Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Henry Van Dyke

American Presbyterian Minister, Author, Expert on Fly Fishing

"Remember, what you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else, but what you are will be yours forever."

"There are two good rules which ought to be written upon every heart. Never believe anything bad about anybody, unless you positively know that it is true. Never tell even that, unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening while you tell it."

"Stop complaining about the management of the universe. Look around for a place to slow a few seeds of happiness."

"How hard it is to confess that we have spoken without thinking, that we have talked nonsense. How many a man says a thing in haste and heat, without fully understanding or half meaning it, and then, because he has said it, holds fast to it, and tries to defend it as if it were true! But how much wiser, how much more admirable and attractive it is when a man has the grace to perceive and acknowledge his mistakes! It gives us assurance that he is capable of learning, of growing, of improving, so that his future will be better than his past."

"There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher."

"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."

"We cannot have happiness until we forget to seek it."

"There is no conflict between the Old and the New; the conflict is between the False and the True."

"Let me but live from year to year, with forward face and unreluctant soul; not hurrying to, nor turning from, the goal; not mourning for the things that disappear in the dim past, nor holding back in fear from what the future veils; but with a whole and happy heart, that pays its toll to Youth and Age, and travels with cheer. So let the way wind up the hill or down o’er rough and smooth, the journey will be joy: still seeking what I sought when but a boy, new friendship, high adventure, and a crown, my heart will keep the courage of the quest, and hope the road’s last turn will be the best."

"Four things a man must learn to do if he would make his record true; to think without confusion clearly; to love his fellow-men sincerely; to act from honest motives purely; to trust in God and Heaven securely."

"Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know that it is true. Never tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary and that God is listening while you tell it."

"Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul."

"We create our fortune, for so the universe was wrought. Thought is another name for fate; choose they your destiny and wait, for love brings love, and hate brings hate."

"I shall grow old, but never lose life’s zest, because the road’s last turn will be the best."

"What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else, but what you are will be yours forever."