Posted by: rcottrill | September 12, 2010

Today in 1818 – George Duffield Born

The father and grandfather of George Duffield were both Presbyterian clergymen, and after he graduated from seminary, George followed in their footsteps. He served a number of churches, but it was his pastorate at a church in Philadelphia (1852-1861) that is of most interest to us.

The winter of 1857-58 witnessed the igniting of revival fires in the city. At the centre of this great work was a 33-year-old servant of God named Dudley Tyng. Yet the spiritual harvest was clearly the Lord’s doing, not the result of one person’s ability. Working men used to gather, day after day, during the noon hour, to hear the Word of God.

One day, 5,000 men packed into a local hall. They listened as Mr. Tyng preached a powerful message of commitment. In the course of his sermon, he made this declaration: “I must tell [fulfil] my Master’s errand. And I would rather that this right arm were amputated at the trunk than that I should come short in my duty to you in delivering God’s message.” When the service reached its close, over a thousand men committed their lives to Christ.

Shortly after, Mr. Tyng went to visit a local farm, where he watched with fascination the operation of a corn-shelling apparatus worked by mule power. But suddenly, as he was standing near, the sleeve of his coat caught in the gears, and his arm was pulled into the machine. He was severely injured, and soon infection set in. In those days before antibiotics, that was a life-threatening condition. Several days later Tyng died. His friend, George Duffield, was at his bedside. He asked the dying man if he had any message for the men back in the city. “Tell them to stand up for Jesus,” he replied.

It was for a memorial service in honour of Dudley Tyng that Pastor Duffield wrote the hymn poem that echoes that phrase. (Note the reference to the failure of “the arm of flesh” which perhaps relates to Mr. Tyng’s words and his tragic accident.)

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, 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.

(2) Today in 1858 – John King Died
Born in Yorkshire, England, John King graduated from Queen’s College, Cambridge and was ordained for ministry in the Anglican Church in 1814. He held a number of posts in that denomination over succeeding years. He is known in hymnody for one song only, a Palm Sunday hymn called When His Salvation Bringing.

When, His salvation bringing,
To Zion Jesus came,
The children all stood singing
Hosanna to His name;
Nor did their zeal offend Him,
But, as He rode along,
He let them still attend Him,
And smiled to hear their song.

(3) Today in 1871 – Frank Huston Born
Though we commonly use only one hymn that he wrote, Frank Claude Huston had an interesting history. After graduation from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, he taught school for a year, then became a singing evangelist, work he pursued for nearly two decades. He also pastored a number of churches. Then, in 1899, an evangelist named Charles Scoville engaged him as a singer, and he participated in 180 evangelistic campaigns from Nova Scotia to Florida.

While still in Christian ministry, Huston founded the Frank C. Huston Publishing House which produced some of the most popular patriotic songs of the First World War (many of them written by Huston himself). He also published a collection of 100 hymns, including 84 of his own. In the First World War he became known as the “Singing Chaplain.” During the Second World War (at the age of 74!) he volunteered his services to the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was made a boatswain’s mate and served as a recruiter. He died in 1959.

The only hymn of Huston’s still in many hymn books is, It Pays to Serve Jesus.

The service of Jesus true pleasure affords,
In Him there is joy without an alloy;
’Tis heaven to trust Him and rest on His words;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

It pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day,
It pays every step of the way,
Though the pathway to glory may sometimes be drear,
You’ll be happy each step of the way.

The following rendering is a little drawn out, and I’m not a fan of clapping for a ministry in music, as many of you know. However, this is without question a powerful rendition of the song.


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  2. […] days of a revival that began in Philadelphia, and swept across America in 1858-59. (The gospel song Stand Up for Jesus has a special connection with this […]


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