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one act of each, "he that is washed, is clean, every whit." He needs no more; he can have no more. His whole spirit is regenerated, and made anew in Christ Jesus. All which plainly proves, that our most gloricus Lord had an higher object in view, in this humiliating service of his, than the mere outward act of cleansing the feet. His gracious object was, to shadow forth the mighty effect, which he would accomplish for his people in their hearts, by his incommunicable work of salvation. And the Lord's choosing to set forth the shadow of it at the time he did, just before the passover; and also that the traitor Judas should be present, and outwardly partake of both, "who had no lot or part in the matter," in a way of saving grace to his soul; most decidedly demonstrated the mysterious nature of the service the Lord then performed; and which should have the same operation in the eyes of all his church that was then to come. Though the Lord Jesus himself washed the feet; though the Lord Jesus himself administered the ordinance of the supper; though the Lord Jesus himself, who "spake as never man spake," was the preacher; yet these things were purposely done, to set forth that outward ordinances may be, and shall be, from age to age, observed; yet, as the Lord declared by the prophet, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." (Dan. xii. 10.) The Lord who blessedly gave us this Scripture, give to all his people a right understanding of it; that each for himself may join in that song of salvation, and say with John; "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen."
"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.
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." (John xiii. 12—17.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
THE gracious condescending God and Saviour having finished this marvellous service, of washing the feet of the poor fishermen of Galilee; and having again put on his garments, and assumed his seat in the midst of them, began to call their attention to the pondering of the transaction. Let the reader figure to himself the Lord of life and glory, thus encircled by men of this description; and let him attend to the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. "Know ye," said Jesus, "what I have done to you?" Little did the best taught among them apprehend the great things veiled under this outward washing. And little, even to the present hour, do the Lord's people, who walk in the closest communion with the Lord, enter into the spiritual apprehension of the vast designs of Jehovah, in what should seem to us apparently the smallest acts of the Lord Jesus, when upon earth. If the
people of God were to accustom themselves never to contemplate our most glorious Christ, but as Christ; that is, I mean, under his two-fold character, as God and man combined; such a steady uniform and uninterrupted apprehension of his person, in this compound of two natures, would, under divine teaching, enable them to connect in their remembrance the GODHEAD of Christ, in all his words, actions, and ministry. Upon those occasions, where the GODHEAD bursted forth in a more visible and palpable display of his Almighty power; such as at the transfiguration, his cross, his resurrection, and the like; there our minds are more sensibly arrested with the conviction of his GODHEAD: but we are too apt to overlook his divine nature, in those daily transactions when upon earth Jesus went in and out among the people, dressed in the garb of a poor Jew; "the man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." But, I would very affectionately recommend the reader, (if he be a Godly reader,) as I desire to feel the full impression of it on my own heart; never to forget that the very act of Christ, every word of Christ, every thought of Christ, was and is the act and word and thought of God; indwelling, (as the Holy Ghost by the apostle states it,) bodily or personally, in the human nature; in which the Word when made "flesh, dwelt among us." (Col. ii. 9. John. i. 14.) Such spiritual apprehensions of our most glorious Christ, and they can only be apprehended spiritually, will accustom our minds to ponder over all that we read in the holy Scriptures, in relation to the infinite dignity of his person, which gave infinite consequence to his manifestation; and of whom the Scripture declares; "his greatness is unsearchable." (Psalm cxlv. 3.)
Let this train of thought be brought into connection with the view we have taken of this marvellous
scene, of Jesus washing his disciples' feet; let the whole process be ascertained by this standard. Let the debased and sinful state of the whole party of the disciples considered as in themselves, be kept in view; let his glorious person be contemplated, as contrasted to their delinquency; and while with such impressions, we hear the Lord putting the question: "Know ye what I have done to you?" Let the leader ask himself; what answer, even in the present hour, can be given, that shall embrace all the interesting particulars which may be included in this wonderful administration? One instruction, and that of a most interesting nature, the Lord hath enabled all that are spiritually taught to gather from it; and which is as obvious as it is affectionate, and as powerfully in appeal to the spiritual senses of the Lord's people, as it is incumbent on them continually to have in remembrance; namely, that as the Lord Jesus did all this, and in a way so condescending and gracious in the days of his flesh; they may most safely conclude, and assure themselves, that he is not less attentive to them in the day of his power. It is very blessed to observe the different scenes by which the Lord manifested himself to his people. Here Jesus washed his deciples' feet, when supper was ended. Upon another occasion, Mary Magdalene washed Jesus's feet, and anointed them with sweet ointment; but in both instances, Christ's love was and is, the same. Indeed in all, Jesus can receive nothing from his creatures. His is to give, and not receive. His grace is glorified in giving out of his fulness; not that he may be made more blessed, for that is impossible but that his people may be made happy. And what a full tide of blessedness, happiness, holiness, and unspeakable glory, will be in the spiritual enjoyment of the Lord's people in Christ; when having "washing them from all their sins in his
blood; he hath made them kings and priests unto God and the Father." (Rev. i. 5, 6.)
One very interesting part of our Lord's address to his disciples, after he had taken his garments, and was sat down with them, remains to be considered; "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 unto you." Here is somewhat very striking; and especially after what had taken place in the Lord's declaring himself both Lord and Master. For evidently they are somewhat more than one and the same. As disciples, the appellation Master, became applicable to Jesus; for all followers in all schools, are generally designated disciples. But the name of Lord is of peculiar beauty, and of the most endearing nature in reference to Christ. Hence through all the Scriptures of the New Testament, when the church at any time is speaking of God, as our Father; it is not unfrequently added, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the personal relation that every individual member of Christ's mystical body hath to Christ as our Lord, becomes the very foundation of our relationship in him, and by him to God as our Father. Beautiful and blessed are those Scriptures, in proof of our adoption character, when from receiving the Holy Ghost, we are enabled to say, Abba Father! "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." (Rom. viii. 15—17. Gal. iv. 6, 7.) I must not, for the limits will not allow me, enlarge. But otherwise, through the whole Bible, it would be easy to shew, how very highly the people of God prized this relationship with God in Christ. David sweetly sung his love