Scripture Verse

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:12


Words: John S. B. Mon­sell, Hymns of Love and Praise for the Church’s Year 1863. This hymn was sung in the 1981 Aca­de­my Award win­ning mo­vie Char­i­ots of Fire.

Music: Pen­te­cost (Boyd) Will­iam Boyd, 1864 (🔊 pdf nwc). First pub­lished in Thir­ty-Two Hymn Tunes Com­posed by Mem­bers of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ox­ford, 1868.

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Boyd (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

John S. B. Monsell

Baring-Gould asked me to com­pose a tune to Come Ho­ly Ghost, Our Souls In­spire, to be sung at a large meet­ing of York­shire col­liers. I walked, talked, slept and ate with the words, and at last evolved the tune which I na­tur­al­ly named Pen­te­cost…

One day, as I was walk­ing along Re­gent Street I felt a slap on my back, and turn­ing around saw my dear old friend Ar­thur Sul­li­van.

My dear Bil­ly, he said, I’ve seen a tune of yours which I must have. (He was then ed­it­ing Church Hymns) All right, I said, Send me a cheque and I agree. No co­py of the book, much less a proof was sent to me, and when I saw the tune I was hor­ri­fied to find that Sul­li­van had as­signed it to Fight the good fight!

We had a regular fis­ti­cuffs about it, but judg­ing from the fa­vour with which the tune has been re­ceived, I feel that Sul­li­van was right in so mat­ing words and mu­sic.

Musical Times (XLIX, 1908)


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.