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In Vain Would Boasting Reason Find

Representative Text

1 In vain would boating reason find
The path to happiness and God;
Her weak directions leave the mind
Bewildered in a doubtful road.

2 Jesus, Thy words alone impart
Eternal life, on these I live;
Here sweeter comforts cheer my heart
Than all the pow'rs of nature give.

3 Here let my constant feet abide;
Thou art the true, the living Way.
Let Thy good Spirit be my guide
To the bright realms of endless day.

4 The various forms that men devise
To shake my faith with treach'rous art
I scorn as vanity and lies
And bind Thy Gospel to my heart.

Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #254

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 would boasting reason find
Title: In Vain Would Boasting Reason Find
Author: Anne Steele
Language: English


In vain would boasting reason find. An altered form of Anne Steele's “Jesus, the spring of joys divine," beginning with stanza 2 (p. 1089, ii. 15). --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



Also known as: ST. PHILIPS BENEDICTION GRANTON NAZARETH MELCOMBE was first used as an anonymous chant tune (with figured bass) in the Roman Catholic Mass and was published in 1782 in An Essay on the Church Plain Chant. It was first ascribed to Samuel Webbe (the elder; b. London, England, 1740; d. Lo…

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MENDON (17151)

SEASONS (Pleyel)



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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #254

Include 37 pre-1979 instances
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