Anne Steele, the daughter of a Baptist Pastor, was born in Broughton, Hampshire, England in 1717. She loved a quiet, reclusive life, and declined marriage in order to enjoy a placid life with her father and step-mother. She maintained a thankful spirit in the midst of very real suffering. For a significant part of her life, she exhibited symptoms of malaria, including persistent pain, fever, headaches, and stomach aches, and was often confined to her room and her bed. But within those confines, she spent many hours writing prose, poetry and hymns.
Of the 144 hymns she has written, many are hymns of distress and tears, yet conclude with a determination to wait on the Lord, and to seek refuge in His mercy. Struggling believers, even of this generation, can find solace in the hymns of Anne Steele, by being directed once again to the one true God, who is both her Lord and Saviour, and ours!
Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
(written by Anne Steele)
VERSE 1
Dear refuge of my weary soul, On Thee, when sorrows rise,
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll, My fainting hope relies.
To Thee I tell each rising grief, For Thou alone canst heal;
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief For every pain I feel.
VERSE 2
But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine;
The springs of comfort seem to fail, And all my hopes decline.
Yet, gracious God, where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust;
And still my soul would cleave to Thee Though prostrate in the dust.
VERSE 3
Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face, And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sov’reign grace Be deaf when I complain?
No, still the ear of sov’reign grace Attends the mourner’s prayer;
O may I ever find access
To breathe my sorrows there.
VERSE 4
Thy mercy seat is open still, Here let my soul retreat; With humble hope attend Thy will, And wait beneath Thy feet. Thy mercy seat is open still, Here let my soul retreat; With humble hope attend Thy will, And wait beneath Thy feet.