Rescue the perishing

Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
  Weep o'er the erring one,
  Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.
  Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful,
    Jesus will save.
Though they are slighting Him,
  Still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
  Plead with them earnestly,
  Plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
Down in the human heart,
  Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
  Touched by a loving heart,
  Wakened by kindness,
Chords that are broken will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing,
  Duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
  Back to the narrow way,
  Patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand'rer a Savior has died.
Mrs. Wrhight

Accra, Ghana

I love this very much. It touches my heart . It’s just trying to tell us to help those who are perishing ...

Jeremiah Fichter

Columbus, OH, United States

This is my favorite gospel hymn.

Verse three touches me:

Down in the human heart, Crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; Touched by a loving heart, Wakened by kindness, Chords that are broken will vibrate once more.

Rescue the perishing,

Care for the dying;

Jesus is merciful,

Jesus will save!!


Lagos, Nigeria

Truly Jesus is merciful & mighty to save all who come to Him in total humility.

Steve Miller

Detroit, MIchigan, United States

Fanny Crosby wrote this hymn in 1869. About how she came to write it, she wrote:

"Like many of my hymns, it was written following a personal experience at the New York City Mission. I usually tried to get to the mission at least 1 night a week to talk to 'my boys'. I was addressing a large company of working men one hot summer evening, when the thought kept forcing itself on my mind that some mother's boy must be rescued that night or he might be eternally lost. So I made a pressing plea that if there was a boy present who had wandered from his mother's home and teaching, he should come to me at the end of the service. A young man of 18 came forward."

"Did you mean me, Miss Crosby? I promised my mother to meet her in heaven, but as I am now living, that will be impossible."

"We prayed for him and suddenly he arose with a new light in his eyes."

"Now I am ready to meet my mother in heaven, for I have found God."

"A few days before, Mr. Doane, the composer, had sent me a tune for a new song to be titled, 'Rescue the Perishing', based on Luke 14:23. During this time I had been thinking and praying earnestly about this text: 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.' While I sat in the Bowery Mission that evening, the line came to me - 'rescue the perishing, care for the dying.' I could think of nothing else. When I arrived home following the service, I went to work on that hymn at once, and before I retired it was ready for Mr. Doane's melody."


William Doane was a close personal friend of Fanny Crosby and collaborated with her on many of her hymn texts. Though he was a successful businessman, Doane was also known as one of the leading gospel musicians of that era, writing more than 2,000 texts and tunes.


Ira Sankey, who used this hymn often in his evangelistic crusades with Mr. Moody, told this story:

"On a stormy night in a middle-aged man staggered into the New York Bowery Mission. He was intoxicated, his face unwashed and unshaved, with clothes soiled and torn. He sank into a seat, and gazing around, seemed bewildered by the kind of place he had entered. 'Rescue the Perishing' was being sung and that seemed to interest him and to recall some memories of his youth long forgotten. As the leader of the meeting told how the Lord had come to seek and to save sinners, the man listened more intently. The leader had been a soldier and had seen hard and active duty in the Civil War. He mentioned several incidents which had occurred in his experiences during the war, and gave the name of the company in which he had served. At the close of the meeting, the half-intoxicated man staggered up to the leader:"

"When were you in that company you spoke of?"

"Why, all through the war."

"Do you remember the battle of ....?"


"And do you remember the name of the captain of your company at that time?"

"Of course. His name was ..."

"Yes, yes, you are right. I am that man. I was your captain. But look at me today, and see what a human wreck I am. Can you help your old captain? I have lost everything I had in this world through drink and now don't know where to turn."

"The old army captain was truly converted that evening and helped by his friend to a life of usefulness and respectability. The captain often retold the story of how his former soldier was used by God to rescue his perishing soul in a mission service."

Nelson Liu

Irvine, CA, United States

Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save!

Clarice White

Roswell, NM, United States

My father used to listen to a radio station every morning. When I was a very little girl if mabe 5 or 6, called 'The Wilbur Nelson Chapel Hour". They started the program with this song. Forgot about it til this morning, when the Lord was speaking to me about 'lost souls' and getting my priorities straight. I am now 65 years old. I thank God for this song. I will read them frequently now, as a reminder of the "greatest cause on earth"... The Salvation of Souls!!!" Lord help us to remember, and to focus on this. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.



Came across this hymn a few days ago, sung by fountain view acadamy, so beautiful.

Yonela Abraham Tosh

Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa

wow wow yhoo the song it restores my soul.


Paragould, Arkansas, United States

My heart burns for lost souls. This song ignites it, singing it over and over. Hell is a real place with horrific torments. Oh rescue the perishing. Let the boldness of the Holy Ghost burst forth in the power of The Gospel to save in the name of Jesus! We pray for the Spirit of Obedience.

Rose Peart

Davie, Florida, United States

So inspiring and encouraging!

My heart was warmed by this beautiful call to be a co-laborer with Christ our Savior. Thank you for the blessing.

During those years, the fire of the gospel was indeed burning among us. However, we did not reach the stage of going out and compelling people. In Luke 14:23 the Lord Jesus told us that to go out and bring people in, we even need to go to the roads and hedges and compel people. According to the original Greek, to compel people means to force people. The Lord said, "Go out into the roads and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled." Our burden is to teach you how to compel others. The Lord Jesus spoke of our need to compel others.

In verse 23 the Lord said that we should compel people to come in. Then in verse 26 He said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate." These two matters spoken of in Luke 14 are quite harsh. First, we have to go out and compel people to believe in the Lord. Second, after they believe, they have to "hate." Seemingly, this is against what Christianity teaches about being kind, loving, and broad, but this is indeed the Lord's word. Not only do we have to hate our parents and our wife, we also have to hate our self. The teaching of the Lord Jesus' is quite particular. Hymns #664 in Chinese says, "Rise up quickly and preach the gospel!" But the Lord's word goes even further; He wants us to rise up quickly and compel people. The secret to preaching the gospel is to have a zealous heart, to be crazy. A person who is crazy does not care for himself. Forty years ago I was crazy whenever I preached the gospel. However, I was not crazy to the extent of compelling others. For this reason, I feel that I am still indebted to the gospel.

Our main impression concerning the Gospel of Luke is that it is a sweet gospel. It tells us that the Lord Jesus is a good shepherd who is full of compassion. In His tender love He looks for us, He embraces and bears us, and He brings us back to His flock (15:1-7). This Gospel also tells us that the Lord is a good Samaritan. We are wounded and on the verge of death, but He binds our wounds and pours oil and wine on them (10:25-35). However, we never saw the matter that the Lord Jesus wants us to go and compel others, nor did we see that the Lord wants us to hate.

In Adam we were sentenced by God to die, to perish in the lake of fire forever (Heb. 9:27; John 3:16b; Rev. 21:8). This is man's destiny. This is why we need to give up the world and spend our time to preach the gospel to rescue fallen man from the lake of fire. Fanny Crosby, a sister who lived in the last century, wrote many hymns. One of these hymns (Hymns, #921) is concerning rescuing the perishing sinners. The first stanza and chorus of this hymn say:

Rescue the perishing,

Care for the dying,

Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;

Weep o'er the erring one,

Lift up the fallen,

Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing,

Care for the dying;

Jesus is merciful,

Jesus will save.

We should be inspired by this matter. All the people on this earth are busy doing many things, but eventually they will perish. We need to have a heart to rescue the perishing, to care for the dying.

Hymns, #921 was written by Fanny Crosby, an American sister who was blind.