Fanny J. Crosby, in telling the story of the writing of this song said that a few days before this incident, W.H. Doane had sent her a theme for a song entitled “Rescue the Perishing.” The theme was based on Luke 14:23. She said, “While sitting in that Mission house that evening, the line, ‘rescue the perishing and care for the dying,’ came to me. After that, I could think of nothing else that night. After I arrived home, I went to work on the song and finished the lyrics before retiring for the evening.” The song was published in 1870.
We Must! We Must! We Must! Rescue the Perishing!
Paul said, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
The word “rescue” means “to free or save from danger, imprisonment, evil, etc.
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.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying
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 were 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.