151) Wisdom of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (circa 1818 – February 20, 1895), former slave, was an American abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.  Douglass is one of the most prominent figures in African-American and United States history.  He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant.

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others; rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

“The soul that is within me no man can degrade.”

“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

“The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”

“I may be deemed superstitious, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor.  But I should be false to the earliest sentiments of my soul if I suppressed the opinion… that from my earliest recollection, I (had) a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom.  This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.”

“Allowing only ordinary ability and opportunity, we may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK!  WORK!!  WORK!!!  WORK!!!!  Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting and indefatigable work into which the whole heart is put.”

“The man who is right is a majority.  He who has God and conscience on his side, has a majority against the universe.”

“Such are the limitations of the human mind, and so thoroughly engrossing are the cares of common life, that only the few among men can discern through the glitter and dazzle of present prosperity the dark outlines of approaching disasters, even though they may have come up to our very gates, and are already within striking distance…  Prophets, indeed, were abundant before the war; but who cares for prophets while their predictions remain unfulfilled, and the calamities of which they tell are masked behind a blinding blaze of national prosperity?”


II Chronicles 7:14  —  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10  —  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

 Joshua 1:9b  —  “…Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


O God our Shepherd,
Give the Church a new vision and a new charity,
New wisdom and fresh understanding,
The revival of her brightness
And the renewal of her unity;
That the eternal message of your Son,
Undefiled by the traditions of men,
May be hailed as the good news of the new age;
Through him who makes all things new,
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   –Percy Dearmer