Dear Friend of Hymnary,

As you know, we don't ask for money too often. But we're asking now.

So before you hit the "close" button on this box, please consider a donation to keep Hymnary going.

More than half a million people come here every month -- worship leaders, hymnologists, hymn lovers and more -- people who now have access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet thanks to this site. But keeping all of this afloat does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. So if you benefit from, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by clicking the Donate button below, or you can send a check to Hymnary at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary team,
Harry Plantinga

The Happiness of the Children of God

Extensive promise! O what hopes divine

Author: Anne Steele (1780)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

Extensive promise! O what hopes divine,
What rich delight, the gracious words impart!
My father! when my faith can call thee mine,
A ray of heaven illuminates my heart.

Lord, if thy word confirm my heavenly birth,
And bid me say "my father," then I live;
Not all the tenderest, dearest names on earth,
Can half the pleasure, half the transport give.

The Lord Almighty deigns (amazing thought!)
To call us children, (once the heirs of woe,)
Sweet words of consolation, richly fraught
With all the blessings mercy can bestow.

His eye, attentive marks his childrens way,
He guides them safe though dangers lurk unseen:
Though sorrow's gloomy clouds o'ershade the day,
Secure, on his Almighty arm they lean.

His ear, indulgent to their feeble prayer,
Receives each rising wish, each plaintive sigh;
His kind, compassionate, paternal care
Knows all their wants, and will those wants supply.

When foes unnumber'd rise, and fear alarms,
His constant love immediate succour lends,
Encircled in their father's guardian arms,
Foes rise in vain, omnipotence defends.

All needful, present good, his hand provides,
But what their future portion? Angels tell,
(For mortal language fails,) where he resides,
What blooming joys, what boundless raptures dwell.

But not the natives of that glorious place,
Not all the bliss resounding songs above,
Can e'er display the riches of his grace;
Or count the endless wonders of his love.

O could those distant seats of joy impart
A moment of their bliss! how would it raise,
How would it animate this languid heart,
In these dark regions, to begin his praise!

Yet from his word, a bright enlivening ray
Shines on my heart, while all my powers adore;
Jesus, whose wonderous love mark'd out the way,
Jesus, the heavenly friend, is gone before.

Fair mansions in his father's blest abode
That heavenly friend prepares, and joys unknown
By him presented to their Father God,
His children bow before the eternal throne.

In his prevailing, his accepted name,
Father, my soul adores beneath thy feet;
Let his full merits plead my humble claim,
And raise my hope to joy divinely sweet.

Source: Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose #58

Author: Anne Steele

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Extensive promise! O what hopes divine
Title: The Happiness of the Children of God
Author: Anne Steele (1780)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1780
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.