Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ralph Venning

English Nonconformist Divine

"Late repentance is seldom true, but true repentance is never too late."

"The Hebrews have a saying that God is more delighted in adverbs than in nouns; it is not so much the matter that is done, but the matter how it is done, that God minds. Now how much, but how well! It is the well-doing that meets with a well-done. Let us therefore serve God, not nominally or verbally, but adverbially."

"It is not so much matter what is done, as how it is done, that God minds. Not how much, but how well. It is the well-doing that meets the well-done."

"Virtue and vice are both prophets; the first, of certain good; the second, of pain or else of penitence."

"To maintain an opinion because it is thine, and not because it is true, is to prefer thyself above the truth."

"Worldly riches are like nuts; many clothes are torn in getting them, many a tooth broke in cracking them, but never a belly filled with eating them."

"All the beauty of the world, 'tis but skin deep."

"Success at first doth many times undo men at last."

"That is good which doth good"

"The world cannot show us a more exalted character than that of a truly religious philosopher, who delights to turn all things to the glory of God; who, in the objects of his sight, derives improvement to his mind; and in the glass of things temporal, sees the image of things spiritual. He who seeks philosophy in divinity, seeks the dead among the living; and he that seeks divinity in philosophy, seeks the living among the dead."

"Inward religion, without the outward show of it, is like a tree without fruit, useless; and the outward show of religion, without inward sincerity, is like a tree without heart, lifeless."

"In religion not to do as thou sayest, is to unsay thy religion in thy deeds, and to undo thyself by doing."

"Many men are angry with them that tell them of their faults, when they should be angry only with the faults that are told them."

"Our superfluities should give way to our brother's conveniences, and our conveniences, to our brother's necessities; yea, even our necessities should give way to their extremity for the supplying of them."

"Crates threw his gold into the sea, saying, "I will destroy thee, lest thou destroy me." If men do not put the love of the world to death, the love of the world will put them to death."

"The tongue blessing God without the heart is but a tinkling cymbal; the heart blessing God without the tongue is sweet but still music; both in concert make their harmony, which fills and delights heaven and earth."