John Samuel Bewley Monsell (b. St. Colomb's, Londonderry, Ireland, 1811; d. Guilford, Surrey, England, 1875) was educated at Trinity College in Dublin and served as a chaplain and rector of several churches in Ireland after his ordination in 1835. Transferred to England in 1853, he became rector of Egham in Surrey and was rector of St. Nicholas Church in Guilford from 1870 until his death (caused by a construction accident at his church). A prolific poet, Monsell published his verse in eleven volumes. His three hundred hymns, many celebrating the seasons of the church year, were issued in collections such as Hymns and Miscellaneous Poems (1837), Spiritual Songs (1857), Hymns of Love and Praise (1863), and The Parish Hymnal (1873).
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God of that glorious gift of grace. J. S. B. Monsell. [Holy Baptism.] First published in his Hymns and Miscellaneous Poems, Dublin, 1837, p. 44, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "Baptismal Hymn." It was repeated in his Parish Musings, 1850, but omitted, strangely enough, from his Parish Hymnal, 1873, although ranking in popularity with the best of his hymns. It is found in many of the best collections, including the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, No. 222; Hymnal Companion, 398; the Wesleyan Hymn Book, No. 896, and others, and usually without alteration, as in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862 and 1867. Its use has also extended to most English-speaking countries.