This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
And when I see those o'er whom long years have rolled, Whose hearts have grown hardened, whose spirits are cold-Be it woman all fallen, or man all defiled, A voice whispers sadly, "Ah! some mother's child!"
No matter how wayward his footsteps have been; No matter how deep he is sunken in sin; No matter how low is his standard of joy - Though guilty and loathsome, he's some mother's boy.
That head hath been pillowed on tenderest breast; That form hath been wept o'er, those lips have been pressed; That soul hath been praved for in tones sweet and mild; For her sake deal gently with "some mother's child."
WHILE error must be deplored and virtue ever commended, we should deal carefully and considerately with the erring, ever remembering that a myriad of untoward circumstances are continually weaving a network around the individual, fettering and binding a soul that otherwise would be white and pure.
It is a most fortunate circumstance for the child to be born of an excellent parentage, to be reared amid kindness, and to be guided in youth by wise counsels. Given all these favoring circumstances, and the chances are that the pathway in life will be honorable. Deprived of these advantages, the individual is likely to fall short in excellence in proportion as the circumstances have been unfavorable.
There are those who seemingly have only a smooth pathway in life. They were so fortunate as to be born with an excellently balanced organization of mind. They have no passion unduly in excess. They have no abnormal longings, no eccentricities, no weaknesses. Roses strew their way, and they live a life well rounded out and full of honor.
But while there are those who are apparently exempt from temptation, all are not so fortunate in ability, in strength of purpose and in power of will which may enable them to resist evil. Some are liable to easily err, and it will take, possibly, but a trivial circumstance to carry them aside. In the transgression they will get their punishment - they will suffer sufficiently. It does not become the more fortunate, therefore, to take too much credit to themselves for being more virtuous and free from error. It is vastly more noble and charitable to extend sympathy and compassion. This sentiment is well expressed in the following poem, by Millie C. Pomeroy:
ONE morning, when I went to school, In the long-vanished Yesterdav, I found the creek had burst its banks, And spilled its waters o'er my way. The little path was filled with mud; I tried to cross it on a log; My foot slipped, and I, helpless, fell Into a mass of miry bog.
My clothes were pitiful to see; My hands and face were covered quite. The children laughed right heartily, And jeered me when I came in sight. Sweet Jessie Brown, in snow-white dress, Stood, smiling, by the teacher's desk, The while he, gravely as he might, Inquired the secret of my plight.
Then Jessie shook her snow-white dress, And said, "What will you give to me For coming here so nice and clean? My very shoes from dirt are free." The tutor frowned, and answered her, "You merit no reward to-day; Your clothes and hands are clean, because You had a smooth path all the way."
And so, I think, when children grown Are white in grace or black with sin, We should not judge until we know The path fate had them travel in; For some are led on sunny heights, Beyond the power of Sin to sway; While others grope in darksome paths, And face temptation all the way.