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The Soul's Only Refuge

Representative Text

1 Dear Refuge of my weary soul,
on Thee, when sorrows rise,
on Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
my fainting hope relies.

2 But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine;
the springs of comfort seem to fail,
and all my hopes decline.
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust;
and still my soul would cleave to Thee,
though prostrate in the dust.

3 Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face?
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sov'reign grace
be deaf when I complain?
No, still the ear of sov'reign grace
attends the mourner's prayer;
O may I ever find a place
to breath my sorrows there.

4 Thy mercy seat is open still,
here let my soul retreat;
with humble hope attend Thy will,
and wait beneath Thy feet.
Dear Refuge of my weary soul,
on Thee, when sorrows rise,
on Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
my fainting hope relies.

Source: Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #425

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >


Dear Refuge of my [the] weary soul. Anne Steele. [God the Refuge.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 144, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "God the only Refuge of the troubled mind" (2nd edition 1780), and in D. Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863, p. 89. It was given also in the Bristol Baptist Collection of Ash & Evans, 1769, and in Bickersteth's ChristianPsalmody, 1833, and was thus brought into congrega¬tional use. It is included in numerous hymnals, both in Great Britain and America. In some collections, as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms & Hymns, 1853-69, it is given as, "Thou Refuge of my weary soul;" and again, as in Kennedy, 1863, "Thou Refuge of the weary soul."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ST. AGNES (Dykes)

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…

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CHURCH (Holbrook)

[Thou Refuge of my soul]



The Cyber Hymnal #9476
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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #425

The Baptist Hymnal #486


The Cyber Hymnal #9476

Include 358 pre-1979 instances
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