William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.
On his 372nd birthday, we’d like to pick a few of his most soul-stirring, iconic quotes that are sure to strike a deep chord within you.
1. Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
2. The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.
3. Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers.
4. Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee.
5. Much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.
6. Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
7. A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.
8. Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform.
7. Passion is the mob of the man, that commits a riot upon his reason.
8. 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.
9. Sense shines with a double luster when it is set in humility. An able yet humble man is a jewel worth a kingdom.
10. Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.
11. Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
12. Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.
13. True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.
14. True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
15. Kings in this world should imitate God, their mercy should be above their works.
16. For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.
17. Justice is the insurance which we have on our lives and property. Obedience is the premium which we pay for it.
18. Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.
19. Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.
20. Love grows. Lust wastes by Enjoyment, and the Reason is, that one springs from an Union of Souls, and the other from an Union of Sense.
21. We are apt to love praise, but not deserve it. But if we would deserve it, we must love virtue more than that.
22. Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
Biography and image via: wikipedia.