This hymn first appeared in 1880 in a book entitled “Sparkling Gems Nos. 1 and 2 Combined”, published by Thompson & Co. The famous evangelist D. L. Moody used this invitational hymn extensively.
When Dwight Lyman Moody, lay on his death bed in his Northfield, Massachusetts home, Will Thompson made a special visit to inquire as to his condition. The attending physician refused to admit him to the sick room, and Moody heard them talking just out side the bed room door. Recognizing Thompson’s voice, he called for him to come to his bed side. Taking the Ohio poet-composer by the hand, the dying evangelist said, “Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”
Lyrics and Music: Will L. Thompson
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.