274) William Penn Quotations

William Penn (1644-1718) was a leading figure of the English Quakers and founder of the American colony of Pennsylvania.  He was a tireless writer who expounded his theories on religious tolerance and the Quaker ideals in books, essays, and pamphlets written throughout the course of his life.  Involved in the politics of England and the colonies, Penn traveled back and forth between both places, often embroiled in the controversies of the day.


A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil that Good may come of it.

Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.

Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love.  Authority is for children and servants, yet should not be without sweetness.

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

Force may make hypocrites, but it can never make converts.

He that lives to forever, need never fear death.

He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father’s wisdom than he who has a great deal left him owes to his father’s care.

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire.

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

If thou wouldst conquer thy weakness thou must not gratify it.

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self.

Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man.

Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.

Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains.


Hebrews 12:1 — Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:2 — Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:3 — Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


A MORNING PRAYER FOR LABORERS:  O God, we thank you for the sweet refreshment of sleep and for the glory and vigor of the new day.  As we set our faces once more toward our daily work, we pray for strength sufficient for our tasks.  May Christ’s spirit of duty and service ennoble all we do.  Uphold us by the consciousness that our work is useful work and a blessing to others.  If there has been anything in our work harmful to others and dishonorable to ourselves, reveal it to our inner eye with such clearness that we shall hate it and put it away, even though it be at a loss to ourselves.  When we work with others, help us to regard them not as servants to do our will, but as brothers and sisters, equal to us in human dignity, and equally worthy of their full reward.  May there be nothing in this day’s work of which we shall be ashamed when the sun has set, nor in the evening of our life when our task is done and we to go our long awaited home to see your face.  We pray this in the name of Jesus our Lord.  AMEN.  –Walter Rauschenbusch (alt.), For God and the People: Prayers of the Social Awakening, 1909