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[193] God left men free of choice, as when
     His Eden-trees were planted;
Because they chose amiss, should I
     Deny the gift He granted?

So, with a common sense of need,
     Our common weakness feeling,
I left them with myself to God
     And His all-gracious dealing!

I kept His plan whose rain and sun
     To tare and wheat are given;
And if the ways to hell were free,
     I left them free to heaven! “

Take heart with us, O man of old,
     Soul-freedom's brave confessor,
So love of God and man wax strong,
     Let sect and creed be lesser.

The jarring discords of thy day
     In ours one hymn are swelling;
The wandering feet, the severed paths,
     All seek our Father's dwelling.

And slowly learns the world the truth
     That makes us all thy debtor,—
That holy life is more than rite,
     And spirit more than letter;

That they who differ pole-wide serve
     Perchance the common Master,
And other sheep He hath than they
     Who graze one narrow pasture!

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