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Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney

(1823-1908 / the United States)

Think Gently of the Erring


Think gently of the erring:
Ye know not of the power
With which the dark temptation came
In some unguarded hour.
Ye may not know how earnestly
They struggled, or how well,
Until the hour of weakness came
And sadly thus they fell.

Think gently of the erring:
Oh! do not thou forget,
However darkly stained by sin
He is thy brother yet;
Heir of the selfsame heritage,
Child of the selfsame God,
He has but stumbled in the path
Thou hast in weakness trod.

Speak gently to the erring:
For is it not enough
That innocence and peace have gone,
Without thy censure rough?
It sure must be a weary lot,
That sin-stained heart to bear,
And those who share a happier fate
Their chidings well may spare.

Speak gently to the erring:
Thou yet may'st lead them back
With holy words and tones of love,
From misery's thorny track:
Forget not thou hast often sinned,
And sinful yet must be;
Deal gently with the erring, then,
As God has dealt with thee.

Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010

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