Ambrose (b. Treves, Germany, 340; d. Milan, Italy, 397), one of the great Latin church fathers, is remembered best for his preaching, his struggle against the Arian heresy, and his introduction of metrical and antiphonal singing into the Western church. Ambrose was trained in legal studies and distinguished himself in a civic career, becoming a consul in Northern Italy. When the bishop of Milan, an Arian, died in 374, the people demanded that Ambrose, who was not ordained or even baptized, become the bishop. He was promptly baptized and ordained, and he remained bishop of Milan until his death. Ambrose successfully resisted the Arian heresy and the attempts of the Roman emperors to dominate the church. His most famous convert and disciple w… Go to person page >
Translator: Edward Caswall
Edward Caswall was born in 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, where his father was a clergyman. In 1832, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1836, took a second-class in classics. His humorous work, "The Art of Pluck," was published in 1835; it is still selling at Oxford, having passed through many editions. In 1838, he was ordained Deacon, and in 1839, Priest. He became perpetural Curate of Stratford-sub-Castle in 1840. In 1841, he resigned his incumbency and visited Ireland. In 1847, he joined the Church of Rome. In 1850, he was admitted into the Congregation of the Oratory at Birmingham, where he has since remained. He has published several works in prose and poetry.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >
Aeterna Christi munera, Apostolorum gloriam. This form of the hymn [Aeterna Christi munera, Et martyrum victorias] is an adaptation for "Apostles" as distinct from “Martyrs." It is in numerous Breviaries, including the Roman, York, Sarum and others. The same text, however, is not strictly maintained. The lines of the original which are thus variously altered are 1-8 and 21-28, followed by a doxology not in the original and varying in the respective Breviaries in which the hymn is given.
Translations in common use:—
1. The Lord's eternal gifts. By E. Caswall, first published in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 204, and in his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 108. This is in use in a few Roman Catholic hymnals for schools and mission services. Altered to "The Eternal Spirit's gifts" it is also No. 296 in Chope's Hymnal, 1864.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)