Anne Steele, Broughton, to her father, William Steele III, Broughton, undated (c. 1759).
As ^many of these^ verses
the employment of my solitary hours have been favour’d with your kind approbation I have now at your desire extracted them into a little Book which I beg leave to present to you as a humble acknowledgment of the grateful sence I have of your paternal affection and the benefit I have rec’d from yr instructions
If you survive me this collection will I doubt not be preserved by you (however inconsiderable
their its real value) as a mournfully pleasing remembrance of a departed child who once shar’d your tender regard. If you think they are capable of affording pleasure or profit you may if you please communicate any of them to relatives friends or fellow Christians. They may perhaps find seasons when the experience thoughts of the unworthy writer may suit their own and the thoughts resemblance may produce delight—and if when I am sleeping in the silent Grave my thoughts are of any real benefit to the meanest of the servants of my God be the praise ascrib’d let the Almighty giver of all Grace have the glory I shall then be unconcerned about ye censure or applause of Mortals my fellow creatures. This fleshly part will remain unconscious with its parent clay and disolve to in common dust till the last trumpets awful summons shall awake the sleeping atoms and raise build the ruin’d frame to anew ^immortality^ anew. My soul that nobler that immortal part will be launch’d into a boundless Eternity! O may I see an Eternity of Bliss? While I reflect only on my own vileness I dare not speak it but when I remember meditate [on] the all sufficient merits of a blessed Redeemer and can see a glimpse of hope that he is mine, when entirely renouncing my Self and my own righteousness as dross & dung I fly to that gracious Savior who has promised that whosoever cometh to him he will in no wise cast out and fix all my hope and dependance alone on his attoning blood and spotless perfect righteousness, may I not say with humble confidence I know in whom I have believed & that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. O may his blessed hope cheer my Soul amid the pains pangs of dissolution, may the blissfull smiles of my Redeemer illuminate the gloomy shades of Death and point out my passage to the mansions of Eternal day that I may be able to say in the full evidence of Faith and Hope I am going to be ever with the Lord, going into his immediate presence where is fullness of joy & pleasures for evermore then shall my God be glorified and my dear relatives comforted in my Death—
May the Allmighty long preserve your valueable Life and continue to make you a blessing to your Family a usefull instructor to his people under your care and an ornament to Religion is the ardent wish and prayer of
Dear & Honoured Father
Your ever dutifull
and grateful Daughter
To my Father
to be transcribed
Text: STE 3/5/i, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford. No address page. For an annotated version of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, gen. ed., Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), vol. 2, ed. Julia B. Griffin, pp. 312-13.