At the time of his death in 1917, James H. Moulton had an untold number of unpublished studies, sermons, essays, and addresses. Thanks to the diligent work of his brother, William F. Moulton, sixteen of these are available here. Divided into two sections, the first consists of six essays on a variety of topics from the question of Christianity and war to the Greek papyri of Egypt. In the second section are sermons covering a range of Old and New Testament texts from the historical books to wisdom literature, from the gospels to the epistles and Revelation. The title for the whole volume is borrowed from a sermon that Moulton preached in 1899 on John 13:1-17, where Jesus washes his disciple's feet and commands them to do likewise.
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James Hope Moulton was born in 1863. The son of Dr. William F. Moulton, he followed in his father's footsteps as a scholar of Ancient Greek. Moulton attended King's College at Cambridge before becoming a tutor at the Wesleyan College in Didsbury, Manchester in 1902. As his renown grew as a linguist and scholar, he was appointed as the Greenwood Professor of Hellenistic Greek and Indo-European Philology at Manchester University in 1908. During the academic lull caused by World War I, Moulton traveled to India as a missionary in October, 1915. It was on his return home that the ship they were traveling on was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Gulf of Lion south of France. James Hope Moulton died at sea after three days in a lifeboat on April 9th, 1917. On hearing of the tragedy, Adolf Deissmann wrote to Moulton's brother William, "I received the sad news of the sudden tragic death of your brother, my most intimate friend in England and my deserving colleague."