Make full proof of thy ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
Words: Edward A. Welch, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1889.
If you know where to get a good photo of Welch (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
Thou, who didst call Thy saints of old
Thy chosen flock to teach,
Who mad’st the fearful hearted bold,
And quick the slow of speech;
Still Thou dost ask whom Thou shalt send
And who will go for Thee,
To feed Thy lambs, Thy sheep to tend;
Lord, here am I; send me.
O send us—e’en as Thou, O Lord,
Wast by the Father sent—
To speak Thine own absolving word
To sinners penitent;
To wash Thy chosen in the flood
Whereby new birth is given;
To minister the sacred Food,
The Bread of Life from Heav’n.
And Thou, who didst by prophets deign
To speak the will divine,
That we may never speak in vain,
May all our words be Thine;
Oh, teach us, Holy Ghost, that we
Thine heritage may teach;
Bid us to prophesy for Thee,
And in Thy power to preach.
So may we, though unworthy still,
Most Holy Trinity,
Thy prophets, pastors, priests, fulfill
Our sacred ministry;
That, when beside the crystal sea
We lay our office down,
The souls that we have trained for Thee
May be our joy and crown.