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Robert W. Dale, Pastor of Carr's Lane, Birmingham (1852-1895) revealed a very tender and thoughtful side of his character in his sermon "The Kindly Treatment of Other Men's Imperfections" published in 1867.

He gave classic counsel regarding how to treat with kindliness and tolerance the aged among us. We are to excuse them as they sink into feebleness, even as their natures yield to selfishness, suspicion and meannesses. We must remember how the old man was, and forget how he is now.

"Treat him reverently, as you would the ruins of a cathedral. Here and there, though the walls are shattered and the arches broken, you may see the fragments of massive columns; and even the exquisite tracery (decorative patterns with branching and crossing lines, as in the upper parts of many church windows), where it has been sheltered from wind and rain, has not altogether disappeared. You believe that although the temple is destroyed, Christ will 'raise it again' in more than its former stateliness and splendour. 'Walk by faith' and by memory, and 'not by sight.' Believe that the abounding and fruitful life you saw last summer and autumn will reappear when the spring returns, and in the 'winter' of his 'discontent' let the old man be still honoured and loved."

What tender and sensitive musings!