A fatal farm accident recalled

Rev McMillan on the potato planter with County Armagh farmer Mr David McCune
Rev McMillan on the potato planter with County Armagh farmer Mr David McCune

Most people are familiar with the hymn, ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’. But not many people know that the hymn was written as a result of a fatal farm accident!

In 1858 the Evangelist Dudley Tyng was holding meetings for young people in the YMCA Hall in Philadelphia. The meetings were being greatly blessed of God but before the meetings ended tragedy struck!

Rev Tyng went for a walk into the barn on his farm where a threshing machine was being used.

As he watched the thresher at work he reached out his hand to pat a mule that was being used to operate it. But the sleeve of his coat got caught in a cog of the thresher which resulted in his arm being severely injured; so much so that the arm had to be amputated! But his condition continued to deteriorate and the following week he died from his injuries.

A short time before his death he whispered his final message to one of his assistants. He told George Duffield to go back to the young people in Philadelphia and “Tell them to stand up for Jesus”. George Duffield never forgot that message and it inspired him to write the words of, ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’.

That story illustrates the fact that accidents can happen to anyone. Dudley Tyng was a man who was living for God and yet a dreadful accident crossed his path and the same could happen to you!

The Bible records the details of a serious accident that occurred in Jerusalem in the days of the New Testament. A tower fell in Siloam and took the lives of 18 people (Luke 13:4). Accidents are a sobering reality of life. They warn you of how quickly your life could end and the urgency of being ready for Eternity.

Don’t put off getting saved until tomorrow because tomorrow could be too late! The reality is that you need to be saved and you need to be saved now (Isaiah 55:6).

If you would like some spiritual help or would like to receive some free Gospel literature contact Rev McMillan at revdmcm7@gmail.com