"Judge not, that you may not be judged, 2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 Any why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? 4 Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. "
Christ does not althogether forbid us from judging, but directs us how to judge. Where the thing does not regard us, we should not undertake to judge. Where it will bear a favourable interpretation we should not condemn. Magistrates and superiors, whose office and duty require them to judge faults, and for their prevention to condemn and to punish them must be guided by evidence, and always lean towards the side of mercy, where there are mitigating circumstances. Barefaced vice and notorious sinners should be condemned and reprobated by all. In this place, nothing more is meant than we should always interpret our neighbor's actions in the most favorable light. God permits us to judge of such actions as cannot be done with right intention, as muder. As to indifferent actions, we must always judge in the most favorable sense. There are two things in which we must be particularly on our guard: 1. With what intention such an action was done 2. Whether the person who appears wicked will not become good.