While justice waves her vengeful hand

While justice waves her vengeful hand

Author: Anne Steele
Tune: LLEF
Published in 13 hymnals

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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 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: While justice waves her vengeful hand
Author: Anne Steele


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…

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The Cyber Hymnal #9475
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