C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Rare benevolence, the minister of God.


Giving is true having.


Learn the luxury of doing good.


Great minds, like heaven, are pleased in doing good.


Our opportunities to do good are our talents.

Dr. Mather.

A noble deed is a step towards heaven.

J. G. Holland.

Honor the Lord with thy substance.

Proverbs iii. 9.

Benevolent people are always cheerful.

Father Taylor.

Try to be of some use to others.

Bishop Hall.

Be charitable before wealth makes thee covetous.

Sir Thomas Browne.

A benefit is estimated according to the mind of the giver.


You will find people ready enough to do the Samaritan without the oil and twopence.

Sydney Smith.

Whatever we give to the wretched, we lend to fortune.


Carve your name on hearts, and not on marble.


When my friends are one-eyed, I look at their profile.


Genuine benevolence is not stationary, but peripatetic. It goeth about doing good.


How quickly a truly benevolent act is repaid by the consciousness of having done it!

Hosea Ballou.

Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven.


The lower a man descends in his love, the higher he lifts his life.

W. R. Alger.

  • And chiefly for the weaker by the wall,
  • You bore that lamp of sane benevolence.
  • Meredith.

    Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.


    Benevolence and feeling ennoble the most trifling actions.


    The more we give to others, the more are we increased.


    Our hands we open of our own free will, and the good flies, which we can never recall.


    Liberality consists less in giving profusely than in giving judiciously.

    La Bruyère.

    We should do good whenever we can and do kindness at all times, for at all times we can.


    We should be careful that our benevolence does not exceed our means.


    Doing good is the only certainly happy action of a man’s life.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    The office of liberality consisteth in giving with judgment.


    The secret pleasure of a generous act, is the great mind’s great bribe.


    As often as we do good, we offer sacrifice to God.


    A poor man served by thee shall make thee rich.

    Mrs. Browning.

    He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.

    Samuel Johnson.

    Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow-creatures.


    While selfishness joins hands with no one of the virtues, benevolence is allied to them all.


    The entire world shall be populous with that action which saves one soul from despair.

    Omar Khayyám.

    Good deeds in this life are coals raked up in embers, to make a fire next day.

    Sir T. Overbury.

    Being myself no stranger to suffering, I have learned to relieve the sufferings of others.


    It is in contemplating man at a distance that we become benevolent.


    Better to expose ourselves to ingratitude than fail in assisting the unfortunate.

    Du Cœur.

    He believed that he was born, not for himself, but for the whole world.


    The Romans assisted their allies and friends, and acquired friendships by giving rather than receiving kindness.


    If you realize a incentive to do a good thing, an act of benevolence, do it at once; do not put it off until to-morrow.

    Henry Horne.

    For his bounty, there was no winter in ’t; an autumn ’t was that grew the more by reaping.


    A benefit consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.


    Be generous, and pleasant-tempered, and forgiving; even as God scatters favors over thee, do thou scatter over the people.


    There is no use of money equal to that of beneficence; here the enjoyment grows upon reflection.


    Doubtless that is the best charity which, Nilus-like, hath the several streams thereof seen, but the fountain concealed.

    Rev. T. Gouge.

    Nothing is so wholesome, nothing does so much for people’s looks, as a little interchange of the small coin of benevolence.


  • ————amid life’s quests
  • That seems but worthy one—to do men good.
  • Bailey.

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.


    The best portion of a good man’s life,—his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.


    That is fine benevolence, finely executed, which, like the Nile, comes from hidden sources.


    Every virtue carries with it its own reward, but none in so distinguished and pre-eminent a degree as benevolence.

    Author Unknown.

    There is no beautifier of complexion or form or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.


    Proportion thy charity to the strength of thy estate, lest God proportion thy estate to the weakness of thy charity.


    True benevolence is to love all men. Recompense injury with justice, and kindness with kindness.


    Every fresh act of benevolence is the herald of deeper satisfaction; every charitable act a stepping-stone towards heaven.


    By doing good with his money, a man, as it were, stamps the image of God upon it, and makes it pass current for the merchandise of heaven.


    So quickly sometimes has the wheel turned round, that many a man has lived to enjoy the benefit of that charity which his own piety projected.

    Laurence Sterne.

    Time is short, your obligations are infinite. Are your houses regulated, your children instructed, the afflicted relieved, the poor visited, the work of piety accomplished?


    It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man I will oblige a great many that are not so.


    When thou seest thine enemy in trouble, curl not thy whiskers in contempt; for in every bone there is marrow, and within every jacket there is a man.


    The disposition to give a cup of cold water to a disciple is a far nobler property than the finest intellect. Satan has a fine intellect, but not the image of God.


  • The lessons of prudence have charms,
  • And slighted, may lead to distress;
  • But the man whom benevolence warms
  • Is an angel who lives but to bless.
  • Bloomfield.

    The only way to be loved is to be and to appear lovely; to possess and display kindness, benevolence, tenderness; to be free from selfishness and to be alive to the welfare of others.


    God will excuse our prayers for ourselves whenever we are prevented from them by being occupied in such good works as to entitle us to the prayers of others.


    We know who is benevolent by quite other means than the amount of subscription to soup societies. It is only low merits that can be enumerated.


    The paternal and filial duties discipline the heart, and prepare it for the love of all mankind. The intensity of private attachment encourages, not prevents, universal benevolence.


    The benevolent affections owe much of their vigor to the frequency with which they are exercised, and to the pleasure by which they are attended.

    Dr. Parr.

    The conqueror is regarded with awe, the wise man commands our esteem, but it is the benevolent man who wins our affection.

    From the French.

  • And ’tis not sure so full a benefit
  • Freely to give as freely to require.
  • A bounteous act hath glory following it,
  • They cause the glory that the act desire.
  • Lady Carew.

    A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth, and spreading fertility; it is, therefore, more delightful and more honorable to give than to receive.


    Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length comes really to love him to whom he has done good.


    He that does good to another does good also to himself, not only in the consequence, but in the very act; for the consciousness of well-doing is in itself ample reward.


    There is scarcely a man who is not conscious of the benefits which his own mind has received from the performance of single acts of benevolence. How strange that so few of us try a course of the same medicine!

    J. F. Boyes.

    There cannot be a more glorious object in creation than a human being replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he might render himself most acceptable to his Creator by doing most good to His creatures.


    The poor must be wisely visited and liberally cared for, so that mendicity shall not be tempted into mendacity, nor want exasperated into crime.

    Robert O. Winthrop.

    The charities of life are scattered everywhere, enameling the vales of human beings as the flowers paint the meadows. They are not the fruit of study, nor the privilege of refinement, but a natural instinct.


    The great Howard was so fully engaged in works of active benevolence, that, unlike Baxter, whose knees were calcined by prayer, he left himself but little time to pray. Thousands were praying for him.


    Open your hands, ye whose hands are full! The world is waiting for you! The whole machinery of the Divine beneficence is clogged by your hard hearts and rigid fingers. Give and spend, and be sure that God will send; for only in giving and spending do you fulfill the object of His sending.

    J. G. Holland.

    Never did any soul do good but it came readier to do the same again, with more enjoyment. Never was love or gratitude or bounty practiced but with increasing joy, which made the practicer still more in love with the fair act.


    No sincere desire of doing good need make an enemy of a single human being; that philanthropy has surely a flaw in it which cannot sympathize with the oppressor equally as with the oppressed.


    Poverty is the load of some, and wealth is the load of others, perhaps the greater load of the two. It may weigh them to perdition. Bear the load of thy neighbor’s poverty, and let him bear with thee the load of thy wealth. Thou lightenest thy load by lightening his.

    St. Augustine.

    The opportunity of making happy is more scarce than we imagine; the punishment of missing it is, never to meet with it again; and the use we make of it leaves us an eternal sentiment of satisfaction or repentance.


    Never try to save out of God’s cause; such money will canker the rest. Giving to God is no loss; it is putting your substance in the best bank. Giving is true having, as the old gravestone said of the dead man “What I spent I had, what I saved I lost, what I gave I have.”

    C. H. Spurgeon.

  • There is no bounty to be showed to such
  • As have real goodness: Bounty is
  • A spice of virtue; and what virtuous act
  • Can take effect on them that have no power
  • Of equal habitude to apprehend it?
  • Ben Jonson.

    As there are none so weak that we may venture to injure them with impunity, so there are none so low that they may not at some time be able to repay an obligation. Therefore, what benevolence would dictate, prudence would confirm.


    There is nothing that requires so strict an economy as our benevolence. We should husband our means as the agriculturist his manure, which, if he spread over too large a superficies, produces no crop,—if over too small a surface, exuberates in rankness and in weeds.


    Never lose a chance of saying a kind word. As Collingwood never saw a vacant place in his estate but he took an acorn out of his pocket and popped it in, so deal with your compliments through life. An acorn costs nothing; but it may sprout into a prodigious bit of timber.


    Animated by Christian motives and directed to Christian ends, it shall in no wise go unrewarded; here, by the testimony of an approving conscience; hereafter, by the benediction of our blessed Redeemer, and a brighter inheritance in His Father’s house.

    Bishop Mant.

  • The generous pride of virtue,
  • Disdains to weigh too nicely the returns
  • Her bounty meets with—like the liberal gods,
  • From her own gracious nature she bestows,
  • Nor stops to ask reward.
  • Thomson.

    Men are not only prone to forget benefits; they even hate those who have obliged them, and cease to hate those who have injured them. The necessity of revenging an injury, or of recompensing a benefit seems a slavery to which they are unwilling to submit.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    The true source of cheerfulness is benevolence. The pursuits of mankind are commonly frigid and contemptible, and the mistake comes, at last, to be detected. But virtue is a charm that never fades. The soul that perpetually overflows with kindness and sympathy will always be cheerful.

    Parke Godwin.

    Rich people who are covetous are like the cypress-tree,—they may appear well, but are fruitless; so rich persons have the means to be generous, yet some are not so, but they should consider they are only trustees for what they possess, and should show their wealth to be more in doing good than merely in having it.

    Bishop Hall.

    There do remain dispersed in the soil of human nature divers seeds of goodness, of benignity, of ingenuity, which, being cherished, excited, and quickened by good culture, do, by common experience, thrust out flowers very lovely, and yield fruits very pleasant of virtue and goodness.


    I have heard of a monk who in his cell had a glorious vision of Jesus revealed to him. Just then a bell rang, which called him away to distribute loaves of bread among the poor beggars at the gate. He was sorely tried as to whether he should lose a scene so inspiring. He went to his act of mercy; and when he came back the vision remained more glorious than ever.

    T. L. Cuyler.

    Every man who becomes heartily and understandingly a channel of the Divine beneficence is enriched through every league of his life. Perennial satisfaction springs around and within him with perennial verdure. Flowers of gratitude and gladness bloom all along his pathway, and the melodious gurgle of the blessings he bears is echoed back by the melodious waves of the recipient streams.

    J. G. Holland.

    He is good that does good to others. If he suffers for the good he does, he is better still; and if he suffers from them to whom he did good, he is arrived to that height of goodness that nothing but an increase of his sufferings can add to it; if it proves his death, his virtue is at its summit—it is heroism complete.

    La Bruyère.

    Thy love shall chant itself its own beatitudes, after its own life working. A child-kiss, set on thy sighing lips, shall make thee glad; a poor man, served, by thee, shall make thee rich; a rich man, helped by thee, shall make thee strong; thou shalt be served thyself by every sense of service which thou renderest.

    E. B. Browning.

    My God, grant that my bounty may be a clear and transparent river, flowing from pure charity, and uncontaminated by self-love, ambition, or interest. Thanks are due not to me, but Thee, from whom all I possess is derived. And what are the paltry gifts for which my neighbor forgets to thank me, compared with the immense blessings for which I have so often forgotten to be grateful to Thee!


    You are so to put forth the power that God has given you; you are so to give, and sacrifice to give, as to earn the eulogium pronounced on the woman, “She hath done what she could.” Do it now. It is not a safe thing to leave a generous feeling to the cooling influences of a cold world. If you intend to do a mean thing, wait till to-morrow; if you are to do a noble thing, do it now,—now!

    Rev. Dr. Guthrie.

  • Think not the good,
  • The gentle deeds of mercy thou hast done,
  • Shall die forgotten all; the poor, the pris’ner,
  • The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow,
  • Who daily own the bounty of thy hand,
  • Shall cry to heav’n and pull a blessing on thee.
  • Rowe.

    A life of passionate gratification is not to be compared with a life of active benevolence. God has so constituted our nature that a man cannot be happy unless he is, or thinks he is, a means of good. Judging from our own experience, we cannot conceive of a picture of more unutterable wretchedness than is furnished by one who knows that he is wholly useless in the world.

    Rev. Erskine Mason.

    The difference of the degrees in which the individuals of a great community enjoy the good things of life has been a theme of declaration and discontent in all ages; and it is doubtless our paramount duty, in every state of society, to alleviate the pressure of the purely evil part of this distribution, as much as possible, and, by all the means we can devise, secure the lower links in the chain of society from dragging in dishonor and wretchedness.


    Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length comes really to love him to whom he has done good. When, therefore, it is said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” it is not meant, thou shalt love him first and do him good in consequence of that love, but thou shalt do good to thy neighbor; and this thy beneficence will engender in thee that love to mankind which is the fulness and consummation of the inclination to do good.


    Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, and no rivulet be nigh to delight you by the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute.