Hymn History: “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”

2 min

Although only thirty years old, Dudley Tyng was already known as a bold, uncompromising preacher. He would seek out those who needed Christ and unashamedly preach to them the Gospel. On March 30, 1858, Pastor Tyng preached to a packed auditorium of 5,000 men gathered for a noon meeting. His message was from Exodus 10:11: “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord.” Placing his left hand on his right arm at the shoulder, he fervently avowed, “I must tell my Master’s errand, and I would rather this right arm were amputated at the trunk, than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God’s message.” In that assembly, an estimated 1,000 men came to Christ that day! As Pastor Tyng left the meeting, he had no idea what would soon happen.

Shortly thereafter, Pastor Tyng was in his study. Outside in the Pennsylvania farmyard an old mule plodded in a giant circle, powering the corn sheller. Taking a break, the preacher strolled outside to check on the corn shelling. As the young man reached out to scratch the mule’s head, his long shirt sleeve was caught in the corn shelling gears! Swiftly his arm was yanked into the giant wheel, up to his shoulder. The main artery in his arm was severely damaged, and the doctor had no choice except to amputate. In the days following the accident, infection set in. The doctor determined that the pastor would not survive his injury. Yet, rather than fearing death, the injured man boldly asked, “Doctor, are you a Christian? If not, come to Jesus.” Pastor Tyng led the doctor to Christ! Soon the young pastor’s end was near. His final words that he whispered to his father, also a pastor, were: “Let us all stand up for Jesus.” 

Many people were touched by Pastor Tyng’s short life. One of his close friends was George Duffield Jr., who was also a pastor. The Sunday following Pastor Tyng’s death, Pastor Duffield preached a sermon to honor his friend who had been a bold witness for Christ. At the close of his sermon, he read the words of a hymn he had recently written. The stanzas were inspired, he told the congregation, by his good friend’s last words. Soon the hymn was published with the title “Stand Up for Jesus.”

Do you fearlessly take a stand for what is right? Are you bold in telling others about Christ? Remember Pastor Tyng’s example and ask God to enable you to boldly stand up for Christ today!

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