Face to face clears many a case.

Quarrels are fomented by hearsay statements and reports. Bring the parties together, and let the truth come out.


Failures daunt a dastard, but make a man.

A real man gathers up his strength for persevering attempts, and so by difficulties his force and character are developed and increased. Cowardice adds to the natural difficulties those inherent in itself; as says the old rhyme:--

"The wind blows east, and the wind blows west;

We shall know a tree by its fruit;

The world, they say, is worst to the best;

But a dastard has evil to boot."


Faint heart never won fair lady.

Faint heart sees dangers where there are none, and so avoids attempts which might succeed. Doubtless even in the tender business of courtship this operates to the young man's injury. If he is afraid to propose, he can hardly expect her to do so.


Faint praise is often strong censure.

It is a way the courteous use of suggesting more than they express.

Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,

Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.


Fair and softly goes far in a day.

Hurry exhausts itself; a judicious pace is best for travelling and working. Begin as you hope to go on, and then go on, and on, and on, till your sun goes down.


Fair faces need no paint.

Leave that to Jezebel.


Fair words butter no parsnips.


Fair words feed neither cat nor kitten.


Fair words fry no fritters.

In all these cases the fawner, and the flatterer, and the fine promiser are truly estimated. Beware of Mr. Plausible Prate.


Fair words make me count my money.

Who uses fawning words, of him beware thee straight:

Be sure he would entrap, or why such dainty bait?


Faith in God is reason acting reasonably.

Although faith in God is the gift of God, it can be justified by the clearest logic. There is every reason why we should believe the God of truth, and no reason whatever for doubting him. True religion is common sense enlightened by uncommon grace. Faith is not reason in labour, but reason at rest.


Falling leaves are nature's sermons.

"We all do fade as a leaf." "In the amber autumn the leaves drop with an ‘Amen.’"


Falsehood follows at the heels of debt.

The man fails to be upright, and lies.


Fame is not found on feather beds.

We may expect conflict if we are to win glory. Dr. Watts says:

"Must I be carried to the skies

On flowery beds of ease,

While others fought to win the prize

And sailed through bloody seas?"


Familiarity breeds contempt.

Men are seldom heroes to their valets, or honoured prophets in their own country. Yet familiarity with the Lord Jesus breeds a deeper reverence; for the more we know him, the more we adore his infinite perfections.


Fancy is a pretty dog, but needs a deal of feeding.

Doubtless whims are more expensive than necessities.


Fancy you are miserable, and you are so.

Some of the worst griefs are those of a sentimental kind. They have been called "the vapours," and they are as vapoury and as hard to deal with as malarious gases. It is the same with the body as with the mind, you can make yourself ill by fancy, hence Churchill says:--

Most of the evils we poor mortals know,

From doctors and imagination flow.


Far-off water won't quench near fire.

When you are in immediate want, money to come to you in a year, or a legacy at the death of an aged but immortal uncle, or castles in Spain are a very poor help. "Better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off." Prov. xxvii. 10.


Farmer! Don't rake your fields with a small-tooth comb.

Some would do so, if they could, to get up the last ear of corn from the gleaner. This is a wretched form of economy.


Far sought and dear bought,

May be good for nought.

Yet many think things fine because they are foreign. Britons ever will be slaves when fashion is in the case.


Fast bind, fast find.

Make a business clear and sure from the beginning, that it may remain so in days to come.


Fat kitchens make lean wills.

You cannot both eat an estate and leave it to your heir.


Fat or lean, always see the cloth is clean.

Housewives of working-men will find this trifle to be no trifle.


Father's a father till he gets a new wife,

But mother's a mother all her life.

A tender mother's love keeps to her children under all circumstances, when even the father's affection may grow cold, because the second wife weans him from the offspring of his first love. A step-mother may turn her husband into a step-father.


Fatten the pig, or you'll have no fat bacon.

Put money into the business or you will get none out.


Faults are thick where love is thin.

Love, when fervent, admires the very thing which is greatly denounced when love has grown cold. Of course I have many faults when you have little love.


Faults we own ever, but false we are never.

May God grant that we may never become untrue, for that is a fatal fault, and one which, speaking after the manner of men, cannot be cured. As a rule, a liar is a leper, and no waters of Jordan will wash him clean.


Favour those whom God favours.

These should be our companions, and it should be a luxury to do them good for the Lord's sake.


Fear gives more pain than the pain it fears.

Certainly men "feel a thousand deaths in fearing one."


Fear God, and you will have nothing else to fear.

He Will preserve you from all evil, and keep you in perfect peace.

True virtue, whatsoe'er betides,

In all extremes unmoved abides.


Fear hath many eyes, and yet trembles at what it does not see.

The unseen is indeed the most terrible to our feeble minds. "There were they in great fear, where no fear was." We look through the telescope of apprehension, breathe on the glass, and then think we see clouds, when indeed it is only our anxious breath.


Fear kills more than the physician.

No doubt illness is often a matter of nervousness and dread; as says the old rhyme--

"Here lies a man who lived to age,

Yet still from death was flying;

Who, though not sick, was never well,

And died for fear of dying."


Feather by feather the goose is plucked.

Small expenses are overlooked, and at last the man finds himself without a feather to fly with. Economy must preserve what industry gains.


Feed a bear, and his claws will grow.

Feed a quarrel by saying fresh words of strife, and the result will be more anger and malice than at the first.


Feed a pig, and you'll have a hog.

Those who are of a swinish nature only grow worse when they, receive either kindness or consideration.


Feed your farm before it is hungry, and weed your garden before it is foul.

In this and all other cases prevention is better than cure. It is better to keep things right than to get them right after they have run down.


Feel for others in your pocket.

Practical, pecuniary sympathy is more useful than mere talk. "I feel for the poor man," said one. "Friend, how much dost thou feel?" said the Quaker: "Dost thou feel five shillings for him? If so, I will put my feelings and shillings along with thine."


Few are fit to be trusted with themselves.

And if they cannot keep themselves right, how shall they be trusted by others?


Few men ever repent of being silent.


Few people get fat on wind-falls or wind-bags.

Hard work pays better than looking for legacies or dreaming of fortunes. Great expectations are a breakfast for fools.


Few words, and kindly meant,

Are a woman's ornament.


Fierce fires soon burn themselves out.

The excitements of zeal are not to be much reckoned on.


Fiery men are easily put out.

The least little thing provokes them, and they often blaze up without any apparent cause. Such men are like John Lilburne, of whom it was said that he must quarrel; and if there had been no one else in the world, John would have quarrelled with Lilburne and Lilburne with John.


Fight, but fight only with yourself.

Self-conquest is the greatest of victories. Many have vanquished all others, and yet have been slaves to their own passions.


Fighting dogs get bleeding ears.


Find contentment in God's appointment.


Find you out your sins, or your sins will find out you.


Fine birds are all the more likely to be plucked.

Pretty people are tempted, and great men are assailed.


Fine clothes cannot hide the clown.

They far oftener betray him: he does not feel at home in them any more than a dog in a blanket, or a hog in armour.


Fine feathers make fine birds.

Yet garments can only make a vain person what Masson calls "a decorated fool." A puritanic student once called certain fine ladies "ambulating blocks for millinery." Well, dress as they may, it is, at least, a pity that they do not leave feathers to birds, and not murder our songsters to bedeck their own heads.


Fine promises are frail securities.

That is to say, when they come from our fellow mortals. Many have been ruined by the rascality which promised, but never intended to perform. Such promises are solid lies: not so much falsehood in word as falsehood in fact.


Fine stables do not make good horses.

A man may live in a college and be a dunce, or dwell under the eaves of the house of God and be an infidel. A villa may have a villain for its tenant, and a mansion may hold a lord without either manor or manners. Ecclesiastical architecture does not secure piety. Many a poor drone of a preacher has had the emptying of a fine Gothic edifice.


Fine words have great weight with feeble minds.

The authors of proverbs to this effect, of which there are very many, had evidently been misled by fine oratory, and at last arrived at the conclusion that words are but air, and that there is no building upon them.


Finery is foolery.

A lady asked the Rev. John Newton what was the best rule for female dress and behaviour. "Madam," said he, "so dress and so conduct yourself that persons who have been in your company shall not recollect what you had on." When so much is spent on dress, that the house is impoverished, the folly is extreme. It suggested the epigram--

"What is the reason, can you guess?

Why men are poor and women thinner?

So much do they for dinner dress;

There's nothing left to dress for dinner."


Fire begins with little sparks: crime begins with evil thoughts.


First come, first served.

A fair rule. No one ought to wish to go out of his turn at the expense of others, even though he may think himself a person of importance.


First comes owing, and then comes lying.

For the debtor invents false excuses, and makes untruthful promises, so as to stave off the day of payment.


First look up, and then look out.

Look to God first, and then watch for every honourable opportunity of getting on in business.


First practise at home, then preach abroad.

It is not every man that would like to preach to his neighbours from his own door-step.


First the distiller, then the doctor, then the undertaker.


First thrive, then wive, then strive.


First understand, and then undertake.

It is the height of folly to undertake a matter of which you do not know the ins and outs. Many have burnt their fingers with such blind agreements. Never sign what you have not seen.


Fish bred in dirty pools will surely taste of mud.

I remember having received, as a present, some fine carp taken from the village pond. To put the knife into them was quite enough for me: a friend who ate of them was seriously ill. The fish had lived upon the filth of the parish, and could not be clean eating. Those who are bred in vice are sure to show it in their character.


Fit words are fine; but often fine words are not fit.

If the language is suitable to express the truth, it is everything. Sometimes grand oratory is great absurdity.


Flattery is pap for fools.

'Tis an old maxim of the schools

That flattery's the food of fools;

And whoso likes such airy meat,

Will soon have nothing else to eat.


Flattery fouls the flatterer and the flattered.

Mr. Simeon said: "We ought to feel as if our ears were stung with blasphemy, when we discover any attempt to transfer the crown of glory from the head of the Redeemer to that of any of his servants." Flavel also exclaimed: "Christian, thou carriest the gunpowder of pride about thee. Desire those who carry the fire of flattery to keep their distance. It is a dangerous crisis when a proud heart meets with flattering lips."


Flowers are sweet, but men need meat.

Phis is in allusion to florid sermons in which there is an absence of sound instruction.


Flowers smell sweetly, whether men are near or not.

They do not "waste their sweetness." He who made them enjoys them, and that is enough for them. We must do good, however unnoticed our work may be.


Flowery meadows have none the better grass.

Poetical preachments are by no means promotive of edification. The soul feeds on truth, not on pretty periods.


Foes may rise, and thrones may fall;

God is mightier far than all.


Follow the river, and you'll come to the sea.

Trace a stream of mercy, and you come to the infinite God.


Follow the wise few, and not the learned many.

Some read the vulgar many: but it little matters, the learned are often vulgar also. To follow any multitude to do evil is a thing to be avoided.


Folly and learning may live under one hat.

Book learning may carry a man far from truth and common sense: experience is needed, and grace from God, to make true wisdom.


Folly is wise in her own eyes.

And this prevents her ever attaining to wisdom. Men can only be wise by finding out their own folly.


Folly taxes us four times as much as Parliament.

Calculate the expenditure under the heads of Drink, Dress, Show, Idle Amusement, and Fads, and you will be astonished.


Fond of doctors, little health;

Fond of lawyers, little wealth.

These learned practitioners are excellent in their way, but they are not intended to be called in every day. When we are well, or none dispute with us, we are apt to make fun of them. Here is one of the witty things of a man who was well:--

The homoeopathic system, sir, just suits me to a tittle,

It clearly proves of physic you cannot take too little:

If it be good, in all complaints, to take a dose so small,

It surely must be better still, to take no dose at all."


Fond pride of dress is sure a dreadful curse:

It shows an empty head, and makes an empty purse.


Foolish fear doubles danger.

For it unfits you for acting so as to avoid danger, and even drives you further into it. Most of the accidents which occur in the street happen to nervous people.


Foolish tongues talk nineteen to the dozen.

The less they have to carry, the faster they go.


Fools and children should never see unfinished work.

Because they form a judgment without having the whole matter before them, and that imperfect opinion they are apt to retain.


Fools and churls make lawyers rich:

Concessions fair jump o'er the ditch.

This is one among many wise sayings which would keep us from law, its uncertainty, its cost, and its worry. The proper use of a lawyer is that he may keep you out of law.


Fools are not great fools unless they know Latin.

The affectation of scholarship enables a man to be more egregiously foolish than the utterly ignorant.


Fools are pleased with their own blunders.


Fools build, and wise men buy.

Thus they get a house more cheaply as a general rule. According to the rhyme,

"He that buys a house ready wrought,

Hath many a tile and pin for nought."

But nowadays full often knaves build, and fools buy.


Fools feast forgetful of the reckoning.

And this they will do through life till at last they have to say with the epicure:--

"At length, my friends, the feast of life is o'er;

I've ate sufficient, and I'll drink no more;

My night is come; I've spent a jovial day;

'Tis time to part; but oh! what is to pay?"


Fools grow without watering.

A wise man says that a fool maybe known by six qualities: anger without cause, speech without profit, change without motive, enquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and want of capacity to discriminate between a friend and a foe. We could mention other equally clear characteristics, but there is no need. Fools are common objects by the seaside, and everywhere else.


Fools have made wise speeches, and wise men have made foolish speeches.

Of course the foolish must now and then be right by mere chance, and the wise are wrong through natural imperfection.


Fools live, but do not learn.

Like a spoon in the gravy, they imbibe no flavour of that which surrounds them, even though they live with the wise and gracious. So say the Burmese sages:

But fools are fools where'er you go!

Experience cannot reach them;

The only thing they'll ever learn

Sure death itself must teach them!


Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.

When a king of Scotland heard this speech at one of his banquets he pulverized it with another, "Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them."


Fools make those enquiries afterwards which wise men make before.


Fools may make money, but only wise men can keep it, or spend it properly

Fools run in packs; the wise oft walk alone.


Fools set stools for wise men to stumble over.

They raise puzzling questions, and in the answering of them men of knowledge are confounded. The Spaniards say, "A fool can cast a stone into a well, which many wise men cannot get out." The Italians say, "A fool can ask more questions in an hour than seven wise men can answer in seven years."


Fools should never be set on eggs.

They will addle them or break them, but never hatch them. This saying means that designs which need patient attention must never be left to unwise people.


Fools think nothing right but what they do themselves.


Fools think that others do not think.

But others do think, and thus the fool is greatly mistaken.


Fools worship mules that carry gold.

Alas! many do this who would not like to be called fools. Having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Jude 16.


Fools' names you see on seat and tree.

Go where you will, you will see these disfigurements. In every instance initials cut in public places are those of fools.


Foot firm, and faith fast,

Stand still till storm past.

"Having done all, still stand." Ephesians vi. 13.


Foppish finery suits puppies and puppets.


For a dead opportunity there is no resurrection.

Sir Richard Baker saith:--

To let time slip is a reverseless crime:

You may have time again, but not the time."


For better for worse, some follow the purse.

Worshippers of the golden calf, they are always of the opinion of the squire, or some other man made of money.


For every ill beneath the sun, there is some remedy or none:

If there be one, resolve to find it; if not, submit, and never mind it.


For God expend, and he will send.

Many happy years I have found it so at the Stockwell Orphanage. Our five hundred mouths never lack a meal, for our Father feeds us.


For little birds there are little traps.

Children and youths are preyed upon by the wicked; and even the poor are entrapped by rogues, who are content with little fishes if they can get many of them.


For love of the nurse they kiss the child.

Many pretend affection for one to gain the affection of another. Love me, love my darling.


For rainy day lay store away.

This was the young gentleman's reason for keeping the umbrella which had been lent him. It is good in the day of abundance to prepare for days of need. When our strength declines it will be pleasant to eat the honey laid up in the early summer of our youth.


For the light of day we have nothing to pay.

God has made this choice blessing common. It is the true emblem of his enlightening grace, which is free as the day


Forbid a fool, and he'll do it directly.

This folly seems to be universal in the race. At the beginning, the fruit was desired because it was forbidden; and Paul said that "when the commandment came, sin revived."


Forget the corn on Sabbath morn.

It will grow just as well without your thinking upon it, and on the Lord's-day you have other subjects to consider.


Forgive and forget: when you bury a mad dog don't leave his tail above ground.

Here is the difficulty with some, they harbour the memory of wrong, and so the snake of anger is scotched and not killed, and it wriggles itself to life again. Have done with it, and let the remembrance of it die altogether.


Forgive every man's faults except your own.

Be much harder with yourself than with others. Say as one did, "God may forgive me, but I shall never forgive myself."


Forehand payments make hind-hand work.

Fellows don't care to work for a dead horse; they have had their money, and spent it, and now they have no heart to work.


Fore-think, though you cannot foretell.

We cannot foresee, but we can forecast and prepare for what is likely to happen.


Forethought will spare afterthought.

Consideration may prevent regret.

Before thou bring thy works to light,

Consider on them in the night.


Foul breath is a calamity; but foul speech is criminality.

Foul deeds will rise before men's eyes.

However carefully concealed, they have the knack of making themselves known. Sin has a resurrection. Many other sins besides murder "will out." A bird of the air shall tell the matter.


Fowls should roost where foxes cannot reach.

It is wise to rise above the tempter's grip by living on high with God. Also let the young be lodged out of harm's way.


Fox sly-boots is quiet, but waiteth his day;

While you make a riot, he seizeth his prey.

Sin is a crafty enemy. Beware of that fox. While you are enjoying your pleasure sin will destroy your soul.


Fraud and frost both end in foul.

When they break up, the discovery and the thaw are by no means pleasant or clean.


Frenzy, heresy, and jealousy, these three

Seldom or never cured be.

They feed upon themselves, and grow most rapidly without other food, and hence there is little hope of their abatement.


Fretting cares make grey hairs.

And this is all they make. What is the use of them?


Fretting mends no broken dishes;

Brings us none of all our wishes.

Why, then, do we fret? Better far to trust in God, and be at peace.


Friends are like fiddle-strings, they must not be screwed too tight.

We must not expect unreasonable things of them, nor provoke them, even in jest, nor exact excessive esteem from them.


Friendship cemented by Christian brotherhood has a firm foundation.

That friendship firm will ever bide

Whose hands unto the cross are tied.


Friendship, like a bird, has two wings.

Something should be rendered on each side. "He that bath friends must show himself friendly." I must be a friend to him, who is a friend to me. One good turn deserves another.


Friendship made in a moment is of no moment.

Douglas Jerrold said of one, "His friendships are so warm that he no sooner takes them up than he puts them down again."


Frogs betray themselves by their own croaking.

Many bring sorrow on themselves by their own lamentations.


Frogs in a well know nothing of the high seas.

Men with narrow range of knowledge and experience cannot calculate the greatness of the divine designs, nor even understand the larger ideas of more instructed men.


From an empty pot,

Pudding cometh not.

No, not even if you set that pot simmering in a pulpit.


From nothing comes nothing.

What gracious or holy thing can come out of our vain and worthless nature? We are less than nothing, and something far worse than nothing is all that can come of us.


From one who always calls thee "dear"

Preserve thyself and pocket clear.

This comes of my own observation. Cant phrases should excite suspicion. They are the chosen trade-marks of certain parties, religious or otherwise, who believe that all men can be fooled if you will only use enough treacle.


From saving comes having.

Of little gains let care be had,

For of small ears great mows are made.


From saying to doing is a long stretch.

Especially with some who are very lavish with their promises. Trust in that man's promise who dares to refuse that which he fears he cannot perform. A promise and its performance should balance like a pair of scales; but too often they do not.


From thence where nets and snares are laid,

Make haste, lest else thou be betrayed.

Go not down to the plain of Sodom, which is full of slime pits. Fly: there is no safety but in flight.


Fuddle makes muddle.

Those who are given to drink do not clearly think, and so stagger into messes.


Full ears of wheat bend low with weight.

The more there is in a man the more lowly is his behaviour.


Full many a pleasing, praising speech,

Prepares the way to over-reach.

Fulsome flattery is fodder for fools, and is used as bait by knaves.


Full many a shaft at random sent

Finds mark the archer little meant.



Sayings of a more Spiritual Sort.


Faint, yet pursuing;

Weak, yet subduing;

Spent, yet renewing;

Christ ever viewing.

This is much as our life has been. May God be glorified both by its weakness and its strength, its change and its constancy!


Faith builds a bridge from this world to the next.


Faith cannot die, nor can he die who hath faith.


Faith fears no famine.

How can she, when she can sing, "Jehovah-jireh" the Lord will provide? Sooner will the clouds rain bread than the people of God be left to die.


Faith gets most, humility keeps most, love works most.


Faith honours Christ, and Christ honours faith.

He said to the blind man, "Thy faith hath saved thee." He puts the crown on the head of faith because faith always puts the crown upon the head of her Lord.


Faith in God is never out of season.


Faith looks to precepts as well as to promises.

It takes the whole Word of God, and obeys commands as well as trusts promises.


Faith makes all things possible, and love makes them easy.


Faith makes the Christian, but love proves him.

Faith justifies the believer, but love justifies his faith by the works which it produces. Faith believes to be true; love proves faith to be true.


Faith sees God, and God sees faith.

Faith sees God, who is invisible, and God sees even that little faith, which would be invisible to others.


Faith unfeigned breeds hope unfailing.


Faith which never wept was never true.

Repentance is the inseparable companion of a true trust in Christ. It is the tear which falls from the eye of faith at the remembrance of pardoned sin.


Faith works love, works by love, and loves to work.


Faith's barque is often tost, but never lost.

An untried faith will turn out to be an untrue faith; but, however much tried, true faith will bear the strain.


Faith's eye sees in the dark.

It is a God-given eye, and it is like the eye of God.


Faith's hand never knocks in vain at mercy's door.


Feeble-mind is a true pilgrim, and the Lord will be mindful of his feebleness.


Fiery trials make golden Christians.


Filial fear is the safeguard of sanctity.


Follow the Master more than the pastor.

The pastor must only be followed while he follows his Pastor. Happy is it for a people when their minister walks with God, for then they may follow him everywhere.


Forget a frowning world, and serve a smiling God.


Forget not him who forgets not thee.


Free grace and dying love

Lift believing souls above.

Sweetest of all comforts here, and sweetest of all hopes hereafter we these two things.