Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >
Come, Thou desire of all Thy saints. Anne Steele. [Public Worship.] This hymn appeared with the heading, "Intreating the Presence of Christ in His Churches," in the author's Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 76 (2nd ed., 1780, vol. i. p. 76). In 1769 it was reprinted in the Bristol Collection of Ash & Evans, and was thus brought into common use. Its American use is much greater than that in Great Britain. It is usually abbreviated, and is sometimes given, as in the Church Pastorals, Boston, U. S., 1864, as "Come, O Thou King of all Thy saints." This cento is made of stanzas i., vi., vii. Original text in Sedgwick's reprint of Miss Steele's Hymns, 1863.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)