For several years, I have researching Baptist hymns on “washing the saints’ feet” (with book hopefully one day to follow).[i] The following poem has previously escaped my attention – The Marrow of Gospel-History by Hercules Collins, which Collins describes as “A Poem on the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of our most blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” What follows excerpts four 8-line stanzas on “the Paschal Lamb's Supper,” which includes four lines on “washing the saints’ feet.”
The time draws on, Christ must be gone
From Earth to Heaven high.
As Lamb’s prepared, we might regard
That it did typify.
Pure Shilo’s Fate did intimate,
That Lamb for us must die;
Who had no Spot, yet takes his Lot
To bleed at Calvary
The Paschal Lamb’s Supper be’ng done,
He blessed Bread did break;
Lest we forget Love Infinite,
He gave Command to eat.
And after supt, he took the Cup,
Which also signified,
Blood must be shed, for there is need
Man’s Soul be purified.
And gave Command, that Act should stand
Until he come again.
For every Church to practice much,
To shew his Death and Pain.
Than after Supper he did utter
A Sign of humble Love,
In washing Feet: Come it’s most meet
We follow him above.
They sweetly sing a blessed Hymn,
Before he went to die;
With Heart and Tongue they sweetly sung
The Praise of God most high,
The Lord goes out to Olive Mount,
And Gethsemain also;
Saith he, my Soul is sorrowful,
My Griefs no Man doth know.
The Marrow of Gospel-History, or, A Diversion for Youth at their Spare Hours being a Poem on the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of our most blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ by Hercules Collins, London: Printed for the author, 1696 (Copied as transcribed by Mark Nenadov, Essex, Ontario, 2013, pages 15-16 in this transcription)