Behind the Hymn: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus is another hymn where God used a tragedy for his good.
In 1858, Dudley Atkins Tyng, an evangelist and abolitionist, had just finished preaching at a successful mission in Philadelphia. Tyng visited his farm, where he reached his arm out to pat a mule. This mule was working on a machine that shelled corn and Tyng’s sleeve became caught in the cogs and tore off his arm.
Not until hours later was he discovered and by this point he was slowly bleeding together. He whispered to one of his assistants, George Duffield, Jr. “Tell them to stand up for Jesus.”
Tyng died before the night was over.
With a heavy heart, Duffield returned home, where he sat down and wrote the hymn as a tribute to his friend and mentor.
Duffield read the lyrics as part of his next sermon and the song was printed in the Sunday school newspaper. The hymn became so popular that it was sung on both sides of the Civil War.
The tune is Morning Light, by GJ Webb, originally composed for a parlour song, ‘Tis dawn, the lark is singing, in 1837.