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

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.

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

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)

portrait
John S. B. Monsell (1811-1875)

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.