Written in a Painful Illness

Indulgent father, ever gracious God

Author: Anne Steele (1780)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

Indulgent father, ever gracious God,
Low at thy feet submissive I adore
Thy chastening hand, nor murmur at the rod:
Yet thy supporting arm, I must implore.

Thou holy, wise, and kind, O bid my heart
In patient silence wait thy sovereign will!
Sweet consolation let thy voice impart,
And say to every anxious thought "be still."

Say to my heart, that often hath prefer'd
To thy kind ear, the supplicating sigh;
"Be comforted, be strong, thy suit is heard;
Behold my all-sufficient grace is nigh!"

Oft have I wish'd to have my heart refin'd
By cleansing grace; desir'd, and long'd to wear
The bright resemblance of my Saviour's mind,
His gentle, humble virtues copied there.

O may the rod the happy end promote
To humble, cleanse, renew this heart of mine!
And may thy grace assist me to devote
Its powers to thee alone for they are thine!

If the short remnant of my fleeting time
Be near its period; teach, O teach my soul
On faith's fair wing, to reach that blissful clime
Where time's quick-circling wheels no more shall roll!

Oppress'd with pain my feeble powers decay,
The springs of life wear out, the vital flame
Seems quivering near its exit. Is the day
At hand which shall dissolve this mortal frame?

If this frail tottering mansion soon should fall,
Art thou, my soul, prepar'd to take thy flight?
Prepar'd, at thy almighty Father's call,
To quit, with joy, the scenes of mortal night?

Or canst thou patient see death's threatening dart,
And oe'r the expecting grave long-lingering bend,
To drop thy dying partner, loth to part,
While yet thy hopes and wishes upward tend?

What mean these questions?—all depends on thee
My Saviour God: speak to my trembling heart:
[p.56] Say "thou art mine," that word is life to me,
And I can smile at death's tremendous dart!

Whether he threaten long, or sudden rend
This mortal frame, and set my spirit free;
That moment let thy angel guards attend,
And bear me safe to life, to heaven and thee.

Source: Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose #54

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: Indulgent father, ever gracious God
Title: Written in a Painful Illness
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.

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Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose #54

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