by Lindsay Terry
Song: "Stand Up for Jesus"
Scripture: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness" (Eph. 6:13-14).
The year 1858 will long be remembered in Philadelphia as the year when great revival came and when a great gospel song was written.
Dudley A. Tyng was one of the prominent leaders in this great spiritual awakening. He was speaking, early in that year, to a crowd of five thousand men, using as his text, "Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord" (Exod. 10:11). One report tells that conviction was so great that at the close of the service two thousand men fell to their knees. Two other writers say that at least one thousand men made confession of Christ as Savior.
A few days after that service Mr. Tyng was at work in his study. For a few moments of relaxation he decided to walk down to his barn to watch a corn-shelling machine in operation. While he patted a mule being used to operate the machine, the animal became frightened and leaped forward, knocking Tyng in the machine. This caused his sleeve to be caught in the cogs. Before they could stop the mule, Tyng's arm was pulled in and so badly lacerated that it was amputated. He lived only a few days after the accident. Just before he died, his father, leaning over his son, asked him if he had a message for the young men with whom he had been working.
He replied, "Tell them . . . to stand up for Jesus.
George Duffield, Jr., a young pastor, and a close friend of Tyng, was so moved by that message he preached a sermon the following Sunday, exhorting his congregation to stand firm for Jesus Christ. His text was Ephesians 6:14, "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness." At the close of the sermon he read a poem he had written:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory,
His army shall He lead,
Till every 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.
There were six stanzas in all. Benedict D. Stewart, the superintendent of the Sunday Church School, had some leaflets printed for the children containing the poem. A copy found its way to a Baptist paper and it was set to music written some time earlier by George J. Webb.
Almost every hymnal today contains this great song, and it has found its way into the hearts of men everywhere, in many lands, causing them to have courage-courage to Stand up for Jesus!
Reflection: As in 1858, our day needs men who are willing to stand up for Jesus-men who are willing to be leaders. Remember: when you follow the crowd you will not have a crowd following you.
Lindsay Terry has been a song historian for more than 40 years, being published
in a number of publications, including Pulpit Helps. He has also written
some 34 books and church training manuals.