Rescue the Perishing

Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Donne

“Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying.”

On a stormy night a middle-aged man staggered into the Bowery Mission. He was intoxicated, his face unwashed and unshaven, and his clothes soiled and torn. He sank into a seat, and, gazing around, seemed to wonder what kind of a place he had come into. ”Rescue the perishing” and other gospel hymns were sung and seemed to interest him, and to recall some memory of his youth long since forgotten. As the leader of the meeting told the simple story of the Gospel, and how the Lord had come to seek and save sinners, the man listened eagerly. The leader in his younger days had been a soldier and had seen hard and active service. In the course of his remarks he mentioned several incidents which had occurred in his experience during the war, and he gave the name of the company in which he served. At the close of the meeting the man eagerly staggered up to the leader and in a broken voice said:

“When were you in that company you spoke of?”
“Why, all through the war,” said the leader.
“Do you remember the battle of?”
“Do you remember the name of the captain of your company at that time."
“Yes, his name was."

“You are right! I am that man. I was your captain. Look at me to-day, and see what a wreck I am. Can you save your old captain? I have lost everything I had in the world through drink, and I don't know where to go."

He was saved that night, and was soon helped by some of his former friends to get back his old position. He often told the story of how a soldier saved his captain, and how much he loved the words of ”Rescue the perishing."

A man in Sussex, England, gives this testimony: '' I believe I can attribute my conversion, through the grace of God, to one verse of that precious hymn, ' Rescue the perishing.' I was far away from my Saviour, and living without a hope in Jesus. I was very fond of singing hymns, and one day I came across this beautiful piece, and when I had sung the words,

'Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more,'

I fell upon my knees and gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. From that hour I have followed him who, through this verse, touched my heart and made it vibrate with his praises ever since."

Fanny Crosby returned, one day, from a visit to a mission in one of the worst districts in New York City, where she had heard about the needs of the lost and perishing. Her sympathies were aroused to help the lowly and neglected, and the cry of her heart went forth in this hymn, which has become a battle-cry for the great army of Christian workers throughout the world. It has been used very extensively in temperance work, and has been blessed to thousands of souls. Mr. Moody was very fond of it, and has borne testimony to its power to reach the hearts of wanderers. It was also a favorite of the two great temperance workers, Frances E. Willard and Francis Murphy.