quotations about Providence
The ways of Providence being inscrutable, and the justice of it not to be scanned by the shallow eye of humanity, nor to be counteracted by the utmost efforts of human power or wisdom, resignation, and as far as the strength of our reason and religion can carry us, a cheerful acquiescence to the Divine Will, is what we are to aim.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Colonel Bassett, April 25, 1773
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
BIBLE, Proverbs 16:9
Princes rule the people, and their own passions rule Princes; but Providence can over-rule the whole, and draw the instruments of his inscrutable purposes from the vices, no less than the virtues of Kings.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Someone described Providence as the baptismal name of chance; no doubt some pious person will retort that chance is the nickname of Providence.
SEBASTIEN CHAMFORT, The Cynic's Breviary
The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under the burden of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey's end, when we may deliver up our trust into the hands of Him who gave it, and receive such reward as to him shall seem proportioned to our merit.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, July 15, 1763
I've always shrunk from usurping the functions of Providence, and when I have to exercise them I decidedly prefer that it shouldn't be on an errand of destruction.
EDITH WHARTON, "The Eyes", Tales of Men and Ghosts
By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho' death was levelling my companions on every side.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755
We are apt to believe in Providence so long as we have our own way; but if things go awry, then we think, if there is a God, he is in heaven, and not on earth.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts
The determinations of Providence are always wise, often inscrutable; and, though its decrees appear to bear hard upon us at times, is nevertheless meant for gracious purposes.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Bryan Fairfax, March 1, 1778
We mustn't be in a hurry to fix and choose our own lot; we must wait to be guided.
GEORGE ELIOT, Adam Bede
Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be -- a psychological romance of possibilities and things that do not happen. By going out a few minutes sooner or later, by stopping to speak with a friend at a corner, by meeting this man or that, or by turning down this street instead of the other, we may let slip some great occasion of good, or avoid some impending evil, by which the whole current of our lives would have been changed. There is no possible solution to the dark enigma but the one word, "Providence."
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, Table-Talk
When Providence favors, you can make a safe voyage on a twig.
PUBLILIUS SYRUS, The Moral Sayings of Publilius Syrus
Christ's revelation of the All-encompassing Providence over-arches us at times like the clear night-sky, when one halts on his march through the desert, breathing a blessed coolness over our parched and weary nature, and amidst the lonely waste, the drifting sand, and the fluttering tents, looking down upon us with a great and tender assurance of permanence and peace.
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words
Nothing makes us better understand what trifling things Providence thinks He bestows on men in granting them wealth, money, dignities, and other advantages, than the manner in which they are distributed and the kind of men who have the largest share.
JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of the Gifts of Fortune", Les Caractères
I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker.
ADOLF HITLER, speech in Munich, Germany, March 15, 1936
The march of God's Providence is slow; it's the devil who always hurries.
RUSSELL KIRK, attributed, Deseret News, March 12, 2016
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
WILLIAM HUTCHISON MURRAY, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Today I think that if for no other reason than that an Auschwitz existed, no one in our age should speak of Providence.
PRIMO LEVI, Survival in Auschwitz
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
CORRIE TEN BOOM, "Life is but a Weaving"
I don't deny that it was more than a coincidence which made things turn out as they did, it was a whole train of coincidences. But what has providence to do with it? I don't need any mystical explanation for the occurrence of the improbable; mathematics explains it adequately, as far as I'm concerned.
MAX FRISCH, Homo Faber