1811 - 1875 Person Name: J. S. B. Monsell (1811-1875) Author of "Fight the good fight with all your might" in Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) Monsell, John Samuel Bewley, L.L.D., son of Thomas Bewley Monsell, Archdeacon of Londonderry, was born at St. Columb's, Londonderry, March 2,1811, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A. 1832, LL.D. 1856). Taking Holy Orders in 1834, "he was successively Chaplain to Bishop Mant, Chancellor of the diocese of Connor, Rector of Ramoan, Vicar of Egham, diocese Worcester, and Rector of St. Nicholas's, Guildford. He died in consequence of a fall from the roof of his church, which was in the course of rebuilding, April 9, 1875. His prose works include Our New Vicar, 1867; The Winton Church Catechist, &c. His poetical works are:—
(1) Hymns and Miscellaneous Poems, Dublin, W. Curry, Jun., & Co., 1837; (2) Parish Musings, or Devotional Poems, 1850; (3) Spiritual Songs for the Sundays and Holy Days throughout the Year. 1857 (People's Ed., 1875); (4) His Presence, not His Memory, 1855, 1858; (5) Hymns of Love and Praise for the Church's Year, 1863 (2nd ed. 1866); (6) The Passing Bell; Ode to The Nightingales, and Other Poems, 1867; (7) Litany Hymns, 1869; (8) The Parish Hymnal after the Order of The Book of Common Prayer, 1873; (9)Watches by the Cross, 1874; (10) Simon the Cyrenian; and Other Poems; (11) Nursery Carols.
In these works several hymns which appeared in the earlier books are repeated in the later, and thus at first sight his compositions seem to be more in number than they really are. The total amounts to nearly 300, and of these about one-fourth are in common use. The most popular of these are, "God is love; that anthem olden"; "God of that glorious gift of grace"; "Holy offerings, rich and rare"; “Lord of the living harvest"; "Mighty Father, Blessed Son"; and "Sing to the Lord a joyful song." In addition to those which are annotated under their respective first lines, the following are in common use:—
i. Appeared in his Hymns and Miscellaneous Poems, Dublin, 1837.
1. Birds have their quiet nests. Humility of Christ.
2. Dark and dim the day-light rose. Good Friday.
3. Friend of the friendless and the lone. Jesus, the Friend.
4. My God, what wondrous love was Thine. Whitsuntide.
5. O for a heart more fervent. Holiness desired.
6. O for the time when on the world. Missions.
7. The springtide hour brings leaf and flower. Spring.
8. This day the Lord is risen. Easter.
9. When cold our hearts and far from Thee. Teach us to Pray.
10. Why restless, why so weary? Providence.
11. Yes, I do feel, my God, that I am Thine. Assurance.
ii. Appeared in his Parish Musings, 1850.
12. In Thee, my [O] God, will we rejoice. Trust in God.
13. Lord, dependent on Thy promise. Holy Baptism.
14. Members of Christ, Children of God. Confirmation.
15. So teach me, Lord, to number. The Old and New Year.
16. Soon [soon] and for ever. Death anticipated.
17. The broken, contrite heart oppress'd. Promises of God.
18. Thou art near, yes, Lord, I feel it. Divine Support.
19. Would'st thou learn the depths of sin? Passiontide.
iii. Appeared in his Spiritual Songs, 1857.
20. A few bright leaders of her host. All Saints.
21. A happy, happy [merry, merry] Christmas. New Year's Day.
22. Blessed hope, that we the fallen [sinful]. Hope.
23. Heart in heart, and hand in hand. SS. Simon and Jude.
24. Jesus, my loving Lord! I know. Resignation.
25. Last Sunday of the work-day year. Sunday after Christmas Day.
26. Loved by God the Father. Holy Baptism.
27. Mercy, mercy, God the Father. Lent.
28. My head is low, my heart is sad. Confirmation. (Penitential.)
29. Oft doth the Christian's heart inquire. Christian Duty.
30. 0 God, most mighty, listen now. Charities. From "When languid frame or throbbing pulse."
31. 0 holy Sabbath day. Sunday.
32. 0 Lord, what records of Thy love. St. Barnabas. Sometimes, “Lord God, what records of Thy love."
33. 0 love, divine and golden. Holy Matrimony. From this, "Love divine and tender" is taken.
34. One lesson more the Church must learn. Waiting on God. From this, “One lesson Christ His own would teach" is taken.
35. Proudly in his [the] hall of judgment. Tuesday before Easter.
36. Sinful, sighing to be blest. Lent.
37. The Church of God, with equal care. St. James.
38. The journey done; The rest begun. Burial.
39. The simple trust that can confide. Trust.
40. Weary and sad, a wanderer from Thee. Lent.
iv. Appeared, in his Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863, and 2nd ed., 1866.
41. Bounteous blesser of the seedtime. Sexagesima. Seed Time.
42. Brightly hopeful for the future. God's mercy through life.
43. Christ is risen! Alleluia! Easter.
44. Come and deck the grave with flowers. Easter Eve.
45. Fight the good fight with all thy might. Fight of Faith.
46. Holy Spirit, long expected. Whitsuntide.
47. Hours and days and months and years. The Circumcision.
48. I have no comfort but Thy love. The Comfort of Love.
49. I knew Thee in the land of drought. A Song of Love.
60. I think of Thee, my God by night. Evening.
61. Jesu, gentle Sufferer, say. Good Friday.
52. Labouring and heavy-laden. Lent.
53. Light of the world, we hail Thee. Missions.
54. Lord, to whom except to Thee? Holy Communion.
55. My sins, my sins, my Saviour. Ash Wednesday.
56. O'er the distant mountains breaking. Second Advent.
57. Other Name than our dear Lord's. Jesus All and in All.
58. Pity on us, heavenly Father. Litany Hymn for Lent.
59. Praise the Lord, rejoice, ye Gentiles. Advent, or Missions.
60. Rest of the weary, joy of the sad. Jesus, the Saviour and Friend.
61. Shadow of a mighty Rock. Jesus, the Rock of Ages.
62. Sing, 0 heaven; 0 earth rejoice. Ascension.
63. Sweet is the gentle voice of spring. Seed Time.
64. Sweet is Thy mercy, Lord. Divine Mercy.
65. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth Thee. Divine Teaching.
66. The good old times, how glorious. Advent.
67. The world may in its wealth delight. Rejoicing in the Lord. An altered form of "Let others in their wealth delight."
68. Though Thou slay me, I will trust. Faith.
69. To Christ the Lord! The Incarnate Word. Christmas.
70. When I had wandered from His fold. The Love of God.
v. Appeared in his Litany Hymns, 1869.
71. Lay the precious body, In the quiet grave. Burial.
72. My sins have taken such a hold on me. Litany of Repentance.
vi. Appeared in his Parish Hymnal, 1873.
73. I hunger and I thirst. Septuagesima.
Dr. Monsell’s hymns are as a whole bright, joyous, and musical; but they lack massiveness, concentration of thought, and strong emotion. A few only are of enduring excellence.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology 1907
Monsell, J, S. B., p. 762, ii. Additional hymns in common use include:—
1. Blessed Lord, Who, till the morning. Holy Scriptures. From his Spiritual Songs, 1857.
2. Christ incarnate in His poor. Christ in His Poor. From his Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863.
3. We ask for life, and mean thereby. Life and Work. From his Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)
Monsell, J. S. B. Since the article on pp. 762-3 was written, copies of the original editions of Dr. Monsell's works have come into our hands, and from them we have to make the following corrections, the numbers following being those given to the first lines of the hymns on pp. 762-3:—
15. So teach me, &c. Hymns and Misc. Poems, 1837, p. 30.
17. The broken, &c. Hymns and Misc. Poems, 1837, p. 49.
18. Thou art near, &c. Hymns and Misc. Poems, 1837, p. 21.
19. Would'st thou, &c. Hymns and Misc. Poems, 1837, p. 14.
26. Loved by God, &c. Parish Hymnal, 1873, No. 181.
27. Mercy, mercy, &c. Prayers and Litanies, 1861,
28. My head is low, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1866,
33. O Love divine, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, p. 131.
38. The journey done, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, p. 134.
40. Weary and sad, &c. Parish Hymnal, 1873, No. 209.
41-50. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863.
51. See "Day of loss," &c, p. 282, i.
52. Labouring, &c. Prayers and Litanies, 1861, p. 116. 53-57. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863.
58. Pity on us, &c. Prayers and Litanies, 1861, p. 125.
59. Praise the Lord, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863,
60. 61, 62, 64, 65. Prayers and Litanies, 1861.
63, 66-70. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1863.
72. My sins, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1866, p. 34.
73. I hunger, &c. Hymns of Love and Praise, 1866, p. 128.
It will be seen from this list of additions and corrections that Dr. Monsell multiplied his works by giving much the same material under new titles, and that his Prayers and Litanies of 1861 were unknown to us when the original article was written. "We can sincerely add that few hymn writers are so perplexing to the annotator as Dr. Monsell. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
John S. B. Monsell