He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; or the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:10–12
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751). Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 289:
The institution of a Gospel ministry from Christ.
Father of mercies, in Thine house,
Smile on our homage, and our vows;
While with a grateful heart we share
These pledges of our Savior’s care.
The Savior, when to Heav’n He rose,
In splendid triumph o’er His foes,
Scattered His gifts on men below,
And wide His royal bounties flow.
Hence sprung the Apostles’ honored name;
Sacred beyond heroic fame;
Hence dictates the prophetic sage;
And hence the evangelic page.
In lowlier forms to bless our eyes
Pastors from hence, and teachers rise;
Who, though with feebler rays they shine,
Still gild a long extended line.
From Christ their varied gifts derive,
And fed by Christ their graces live;
While, guarded by His potent hand,
Midst all the rage of hell they stand.
So shall the bright succession run,
Through the last courses of the sun;
While unborn churches by their care
Shall rise and flourish large and fair.
Jesus our Lord their hearts shall know
The spring, whence all these blessings flow;
Pastors and people shout Thy praise
Through the long round of endless days.