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 >
See, gracious God, before Thy throne. Anne Steele. [Public Humiliation.] Written for the Public Fast, Feb. 6, 1756, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, ivol. i. pp. 248-9; in the new ed. of same, 1780, vol. i. pp. 248-9; and in D. Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, &c, 1863, p. 115. In its full form it is not in common use. From it, however, the following centos are taken:—
1. Almighty God, before Thy throne. This, as given in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833, No. 274, and some of the older collections, is the above slightly altered, together with the omission of st. v. The same first line begins a cento in 4 stanzas usually found in modern hymnals. It is composed of st. i., ii., vi. and vii., also altered, sometimes as in Stevenson's Hymns for Church & Home, No. 5, and again as in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, No. 860.
2. Almighty Lord, before Thy throne, is the same cento with further alterations; Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms & Hymns, No. 138; and in a fuller form of 3 stanzas of 8 lines, being st. i., i., ii., v.-vii. (again altered), and a doxology.
3. Behold, 0 Lord, before Thy Throne. This cento in the New Congregational Hymn Book, 1859, No. 994, is composed of st. i., ii., iii., vi., and a concluding stanza, "Hear Thou our prayer," which we have not traced. The second stanza of the original "Tremendous judgments from Thine hand," sometimes given as "Dark judgments," &c, and again as "Dire judgments," &c, has, according to a note to the original, a special reference to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.
4. See, gracious God, before Thy throne. An abbreviated form of the original in a few modern collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Traditionally used for Montgomery's text and for Peter Abelard's "Alone Thou Goest Forth, O Lord," BANGOR comes from William Tans'ur's A Compleat Melody: or the Harmony of Syon (the preface of which is dated 1734). In that collection the tune was a three-part setting for Psalm 12 (and for Psalm 11 i…
Display Title: See, Gracious God, Before Thy ThroneFirst Line: See, gracious God, before Thy throneTune Title: BANGORAuthor: Anne SteeleMeter: CMSource: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, 1760, alt.