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


Resignation is a daily suicide.


Kiss the rod.


The law of common sense.

Mme. Swetchine.

Fearless of fortune, and resigned to fate.


Leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.


That what cannot be repaired is not to be regretted.


If God be appeased, I cannot be wretched.


Resignation is the courage of Christian sorrow.

Professor Vinet.

It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good.


Let that please man which has pleased God.


The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.


What destiny sends, bear! Whoever perseveres will be crowned.


It were no virtue to bear calamities if we did not feel them.

Madame Necker.

A man that fortune’s buffets and rewards hast ta’en with equal thanks.


  • That’s best
  • Which God sends. ’Twas His will: it is mine.
  • Lord Lytton.

    No cloud can overshadow a true Christian, but his faith will discern a rainbow in it.

    Bishop Horne.

    What is resignation? It is putting God between one’s self and one’s grief.

    Madame Swetchine.

  • Thus ready for the way of life or death,
  • I wait the sharpest blow.
  • Shakespeare.

    Vulgar minds refuse to crouch beneath their load; the brave bear theirs without repining.


  • What’s gone and what’s past help
  • Should be past grief.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Things without remedy,
  • Should be without regard: what’s done is done.
  • Shakespeare.

    Act well your given part; the choice rests not with you.


    One alleviation in misfortune is to endure and submit to necessity.


  • Well—peace to thy heart, tho’ another’s it be;
  • And health to that cheek, tho’ it bloom not for me.
  • Moore.

    We must learn to suffer what we cannot evade.


    Obedience and resignation are our personal offerings upon the altar of duty.

    Hosea Ballou.

    As you can not do what you wish, you should wish what you can do.


  • We bear it calmly, though a ponderous woe,
  • And still adore the hand that gives the blow.
  • Pomfret.

    O Lord, I do most cheerfully commit all unto Thee.


    Resignation is the name of the angel who carries most of our soul’s burdens.

    J. L. Basford.

  • Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor;
  • And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
  • Cowper.

    Believe that each day which shines upon you is the last.


    The evil which one suffers patiently as inevitable seems insupportable as soon as he conceives the idea of escaping from it.

    De Tocqueville.

  • But Heaven hath a hand in these events;
  • To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
  • Shakespeare.

    We cannot conquer fate and necessity, yet we can yield to them in such a manner as to be greater than if we could.


  • An old man, broken with the storms of state,
  • Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
  • Give him a little earth for charity!
  • Shakespeare.

    I pray God that I may never find my will again. Oh, that Christ would subject my will to His, and trample it under His feet.


    Misfortunes, in fine, cannot be avoided; but they may be sweetened, if not overcome, and our lives made happy by philosophy.


  • To will what God doth will, that is the only science
  • That gives us any rest.
  • Malherbe.

  • Man yields to death; and man’s sublimest works
  • Must yield at length to Time.
  • Thomas Love Peacock.

    Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.


    Like the plants that throw their fragrance from the wounded part, breathe sweetness out of woe.


    He is greedy of life who is not willing to die when the world is perishing around him.


  • Whate’er my doom;
  • It cannot be unhappy: God hath given me
  • The boon of resignation.
  • Wilson.

    Let God do with me what He will, anything He will; and whatever it be, it will be either heaven itself, or some beginning of it.


    The good we have enjoyed from Heaven’s free will, and shall we murmur to endure the ill?


    When a misfortune is impending, I cry, “God forbid”; but when it falls upon me, I say, “God be praised.”


    Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.


    To be resigned when ills betide, patient when favors are denied, and pleased with favors given.

    Nathaniel Cotton.

  • Wait, then, my soul! submissive wait,
  • Prostrate before His awful seat;
  • And ’mid the terrors of His rod,
  • Trust in a wise and gracious God!
  • Beddome.

  • We are content to take what Thou shalt give,
  • To work or suffer as Thy choice shall be;
  • Forsaking what Thy wisdom bids us leave,
  • Glad in the thought that we are pleasing Thee.
  • Eva Travers.

  • Bends to the grave with unperceived decay,
  • While resignation gently slopes the way;
  • And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
  • His heaven commences ere the world be past.
  • Goldsmith.

    Suffering becomes beautiful when any one bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility, but through greatness of mind.


  • Sustained and soothed
  • By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
  • Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
  • About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
  • Bryant.

    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?

    William Penn.

    It is a higher exhibition of Christian manliness to be able to bear trouble than to get rid of it.


    With a sigh for what we have not, we must be thankful for what we have, and leave to One wiser than ourselves the deeper problems of the human soul and of its discipline.


  • Here’s a sigh to those who love me,
  • And a smile to those who hate;
  • And whatever sky’s above me,
  • Here’s a heart for every fate.
  • Byron.

    “My will, not thine, be done,” turned Paradise into a desert. “Thy will, not mine, be done,” turned the desert into a paradise, and made Gethsemane the gate of heaven.


  • Take what He gives, since to rebel is vain;
  • The bad grows better, which we well sustain;
  • And could we choose the time, and choose aright,
  • ’Tis best to die, our honor at the height.
  • Dryden.

  • When remedies are past, the griefs are ended,
  • By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
  • To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
  • Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
  • Shakespeare.

    We should be able to see without sadness our most holy wishes fade like sunflowers, because the sun above us still forever beams, eternally makes new, and cares for all.


    Valincourt said, when his library was destroyed by fire, “A man must have profited very little by his books who has not learned how to part with them.”


    And peradventure we have more cause to thank Him for our loss than for our winning; for His wisdom better seeth what is good for us than we do ourselves.

    Sir Thomas More.

    “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him.” In Hebrew, “Be silent to God, and let him mould thee.” Keep still, and He will mould thee to the right shape.

    Martin Luther.

    Make up your mind to the prospect of sustaining a certain measure of pain and trouble in your passage through life. By the blessing of God this will prepare you for it.

    J. H. Newman.

    Resignation,—not to a whirlwind of inexorable forces, not to powers that cannot see or hear or feel, but to One who lives forever, and who loves us well, and who has given us all that we have, ay, life itself, that we may at His bidding freely give it back to Him.

    H. P. Liddon.

    Dare to look up to God and say: “Deal with me in the future as thou wilt. I am of the same mind as thou art; I am thine. I refuse nothing that pleases Thee. Lead me where Thou wilt; clothe me in any dress Thou choosest.”


    If God send thee a cross, take it up willingly and follow him. Use it wisely, lest it be unprofitable. Bear it patiently, lest it be intolerable. If it be light, slight it not. If it be heavy, murmur not. After the cross is the crown.


    Resignation is, to some extent, spoiled for me by the fact that it is so entirely conformable to the laws of common-sense. I should like just a little more of the supernatural in the practice of my favorite virtue.

    Madame Swetchine.

    So long as we do not take even the injustice which is done us, and which forces the burning tears from us,—so long as we do not take even this for just and right, we are in the thickest darkness without dawn.


    Probably Providence has implanted peevishness and ill-temper in sick and old persons, in compassion to the friends or relations who are to survive; as it must naturally lessen the concern they might otherwise feel for their loss.


    Sanctified afflictions are an evidence of our adoption: we do not prune dead trees to make them fruitful, nor those which are planted in a desert; but such as belong to the garden, and possess life.


    It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when to-morrow’s burden is added to the burden of to-day that the weight is more than a man can bear.

    George MacDonald.

  • And I said in underbreath—
  • All our life is mixed with death,—
  • And who knoweth which is best?
  • And I smiled to think God’s greatness
  • Flowed around our incompleteness,—
  • Round our restlessness, His rest.
  • Mrs. E. B. Browning.

  • To-morrow! the mysterious, unknown guest,
  • Who cries to me: “Remember Barmecide,
  • And tremble to be happy with the rest.”
  • And I make answer: “I am satisfied;
  • I dare not ask; I know not what is best;
  • God hath already said what shall betide.”
  • Longfellow.

  • To be resign’d when ills betide,
  • Patient when favours are denied.
  • And pleased with favours given;—
  • Dear Chloe, this is wisdom’s part;
  • This is that incense of the heart
  • Whose fragrance smells to heaven.
  • Nathaniel Cotton.

    I have heard a good story of Charles Fox. When his house was on fire, he found all efforts to save it useless, and, being a good draughtsman, he went up to the next hill to make a drawing of the fire,—the best instance of philosophy I ever heard of.


    Nature has made us passive, and to suffer is our lot. While we are in the flesh every man has his chain and his clog; only it is looser and lighter to one man than to another, and he is more at ease who takes it up and carries it than he who drags it.


  • Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
  • Beneath life’s pressure, yet bear up awhile,
  • And what your bounded view, which only saw
  • A little part, deemed evil, is no more:
  • The storms of wintry time will quickly pass,
  • And one unbounded Spring encircle all.
  • Thomson.

    Our nature is like the sea, which gains by the flow of the tide in one place what it has lost by the ebb in another. A man may acquiesce in the method which God takes to mortify his pride; but he is in danger of growing proud of the mortification.


    My soul was not only brought into harmony with itself and with God, but with God’s providence. In the exercise of faith and love, I endured and performed whatever came in God’s providence, in submission, in thankfulness, and silence.

    Mme. Guyon.

    There is more courage needed oftentimes to accept the onward flow of existence, bitter as the waters of Marah, black and narrow as the channel of Jordan, than there is ever needed to bow down the neck to the sweep of the death-angel’s sword.


    Patience and submission are very carefully to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence. We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle; for the calamities of life, like the necessities of nature, are calls to labor and exercise of diligence.

    Dr. Johnson.

    True resignation, which always brings with it the confidence that unchangeable goodness will make even the disappointment of our hopes, and the contradictions of life, conducive to some benefit, casts a grave but tranquil light over the prospect of even a toilsome and troubled life.


    There is but one way to tranquility of mind and happiness; let this, therefore, be always ready at hand with thee, both when thou wakest early in the morning, and all the day long, and when thou goest late to sleep, to account no external things thine own, but to commit all these to God.


    Pain and pleasure, good and evil, come to us from unexpected sources. It is not there where we have gathered up our brightest hopes, that the dawn of happiness breaks. It is not there where we have glanced our eye with affright, that we find the deadliest gloom. What should this teach us? To bow to the great and only Source of light, and live humbly and with confiding resignation.


    It is resignation and contentment that are best calculated to lead us safely through life. Whoever has not sufficient power to endure privations, and even suffering, can never feel that he is armor proof against painful emotions,—nay, he must attribute to himself, or at least to the morbid sensitiveness of his nature, every disagreeable feeling he may suffer.

    Wilhelm von Humboldt.

    Remember that you are an actor in a drama of such sort as the Author chooses. If short, then in a short one; if long, then in a long one. If it be His pleasure that you should act a poor man, see that you act it well; or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen. For this is your business to act well the given part; but to choose it, belongs to another.


  • I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
  • From Thine own hand;
  • The strength to bear it bravely
  • Thou wilt command.
  • I am too weak for effort,
  • So let me rest,
  • In hush of sweet submission
  • On Thine own breast.
  • F. R. Havergal.

  • It seem’d so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
  • And now it seems as hard to stay—and yet His will be done!
  • But still I think it can’t be long before I find release;
  • And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of peace.
  • Tennyson.

    I have been a great deal happier since I have given up thinking about what is easy and pleasant, and being discontented because I could not have my own will. Our life is determined for us; and it makes the mind very free when we give up wishing, and only think of bearing what is laid upon us and doing what is given us to do.

    George Eliot.

    Teach us to submit ourselves to Thy chastenings, believing Thy love in them all. Thou hast given us Christ, and in Him eternal life. Oh, how can we think Thou wouldst withhold from us anything else if it were good for us! Lord, let us not choose for ourselves. Choose Thou for us in Thy wisdom and love, and let our hearts approve Thy choice. Be Thou our portion, our light, and our joy in Christ Jesus. Help us ever watchfully to cherish a meek and quiet spirit, ever looking unto Him who was meek and lowly of heart, that we may find rest unto our souls.

    Hall’s Family Prayers.

    We are to take no counsel with flesh and blood; give ear to no vain cavils, vain sorrows and wishes; to know that we know nothing, that the worst and cruelest to our eyes is not what it seems, that we have to receive whatsoever befalls us as sent from God above, and say, “It is good and wise,—God is great! Though He slay me, yet I trust in Him.” Islam means, in its way, denial of self. This is yet the highest wisdom that heaven has revealed to our earth.


  • “A little way!”—this sentence I repeat,
  • Hoping and longing to extract some sweet
  • To mingle with the bitter; from Thy hand
  • I take the cup I cannot understand,
  • And in my weakness give myself to Thee.
  • Author Unknown.

  • Strike! Thou the Master, we Thy keys,
  • The anthem of the destinies!
  • The minor of Thy loftier strain,
  • Our hearts shall breathe the old refrain—
  • “Thy will be done!”
  • John G. Whittier.

  • I cannot speak
  • In happy tones; the tear drops on my cheek
  • Show I am sad;
  • But I can speak
  • Of grace to suffer with submission meek,
  • Until made glad.
  • I cannot feel
  • That all is well, when dark’ning clouds conceal
  • The shining sun;
  • But then I know
  • God lives and loves; and say, since it is so,
  • “Thy will be done.”
  • F. G. Browning.