1 When our great Sovereign from on high,
Our Lord and Savior, was aware,
That he his chosen family,
O'er whom he watched with tender care,
Would be compelled soon to leave;
He filled with love and grief intense,
To them his farewell blessing gave,
Before his sufferings did commence.
2 Feeling beforehand all the weight
Of those dire scenes of pain and woe,
Which he well knew did him await,
His love towards his own to show,
He water in a basin poured,
And washed his disciples' feet,
Their souls already by his word,
Save one, were cleansed every whit.
3 When he this act of love had done,
He unto his disciples said;
"To you I've an example shown;
Ye call me Master, Lord, and Head,
To one another do the same."
This solemn act to celebrate,
We're now assembled in his name.
4 Arise then, and with due respect,
With humble shame and willingness,
Do what our Savior doth direct,
Endowed with disciple's grace!
Since Jesus to release from sin
Unto his people power gave,
We in his name are now washed clean,
And with our Lord a part may have.
5 Lord Jesus Christ, we pray, be near,
Forgive us all our trespasses;
With joy divine our spirit cheer,
Absolve and grant us pardoning grace!
As our high-priest lift up thy hand,
That hand the nail once pierced through,
Thy mercy unto us extend,
Rich blessings upon all bestow.
6 Inspire our hearts with mutual love
O may we truly humble be,
Thy faithful servants ever prove,
Who yield in all things joy to thee:
In due obedience to thy word,
We now have washed each others feet,
Thy blest example, gracious Lord,
To follow, we find always meet.
7 Sure as thou art the church's head,
Sure as we dust and ashes are,
So sure we by thy blood, once shed,
Are now, through grace, absolved and clear;
Sure as thy cross's church remains
To the blind world a spectacle,
So sure in her thy Spirit reigns,
And thou dost in thy temple dwell.
The Christian's duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791