Stand up, stand up for Jesus

Stand up, stand up for Jesus

Posted on 26th June 2020 under The Rectory Bulletin | Hymn Stories


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

In his day, the Rev Dudley A Tyng (1825-1858) was a controversial figure. Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Philadelphia, he used his pulpit to oppose the slave trade and was eventually forced to resign his post by the slave-owning faction in his congregation. All was not lost, though, as his friends managed to get for him the city’s huge Jaynes Hall where he preached to crowds numbering in the thousands.

One Wednesday, when he was at the height of his popularity, he was looking at a farm thresher. All cogs and wheels, the contraption was hitched to a mule which provided the power. As he reached out to pat the animal, his sleeve was caught and the resulting accident left him without an arm. He did not recover and died the following Sunday, aged thirty-three.

As he lay sick, he said he wanted to send a message to a local group of ministers: “Stand up for Jesus”. A friend, the Rev George Duffield, heard him make this request and the phrase stuck in his mind. The verses we often sing were first uttered at Tyng’s memorial service, and contain the sobering words “the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own”.

Such were the crowds which gathered at the funeral, the streets were thronged outside the church and many strained to hear what was being said. The local paper made a phonographic recording and the sermon - preached by Tyng’s father, also a minister - was later printed and copies can still be found. The text chosen by the father for his son’s funeral came from 1 Samuel: “ For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord ” (1 Samuel 1:27-28).

Stand up, stand up for Jesus
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss:
from vict'ry unto vict'ry
his army he shall lead,
'til ev'ry foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict
in this his glorious day:
ye that are men now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own:
put on the gospel armour,
each piece put on with pray'r;
where duty calls, or danger,
be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor's song:
to him that overcometh
a crown of life shall be;
he with the King of glory
shall reign eternally.

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