Oppressed with sin and woe

Oppressed with sin and woe. Anne Brontë* (1820-1849). This hymn is taken from a poem entitled ‘Confidence’, and dated ‘June 1st 1845’ in the manuscript (Chitham, p. 114). It was written towards the end of Anne Brontë’s time as a governess with the Robinson family at Thorp Green, near York, where ‘Sunday was a day for writing, especially on a religious theme’ (Chitham, p. 12). It certainly demonstrates a classic example of deeply felt sin, followed by trust and forgiveness. The gloom of the first line is relieved later in the first verse – ‘Yet will I not despair’ – and subsequent verses reiterate the theme, with ‘this polluted heart’ (verse 2 line 1) and ‘I feel that I am weak,/ And prone...

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