Open as PDF
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." - 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
"Tell them to stand up for Jesus."
These were the final words of a twenty-nine-year-old Episcopalian minister, Dudley Tyng, as he spoke from his deathbed to a group of sorrowing friends and fellow ministers.
A great citywide revival swept across Philadelphia in 1858. It was called "the work of God in Philadelphia." Of the participating ministers, none was more powerful than the Reverend Dudley Tyng, known as a bold and uncompromising preacher.
In addition to pastoring his own church, Tyng began holding noonday services at the downtown YMCA. Great crowds came to hear this dynamic young preacher. On Tuesday, March 30, 1858, over five thousand men gathered for a mass meeting to hear Tyng preach from the Exodus 10: 11 text, "Go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD" (KJV). Over one thousand of these men committed their lives to Christ. At one point in the sermon the young preacher shouted, "I must tell my Master's errand, and I would rather that this right arm were amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God's message."
The following week, while visiting in the country and watching the operation of a corn threshing machine in a barn, the young pastor accidentally caught his loose sleeve between the cogs. His arm was lacerated severely, with the main artery severed and the median nerve injured. As a result of shock and a great loss of blood, Rev. Tyng died four days later.
On the following Sunday, Tyng's close friend and fellow worker, the Reverend George Duffield, pastor of the Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, prepared his morning sermon as a tribute to his departed friend. He chose Ephesians 6:14 (KJV) as his text:
"Stand, therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness."
Pastor Duffield closed his sermon by reading a poem that he had just finished writing. He told his people that it had been inspired by the dying words of his esteemed friend. Soon the challenging words found their way into the hearts and hymnals of God's people around the world.
Determine to "put on the whole armor of God" (see Eph. 6:10-20) in the daily baffle against the forces of unrighteousness.
"Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss!"