As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and strikes his neighbor, that he dies; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
Read Chapter 19
Gregory The Dialogist
Now we go into a wood with a friend as often as we turn our attention to the sins of subjects, and guilelessly we hew wood when we cut away the faults of sinners with loving intention. But the axe flies from the hand when reproof oversteps itself and degenerates into hardship. The iron flies from the handle when the words of reproof are excessively harsh and the friend is struck and killed. Thus a contumelious utterance kills the spirit of love in the hearer.
The very words of Scripture indicate that even ignorance is a sin. This is why Job offers holocausts for his sons, lest perchance they may have sinned unwittingly in thought. And if a man is killed by the iron of an axe that flies off the handle when a man is hewing wood, the wood hewer is ordered to flee to a city of refuge and remain in that place until the death of the high priest. That is to say, [he remains there] until he is redeemed by the blood of the Savior, either in the house of baptism or by repentance, which supplies the efficacy of the grace of baptism through the ineffable mercy of the Savior. [The Savior] does not wish anybody to perish, nor does he find his delight in the death of sinners, but [he would] rather that they be converted from their way and live.