Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

October 27

William P. Merrill, 1867–1954
… that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. (Philippians 1:27, 28)
Our world is filled with much physical and social suffering. Often we prefer to close our eyes to these painful situations that are all around us. It is much more comfortable to associate only with those who live as we do. This kind of attitude within the church will turn any body of believers into nothing more than a religious club.
If we want to represent our Lord with integrity, we must not compartmentalize the church’s mission. Soul winning and social responsibility are woven intrinsically together and constitute an inherent part of the ministry. A starving person needs both his stomach as well as his soul cared for. Christ’s earthly ministry is a prime model of an ideal balance of caring for body as well as the soul of needy individuals.
The author of this call-to-action text, William Pierson Merrill, was a Presbyterian minister. He served churches in Philadelphia and Chicago, and he pastored the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York until his retirement in 1938. Merrill wrote “Rise Up, O Men of God!” especially for the brotherhood movement within the Presbyterian churches in 1911. Merrill was also a prolific writer of hymn texts and theological books.
An important secret of individual happiness is to be employed continually in doing something of value, to be “done with lesser things,” to be totally involved in serving “the King of kings.” And even the cup of water given in Christ’s name will not go unrewarded (Matthew 10:42).
Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things; give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings.
Rise up, O men of God! His kingdom tarries long. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong.
Rise up, O men of God! The Church for you doth wait, her strength unequal to her task; rise up, and make her great!
Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where His feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of man, rise up, O men of God!

    For Today: Deuteronomy 11:13–32; John 12:26; Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:7

Determine by word and example to be a challenge to the members of your church by being more aggressively involved in an outreach ministry to your community. Reflect again on this musical truth—

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