'Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.'
Luke ch. xxiii. v. 34.
Look to Jesus-sufferings gather
Round Him, piercing through and through:
Hear Him-'O forgive them, Father,
For they know not what they do!'
Great their crimes, but His compassion
Than those crimes is greater still,
While He bends in lowliest fashion
To the Father's sovereign will.
When injustice, when oppression,
Our unguarded steps pursue,
Let us make the sweet confession,
That 'they know not what they do.'
And in patience and in meekness
To the tempest bow our head,
And with sighs for mortal weakness,
Dwell on what the Saviour said:
Words of holiest resignation,
Soothing words and strengthening too,
Words of hope and consolation-
For 'they know not what they do.'
John Bowring's Other Poems
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