Fight the Good Fight

A Hymn

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, lean on thy Guide
His boundless mercy will provide;
Lean, and thy 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.

John Samuel Bewley Monsell (1811‑1875) who wrote these words was born in Londonderry to an Archdeacon, Thomas Monsell. After being educated at Trinity College, Dublin, John himself followed a similar path to his father. It was while Rector of St. Nicholas in Guildford he fell off a roof and subsequently died.

He was a prolific hymn and poem writer and one of the few that also remains popular now is ‘O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’.

The following verses are thought to have been in the writer’s mind when penning this well‑known and stirring hymn;

1 Tim.6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Tim.4:6‑8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

1 Cor.9:24‑26 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.

Phil.3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Heb.12:1‑2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Psalm 25:15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD.

Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Heb.11:33‑34 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Psalm 119:151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.

1 Cor.15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Pentecost is the tune most often associated with this hymn.