Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus - George Duffield, Jr.

This hymn calls Christians to be courageous and take a stand for Jesus.  Dudley A. Tyng was one of the most fervent preachers in the northeastern United States during the middle of the nineteenth century. His belief that all were sinners and needed to repent to be accepted by God caused him to lose favor with the religious establishment. His midday services at the YMCA began a revival known as “The Work of God in Philadelphia.” In 1858 he preached to a crowd of over 5,000 from the text: Go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD (Exodus 10:11). Tyng’s preaching had been so zealous that he declared, “I would rather that this right arm was amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God’s message!” That day 1,000 men responded by committing their lives to Christ. 


A few weeks later, he was at his farm using his corn-sheller when his sleeve got caught in the cogs, and his arm was severed. Infection developed in the wound, and he died at the age of 33. Among his last words were, “Let us all stand up for Jesus!”


With those words echoing in his mind after the funeral, George Duffield, Jr., who had been Tyng’s close friend and colleague, went home and wrote the verses of “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus.” The following Sunday, he preached on the text:  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14). He closed his sermon by reading the verses he had written, inspired by his friend’s dying testimony.  He had no way of knowing that those verses would become one of America's well-loved hymns when his Sunday School superintendent printed it for use by the Sunday School classes or when it was printed in a Baptist newspaper. But it was translated into several languages and loved around the world as well. The most common tune used for the hymn had been composed by George J. Webb, an associate of a music educator in New England, Lowell Mason.


Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!” calls for Christians to take a stand while relying on Him for strength and courage as they prayerfully put on God’s armor. The words are militant to emphasize the Christian’s spiritual battle: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).  Six stanzas were originally written, but only four appear in most hymnals.  Stanza five is usually omitted; it reflects the loss of Dudley Tyng’s leadership in the Philadelphia revival and admonishes those remaining to stand in the gap. The last stanza is a reminder that those who overcome will win a crown of life and reign with Christ forever.

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 shall he lead,
Till ev’ry foe is vanquished,
And Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
 The solemn watchword hear,
 If while ye sleep he suffers,
 Away with shame and fear;
 Where’er ye meet with evil,
 Within you or without,
 Charge for the God of battles,
And put the foe to rout!
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 prayer;
Where duty calls or danger,
Be never wanting there.

Stand up!- stand up for Jesus!
 Each soldier to his post;
 Close up the broken column,
 And shout through all the host!
 Make good the loss so heavy,
 In those that still remain,
 And prove to all around you
 That death itself is gain!
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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Goodness! What an amazing story. Thank you for these hymn stories. They sure bless me. I love this song. I’ll be sure to thank this brother when I meet him in heaven


This historical background of the song “Stand Up For Jesus” has given me a much deeper spiritual understanding of the author’s message; especially, for men of God to “Stand Up For Jesus”. Yes. powerful exhortation to defend and spread the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus!

Luis A Baquedo

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