When I survey life's varied scene. Anne Steele. [Resignation.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i., p. 134, in 10 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Desiring Resignation and Thankfulness," It was repeated in the new edition of her Poems, &c, 1780; and again in Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863. As a whole it is not in common use. From it, however, the following centos are found in modern hymn-books:—
1. When I survey life's varied scene, in the Irish Church Hymnal, 1873, is composed of stanzas i., ii., viii. and ix., slightly altered.
2. Father, whate'er of earthly bliss. This was given in Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 214, and thus came into use in the Church of England. From Toplady it passed into Rippon's Baptist Selection, 1787, and thence into modern Nonconformist collections. Its use is extensive. It is composed of stanzas viii., ix., slightly altered. A Latin rendering, "Quidquid optatum famulo precanti," by the Rev. R. Bingham, was published in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871.
3. Lord, teach me to adore Thy hand. No. 178, in the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876, is composed of stanzas ii., viii., ix. and x. unaltered.
4. My God, whate'er of earthly bliss. In T. Darling's Hymns for the Church of England, 1887. It is composed of stanzas iii.-x., and a doxology not in the original.
Taking these centos together this hymn has a wider circulation than any other of Miss Steele's compositions.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)