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by our Saviour, in terms equally positive as this, but which most Christians notwithstanding have thought themselves at liberty to reject. Among these the washing of feer is particularly to be noticed. This custom was of an emblematic nature. It was en joined at the same time as that of the Lord's Supper, and on the same occasion. But it was enjoined in a more forcible and striking manner. The Sandimanians, when they rose into a Society, considered the injunction for this ordinance to be so obligatory, that they dared not dispense with it; and therefore, when they derermined to celebrate the supper, they determined that the washing of feet should be an ordinance of their church. Most other Christians, however, have dismissed the washing of feet from their religious observance. The reason given has principally been, that it was an eastern custom, and therefore local. To this the answer has been, That the Passover, from whence the Lord's Supper is taken, was an eastern custom also, but that it was much more local. Travellers of different nations had their feet washed for them in the East. But none but those of the circumcision were
admitted to the Passover-supper. If theres fore the injunction relative to the washing of feet be equally strong with that relative to the celebration of the supper, it has been presumed that both ought to have been retained; and, if one has been dispensed with on account of its locality, that both ought to have been discarded.
That the washing of feet was enjoined much more emphatically than the supper, we may collect from Barclay, whose observations upon it I shall transcribe on this occasion :
“ But to give a further evidence,” says he, “ how these consequences have not any bottom from the practice of that ceremony, nor from the words following, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' let us consider another of the like nature, as it is at length expressed by John *: - Jesus riseth from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and girded himself: after that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the Disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded; Peter said unto him, 'Thou shalt never wash my feet : Jesus answered him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.' So after he had washed their feet, he said, 'Know
* John xiii. 3, &c.
what I have done to you? 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
should do as I have done to you.' As to which let it be observed,” continues Barclay, “ that John related this passage to have been done at the same time with the other of breaking of bread; both being done the night of the Passover after
supper. If we regard the narration of this, and the circumstances attending it, it was done with far more solemnity, and prescribed far more punctually and particularly, than the former. It is said only, " as he was eating he took bread, so that this would seem to be but an occasional business: but here,he rose up, he laid by his.
garments, he girded himself, he poured out the water, he washed their feet, he wiped them with a towel. He did this to all of them ; which are circumstances, surely, far more observable than those noted in the VOL.II.
other. The former was a practice cummon among the Jews, used by all masters of families, upon that occasion ; but this, as to the manner, and person acting it, 10 wit, for the master to rise up, and wash the feet of his servants and disciples, was more singular and observable. In the breaking of bread, and giving of wine, it is not pleaded by our adversaries, nor yet mentioned in the text, that he particularly put them into the hands of all; but breaking it, and blessing it, gave it the nearest, and so they from hand to hand. But here it is mentioned, that he washed not the feet of one or two, but of many. He saith not in the former, if they do not eat of that bread, and drink of that wine, that they shall be prejudiced by it; but here he says expressly to Peter, that if he wash him not, he hath no part with him ;' which being spoken upon Peter's refusing to let him wash his feet, would seem to import no less than not the continuance only, but even the necessity of the ceremony.
In the former he saith, as it were passingly, 'Do this in remembrance of me;' but here he sitteth down again, he desires them to consider what he hath done, tells them positively, “ that as he hath done to them, so ought they to do to one another; and yet again he redoubles that precept, by telling them, that he has given them an example, that they should do so likewise. If we respect the nature of the thing, it hath as much in it as either baptism or the breaking of the bread, seeing it is an outward element of a cleansing nature, applied to the outward man, by the command and the example of Christ, to signify an inward purifying. I would willingly propose this seriously to men, that will be pleased to make use of that reason and understanding that God hath given them, and not be imposed upon, nor abused by the custom or tradition of others, whether this ceremony,
we respect either the time that it was appointed in, or the circumstances wherewith it was performed, or the command enjoining the use of it, hạth not as much to recommend it for a standing ordinance of the Gospel, as either water-baptism, or bread and wine, or any other of that kind? I wonder, then, what reason the Pa.