Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

William Penn

English Quaker and American Colonist, Founder of Pennsylvania, Real Estate Entrepreneur

"If thou rise with an Appetite, thou art sure never to sit down without one."

"If thou wouldn't conquer thy weakness thou must not gratify it."

"If thou wouldst be happy ... have an indifference for more than what is sufficient."

"If thou would'st be happy, bring thy mind to thy condition, and have an indifference for more than what is sufficient."

"If we are but sure the end is right, we are too apt to gallop over all bounds to compass it; not considering the lawful ends may be very unlawfully attained."

"If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants."

"If we would amend the world we should mend ourselves and teach our children to be not what we are but what they should be."

"If you protect a man from folly, you will soon have a nation of fools."

"In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest."

"In all debates, let Truth be thy aim, not Victory."

"In all things reason should prevail; it is quite another thing to be stiff, than to be steady in an opinion."

"In fine, he that is drunk is not a Man: Because he is so long void of Reason, that distinguishes a Man from a Beast."

"In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self."

"Interest has the security, though not the virtue of a principle. As the world goes, it is the surest side; for men daily leave both relations and religion to follow it."

"Is it reasonable to take it ill, that anybody desires of us that which is their own? All we have is the Almighty's; and shall not God have his own when he calls for it?"

"It is a coal from God's altar must kindle our fire; and without fire, true fire, no acceptable sacrifice."

"It is a cruel folly to offer up to ostentation so many lives of creatures, as make up the state of our treats; as it is a prodigal one to spend more in sauce than in meat."

"It is a profitable Wisdom to know when we have done enough: Much time and Pains are spared, in not flattering ourselves against Probabilities."

"It is a severe Rebuke upon us, that God makes us so many Allowances, and we make so few to our Neighbor: As if Charity had nothing to do with Religion; Or Love with Faith, that ought to work by it."

"It is admirable to consider how many Millions of People come into, and go out of the World, Ignorant of themselves, and of the World they have lived in."

"It is certain that the most natural and human government is that of consent, for that binds freely, ... when men hold their liberty by true obedience to rules of their own making."

"It is great Wisdom in Princes of both sorts, not to strain Points too high with their people. For whether the People have a Right to oppose them or not, they are ever sure to attempt it when things are carried too far; though the Remedy oftentimes proves worse than the disease."

"It is he who is in the wrong who first gets angry."

"It is the amends of a short and troublesome life, that doing good and suffering ill entitles man to one longer and better."

"It is the difference betwixt lust and love, that this is fixed, that volatile. Love grows, lust wastes, by enjoyment; and the reason is, that one springs from a union of souls, and the other springs from a union of sense."

"It is too frequent to begin with God and end with the World. But He is the good man's Beginning and End; his Alpha and Omega."

"It is wise not to seek a secret, and honest not to reveal one."

"It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable."

"It were happy if we studied nature more in natural things; and acted according to nature, whose rules are few, plain, and most reasonable. Let us begin where she begins, go her pace, and close always where she ends, and we cannot miss of being good naturalists."

"It would be far better to be of no church than to be bitter of any."

"Jealousy is a kind of civil war in the soul, where judgment and imagination are at perpetual jars. This civil dissension in the mind, like that of the body politic, commits great disorders, and lays all waste. Nothing stands safe in its way; Nature, interest, religion, must yield to its fury. It violates contracts, dissolves society, breaks wedlock, betrays friends and neighbors. Nobody is good, and everyone is either doing or designing them a mischief. It has a venom that more or less rankles wherever it bites: And as it reports fancies or facts, so it disturbs its own house as often as other folks."

"Just and noble minds rejoice in other men's success."

"Justice is justly represented blind, because she sees no difference in the parties concerned. She has but one scale and weight, for rich and poor, great and small."

"Justice is the insurance we have on our lives and property, and obedience is the premium we pay for it."

"Kings in this world should imitate God, their mercy should be above their works."

"Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man."

"Knowledge is the treasure, but judgment the treasurer of a wise man. He that has more knowledge than judgment, is made for another man's use more than his own."

"Lend not beyond thy ability, nor refuse to lend out of thy ability; especially when it will help others more than it can hurt thee. If thy debtor be honest and capable, thou hast thy money again, if not with increase, with praise. If he prove insolvent do not ruin him to get that which it will not ruin thee to lose; for thou art but a steward, and another is thy owner, master, and judge."

"Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast. Yet it must be confessed that wit given an edge to sense, and recommends it extremely."

"Lest, selling that noble inheritance for a poor mess of perishing pottage, you never enter into His eternal rest."

"Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn."

"Let the people think they Govern and they will be Govern'd. This cannot fail if Those they Trust, are Trusted."

"Let us try what love will do."

"Levity of behavior, always a weakness, is far more unbecoming in a woman than a man."

"Liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is slavery."

"Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it."

"Man being made a reasonable, and so a thinking creature, there is nothing more worthy of his being, than the right direction and employment of his thoughts; since upon this depends both his usefulness to the public, and his own present and future benefit in all respects."

"Many able Gardeners and Husbandmen are yet Ignorant of the Reason of their Calling; as most Artificers are of the Reason of their own Rules that govern their excellent Workmanship. But a Naturalist and Mechanick of this sort is Master of the Reason of both, and might be of the Practice too, if his Industry kept pace with his Speculation; which were every commendable; and without which he cannot be said to be a complete Naturalist or Mechanick."

"Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children."

"Men being born with a title to perfect freedom and uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature... no one can be put out of his estate and subjected to the political view of another, without his consent."