It is impossible, says Theophrastus, for a good man not to be angry with bad men.
By this reasoning, the better a man is, the more irascible he will be: yet will he not rather be more tranquil, more free from passions, and hating no one: indeed, what reason has he for hating sinners, since it is error that leads them into such crimes? now it does not become a sensible man to hate the erring, since if so he will hate himself: let him think how many things he does contrary to good morals, how much of what he has done stands in need of pardon, and he will soon become angry with himself also, for no righteous judge pronounces a different judgment in his own case and in that of others.
No one, I affirm, will be found who can acquit himself. Everyone when he calls himself innocent looks rather to external witnesses than to his own conscience.
How much more philanthropic it is to deal with the erring in a gentle and fatherly spirit, and to call them into the right course instead of hunting them down?
When a man is wandering about our fields because he has lost his way, it is better to place him on the right path than to drive him away.