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Onward Christian Soldier


It was 1854. Pastor Dudley Tyng was voted as the new pastor of a Philadelphia church at only 29 years old. At first the work went well until he started to preach against the sin of slavery – at that point to church did not want to make anyone mad so they told him to shut down such silly preaching. Pastor Dudley lasted only two years at that large church in Philadelphia.


So Pastor Dudley started Bible studies at the YMCA, and he began rallying husbands to come to Christ. On March 30, 1858, 5,000 men gathered in the streets of Philadelphia and the first thing he said to the sea of faces before him, "I would rather this right arm were amputated close to the shoulder than to come up short of my duty to you in delivering God’s message." It was reported in the paper the next day that over 1,000 people got saved.


Two weeks later, Pastor Dudley was visiting a farmer as he was corn thrashing in the barn, and all of the sudden Pastor Dudley's sleeve got caught in the thrasher and ripped his arm out of his shoulder and the main artery was severed. Four days later, Pastor was just about to die and he lifted his head and said to everyone around the bed, "Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross, lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss."


And that birthed the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers." The rest of the song was written by a Presbyterian pastor who was so touched by Dudley’s conviction for Christ and wrote…


"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!"

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