Description: Words by Anne Steele, 1760, entitled Meditating on Creation and Providence, in 14 stanzas. Holden used the first two stanzas of Steele's poem in his composition. There are several versions of Steele's poem; the one shown below is taken from Evans (1780).
Original text and translations
Meditating on Creation and Providence by Anne Steele, 1760
Lord, when my raptured thought surveys
Creation's beauties o'er,
All nature joins to teach thy praise,
And bid my soul adore.
Wherever I turn my gazing eyes,
Thy radiant footsteps shine;
Ten thousand pleasing wonders rise,
And speak their source divine.
The living tribes of countless forms,
In earth, and sea, and air;
The meanest flies, the smallest worms,
Almighty power declare.
All rose to life at thy command,
And wait their daily food
From thy paternal, bounteous hand,
Exhaustless spring of good.
The meads, arrayed in smiling green,
With wholesome herbage crowned;
The fields with corn, a richer scene,
Spread thy full bounties round.
The fruitful tree, the blooming flower,
In varied charms appear;
Their varied charms display thy power,
Thy goodness all declare.
The sun's productive quickening beams
The growing verdure spread;
Refreshing rains and cooling streams
His gentle influence aid.
The moon and stars his absent light
Supply with borrowed rays,
And deck the sable veil of night,
And speak their Maker's praise.
Thy wisdom, power, and goodness, Lord,
In all thy works appear:
And O let man thy praise record;
Man, thy distinguished care.
From thee the breath of life he drew;
That breath thy power maintains;
Thy tender mercy ever new,
His brittle frame sustains.
Yet nobler favors claim his praise,
Of reason's light possessed;
By revelation's brighter rays
Still more divinely blest.
Thy providence, his constant guard
When threatening woes impend,
Or will the impending dangers ward,
Or timely succors lend.
On me that providence has shone
With gentle smiling rays;
O let my lips and life make known
Thy goodness, and thy praise.
All bounteous Lord, thy grace impart;
O teach me to improve
Thy gifts with ever grateful heart,
And crown them with thy love.