While justice waves her vengeful hand

While justice waves her vengeful hand

Author: Anne Steele
Tune: LLEF
Published in 13 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 While Justice waves her vengeful hand
Tremendous o'er a guilty land,
Almighty God, thy awful pow'r
With fear and trembling we adore.

2 Where shall we fly but to thy feet?
Our only refuge is thy seat;
Thy seat where potent mercy pleads,
And holds thy thunder from our heads.

3 While peace and plenty blest our days,
Where was the tribute of our praise?
Ungrateful race! how have we spent
The blessings which thy goodness lent!

4 Look down, O Lord, with pitying eye;
Though loud our crimes for vengeance cry,
Let mercy's louder voice prevail,
Nor thy long-suffering patience fail.

5 Encourag'd by thy sacred word,
May we not plead thy promise, Lord;
That when an humble nation mourns,
Thy rising wrath to pity turns?

6 O let thy sov'reign grace impart
Contrition to each rocky heart;
And bid sincere repentance flow,
In general, undissembled wo.

7 Fair smiling peace again restore;
With plenty bless the pining poor:
And may a happy, thankful land,
Obedient own thy guardian hand.

Source: Hymns, Selected and Original: for public and private worship (1st ed.) #689

Author: Anne Steele

Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporar… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: While justice waves her vengeful hand
Author: Anne Steele
Copyright: Public Domain


While justice waves her vengeful hand. Anne Steele. [National Humiliation.] This hymn was written for the National Fast of Feb. 11, 1757, and published in her Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 250, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "National Judgments deprecated. On the Fast. Feb. 11, 1757." It was also given in D. Sedgwick's edition of her Hymns, &c, 1863, p. 116. This hymn is usually given in an abbreviated form as in the American Presbyterian Selection of Hymns, Philadelphia, 1861.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Griffith Hugh Jones (b. Ty Du, Llanberis, Wales, 1849; d. Rhiwddolion, Wales, 1919) composed LLEF in memory of his brother, Rev. D. H. Jones, and the tune was first sung (prior to publication) at a Cymanfa, a Welsh song festival. LLEF was first published in David Jenkins's Gemau Mawl (1890). The hau…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #9475
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #9475

Include 12 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us