Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Softly and Tenderly

SONG & MUSIC WRITER: Will L. Thompson                   


HYMN HISTORY: Thompson was a Christian, and while attending a Dwight L. Moody evangelistic meeting decided to devote himself to writing and promoting Christian music.  He wrote "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling" in 1880.  It quickly became popular as a hymn of invitation in evangelistic meetings, and was soon incorporated into church hymnals as well.  Thompson wrote "Jesus is All the World to Me" in 1904, and it became quite popular as well.  He was as successful with Christian music as he had been earlier with secular music.  I am told that he sold two million books of quartet music.

Dwight L. Moody, the most famous evangelist of his day, used "Softly and Tenderly" as an invitation hymn in his meetings.  Thompson visited Moody as the latter was dying, and Moody told him, "Will, I would rather have written 'Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling' than anything I have been able to do in my life" –– quite a tribute from someone as accomplished as Moody.

Even though he became quite rich, Thompson continued to live a life of service.  He supported various civic and religious activities generously.  He was also aware of the fact that small town people had very little exposure to good music, so he loaded a piano on a horse-drawn wagon and went through small Ohio towns giving concerts of his music.

BIBLE VERSE:  Matthew 10:28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”


Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling—
Calling for you and for me;
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching—
Watching for you and for me!

Come home! come home!
Ye 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, death-beds are coming—
Coming for you and for me!


Oh, 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!



  1. The beauty we love is very silent. It smiles softly to itself, but never speaks. See the link below for more info.


  2. thank for the information about this song

  3. Thanks for sharing. I think you have a typo and meant to reference Matthew 11:28.