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 Sav-ior, 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.