Fight the good fight

A hymn to sing along with…

The words are by Revd John Samuel Bewley Monsell, (1811-1875) who was born in Ireland and ordained deacon in 1834 and priest in 1835. He came to England in 1853 to be Vicar of Egham, near Windsor. From 1870 until his death he was Rector of St Nicholas, Guildford and Chaplain to Queen Victoria. He wrote about 300 other hymns, including O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The tune “Duke Street” is attributed to John Warrington Hatton (c1710-1793). Little is known about him other than that he lived on Duke Street, St Helens and that his funeral was held at the Presbyterian chapel in that town. It is said that he died in a stagecoach accident. The tune may originally have been written for the hymn Jesus shall reign where’er the sun by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).

Marsland memorial at St Oswald’s

Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.

Cast care aside, upon thy Guide,
Lean, and His mercy will provide;
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.

Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.

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