1 Ah wretched souls, who strive in vain,
Slaves to the world, and slaves to sin!
A nobler toil may I sustain,
A nobler satisfaction win.
2 I would resolve with all my heart,
With all my pow'rs to serve the Lord,
Nor from his precepts e'er depart,
Whose service is a rich reward.
3 O be his service all my joy!
Around let my example shine;
Till others love the blest employ,
And join in labours so divine.
4 Be this the purpose of my soul,
My solemn my determin'd choice,
To yield to his supreme control,
And in his kind commands rejoice.
5 O may I never faint nor tire,
Nor wandering leave his sacred ways;
Great God! accept my soul's desire,
And give me strength to live thy praise.
Source: A Collection of Hymns and A Liturgy: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches; to which are added prayers for families and individuals #287
Ah, wretched souls who strive in vain. Anne Steele. [Lent.] A hymn on "The Christian's Noblest Resolution” which appeared in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 161, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, from whence it passed into the Baptist Collection of Hymns of Ash and Evans, 1769, No. 286, and signed "T."; into Rippon's Baptist Selection 1787, No. 334, and others. It is also found in Sedgwick's reprint of Miss Steele's Hymns, 1863.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Ah, wretched souls who strive in vain, p. 33, i. The following are from this hymn, (1) "My soul no more shall strive in vain"; and (2) "May [Now] I resolve with all my heart."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)