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Soldiers of the Cross

Updated: May 20, 2021

From Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021.

It is an absolutely gorgeous sunny morning. I had no fog this morning when I woke up. That's always nice

I love to learn the history behind songs. In particular Christian hymns.

A few months back I bought the book "Then Sings My Soul". It's 150 of the world's greatest hymn stories.

I want to tell you the history behind the song Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus. This is a song I learned early on in my life. It's not sung as often these days but the history behind it is wonderful.

" Dudley Tyng served as his father's assistant at Philadelphia's Church of the Epiphany and was elected its Pastor when his father retired in 1854. He was only 29 when he succeeded his father at this large Episcopal church, and at first it seemed a great fit. But the honeymoon ended when Dudley begin vigorously preaching against slavery. Loud complaints rose from the more conservative members, resulting in Dudley's resignation in 1856.

He and his followers organized the Church of the Covenant elsewhere in the city, and his reputation grew. He began noontime Bible studies at the YMCA, and his ministry reached far beyond his own church walls. Dudley had a burden for leading husbands and fathers to Christ, and he helped organize a great rally to reach man.

On Tuesday, March 30th, 1858, five thousand men gathered. As Dudley looked over the sea of faces he felt overwhelmed. "I would rather this right arm be amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you and delivering God's message," he told the crowd. Over a thousand men were converted that day.

Two weeks later Dudley was visiting in the countryside, watching a corn thresher in the barn. His hand moved too close to the machine and a sleeve was snared. His arm was ripped from its socket, the main artery was severed. Four days later his right arm was amputated close to the shoulder. When it appeared he was dying, Dudley told his aged father: "Stand up for Jesus, father, and tell my brethren of the ministry to stand up for Jesus."

Reverend George Duffield at Philadelphia's Temple Presbyterian Church was deeply stirred by Dudley's funeral, and the following Sunday he preached from Ephesians 6:14 about standing firm for Christ. He read a poem he had written, inspired by Dudley's words: Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye Soldiers of the cross; Lift High his Royal Banner, it must not suffer loss.

The editor of a Hymnal heard the poem, found appropriate music, and published it.

"Stand up, stand up for Jesus" soon became one of America's favorite hymns, extending Dudley's dying words to Millions."

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