Sunday, October 14, 2018

A (Foot Washing) Song


1. Come now my Christian brethren, who are in Christ baptis’d,
And learn’d of him humility, and this vain world despis’d;
Let us join with heart and voice, his praise and honor sing;
Extol the name of Jesus, our Prophet, Priest and King.

2. Sing of his humble kindness; tell of his dying love;
Lord pour thy Holy Spirit, upon us from above.
He laid aside his garments, when He rose from his seat,
Pour’d water in a basin, and wash’d his servants feet.

3. Peter forbid his Master, e’en said it ne’er shall be
Jesus answer’d him and said, lo if I wash not thee;
With me thou hast no part in the heav’nly joys above.
Nor in the glorious world of light, nor my redeeming love.

4. Such benefits to Peter, from this his Lord had shown.
Lord my hands and head wash thou, and not my feet alone,
Then Jesus unto him replied, the cleansed soul is meet,
Nor need he further washing, save this, to wash his feet.

5. For to Christ the Traitors heart and all his works were seen,
Therefore said Jesus to them lo ye are not all clean.
Let none of us my brethren against our Lord rebel,
Like Judas sell our Lord for pelf,[i] and sink ourselves to hell.

6. After he their feet had wash’d, and was again set down,
Know ye he said unto them what I to you have done,
If I your feet have wash’d now, as truly it was meet
Who am your Lord and Master: then wash each other’s feet.

7. For an example I have giv’n my followers to you,
As I have done so should ye to one another do;
Now here’s my hand in friendship let us each other greet,
Like Jesus in humility wash one another’s feet.

8. And now we thanks and praises. Dear Lord ascribe to thee,
Who bare the cross to save us, from endless misery,
In love to Jesus Christ and you, come brethren take your seat,
And let us now as Jesus did wash one another’s feet.

The above hymn is transcribed as printed on page 40 of An Attempt to Prove the Propriety and Utility of the Saints Washing One Another’s Feet: in Two Parts (John Lee, St. Louis, MO: Printed at the Gazette Office, 1841). The meter is mostly 7s.6s.D. I have not seen it in any other source, which may suggest that John Lee wrote it.[ii]

[i] Money, riches, or wealth – especially when acquired by reprehensible means.
[ii] Based on Stanley Kimball’s reference on page 494 in “The Saints and St. Louis, 1831-1857: An Oasis of Tolerance and Security,” (Stanley B. Kimball, Brigham Young University Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, Summer 1973, pp. 489-519), John Lee may have been a Mormon or ex-Mormon.

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