Preachers seldom face as large an audience as confronted Dudley A. Tyng on a March day in 1858. More than five thousand men were gathered in Jaynes Hall in Philadelphia to hear the beloved rector. At the time the city was being stirred by a great revival.
There was a singular charm and appeal about this speaker. He seemed to find just the right words to satisfy the soul hunger of his listeners. He was so moving and convincing in his plea that he drew hundreds to those gatherings.
But three weeks later he was dead. The city was shocked when it read of the accident that had claimed him as its victim. Mr. Tyng had gone to his home at Brookfield, near Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately Mr. Tyng suffered a fatal accident on his farm.
Shortly before he passed away, he was briefly conscious. Those by the bedside heard him whisper, “Tell them to stand up for Jesus.” Undoubtedly it was the message he wanted carried to his friends in the minister’s union who were conducting the city-wide revival.
There was one acquaintance in particular to whom these words came as a challenge. George Duffield, pastor of the Fifth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, had been the late rector’s intimate associate and close fellow worker. To him it hardly seemed possible that one so beautiful in spirit and so dedicated to the Master’s cause could have passed so abruptly from the scene. He began thinking that Mr. Tyng’s final words should be translated into some enduring form of memorial.
The following Sunday, when the time came for the sermon in his own church, Mr. Duffield preached from the text in Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore.” At the close he read a poem he had written, “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!”
Probably he never dreamed that he had written a great hymn. A copy of the lines was given to his Sunday school superintendent, who in turn had them printed on a special leaflet so that they could be sung by all the children.
It could not stop there. The words seemed to fire men’s souls throughout the land. When George Duffield made a trip to the battlefront in Virginia a few years later, he was deeply stirred as he heard thousands of army men sing “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!”
By Vincent Edwards. Source: These Times, Copyright (c) May 1960, Pacific Press. With permission from Dale Galusha [email protected]