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


Out of difficulties grow miracles.

La Bruyère.

It is difficulties which give birth to miracles.

Rev. Dr. Sharpe.

How strangely easy difficult things are!

Charles Buxton.

Difficulties strengthen the mind, as well as labor does the body.


Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.

Sam’l Johnson.

To bear adversity with an equal mind is both the sign and glory of a brave spirit.


It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.


There is such a choice of difficulties, that I own myself at a loss how to determine.


The illustration which solves one difficulty by raising another, settles nothing.


There are few difficulties that hold out against real attacks; they fly, like the visible horizon, before those who advance.


Wisdom is not found with those who dwell at their ease; rather nature, when she adds brain, adds difficulty.


The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.


It is as hard to come, as for a camel to thread the postern of a needle’s eye.


Difficulties, by bracing the mind to overcome them, assist cheerfulness, as exercise assists digestion.


Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks; he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other.


The three things most difficult are—to keep a secret, to forget an injury, and to make good use of leisure.


Difficulty excites the mind to the dignity which sustains and finally conquers misfortunes, and the ordeal refines while it chastens.


There is no merit where there is no trial; and, till experience stamps the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes, faith for falsehood.

Aaron Hill.

Fortune is the best school of courage when she is fraught with anger, in the same way as winds and tempests are the school of the sailorboy.


Difficulties are God’s errands; and when we are sent upon them we should esteem it a proof of God’s confidence—as a compliment from God.


What is difficulty? Only a word indicating the degree of strength requisite for accomplishing particular objects; a mere notice of the necessity for exertion; a bugbear to children and fools; only a mere stimulus to men.

Samuel Warren.

The more powerful the obstacle, the more glory we have in overcoming it; and the difficulties with which we are met are the maids of honor which set off virtue.


Accustom yourself to master and overcome things of difficulty; for if you observe, the left hand for want of practice is insignificant, and not adapted to general business; yet it holds the bridle better than the right, from constant use.


Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets. We can attempt nothing great but from a sense of the difficulties we have to encounter; we can persevere in nothing great but from a pride in overcoming them.


Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by the supreme ordinance of a paternal guardian and legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as He loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.


  • The wise and active conquer difficulties
  • By daring to attempt them; sloth and folly
  • Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
  • And make the impossibility they fear.
  • Rowe.

    Hath fortune dealt thee ill cards? let wisdom make thee a good gamester. In a fair gale, every fool may sail, but wise behavior in a storm commends the wisdom of a pilot; to bear adversity with an equal mind is both the sign and glory of a brave spirit.


    Difficulties are things that show what men are. In case of any difficulty remember that God, like a gymnastic trainer, has pitted you against a rough antagonist. For what end? That you may be an Olympic conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.


    It is not every calamity that is a curse, and early adversity is often a blessing. Perhaps Madame de Maintenon would never have mounted a throne had not her cradle been rocked in a prison. Surmounted obstacles not only teach, but hearten us in our future struggles; for virtue must be learnt, though, unfortunately, some of the vices come as it were by inspiration.

    Rev. Dr. Sharpe.