Grand Haven Daily Tribune October 1, 1903
“If We Knew”
(By David Fletcher Hunton)
If we knew our neighbors better,
And could read each thought within;
If we knew what sharp temptations
Oft incite their souls to sin;
If we knew the secret forces,
Which their every act controls:
We could better judge their errors,
And the motives of their souls.
If we knew all the surroundings,
Which have told upon each life;
If we knew how long their pathways,
Have been hedged about by strife:
Could we see them fight the tempter,
‘Till they have been overthrown.
Would we not be slow to judge them,
In a harsh and bitter tone?
If we knew their sorrows, troubles,
All their trials, cares and tears;
If we knew the disappointments,
Which have followed them for years;
If we knew their mental conflicts,
And their efforts to be good,
Would we judge them quite as harshly,
If we knew, and understood?
Could we draw the veil at pleasure,
That conceals each heart’s intent:
Could we see each secret motive,
And could we know just what was meant;
We should doubtless find intentions,
Nobler than we ever dreamed!
And discover motives purer
Than to us they ever seemed!
God alone can judge men truly—
He alone can lock within:
And, we read, he loves the Sinner,
Even while he hates the Sin;
“Judge not,” said our great Exemplar,
he who stilled the raging sea;—
“Judge not,” Let us learn this lesson
From the “Man of Galilee,”
Grand Haven, Mich.,
September 7th, 1903