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The Erring

Think gently of the erring;
You know not of the power
With which the dark temptation came
In some unguarded hour;

You 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 now forget
However darkly stained by sin,
He is your brother yet;

Heir of the self-same heritage,
Child of the self-same God.
He has but stumbled in the path
Which you in weakness trod.

Speak gently to the erring;
You yet may lead them back,
With holy words and tones of love,
From misery’s thorny track;

Forget not you have sometimes sinned,
And sinful yet may be;
Deal gently with the erring, then,
As God has dealt with thee.

J.A. Fletcher, “Grace at Work”