1 O Lord, Who in Thy love divine
Didst safely leave the ninety-nine,
In pity for a world undone,
And gav'st Thy life to save the one,
And didst it on Thy shoulders bear
In joy to heav'n, receive our prayer.
2 Thou who the night in pray'r didst spend
And then Thy Twelve Apostles send;
And bidd'st us pray the harvest's Lord
To send forth sowers of the Word,
Hear us and these Thy servants bless
With sev'nfold gifts of holiness.
3 Look down, with gracious eye behold,
With watchful care protect Thy fold;
Secure from hireling shepherds keep,
Which feed themselves, and not the sheep,
And when the prowling wolf is nigh,
Forsake the flock in fear and fly.
4 O Thou, who didst at Pentecost
Send down from heav'n the Holy Ghost
That He might with Thy Church abide
Forever to defend and guide,
Illuminate and strengthen, Lord,
The preachers of Thy holy Word.
5 May all Thy pastors faithful be;
Not lab'ring for themselves, but Thee;
And may they feed with wholesome food
The sheep and lambs bought by Thy blood;
Tending Thy flock, O may they prove
How dearly they the Shepherd love!
6 That which the Holy Scriptures teach,
That, and that only, may they preach;
May they the true foundation lay,
Build gold thereon, not wood or hay;
And meekly preach in days of strife
The sermon of a holy life.
7 As ever in Thy holy eyes,
And stewards of Thy mysteries,
May they the people teach to see
Not, Lord, Thy ministers, but Thee;
To see a loving Savior's face
Revealed in all the means of grace.
8 May they Thy Word with boldness speak
And bear with tenderness the weak;
Not seeking their own things as best,
But what may edify the rest;
With wisdom and simplicity
And, most of all, with charity.
9 O may Thy people faithful be,
And in Thy pastors honor Thee,
And working with them for them pray,
And gladly Thee in them obey;
Receive the prophet of the Lord
And gain the prophet's own reward.
10 So may we, when our work is done,
Together stand before the throne;
And joyful hearts and voices raise,
In one united song of praise,
With all the bright celestial host,
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
O Lord, Who in Thy love divine. Bishop C. Wordsworth of Lincoln. [Ember Days and Ordinations.] First published in his Holy Year, 1862, p. 200, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines and headed "For Ember Weeks; and at the Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons." In 1865 a new stanza was added, as stanza ii. (”Thou Who the night in prayer didst spend"), and the hymn was divided into two parts, Pt. ii. beginning with stanza v., “O may Thy pastors faithful be." In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 759, begins with stanza iv. of the 1865 text, “O Thou Who didst at Pentecost."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)