In vain the erring world inquires

In vain the erring world inquires

Author: Anne Steele
Published in 18 hymnals

Representative Text

I. In vain the erring world enquires,
For true substantial good:
While earth confines their low desires,
They live on airy food.

II. Illusive dreams of happiness,
Their eager thoughts employ;
They wake, convinc'd their boasted bliss
Was visionary joy.

III. Begone, ye gilded vanities;
I seek some solid good;
To real bliss my wishes rise,
The favour of my God.

IV. My God, to thee my soul aspires;
Dispel the shades of night,
Enlarge and fill these vast desires,
With infinite delight.

V. Immortal joy thy smiles impart,
Heav'n dawns in ev'ry ray;
One glimpse of thee will glad my heart,
And turn my night to day.

VI. Not all the good which earth bestows,
Can fill the craving mind;
Its highest joys have mingled woes,
And leave a sting behind.

VII. Should boundless wealth increase my store—
Can wealth my cares beguile?
I should be wretched still, and poor
Without thy blissful smile.

VIII. Grant, O my God, this one request:
Oh, be thy love alone
My ample portion,—here I rest,
For heav'n is in the boon.

Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 1 #30

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: In vain the erring world inquires
Author: Anne Steele



Instances (1 - 18 of 18)
Page Scan

A Collection of Hymns, for the Christian Church and Home #141

Christian Psalms and Hymns to Aid in Public and Private Devotion #d450

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Hymn Book for Christian Worship #596

Hymns and Tunes for Vestry and Conference Meetings #d41

Hymns and Tunes for Vestry and Conferences. 2nd ed. #d37


Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 1 #30

The Christian Psalter #d268

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