms the thoughtful and far-seeing, and it is in all European countries a disturbing element in politics and society. Governments, politicians, the press, and writers of books, are more and more taking it into account, availing themselves of its influence, or using the material which it furnishes. The question is constantly asked, Is it extending? The reasons for believing that it is are many. The strongest is that it is feared. In France the Ministry acts timidly in presence of its occult power. Bismarck, who hoped that his law of 1878, proscribing Socialism, would accomplish its work, and effectually lay the specter in five years, has been compelled to renew it. There are more Socialists deputies to-day in the German Parliament than in 1878. In Russia, Socialism, less defined in principle than elsewhere, threatens the life of the Czar and the annihilation of all existing social and political forms. In Austria, Italy, Spain, and England, the public is continually made aware of its operations by the expressed discontent of the working classes and the imminency of revolutions.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.6

    Thus “the ever-spreading spirit of anarchy,” in the presence of which statesmen turn pale, and Governments tremble, is the secret of the movement for the restoration of the Papacy. In times of such difficulties as these, it is with peculiar force that the Papacy suggests itself to the minds of statesmen as the source of greatest help. In times of anarchy and revolution, when the very foundations of States, and even of society itself, seem to be moved, it is almost instinctively that the European statesman grasps the hand of the Papacy. The Papacy has passed through revolution after revolution, and complete anarchy itself is no terror to her. She saw the fall of the Roman Empire. And as that empire was the “mightiest fabric of human greatness” ever seen by man, so its fall was the most fearful ever seen in history. Yet the Papacy not only passed through and survived it all, but she gathered new strength from it all. When Alaric and Genseric—Goth and Vandal—poured destruction upon destruction upon the devoted city, the Papacy came forth from it with no weakness upon her, and the wrath of the terrible Attila was turned away by the efforts and the personal presence of the Pope. When the flood of barbaric rage swept over all Western Europe, spreading destruction, misery, and anarchy for centuries, instead of disturbing the Papacy, it was but her opportunity. The Papacy thrives on revolutions; the perplexities of States are her fortune to her anarchy is better than order. Therefore, we repeat, when revolution is imminent, and anarchy threatens, it is almost instinctively that the European statesman grasps the hand of her who mastered the anarchy of the Middle Ages, and the revolutions of fifteen centuries. And if England gets out of her dynamite-Irish troubles without the help of the Papacy, it is more than we expect.SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.7

    We see then that the prophecies reveal a restoration of the Papacy. We see the steps already taken in that direction by the two nations principally concerned. We see, in the ever-spreading spirit of anarchy, the cause which has impelled these nations to these steps, and which, in the nature of the case, must induce others to follow their lead; and all such advances can end in nothing else than the aggrandizement of the Papacy, and its re-assertion of power. For as surely as any person or power enters into negotiations with the Papacy upon an equal basis, that person or power will be over-reached. Negotiations backed by force may succeed, but not otherwise, and even then only but a time; because, though a pope may be beaten and die, the Papacy lives and works. We believe Macaulay’s words express the literal truth:—SITI August 5, 1886, page 470.8

    “It is impossible to deny that the polity of the Church of Rome is the very masterpiece of human wisdom.... The experience of twelve hundred eventful years, the ingenuity and patient care of forty generations of statesmen, have improved that polity to such perfection that, among the contrivances which have been devised for deceiving and oppressing mankind, it occupies the highest place.”—Essays, Von Ranke.SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.1

    The statement of the Bible on this point is that it is “the mystery of iniquity,” and that “through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” Daniel 8:25. Craft always has prospered in his hand, and in his present efforts for the renewal of his power, his vast experience in this bad accomplishment will not fail him; for the Papacy is only too willing to do its part in this matter. As an instance of this, we may mention that in the matter of the negotiations with Bismarck, the agreement was that if Prussia would revise the May Laws, the Pope would then direct the Catholic officials in Germany to show proper obedience to the laws. But he was so willing to show his sincerity in the scheme of reconciliation that he went beyond his part of the agreement, and gave the requisite order before the German Parliament had agreed to a revision of the obnoxious laws. This was then used by Bismarck as an effectual answer to those who opposed his bill out of suspicion that the Pope was not really sincere. But the Papacy would not be itself if it were really sincere in anything else than the one grand project of its own aggrandizement. That is all the sincerity that it has ever shown in history. That is all the sincerity it is capable of showing. Yet with all the dreadful history of the Papacy before them, not only unapologized for, but prided upon, statesmen and Governments are compelled by “the ever-spreading spirit of anarchy” to shut their eyes to it all, to forget it all, and, for their own safety, to make firm alliances with the embodiment of that polity which is the perfection of “contrivances which have been devised for deceiving and oppressing mankind.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.2

    As, therefore, the spirit of anarchy is the principal cause of these advances toward the renewed recognition of the Papacy in national and international affairs, and as this spirit is universal, so we are certain that this recognition of the Papacy in one form or another, as suits it best, will be universal. And we believe that Father O’Reilly stated the exact truth when he said:—SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.3

    “The time must come, and is coming, when the Papacy will be formally acknowledged as the international institution par excellence, and when both its sovereignty ... and the means necessary to secure its exercise, will be once more placed solemnly under the safeguard of all nations.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.4

    We believe it because it is in accordance with the Scripture: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Then can she indeed say “in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow.” Revelation 18:7. And as sure as the sure word of prophecy itself, just so surely will there be persecution. The Papacy is ever the same. The disposition to “root out heresy” is the same in all places and in all ages. All that is now lacking is the power, and when that shall be restored to her, then will be fulfilled the prophecy: “The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came; and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.5

    But it will not be for long. For just at the time when she, because of her restoration to preference and power, is glorifying herself, is living deliciously, and congratulating herself, saying “in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow;” just then, and “therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Revelation 18:7, 8. The restoration of the Papacy is the one great event that stands between the world and the Judgment. That restoration is now in progress; the elements are rife that will assure its accomplishment; war upon the saints is impending; and the time that the saints possess the kingdom is at the doors.SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.6

    Next week we shall examine this subject in connection with our own country.SITI August 5, 1886, page 471.7


    “Notes on the International Lesson. Jesus Teaching Humility. John 13:1-27” The Signs of the Times 12, 30, pp. 474, 475.

    (August 15.—John 13:1-17.)

    IN the lesson for to-day Jesus taught humility, by an example which he is to be imitated by his followers. Said he, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” Yet as plain as are the words of the Master, not one in a thousand of those who profess to be his disciples, follow the example given by him. They do not do as he did. In this neglect, or refusal, there is a serious slighting of both the example and the command of the Lord Jesus. This example was given by Jesus to be followed by doing as he did, and not by doing something else,—“that ye should do as I have done to you.” That is what the example means, and if it is not followed in the way that he did it, it is not followed at all.SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.1

    The common explanation of the fact of the washing of feet is, that, as in those days the people wore sandals, it was the part of the host to wash the feet of his guests. But the Bible itself is the best evidence of the customs of Bible times, and the Bible shows that such an explanation is not the truth. When the angels came to Abraham, he said: “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet.” Genesis 18:1-5. When two of the same ones went on to Sodom, Lot “rose up to meet them.” “And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.” Genesis 19:1, 2. When Abraham’s servant went to the city of Nahor to obtain a wife for his master’s son, and came to the house of Bethuel, Laban said: “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standesth thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.” Genesis 21:31, 32. When Joseph’s brethren went down to Egypt, “The man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.” Genesis 43:24.SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.2

    In the days of the Judges, a Levite with his servant and concubine, was journeying from Bethlehem-Judah to the side of Mount Ephraim, and came to Gibeah, and the old man whom he met said: “Peace be with thee; howsoever, let all thy wants be upon me; only lodge not in the street. So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses; and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.” Judges 19:20, 21. In the song of Solomon it is said: “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” chap. 5:3. When Jesus said at meat in the house of Simon the Pharisee, he did not say to Simon, Thou didst not wash my feet; but he did say, “Thou gavest me not water for my feet.” Luke 7:44. While the woman who had many sins had even washed his feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. And the very contrast which Jesus makes in this instance shows that for one person to wash another’s feet was entirely out of the usual order. In any case this token of love of the penitent Mary could not be construed as an act of hospitality. See the whole narrative in Luke 7:36-50.SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.3

    The truth is, then, that while in all Bible times there are instances of persons giving to others water with which they washed their own feet, there is not in all the Bible a single instance of one person’s washing another’s feet, except that of Jesus in this lesson, and of those who followed his example as thus given. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that Peter did not know why the Lord should wash their feet; for Jesus said, “What I do thou knowest not now.” If such was the common practice in those days, it is most singular that Peter did not know about it. The fact is, there was no such custom, and that the act of Jesus was entirely out of the known order. We believe that Jesus spoke the truth when he said “What I do thou knowest not now.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.4

    Yet He said “But thou shalt know hereafter.” “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” Here, then, is the Lord’s own explanation of an act of which they did not know the meaning. And that explanation is, “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Why? Because “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.5

    Not as Mr. Peloubet says in his “Select Notes on the International Lessons:” “He that serves others; he that does the humblest service in order to relieve their wants, or cleanse their souls from sin; he that ... seeks out the poor, the wick, the obscure, the unpopular, to be their friend and helper,—he does to them as Christ did to the disciples.” But did not Christ do that to everybody? Had he not been doing all these things before the eyes of his disciples, and had he not been teaching them all these things for three years and a half? In the temple, in the presence of a multitude, Jesus, in words spoken directly to his disciples, could exalt the poor widow and her two mites above all the rich of Jerusalem; he could go to the house of Zaccheus the publican, and of Simon the leper, and eat meat there; he could lead his disciples away over to the borders of Tyre and Sidon, apparently for the sole purpose of helping the poor woman of Canaan, whose daughter was grievously vexed with a devil; he could show his gracious favor to the poor Mary “whose sins were many;” he could feed thousands of the hungry, twice, because “he had compassion on them;” he could cleanse the lepers, cause the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, he could bring from the dead “the only son of his other, and also a widow,” because “he had compassion on her;” he could heal the wick numbering thousands, all day, till he was wearied out, day after day; all these things, and more he could do year in and year out, and could send forth his disciples themselves to do them all; and yet, according to Mr. Peloubet, after all this, the disciples still lacked an example of Jesus, “serving others,” and of his seeking out “the poor, the sick, the obscure, the unpopular, to be their friend and helper, and to relieve their wants”! And then when he does give them such an example, lo, he does it by washing their feet!! And “he who seeks out the poor, the sick, the obscure, the unpopular, to be their friend and helper,—he does to them as Christ did to his disciples”! He who does these things does as Christ did to all; but to do these things is not to do as Christ did to his disciples, nor to follow his example, when he washed their feet.SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.6

    Here are the words of Christ: 1. “I have washed your feet.” 2. “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” 3. “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Therefore it is certain that no man follows the example of Christ as he gave it on this occasion, unless he washed the feet of a disciple of Christ.SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.7

    Here are the words of Christ again: “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” “Ye should do as I have done to you.” “If ye know these things, happy [blessed] are ye if ye do them.” Ought is the old English past tense of owe and means “under obligation to pay.” Should is the imperative of shall and means “you must, you are bound to.” “To owe, to be under obligation to do a thing.” “OUGHT, SHOULD—Both words imply obligation, but ought is the stronger.” Obligation—“That which constitutes legal or moral duty.” See Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary, and Webster. Therefore if Christ’s words mean anything at all, they mean that the washing of one another’s feet is a duty which the disciples of Christ owe to one another and to him. And so long as any of His disciples fail to do this, they fail to do their whole duty as his disciples. Nor will the performance of some other duty meet the obligation to perform this duty. To visit the sick is a duty. To seek out the poor and the obscure, to be their friend and helper, is a duty, whether they be disciples or not, Christ taught all this all his life as a teacher; but till that night, the last one before his death, he never taught them nor anybody else, that they should wash anybody’s feet. But there in the last fast fleeting hours of his earthly life, just before dark Gethsemane, in his last tender meeting with his disciples, he gave this example of humility, and said to his beloved disciples, “Ye ought to wash one another’s feet.” “Ye should do it.” Reader, if you are a disciples of Christ, and have not done this, why don’t you do it? He says, “Blessed are ye if ye do.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 474.8

    We know that this duty is refused, and its obligation bitterly resented, by many and many of those who profess to be his disciples. But we feel fully assured that if there were anywhere any single expression of Christ such as that, Ye ought to keep holy the first day of the week; or, Ye should keep the first day of the week as Sabbath; or, Happy are ye if ye keep the first day of the week as the Lord’s day;—we are perfectly certain that were there any single saying such as any one of these, there could not be found in this world a solitary person who keeps Sunday who would not cite it as of sufficient authority to settle all dispute that might arise on that question. And it would be sufficient authority to settle all dispute that might arise on that question. And it would be sufficient authority for such service too. Then when all three of these expressions—“Ye ought to;” “Ye should do;” “Happy are ye if ye do,“—are used with direct reference to the washing of feet, why is it that there are among those who profess to be his disciples, any at all who will not do this duty so repeatedly laid upon them? But no, a thing which neither Christ nor his apostles ever mentioned or showed by any example—the keeping of the first day of the week—is exalted and clung to as though it were the chiefest token of allegiance to Christ; while this duty, having for its obligation his example and his thrice expressed injunction, is neglected, despised, and condemned, by those for whom the rite was instituted. “Brethren, these things ought not so to be.” We assure you that whenever we find the words of Christ saying “ye ought to,” concerning anything, that thing we are going to do. And when his word to his disciples concerning the washing of one another’s feet, is, Ye ought to do it, Ye should do it, and Happy are ye if ye do it, we are going to do it.SITI August 5, 1886, page 475.1

    But it may be asked is there any further notice of this in the writings of the New Testament? There is. In 1 Timothy 5:3-16, Paul gives directions concerning the duty of the Church toward widows. And of those who are to be taken into the charge of the Church, he says: “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” Verses 9, 10. This shows that the washing of the saints’ feet was practiced in the Church as late as A.D. 65; that it was one of the things that a disciple of Christ must do to have the favor of the Church; and that it was to continue in the Church; because it was a part of the directions which Timothy was to follow in setting in order the things in the churches; and it was one of the things which he was to “commit to faithful men who should be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. And it is not according to the will of Christ that this example should be neglected by his followers to-day. “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which say?” Luke 6:46. It also shows that Mr. Peloubet’s teaching before quoted is wrong; for they were to be received, if they had lodged strangers, if they had relieved the afflicted, and if they had washed the saints’ feet. Relieving the afflicted covers all of Mr. Peloubet’s examples; but that is not to wash the saints’ feet, nor is it to do, either in letter or in spirit, as Christ did when he washed the disciples’ feet.SITI August 5, 1886, page 475.2

    Why then is it neglected by so many of his professed followers to-day. The answer is easily given: It is Christ’s ordinance of humility, but his professed Church has become too proud to practice it. This is shown in his own words: “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” The servant has become greater than his lord, and so considers himself free from the example and obligation of his Lord; he that is sent has become greater than He that sent him, and counts himself at liberty to dispense with the ordinance instituted by his Lord. When the churches were despised and persecuted, they were humble enough to not despise Christ’s lesson of humility. But now the Church is courted by the world; now she is “rich and increased with goods and hath need of nothing.” But she needs the humility of Christ. The “International Lesson” for to-day is entitled “Jesus Teaching Humility”; how many will learn the real lesson which he teaches? how many will practice the lesson which he taught, as he taught it? “I have washed your feet.” “I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.” “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” “If ye know these things, happy [blessed] are ye if ye do them.”SITI August 5, 1886, page 475.3


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