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quotations about mercy

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech, 1865

The unmerciful man is most certainly an unblessed man. His sympathies are all dried up; he is afflicted with a chronic jaundice, and lives timidly and darkly in a little, narrow rat-hole of distrust.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.


Mercy often inflicts death.

SENECA, Troades

Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.


Mercy. That is the gospel. The whole of it in one word.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

A God all mercy is a God unjust.

EDWARD YOUNG, The Complaint, or Night-Thoughts on Life

Who will not mercy unto others show,
How can he mercy ever hope to have?

EDMUND SPENSER, The Faerie Queene

Mercy will get you killed, but sometimes it's all that makes us human.

LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Burnt Offerings

It is highly convenient to believe in the infinite mercy of God when you feel the need of mercy, but remember also his infinite justice.

B. R. HAYDON, Table Talk

It is altogether as worthy of God and as much becoming Him to pardon and show mercy, in case of repentance and submission and reformation, as to punish, in case of impenitency and obstinacy.

BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms

The more merciful acts thou dost, the more mercy thou wilt receive.

WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude

Humankind's limited scope of mercy was reserved for their own.


Mercy among the virtues is like the moon among the stars--not so sparkling and vivid as many, but dispensing a calm radiance that hallows the whole. It is the bow that rests upon the bosom of the cloud when the storm has passed. It is the light that hovers above the judgment-seat.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

JESUS, Matthew 5:7

Love, Mercy, and Grace, sisters all, attend your wounds of silence and hope.

ABERJHANI, The River of Winged Dreams

Where mercy is shown, mercy is given.

DUANE DOG CHAPMAN, Where Mercy Is Shown, Mercy Is Given

It is mercy, not justice or courage or even heroism, that alone can defeat evil.

PETER KREEFT, The Philosophy of Tolkien

If a person is convicted of a crime, there's a slight chance he will face a kind of judge who will show him a little mercy. Maybe reduce his sentence by a few years. That's not a lot of mercy. It's a little mercy, and the truth is, when it comes to humans, mercy is hard to come by. Not so with God. His mercy is like a huge bucket of water filled to the rim so that if you bumped into it, it would spill all over you. His mercy is so great that he doesn't just forgive us when we fail, but he erases any record of our failure. He doesn't just reduce our sentence--eternal punishment--he eliminates it and sets us free.

CRAIG GROESCHEL, What Is God Really Like?

it strikes me there is something greater than judgement. I think it is called mercy.

SEBASTIAN BARRY, The Secret Scripture

The Mercy of Allah is an Ocean, Our sins are a lump of clay clenched between the beak of a pigeon. The pigeon is perched on the branch of a tree at the edge of that ocean. It only has to open it's beak.


Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn't mercy.

TIMOTHY KELLER, The Prodigal God

I used to think mercy meant showing kindness to someone who didn't deserve it, as if only the recipient defined the act. The girl in between has learned that mercy is defined by its giver. Our flaws are obvious, yet we are loved and able t love, if we choose, because there is that bit of the divine still smoldering in us.

SUSAN MEISSNER, The Shape of Mercy

Mercy is stronger than your sword.

P. C. CAST, Dragon's Oath

Mercy did not exist in the primordial life. It was misunderstood for fear, and such misunderstandings made for death.

JACK LONDON, The Call of the Wild

Mercy is the apex of God's glory the way the overflow of a fountain is the apex of the fountain's fullness. God is free to be merciful because he is full and utterly self-sufficient in himself.

JOHN PIPER, Let the Nations Be Glad!

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, The Merchant of Venice

Read William McEwen's essay: On the Merciful Man


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