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


Trials teach us what we are.


Great faith must have great trials.


When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.


Under the shadow of earthly disappointment, all unconscious to ourselves, our Divine Redeemer is walking by our side.

E. H. Chapin.

Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.

Pliny the Younger.

  • But noble souls, through dust and heat,
  • Rise from disaster and defeat
  • The stronger.
  • Longfellow.

    There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.


    As sure as ever God puts His children in the furnace. He will be in the furnace with them.


  • A grievous burthen was thy birth to me;
  • Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy.
  • Shakespeare.

    Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck’d.


  • Our dearest hopes in pangs are born,
  • The kingliest Kings are crown’d with thorn.
  • Gerald Massey.

    By His trials, God means to purify us, to take away all our self-confidence, and our trust in each other, and bring us into implicit, humble trust in Himself.

    Horace Bushnell.

    There will be no Christian but will have a Gethsemane; but every praying Christian will find that there is no Gethsemane without its angel!

    T. Binney.

    “Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” That is the order. You cannot put patience and experience into a parenthesis, and, omitting them, bring hope out of tribulation.

    Alexander Maclaren.

    Jesus wept once; possibly more than once. There are times when God asks nothing of His children except silence, patience, and tears.

    Charles S. Robinson.

    Reckon any matter of trial to thee among thy gains.

    Rev. T. Adam.

  • All the lessons He shall send
  • Are the sweetest:
  • And His training, in the end,
  • Is completest.
  • F. R. Havergal.

    When our troubles are many we are often by grace made courageous in serving our God; we feel that we have nothing to live for in this world, and we are driven, by hope of the world to come, to exhibit zeal, self-denial, and industry.

    C. H. Spurgeon.

    In the time of Jesus the mount of transfiguration was on the way to the cross. In our day the cross in on the way to the mount of transfiguration. If you would be on the mountain, you must consent to pass over the road to it.

    H. Clay Trumbull.

    Great trials seem to be a necessary preparation for great duties. It would seem that the more important the enterprise, the more severe the trial to which the agent is subjected in his preparation.

    Edward Thomson.

    Never was there a man of deep piety, who has not been brought into extremities—who has not been put into fire—who has been taught to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

    Richard Cecil.

    God has not chosen to save us without crosses; as He has not seen fit to create men at once in the full vigor of manhood, but has suffered them to grow up by degrees amid all the perils and weaknesses of youth.


    Blessed be the discipline which makes me reach out my soul’s roots into closer union with Jesus! Blessed be the dews of the Spirit which keep my leaf ever green! Blessed be the trials which shake down the ripe, golden fruits from the branches.

    T. L. Cuyler.

  • The child of trial, to mortality
  • And all its changeful influences given;
  • On the green earth decreed to move and die,
  • And yet by such a fate prepared for heaven.
  • Sir Humphrey Davy.

    God hath many sharp-cutting instruments and rough files for the polishing of His jewels; and those He especially loves and means to make the most resplendent, He hath oftenest His tools upon.


    God often lays the sum of His amazing providences in very dismal afflictions; as the limner first puts on the dusky colors, on which he intends to draw the portraiture of some illustrious beauty.


    As the musician straineth his strings, and yet he breaketh none of them, but maketh thereby a sweeter melody and better concord; so God, through affliction makes His own better unto the fruition and enjoying of the life to come.

    Daniel Cawdrey.

    Every man will have his own criterion in forming his judgment of others. I depend very much on the effect of affliction. I consider how a man comes out of the furnace; gold will lie for a month in the furnace without losing a grain.


    Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes, because we need them; and He proportions the frequency and the weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust in his skill, and thank him for His prescription.


    Nothing is intolerable that is necessary. Now God hath bound thy trouble upon thee by His special providence, and with a design to try thee, and with purposes to reward and crown thee. These cords thou canst not break, and therefore lie thou down gently, and suffer the hand of God to do what He pleases.

    Jeremy Taylor.

  • The way is dark, my child! but leads to light;
  • I would not have thee always walk by sight.
  • My dealings now, thou canst not understand.
  • I meant it so; but I will take thy hand,
  • And through the gloom lead safely home
  • My child!
  • Henry N. Cobb.

    Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim, the very roughness only stimulates the climber to steadier and steadier steps, till that legend of the rough places fulfills itself at last, “per aspera ad astra,” over steep ways to the stars.

    Bishop W. C. Doane.

  • Pray, pray, thou who also weepest,—
  • And the drops will slacken so;
  • Weep, weep—and the watch thou keepest,
  • With a quicker count will go.
  • Think,—the shadow on the dial
  • For the nature most undone,
  • Marks the passing of the trial,
  • Proves the presence of the sun.
  • E. B. Browning.

    It is the easiest thing in the world for us to obey God when He commands us to do what we like, and to trust Him when the path is all sunshine. The real victory of faith is to trust God in the dark, and through the dark. Let us be assured of this, that if the lesson and the rod are of His appointing, and that His all-wise love has engineered the deep tunnel of trial on the heavenward road, He will never desert us during the discipline. The vital thing for us is not to deny and desert Him.

    T. L. Cuyler.

    Purge me, or Lord, though it be with fire. Burn up the chaff of vanity and self-indulgence, of hasty prejudice, second-hand dogmas—husks which do not feed my soul, with which I cannot be content, of which I feel ashamed daily—and if there be any grain of wheat in me, any word or thought or power of action which may be of use as seed for my nation after me, gather it, oh Lord, into Thy garner.

    Charles Kingsley.