1 Father of mercies, in thy house
Smile on our homage and our vows;
While with a grateful heart we share
These pledges of our Savior's care.
2 The Savior, when to heaven he rose
In splendid triumph o'er his foes,
Scatter'd his gifts on men below,
And wide his royal bounties flow.
3 Hence sprung th'Apostles' honor'd name:
Sacred beyond heroic fame;
In lowlier form to bless our eyes,
Pastors from hence, and teachers rise.
4 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.
5 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.
6 Jesus our Lord their hearts shall know,
The spring whence all these blessing flow;
Pastors and people shout his praise
Through the long round of endless days.
Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #336
Father of mercies, in Thine house. P. Doddridge. [Ordination.] First published in J. Orton's posthumous edition of Doddridge's Hymns, &c, 1755, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "The Institution of a Gospel Ministry from Christ, Eph. iv. 11, 12. For an Ordination." In 1839, it was published from the original manuscript by J. D. Humphreys in his edition of the Hymns, &c, No. 315, as "Father of mercies, in Thy house," and with several additional differences. It is curious that Orton retained the original first line in the index of the 1st edition of the Hymns, &c, but altered it in the body of the book. Orton's text is followed by all compilers. In the Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book, stanzas ii., iii., v.-vii., were given as "The Saviour, when to heaven He rose." This cento is retained in the re¬vised edition, 1875.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Father of mercies, in Thine house, f. 370, i. Since the published of this Dictionary, in 1892 the following facts concerning this hymn have come under our notice:—
At the Ordination of Abraham Tozer at Norwich, June 20, 1745, the sermon was preached by the Rev. R. Frost, and the Charge delivered by Dr. Doddridge. The Sermon and Charge were published together the same year. At the end of the Charge this hymn is printed together with this "Postscript," by Dr. Doddridge:—
"As the Want of Psalms or Hymns, peculiarly suitable to these Occasions, has often been regretted on our ordination days, when we have generally been confined to the 132nd or 133rd Psalms, I was desired by several of my Brethren to publish that which followed this Charge; and I accordingly do it without any further Apology. The Reader will easily perceive it is a Kind of Devoute Paraphrase on Eph. iv. 8 and seq. And it is One of some Hundreds lying by me on a Variety of Scripture Subjects."
The original pamphlet is in the Church House Library. See there Frost, Richard.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)