Deal gently with the erring ones,
The helpless fallen raise,
Strengthen the weak, so shall your life
Be one of joy and praise.
Your mission is not to condemn
The erring ones who stray,
But to reclaim and win them back
To virtue's pleasant way.
See that poor thirsty thoughtless man,
The slave of alcohol,
Who, like a ship left rudderless,
Has lost all self control.
He's got among the breakers now
And nears the gaping grave-
Ah! who would not some effort make
That wretched wreck to save.
That youth impatient of restraint
Has thrown away his shield,
Defenseless now, the tempter comes
And he is sure to yield.
Go, speak to him in tenderness,
And with your tears implore
Him to give up his foolishness
And follow vice no more.
See that poor friendless erring one,
Absorbed in deepest grief,
Her lonely heart is sorrowful
And longs for some relief.
A kindly look, a friendly smile,
A timely spoken word,
Might calm the sorrows of her soul
And touch some tender chord.
Toss not your head with cold disdain,
Nor flaunt that selfish air,
At seeing some poor tempted one
Entrapped in Satan's snare.
Perhaps had you been tempted so,
You might have proved as weak
As that poor friendless erring one
Of whom you harshly speak.
A brother falls into the mud,
Will you let him expire,
Because that it might soil your hands
To drag him from the mire?
And will you proudly strut along
And turn your head away,
Exclaiming 'let him take his fate
For having gone astray?'
If vice be loathing to your soul,
It only should the more
Prompt you to great energy
The fallen to restore.
Let pity linger in your thoughts
When sinners you reprove,
Thus while you hate the sinner's vice
You may the sinner love.